Prospect Ramblings: How valuable is a 100-point 20-year-old?

by Hayden Soboleski on April 7, 2019

image courtesy of TipoftheTower

 

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As the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL seasons move through their respective playoffs, NHL organizations are vying over the best undrafted players who have had strong seasons. Every spring there are prospects added to organizational depth charts on multi-year deals, despite being passed over in the draft more than once. Maybe they were too small, maybe they lacked certain skills, or maybe they are indeed just late bloomers. On the flipside, maybe they weren’t good enough to score in junior until they were physically-matured 20-year-olds competing against players as young as 16.

Age and maturity really are the factors here – some of the younger players to hit 100 points recently include Morgan Frost, Nick Suzuki, and Cody Glass, all top prospects because they were able to dominate against older competition.

 

So this week I’m going to dive into the undrafted FA crop from the last few years – the top players that hit 100-points as 20-year-olds, to see how valuable they ended up being.

 

2014-15

20yo 100-point-scorers in CHL: 

Danick Martel (signed ELC with PHI, 2 points in 8 NHL games this season with TBL)

Nikita Jevpalovs (signed ELC with SJS, no current affiliation, 21 points in 62 AHL games this season)

 

2015-16

20yo 100-point-scorers in CHL: 

Dryden Hunt (signed ELC with FLA, 10 points in 31 NHL games this season)

 

2016-17

20yo 100-point-scorers in CHL: 

Tyler Wong (no NHL affiliation, 13 points in 63 AHL games this season)

Tyler Boland (no NHL affiliation, 38 points in 30 university games this season)

Chad Butcher (no NHL affiliation, 1 point in 3 ECHL games this season)

Adam Brooks (signed ELC with TOR, 39 points in 59 AHL games this season)

 

2017-18

20yo 100-point-scorers in CHL:

Aaron Luchuk (signed ELC with OTT, 9 points in 29 AHL games this season)

Jayden Halbgewachs (signed ELC with SJS, 31 points in 60 AHL games this season)

Brayden Burke (signed ELC with ARI, 31 points in 60 AHL games this season)

Patrick Bajkov (signed ELC with FLA, 14 points in 32 ECHL games this season)

Alex Barre-Boulet (signed ELC with TBL, 62 points in 70 AHL games this season)

 

I see a couple things here:

1. The number of high-scoring over-agers has gone up in the last few years. There are lots of potential reasons why – the widespread acceptance of smaller players having worthwhile upside could be encouraging teams to keep them around in junior for that over-age year, or maybe players are taking their weight-training and skill-training more seriously and actually evolving their game at older ages than previous. Whatever the reason, there are more high-scoring older players available than their used to be.

2. Despite their incredible totals in junior, not many turn out to be fantasy-relevant. The only name that has top-six upside is Barre-Boulet in Tampa Bay, but that’s 1 out of 12 (8%). Brooks, Halbgewachs, Burke, and Hunt could be bottom-six players in a year or two, and that could bump up the total to 5 out of 12 (42%) being even moderately fantasy-relevant. So, there is a chance for these players to become draft-worthy, but the chances are slim.

 

So, what names are we going to be on the lookout for this year?

 

2018-19

20yo 100-point-scorers in CHL:

Peter Abbandonato (TBD)

Kevin Hancock (TBD)

Tristan Langan (TBD)

Tye Felhaber (signed ELC with DAL)

Justin Brazeau (signed AHL deal with TOR)

 

Will any of these names turn into fantasy pickups? Only time will tell, but based on the names above its safe to say they wont be lighting the lamp quite as easily as they did in junior.

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FIRST NHL GOALS TIME!

Calle Rosen returned from injury just in time to get a shot in the Leafs lineup, not a bad return:

 

Tanner Hirose had the wheels to keep up with Athanasiou and the hands to finish it off:

 

Zach Senyshyn had an open net but he made no mistake:

 

Victor Olafsson shows the Sabres what he can do on the powerplay:

Over the course of the season, I’ve been using a variety of sources for these first NHL goals videos. But when it comes to smaller-market teams, and even the bigger market teams who’se PR teams are winding down for the year, I owe a big thank you to Youtube Channel “First NHL Goal”. They’ve had every clip I needed when the fancy high-def sources let me down, and because of that I get to share the first goals from players on non-Canadian teams.

 

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Thank you for reading, and enjoy the playoffs! The best hockey of the season is right around the corner.

Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih