2018 HFNHL Prospect Handbook

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Brock, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    Here it is folks. Better late than never. Thanks to all those who helped put this together and contributed to the effort.

    Top 50
    1. Nico Hischier
    2. Clayton Keller
    3. Matthew Barzal
    4. Brock Boeser
    5. Elias Pettersson
    6. Charlie McAvoy
    7. Mikhail Sergachev
    8. Jesse Puljujarvi
    9. PL Dubois
    10. Thomas Chabot
    11. Casey Mittelstadt
    12. Nolan Patrick
    13. Kyle Connor
    14. Dylan Strome
    15. Miro Heiskanen
    16. Cale Makar
    17. Eeli Tolvanen
    18. Sam Steel
    19. Ilya Samsonov
    20. Martin Necas
    21. Tyson Jost
    22. Filip Chytil
    23. Alex Debrincat
    24. Olli Juolevi
    25. Cody Glass
    26. Robert Thomas
    27. Jesper Bratt
    28. Lias Andersson
    29. Logan Brown
    30. Alex Nylander
    31. Jordan Kyrou
    32. Kiefer Bellows
    33. Brandon Montour
    34. Henrik Borgstrom
    35. Carter Hart
    36. Nick Suzuki
    37. Kiril Kaprizov
    38. Danton Heinen
    39. Gabriel Vilardi
    40. Alex Tuch
    41. Erik Brannstrom
    42. Owen Tippett
    43. Luke Kunin
    44. Klim Kostin
    45. Jake Bean
    46. Daniel Sprong
    47. Michael Rasmussen
    48. Jakub Vrana
    49. Kailer Yamamoto
    50. Adrian Kempe
    Honorable Mentions
    1. Jake Oettinger
    2. Will Butcher
    3. Timothy Liljegren
    4. Adam Fox
    5. Victor Mete
    6. Kristian Vesalainen
    7. Dante Fabbro
    8. Joel Eriksson Ek
    9. Christian Fischer
    10. Jack Roslovic

    Organizational Rankings & Top 10's

    1. Washington Capitals

    1. Charlie McAvoy (6)
    2. Miro Heiskanen (15)
    3. Alex Debrincat (23)
    4. Brandon Montour (33)
    5. Christian Fischer (HM)
    6. Kevin Roy
    7. Robert Hagg
    8. Blake Speers
    9. Jeremy Bracco
    10. Justin Kloos
    Strengths: The Caps have assembled what looks to be one of the best collections of young blueliners in the HFNHL. McAvoy will jump right into HFNHL next year as a top 3 d-man, and Heiskanen isn’t far behind after a great year in Finland. Of Course Montour is another quality young offensive blueliner and Hagg profiles as a two-way guy. The Caps also have some great offensive talent on the wing with Debrincat, Fischer, and Roy being able to step right in next year.

    Weaknesses: Yes, Jack Eichel is a great building block down the middle, but with Sam Reinhart sliding to the wing, I’m sure the Capitals will focus on adding another quality young center in this year’s draft. It’s definitely an organizational weakness. And while Connor Hellebuyck is amazing, there is absolutely no organizational goaltending depth behind him. That should also be a focus at this year’s draft or through free agency.

    2. Philadelphia Flyers
    1. Kyle Connor (13)
    2. Gabriel Vilardi (39)
    3. Jake Oettinger (HM)
    4. Adam Fox (HM)
    5. Kristian Vesalainen (HM)
    6. Jack Roslovic (HM)
    7. Jonathan Dahlen
    8. Ilya Sorokin
    9. Josh Ho-Sang
    10. Nikolay Goldobin
    Strengths: You’d be hard pressed to find an organization with as much high end talent as Philadelphia right now. Top end talent at every position. At forward, this is especially true. Kyle Connor is having a nice NHL season. Vilardi and Roslovic have been solid. Vesalainen and Dahlen have been terrific overseas. This team is loaded up front. Organizational depth is also a strength. Guys like Roope Hintz, Guhle, Ingram, and Moverare would easily be top 10 prospects in most organizations. Also love the goaltending depth. Have to think between Oettinger, Sorokin, and Ingram the Flyers find themselves a future NHL netminder.

    Weaknesses: If we’re picking a weakness, I think it has to be on the blueline. Adam Fox is a quality prospect, but as an undersized defender, he’s no guarantee. And Guhle and Moverare are nice, but likely lack high end potential. So going out and getting another top quality, potential top two pairing defender would be big for the organization and is likely the focus at this year’s draft.

