The 2020 NHL draft is sweet, however wait till you see the expertise from the 2022 draft.
Shane Wright and Matthew Savoie are already two of essentially the most hyped prospects we’ve seen since Connor McDavid, and it’s not even shut. Jack Hughes and Alexis Lafreniere are each unimaginable younger abilities, however Wright and Savoie look able to altering a franchise.
Why? Wright turned the fifth participant to obtain distinctive standing to the OHL after scoring 66 objectives and 150 factors in 72 video games with the Don Mills Flyers final 12 months, falling eight factors shy of John Tavares’ offensive output as an underage participant in minor midget. Savoie, who was declined the chance to develop into the primary participant to earn distinctive standing within the WHL, has put an absolute beating on the Canadian Sport College Hockey League (primarily based in Western Canada), scoring seven objectives and 20 factors in seven video games to go together with a league-leading 2.86 points-per-game common with Rink Hockey Academy. Final 12 months, Savoie, a Winnipeg ICE prospect, put himself on the map with a 71-point bantam marketing campaign, beating Dylan Guenther for the scoring title by 13 factors to develop into essentially the most impactful U-15 participant in CSSHL historical past.
Collectively, Wright and Savoie will make their nationwide group debuts on the World U-17 Hockey Problem, an eight-team match happening in Swift Present, Sask., and Drugs Hat, Alta., from Nov. 2-9. In truth, they’re the primary underage gamers to skate for Canada since Joe Veleno did so in 2015 after his distinctive standing bid was accepted by the QMJHL. Wright and Savoie will spend the following few years battling it out with Finnish star Brad Lambert to see who’ll be the highest prospect for the 2022 NHL draft, one which’s shaping as much as be simply as spectacular because the 2020 version.
As all the time, Canada will ship three groups to the occasion: Canada Black (Wright’s group), Canada White (Savoie’s group) and Canada Pink. On paper, Canada Black is the strongest group within the match, with high prospects throughout all three Canadian junior leagues filling essential roles. America will even be a scary-good group, bringing over the USA Hockey Nationwide Workforce Improvement Program roster that competes within the USHL. The Individuals shouldn’t discover themselves in final place like final 12 months due to extra depth at each place and an total higher expertise base.
Within the second a part of our World Below-17 Hockey Problem preview, we took a have a look at the highest gamers from the 2 North American nations, together with many high 2021 and 2022 draft prospects:
Brandt Clarke, D (Canada Black)Having Clarke play with Wright as soon as once more is an ideal pairing for GTHL followers. The Don Mills Flyers minor midget AAA membership have been a dream group final season, profitable over 70 video games in what can solely be described as one of many best youth hockey groups of all-time. Clarke was an enormous purpose for that: his easy skating and slick, puck-moving model made him one of the best defenseman in his age group. Clarke reveals nice endurance with the puck and appears to have a magnetic capability that attracts wingers in direction of him earlier than discovering a solution to get the puck on internet. The OHL Barrie Colts have a star on their fingers, and it’s nearly a no brainer that he’ll be a top-five choose on the 2021 draft.
Zachary L’Heureux, C (Canada Black)Yeah, as a result of Canada Black wanted extra expertise. On the Canada Winter Video games final 12 months, L’Heureux scored 10 objectives and 13 factors en path to Quebec profitable gold earlier than getting chosen No. three by the Moncton Wildcats within the QMJHL draft. He at the moment leads all QMJHL rookies with 18 factors in 15 video games, so anticipate him to problem for the scoring lead on a Canadian group stacked with ability. At 5-foot-11, L’Heureux has the flexibility to manage massive hits and spends plenty of time creating havoc in entrance of the online, with and with out the puck. He isn’t essentially the most constant participant, however scoring and operating an influence play is like second nature to him.
Benjamin Gaudreau, G (Canada Black)Gaudreau’s stats won’t look fairly in Sarnia this season, however a 49-save victory in his first OHL begin was sufficient to get individuals excited. Gaudreau was the consensus No. 1 goalie prospect final season after dominating main midget, taking part in towards older competitors (the North Bay Trappers went 36-Zero-Zero) earlier than having a standout efficiency on the Canada Winter Video games with Ontario to win silver. Gaudreau has stable dimension for his age at 6-foot-2 and is calm, cool and picked up, not often letting a nasty purpose or recreation get to him. The 2021 draft can have a handful of spectacular goalies, however he’ll problem Jesper Wallstedt and Tristan Lennox to be the primary netminder chosen.
