Should you’re a fan of prospects, the summer season is nearly to warmth up for you.
Whereas many high 2020 draft prospects have been off enjoying on the World Junior Summer time Showcase in Plymouth, the remainder of the draft class was busy getting ready for the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, set for August 5-10 in Breclav and Piestany, Czech Republic. In comparison with the U-18 World Championship in April, the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup sometimes options extra high-level expertise as a result of junior hockey cycle nonetheless going down through the championship within the spring, whereas enjoying this occasion in the summertime permits prospects to be accessible.
Canada returns as favorites for gold, having received gold in 22 of the 28 tournaments held since 1991 and 16 of the 19 occasions since 2000. Canada’s roster in 2019 appears stacked at each place and shouldn’t have any challenge chasing the principle prize as soon as once more. Sweden all the time is a contender at this occasion, falling wanting gold final yr. However with Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond enjoying in Plymouth as an alternative, they’ll must dig a bit deeper to search out offense. Finland can be with out a few key gamers because of accidents, whereas Russia merely doesn’t have the firepower they sometimes do.
The very best half in regards to the summer season event – apart from a aggressive hockey occasion going down in early August – is the draft issue. Many gamers you’ll see go within the first spherical in 2020 (the most effective draft lessons we’ve ever seen) will play on this event. One fascinating title is Canadian ahead Theo Rochette. This isn’t his first time on the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup: truly, he represented Switzerland on the event in 2018. He’s a twin citizen, and since he has but to play in an official IIHF event for both nation, he’s eligible to play for each groups.
What about the remainder of the category? Who’re the fellows you should be following forward of Monday’s opening evening? Listed below are the highest 10 prospects to observe earlier than the talent-stacked occasion will get underway within the Czech Republic:
Quinton Byfield, C (Canada)Relying on how you’re feeling in regards to the Terror Twins, Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond, Byfield may go anyplace from No. 2 to No. 5 subsequent June. What’s wonderful about Byfield is that, for a 6-foot-Four, 214-pound beast, Byfield skates with grace and confidence that enables him to elude a lot smaller opponents. He can fully take over a shift and has the power to be a 40-45 goal-scorer within the NHL sometime with a heavy shot. Byfield can be Canada’s go-to heart and even when he doesn’t find yourself placing up huge numbers on the board, his two-way play and bodily acumen will make the Sudbury Wolves star efficient regardless.
A fantastic effort by Quinton Byfield to maintain the play alive ends in Canada taking the Three-2 lead. What a launch on his wrist shot, a lot energy. What a play by the @Sudbury_Wolves star. #WorldU17 pic.twitter.com/S2GCG0g4xk
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) November 6, 2018
Cole Perfetti, C (Canada)Perfetti’s recreation is all about offense: he led the OHL in rookie scoring with 37 objectives and 74 factors and his seven assists topped everybody on the World U-17 Hockey Problem. Perfetti’s consciousness on the ice permits him to make good performs with the puck and he doesn’t are inclined to miss scoring alternatives in entrance of the online. If he can enhance his high velocity only a bit, he would have all of the traits to be a star first-line sniper and will hit the 100-point mark in Saginaw this season.
Jan Mysak, LW (Czech Republic)Mysak is ready for his second season of professional hockey within the Czech league after proving to be too dominant for the U-19 division, scoring 13 objectives and 21 factors in simply 9 video games with Litvinov. Whereas he had simply seven in 31 video games with the large membership, Mysak actually got here alive through the relegation spherical with 9 factors in seven video games to guide all gamers. Mysak began the U-18 World Championship enjoying restricted minutes within the 13th ahead spot however later climbed up the lineup to complete with three factors in 5 video games as one of many Czech Republic’s high gamers. He’s a reputable risk to play on the World Junior Championship in December and is a real high 10 draft contender at this level.
Yaroslav Askarov, G (Russia)May this be the yr that a goalie goes within the high 10 of the draft? Since Carey Worth went No. 5 in 2005, no goalie has made as a lot of an argument to take action than Askarov, who was dominant at each worldwide event he performed in final season – together with the U-18 World Championship in opposition to children a yr older than him. Few goalies his age observe the puck like him and He strikes fast from publish to publish and his speedy lateral motion permits him to win most 1-on-1 conditions. Greatest Russian goalie prospect since Andrei Vasilevskiy? Completely.
