#28 Joel Farabee, LW, USA NTDP (9/30/17)

vs. Omaha Lancers (USHL)

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2018 NHL draft prospect Joel Farabee shows how quickly he can strike and turn a play into a scoring chance. He’s a tenacious top liner with skill – a deadly combo that will have many scouts smitten.

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Here Farabee drives the far left wing entry before cutting sharply across the middle missing two checks and finding a way to send the puck against the grain in the opposite direction. Also note the NTDP player who swoops in late in the clip for the heads up takeaway is defender K’Andre Miller.

#19 Rasmus Kupari, C, Kärpät (10/7/17)

vs. JYP Jyväskylä (LIIGA)

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2018 NHL Draft prospect Rasmus Kupari has no problem handling the puck against men, as he picks up the puck on the cycle from below the goal line and circles the perimeter. This is a failed play as a result of a teammate nearly taking him out, as you can see he recovers and makes a move along the line. The sentiment is this was a hiccup, as he has the smarts to take that inside lane opening if his teammate doesn’t throw him off course. Worth monitoring, though, as it’s a problem if he dipsy doodles and gets closed off like that frequently.

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Young Kupari opens up the clip using his head and stick to distract the opponent, which freed up the puck for his teammate to scoop up. His D zone play can tighten up as his own zone range is too loose and expansive, though his excellent skating ability is obvious. As the play heads up ice, you will see his soft hands allow smooth pass reception in flight and he’s able to shortly thereafter pull up and get a shot off while covered closely.

#15 Bode Wilde, D, USA NTDP (9/30/17)

vs. Omaha Lancers (USHL)

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2018 NHL Draft prospect Bode Wilde shows poise at the point, and finishes the clip off drawing a penalty while breaking out of the zone. He’s an elusive dual pass/shot threat who likes to push the attack.

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Here Wilde jumps up defensively to kill a potential opposing sequence and goes exit to entry. You can see him survey when he hits the line and has the presence of mind to change his angle of shot very quickly once he realizes he has no clear passing option.

2017 CCM All-American Prospects Game Review

On September 21st, 42 top American prospects eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft took to the ice in the sixth annual CCM All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo, New York. In a matchup featuring marquee draft names such as USA NTDP’s Brady Tkachuk and Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, fans were also treated to the teams being led by former NHL stars Chris Chelios and Brian Leetch. Team Leetch eventually managed a 6-5 win over Team Chelios, after the latter team screamed back to tie the game up at five after being down three heading into the third period.

In a tough game for the goalie crop with so much skill on the ice, Omaha’s Jack Randl had the most points with 3, Fargo’s Ryan Savage had the most goals with 2, and USA NTDP’s Oliver Wahlstrom had the most SOG with 6. USA NTDP’s Brady Tkachuk was named player of the game scoring the GWG, adding an assist, and registering 5 SOG.

While it’s true a lot of lesser known’s made their impact on the scoresheet, such as Madison Capitol’s Ryan O’Reilly, Elk River’s Jack Perbix, and Eden Prairie’s Jack Jensen, it’s hard to say these kids will round out into significant draft day prospects as they own limitations.

Here are some impressions broken down by position:

Goalies

As no netminder registered higher than .846SVS%, this is the type of event where you rely more on skillset evaluation and projection than actual statline as goalies are inevitably going to be peppered under less than usual TOI. USA NTDP’s Jonathan Mor stood out for a few noteworthy saves and looked the part of a blossoming prospect with the desired size and execution scouts look for. With legs for days, he was noticeable for his ability to stretch out flush to the ice and handle rapidly moving lateral plays.

Defensemen

All eyes were on Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, and he kinda did disappoint. On display was the usual elite skating and soft hands combination, with super agility and evasiveness at times. The issue was he didn’t showcase anything new in terms of offseason development, and didn’t look like a kid with underage WJSS experience. On top of that, there were instances of sloppy play and turnovers where he hogged the puck and skated himself into trouble.

