A Top-100 ranking for 2019 w/ sleepers

By Fleury14 · Jun 7, 2019 · Updated Jun 8, 2019
  1. Fleury14
    I was hoping to get this posted a month ago before the swarm of rankings and mock drafts, but couldn't find the time to finish it.


    1) Jack Hughes: Difficult decision at #1 this year. I've had Hughes in #1 for longer periods this year, so I've kept him there for the rankings. His competitiveness reminds me of Sidney Crosby, while a lot of other elements of his game trigger memories of Patrick Kane.

    2) Kaapo Kakko: Kakko is #2 because 1 of the 2 had to be. But I've flip-flopped Kakko and Hughes about 5 times in the last few months, it's really a 1A/1B draft year for me. I haven't been this indecisive about #1 since the Taylor/Tyler year. Strong down-low play is reminiscent of Peter Forsberg, but he has more of a nose for the goal than Foppa.

    3) Kirby Dach:
    Dach looks every bit the part of a future #1 C. Big, strong-cycling, playmaking vision. Played an outsized role on his junior team for his draft year, but Dach fared well against other team's top lines. I think his skating issues are overblown, looks fine for his age and size.

    4) Bowen Byram: With a very forward-heavy top of the draft this year, Byram looks to be the 1 defenseman to break-up the pack. Excellent on the rush, Byram displays fantastic patience and takes the seams that are provided. His defensive game isn't perfect, but it is better than the D that went at the top of the board in the 2018 draft. Reminds me of Alex Pietrangelo in his draft year but a more aggressive skater and shooter, Byram wants to be "the man" every game.

    5) Peyton Krebs: Ultra-competitive center with a 200 ft. game. A definite center for me, he wants to be the first guy back to retrieve the puck and the first guy forward to lead the offensive charge. I can't recall seeing a prospect play this hard all over the ice in a long time, a real leader. He also has the skill and ability to read the play, he's great at threading passes.

    6) Alex Turcotte: Turcotte is pretty much has a mix of everything you look for: speed, skating, shooting, vision, playmaking, two-way play. Can be an offensive dynamo or steadying defensive presence. Plays with some feistiness and grit, willing to take a beating to hang around the scoring areas. Turcotte completes my center-heavy top-6.

    7) Cole Caulfield: Freakishly good goalscorer. It doesn't seem to matter how close he is to the goal or the angle the shot comes from, Caufield can always find the elevation to stick the puck topshelf. Cole also has that certain elusivity of his opponents that's a common trait among great goalscorers.

    8) Vasili Podkolzin: He's faced a lot of high-pressure sitations this year. He's played at least 5 international tournaments (4 of which had knockout stages). He also made his professional debut at the VHL and then KHL. All situations that require ramping up the intensity (and accompanying stress). The biggest question I have is how his play style will work against bigger and older competition. His most effective playing time of the season was in the Hlinka Cup and the WJAC, both on the smaller NA ice. Perhaps his bull-ish style of play works better when his opponents have less time and space to react to his aggression.

    9) Dylan Cozens: Cozens has excellent tools, his skating, speed, size, and strength are all top-notch. He can be a very impressive player to watch, and I don't doubt that he'll be an effective NHLer. The issue is he can make some really curious decisions that lead to giveaways or loss of possession. Reminds me of Chris Krieder.

    10) Trevor Zegras: Zegras' best trait is his passing, particularly his backhand pass, it allows him to create chances when the play looks dead. Outside of Hughes, he's the best playmaker/set-up man in the draft. On the flipside, he's such a pass-heavy player that I imagine his coaches are always on him to shoot more often, and shoot he can, but he always seems to be looking for the pretty assist.

    11) Philip Broberg:
    I think he was bit overrated by a few sources early in the season, but it has almost lead to him now being underrated. Defensemen with this kind of size and skating, and aggressive offensive plays, are pretty rare. I think his weaknesses have become a bit overblown. I could see why he would go higher than this spot.

