World Junior PNHLe Breakdown – Group A

by masonblack on December 22, 2018

 

The World Juniors is the premier hockey prospect tournament and gives fans an opportunity to see their country, and favorite NHL team’s top prospects perform in a playoff intensity induced environment smack dab in the middle of the hockey season.

 

As the World Junior Championship fast approaches, I thought I would compile a consolidated list of all of the teams’ most notable players ranked by their PNHLe statistics for the 2018-19 season. In the first part of this two-part series, I’d like to take a look at the countries in Group A, and although most of the team rosters have been pared down, at the time of writing this article only Canada has tentatively released their tournament line-up.

 

PNHLe is a stat that uses historical values from current NHL players to determine an estimate of a prospect’s eventual point potential in the NHL. There are many variables that aren’t taken into consideration in the current model (i.e., time-on-ice, player usage, primary points, line-mates, etc.), so before you lambaste me with why your favorite prospect should have a higher value, please understand that PNHLe is mainly used from a fantasy perspective to identify trends and infer player point potential over the course of several years – not the small sample of the start of the 2018-19 season.

 

It is a completely objective statistic where the top players usually trend upwards over an entire season, while others tend to fall off during grueling seasons and as competition gets more difficult. That being said, players generally see a decline as rookies while they adjust to more difficult leagues. Therefore, players that make the jump from the CHL to the AHL, or the Swedish SuperElit to the SHL, generally have a drop in value and production based on situational usage, and overall time-on-ice.

 

If you’d like to read more about the PNHLe stat you can do so here. If you notice a prospect that has not been listed, it may be because PNHLe is currently only calculated for eleven different developmental leagues (AHL, WHL, OHL, QMJHL, KHL, SHL, Liiga, NCAA, USHL, Allsvenskan and NHL). Now, let’s take a look at some of the prospects to keep an eye on during this year’s tournament.

 

Canada

 

A perennial favorite and powerhouse, Team Canada will look to repeat as gold medal champions. They’ve got a ton of firepower from the front and back-end and will look to utilize their skill and establish a fast-paced tempo not dissimilar to the “New NHL”. Canada is always fun to watch because there are usually a couple of players each year that take huge steps forward in their development and become household names. Who will this year’s breakout be? If I was to pick, I’d invest in Ian Mitchell. He’s only owned in 6% of Fantrax leagues and had a PNHLe of 55 last year.

 

Pos

No

Player

Team

NHL Rights

PNHLe

F

22

Alexis Lafreniere

Canada Rimouski Oceanic

 

99

F

9

Joe Veleno

Canada Drummondville Voltigeurs

Detroit Red Wings

77

F

 

Brett Leason

Canada Prince Albert Raiders

 

70

F

8

Cody Glass

United States Portland Winterhawks

Vegas Golden Knights

69

F

27

Barrett Hayton

Canada Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Arizona Coyotes

68

F

26

Morgan Frost

Canada Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Philadelphia Flyers

63

F

14

Max Comtois*

Canada Anaheim Ducks – Drummondville Voltigeurs

Anaheim Ducks

61

F

11

Jaret Anderson-Dolan**

United States Los Angeles Kings – Spokane Chiefs

Los Angeles Kings

58

F

17

Nick Suzuki

Canada Owen Sound Attack

Montreal Canadiens

57

F

21

Owen Tippett

Canada Mississauga Steelheads

Florida Panthers

46

F

23

Jack Studnicka

Canada Oshawa Generals

Boston Bruins

36

F

16

MacKenzie Entwistle

Canada Hamilton Bulldogs

Chicago Blackhawks

34

F

15

Shane Bowers

United States Boston University

Colorado Avalanche

28

D

24

Ty Smith

United States Spokane Chiefs

New Jersey Devils

76

D

2

Evan Bouchard

Canada London Knights

Edmonton Oilers

72

D

3

Josh Brook

Canada Moose Jaw Warriors

Montreal Canadiens

63

D

5

Ian Mitchell

United States University of Denver

Chicago Blackhawks

52

D

4

Jared McIsaac

Canada Halifax Mooseheads

Detroit Red Wings

52

D

6

Noah Dobson

Canada Acadie-Bathurst Titan

New York Islanders

31

D

18

Markus Phillips

Canada Owen Sound Attack

Los Angeles Kings

16

 

* Max Comtois’ PNHLe is combined between Anaheim and Drummondville

** Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s PNHLe is from last year with the Spokane Chiefs because he hasn’t met minimum number of games this year with either Spokane or the LA Kings.

