• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
Saturday offered several 2018 NHL draft prospects a chance to raise their profile, but most of the best performances came from players aldready ranked in the HDC Top 62. The elite prospects are starting to justify their high rankings, particularly the members of the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team, which looked amazing in its 7-0 rout of the USHL's Muskegon Lumberjacks. Three of those NTDP players can be found on the list below.
Even though three players from the same team are in the full list of 10 players, there is still considerable diversity. In addition to the NTDP, you'll find two European players, two from the QMJHL, one from the OHL, and two more from the WHL.
XAVIER BERNARD -- Bernard, a defenseman with the QMJHL's Drummondville Voltigeurs scored two goals and was the No. 2 star in his team's 8-4 loss to Sherbrooke. Bernard got Drummondville off to a great start, scoring the game's first goal just 31 seconds after play began. He later scored again at 14:42 of the second to cut Sherbrooke's lead to 4-2. With seven points in nine QMJHL games, Bernard has already exceeded his 2016-17 total of six points in 55 games.
DREW DeRIDDER -- DeRidder was rock solid in Team USA's blitzkrieg 7-0 rout of Muskegon -- a game that counted in the USHL standings. He stopped all 34 shots Muskegon threw at him to earn No. 2 star honors. The No. 1 goalie on this year's Under-18 team, DeRidder picked up his first shutout as a member of Team USA and helped his own cause with masterful rebound control.
JOEL FARABEE -- Why was the U.S. Under-18 able to put its game with Muskegon away so early? Because Farabee, the game's No. 1 star, came to play. He took over the game in its first five minutes to score two goals that were all the NTDP needed to win. Farabee, who also had five shots, was the No. 1 star of the 7-0 win. His goal at 1:56 of the first period opened the scoring, and he made it 2-0 on a power play at 4:15. They were his first two goals of the month, and they set the tone for the blowout.
DANIIL ISAYEV -- The Russian Under-18 team was able to even its exhibition series vs. the Czechs on Saturday, thanks to Isayev's great work in net. Yaroslavl's MHL goalie came through for his country with 31 saves in the Russians' 4-2 win. Isayev had won three of his last four MHL starts before heading off to the Under-18 camp earlier this month, and had not allowed more than two goals in any of those games. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BRETT KEMP -- Kemp, a center with the Edmonton Oil Kings, tied his WHL career-high with three points and had his first multi-goal game by scoring twice and picking up an assist in the Oil Kings' 4-3 win at Swift Current. The game's No. 1 star, Kemp averages a point-per-game on the season. On Saturday, he scored a shorthanded goal at with only 13 seconds left in the period to pull Edmonton into a 1-1 tie. In the third period, he assisted on a goal that made it 3-3 with five minutes left in regulation. He saved the best for last, scoring the winner with just 19 seconds to go in the third.
MICHAL KVASNICA -- Kvasnica plays against men in the WSM Liga, and he just keeps getting better with six points in the past four games. On Saturday, he a goal and two assists in Frydek-Mistek's 6-5 shootout win over Usti nad Labem. His first assist, at 4:33 of the second period, cut the lead to 2-1. He then scored at 17:55 of the second to cut it to 4-3, and had the primary assist on a power-play goal at 1:37 of the third, tying the game at 4-4. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
AKIL THOMAS -- Thomas, a projected first-round pick, is a top-10 scorer in the OHL with 13 points in nine games. He added two of thos points on Saturday with a goal, an assist and seven shots in Niagara's 5-4 OT loss at Erie. He also won 14 of 21 faceoffs. Thomas' assist came on a power play at 17:27 of the first period to cut the Otters' lead to 3-1. His goal, scored with 34 seconds left in the second period, tied the game at 4-4. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all players)
OLIVER WAHLSTROM -- He was only the No. 3 star of Team USA's 7-0 win at Muskegon, but he probably should have been No. 1. The Harvard-bound sniper had a natural hat trick with three fabulous goals on eight shots. His first, on a power play at 10:01 of the opening period, made it 3-0. His second, at 17:16 of the first, made it 4-0, and his third, at 3:13 of the third, made it 5-0. Wahlstrom is the lading goal-scorer on Team USA, and his outstanding shot will translate well to the game's highest levels.
JETT WOO -- Just when it looked like the Jett was cooling off, the Moose Jaw defenseman had a goal and an assist in the Warriors' 4-3 OT win at Vancouver. He scored at 12:26 of the first period to get Moose Jaw on the board in a 1-1 tie. Later, 52 seconds into OT, he assisted on the game-winning goal. Woo needs to sharpen his consistency, because after scoring five points in his first four games, he had only one in three games leading into Saturday. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
FILIP ZADINA -- Amazing weekend for Zadina, the No. 2 star of Halifax's 9-5 win over Cape Breton. After scoring two goals on Friday, he added two more with an assist. He also had seven shots, giving him 16 over two games. His first point was the primary assist on a goal at 17:35 of the first, pulling the Mooseheads into a 2-2 tie. He then scored on a power play at 12:48 of the second for a 5-4 lead and even-strength at 14:31 of the third to make it 8-5. He now has eight goals in 10 games to lead all rookies, while ranking in a tie for third overall. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)