Scouts yearn and often look for that moment of realization in a game where a player comes out of the blue and forces a new/first strong opinion on him. That player tonight for all skaters was Kimball Union’s Jordan Harris. This HS defender looked like a legit hybrid puck rusher – mover. Assisting on Jack Randl’s even strength goal in the 3rd period, he went coast-to-coast and managed to land a shot off the far pad that ended up being a perfectly placed rebound to the streaking Randl. With Dexter’s explosive Jack Rathbone going in the top 100 this past draft, keep your eyes on Harris. The kid is a smart gamer who has speed and skill.

USA NTDP’s Bode Wilde submitted the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde performance. Really shaky first, then a second and third period that showed off his super risky, skilled, and questionable style. There’s no debating this guy has very good lateral agility with the puck and is offensive, but his defensive attention and focus needs a ton of work. It’s typically okay for some laxity in a showcase coupled with more risk taking, but he did not scream elite prospect in the sense of understanding the play and being a step ahead of the rest. If the rest of the package comes around, he could very well be a top ten pick as he’s got game with the puck.

Most of the big name towers – hint the Samuelsson’s – were quiet with USA NTDP’s K’Andre Miller making a statement physically on a massive hit. Talk about a linebacker on skates, this defender is tall and thick with decent mobility. He picked up a primary assist on O’Reilly’s GTG, and more and more it looks like Miller has an understated touch as a passer. He will need to make quicker decisions on the puck and enhance his skill application over the year, but he has the powerful, raw physique of a player that can be drafted in the top 62.

Forwards

Coming as advertised, it was the well known trio of USA NTDP’s Brady TkachukOliver Wahlstrom, and Joel Farabee flashing first round skill and pedigree. Farabee was the most noticeable, and active, taking over a few shifts and coming with high work rate, hockey sense, and ability to make plays on the puck. If you’re the type of scout who looks for a player with minimal chinks in the armor, Farabee is your guy. Tkachuk, well, the younger bro unquestionably stood out as a top 5 prospect with size, skating, and touch all night. Billed as a top pick, he jumped out at you while he was on the ice early and often. He brings a more explosive style, and is more impressive physically in open ice than Matt. Wahlstrom hit the next gear on a few shifts, and caused havoc offensively. He’s such a sturdy forward already and acquits himself well in a top line environment.

Outside of those top forwards, Des Moines’ Braden Costello played a high energy, semi-power forward style that shows long-term upside. He’s a bit raw, but is able to cut to the net and has good enough hands to keep up offensively. His trajectory will be something to watch and could round out into a mid round pick. On the flip side, USA NTDP’s Gavin Hain continues to disappoint after looking like a dagger sinking sniper last year in USHS. Gone is the offensive zone hawk we know and he looks unable to create anything on his own with and against better competition. Time is on his side as it’s only September, but he’s on notice to needing to adapt sooner rather than later. If he doesn’t, he will get lost on that stacked USA team ala the Pastujov’s.

Draft Pick Production Values from 2002-2011 NHL Drafts

Methodology: Using the 2002-2011 NHL Drafts, individually rank the top 62 players in games played from each draft, then sort by PTS/GP, and calculate each draft pick’s PTS/GP and average it over the 10 year span of drafts from 2002-2011.

Why: There’s often a misperception of the value of prospects, and ultimately NHL’ers, at the draft. It is now trendy to bash NHL teams selections if they aren’t the most skilled assets taken off the board (and taking sub 5’9 is now chic and cool), in an exercise that disregards NHL translation and risk. This table demonstrates that some of the ‘least desirable’ NHL skaters can actually produce an average value PTS/GP worthy of a late 2nd round pick (IE Derek Dorsett).

Case Studies: Nazem Kadri is an example of a player whose long-term NHL production has equalled his draft pick selection (#7), based on this PTS/GP chart. Patrice Bergeron is an example of a player overperforming in NHL production (#3) relative to his draft selection (#45). Benoit Pouliot is an example of a player underperforming in NHL production (#19) relative to his draft selection (#4). However, the utility of this chart can be seen in Pouliot’s case: despite many slapping the BUST label hard on him, producing like a 19th overall pick is actually not as bad as many make his fall from top 5 seem.

Enjoy the list, and if you would like to get an idea of other players of interest and where they landed (if they were in the 2002-2011 drafts), please email me at info@draftbuzzhockey.com or shoot the request over to @draftbuzzhockey on Twitter.