    12) Bobby Brink: Love Brinks playmaking. Brink is an ultra-talented, creative playmaker. I love his shot selection too, he can burn you in variety of ways. His dogged pursuit of the puck reminds me of Marchand. The speed is a concern, he's a bit underdeveloped physically right now though, but as he gains more muscle/power it should help his speed. Improved speed with his edgework would make him a real offensive stud.

    13) Matthew Boldy: Boldy can be a bit of an enigma. Too many games where you're hardly noticing him offensively, but he can pull off some slick stickhandling that few in the draft can match. He's already a strong defensive player, noticeably ahead of most of his NTDP teammates. Always looking to pass-first despite having a pretty deadly shot of his own. More aggression needed.

    14) Moritz Seider: Looks strong on skates, even when playing against adults. Playing at the levels he did all season, it's somewhat difficult to assess his offensive upside. He's a willing puck rusher and not afraid to go deep on his pinches to generate chances. The closest to his age group he played against this year was in the u20 D1A WC, where he posted 7 points in 5 games. For his strength and skating level at his age, I feel comfortable thinking he has a floor of a #4 D in the NHL. Could go top 10.

    15) Nick Robertson: Really good at finding holes in defenses. His hockey smarts are off-the-charts, always thinking ahead of the play. Can stickhandle in a phone booth. I see a lot of similarities in upside and potential with Robertson and Brink. Robertson also shares a lot of similarities with his older brother; the well-rounded offensive game, the hockey IQ, the puck control, the great decision-making.

    16) Alex Newhook: Newhook has a great combination of speed, skating, and puck skills. Really looks at home on the PP. Like Cozens, I find Newhook's decision-making to be curious at times, especially at even strength, usually trying to force a pass or make a play around multiple defenders. A poor man's Phil Kessel.

    17) Cam York: The best PP QB in the draft. York is excellent at distributing the puck on the power play and remaining calm when pressured. But he can get exposed defensively and he has difficulties getting the puck away from opponents in the defensive zone. A good decision-maker though, thinks the game well.

    18) Pavel Dorofeyev: The first fall birthdate on my list this year. Dorofeyev blew off the doors in his limited stay in the MHL and didn't look out of place in his restricted minutes in the KHL. Dorofeyev didn't have many chances to showcase himself, but shown he's skilled enough to play in a adult's league. His puck control and refusal to give away possession are noticeably for his age against older competition. I'm guessing Dorofeyev will have a bigger role in the KHL next year, a hopeful prediction for a u20 player.

    19) Vladislav Kolyachonok: A personal favorite of mine in the draft. Kolyachonok has stood out in all my viewings of him. His pinches aren't perfect but his skating allows him to get back to the defensive zone quickly to correct his errors. Concedes very few chances on the side of the ice he is defending and is always active defensively. Still a little raw after his first year playing hockey outside of Belarus, he has more room to grow.

    20) Samuel Poulin:
    Really strong on his skates. In an era of smaller players, Poulin is a rarer breed of power forward that can keep up with the pace. Great on the cycle, one of the better "down-low" players in the draft. Good edges help him make a lot of quick spin moves and evade opponents.

    21) Tobias Bjornfot: Bjornfot uses his great skating to avoid forecheckers in the defensive zone, and to efficiently move the puck up the ice. A great puck-mover, makes effortless decisions with the puck. His offensive production leaves a bit to be desired compared to the other top D, but he has the tools that you can see it improving as he matures.

    22) Ville Heinola: Looked his best when he plays a simpler shutdown role this season. When given the opportunity to open up his play and carry the puck more, he looked out of place at times. I like his heads-up play and ability to navigate through the zones, but he isn't great at reading the play ahead and moving the puck quickly, plus there's not a lot of polished finish to his game. I like his upside though, but a work-in-progress.

