With the NHL season all wrapped up, the focus is fully on the playoffs. The NHL is a little late to the party as most of the other leagues have already begun their post seasons, weeks ago in some cases.
On Sunday our Senior Associate Editor Hayden penned a great ramblings looking at NHL Prospects in the Playoffs and he goes over all 16 teams in the playoffs and some likely prospects to get some playing time. This is a great read for scouting next years fantasy draft, or if you are doing a playoff pool.
I tend to look a little deeper and focus more of my attention on players outside the NHL for those of you in deeper leagues. So lets dig a little deeper…
Saturday the OHL held its Priority Selection Draft. The Sudbury Wolves held the top overall selection and made center Quinton Byfield the Jack Ferguson Award winner. Byfield is a massive 6-4 203 pound 15-year-old. It is scary to think he may not yet be done growing! I can’t help but think of Eric Lindros comparisons. Byfield is big, strong, skilled and perhaps most importantly a good skater with speed. Here is a great video of his player profile by the OHL
2018 OHL Priority Selection Profile: Quinton Byfield
Byfield is eligible for the 2020 and will be a OHL rookie next year. In the above video, OHL Director of Central Scouting Darrell Woodley states he expects Byfield to step into a top six role in Sudbury next year and make an immediate impact.
If you want to review the entire OHL Draft you can do so here.
A great resource is the OHL Draft Media Guide for a short review and scouting report on all the top players. Here is what they had to say about Byfield
Quinton is the type of player that doesn’t
come around very often. At nearly 6’4” and over 200lbs, he is an
intimidating presence on the ice. He has an exceptionally high skill
level and can do things with a puck that not many players his age
or size can do. He is very creative with the puck on his stick and
isn’t afraid to try and beat any defender. He is very hard to handle
in open ice as he is agile on his skates and uses his edges effectively. Quinton has a cannon for a shot and can shoot in mid-stride.
Byfield is also an early favorite for the first overall in the 202o Draft and will be competing with QMJHL sensation Alexis Lafreniere who is in his rookie season already as a 16-year-old. He is eligible for the 20202 draft because his late birthday of October 11th pushes him back a year. His QMJHL rookie season has been astounding posting an eye-popping 42 goals and 80 points in 60 games. That point total is ninth overall in the QMJHL and one point ahead of the top ranked center for the 2018 NHL draft and former exceptional status recipient Joe Veleno who had 79 points and played in four more games that Lafrenier.
On the ice, the OHL player of the week is Barrie Colts Star Andrei Svechnikov after scoring three goals and four points in three games helping Barrie win the first two games of the series against Kingston. Last week the player of the week was Gabriel Vilardi of the Kingston Frontenacs after his triple overtime home town heroics sending the Fronts to the second round. Vilardi is leading the OHL in playoff scoring with seven goals and 16 points in eight games. He is bound for the Kings roster next year.
Shifting gears to the AHL…The league recently announced the 2017-18 All-Rookie Team. These are the prospects that you should be trying to acquire in your fantasy leagues as they have found immediate success at the pro level making the jump from their respective junior leagues
Goaltender – Ville Husso , San Antonio Rampage (37gp, 15-13-5, 2.32gaa, 926sv%, 4so)
Defense – Filip Hronek, Grand Rapids Griffins (62gp, 9+24=33pts, +21, 4gwg)
Defense – Sami Niku, Manitoba Moose (71gp, 15+37=52pts, +18, 9ppg)
Forward – Mason Appleton, Manitoba Moose (71gp, 21+40=61pts, +13, 7ppg, 6gwg)
Forward – Daniel Sprong, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (59gp, 28+29=57pts, +2,10 PPG, 6 GWG)
Forward – Dylan Strome, Tucson Roadrunners (47gp, 22+28=50pts, +8, 9 PPG, 3 GWG)
The AHL season is still playing out and will end on April 15th. With the NHL season and junior seasons over, look for the teams that are out of the playoffs to be sending some of their prospects to the AHL for the balance of the season. This is always a great opportunity to scout your fantasy prospects. Players from the CHL or coming from Europe get a great opportunity to see what North American Pro hockey is all about. Players coming from the NHL down to the minors should be getting an expanded playing role. You can track all the moves easily right here on Cap Friendly
The College Hockey season has officially ended and congratulations to Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on clinching the league championship. The Frozen Four was held in Minnesota and home town Bulldogs won with a well balanced roster. Regular season leading scorer was a player I have mentioned in ramblings past as he appeared on my fantasy radar after his play for USA at the World Junior. He was passed over in the 2017 NHL Draft, but don’t count on that happening again in 2018. Other notable and drafted prospects on the Bulldogs include Riley Tufte (Dallas Stars), Joey Anderson (New Jersey Devils), Michael Anderson (LA Kings), and Dylan Samberg (Winnipeg Jets).
One player that stood out was Montreal Canadiens prospect Jake Evans who scored six goals and eight points in six playoff games and lead Notre Dame to the final game but fell short. Evans was named to Team Canada for the Spengler cup this year winning Gold and recently signed his EL»C with the Habs. Evans played his senior NCAA season posting 13 goals and 46 points in 40 games.
Here is a review of the NCAA Playoff Bracket
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Have a good day, or don`t. The choice is yours.