Prospect Ramblings – The Future for Some 2016 Draftees Not Yet Established in the NHL

Pat Quinn

2020-01-29

 

 

Welcome to the Thursday prospect ramblings, this week I want to take a look back at the 2016 draft, highlight some players that are not yet NHL established, have been slightly cast-off, and try to predict their future outcomes. It should be a blast (from the past!) so buckle up.

 

But first, my #GoodTweet of the week in a week I did not tweet much.

{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Why is MAF here? Need the King<br>DD and Keith also super overrated. No idea how Karlsson isn't there. <a href=”https://t.co/BO2Y6bOlNW”>https://t.co/BO2Y6bOlNW</a></p>&mdash; Pat Quinn (not that one) (@FHPQuinn) <a href=”https://twitter.com/FHPQuinn/status/1221223910072406016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 26, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js{/source}

 

 

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I do not really want to highlight Jesse Puljujarvi as he should still become a top six winger

 

Olli Juolevi (VAN) – 5th overall

As much fun as it is to poke at Canucks (and to another extent Oilers fans) about passing on Matthew Tkachuk there is no doubt that year over year since being drafted Juolevi has looked better and better. The injury last year really ruined his momentum but he has since picked it up for the Utica Comets. Injuries need to leave him alone, as he missed a month from November to December with another injury, and let him develop.

NHL future:

  • Slick top four two-way dman and 2PP quarterback
  • May see NHL time at the end of the 2020 season but should be full time in 2020-2021

 

Logan Stanley (WPG) – 18th overall

In my mind Stanley was not a first (or even second) round pick, and in his second year in the AHL he is not doing much to quell that opinion of mine. His physical play and shot were always the plus with him and size is what NHL GMs love over skill. The biggest problems for Stanley still persist, his foot speed and decision making are poor. I will give him props that he is improving on those issues though.

NHL future:

  • Bottom pairing dman that is played too high in the line up despite his turnovers because he hits people
  • May see NHL time late in the 2020-2021 season

 

Kieffer Bellows (NYI) – 19th overall

He looked to be a future goal scorer built like a truck after being drafted, but then he entered the AHL in 2018-2019 and looked awful. This season he has 22 points in 43 AHL games, which does not look great, until you realized that co-leads the Sound Tigers in points. Bridgeport is a bad squad. Bellows was named the top AHL player for December scoring 10 goals in 11 games rocketing him up the leaderboard.

NHL future:

  • I still believe he can become a multi-cat top six winger
  • With Lamoriello’s constant need to sign grinders to long term deals it may take a while for Bellows to even make the NHL, I would guess mid to late 2021-2022

 

Riley Tufte (DAL) – 25th overall

Unfortunately ever since being drafted Tufte has looked awful. Drafted out of the USHL, his first year in the NCAA saw him get 16 points in 37 games, his second season saw him progress to 29 points in 42 games, and then in his third season he regressed to 19 points in 42 games and just looked off. His first AHL season has him at nine points in 37 games and really does not look great. Perhaps there is still something there but it really does not look like that will happen.

NHL future:

  • Bottom line winger
  • Will need to progress soon or he will be at best a middle six AHL winger. My best estimate is 2022-2023 when he is ~25

 

Lucas Johansen (WSH) – 28th overall

This one hurts as I have watched him ever since the Capitals drafted him. His problems can be summed up as: Injuries and getting leap frogged. His final WHL season after being drafted saw him stay stagnant in the WHL as he was passed in play by Cal Foote. His first season in Hershey Johansen looked great, it was just the Bears were a bad team. In 2018-2019 every Bear got hurt, including Johansen and he came back in time to be eliminated in the playoffs. He has not looked confident, and makes poor decisions much more, ever since those 2018-2019 injuries. For 2019-2020 he was joined by stand out prospects Alexeyev and Fehervary and pushed back in the line up. Then he was hurt to end October and came back late December to play farther down the line up. He needs a new team.

NHL future:

  • Mid-pair two-way defenseman if injuries stop
  • Will likely be in the NHL on a new team for late 2021-2022

 

Jake Bean (CAR) – 13th overall

Bean looks great this season and I have no idea why he is not running the Canes powerplay with Hamilton as he is superior on offense to both Slavin and Gardiner. I have no idea why he is not on the roster right now but the Carolina coaches or management must have something they do not like, or really want him to percolate.

NHL future:

  • Mid-pair offensive defenseman
  • End of 2019-2020 or to start 2020-2021, unknown if it is on the Hurricanes

 

Adam Mascherin (FLA) – 38th overall

Now on Dallas after being drafted 100th overall in 2018, Mascherin’s skating is still holding him back. His first year in the AHL saw Mascherin break out quite well in the AHL with 44 points in 75 games, but this year it all went back-asswards as he has just 11 points in just 30 games. The Texas Stars are struggling but Mascherin really should be producing if he wants to leap to the NHL. Can we also talk about how the Panthers selected him 38th and this total nobody Alex DeBrincat went immediately after at #39.

NHL future:

  • Scoring winger
  • Likely will never see the NHL as he only has “fourth round” credit to his name in the Dallas Stars system. Best hope would be 2021-2022

 

Vitali Abramov (CBJ) – 65th overall

Shipped to Ottawa in the Duchene deal (wow does he look not great anymore) Abramov is breaking out in the AHL. The Senators are keeping many of the teams’ prospects in the AHL and only calling up random players. Abramov looked good in his two-game stint but has looked even better in the AHL. In Belleville he has 28 points in 33 games and is a top player However since the calendar turned to 2020 Abramov only has one goal in nine games, hopefully it is a slump because I want to see him succeed.

NHL future:

  • Middle six winger, but top PP specialist
  • I am hopeful for the start of 2020-2021 but the team may be too deep up front with skilled prospects that it may take an extra half season

 

 

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Thanks for reading, follow my twitter or else: @FHPQuinn

 

 

 

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