Taking a look at some potential impact NHL rookies, breaking down the Top 10 NHL Draft prospects for 2016 and a look at some OHL alumni who could be making noise in the NHL sooner than later.
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
Long overdue for a prospects ramblings but with no better time as the hockey season approaches, I am back to chime in with some quick thoughts and opinions.
With the London Knights loaded up with some high end 2016 NHL Draft talent in Max Jones, Matthew Tkachuk (son of Keith), Victor Mete and Olli Juolevi [all likely 1st round selections] to play alongside the slippery Mitch Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs), it appears it’ll be a fun year in the Ontario league.
Playing down the road in Sarnia, Nikita Korostelev (Toronto Maple Leafs) will look to prove to the world that he was worthy of a higher selection then the 7th round where he eventually got scooped up. He’ll need to improve his skating, particularly his separation gear and lateral agility, to be a real threat at the next level but his sniping skills are high end. Pavel Zacha, 6th overall to New Jersey, signed his entry-level contract and has professional options for next season but if he returns to Sarnia, him and Korostelev, along with potential Top 3 2016 NHL Draft pick Jakob Chychrun and sleeper 1st rounder Jordan Kyrou are the makings of a fairly strong Sting team. New Jersey prospect Josh Jacob has also switched to the Ontario Hockey League after leaving the NCAA so he’ll improve their blue line.
Staying in the OHL Western Conference, the Windsor Spitfires are doing what they can to remain competitive and after officially signing Arizona Coyotes’ 2nd round selection (2015), Christian Fishcer, the team took a big step forward. He’ll join former teammate Luke Kirwan (2016 NHL Draft eligible) and Logan Brown (potential top 10 2016 pick) as the go-to players for the Spits. Windsor fans are hoping that Clayton Keller, another potential 2016 Top 10 selection, opts out of his Boston University commitment to join the Spits lineup too but that hasn’t happened. Keller is an offensive dynamo in a similar style as Mitch Marner and Patrick Kane so keep an eye on him. I personally have him ranked very high.
Julius Nattinen (Anaheim prospect) will join the Barrie Colts for the 2015-16.
Leafs fans remain anxious about the future of Jeremy Bracco but for the time being, the young skilled playmaker remains adament that he’s keeping his NCAA commitment and won’t be playing for the Kitchener Rangers. It’s important to note that these “commitments” are never 100% and until he dons that jersey, there are always other options for these young talents. Stay tuned.
Sticking with the Maple Leafs, Pension Plan Puppets just released their Top 25 under 25. Have a look as they count down the Blue and White’s finest young players. Jeremy Bracco comes in at 14th, a spot I feel is way too low and he’ll eventually prove them wrong.
With the NHL season just around the corner, I will be releasing my Preliminary 2016 NHL Draft rankings shortly but I did give Yahoo Sports! my Top 10 mid-summer rankings and that can be found here. Give it a read and let me know what you think! There’s no Connor McDavid but other than that, It’s a very promising draft class with some HIGH END offensive talents in all positions at the top of the draft.
ICYMI, top ranked draft prospect for 2016, Auston Matthews is unprecedently taking his game to the Swiss pro leagues this fall opting not t