 

The loss of Alex Formenton and Gabe Vilardi due to injury opened the door for 17-year-old Alexis Lafreniere to make the squad, and he will be thrust into the limelight in his home country. Despite his age, he certainly doesn’t play a timid game and is expected to be the front-runner for the first-overall pick in 2020. Lafreniere leads all prospects in PNHLe and was the only player to surpass Elias Pettersson in 2017-18. He’s the real deal!

 

 

 

Czech Republic

 

The strength of the Czechs will come from their top line, which may be the most fearsome threesome in the entire tournament. Filip ZadinaMartin NecasMartin Kaut will look to establish dominance in the offensive zone while the rest of the team will try to eliminate chances in their own end. If Jakub Lauko can provide secondary scoring, the Czech team could find their way into the medal round. They invited the most North American developed prospects this year compared to any other dating back to 2005 – the last time they won a medal.

 

Pos.

No.

Player

Team

NHL Rights

PNHLe

F

88

Martin Nečas

United States Carolina Hurricanes – Charlotte Checkers

Carolina Hurricanes

58

F

18

Filip Zadina

United States Grand Rapids Griffins

Detroit Red Wings

52

F

 

Jachym Kondelik

United States University of Connecticut

Nashville Predators

45

F

 

Jakub Lauko

Canada Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

Boston Bruins

43

F

16

Martin Kaut

United States Colorado Eagles

Colorado Avalanche

37

F

27

Ostap Safin*

Canada Halifax Mooseheads

Edmonton Oilers

30

F

 

Krystof Hrabik

United States Tri City Americans

 

30

D

 

Jakub Galvas

Czech Republic HC Olomouc

Chicago Blackhawks

N/A

D

 

Radim Salda

Canada Rimouski Océanic

Tampa Bay Lightning

36

D

 

Filip Král

United States Spokane Chiefs

Toronto Maple Leafs

23

D

 

Daniel Bukač

Canada Niagara IceDogs

Boston Bruins

12

 

* It looks like Ostap Safin will not be able to participate due to injury.

 

Despite a slow start in terms of adjustment in the AHL, Martin Necas has settled in and is rocketing up the rookie scoring leader-board. His current PNHLe of 58 is only the floor in terms of offensive production and he’ll be a full-time NHLer next season. The duo of Necas and Svechnikov could one day be a part of one of the most dynamic lines in the NHL.

 

 

 

Denmark

 

The Danes will look to provide some upsets over the course of the tournament and try to avoid relegation, but there is not much worry of them advancing to the playoff stages. They will rely heavily on their top goalie, Mads Søgaard, who is having a great season in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers.

 

Pos.

No.

Player

Team

NHL Rights

PNHLe

F

27

Phillip Schultz

Canada Victoria Royals

 

17

F

16

Jonas Røndbjerg

Sweden Växjö Lakers

Vegas Golden Knights

7

F

17

Lucas Andersen

Sweden Karlskrona HK

 

2

D

7

Jeppe Urup Mogensen

United States Sioux Falls Stampede

 

9

D

3

Malte Setkov

Sweden Malmö Redhawks

Detroit Red Wings

4

D

8

Daniel Andersen

Sweden Linköpings HC

 

4

 

Jonas Rondbjerg, the Vegas third round pick in 2017, was expected to take a step forward in the SHL this season but has only been able to post a single goal and an assist so far this season. He could use this tournament to build confidence while playing against players his own age.