    3. Vancouver Canucks
    1. Thomas Chabot (10)
    2. Robert Thomas (26)
    3. Jakub Vrana (48)
    4. Tristan Jarry
    5. Adam Gaudette
    6. Jake Walman
    7. Henri Jokiharju
    8. Connor Timmins
    9. John Quenneville
    10. Boris Katchouk
    Strengths: Anytime you leave a couple recent NHL first rounders (Josh Norris and Zach Senyshyn) out of your top 10, you know depth is a major strength. The Canucks have one of the deepest prospect pools in the HFNHL and have for several seasons now. The team drafts very well and the evidence of that is in the Top 10 with mid rounders like Gaudette and Walman as legitimate NHL prospects. I also really like Vancouver's group of puck moving defenders built for today's NHL. Chabot, Walman, Jokiharju, Timmins, and Reilly Walsh are all great with the puck and project as terrific SIM type players.

    Weaknesses: Really tough to come up with weaknesses for this group. If I'm nitpicking, I'm assuming that GM Sean Keogh would like to improve his goaltending depth at this year's draft or next. Jarry is a great young netminder, but several of the other team's higher picks at the position have faltered as prospects. I would imagine that size could also be a focus too, at the forward position.

    4. Florida Panthers
    1. Cale Makar (16)
    2. Jesper Bratt (27)
    3. Jordan Kyrou (31)
    4. Kiefer Bellows (32)
    5. Mark Jankowski
    6. Denis Malgin
    7. Ryan Donato
    8. Trent Frederic
    9. Travis Dermott
    10. Dennis Cholowski
    Strengths: Depth, Depth, and more depth. The Panthers have arguably the HFNHL’s deepest prospect pool with players outside their top 20 who could make some team’s Top 5. The addition of Makar really helped to get the system another bluechipper too, something that the system lacked. Biggest strength probably is on the wing. Guys like Bratt, Kyrou, Bellows, Malgin, Wade Allison, Jonah Gadjovich, etc are all potentially solid NHL’ers. Also have to like the team’s goaltending depth with Michael Dipietro (one of the best in the OHL), Alex Nedeljkovic (AHL wins leader), and Colton Point/Cayden Primeau (two of the NCAA’s best).

    Weaknesses: You need to look down the middle as right now that’s the Panthers’ biggest weakness. And when you combine that with the team’s lack of center depth on the main club, this has to be troubling for the team’s GM. Jankowski, Frederic, and Jake Evans are nice players, but they likely aren’t more than 3rd line guys. The team needs a franchise centre to build around again.

    5. Boston Bruins
    1. Pierre Luc Dubois (9)
    2. Nolan Patrick (12)
    3. Tyson Jost (21)
    4. Mitchell Stephens
    5. Antoine Morand
    6. Parker Wotherspoon
    7. Will Bitten
    8. Austin Wagner
    9. Eric Cornel
    10. Ryan Mantha
    Strengths: Top end forward talent for days. Dubois, Patrick, and Jost are great building blocks to craft the rest of the team around. That’s half the team’s top 6 for the next decade. Depth is there too with guys like Mitchell Stephens, Antoine Morand, and Will Bitten.

    Weaknesses: Defense and goaltending. Yes the team has Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, and John Gibson on the main roster right now, but they need to be supplemented for the Bruins to really regain top from in the East. Adding one more top flight blueline prospect who could form a future top 3 would be ideal. And with Gibson’s fluctuating health, it would be a good idea to add some top flight goaltending prospects to the pipeline in order to have a security blanket for the future.

    6. Columbus Blue Jackets
    1. Sam Steel (18)
    2. Nick Suzuki (36)
    3. Adrian Kempe (50)
    4. Dante Fabbro (HM)
    5. Morgan Frost
    6. Kole Lind
    7. Anthony Stolarz
    8. Jujhar Khaira
    9. Zach Sanford
    10. Josh Leivo
    Strengths: Fully committed to a rebuild, the Jackets have done well to slowly build up the team’s prospect pool again. Really love the forward group for this team moving forward. Steel, Suzuki, Kempe, Frost, and Lind could all be top 6 players in the future and have had excellent seasons in their respective leagues. High end offensive potential, and down the middle to boot. Not many teams in the HFNHL can boast that kind of prospect talent at center.

    Weaknesses: Would guess that with an upcoming high pick in this year’s draft, the Jackets will be looking at defense. Fabbro is a quality prospect, but he’s not likely a top pairing guy. In a defense heavy draft, Columbus has a chance to address their organization’s biggest need. And like any rebuilding team, continuing to build depth will be a focal point. Columbus has a ton of high picks in this year’s draft and if used wisely, could really help to build this team back up quickly.