Few extra huge stops by Yaroslav Askarov. As Canada has been the higher workforce this era, he’s stored the sport in Russia’s favour. #WJAC #CANEast pic.twitter.com/akfJ9eTGf3
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 9, 2018
Zion Nybeck, RW (Sweden)No Holtz or Raymond? No drawback, says Nybeck, yet one more instance of Sweden’s spectacular growth of 2020 draft expertise. Whenever you watch Nybeck, the primary stuff you discover about him is his unbelievable work ethic and his excessive high velocity. He makes openings by robust areas within the ice because of his poise with the puck and confidence in his personal skills to make a difficult play. His 43 factors this season would tie him with William Nylander for fourth amongst U-17 forwards within the Swedish U-20 league scoring and he’s prepared for some professional motion with HV71 this season. Search for an electrifying efficiency out of him on the Hlinka.
Helge Grans, D (Sweden)With many high-level forwards from Sweden, it’s straightforward to miss Grans’ skills from the purpose. The large 6-foot-Three defender skated in 5 SHL video games final yr with Malmo (the second 2002-born participant within the league), displaying nice poise and confidence for a younger child enjoying in opposition to males. Whereas Grans isn’t overly artistic with the puck, he’s extraordinarily good defensively and might transfer the puck properly sufficient to regulate an influence play. He was a heavy minute-muncher with Malmo’s U-20 workforce and may play nearly all of the season on the degree once more whereas throwing his title into the World Junior Championship dialog afterward within the yr.
Roni Hirvonen, C (Finland)He could be small at 5-foot-9, however Hirvonen is prepared for giant boy time within the Finnish Liiga. His 55 factors in 50 video games blew away any U-17 participant within the Finnish U-20 league final season and fell simply behind Sebastian Aho (59) and Mikael Granlund (57) – whereas tying Kaapo Kakko – for manufacturing by any participant at that age. His numbers internationally final yr weren’t mind-blowing by any stretch of the creativeness, however he performed key roles with the U-17 and U-18 Finnish groups and can be important in Finland’s success subsequent week.
Cross Hanas, LW (USA)Hanas is probably not a high prospect but, however after a implausible summer season camp with the USA and an amazing two-goal recreation in opposition to an older U-20 Hungarian junior workforce on Thursday, it looks as if the Texas native has quite a bit to show heading into his draft season. Provided that the American expertise pool is considerably smaller than it was with the star-studded 2019 draft, Hanas will look to be an offensive chief on the workforce regardless of a mean rookie season within the WHL the place he recorded 22 factors in 67 video games. If he can replicate what he was capable of do in opposition to Hungary in the actual event, be careful.
Ta da. Cross Hanas did rating a second objective, and, oh boy, it’s a magnificence. #U18 #U20 @usahockey pic.twitter.com/9zVUzyljVE
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) August 1, 2019
Jamie Drysdale, D (Canada)Drysdale took the OHL by storm in 2018-19, ending second amongst U-18 defensemen with seven objectives and 40 factors on a nasty Erie workforce. He topped that off with a four-assist effort on the World U-17 Hockey Problem and one other two on the U-18 World Championship, the place he performed a giant position on a workforce with older expertise. Drysdale’s fast legs make him elusive in 1-on-1 battles and he can run an influence play higher than anybody else his age. He’ll be Canada’s most necessary defender over the subsequent week and may use the momentum for a 60-point sophomore marketing campaign in main junior to maintain him within the high 10 draft consideration.
Vasili Ponomarev, C (Russia)Russia’s offense isn’t loaded with high expertise, however Ponomarev is a participant that many see rising up because the season goes on. Many imagine Ponomarev will play within the QMJHL with Shawinigan in 2019-20 after his 29 factors in 37 video games have been the very best amongst all U-17 gamers within the MHL throughout his freshman effort– to not point out his 20 factors in 23 video games with Russia’s U-17 workforce made him the second-highest scorer on the workforce. Ponomarev will make you undergo in the event you’re caught watching the play and his wrist shot is lethal, so he’ll be accountable for producing quite a lot of the workforce’s offense.
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Tags: worldwide hockey, nhl draft, prospectsConnect: In regards to the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.