PICK PTS/GP PLAYER
1 0.99 Nicklas Backstrom
2 0.86 Jonathan Toews (+.01)
3 0.76 Patrice Bergeron (-.01)
4 0.72 Matt Duchene (+.01)
5 0.68 Alex Radulov
6 0.66 Jeff Skinner
7 0.63 Nazem Kadri
8 0.62 David Backes
9 0.59 Dustin Byfuglien
10 0.58 Wayne Simmonds
11 0.56 Travis Zajac
12 0.55 Keith Yandle
13 0.53 Nick Foligno
14 0.52 Dustin Brown
15 0.50 Artem Anisimov
16 0.49 Alex Killorn
17 0.48 Ryan Suter
18 0.46 Sean Couturier
19 0.44 Benoit Pouliot
20 0.43 Nick Leddy
21 0.42 Jannik Hansen
22 0.41 Nikolay Kulemin
23 0.39 Cody Franson
24 0.38 Brandon Sutter
25 0.37 Matt Niskanen
26 0.36 Justin Abdelkader
27 0.35 Lars Eller
28 0.34 Matt Beleskey
29 0.33 Travis Hamonic
30 0.32 Jamie McBain
31 0.32 Daniel Winnik
32 0.30 Dwight King
33 0.30 Michael Stone
34 0.29 Cal Clutterbuck
35 0.28 Dmitri Kulikov
36 0.27 Nathan Beaulieu
37 0.27 Erik Condra
38 0.25 Adam Larsson
39 0.24 Derek Dorsett
40 0.23 Marc Staal
41 0.23 Tomas Jurco
42 0.22 Trevor Lewis
43 0.22 Alex Petrovic
44 0.21 Luke Schenn
45 0.20 Nate Thompson
46 0.19 Luca Sbisa
47 0.19 Connor Murphy
48 0.18 Roman Polak
49 0.17 Jon Merrill
50 0.17 Kyle Clifford
51 0.16 Patrick Kaleta
52 0.15 Adam McQuaid
53 0.14 Mark Stuart
54 0.13 Clayton Stoner
55 0.12 Ryan Reaves
56 0.11 Theo Peckham
57 0.10 Zac Rinaldo
58 0.07 Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
59 0.05 Kari Lehtonen
60 0.05 Luke Gadzic
61 0.03 Cam Janssen
62 0.01 James Reimer

2017 NHL Draft Report (1-10)

DB1 – Nico Hischier, Center, 6’1.5” 179, L, Halifax (QMJHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 5 months, 19 days

Body Mass Index: 23.3

Prospect Volatility Index: #90 (.56)

Career Highlights:

U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 15/16 … QMJHL Most Goals (38), Assists (48), Points (86) by a Rookie 16/17 … QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year 16/17 … U18 + U20 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 16/17.

Scouting Report:

Swiss star went from being a dreamy import to a CHL franchise player elevating his mainstream draft stock in less than year…an elite hockey player who simply reads the game on another level…already the mature sum of his parts at 18, he is not the type of player who will be drafted for raw tools alone though they are pretty damn good isolated as well…thinks and acts fast…not an overwhelming skater in speed, but you may not find a player in this draft who maintains as much of his speed with the puck on his stick as him…the type of smart, effective forward you wish you could shift all 60 minutes…great shot, even better in possession and as a passing artist…plays all situations and you want him to…has incredible detail to his game in everything from subtle stick lifts to chips to positional flow….smooth puckhandler who has grown this year in dealing with contact and working the boards…straight forward attacker who is a touch imaginative…usually a relentless force but does find himself in opportunistic situations…back checks hard as he has played on some weak SUI teams and needed to be best player and overall support for his unit…goal scoring tanked late in the season though perspective is needed because he has a lot of miles on his tires…an atypical top pick who no one’s complaining about because he’s going to have a long career as a lynchpin #1C.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 QMJHL: 57GP, 38G, 48A, 86PTS, 24PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 5GP, 4G, 3A, 7PTS, 2PIM

2016-2017 U18: 5GP, 1G, 5A, 6PTS, 0PIM

 

DB2 – Nolan Patrick, Center, 6’2” 199, R, Brandon (WHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 9 months, 4 days

Body Mass Index: 25.5

Prospect Volatility Index: #187 (.25)

Career Highlights: 

Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal 15/16 … WHL Champion 15/16 … WHL Playoffs MVP 15/16 … WHL Playoffs Most Points (30) 15/16.

