• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
Friday was a great day for the Canadian World Junior Championship team, but not so great for those who wanted to see 2018 NHL Draft prospects wearing gold medals. Canada won the tournament with a roster of already-drafted players. It was the only top-tier team in the tournament with no draft-eligibles on its roster. Let's hope this isn't a trend.
On the other hand, silver-medalist Sweden had Rasmus Dahlin, the projected No. 1 pick, on its roster, so the WJC finale was well worth watching for draft fans. The Swedes gave it their all, but a late goal by Tyler Steenbergen sealed their fate in a 3-1 win for Canada. Steenbergen, an Arizona draft pick, was an unlikely hero in the mold of Paul Henderson, which means the 2017 Arizona draftee will be big name in Canada for years to come.
As far as top performances on Friday, seven major-junior players, two USHL players, and one Minnesota high-schooler made the cut. View the full list of 10 below:
BEN ALMQUIST -- Almquist started his season in the USHL, but wasn't going to miss out on his high school season. He returned to Holy Family in Victoria, Minn., and has been one of the state's leading scorers. On Friday, he picked up two goals and two assists in Holy Family's 7-1 rout at Coleraine Greenway. He assisted on the game's first goal just 13 seconds after the opening faceoff and added another first-period assist on the eventual game-winner for a 2-0 lead at 3:01. In the second period, Almquist scored to make it 4-0 at 10:01, and he got another goal to make it 6-1 at 8:37 of the third. Through 14 games, the red-hot University of Wisconsin recruit has 17 goals and 33 points. He is tied for seventh in scoring and ranks ninth in goals. Ironically, his four-point outburst snapped an improbable two-game scoring drought.
EVAN BOUCHARD -- No OHL draft prospect has been more dominant than Bouchard this season. The London Knights defenseman continued his outstanding draft year with two power-play goals on 10 shots in London's 5-1 win at Sudbury to earn No. 2 star honors. Bouchard got the game's first goal at 12:49 of the opening period and added another to make it 5-1 at 1:01 of the third. He now has 15 goals and 48 points in 39 OHL games to rank as the league's highest-scoring defenseman. He has 15 multi-point games and 11 three-star selections. (Note: 10th appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all defensemen)
JACK DRURY -- The son of former NHLer Ted Drury and the nephew of Stanley Cup champion Chris Drury, Jack is a chip off the old block. The Harvard recruit scored twice Friday in Waterloo's 3-2 OT loss at Omaha to earn No. 3 star honors. His first goal, at 13:08 of the second period, tied the game 1-1. His second, scored short-handed with only 28 seconds left in the third, forced the overtime. Drury, a center, is averaging a point per game through 23 USHL outings this season. He has scored goals in three straight games and has picked up points in nine straight. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
LIAM FOUDY -- Foudy recorded the first two-goal game of his OHL career in London's 5-1 win at Sudbury on Friday. His first goal, which stood as the game-winner, made it 2-0 at 14:02 of the opening period. The second goal was a short-handed tally at 18:51 of the second to make it 4-1. Foudy has only six goals and 11 points in 37 games this season, but he has picked up four of those points in the past two games. His performance Friday broke an eight-game goal-scoring drought.
JAKE INGHAM -- Mississauga's goaltender has found new life in the second half of the season after a rough start. On Friday, he continued his winning ways with 40 saves in the Steelheads' 6-2 win at Kitchener. He stopped all 18 shots he faced in the first period and all 11 he faced in the third. The victory gave him his first three-game OHL winning streak since the last one ended on Oct. 29. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BLAKE McLAUGHLIN -- McLaughlin has been playing for the USHL's Chicago Steel as he prepares for college hockey at the University of Minnesota. On Friday, he scored twice in the Steel's 5-3 loss at Fargo. His first goal, scored short-handed, made it 1-0 at 10:45 of the opening period. His second goal, scored at 7:53 of the third, pulled the Steel into a 3-3 tie. McLaughlin averages more than a point per game with 11 goals and 14 assists in 21 games. He has scored three goals in the last three games and has four points since returning from the World Junior A Challenge. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
EDOUARD ST. LAURENT -- St. Laurent helped Baie-Comeau edge host Bathurst 5-4 on Friday by scoring two goals on five shots. He saved his heroics for the second half of the game -- scoring at 16:30 of the second period to make it 4-4 before delivering the winner on a power play at 13:15 of the third period. With five goals and six assists in 33 QMJHL games, St. Laurent is hardly a high-scoring winger, but he's currently on a three-game point streak. Prior to Friday, he had not scored since Nov. 28. His two goals were a QMJHL career-high. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
RILEY STOTTS -- Stotts continues to flourish after being dealt to the WHL's Calgary Hitmen earlier this season. On Friday, he was the No. 3 star with two goals in Calgary's 5-3 loss to Moose Jaw. After the visitors built up a commanding lead, Stotts got the Hitmen on the board with a power-play goal at 11:58 of the third period to cut the lead to 4-1. He scored again even-strength at 17:14 of the third to make it 5-2. Stotts has eight goals and eight assists in 36 WHL games, and three of the goals have come in the past two games, following a six-game drought. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
DAVID TENDECK -- The Vancouver Giants goaltender continued to raise his draft stock with 33 saves in a 5-2 win at Lethbridge on Friday. He was particularly sharp in the third period, stopping all 13 shots he faced. Tendeck's WHL record this season is a stellar 15-7-2, and his .910 save percentage is tied for 10th in the league (fifth among goalies with at least 20 starts). His last three decisions have been victories, and he has won back-to-back starts. (Note: Sixth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
ELI ZUMMACK -- Zummack had a WHL career-high three assists --one per period -- in Spokane's 9-3 win over Portland on Friday. The initial assist was a primary helper on the opening, power-play goal at 5:55 of the first period. He picked up the other assists at 13:26 of the second, to make it 5-2, and at 16:25 of the third to close the scoring. While it was his first three-assist game, it was also his second three-point game this season. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)