    23) Thomas Harley: I like his pinches, well-timed usually and he is a threat off the rush, but heneeds more finish. He makes a few too many defensive lapses to look past. Can look out of place defensively and needs a lot of work on learning to use his size to defend, even if just with his stick/reach. A poor man's Thomas Chabot.

    24) Raphael Lavoie: The big-bodied Lavoie has a real knack for the net. He gets a lot of force on his shots, even from far away from goal. When he gets moving with the puck, it can be like a runaway train barrelling at you, and he's one of the better forwards at net drives in this year's class. Ended the year on a high note.

    25) Arthur Kaliyev: Great goalscorer. Underrated playmaker too, which is useful if your opponents are always expecting you to shot. It's been beaten to death that Kaliyev leaves something to be desired though. And he doesn't look like an elite offensive player, like a Kessel-type player (for example). I had him in my 2nd round for a good chunk of the year, but he's gravitated higher as other prospects have slipped on my list.

    26) Jakob Pelletier: Pelletier is a 200 ft player who owes a lot of his effectiveness to his speed and quickness. Provides good energy and has a slick wrister. Always seems to be hanging around the right locations to receive and retrieve the puck. Shows up every game, always around the puck.

    27) Nathan Légaré: Légaré's goal scoring really stands but also the many strong plays he makes in the offensive zone. Good at protecting the puck and keeping plays alive. Always looking to recoup the puck and attack the puck carrier, always forechecking. Really good one-timer, he finds openings to get it off a lot.

    28) Jamieson Rees: Great speed, very aggressive player, feisty. There's players that are handful to deal with, and then there's players like Rees, no one is going to work harder than him. An underrated playmaker, Rees masterfully uses his speed and acceleration to create open lanes for his teammates. I think he projects somewhere between Marchand and Byron.

    29) Alex Vlasic: BIG, great skater, I think there's a lot of upside there but I know others disagree. As he gets older, he should get better at his defensive positioning which will allow his stick reach to really shine through. I think he could become a nightmare to play against. Plus he's a decent puck-mover and a handful to contain when he rushes the puck. Some refinement needed, might need 4 years in the NCAA.

    30) Victor Soderstrom:
    Defensive positioning and stickwork are excellent, and he has very good skating to make up for his size. I don't think there's much offensive upside, his passing is mediocre. Never really makes an attacking play with his passing, and his passes are frequently poorly-timed and off-point, not useful for setting up the breakouts or for setting up chances. Not much of a shooter either. Could be a great D partner for a more adventurous D.

    31) Ilya Nikolayev: I like Nikolayev, but his consistency is a little bothersome. On the plus side, he doesn't hurt the team either when he isn't firing on all cylinders. When he's on, Nikolayev can be very dynamic and a constant threat to score. What I really like about him is his ability to make plays at high speed, that's when he seems to thrive, and his slick russian wrister.

    32) Philip Tomasino: I like Tomasino's versatility, can fill a couple different holes in the lineup and not look out of place. His passing is what really catches me eye, I think he has a lot of point production to unlock in the OHL next season. Has a lot of attributes you look for in an NHLer today. Has the speed, skating, hockey sense, and ability to make plays at high speeds. Difficult for me to project Tomasino, but I think towards the higher end of a middle-6 F.

    33) Albin Grewe: Grewe is really strong on his skates in the corners and along the boards. Underrated offensively, but has some consistency issues. Can really pick his shots with time in the slot, quick release. Could find a home as a top-6 or bottom-6 F, likely a safe pick.

    34) Yegor Spiridonov: Spiridonov is a complete, two-way C. Spiridonov embraces the hustle and creates playmaking sequences by getting in his opponents space and using his good stick. Solid, confident in the draws. Has a real nice wrister when he has time and space in the slot.

    35) Matthew Robertson:
    Can skate as well as most of the D slated to go in the first round. I find him to a be a bit rough around the edges on both side of the puck. He looks his best when he's carrying the puck out of the zone but has difficulty transitioning it into quality chances. Has some holes defensively, opponents can get the better of him when they play aggressively against him and he can seem a little lost versus a good cycle. A bit of a project with strong upside.

