• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
A very, very busy Friday in the hockey world. Just about everyone was playing, and getting this list down to its maximum of 10 was no easy feat. Many multi-point performances, goaltending wins, etc. It was also nice to see several members of the HDC Top 62 having big performances early in this draft year.
So, how do you get to nine players on a day like Friday. Well, you look all over the globe until you find two players in Europe, five in the Canadian major-junior ranks, one member of the U.S. NTDP program, and a Tier II guy from the BCHL. Here they are, in alphabetical order as always:
JUSTIN BLANCHETTE -- Baie-Comeau's backup goaltender made the most of a rare start with a 4-1 win at Chicoutimi. Blanchette stopped 30 shots on the night, including all 13 he faced in the third period. It was his first start since Oct. 5, and his first victory of the 2017-18 season. Lots of draft-eligible goalies in the QMJHL this season, and Blanchette is one to watch.
JACK DeBOER -- What a night for Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer's son. Playing for the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team at home vs. Miami University, DeBoer fired home two goals in a 7-5 loss to the Redhawks. He earned No. 1 star honors after picking up the game's first goal at 9:19 of the opening period and scoring again at 1:07 of the third to tie it at 5-5. These were his first goals of the season, and they both reflected his excellent positioning around the net.
LUKAS DOSTAL -- It's time to get excited about Dostal, who might even be drafted before his fellow Czech netminder Jakub Skarek. The rising goaltending star stopped 30 shots for his country, leading the Czech Under-18 squad to a 3-1 win over the Russian Under-18 team in the opener of a three-game exhibition series. Dostal, who has been facing men in the Czech WSM Liga, matched up against kids his own age for the first time since his last junior game on Sept. 23. He held his own, totally outdueling Amir Miftakhov, who is the top Russian goalie prospect for 2018. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
MARSHALL FRAPPIER -- One of the low-profile goalie prospects from Ontario, Frappier got his first start since Sept. 27 and turned it a beauty as Sudbury routed Ottawa 7-1 at home. Frappier, who grew up in the Ottawa area, made 27 saves for his first victory of the season and the first of his OHL career.
LENNI KILLINEN -- Killinen, a left wing, will almost surely get drafted in June, because he has NHL size and is putting up points at a great pace this season. On Friday, he recored three assists in Espoo U20's 5-3 loss at Pori, as he had a hand in all of his team's goals. After picking up the primary assist on a goal at 10:31 of the second period to cut the lead to 2-1, he had second assists on a goal at 3:31 of the third to tie it 2-2 and at 8:23 of the third to make it 3-3. This was his second three-assist game of the season. Killinen now has six goals and 17 points in 15 games.
DAVID LEVIN -- A couple of years ago, Levin was considered a possible No. 1 overall pick in 2018. Poised to make history as the first Israeli citizen to play in the NHL, Levin has seen his stock drop a bit, but is still a force when he is on his game. He turned in his finest game of his season, scoring two goals and adding two assists in Sudbury's 7-1 win over Ottawa to earn No. 2 star honors. He began his career-high, four-point night with the primary assist ont he game' first goal at 8:45 of the first period. He then had another primary assist on a power-play goal at 15:37 of the second to make it 4-0. He erupted for both of his goals to close out the scoring in the third period, finding the net at the 5:43 and 9:12 marks.
RILEY SUTTER -- With a name like Sutter, he's got to be good, and Riley was that for the Everett Silvertips on Friday. The heir to a hockey dynasty scored two goals, assisted on another, and was the No. 1 star of Everett's 4-3 OT win at Lethbridge. Sutter had the primary assist on the game's first goal, just 59 seconds in. He later scored at 18:44 of the first to make it 2-0 and delivered the winner to break a 3-3 tiewith 3:42 left in regulation. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JONNY TYCHONICK -- North Dakota fans have to be excited about recruit Tychonick, a defenseman with the BCHL's Penticton Vees. On Friday, he scored two late goals to lead Penticton to a 3-2 overtime win at Merrit and earn No. 2 star honors. His first goal, at 15:13 of the third period cut Merritt's lead to 2-1. His second goal, on a power play at 17:33 of the third, forced the OT.
FILIP ZADINA -- A likely to-10 pick in June, Czech forward Zadina posted his second two-goal game of the season on Friday, earning No. 2 star honors in Halifax's 4-3 loss at Cape Breton. His first goal, at 14:45 of the middle period, opened the scoring. His then cut the lead to 4-3 --and closed the scoring -- at 13:33 of the third. Zadina already has six goals on the young season, and he's picking up slack left by Nico Hischier's departure. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)