Rambling about Top 3 Draft Eligibles, the hat-trick frenzy in the WHL, the CHL Top Prospects game…
Let's start with the two 2016 Draft eligible Finnish prospects, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, who have slowed from their almost two point per game scoring pace at the WJC, but they're still scoring at a point per game, remember these kids are 17 year-olds playing against other grown men.
Laine returned to his club, Tappara and has four goals, three assists in six games since returning from the WJC, including a hat-trick Saturday against Ilves.
Puljujarvi was welcomed back to his Karpat club hoping he could continue scoring. Puljujarvi has recorded two goals, three assists in six games played and has one helper in two Champions League Playoff games.
The kid who has stepped up his game even further from the WJC, Auston Matthews, yes he is playing even better than he did in that tournament. Since returning to the Zurich Lions, Matthews has seven goals, four assists in seven games played.*
Alright, back to this side of the pond, a ton of prospects have been lighting it up in the CHL, where should we start? Let's go east to west, first up QMJHL.
Timo Meier (SJS) was the biggest acquisition at the QMJHL trade deadline. Meier joined Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on January 6th, and now has seven goals, five assists in seven games played, including a hat-trick and a five point night against Halifax on the 21st of January.
Vitalii Abramov (2016 draft eligible) has had a great January, 11 games played, 10 goals and 12 assists to move into second place in scoring in the QMJHL with 30 goals and 43 assists for 73 total points, which is still 30 points behind Conor Garland (ARI). Yes you read that right, Garland has a 30 point lead in the QMJHL scoring race, if you can even call it a race anymore.
Onto the OHL, Dylan Sadowy (SJS) recorded a hat trick Friday and another three goals and an assist Saturday and Sunday night. Kevin Labanc (SJS) of the Barrie Colts also scored two goals and added five assists in those three games to take the OHL scoring lead with 84 points.
Christian Dvorak (ARI) is only a point back from Labanc at 83 points. In nine games since returning from the WJC, Dvorak has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points.
Kitchener Ranger's captain Ryan MacInnis (ARI), Al MacInnis' son, extended his point streak this past weekend to 21 games, recording an assist Friday, a goal on Saturday and two assists Sunday. During this streak he has 12 goals, 22 assists for 34 total points, dating all the way back to November 11th.
Time to head further west, the WHL, Prince George’s Colby McAuley (undrafted) buried a pair of goals and added two assists Friday night to lead the Cougars to victory over