Scouting Report:

Typical first overall, by age and resume, came into the year as frontrunner to be the man, yet lost his grip on the top slot due to injuries that were out of his control…from pre-draft to draft year play, you could easily tell his ailments affected him throughout the games he battled to play this year…wasn’t that much more explosive as a skater last year, but the speed of his execution dropped off and his movement in general was more labored this year…has been injured often in his young career, making evaluators wary of him being prone and ‘made of glass’…has great vision and is a heads up thinker…hands are still elite as is his ability to thread the difficult pass in any situation…one of those on ice leaders who finds ways to pull pucks out of skates and crowds to create…a hunched, compact skater who may have exaggerated the style to protect himself…skating comes down to intent to move fast vs. skating ability as he’s not slow but plays at a consistently deliberate pace…when he wants to he can accelerate just fine, it’s just he doesn’t often do so…can get caught flat-footed…criticized for becoming lazier and worse defensively though to his defense he essentially just didn’t improve due to obvious circumstances…appeared to expect to be the best player on ice and get to pucks he normally used to in the D zone but just couldn’t – not because he floated or cared less…carries less risk than suggested as a player who will recharge once healed and potentially step right into the NHL next season.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 WHL: 33GP, 20G, 26A, 46PTS, 36PIM

2015-2016 WHL: 72GP, 41G, 61A, 102PTS, 41PIM

 

DB3 – Elias Pettersson, Center, 6’1.75’’ 165, L, Timra (ALLSVENSKAN)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 7 months, 11 days

Body Mass Index: 21.3

Prospect Volatility Index: #71 (.60)

Career Highlights:

Hlinka Memorial Silver Medal 15/16 … U18 WJC Silver Medal 15/16 … U18 Allsvenskan Most Assists by a Junior (21) 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

One of 2017’s top one-on-one players dropped Allsvenskan jocks all year long and really solidified himself as a top 10 prospect…a pure offensive talent who can juke his way to premium ice and scoring chances…uber lanky, with a slightly awkward + loose stride that needs to refine with added leg strength…still, manages to own quick footwork and agility to evade opponents with ease…NHL ready hands and processing … can thread the pass, but really excels in open space on breaks as a shooter/deker…can really snipe when he wants to…some of the year’s prettiest draft eligible goals belong to this kid…in pre-draft was a competitive SOB who earned his ice time with older players by busting his rear and that did not change this year…goes hard into the fray and is surprisingly solid in board battles because he wants the puck so badly…good defensively though it’s his transition ability out of the zone with the puck that ignites his team…growing into his frame is his biggest to do with skating enhancements as a secondary item…could be a superstar at the next level as long as physical development comes as older players have already had trouble stopping him.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 ALL: 43GP, 19G, 22A, 41PTS, 14PIM

2016-2017 ALL QUAL: 3GP, 2G, 4A, 6PTS, 0PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 6GP, 0G, 1A, 1PTS, 0PIM

2015-2016 U18: 7GP, 1G, 7A, 8PTS, 4PIM

 

DB4 – Cale Makar, Defense, 5’11.25’’ 187, R, Brooks (AJHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 7 months, 24 days

Body Mass Index: 25.9

Prospect Volatility Index: 190 (.25)

Career Highlights:

WJAC Gold Medal 15/16 … RBC Cup Most Valuable Player 15/16 … RBC Cup Top Scorer 15/16 … AJHL Champion 15/16 … AJHL Most Outstanding Defenseman 16/17 … AJHL Playoff MVP 16/17 … AJHL Champion 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