    36) Brett Leason: Leason was the pre-Xmas Cinderella with talk of a top-15 ranking as an overager. Coming in to 18/19 with much improved skating, Leason scorched the new WHL season. Leason ended the year as the top regular season and playoff scorer for the WHL Champions PA Raiders, and showed a well-developed defensive game. The early season euphoria for Leason has died off, but his skill set and attributes are worth a pick in the first half of the 2nd.

    37) Connor McMichael: McMichael has a scorer's touch around the goal, strong finishing rate when he has the puck in prime spots. Has strong offensive instincts and his speed works great at buying him time to set up plays and to find holes in the defense. His play declined late in the season in the spotlight of London, which could cause him to slip in the draft.

    38) Zac Jones: One of the best passing defensemen in the draft. His breakouts are excellent and on-point. Very smart defensively and excellent decision-making with and without the puck in all zones. Knocks on him are size and that he could use a bit more foot speed, but I'm a big fan.

    39) Vladislav Firstov: I think he could become the 3rd best Russian in the draft (behind Podkolzin and Dorofeyev). Like Dorofeyev, his decision-making when he has the puck and in the offensive zone is excellent. Few giveaways, great vision. Needs work away from the puck. Committed to the U of Connecticut (NCAA) for next year, not sure if he's confirmed going tho.

    40) Harrison Blaisdell: Highly competitive, strong goalscorer and all-around offensive F. Great at creating turnovers and havoc in the offensive zone, and has the shot to make his opponents pay. Plays C and W but I think he'll end up as a W. Finished 2nd in u19 goal scoring in the BCHL (behind Newhook). (Likely) Headed to North Dakota (NCAA) next year.

    41) Nils Hoglander: Hoglander is a slick, shifty winger with a flair for the spectacular. There's also a subtle brillance (lacrosse goal withstanding) to his play at times with his puck control and evasive play, but he's a hard player for me to peg. Probably played the most professional league games for first-year players this season (52).

    42) Simon Holmstrom: Holmstrom has a really solid all-around offensive game. I really like his cycle game and he's excellent at puck possession and patiently waiting for the game to open up. Strong skater too, good edges. Started the season late after having hip surgery last summer, which probably put a damper on his numbers.

    43) Yegor Afanasyev: Big, rangy winger has the size and skills to give teams fit. Plays a very aggressive style, I love his energy. I could see him becoming a 2nd line NHL winger. I question his hockey IQ though and his decision-making with the puck. He reminds me of '18 prospect Bulat Shafigullin, but Shafi looked like he thought the game at a higher level.

    44) Kaedan Korczak:
    Korczak plays the solid, steady game. He rarely sacrifices position to make a play. For his size and role, he has excellent mobility that could help open up his offensive game in the future. Adjusts well when pressure, very poised.

    45) Anttoni Honka:
    Honka entered the season as one of the top prospects but now enters the draft as one of the biggest wildcards. Honka's play in Liiga improved after his stint in the Mestis. His season ended with a run to the Mestis final, where he was the top scoring D on his team and the top u22 scorer of the playoffs. Ultimately, I think Honka has too many high-level attributes in his skating, passing, and elusivity to drop too far.

    46) Robert Mastosimone: Mastosimone can play a very creative game, but sometimes needs to tone it down a bit to be more effective. His puck-handling is very slick and creates openings for him to get off his shot. He doesn't need that big of an opening to score either and can be dangerous all over the offensive zone.

    47) Patrik Puistola: Good defensive awareness, good passing, but known more for his goals. Had a great scoring rate in international play and in the Mestis this year. Strong PK player too.

    48) Daniil Misyul: Big, great skating D. Plays an aggressive style and looks like a player that should be more productive. Generally makes good decisions outletting the puck and in the transition game. Plays immaturely though, a lot of undisciplined penalties that leave you shaking your head. On the positive, he is aggressive in the defensive zone and I assume he'll be more in-control as he gets older.