    7. Tampa Bay Lightning
    1. Cody Glass (25)
    2. Henrik Borgstrom (34)
    3. Victor Mete (HM)
    4. Taylor Raddysh
    5. Joni Ikonen
    6. Tyler Benson
    7. Peter Cehlarik
    8. Justin Bailey
    9. Adam Mascherin
    10. Josh Brook
    Strengths: Tremendous forward depth and talent for the Lightning moving forward. Cody Glass and Henrik Borgstrom look like legitimate franchise centers where as Taylor Raddysh could be a quality top 6 support player. When you look at the young talent up front already on Tampa’s roster, this team could be scary good in a few years.

    Weaknesses: Defense and goaltending will be focal points for improvement. Yes the team already has Provorov, Jones, and Larsson, but having Victor Mete as the only other true bluechip prospect on the back-end may hurt them in the long run. Continuing to add depth at that position is important to keep cap costs down, especially when you can fill the third pair with young defenders on an ELC. And yes, Vasilevsky is maybe the best young goalie in the game, but the team has very little in the pipeline for netminders thanks to the steps backward of guys like Dylan Wells and Evan Fitzpatrick. Continuing to add depth there will be important.

    8. New Jersey Devils
    1. Kirill Kaprizov (37)
    2. Owen Tippett (42)
    3. Daniel Sprong (46)
    4. Timothy Liljegren (HM)
    5. Ryan Pulock
    6. Timo Meier
    7. Ville Pokka
    8. Graham McPhee
    9. Yegor Rykov
    10. Matej Machovsky
    Strengths: Can you say goal scoring forwards on the wing? Kaprizov, Tippett, Sprong, and Meier can all score with the best of the them and the ensures that this Devils team won’t have issues scoring in the future. New Jersey also has a nice collection of puck moving defenders who can get those wings the puck in Liljegren, Pulock, and Pokka.

    Weaknesses: The question is, what center is going to set these scoring wingers up? The Devils really lack any talent down the middle at the prospect level. Sam Bennett could be that guy down the line, but he’s struggled so far in the NHL and that means that the Devils should be focusing on that at this year’s draft. Also need to look at the team’s lack of goaltending prospects behind Rask, who will eventually price himself out of the team’s plans. Lack of depth overall is an issue too. The Devils need to re-focus on adding prospects and providing a clear focus moving forward in this rebuild.

    9. Vegas Golden Knights
    1. Alex Tuch (40)
    2. Kailer Yamamoto (48)
    3. Tyler Parsons
    4. Andreas Johnson
    5. Julien Gauthier
    6. Ian Mitchell
    7. Maxime Comtois
    8. Shane Bowers
    9. Givani Smith
    10. Malcolm Subban
    Strengths: The Golden Knights have done a terrific job building a quality prospect list after just one year in the league. The strength of this list is definitely at forward where #48 Kailer Yamamoto looks like potential top 6 scorer. He's supplemented with a group of hard nosed wingers like Alex Tuch, Julien Gauthier, Maxime Comtois, Shane Bowers, and Givani Smith. Size is a strength up front. And with Parsons and Subban, the Golden Knights look solid with two potential NHL starters down the line.

    Weaknesses: I would look the Golden Knights to try to go after a few high end blueline prospects over the next year or two (draft or trade). Ian Mitchell was a solid draft, but more is needed. Like any expansion franchise, depth is going to be something needing improvement. With four second rounders in 2018 that should be addressed nicely.

    10. Calgary Flames
    1. Mathew Barzal (3)
    2. Oliver Bjorkstrand
    3. Valeri Nichushkin
    4. Ryan Poehling
    5. Filip Hronek
    6. Jacob Larsson
    7. Dominik Simon
    8. Ukka-Pekka Luukonen
    9. AJ Greer
    10. Tanner Kaspick
    Strengths: Barzal, Barzal, and Barzal. Man is this guy having a great rookie NHL season. And overall, the forward group for the Flames is very nice. Bjorkstrand is also having a solid season in the NHL and others possess solid NHL potential. Also have to admire the Flames' depth in goaltending prospects, even if perhaps they haven't had the best seasons this year.

    Weaknesses: I would say that overall depth has become a bit of an issue for the Flames' group. And with only a 7th rounder in this year's draft currently, that will not improve at the current moment. I think you also have to look at the team's defensive prospects as a weakness. Hronek has had a solid first pro season, but Larsson doesn't look to be a high end NHL player and no other defenders are significant prospects.

