• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
It was a fairly barren Wednesday for both games and top performances involving 2018 draft prospects. There were a handful of games across numerous leagues, but not enough to expect a lot of fodder for one of these updates. The busiest North American league was the WHL, where six games took place, but only one player found his way onto the list below.
The NHL Central Scouting mid-term rankings should be out within the next week. This will be the first time that Central will rank players in numerical order, although the North American-based players will have separate rankings from those in Europe. Look for Rasmus Dahlin to rank No. 1 in Europe, while Andrei Svechnikov should be No. 1 in North America. The big question is if Filip Zadina can get all the way up to No. 2. He certainly deserves to be there.
As you eagerly await those mid-term rankings, why not check out Wednesday's top-performances:
LUKAS DOSTAL -- Given how poorly Jakub Skarek played at the World Juniors, Dostal might be the first Czech goaltender drafted in June. The rising phenom continued his run of success on Wednesday, stopping all 29 shots in Trebic's 2-0 shutout of Frydek-Mistek in Czech WSN play. Dostal began the season playing in the junior ranks, but he now regularly plays against men -- and plays extremely well. He has won three of his last four starts and has not allowed more than two goals in any of them. The first shutout of his WSM career on Wednesday included 15 saves in the third period and pushed his season record to an impressive 9-5-2. (Note: 11th appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all goaltenders)
JACOB OLOFSSON -- Olofsson didn't make Sweden's World Junior team, but he has played very well in a men's league, the Allsvenskan. On Wednesday, he had a goal and an assist in Timra's 7-2 rout of Vastervik. His assist came on the game's first goal, scored on a power play just 27 seconds into the opening period. He later scored even-strength at 3:12 of the second for a 4-0 lead. That goal was his first since Nov. 22, ending a 10-game drought. He has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 29 games this season. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
KYLE TOPPING -- Topping had a banner night for the WHL's Kelowna Rockets, scoring two goals and assisting on a third in Kelowna's 7-4 win over Spokane. Topping, who also had five shots, was named the game's No. 2 star with a point in each period. He opened the scoring at 5:14 of the first period, had the primary assist on a power-play goal by 2017 NHL first-rounder Cal Foote at 14:20 of the second to put the Rockets up 4-3, and made it 6-4 with his second goal at 18:06 of the third. Topping, a center has had five three-point games this season, along with three two-goal games. Wednesday marked his first three-star selection in 2017-18. His 44 points in 41 games place him third in team scoring. In four games since the holiday break ended, Topping has six points. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)