 

 

 

Russia

 

The Russians look to make their way back to the podium again this year after being held off in 2018. Many of their NHL-drafted prospects have had a taste of games in the KHL this season, but it not enough to establish a proper PNHLe value. Make no mistake, this team is loaded with talent throughout their roster and will be a formidable opponent when the games have more meaning. A surprise cut was Dmitri Zavgorodniy, but he does have one more year of eligibility and will look to be a spark-plug for the ‘Great Bear’ next year.

 

Pos.

No.

Player

Team

NHL Rights

PNHLe

F

 

Vitali Kravtsov

Russia Traktor Chelyabinsk

New York Rangers

56

F

 

Ivan Chekhovich

Canada Baie-Comeau Drakkar

San Jose Sharks

52

F

 

Alexander Khovanov

Canada Moncton Wildcats

Minnesota Wild

51

F

 

Klim Kostin

United States San Antonio Rampage

St. Louis Blues

29

F

 

Grigori Denisenko

Russia Lokomotiv Yaroslavl

Florida Panthers

24

F

 

Pavel Shen

Russia Salavat Yulaev Ufa

Boston Bruins

4

F

 

Artyom Galimov

Russia JHC Bars

 

N/A

F

 

Kirill Marchenko

Russia SKA Saint Petersburg

Columbus Blue Jackets

N/A

F

 

Ivan Morozov

Russia SKA Saint Petersburg

Vegas Golden Knights

N/A

F

 

Vasili Podkolzin

Russia SKA-1946

 

N/A

F

 

Kirill Slepets

Russia Lokomotiv Yaroslavl

 

N/A

D

 

Alexander Alexeyev

Canada Red Deer Rebels

Washington Capitals

54

D

 

Dmitri Samorukov

Canada Guelph Storm

Edmonton Oilers

27

 

The New York Rangers first pick in the 2018 draft will be looked at to provide the offensive engine for Team Russia and could establish himself as one of the top players at this year’s tournament. Vitali Kravtsov has had a strong campaign in the KHL to start the 2018-19 season and hopes to carry that into the World Junior Championship. He’s a flashy scorer that utilizes time and space to create dangerous scoring chances and could be a mainstay on the Rangers’ top line for years to come.

 

 

 

Switzerland

 

The Suisse are usually good for a couple of upsets every year and play a defensively sound system to limit scoring opportunities. They gave the Canadians a scare for the better part of an exhibition game and will need to capitalize on the scoring opportunities they generate in order to get out of the group stage.

 

Pos.

No.

Player

Team

NHL Rights

PNHLe

F

 

Philipp Kurashev

Canada Quebec Remparts

Chicago Blackhawks

50

F

 

Nando Eggenberger

Canada Oshawa Generals

 

32

F

 

Kyen Sopa

Canada Niagara IceDogs

 

28

F

 

Valentin Nussbaumer

Canada Shawinigan Cataractes

 

25

D

 

Nico Gross

Canada Oshawa Generals

New York Rangers

22

D

 

Tobias Geisser

United States Hershey Bears

Washington Capitals

6

D

 

Tim Berni

Switzerland ZSC Lions

Columbus Blue Jackets

N/A

 

Philipp Kurashev has been a consistent performer through his first three years in the QMJHL. The fourth round pick in last year’s draft by the Blackhawks is equally adept at setting up opportunities as he is at finding the back of the net himself. It will be a large task to propel his team to the elimination round of the tournament, but he’ll look to lead a decent supporting cast in hopes of creating a few upsets in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

 

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading!

 

You can follow me on Twitter @NHLRankKing where I post different types of fantasy related content.

 

If you are interested in seeing other player profiles, a prospect’s progression and how their PNHLe stacks up against other prospects, every profile is available in a completely free iOS app that I’ve created specifically based around fantasy hockey.  If you have an iPhone or iPad you can download it here.  All player profile images above are taken directly from the app, which is a small sample of the overall content.

 

This article will be a monthly feature here at DobberProspects, so please let me know if there are specific players you’d like to see profiled.

 

 

Photo Credit to: © Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images