    11. Dallas Stars
    1. Nico Hischier (1)
    2. Alex Nylander (30)
    3. Thatcher Demko
    4. Brett Howden
    5. Nick Merkley
    6. Brett Lernout
    7. Mike Amadio
    8. Markus Davidsson
    9. Luc Snuggerud
    10. Gavin Bayreuther
    Strengths: Hard to argue with a team that has the league’s top prospect. But it’s the Stars’ overall forward group that shines. Hischier, Nylander, Howden, Merkley, Amadio, Davidsson, etc are all potential top 9 players. Hischier gives the team the building block that was needed for the future of a rebuilding team. And they will have two other high picks this draft.

    Weaknesses: Defintely have to say that the defensive group here is a weakness. No real gems. Some nice depth, but this team needs to start thinking about building back up it’s blueline with some aging assets on decline. Again, with some high picks upcoming, in a blueline heavy draft, this Stars franchise can have a quick turnaround if they draft wisely.

    12. Pittsburgh Penguins
    1. Brock Boeser (4)
    2. Eeli Tolvanen (17)
    3. JT Compher
    4. Gustav Forsling
    5. Jaret Anderson-Dolan
    6. Boo Nieves
    7. Adam Ruzicka
    8. Ville Husso
    9. Sasha Chmelevski
    10. Gustav Lindstrom
    Strengths: Definitely some talent at forward in this group, especially on the wing. This is led by the dynamic duo of Brock Boeser and Eeli Tolvanen. Boeser will provide immediate help next year for the Pens on an ELC. Ditto for JT Compher. Overall depth at the position is solid too with some nice longer shot, but offensively talented guys like Chmelevski, Ronning, Anderson-Dolan, etc.

    Weaknesses: I think you need to look at the defense and goaltending positions. Cory Schneider isn’t getting any younger (sad to admit because it means we’re getting old), and really only Ville Husso looks like a potential NHL netminder, although the team did use a high pick on Stuart Skinner last year. The Pens have a nice group of young NHL blueliners, but if we’re looking at prospect depth, this is an area that can be addressed. Forsling will be a nice add on an ELC next year, but just how much of an impact can he make? Adding a potential dynamic two-way defender who could be a top 3 guy should be a focus.

    13. Anaheim Ducks
    1. Elias Pettersson (5)
    2. Jesse Puljujarvi (8)
    3. James Greenway
    4. Noah Gregor
    5. John Gilmour
    6. Spencer Foo
    7. Blake Pietila
    8. Joey Laleggia
    9. Mason MacDonald
    10. Matthew Boucher
    Strengths: The Ducks have two high end forward prospects who place inside the Top 10 list; Puljujarvi and Pettersson. Overall, forwards are definitely the strength of this prospect list with the best chance of developing NHL'ers coming from that group.

    Weaknesesses: Depth and high end blueliners are the weaknesses of this Ducks' prospect group. Greenway is the top blueline prospect but he's had a tough year with personal issues keeping him out for the majority of the year. Depth is also an issue and it is what holds this list down on the organizational rankings. With 5 first rounders heading into 2018, that should be corrected though.

    14. Colorado Avalanche
    1. Clayton Keller (2)
    2. Jakub Zboril
    3. Rasmus Asplund
    4. Carl Grundström
    5. Linus Ullmark
    6. Vitek Vanecek
    7. Victor Olofsson
    8. Andreas Borgman
    9. Viktor Ejdsell
    10. Joni Tuulola
    Strengths: Look at all those Europeans! The Anti-Brock Otten method. But the depth is definitely strong, like any Colorado franchise’s prospect pool over the years. Many of these guys aren’t on top 50 lists, but in the future we may look back and say, “how did we miss them?” Having Clayton Keller at the top doesn’t hurt either. He fits right in with all the quality young players already on Colorado’s roster.

    Weaknesses: While the depth is terrific, I would argue that this Avalanche prospect group lacks bluechip prospects in a way that most years it does not. Graduations hurt, but once Keller is removed from this list, can we say that any of the players on this list are potential impact HFNHL’ers? No first or second round picks this year either, so that bluechipper isn’t going to come for a few years. I think in particular, you need to look on defense. Zboril has had only a mediocre first pro season and Borgman may not end up being more than a third pairing guy. So adding a top defender prospect may be a priority.

    15. Arizona Coyotes
    1. Olli Juolevi (24)
    2. Logan Brown (29)
    3. Logan Stanley
    4. Denis Gurianov
    5. Isaac Ratcliffe
    6. Remi Elie
    7. Michael Dal Colle
    8. Jason Dickinson
    9. Joseph Woll
    10. Mason Appleton
    Strengths: Size is a big time strength of this prospect group. Brown, Stanley, and Ratcliffe are all behemoths, who make the 6'3 Gurianov look like a shrimp. It's a pretty well balanced group overall too, with a good variety of different types of prospects. You've got a smooth two-way blueliner in Juolevi. You've got a massive playmaking center in Brown. A shutdown defender in Stanley. A rugged, pesky scorer in Elie. Just solid depth here.