    49) Ryan Suzuki: Solid center, plays a good two-way game, a very safe pick. I wonder how much upside is there, I don't really see much about his skills that suggest he'll be a step above players at the next level to becoming a scoring line threat. I think he could be a solid depth 2-way C, but not top-2 line potential.

    50) Ethan Keppen: Good goalscorer, strong compete level. Already at 214 lbs, he has solid power forward potential with good speed to accompany it. 30 goals for Flint in his draft year is a strong season, plus (from what I saw) he never seemed to get the benefit of playing with NHL 1st rounder Dellandrea either. Creates and opens up a lot of opportunities.

    51) Nikola Pasic:
    A good all-around offensive player. Pasic is a bit of a buzzsaw, constantly moving with and without the puck, constantly looking for openings. A stand-out player at the 2018 u18 championships, Pasic has gotten a little lost in the prospect shuffle this season. Played 15 games in the SHL with limited success. Moving to the Allsvenskan next season.

    52) Brayden Tracey: Tracey burst onto the scene this year as the WHL rookie of the year, riding shotgun with 2 of the WHL's top scorers. Looks like more of a complimentary scoring F, but he has a tricky and deceptive shot. Although competent without the puck, he mostly looks to be biding his time until he can go on a rush again.

    53) Artemi Knyazev: Knyazev is a very good, attacking skater. He plays a solid, two-way game but he's most noticeable when he's moving the puck offensively and using his skating to create chances. Although not a stalwart defensively, plays solid enough tht it isn't a weakness. A surprising omission from the Russian u18 WC team.

    54) Henry Thrun: Strong passer in the offensive zone, good at moving while looking for openings. Fairly solid defensively, can lay the body with good effect, but still needs work on fundamentals. I like parts of his offensive and defensive game, but overall not completely sold on him.

    55) Nolan Foote:
    Foote's offensive skills are mostly limited to his heavy shot that he can release quickly. Had pretty modest progression for his 3rd season in the WHL, and likely benefitted opportunity-wise with his Dad as coach as he seemed to routinely play ~24 minutes/game. But I also feel like he has similiarly translatable skills that people overlooked in B. Tkachuk last year too; good in the dirty areas, strong for his age, effective physicality.

    56) John Beecher: Beecher's size and speed can cause a lot of problems for defenses. Like Lavoie, his solo rushes can prove a handful for defenders. Playing behind the USNTDP's talented center group has given him a lot of time to work on his defensive game, which could be his bread-and-butter going forward. Looks like a more skilled Jay Beagle.

    57) Semyon Chistyakov: Like Bjornfot, his lack of offensive production is a concern but his skating is just so outstanding. He's also really effective at getting the puck out of the zone defensively and moving it up to the forwards. When he plays a simple game, he never seems to make a risky play or give away the puck, just smooth, confident puck movement. I'm not sure how much room he has to grow offensively, but his tape-to-tape passing and movement with puck control are strong suits.

    58) Mikko Kokkonen:
    Had strong offensive numbers in the Liiga this year, but he seems to have a pretty limited offensive skill set. Played in the top Finnish league all year and was really steady defensively against the much more experienced opponents. But nothing about his play going up the ice really struck me as above average. Maybe I'm underrating his production, but I see him as a Carl Gunnarsson-type.

    59) Jordan Spence:
    The undersized Spence is an excellent puck-mover and creative offensive defenseman. Spence stood out more for me as the season progressed, culminating in his u18 wc performance. Going from the MJAHL rooke of the year to QMJHL rookie of the year in 1 season is pretty impressive and the transition likely accounted for his early defensive struggles.

    60) Lassi Thomson: Excellent skater, looks at his best on the PP. But, as a defenseman, too many holes in his game at even strength. Needs to work on tempering his aggressive offensive instincts, but I'm not sure he has the mind for it. Could have higher upside than I give him credit for, but his defensive deficiences will limit his playing time when he transitions to Pro.

