• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
Sunday saw an equal amount of activity in Europe and North America for the 2018 draft-eligible prospects, but no single player had a particularly remarkable performance. There were several good showings, listed below, but nobody stepped up Sunday to really declare that this is their draft year. What makes this 2018 group so intriguing is their diversity. Even the Tier II guys are worth noting, and we have a couple from Sunday.
The full list of 10 star performances for Sunday features four QMJHL players, three European junior palyers, the two Tier II guys, and one of the top five projected picks. Here they are:
AXEL ANDERSSON -- One of the less-heralded but still noteworthy Swedish defensemen in the 2018 draft, Axelsson picked up his first goal of the season, had an assist, and fired four shots on net in Stockhom Djurgarden's 4-3 shootout loss to Gavle in Swedish Under-20 action. Andersson's goal came at 12:53 of the second period to tie the game 3-3. Less than two minutes arlier, he helped tie it 2-2 with a power-play assist at the 10:56 mark.
SLAVA DEMIN -- One talented BCHL player headed for a U.S. college is Demin, a defenseman who will play at Denver. On Sunday, he registered three assists in the Wenatchee Wild's 4-3 overtime win at Cowichan Valley. All of Demin's assists were the primary variety. He picked up his first at 14:44 of the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. At 14:50 of the third, he set up another goal to force the overtime, and later assisted on the OT winner at 2:35. Demin now has six points in his last six games.
NOAH DOBSON -- Dobson, a defenseman for the QMJHL's Acadie-Bathurst Titan, is expected to go fairly high in the 2018 draft. He helped that cause on Sunday with two assists and four hits as the No. 2 star in the Titan's 3-0 win over Quebec. He assisted on the winning goal at 18:10 of the second and added a power-play assist just 42 ticks later. He now has nine assists in eight games, including four multi-assist performances. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
RIESE GABER -- The first thing you need to know about Gaber, a Western Michigan recruit, is that he's only listed at 5-foot-8. So his odds of getting drafted are already low. But Gaber has been putting up points for the MJHL's Dauphin Kings. He had a goal and assist for No. 3 star honors in Sunday's 4-2 win at Waywayseecappo First Nation's rink. His goal at 12:22 of the third stood up as the game-winner, and he earlier got an assist for a 2-0 lead at 4:10 of the first. Gaber, who turns 18 on Tuesday, has six goals and nine points in eight games.
BENOIT-OLIVIER GROULX -- A potential first-rounder from the QMJHL, Groulx had a goal, an assist, and four shots in Halifax's 5-4 OT loss to Blainville-Boisbriand. He scored a 12:33 of the third to give his team a 4-3 lead. He also had the second assist on the opening goal, scored on a power play 9:25 into the game. Groulx is averaging a point-per-game so far this season.
MATHIAS LAFERRIERE -- It was a tough afternoon for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who fell 5-4 at Drummondville. Laferriere, however, was outstanding on the power play, notching three man-advantage assists to earn No. 3 star honors. He picked up assists at 3:08 of the first period for a 1-0 lead, at 18:23 of the second to make it 2-1, and at 1:10 of the third to cut the Voltigeurs' lead to 4-3. The three helpers snapped Laferriere's four-game QMJHL point drought.
ARTTU NEVASAARI -- The 5-foot-11 Finnish winger had a goal and assist for Oulu's U20 squad in a 6-1 rout of Turku TuTo. Nevasaari scored at 3:13 of the third period for a 3-0 lead, and had a second-period assist when his Karpat team went up 2-0 with what turned out to be the game-winning goal. Nevasaari had not scored a goal since picking up a hat trick on Sept. 16. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
EGOR SOKOLOV -- While Laferriere was dishing out the power-play assists for Cape Breton on Sunday, Sokolov was scoring the power-play goals. He had two of them in the first period of the Screaming Eagles' loss at Drummondville, scoring the first goal of the game at 3:08 of the first period, and making it 2-1 just under 15 minutes later. Sokolov, a QMJHL rookie from Russia, now has four goals and seven points in eight games. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BRADY TKACHUK -- It's hard not to love Brady Tkachuk's game. He's going to be a top-five pick next June, and not just because of his last name. Tkachuk is a feisty player who is already making his mark in the talented Boston University program. On Sunday, when the Terriers rallied for a 3-2 win at Quinnipiac, Tkachuk seemed to be in the middle of everything. He didn't crack the scoresheet, but he did have five shots and a plus-2 rating. The most impressive part was that he was on the ice for both the game-tying goal 53 seconds into the third period and the overtime winner at 4:19. He is getting key minutes as a freshman, which shows how much the coaches value him. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
CARL WASSENIUS -- Wassenius had a goal, an assist, and plus-2 rating to help Orebro's U20 team beat Jonkoping 3-1. The goal, his first of the season, gave Orebro a 1-0 lead at 6:43 of the opening period. He then posted the lone assist on the game-winner that gave his team a 2-1 lead at 6:18 of the third. The 6-foot-2 center has a goal and three assists in four U20 games.