    Weaknesses: I'm sure coming into the season, Yessie thought his goaltending depth was a strength, but Joseph Woll and Tyler Wall haven't had the best years in the NCAA. And a few of his other big time prospects like Gurianov, Dal Colle, and Dickinson have also massively disappointed despite being high draft picks.

    16. Buffalo Sabres
    1. Mikhail Sergachev (7)
    2. Anders Bjork
    3. Nic Hague
    4. Samuel Morin
    5. Gabriel Carlsson
    6. Cliff Pu
    7. Evgeny Svechnikov
    8. Jordan Greenway
    9. Vili Saarijarvi
    10. Laurent Dauphin
    Strengths: This Buffalo team definitely seems set on the blueline for year’s to come. Mikhail Sergachev is a potential franchise defender who will make a difference next year already. And Nic Hague, Sam Morin, Gabe Carlsson, and Vili Saarijarvi provide great depth. Nice blend of offensive and defensive defenders too. As I said, the blueline looks set.

    Weaknesses: With the blueline set for the future, it’s time to address the forward group and goaltending. With three first rounders this year, the team can really focus on adding to that area, especially finding a franchise forward to build around like Svechnikov or Zadina. We also need to look at the team’s goaltending situation with really no prospects in the pipeline and no solid starter on the pro club. Maybe using one of those first rounders to acquire a young goaltender could be a good way to help this team in the future.

    17. Carolina Hurricanes
    1. Lias Andersson (28)
    2. Joel Eriksson Ek (HM)
    3. Colin White
    4. Julius Honka
    5. Hudson Fasching
    6. Max Gildon
    7. Ivan Lodnia
    8. Casey Fitzgerald
    9. David Farrance
    10. Aapeli Rasanen
    Strengths: Love the depth that this Hurricanes franchise has down the middle. Especially in the sense that their forward prospects all can contribute in all facets of the game, making them potentially solid SIM league players. Andersson, Eriksson-Ek, White, and Fasching combine with Alex Barkov to give Carolina one solid future down the middle.

    Weaknesses: With an aging blueline and an aging starting netminder, you have to believe that GM Darryl Solly wants to improve those parts of his prospect pool. Honka and Gildon are solid defensive prospects, but both likely aren’t top 3 defenders at the NHL level and the team needs to add that bluechip player. And with little to nothing in the pipeline or goaltending, perhaps the Canes could look at moving one of their young centers for a netminder to spell Sweet Lou.

    18. Montreal Canadiens
    1. Filip Chytil (22)
    2. Vince Dunn
    3. Philippe Myers
    4. Max Jones
    5. Aleksi Heponiemi
    6. Nikita Scherbak
    7. Alexandre Texier
    8. Joona Koppanen
    9. Brandon Hickey
    10. Giovanni Fiore
    Strengths: I think we probably need to look at the Canadiens’ forward group as its biggest strength. Post draft breakout star Filip Chytil leads the way there as a potential franchise leader in the future. A guy like Aleksi Heponiemi has also had a terrific season and has the potential to surprise moving forward.

    Weaknesses: This Montreal franchise used to be known for their prospect depth, but I think that this current edition is lacking in that department, at least in comparison to previous years. And this Montreal team has traded away most of its picks in the next two drafts, so that may not improve much moving forward. With an aging Pekka Rinne in net, the team’s lack of goaltending prospects is also a surprise and is something I would expect the team to try to rectify (especially since all those UDFA’s signed have yet to work out).

    19. Toronto Maple Leafs
    1. Martin Necas (20)
    2. Jake Bean (45)
    3. Igor Shesterkin
    4. Ivan Barbashev
    5. Yakov Trenin
    6. Cam Morrison
    7. Pascal Laberge
    8. David Quenneville
    9. Alex Dergachyov
    10. Jansen Harkins
    Strengths: Tough to pick out a stand alone strength for this group. They have solid prospects at every position, but can you truly identify anything as a strength? If Necas sticks down the middle, then having him with Barbashev is likely the closest you get. As said, they have solid prospects at every position, and maybe that in itself is a strength.

    Weaknesses: Depth is the first thing that jumps out. A lot of the team’s mid rounders have not worked out in recent years, leaving this prospect list incredibly top heavy. I think you also need to look at the blueline, specifically. Jake Bean is far from a sure thing (at least in this writer’s opinion), and behind him is only the undersized David Quenneville.