One of the AJHL’s brightest talents to come through in some time is a volatile draft eligible prospect who has been erratically dominant over the course of the season…an elite skater who can toy with opponents with grace when the puck is on his stick…forward-esque…due to his ability to lead the rush as well as jump into the play, is often seen traversing all three zones within seconds to cover ground…an explosive athlete who has the complete skating profile and one that is especially ideal for defensemen…breathtaking, zone exit to entry type of linear speed…can shake and bake with excellent lateral agility to create lanes for himself…dual shot/passer who can be hard to read despite his teammates not being able to keep up at times…even when the play breaks down, his feet can get him out of trouble…can compete harder at times, but does show an aggressive penchant for dynamic hard hitting…needs to tighten up man-to-man coverage and own the crease better…has been seen letting teammates take his D position so he can get ready to press offensively…competition has been weak, but he is a leader and his teammates thus far have only had eyes for him…could be a uniquely high AJHL defensive pick, but if not, should not make it out of the top 15.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 AJHL: 54GP, 24G, 51A, 75PTS, 18PIM

2016-2017 AJHL POs: 13GP, 5G, 11A, 16PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 WJAC: 4GP, 4G, 4A, 8PTS, 0PIM

 

DB5 – Miro Heiskanen, Defense, 6’0.75’’ 172, L, HIFK (LIIGA)

Age at Draft: 17 years, 11 months, 5 days

Body Mass Index: 22.8

Prospect Volatility Index: 15 (.85)

Career Highlights:

Jr. A SM-liiga Rookie of the Year 15/16 … U18 WJC Best Defenseman 16/17 … U18 WJC All-Star Team 16/17 … U18 WJC Most Assists (10) 16/17 … U18 WJC Silver Medal 16/17 … U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 16/17.

Scouting Report:

The next highly anticipated Finnish blueliner rose throughout the year while playing a conservatively skilled game in LIIGA…earned his stripes playing next to massive NHL first round flop Joe Finley…ultra smooth skater with quick wits due to his ability to see a few steps ahead of the play…already a two-way force who barely breaks a sweat…held his own against men because he can take care of his own zone first…incredibly calm and composed with and without the puck…hands are slick and can deceive in various ways…can slip a transition pass with oncoming pressure with ease and likes to use stick deception in flight to throw opponents off his track…strong puck rusher who will go deep and not just stop up at the point…flex shooter at the circles – pumps more on the right but can really place on the left too…light at 170 but stands firm and doesn’t get pushed over on one-on-one defensive assignments…a multi-tool hawk who isn’t afraid to make contact physically while annoyingly getting his stick on the puck with precision…very polished and well above his age group as seen by his U18 means he will be a valued commodity in the top 10.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 LIIGA: 37GP, 5G, 5A, 10PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 LIIGA POs: 8GP, 0G, 3A, 3PTS, 0PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 6GP, 0G, 1A, 1PTS, 0PIM

2016-2017 U18: 7GP, 2G, 10A, 12PTS, 0PIM

 

DB6 – Gabriel Vilardi, Center, 6’2.75’’ 203, R, Windsor (OHL)

Age at Draft: 17 years, 10 months, 7 days

Body Mass Index:  25.5

Prospect Volatility Index: 58 (.65)

Career Highlights:

OHL Second All-Rookie Team 15/16 … U17 WHC Gold Medal 15/16.

Scouting Report:

One of Hockey Canada’s top guns for years has maintained his status as a premier prospect for 2017 despite a rocky road with injuries and skating concerns yet to be answered … kicked off the campaign with a knee injury at Hlinka camp that kept him out of the first 5 OHL GP and then lost games from 11/20 to 12/28 after an appendectomy … imposing figure catches you off guard with how slick his skill is for his size … still growing centerman who was flanked out and looked like a star winger … has always been a developed passer and shooter who uses his excellent instincts to decide which with poise … tends to show as a slot sniper which bodes well for him to translate up … great at tape-to-tape cross ice passes in the offensive zone … puck possession is very strong as his grip on the puck is manly … has one of the best sets of hands in the draft … surprisingly good penalty killer due to his hockey sense … the way he absorbs the puck onto his stick is elite … defenders typically have no shot against him down low and against the boards … ended the year on a passing slant at the Mem Cup and will need to pull the trigger more … accumulated straight line speed is fine but coordination, footwork, and first few strides lack at the moment … elite OHL’er comes with some risk but you can’t ignore the impact he’s had as one of the younger draft eligibles and hope he’s the next average skater to beat the forecast quickly ala Draisaitl/Tkachuk.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 OHL: 49GP, 29G, 32A, 61PTS, 12PIM

