Prospects Ramblings: WJC Injury Updates, ELC Signings and Kingston Frontenacs News

Peter Harling

2019-12-31

Congratulations to Canada on a Spengler Cup Championship. That tournament wrapped up today and Canada takes Gold again. Not many fantasy hockey relevant prospects compete in this tournament but 2020 NHL Draft eligible Rodion Amirov who failed to crack the Russian World Junior roster played in three games and had a goal. There were also a few drafted prospects competing including Chicago Blackhawks 2017 second round pick Ian Mitchell, who is playing in the NCAA at University of Denver. Mitchell has 12 points through 18 games as a junior, he represented Canada at the World Junior with three points in five games and now has more international experience playing agains pros at the Spengler Cup. Mitchell will likely make the jump to pro next year.

World Junior injury updates. 

Unfortunately injuries are part of the game and there have been some significant injuries so far. First was Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko, who reminding me of Doug Gilmour in his return to Toronto, went down six seconds into the game with a leg injury. Lauko is in his rookie season in the AHL and has put up eight points in 18 games. The injury is a MCL and he will miss the balance of the tournament at least. 

Another injury for team Czech to Arizona Coyotes prospect is Jan Jenik who all suffered a knee injury and is out for the remainder of the season. This is very disappointing as he was having a monster year in the OHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs posting 56 points in 27 games.

Canada had a horrible game against Russia, hanging their goalie out to dry, losing 6-0 and also lost top 2020 draft eligible prospect Alexis Lafreniere to injury. Canada got some good news as the MRI revealed no serious damage, no fracture or torn ligaments and he has not been ruled out for a return to the tournament.

Finland was dealt a significant blow as they have lost LA Kings prospect and their top center Rasmus Kupari to a knee injury for the rest of the tournament.

Entry Level Contracts

A handful of prospects have recently signed their ELC contracts of note. Kaedan Korczak signed with the Vegas Golden Knights. Drafted in the second round of the 2019 draft, Korczak a 6-2, 192 pound defenseman is having a breakout third season in the WHL with Kelowna scoring six goals and 29 points in 35 games. He has one more year of junior eligibility but is developing nicely.

Aidan Dudas has signed this ELC with the LA Kings. The Kings 2018 fourth round pick has been a point per game player the past two seasons in the OHL with Owen Sound and is well above that pace this year with 30 points through 23 games. Dudas is currently with Canada at the WJC. This is his final year in the OHL and he will go pro next year and see some time in the AHL. He is one of many Kings prospects on the way.

After missing 13 games to injury, Nikita Okhotyuk returned to play two days ago in Kingston to take on the Frontenacs. It was recently announced he has signed his ELC with the New Jersey Devils as well. While Okhotyuk may have his fantasy value limited to the deepest leagues with peripheral stats like hits he is a intriguing prospect to keep an eye on. After posting 17 points through 56 regular season games last year, he had 15 points in 18 playoff games with the 67’s. In ten games this year he has five points so the offensive upside is there, albeit limited to be sure.

Kingston Frontenacs

Speaking of the Fronts, they made some news recently naming 15-year-old Shane Wright as an Alternate Captain. Wright is tied for the team lead in scoring with 30 points through 30 games as a 15-year-old. He shares the scoring lead with his lineman Zayde Wisdom, who is a 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect. While Wisdom has not been ranked very high and failed to make the NHL Central Scouting players to watch list for November, he is outscoring the following players from the OHL: Antonio Stranges, and Will Cuylle. Wisdom is a personal favorite of mine, he has a tremendous compete level, plays a strong forechecking game, is very physical, plays the role of enforcer for Wright and has been steadily improving his offensive skills in his sophomore season. I will be looking to see what kind of draft buzz Wisdom is able to generate in the second half of the season. 

Kingston also announced the their top pick from the CHL Import Draft, second overall selection Martin Chromiak ( NHL Central Scouting C ranked prospect) who is eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft has signed. Chromiak will join Kingston. Chromiak was a surprise omission from Team Slovakia for the WJC and has dominated the Slovak U20 as a 16-year-old and was playing in the Sr. League as a 17-year-old. This is a big add for Kingston and could really help his draft status playing for North American scouts.

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