    20. Chicago Blackhawks
    1. Ilya Samsonov (19)
    2. Jason Robertson
    3. Josh Mahura
    4. Mario Ferraro
    5. Samuel Montembeault
    6. Lucas Johansen
    7. Matthew Strome
    8. Daniel Vladar
    9. Dryden Hunt
    10. Brayden Burke
    Strengths: For the Hawks, the strengths have to start in net with 3 goaltenders in their top 10. Samsonov is the crown jewel here as arguably the top goaltender not currently in the HFNHL. Montembeault and Vladar are great depth behind him. Hawks also have some quality puck movers in Mahura, Ferraro, and Lucas Johansen. Ferraro and Mahura have both had terrific seasons and have established themselves as among the most underrated prospects in the game.

    Weaknesses: The forward group overall is relatively weak for the Hawks. Jason Robertson is a nice prospect and he had a solid year, but outside of him, we’re looking at more longer shots. This is especially true down the middle where Chicago has little to speak of in the pipeline. I think we also need to look at overall prospect depth as an issue.

    21. New York Rangers
    1. Casey Mittelstadt (11)
    2. Michael McLeod
    3. Tanner Laczynski
    4. Warren Foegele
    5. Chad Krys
    6. Calvin Petersen
    7. Jack Dugan
    8. Jonathan Ang
    9. Matthew Villalta
    10. Rem Pitlick
    Strengths: An organization just beginning to start a rebuild, the Rangers have their work cut out for them, but the start so far has been solid. Strength of the prospect pool is definitely at forward right now, led by one of the HFNHL’s brightest prospects in Casey Mittelstadt. He is supported by the likes of Mike McLeod, Warren Foegele, and a couple guys who have had solid years in Tanner Laczynsi and Jack Dugan.

    Weaknesses: The pro team is basically Zach Werenski and aging veteran defenders that will likely be moved. And Chad Krys is a nice defensive prospect, but the depth just isn’t there in the organization right now and will likely be the focus at this year’s draft. Have to believe the Rangers are hoping for the lottery balls to come up DAHLIN.

    22. Minnesota Wild
    1. Dylan Strome (14)
    2. Erik Brannstrom (41)
    3. Anthony Cirelli
    4. Marcus Pettersson
    5. Denis Smirnov
    6. Elvis Merzlikins
    7. Maksim Zhukov
    8. Matt Spencer
    9. Vehni Vehvilainen
    10. Matthew Cairns
    Strengths: Strome, Cirelli, and Pettersson give the Wild three solid centers to build around in the future. Strome is the franchise building block, but Cirelli is the truly underrated one here as he could be an excellent SIM player who can impact the game in many different ways. The Wild also have nice depth in goal with Merzlikins, Zhukov, and Vehvilainen.

    Weaknesses: Depth in the organization has really taken a hit in recent years and this should be a focal point. And while Erik Brannstrom is a solid defensive prospect; a true boom or bust guy; his lack of size makes me wish that the Wild had more than just Spencer and Cairns behind him in the position.

    23. Winnipeg Jets
    1. Luke Kunin (43)
    2. Kale Clague
    3. Tyler Bertuzzi
    4. Valentin Zykov
    5. Steve Santini
    6. Vladislav Kamenev
    7. Oliver Kylington
    8. Ian McCoshen
    9. Spencer Martin
    10. Ryan Lindgren
    Strengths: Under Keith Fernandes, the Jets have really improved the depth of their prospect pool. I think that’s the team’s biggest strength is that they don’t really have many holes, with solid prospects at every position. In particular, the Jets have accumulated some quality defensive prospects who, while underrated, have a great chance of developing into NHL defenders. Guys like Clague, Santini, Kylington, McCoshen, Lindgren, and Sean Day.

    Weaknesses: While the team has great depth and solid prospects at every position, I guess the question that needs to be asked is, are any of these guys truly bluechippers? Will any be first line players? It’s tough to acquire those types of assets when you’re a playoff team, but Winnipeg likely will want to try and hit more home runs by drafting higher risk guys in the coming years to try and get the bluechipper while remaining competitive behind Connor McDavid.

    24. Detroit Red Wings
    1. Klim Kostin (44)
    2. Rasmus Andersson
    3. Kasperi Kapanen
    4. Pierre Olivier Joseph
    5. Dillon Dube
    6. Jon Gillies
    7. Ostap Safin
    8. Caleb Jones
    9. Alexei Lipanov
    10. Ty Lewis
    Strengths: Solid group on the wing for the Wings (yup, I went there). Kostin, Kapanen, Dube, Safin, Sushko are all potential NHL players. This is also the organization’s strength on the pro club with young guys like Nyquist, Duclair, Landeskog, and Tom Wilson.