2016-2017 OHL POs: 7GP, 2G, 4A, 6PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 MEM CUP: 4GP, 0G, 7A, 7PTS, 0PIM

 

DB7 – Lias Andersson, Center, 5’11’’ 201, L, HV-71 (SHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 8 months, 10 days

Body Mass Index: 28.0

Prospect Volatility Index: 213 (.10)

Career Highlights: 

U17 WHC Bronze Medal 14/15 … U18 WJC Silver Medal 15/16 … J20 SuperElit (Overall) Most Assists (35) and Points (59) 15/16 … U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team 15/16 … SHL Champion 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

SHL champion had an impressive pro campaign in Sweden as an underappreciated draft prospect…played with men and looked like one of the vets coming to the rink with a hardnosed yet skillful game…defensively responsible, offensively inclined, no inch of the ice goes untouched with him…the type of kid that thrives in pushing back against contact to make plays…loves to hit, loves to grind the cycle, loves to crash the net in both directions…beautiful skater who skates with weight to his stride and sinks into the cut with power…subtle stick skills from his puckhandling to shot to pass to vision + instincts…has a very sneaky shot that can get disrupted and still find it’s way in the net…underrated passer who can create his own lanes at top speed with maximum efficiency…great hand-eye coordination and can bat pucks out of air…hard to find flaws with such a well rounded player as top end concerns are unfounded…was underutilized at WJC but still found a way to score some…slam dunk second line centerman who is going to translate to the NHL with flying colors and potentially as soon as 2017.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 SHL: 42GP, 9G, 10A, 19PTS, 18PIM

2016-2017 SHL POs: 16GP, 4G, 1A, 5PTS, 18PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 7GP, 3G, 0A, 3PTS, 6PIM

 

DB8 – Martin Necas, Center, 6’0.5’’ 167, R, Brno (CZECH)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 5 months, 8 days

Body Mass Index: 23.5

Prospect Volatility Index: 82 (.57)

Career Highlights:

Czech U17 Most Assists (59) and Points (91) 15/16 … Czech U18 Champion 15/16 … Czech Extraliga Champion 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

High octane Czech took his first round grade coming into the year and slapped scouts in the face with a top ten performance early in the scouting season at Hlinka…champion and winner took his team to the Hlinka title, had a great WJC, and won in the Extraliga…his game is speed and some scoring bookended with more speed…smooth skater who is strong on his skates and owns initial burst that is so important in today’s game…spoke highly of his tutelage with pro’s and former NHL’ers playing for Brno and he wasn’t joking…one of the finest puck transporters through the neutral zone who has an eye to playmake on the fly…knows just the right time to deliver the puck and can do so in any position, forehand and backhand with steam…an HD scorer who is crafty and quick around the net but can slide out to the slot and inside hashmarks to finish with precision…doesn’t stop competing and is a nuisance to deal with as he tracks his checks closely…has to gain weight but isn’t an immediate material concern on ice as he held up vs. men…it’s important to realize he went straight from Czech U18 to the top league and thus hasn’t shown his full offensive slate just yet…should go top ten as a playoff type of 2nd line centerman.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 CZECH: 41GP, 7G, 8A, 15PTS, 6PIM

2016-2017 CZECH POs: 10GP, 4G, 0A, 4PTS, 8PIM

2016-2017 WJC: 5GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS, 2PIM

2016-2017 U18: 5GP, 0G, 3A, 3PTS, 4PIM

2016-2017 HLINKA: 4GP, 2G, 4A, 6PTS, 2PIM

 

DB9 – Klim Kostin, Left Wing, 6’2.5’’ 207, L, Dynamo (KHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 1 month, 18 days

Body Mass Index: 26.2

Prospect Volatility Index: 130 (.45)

Career Highlights:

U17 WHC Silver Medal 16/17.

