Prospect Ramblings: Who’s naughty, who’s nice on ice?

Mark Allan

2016-12-24

One of several outstanding blueline prospects for the Anaheim Ducks, Brandon Montour is posting impressive numbers in the AHL.

 

Santa Claus has checked his list twice and was kind enough to share it with Dobber Prospects so we can tell you which top-10 prospects for each NHL team have been naughty or nice.

Anaheim Ducks

Naughty: After seven As in nine AHL games earned him a promotion, star blueline prospect Shea Theodore has regressed in 19 NHL games from the 19 games he played in last season. He’s down two Gs from his 2015-16 pace and his +/- has plunged from plus-7 to minus-9.

Nice: Brandon Montour is living up to his reputation as an offensive blueliner with five Gs and 11 As in 23 games for the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. With 22 PIMs, he’s also involved physically.

Arizona Coyotes

Naughty: The good news is that Lawson Crouse has played in 30 NHL games. The bad news is that he’s been on the fourth line with just two Gs and one A with a disappointing minus-11 rating.

Nice: Although he hurt a knee, Clayton Keller has 15 points in 10 Boston U games.

Boston Bruins

Naughty: His two NHL appearances so far have been disastrous and G Malcolm Subban is carrying sub-par 3.27 and .894 stats in the AHL.

Nice: Czech defender Jakub Zboril has 18 points and is plus-12 in 20 games for the QMJHL’s St. John Sea Dogs.

Buffalo Sabres

Naughty: Pressed into service by the injury-depleted Sabres, LW William Carrier has just two points in 22 games as an NHL rookie.

Nice: After only four points in 15 games with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, D Brendan Guhle racked up six Gs and two As in nine games for the Prince George Cougars. Due to a spate of injuries to Buffalo defenders, he even got into three NHL contests and was plus-1.

Calgary Flames

Naughty: Calgary’s future starting goalie, Jon Gillies has nonetheless regressed from last season with Stockton of the AHL. He’s been inconsistent with the Heat, undoubtedly a fallout from missing most of last season after hip surgery.

Nice: LW Matthew Tkachuk has fit right into the Calgary lineup as an NHL rookie with seven Gs, 12 As, plus-6 and 62 PIMs.

 

Playing like his dad Keith did, Matthew Tkachuk is often in Beast Mode:

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Carolina Hurricanes

Naughty: G Alex Nedelijkovic is struggling in his rookie pro season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. Carolina’s top goaltending prospect has unsightly stats of 3.44 and .876.

Nice: A 2015 second-rounder, Sebastian Aho is holding his own as a rookie with the rebuilding Hurricanes, posting 17 points in 33 games and a respectable minus-1.

Chicago Blackhawks

Naughty: D Ville Pokka is well behind the AHL pace he established last season. Back with the Rockford Icehogs, the Finn has 11 points in 28 games and is minus-6.

Nice: While his NHL rookie stats are a modest four Gs and three As in 29 games, Tyler Motte is plus-4 and has been getting invaluable experience playing a top-six role, mostly alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

Colorado Avalanche

Naughty: D Chris Bigras has just one G in six games and is minus-4 in his second season with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.

Nice: In his rookie NCAA season, forward Tyson Jost has seven Gs and 11 As in 17 games as well as being plus-11.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Naughty: In 10 AHL games, G Joonas Korpisalo is significantly behind the stats he posted last season with the Lake Erie Monsters. 

Nice: Playing like a veteran in his rookie NHL campaign, defender Zach Werenski has six Gs and 15 As in 32 games as well as being plus-7.

 

Columbus blueliner Zach Werenski is opening eyes with his sparkling NHL play:

 

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Dallas Stars

Naughty: LW Riley Tufte is pointless in 14 games as an NCAA rookie for the U of Minnesota-Duluth.

Nice: One of the best forwards for the Texas Stars this season, center Jason Dickinson has rebounded well from off-season surgery to post 23 points in 19 AHL games.

Detroit Red Wings

Naughty: Struggling to regain his form after missing nearly a month due to a knee injury, Andreas Athanasiou has only seven points in 20 games, mostly centering Detroit’s fourth line.

 

Andreas Athanasiou has struggled this season, but he keeps battling.

 

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Nice: After 10 points in 10 AHL games, towering winger Anthony Mantha has 11 points in 19 games with Detroit as well as being plus-6. He seems to be finally in the NHL to stay.

Edmonton Oilers

Naughty: Maybe it’s not fair to compare him to Finnish countryman Patrik Laine, but Jesse Puljujarvi was drafted fourth overall this year. He did stick with Edmonton but has just eight points in 24 games, although he is plus-5.

Nice: D Ethan Bear, who had 65 points in 69 WHL games last season, is on a similar pace with the Seattle Thunderbirds at 10 Gs and 18 As in 31 games.

Florida Panthers

Naughty: After D Thomas Schemitsch had just two As in 16 AHL games, he was demoted to the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs, for whom he has one A in his first two games.

Nice: A decent player last season with 18 points in 45 games with Tampa Bay, Jonathan Marchessault blossomed with the other Florida team, posting 20 points in 28 games, largely as a result of replacing injured LW Jonathan Huberdeau on the top line with Alexsander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr.

Los Angeles Kings

Naughty: Adrian Kempe has nine points in 23 AHL games, behind his pace from last season with the Ontario Reign in which he had 28 points in 55 games. Considering he’s the top prospect for the Kings, who view him as a top-six NHL forward, these are modest stats.

Nice: Kale Clague is living up to his reputation as an offensive D-Man, piling up 19 points in 23 games with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. He’s ahead of his pace in Gs and As from last season with Brandon.

Minnesota Wild

Naughty: Lofty 6-5 C Tyler Graovac cleared waivers earlier this season after head coach Bruce Boudreau was apparently underwhelmed with his intensity level and just three Gs in 25 games. Graovac had three Gs and one A in his first four AHL games, indicating he might not want to remain in Iowa.

Nice: After going pointless in nine NHL games, D Mike Reilly has 12 points in 18 games with the Iowa Wild. At plus-3, he’s seriously cleaned up his defensive play since being an ugly minus-27 with Iowa last season.

Check back next Saturday for the other 15 NHL teams.

 

Mark Allan

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