    Weaknesses: Centre, Centre, and more centres. This Wings team has a big hole down the middle on the pro club and in the prospect pool. This is something that definitely needs to be addressed. Hard for those wings to find success in the goal scoring department if no one gets them the puck. Continuing to add depth to the organizational pool should also be a focus.

    25. St. Louis Blues
    1. Will Butcher (HM)
    2. Riley Tufte
    3. Vitali Abramov
    4. Mackenzie Blackwood
    5. Tyler Steenbergen
    6. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson
    7. Mikey Anderson
    8. Anthony DeAngelo
    9. Jeremy Helvig
    10. Christian Jaros
    Strengths: St. Louis has a nice collection of puck moving defenders led by Will Butcher who has had a fantastic first NHL season and will rate very nicely for the Blues next year. Mikey Anderson, Tony DeAngelo, and Christian Jaros are nice support players in that same category. Blues also have some nice goaltending depth with Blackwood, Helvig, Larsson, and Wouter Peeters. Have to believe one of these four turns out to be an NHL netminder.

    Weaknesses: For years, the Blues had one of the league’s top farm systems. But the talent level has certainly dropped over the last few years, at least on paper (we all know that Nick Quain has a tendency to pull rabbits out of the hat, cough Yanni Gourde, cough). No question that St. Louis’ forward group is the biggest weakness here. Tufte and Abramov are nice prospects for sure, but neither seems like a sure bet. In particular, a quality potential top 6 center has to be on the list or the Blues at the draft this year.

    26. Ottawa Senators
    1. Danton Heinen (38)
    2. Michael Rasmussen (47)
    3. Brendan Lemieux
    4. Libor Hajek
    5. Michael McNiven
    6. Carsen Twarynski
    7. Guillaume Brisebois
    8. Scott Wedgewood
    9. Dereck Baribeau
    10. Mason Geertsen
    Strengths: Some nice forward prospects on the horizon for the Sens in Heinen (who can contribute next year on an ELC for the Senators), Rasmussen, Lemieux, and Twarynski. Some nice goaltending depth too with McNiven, Wedgewood, and Baribeau. McNiven hasn’t had a good first pro season, but it’s too early to give up on the former OHL goalie of the year.

    Weaknesses: Pretty much everything else. Depth is a major issue. This may not be rectified any time soon either. The team doesn’t have a first day pick in the next TWO drafts. Defense is also an issue moving forward. Outside of Trouba, the defense is aging and expensive. Being able to inject some good, young contracts into that group would help Ottawa avoid cap issues in the future.

    27. Nashville Predators
    1. Alex Kerfoot
    2. Callan Foote
    3. Filip Gustavsson
    4. Troy Terry
    5. Urho Vaakanainen
    6. Dylan Samberg
    7. Felix Sandstrom
    8. Andrew Mangiapane
    9. Kyle Capobianco
    10. Mathieu Joseph
    Strengths: Two very nice goaltending prospects are at the forefront of this Preds’ list. Gustavsson and Sandstrom look like potential NHL netminders and we know how long GM Tony Kay has been trying to develop a young goalie. Also have to consider the depth of this team a strength. Players who missed on this list like Bigras, Marody, Niku, etc are solid prospects and would be in many HFNHL franchise’s top 10’s. Also like the size and defensive ability of Nashville’s blueline. Foote, Vaakanainen, and Samberg look like potential shut down defenders.

    Weaknesses: One of only three team’s in the HFNHL without a top 50 prospect or HM. So I guess you need to look at this list and ask if there is truly a bluechip prospect who could develop into top player for the Predators? Alex Kerfoot has had an excellent NHL rookie season, but I do wonder if the Preds would want more down the middle moving forward. Additionally, with so many quality defensive first blueline prospects, would an elite puck moving defender fit well into the organizational pool? Look for Nashville to address these things at this year’s draft.

    28. Los Angeles Kings
    1. Travis Sanheim
    2. Tage Thompson
    3. Jesper Boqvist
    4. Kyle Wood
    5. Jack Studnicka
    6. Janne Kuokkanen
    7. Mitch Vande Sompel
    8. Noah Juulsen
    9. Tucker Poolman
    10. Jack Kopacka
    Strengths: While the Kings seem to lack that bluechip prospect currently, they have drafted well in the middle rounds to build up quality organizational depth. Many of the team's prospects have had solid seasons, especially on the blueline where guys Mitch Vande Sompel and Tucker Poolman have established themselves as solid NHL prospects.

