• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
There was hockey action on both sides of the Atlantic on Thursday, including four major-junior games. But that pales in comparison to the number of games that will be played over the weekend, when the prospect-watching will be intense as always. Can the hot starters keep it going, and can some of the big names with slower starts get on track? This is a definitely a time for all prospects to establish themselves as part of the conversation.
Not enough games to take the listing over five players for Thursday. We have two Canadians, an American, a Czech, and a Finn. Look for full listings of 10 players over each of the next two days:
DECLAN CHISHOLM -- The Peterborough defenseman scored the first goal of his team's 5-2 home-ice win over Oshawa, finding the net just 72 seconds into the game. He finished with a plus-2 rating and matched his OHL goal total from 2016-17 in the process, as he obviously plans to bring more offense this season. Chisholm is someone to keep an eye on, as he will definitely be in the running to be drafted. Nights like this make him look even more attractive to scouts.
RASMUS KUPARI -- It was a memorable day for Kupari, a sure-fire first-rounder who is ranked as the No. 13 prospect here on HDC. Kupari scored the game's first goal at 1:03 of the opening period in Oulu's 6-1 win over Lappeenranta. It was a landmark moment for Kupari -- his first goal and point in Finland's highest league, the Liiga. He also had a personal season-high 13:14 of icetime, as he continues to show he belongs in the elite men's league.
RYAN ROTH -- Roth continued his strong start in the Ontario Hockey League, validating his decision to go major-junior over college. On Thursday, he scored 57 seconds into the third period of Sault Ste. Marie's 4-3 loss at Barrie. Roth's goal pulled the Greyhounds right back into the game at 2-2. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
RADIM TOMAN -- Toman, a Czech center, is very small, not even hitting the 5-foot-9 mark, but he is a huge piece of the Vitkovice U20 team. On Thursday, he dominated play with two goals, an assist and a plus-2 rating in Vitkovice's 4-1 win at Jihlava. His goals came at 17:56 and 19:59 of the second period, helping Vitkovice opne up a commanding 3-0 lead. With a goal in every game he has played this season, Toman maintains a six-game point streak with six goals and eight assists during his high-scoring run.
JOE VELENO -- Canada's top 2018 draft prospect, ranked No. 5 overall by this site, scored his first goal of the season with 5:54 left in regulation to force overtim in Saint John's 2-1 OT loss to Charlotteown. Veleno is going to make some NHL team very happy when it drafts him in June, but that team will be even happier if Veleno can boost his scoring totals in his draft year. So far, he has a goal and an assist through three games. Enjtering the season, he had 83 points in 105 career QMJHL games.