Welcome to the primary version of the Weekly Prospect Report. Right here, we’ll check out some key names over the previous week which can be a giant a part of the following wave of NHL stars. This column will dive into each NHL-affiliated and draft-eligible prospects, focusing primarily on these outdoors the NHL. That being mentioned, the occasional rookie could require some notes!
There’s been a lot of prospect information these days because the NHL season kicked off final week. Some younger gamers had been despatched all the way down to the minors who many thought ought to keep within the huge leagues and a few made the minimize that nobody thought attainable. We’ll contact on each of those classes beneath.
Additionally, junior leagues are underway as properly and boy have the highest draft-eligible canine proven that they belong the place early rankings have them. Forward of the ridiculously stacked 2020 NHL Draft, there’s going to be a ton of pleasure. However even some youthful gamers are turning heads early and drafted gamers are making their mark as properly. It’s stacking as much as be a wild season for prospects, so let’s dive in.
NHL-Affiliated Prospects: Roster Strikes
Farabee, Smith & Zadina Spotlight Prospects in NHL Roster Cuts
With the brand new NHL season comes the annual handful of prospects that everybody was stunned they had been minimize. Plainly this 12 months there have been greater than normal. Listed below are a number of the most notable prospects despatched to the AHL or junior leagues.
Among the many big-name cuts had been Philadelphia Flyers’ Joel Farabee, New Jersey Devils’ Ty Smith, Nashville Predators’ Eeli Tolvanen, and Detroit Pink Wings’ Filip Zadina. Personally, I had all of those gamers pegged to make the leap this season, but it surely appears it simply wasn’t within the playing cards. Ty Smith is very head-scratching since he has to return to the WHL moderately than the AHL. He appeared to get all he can out of the AHL, however not fairly prepared for the NHL. Nonetheless, how a lot can the WHL provide the younger defender?
Ty Smith, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
The Edmonton Oilers had a couple of prospects they minimize that stunned some individuals. Not essentially that they had been minimize, however the timing appeared untimely. Caleb Jones and Tyler Benson had been two of those gamers. It might be argued that Benson might have benefited from some NHL time, however general it is sensible that they had been despatched down. Nevertheless, they had been despatched down early in coaching camp which puzzled some individuals. Why not at the least maintain them up for extra of the preseason to get some expertise? It’s a wierd transfer.
New York Rangers Vitali Kravtsov and Filip Chytil, together with Detroit Pink Wings Joe Veleno and Michael Rasmussen had been a couple of different names that stunned some hockey followers.
The essential factor to recollect with all of those gamers is that for essentially the most half, time within the AHL or juniors will solely profit them. Higher to get prime minutes in a league beneath than to play bottom-six minutes, or on a doubtlessly shedding group.
Brown, Ho-Sang Not Blissful With Demotions
More often than not, gamers are despatched all the way down to the minors, they go the place they should go and play their finest. They work onerous, maintain their heads down, and maintain battling for his or her spot within the lineup. For New York Islanders’ Josh Ho-Sang and Ottawa Senators’ Logan Brown, that wasn’t fairly the case.
Let’s begin with Ho-Sang. Drafted 28th general again in 2014, the younger participant has but to crack the NHL. He’s seen NHL time in components of three seasons, by no means enjoying greater than 22 video games. In 53 profession video games, he has seven objectives, 17 assists and 24 factors. Many thought this was the 12 months he’d lastly keep on with the large membership, but they despatched him down by way of waivers to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Following the demotion, it’s been reported that he’s requested the group for a commerce. Normal supervisor Lou Lamoriello says that he’ll attempt to accommodate, but when the best deal doesn’t come alongside, Ho-Sang might want to report back to the Tigers.
Associated: Islanders’ Ho-Sang Asks for Commerce
Brown hasn’t requested for a commerce from the Senators – but. As an alternative, he was despatched down as soon as once more following a breakout season within the AHL. Whereas normal supervisor Pierre Dorion preached persistence with the younger participant, Brown’s agent, Andy Scott, took a distinct method.
Logan Brown’s agent @Andy_Scott15 on his consumer’s demotion: “Now we have by no means seen an early first spherical choice met with such resistance by the membership which drafted them.”— Eric Macramalla (@EricOnSportsLaw) October three, 2019This isn’t search for Brown. The AHL is totally the best alternative. Let him be down with a stacked Belleville Senators group that might contend this season, moderately than on a shedding group in Ottawa the place he received’t get practically as many minutes and danger damaging his confidence. Frankly, Dorion is true.
He explains, “We don’t need Logan Brown coming into our lineup shedding his confidence and never being the participant we wish him to be in a 12 months from now – once we actually need him.”
Sufficient with the demotions although, let’s get into the happier headlines from across the league.
Timmins Is available in Chilly, Cracks Avalanche Roster
One of many feel-good tales of the preseason has been Colorado Avalanche prospect Conor Timmins. After lacking your entire 2018-19 season (he did observe a bit close to the tip, however didn’t play any video games), Timmins got here into coaching camp and impressed, stealing a roster spot and finishing the heart-warming story.