Scouting Report:

Dreamy Russian power winger had the scouting community all hyped for his draft year but lobbed up a dud of a season due committing to the KHL and getting injured…here’s an idea of how his season was going prior to being shut down around January: 0PTS in 8GP in KHL and 1PT in 7GP in VHL…big and physical with a striking assortment of skating, hands, shot…has been an international leader…his studly play across multiple tournaments over multiple years will fuel his projection this June…generates incredible power on his strides that he can pump his legs and then glide past opponents…a neutral zone slasher who can go east to west when he hits the offensive zone…dekes are wide and sort of drawn out so he will need to adjust for this when he plays men…passes, shoots, hits hard…capable of the toe drag in flight while he blows past the last line of defense…once he’s in the attacking zone he only has eyes for HD area…loves to cut and funnel pucks to the net which is a valuable trait in a big bodied winger who can bull his way there…has an ability to adjust to imperfect bounces and still adjust himself and get wood on them…biggest critique is cutting out the excess fat when he’s in the offensive zone…sees some extra shot blocks and lost pucks due to the volume of decisions he’s making because he has the puck a lot…carries risk due to missed development, but is a high performer in a man’s body who just needs a clean bill of health to dominate next year.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 KHL: 8GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS, 27PIM

2016-2017 WJAC: 3GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS, 6PIM

2016-2017 HLINKA: 5GP, 4G, 3A, 7PTS, 29PIM

 

DB10 – Cody Glass, Center, 6’1.75’’ 180, R, Portland (WHL)

Age at Draft: 18 years, 2 months, 22 days

Body Mass Index:  22.4

Prospect Volatility Index: 34 (.74)

Career Highlights:

WHL (West) First All-Star Team 16/17.

Scouting Report: 

Meteoric riser announced himself as a top prospect for 2017 early in the season and proceeded to take the mantle as the Winterhawks top player…had one of the steepest, longest climbs after being snubbed by HC for the Hlinka in August…is middle of the pack in terms of DOB but is still growing into his frame…hockey sense, innate positioning, and reactive hands for shot/pass are his defining traits…mitts are really firm and contacts the puck crisply and with oomph every time…is one of those goal scorers where everything goes his way…scored a bunch of randomly generous goals this year – not lucky because his smarts and stick do create opportunity…above average passer who can whip dishes that turn into immediate scoring chances…has vision for the developing play…a hawk around the net and loves to drop to a knee to rip it…doesn’t look thin as much as he doesn’t look coordinated and completely in control of his body yet…skating is decent with highs and lows in certain areas…owns a strong forward lean from the hips and strides are drawn out…linear speed is pretty good because of his leg power…lateral agility and mobility is slightly below average…needs to beat attackers straight on because he can’t dance around them…has been hit or miss defensively where he’ll go deep and battle or wade out past the circles looking for the exit…a touch overrated for the raw talent on display right now but aging a half year could turn him into a top 6 monster down the middle.

Season Stats:

2016-2017 WHL: 69GP, 32G, 62A, 94PTS, 36PIM

2016-2017 WHL POs: 11GP, 4G, 5A, 9PTS, 10PIM

2016-2017 U18: 3GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS, 0PIM

NCAA Accelerated Track: UCONN’s Tage Thompson

With the rise of the USHL as a serious and effective training ground for American prospects, the NCAA is seeing an influx of talented youth much quicker than ever before and it’s not just open to the so called ‘elite.’ Historically, college hockey has been seen as an early draft year destination for cream of the crop players such as Parise, Toews, and Eichel, but as of last year, there seems to be a shift in a variety of prospects now taking aggressive routes to their preferred colleges. NTDP U18 alum, Tage Thompson, is the latest to dive head first into DI hockey and presents a very intriguing development opportunity/model.

All in a matter of an offseason, the UCONN Huskies gave their hockey program a shot in the arm with their incoming freshman class and spiced things up in terms of becoming an NHL scouting ground. Led by top forward and Coyotes prospect Max Letunov, Thompson joins fellow NTDP’er Joe Masonius and BCHL, Sens 3rd rounder Miles Gendron. Thompson comes from playing up with NTDP U18 in his pre draft year albeit in a depth role. He never fully flexed his package like a top player, but did show very good puck control, which is a beautiful sight from a 6’5 towering forward. If you look at USHL play alone, Thompson scored 14PTS in 25GP with U18 while consensus 2016 top 10 Max Jones scored 10PTS in 24GP with U17.