    Weaknesses: The lack of a true goaltending prospect hurts and should be a focus moving forward, even with Braden Holtby manning the pipes on the main team. Additionally, the aforementioned lack of a bluechip prospect could hurt this cap team in a few years. Some solid prospects, but perhaps none that could be elite difference makers.

    29. New York Islanders
    1. Carter Hart (35)
    2. Samuel Girard
    3. Joey Anderson
    4. Frederik Gauthier
    5. Jeremy Roy
    6. Jeremy Lauzon
    7. Matej Tomek
    8. Matthew Murray
    9. Frederic Allard
    10. Colby Sissons
    Strengths: Goaltending is definitely the strength here led by arguably the top goaltending prospect in the HFNHL, Carter Hart. He’s followed by two decent depth options in Matej Tomek and Matthew Murray (not to be confused with the Florida Panthers young starter). Nice group of young offensive blueliners too in Samuel Giard, Jeremy Lauzon, Frederic Allard, and Colby Sissons.

    Weaknesses: Depth is the biggest issue here. The Islanders seem destined for a retool or rebuild in the next year or two, and this will need to be the team’s biggest focus, especially with only a couple late round picks remaining for this year’s draft as they push for one last Cup attempt. It all starts at forward where the team needs to rebuild an aging core. There are some decent organizational options right now, but none likely possess more than 3rd line upside.

    30. Edmonton Oilers
    1. Juuso Valimaki
    2. Madison Bowey
    3. German Rubtsov
    4. Filip Chlapik
    5. Brendan Leipsic
    6. Sebastian Aho
    7. Maxim Mamin
    8. Kirill Ustimenko
    9. Sergei Tolchinsky
    10. Martins Dzierkals
    Strengths: At the top of the list we have two solid offensive blueline prospects out of the WHL. Also, the Oilers have a collection of some high end offensive forwards, who although undersized, do possess good potential at the NHL level. All it takes is for one to breakthrough.

    Weaknesses: Depth definitely has to be considered a weakness at this point. Under relatively new management, Edmonton has worked to rebuild this area, but fans will need to be patient. Without a top 50 prospect, you also have to look at that lack of "bluechip" or surefire prospect. Additionally, size is an issue. Many of the Oilers' top prospects are undersized, so adding size, especially upfront, has to bea focus moving forward.

    31. San Jose Sharks
    1. Andrei Altybarmakyan
    2. Dominic Turgeon
    3. Julius Nattinen
    4. Dominik Kubalik
    5. Jonas Rondbjerg
    6. Vladislav Gavrikov
    7. Anthony Richard
    8. Colby Cave
    9. Markus Nurmi
    10. Gage Ausmus
    Strengths: Hmm. So yeah. I suppose the Sharks have some decent depth at forward. Guys like Alybarmakyan and Kubalik are possible underrated gems who could surprise to become NHL players.

    Weaknesses: No doubt the Sharks have sacrificed their prospect pool to make a run the last few seasons and it shows as San Jose clearly has the weakest group of prospects in the HFNHL. With no first or second rounder the next two years, that may not improve either. Depth is a major weakness with guys in the top 5 not making any other HFNHL's top 10. Goaltending prospects are also a major weakness. Ditto for talent on the blueline.
     
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  2. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    Ohio Jones and MatthewFlames like this.
  3. Canuck09

    Canuck09 Registered User

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    Kudos to Brock for really carrying the load with this project while the rest of us slackers struggled to get much done. Awesome job as always and thanks to those who contributed.
     
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  4. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    Amazing work, thanks for effort and contribution!
     
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  5. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    awesome list, thank you for all that contributed and to brock for putting it all together. really surprised to see my prospects rank first but that's an awesome surprise.
     
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  6. Fan.At

    Fan.At Registered User Sponsor

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    a great job. having helped with some of the earlier ones, i know how much work it is. much appreciated.

    as for my team, it is full of holes, especially up front. one could argue that foote is a top 50 prospect, but thats one homer opinion against many others...
     
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  7. Vaive-Alive

    Vaive-Alive Registered User

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    Great work Brock et. al. for putting this together! Gracias amigos!

    Cheers,

    GM Kruegs
     
  8. Dempsey

    Dempsey Registered User

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    This was amazing! Thank you Brock
     
  9. Regal Beagles

    Regal Beagles Registered User

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    Great job gentlemen. Go Ducks!
     
  10. Fooladelfia

    Fooladelfia Registered User

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    Nice job and yes Boqvist he’s nbt for me
     
  11. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    An enormous amount of work there - and a depressing amount of Columbus ineptitude on display. Hopefully we’re righting the ship now, and can stay a top10 or top-15 system for the foreseeable.
     
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