Daily 2018 Draft Prospect Updates

Jan. 17, 2018


There were seven games in the WHL on Wednesday night, but no draft prospects from that league made it to this daily top-performances list. That's not a good thing, and it's yet another sign that the first few rounds of the draft won't include many guys who play west of Ontario.

The top WHL prospect is likely Spokane defenseman Ty Smith, but even he was quiet on Wednesday. Smith will go in the first half of the first round, possibly in the top 10, but it's hard to imagine any other WHL players joining him.

Russian defenseman Alexander Alexeyev of Red Deer has the best shot at making the top 15, but Jett Woo, the league's other Grade A prospect, has struggled after missing a big chunk of the season with an injury. His draft position will reveal a lot about how scouts value the WHL.

As for those on the list for Wednesday, one is from Europe and two play in the OHL. Have a look at them here:

Stars of the Night

RILEY DAMIANI -- Damiani had a goal and two assists in Kitchener's 6-0 win at Niagara on Wednesday to earn No. 2 star honors. His goal, at 10:05 of the first period, made it a 3-0 game. He later had a pair of primary assists in the second period -- the first on a goal to make it 4-0 at 1:18 and the second on the 5-0 goal at 15:52. Through 44 OHL games, Damiani, a 5-foot-9 center, has 15 goals and 31 points. He has blown past last year's total of 22 points in 62 games, sparked by a recent surge of seven points in seven games, as well as goals in his last two. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)

TY DELLANDREA -- The Flint Firebirds have the fewest points of any OHL team, but Dellandrea has been a bright spot. On Wednesday, he had a goal and an assist in a 6-3 loss to Sarnia, bringing his season totals to 15 goals and 18 assists in 42 games. On Wednesday, Dellandrea assisted on a goal at 3:33 of the second period to cut the Sting lead to 4-1. He later closed the scoring with a power-play goal at 11:26 of the third. Dellandrea has goals in back-to-back games and points in four of his last five outings with the Firebirds. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)

AMIR MIFTAKHOV -- The best 2018 draft prospect playing goal in Russia is Miftakhov, who continued to shine for Kazan's MHL team with 41 saves in Wednesday's 5-1 win at Magnitogorsk. Miftakhov was making his seconds start in two days, but these were his first two starts since Nov. 20, when he left the club to join Russia's World Junior A Challenge team. Although he was outstanding in a one-goal loss to Magnitogorsk on Tuesday, he turned it up another notch on Wednesday for his first win since that Nov. 20 game. Over these first two starts of 2018, Miftakhov has stopped 74 of 77 shots for an eye-popping .961 save percentage. (Note: Seventh appearance on this list in 2017-18)