Connor McMichael of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Welcome to the Thursday prospect ramblings that today are on Saturday. Today I will go over some prospect surprises in their respective leagues. A quick little highlight of a bunch of players.
Arthur Kaliyev (LA) is leading the OHL in points currently with 33 points, 18 of them being goals, in 17 games as there was zero reason he should have went after pick 20 in the 2019 draft. Seriously no idea how GMs can let players like this slide.
Connor McMichael (WSH) is second in the OHL in scoring with 32 points in 13 games, with even splits on goals and assists with 16. I doubt anyone saw this coming this fast this season. We all know the London Knights know what they are doing but did they even see this potential this fast? The Capitals may have left some decent scoring wingers available but McMichael at 25 seems like a fantastic selection for the team with the emptiest of forward cupbaords around.
Nolan Foote (WHL) is a surprise for me as I thought the Lightning selected him far too high at 27 in the 2019 draft, well I mean they did pass on Kaliyev too. Right now, for the Kelowna Rockets, Foote is playing exceptionally well and is even leading the Rockets in scoring. Perhaps I was completely wrong to have him so low on my list.
Alexander Khovanov (MIN) is progressing very well in his third season for the Moncton Wildcats as he has increased his points per game from 0.97 to 1.16 to 2.15 in his current (third) season. He is leading the Wildcats in scoring but has Jakob Pelletier (CGY) right on his heels. The Wild need scoring from young players and if Khovanov can make the big club at the same time as future superstar Kaprizov, his stats could pop immediately.
A massive headache is making me have to wrap this up early, but one thing I want to note is how underwhelming the rookie class has played this season in the NHL. It is not to knock them at all, heck Makar does not even look like a rookie out there right now, but the forwards all seem to either have a lot of bad luck or restricted ice time. I’ll note a few from viewings I have had, no advanced numbers here just viewing:
Jack Hughes has had a combination of bad luck and low confidence. He is pressing way too much, especially on the powerplay, and the coaching staff is not helping him at all but throwing him out there on line one. Give him a sheltered role for a couple of games with some 2PP duty and let Hischer help on 1PP. Side note: The PP set ups in New Jersey are awful
Kakko needs someone to play with. It is as simple as that. IF the Rangers keep Chytil up he should be Kakko’s centre all season, and all they need to do is give the two a winger that is not a 4th line grinder.
Quinn Hughes looks very good but he is now hurt, so that is a bummer.
Martin Necas is looking more and more confident each game, and that should scare other teams as it would give the Hurricanes three solid scoring lines and two good powerplays.
Taro Hirose has looked ultra-skilled in Detroit but he routinely has no one to play with at EV and was taken off the 1PP the other game. Blashill is a great coach for rookies … zero sarcasm at all.
Joel Farabee routinely looks like a threat for the Flyers, while Kevin Hayes routinely looks like he does not deserve $7M+ a season
That is all. Hope you enjoyed this brief rambling. I will be back to my regularly scheduled Thursday. Follow my twitter: @FHPQuinn