    61) Samuel Fagemo: The 2nd overager in my top 2 rounds. Fagemo had a great statistical D+1 year. Difficult for me to put him too high as I thought he projected more as a 4th/5th rounder last year. Improved skating this year and always looking to get into holes to shoot. I'm not sure he's as good as his numbers would suggest though, and I view him as more of a possible 3rd liner.

    62) Michal Teply:
    Teply has a strong puck possession game, he can be dificult to get off the puck in the gritty areas and patient to find the right pass. He's not a high-level scorer though, likely maxes out as a 3rd line winger. Doesn't play with enough pace, but strong on the cycle.

    63) Marshall Warren
    64) Matvei Guskov
    65) Shane Pinto
    66) Ryan Johnson
    67) Adam Beckman
    68) Ben Brinkman
    69) Kim Nousiainen
    70) Alex Beaucage
    71) Mattias Norlinder
    72) Mikhail Abramov
    73) Valeri Orekhov
    74) Dmitri Sheshin
    75) Roman Bychkov
    76) Simon Lundmark
    77) Marcus Kallionkieli
    78) Nikita Alexandrov
    79) Egor Serdyuk
    80) Marc Del Gaizo
    81) Samuel Bolduc
    82) Simon Mack
    83) Matias Maccelli
    84) Valentin Nussbaumer
    85) Xavier Simoneau
    86) Aleksander Gordin
    87) Vladimir Alistrov
    88) Karl Henriksson
    89) Lukas Rousek
    90) Judd Caulfield
    91) Danil Bashkirov
    92) Leevi Aaltonen
    93) Maxim Cajkovic
    94) Antti Tuomisto
    95) Ryan Siedem
    96) Daniil Ogirchuk
    97) Ivan Rogov
    98) Alexander Daryin
    99) Billy Constantinou
    100) Graeme Clarke

    HM:
    High school guys (Pitlick, Donovan, Farinacci, Struble, LaCombe)
    Ilya Altybarmakyan
    Kristian Tanus
    Daniil Gutik
    Yevgeni Oksentyuk


    Top 5 Goalies:
    ===
    1) Spencer Knight
    2) Pyotr Kochetkov
    3) Hugo Alnefelt
    4) Ilya Konovalov
    5) Mads Sogaard


    Sleepers:
    ===

    #38) Zac Jones (D, Tri-City Storm, USHL): Ranked 70th by CS among CS skaters.

    #40) Harrison Blaisdell (F, Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL): Ranked 80th by CS among NA skaters.

    #50) Ethan Keppen (F, Flint Firebirds, OHL): Ranked 74th by CS among NA skaters.

    #51) Nikola Pasic (F, Linkoping, SHL): Ranked 88th among EU skaters by CS.

    #92) Danil Bashkirov (F; Tolpar Ufa, MHL): Ranked 63rd among EU skaters by CS. Bashkirov checks a lot of boxes for me. Good skating, good speed, good commitment defensively, good consistency in play. Has posted solid numbers in the MHL as a 16-year old and as a 17-year old. Not a gamebreaker but a very solid and overlooked player.

    Ilya Altybarmakyan (F, SKA-Varyagi im. Morozova, MHL): Ranked 65th among EU skaters by CS. Brother of CHI prospect Andrei, Ilya plays a similar style to his older brother. The younger Altybarmakyan has a tendency to try be a 1-man army too often but that can usually be developed out of a player as they age. He is a good shooter that can use his skating to open up opportunities. When he commits to looking to pass, he can also be a good playmaker. Altybarmakyan scored 21 goals in 52 games in the MHL, which was the highest goal total for any player on SKA's 2 MHL teams.

