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

Pat Quinn




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=””></a></p>&mdash; Pat Quinn (not that one) (@FHPQuinn) <a href=””>January 26, 2020</a></blockquote>{/source}





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 the