Ramblings: Kakko, Byram, Turcotte, & Shane Wright Granted Exceptional Status (March 8)

Cam Robinson



Some quick hits to quench your prospect thirst.


Bowen Byram is on an absolute bender of late. The 17-year-old defenseman has 13 points in his last six contests and is climbing into the top five on many major scouting lists for the upcoming draft.


With 25 goals on the season, Byram has set a new Vancouver Giants club record. His 68 points in 63 WHL games leads all U19 CHL defenders. You read that right. The 17-year-old leads all 16/17/18-year-old backs from across all three CHL leagues.


That’s not bad.


The cherry on top has been his proclivity for the clutch. His FIVE overtime winning goals have tied a WHL record.  Byram trails only Ian White and Ty Smith for U18 WHL scoring by defenders the last 25 years.


With six games remaining on the schedule, he has a chance to make further history.



Kaapo Kakko is making a serious push for the pole position at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. The recently turned 18-year-old has been shooting the lights out of late. He has eight goals in his last nine games, and 13 in his past 16.


He’s the second-youngest player to ever score 20 goals in the Liiga, and he trails Sasha Barkov by a single tally for the most ever by a U18 skater. He’s already a more dominate finisher than Patrik Laine, Mikko Rantanen, and Sebastion Aho at the same age.


Not bad company to keep.


Of note, Kakko has been playing the wing exclusively the last two months after dabbling down the middle to close 2018.





Alex Turcotte may have had the early months of his season stolen by injury, but he’s healthy now and playing spectacularly.


The 18-year-old has been on a tear with the U18 Program. His recent play against USHL opponents hasn’t even been fair. His 23 points in 11 contests lead the league in points-per-game (2.09), and he recently spun a string of 15 points in five contests – including a one goal, five assist outing.


He’s done this despite playing away from top prospect, Jack Hughes at even-strength.


Turcotte is a going to be a fantasy stalwart down the line. Already a deft two-way player, his transition to the NHL should be slightly easier compared to other prospects. The Illinois-native is off to the University of Wisconsin in the fall and is a prime contender for the one-and-done treatment.



Shane Wright has been granted Exceptional Status to the OHL. The 15-year-old has been a dominant player at the GTHL level – scoring 150 points in 72 games for the Don Mills Flyers. Wright is the fifth player to be granted early entry to the OHL following in the footsteps of John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, and Sean Day.


The supremely skilled centre is a lock to go first overall in the upcoming OHL draft – likely to Kingston or Flint, the two clear bottom-feeders this season.




Now we await word to see if the WHL will allow Matthew Savoie to be its first exceptional status recipient.  



Follow me on Twitter @Hockey_Robinson




Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Antti Tuomisto 4.5 6.0
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0
Miko Matikka 6.5 6.5
Nathan Smith 6.2 6.0
Jan Jenik 7.2 6.5
Ilya Fedotov 6.0 3.0
Noel Nordh 6.5 7.0
Daniil But 8.5 7.5
Julian Lutz 7.0 7.5
Dylan Guenther 8.5 8.5