Prospect Ramblings: What to Expect from Graduating Prospects

Brayden Olafson

2020-03-27

 

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has brought an end to the 2019-20 hockey season across the globe, as we know it. With the abrupt conclusion of nearly every league, several NHL affiliated prospects around the world will have played the final game their respective amateur, collegiate or European squad.

 

This week’s announcement by the CHL that the 2020 Memorial Cup in Kelowna will not go forward for the first time in its 100+ year history means that 19 and 20-year-old players from across Canada will have played their final game of Major Junior. In addition, the NCAA has been clear for over a week now that the Frozen Four tournament will not take place. More than a handful of collegiate freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors have already moved forward with signing professional contracts that will prevent them from returning to play in the NCAA. Finally, with the better late than never cancellation of the Gagarin Cup playoffs in the KHL, all European leagues have been frozen as well, and players from various leagues have begun to express interest in coming to North America for the fall. 

 

NCAA signings seem to get a fair amount of press because there is a definitive event that signals a player will be taking a shot at becoming a pro. European players transitions also seem to be covered quite well because they’re typically event-related in the sense that they occur when the player signs an ELC (In some cases, European players with a professional contract in North America will be loaned back to their European club) – you’ll likely see quite a bit of press dedicated to the Jesse Ylonen contract. Contrastly, for CHL players, the transition from major junior to the professional circuit just sort of happens… and it happens in droves. Thus, the coverage on a player-by-player basis isn’t always as available, and it’s why today, that is our focus.

 

With each unique change, growing pains are inevitable. Every year, however, some players seem to adjust better and quicker than others. It’s not always indicative of how each player