Prospect Ramblings: U18 wrap, AHL move to Belleville, prospect news

by Peter Harling on April 25, 2016

Team Finland has won the Gold Medal at the 2016 U18 World Championships with a convincing 6 -1 win over rival Team Sweden. 2016 draft eligible prospect Jesse Puljujarvi led his country to victory with a three goal performance and helped secure his ranking as a top three draft prospect.

The Bronze Medal game between host USA and Canada was an even bigger blowout with USA winning by a whopping 10-3 final. Several Americans had multi point games including 2016 draft eligible Logan Brown who scored two goals and added an assist. Fellow 2016 draft prospects Joey Anderson and Clayton Keller also contributed three points each as well.

The tournament leading scorer was Canadian Captain Tyson Jost with 15 points in seven games and five of the top ten overall scorers were from USA. Three 2017 draft eligible prospects ranked in the top ten in scoring were Kailer Yamamoto, Lias Andersson, and Casey Mittelstadt and the rest will be drafted in 2016

The Tournament MVP is Clayton Keller who may have played his way into a top ten ranking for the 2016 with his strong performance of four goals and 14 points. The Tournament awarded best player positions as follows. Filip Gustavsson of Sweden was top goalie, Adam Fox of USA is top defenceman and Tyson Jost of Canada is top forward. The All-Star line was also named as follows;

Goalie – Ukku-Pekka Luukkonen (FIN)

Defence – Adam Fox (USA)

Defence – David Quenneville (CAN)

Forward – Tyson Jost (CAN)

Forward – Jesse Puljujarvi (FIN)

Forward – Clayton Keller (USA)

The Grand Rapids Griffins have bolstered their roster for a AHL Calder Cup run with breakout prospect Andreas Athanasiou, 2015 first round pick Evgeny Svechnikov and free agent steal Joe Hicketts. The Griffins currently hold a 2-0 series lead over Milwaukee who also bolstered their own roster with Nashville prospects Yakov Trenin and Alexandre Carrier who finished their season in a QMJHL upset loss with Gatineau.

After being named to team USA for the IIHF World Championship roster, Colorado has signed prospect J.T. Compher to his Entry Level Contract.

The SHL playoffs concluded with Frolunda HC winning the Championship. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Andreas Johnson finished his SHL career with a championship scoring 44 points in his final season in 52 games. Johnson struggled in the playoffs posting only four points in 16 games. Despite his disappointing post season he will make his North American debut next season and compete for a position with either the Leafs or the Marlies.

Speaking of Leafs prospects, did you know that Mitch Marner has scored 12 goals, 19 assists for 31 points in 12 playoff games so far for the London Knights. Let me say that again, 31 points in 12 games!

Marner’s linemate on London is 2016 draft eligible prospect Matthew Tkachuk who has been named the OHL player of the week having scored four goals and two assists in two games

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports the Ottawa Senators are looking into moving their AHL affiliate Binghamton Senators to Belleville. See the full article here.

Perhaps next year’s big fantasy hockey free agent to come from Europe to the NHL as Artemi Panarin did this year could be Linus Hulstrom.

Hulstrom is an offensive defenceman who can transition the puck, has speed hands and a good shot. He could be a fantasy dark horse prospect you can steal late in your draft or as a free agent. The 23 year old is 5’11” and 181 pounds, which is small by NHL standards still but his offence is prolific. He scored 12 goals and had 31 points in 52 regular season games which he followed up with three goals and 12 points in eight playoff games with Djurgardens in the SHL. See his highlight reel below