Conor Timmins, Crew Canada, 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, December 26, 2017. (Picture by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Pictures)
Head coach Jared Bednar defined the reasoning behind the Avalanche maintaining the younger defender up with the membership, “He’s an actual clever participant. He’s good with the puck. His first go goes to the open man. He has the flexibility to search out the center of the ice, which units you up for managed exits.
“We simply actually favored what we’ve seen from him and I believe he’s getting higher and higher, so he beats out a pair guys on the again finish.” (From: “Avalanche morning-skate report: Conor Timmins to make NHL debut after lengthy sickness” – Denver Publish – Oct. three, 2019).
Timmins comes onto the Avalanche squad with out enjoying a single recreation within the AHL. In 2017-18, he performed for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, placing up eight objectives, 33 factors and 41 factors within the common season, including 18 factors in 23 playoff video games.
Heinola, Bjornfot Earn Roster Spots
Everybody knew that the primary two picks from the 2019 NHL Draft had been going straight into the NHL. Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko are each enjoying for his or her respective groups, the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, however there are two different prospects from the draft which have cracked their NHL rosters as properly.
Ville Heinola got here into the Winnipeg Jets’ coaching camp with many individuals considering he was simply there for the expertise and to present administration have a look at him. Nicely, not solely did the defenseman make the group, however by way of his first three video games, he has two assists already.
Ville Heinola, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
The most important knock in opposition to Heinola coming into the 2019-20 season was his skating, but he improved that drastically this offseason. He’s enjoying on the second line and at this level doesn’t seem like he’s going wherever anytime quickly.
Associated: Heinola Not the First Jet to Hit Scoresheet in NHL Debut
The opposite 2019 draftee to crack an NHL roster is Los Angeles Kings’ Tobias Bjornfot. He appeared even much less more likely to make the NHL roster, however he’s been partnered with Drew Doughty on the highest line. He’s had some rising pains early on, however the transition has been good. The defender has performed only one recreation to this point, as that’s all of the Kings have had, but it surely was a strong debut.
It will likely be worthwhile to keep watch over each of those gamers, together with Hughes and Kakko, as October and the season rolls on.
Draft-Eligible Prospects: Early Season Impressions
Lafreniere, Byfield Proving Their Spot in Early Rankings
The vast majority of early 2020 NHL Draft rankings which have a transparent minimize one and two: Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield. Early on of their seasons, they’re proving that they’re deserving of these spots. Additionally, their begins have proven that the hole between these gamers may not be that huge.
Associated: Lafrenière: Large Season Forward for Potential First-Total Choose
Taking part in within the QMJHL with Rimouski Oceanic, Lafreniere picked up proper the place he left off final season, scoring six objectives, 13 assists, and 19 factors by way of his first eight video games. It’s honest to say that he seems like a person amongst boys to this point into the season. Within the video beneath, you may see that if he desires the puck, he’ll get it. And if he desires to attain, he’ll.
He’s greater than proving his early first-overall rating is justified. Proper on his heels is Byfield. The Sudbury Wolves centreman has been equally spectacular early on this season, scoring seven objectives and 9 assists for a complete of 16 factors by way of seven video games. The 2 Are presently one and two within the CHL in factors, and the race all through the season is one that each hockey fan ought to be intently watching.
Associated: Prospect Profile: An Early Have a look at Quinton Byfield
Whereas the 2 are neck and neck proper now, I’m keen to guess that Lafreniere will pull forward by a giant margin sooner moderately than later. Via the primary six video games of the season, Lafreniere was taking pictures at a 10.26 p.c charge, whereas Byfield is at a 35 p.c charge. Byfield is more likely to regress to regular numbers, as 35 p.c isn’t a sustainable quantity.
Nybeck On Hearth in Sweden
On the opposite facet of the pond, Swedish prospect Zion Nybeck has come out of the gate on a mission. Taking part in with HV71 J20 within the SuperElit, the best winger has the Byfield stat line – seven objectives, 9 assists and 16 factors. Granted, he’s performed in 10 video games to this point.
He’s presently fourth within the SuperElit in factors, at 17 years outdated in an under-20 league. He’s simply behind Lafreniere and And tied with Byfield out of all all 2020 NHL Draft prospects in factors. Ensure you’re following together with this potential first-round choose’s season.
2021 Draft Prospect Lysell Turning Heads Early
Wanting even additional out, Fabian Lysell is a reputation you need to get to know. The Frolunda HC left-winger is second within the J18 Elit with seven objectives, 12 assists and 19 factors in simply seven video games. He leads all 2021 NHL Draft-eligible gamers. The 16-year-old has made fairly the impression early on and is certainly a participant to look at transferring ahead.
Lysell is a speedy ahead with the ability to go along with it. He has a fast, onerous shot that may idiot a goaltender however he also can dish it out for a highlight-reel help. He doesn’t surrender, at all times battling for the puck and often profitable. He’s inventive offensively and lethal one-on-one. Along with his play early on, it wouldn’t shock me to see him known as as much as the SuperElit to play with the U20 membership very quickly.
Thanks for testing the primary version of the Weekly Prospect Report. All through the season, I’ll maintain you up to date on the entire gamers not but within the NHL that you need to be keeping track of. If ever you’d like me to write down a couple of particular prospect, have any questions or anything, go away a remark beneath or ship me a message on Twitter: @JoshuaBellTHW.