• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
This site has been looking ahead to the 2018 draft for more than a year, and now here we are in 2018. It's hard to believe that in just under six months from now, the hundreds of prospects chronicled in these daily top-performances reports will descend on Dallas to pursue NHL dreams. Not all will be drafted, but so many will.
The 2018 calendar year started off with a handful of major-junior games, and only three players qualify for the Monday list. That number should rise on Tuesday, thanks to the World Junior Championship quarterfinals. Speaking of that, here are some predictions: Finland over Czech Republic (close game, no matter what); Canada crushes Switzerland; Sweden breezes past Slovakia; and USA edges Russia. The way things go at the WJC, all of these predictions could easily be wrong.
With so much excitement ahead at the World Juniors, let's dial it back to Monday and view the top performances below:
COLE FONSTAD -- Fonstad, a 5-foot-10 center, is having a great draft year for the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders. He ranks second on the team in scoring, leads it in assists, and has already surpassed his rookie season total of 11 goals. He reached 12 on Monday and added an assist in the Raiders' 5-4 OT loss at Regina. Fonstad, who also had seven shots, scored on a power play at 13:27 of the second period to put Prince Albert up 2-1. He later assisted on the power-play goal that forced overtime with 6:59 left in the third. Fonstad has 44 points in 38 WHL games and a remarkable 11 multi-point nights this season. (Note: Sixth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JORDAN KOOY -- What happens when your longtime backup goalie starts to play like a No. 1? We'll find out as the London Knights deal with Kooy's tremendous success of the holiday weekend. After stopping 33 of 35 shots for No. 3 star honors on New Year's Eve, Kooy came right back on New Year's day and stopped 31 of 32 shots for No. 2 star honors in London's 4-1 win over Sarnia. He was outstanding over the final 40 minutes, denying all 21 shots he faced. Kooy, who has great size for a goalie, registered back-to-back OHL wins for the first time this season. Going into the weekend, he had not won a game since Sept. 23. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
SERRON NOEL -- Earlier in the season, Noel was a regular on this list. His scoring totals have tailed off over the past couple of months, but he still has the ability to explode for offense on any given day. Monday was a good example of this, as he needed only 18 seconds after the opening faceoff to set up the game-winner in Oshawa's 5-0 victory over North Bay. That assist was followed by Noel's own power-play goal at 3:42 of the third period -- his 16th goal of the season. Noel averages just under a point per game with 29 in 32 OHL outings. Last year, he had only 21 points in 63 games, so he is certainly making an impression on scouts. (Note: Sixth appearance on this list in 2017-18)