Joshua Roy, C (Canada Pink)There have been questions main as much as the QMJHL draft as to who was the true No. 1 prospect: Roy or Justin Robidas. Roy went No. 1 to Saint John and thru 16 video games, he’s at the moment tied with Robidas with eight factors, good for fifth amongst U-17 prospects within the ‘Q.’ Roy’s 88-point marketing campaign in Quebec AAA final season was one of the best output by a U-16 participant in Quebec midget motion over the previous 20 years, beating out 2020 No. 1 prospect Alexis Lafreniere by 5 factors, so scoring comes naturally for him. Roy will probably be essential for Canada Pink, a group that’s lacking the top-end ability of Canada Black, however with a number of the finest all-around depth on the match. If Roy thrives, so will the remainder of the group.
Cole Sillinger, C (Canada White)The son of former NHL journeyman Mike Sillinger, it’s going to be robust for Cole to dwell as much as his dad’s junior profession that noticed him report 50 objectives and over 100 factors throughout three of his 4 years of junior hockey. Nonetheless, the youthful Sillinger is off to a sizzling begin with 17 factors in 14 video games with Drugs Hat, good for first amongst WHL rookies. Sillinger was named the Saskatchewan midget MVP final 12 months after posting 76 factors as a rookie, 11 factors away from his subsequent closest competitor. Sillinger is an explosive skater with high-end scoring capability and a knack for making his teammates play higher. His defensive play is his weak level, however he’ll be a first-round choose in 2021 regardless.
Dylan Guenther, LW (Canada White)Maybe Canada White’s finest winger, Guenther is among the higher pure goal-scorers on the match which is strictly why the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings took him No. 1 in 2018. In bantam, Guenther’s 56 objectives have been 28 greater than Savoie for the Northern Albert prep group lead and Guenther is the one participant to interrupt the 100-point barrier within the CSSHL (bantam). Guenther has a very good mixture of dimension, pace and ability and may completely wire any wrist or slapshot he takes, however he’s compelled to do plenty of the injury for a weak Edmonton squad. For those who like comparisons, Tyler Seguin isn’t a nasty one.
Chaz Lucius, C (USA)One of many high 2003-born gamers in the USA, Lucius is an entire participant for at his age. So good with and with out the puck, Lucius all the time appears to be precisely the place he must be, making him capable of finding passes and teammates fairly simply. Lucius doesn’t lose many 1-on-1 puck battles and his pace makes him harmful. Lucius at the moment leads the U.S. NTDP with a whopping 15 objectives and 18 factors in 15 video games, and he had a purpose and an help in USA’s 7-6 shootout victory over Canada Pink throughout Thursday’s exhibition contest. You need to see a particular American expertise? You might have it in Chaz Lucius.
Sasha Pastujov, RW (USA)Few youngsters his age can cross a puck like Pastujov. Set to hitch the College of Notre Dame after ending his junior profession, Pastujov is wise when distributing the puck, utilizing his physique to protect himself from attackers and he’s additionally adept at discovering lanes to cross off to his teammates. A momentum skater, Pastujov has 12 assists and 17 factors in 15 video games with the U-17 U.S. NTDP and shouldn’t have any problem holding a point-per-game mark for the remainder of the season earlier than becoming a member of older brother Nick as an NHL draft choose.
Luke Hughes, D (USA) Like his older brothers, Jack and Quinn, Luke is an unimaginable younger expertise that received’t take lengthy to get drafted when he’s eligible in 2021. Like Quinn, Luke is famous for his power-play dominance and he isn’t afraid to hitch rushes and assist the offense. Hughes is among the finest skaters on the U.S. NTDP and he’s cell sufficient to get the place he must be always. He additionally doesn’t fall sufferer to traps performed by expert forwards, one thing he possible developed after practising towards Jack all this time. Additionally, no, the Jack Hughes on USA’s roster is just not associated to Luke, regardless of the hilarious coincidence.
Ty Gallagher, D (USA)At 5-foot-11, Gallagher doesn’t but have dimension you’d wish to see out of a prototypical defenseman, however like Hughes, Gallagher is all about pace. He additionally performs a bodily recreation and doesn’t lose many battles alongside the boards, even towards greater competitors. Gallagher’s wrist shot is just like Cam York’s, a Philadelphia Flyers prospect and a graduate of the U.S. NTDP final season, in the way in which that it’s practically all the time on track and is fired at a excessive price of pace. He seems to be mature for his age, and this system needs to be pleased together with his eight video games in 15 contests. It solely will get higher from right here.
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Tags: prospects, worldwide tournamentConnect: Concerning 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.