    Filip Lindberg (G, U-Mass (Amherst)): Unranked by CS, double overager. Was U-Mass (Amherst) starting goalie for the NCAA championship tournament, where Amherst finished as the runner-up. Started the season as backup but his strong play earned him the starting role in the 2nd half of the season and through the playoffs. Posted sparkling numbers (1.60 gaa, .934 sp). Also played 1 game at the WJCs, a shut-out over Kazakhstan. In his draft year, only played in the Finnish u18 league.


    Deep Sleepers
    :
    ===

    #82) Simon Mack (D, Brockville, CCHL): Ranked 193rd among NA skaters by CS. Excellent breakouts and heads-up passing. A little slow, needs work on his foot speed but his skating is very strong and elusive. Has a really good head for the game. Maintains a good control of the game and avoids getting himself in bad positions. Mack was named both the CCHL Top Prospect and the CCHL HS Academic of the Year. Headed to Penn State (NCAA) in 20/21 (according to EP).

    #96) Daniil Ogirchuk (F, SKA-Neva St. Petersburg, VHL): Unranked by CS. 2x overager, early September birthday. The Estonian-born Ogirchuk was playing primarily in the NMHL in his draft year. He became a regular MHL player in 17/18, and progressed to the VHL this season. In his first action in the VHL, Ogirchuk led all u20 players in scoring. He also saw his first games in the KHL, playing 3 times for SKA St. Petersburg. Ogirchuk has improved his skating a lot in recent seasons and he looks to be a late bloomer.

    Adam Liska (LW, HC Slovan Bratislava, KHL)
    : Unranked by CS. Overager who played with Kitchener in the OHL last season. Liska was 3rd among u30 scorers in the KHL this season (10 points in 52 games), behind Kravtsov and Vesalainen. His biggest strength is his high work ethic amd active stick and he always competes well against older competitors. Potential likely tops out as a 3rd/4th line W that can PK.

    Adam Rutar (D, HC Olomouc, Czech)
    : Unranked by CS. Early September '01 birthday. Only saw him play at the u18 world championships but he looked like a good all-around D that could play all situations. Excellent decision-making, smart plays with the puck. Played in the Czech u19 league last season.

    Matt Radomsky (G, Steinbach Pistons, MJHL): Unranked by CS. Double overager. 6'2 Radomsky has posted some strong and consistent numbers in the MJHL, and had a standout performance in last year's WJAC. Headed to Holy Cross (NCAA) next season.

    Lynden Breen (F, Central Illinois Flying Aces, USHL): Ranked 183rd among NA skaters. The New Brunswick native provides a lot of energy and is creative in the offensive zone. I expect a big increase in production next season (in the USHL).

    Samuel Bucek (LW, HK Nitra, Slovakia): Unranked by CS, double overager. In his first year as a pro, finished 8th in the Slovakia league in scoring (albeit a weaker european league). Led his team in goals and points in the playoffs in their Finals loss. Has great size and a knack for timely goals. Always stepped up his play in international tournaments. Headed to play in the Liiga next season.

    Daniil Chechelev (G, Russkie Vityazi Chekhov, MHL): Unranked by CS. 6'3 Chechelev has good size, strong athleticism, and good reflexes. He seems very calm in net. He put up modest numbers in the MHL (2.25, .915) while playing for a mid-level team.

    Kirby Proctor (D, Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL): Ranked 197th among NA skaters. Only really watched him closely at the USHL Top Prospects game, but he looked very intriguing. Big, mobile D but has dropped in the rankings this season.

    Mikhail Shalagin (F, Spartak Moscow, KHL/MHL): Unranked by CS, double overager. I've had a hard time making up my mind on Shalagin the last couple years. He has his own play style, playing almost like a soccer midfielder, always focused on maintaining possession (which he is excellent at). He can seem a bit slow and lumbering at times, although less noticeable this year than last. But when you start to list off his attributes: 6'4", great passing/vision, heavy shot, great patience; he has a lot of things to like. If he gets faster, he could be an impact player at any level. Worth a flyer in the 6th/7th.

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