In 4GP this year, he has been attached to centerman Letunov’s hip and looks to be in a prime position to ‘overperform’ offensively in a sense and really jolt his prospect status. He already has 4A for PPG, and has shown flashes of high end stickhandling. One of his recent assists came off of a lost play in the slot after he deked the pants off an opponent. Letunov swooped in thereafter and scored on his backhand. He doesn’t look like a first year player, handling the pace and physicality well thanks to his USDP upbringing. His hands are great for his size, and as he’s getting his first bit of action underneath him will learn to protect the puck better. Right now, he’s 50-50 in puck dealing as it’s not always the smoothest reception, dish, or stickhandle. He’s a big forward who depends on his skill instead of grit. As such, he plays with a reactionary pace that will only get more efficient as he reads the unfolding play quicker. A comparable player, very loosely, coming into college hockey last year in AJ Greer, scored 7PTS in 37GP and was given enough rope for his mediocre start as a freshman to be selected in the early 2nd round.

As long as he continues to soak up 1st line real estate, Thompson will be buoyed by Letunov’s special ability. He has a pivot he can lean on, and also will be exposed to some high end plays very early on. Not many draft eligibles can boast this much of a positive environment. Thompson is huge at 6’5 and underweight, so he is a draft eligible who will undergo considerable physical development at the same time he’s supersaturating his skill development. It’s unclear if Thompson will see some dropoff from his current play, but what is not a question is choosing UCONN was a great developmental choice that will power up his draft projection.

McAvoy Provides a Different Kind of Buzz

With the graduation of super collegian Jack Eichel to the Buffalo Sabres, the BU campus is hinging on it’s returning depth and 2016 freshman class to make sure it’s 2014-2015 puck power isn’t completely lost in 2015-2016. The #3 ranked group in the Preseason USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll received 6 first place votes as a result of returning 15/18 top scorers from last year.

Amongst an incoming crowd of first years that includes two 2nd round 2015 NHL Draft picks, a top USHL forward, and a top AJHL defender, is a 2016 NHL Draft eligible poised to bring humbled excitement to the Terrier’s blueline: Charlie McAvoy.

The Long Beach, NY native isn’t getting nearly the amount of praise a defender with his resume and experience usually does. In his pre-draft year, McAvoy put up 40 in 63GP for USDP U18. By comparison, Noah Hanifin [2015 #5] had 13 in 14GP, and Zach Werenski [2015 #8] had 1 in 4GP, meaning in their pre-draft years neither came close to touching the amount of ice McAvoy experienced. Two years prior to this draft year, McAvoy played against USHL’ers for a full slate while Hanifin played HS’ers and Werenski played HPHL U18’s. McAvoy is an advanced prospect and has a very good shot of atleast matching Zach Werenski’s draft position.

In this weekend’s exhibition game vs. Acadia, McAvoy played RD on the top pairing with SO Brandon Hickey. With an injury to Captain and top D, SR Matt Grzelcyk, and a scratched SO Brandon Fortunato, McAvoy was given a lot of rope and looked very comfortable stepping into a high-pressure role. His overall hockey athleticism is the first thing you notice, as all of his movements and reactions are quick and powered by smooth skating. Listed at 6’1’’ 211, he doesn’t have any concerns with size although he did lose his balance a few times. With a redesigned forward blueprint, McAvoy was a safety net of hands, vision, and maturity keeping plays alive in the offensive zone and moving the puck smartly in his own. The cherry on top during his impressive debut was his zone entry rush command [2x] where he did not look like a freshman at all. Even with the aforementioned D returning, McAvoy looks poised to keep a stranglehold on a top 4 roster spot throughout the year.

Because high IQ defenders carry misperceptions of their top ends, Charlie McAvoy is a wildcard offensively whose talent has been undersold and will spend the next few years flourishing his tools, and altering his perception considerably. For now, the hockey world shouldn’t dismiss New England’s next freshman draft eligible destined for the top 10 just because they lost last year’s.