Welcome to the Thursday prospect ramblings, I thought with it being Valentine’s day, certainly not a corporate holiday, but in the spirit of love I will list drafted prospects I love who are not in the NHL! Yay
First in the spirit of people who hate holidays here is an awesome Canadian band that had a show a while ago, follow their YouTube page and support for Canadian content!
Let’s get in to it!
Nick Suzuki (MTL) – Suzuki has not been as great this season statistically, his points per game has fallen to 1.41 from 1.56. Unacceptable! Well it is nothing to freak out about it is just a little disappointing considering he should be a staple in top 10 scoring for the AHL and he currently sits at 22, as he has not really taken off since his move to Guelph. I still expect big things once he makes the NHL.
Erik Brannstrom (VGK) – Brannstrom has really cooled off since coming back from the World Juniors with only four points in 12 games, as he had 20 points in 24 games prior, perhaps the way Sweden lost at the WJC is taking its toll on the young Swede. The positives are that he is still shooting the puck, and that he is awesome. A lot of people expect big things from him in the NHL once he gets his footing.
Kirill Kaprizov (MIN) – Many people expected KK to be in the top 5-10 scorers in the KHL and currently he sits at #13 with his “average” season. Just a small, little note though, he currently leads the KHL in goals with 29. His mediocre start did not tell the whole story and that knocked him down on people’s rankings, but do not let it fool you this kid is the real deal and when he comes over the Wild will finally have that game-breaking style player.
Dmitry Sokolov (MIN) – Sokolov has had a fine start to his AHL career putting up around half a point per game for the Iowa Wild. He has been a victim of the “play the young guy in the bottom six because he is not great defensively” thought coaches can have, especially in the last month. He projects more to be a middle-six goal-scoring winger but I am pulling for him to become an NHL player.
Adam Fox (CAR) – Fox may sit third in NCAA defenseman scoring but his is first in points per game. He is one of the best offensive dman prospects to own but his landing spot is a bit of an unknown. Calgary put him in the trade to Carolina because they were sure he would not sign, and it is unknown if he will sign in Carolina. If he does land in Carolina it is also unknown how they will use him considering they put Faulk on the #1PP over Hamilton.
Jesper Boqvist (NJ) – I am a Devils homer so I have been following Boqvist since he was drafted. This kid has skill but routinely puts himself in dangerous positions. He is tied for 14th in SHL scoring and as long as he stays healthy he can become a player for the Devils.
Vitali Kravtsov (NYR) – Definitely one of my favorite players out there, the Rangers were smart to nab him at #9 in 2018. He routinely makes skilled plays in the KHL and (as shown by his play in the WJC) can easily switch from wing to centre. The young Russian has already stated his desire to come to North America so Rangers fans are soon in for a treat. Follow @aj_ranger on twitter for many Kravtsov highlights.
Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA) – After running over the WHL in 2017-2018 Heponiemi has been a top player in the entire Liiga league. He even has more than five goals in 39 games, in fact he has 13, I say that because he is a pass first player in the same mould as Joe Thornton and Henrik Sedin, just never ever shoots. I so look forward to him becoming a 10-15 goal and 60+ assist player!
Shout out to NYI’s Sebastian Aho who technically doesn’t count but he is great
Ty Smith (NJ) – Let me just tell you this, as a Devils fan I hated how the Devils kept winning last season, I want them to get high picks and trade with bad GMs, and build depth up that way. Thankfully though this season the Devils are back to being bad and should get a high pick as the effects of Lou ruining the prospect depth are still felt today. If the Devils were winning this year like last year I would hate it even more as the Devils lucked out drafting Ty Smith at #17, there will not be a player like Ty Smith at #17 in the 2019 draft. Smith is one of the best defensemen in the WHL and looks to make this his last year in junior.
Jeremy Bracco (TOR) – In his second season for the Marlies, Bracco has really broken out on a stacked Marlies team with 49 points in 49 games. 49 points is good for second on the Marlies. Bracco does only have 85 shots this season though as he looks to pass instead of shoot. Will he be able to jump in to the NHL in 2019-2020 is the question, as the Leafs are so stacked on the wings Bracco may stay in the AHL for two more seasons.
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