• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
The Five Nations tournament in Hameenlinna, Finland, continued on Thursday. The Swedes beat the Czechs in their opener, and the Finns rolled over the Swiss. Unfortunately, there were not particularly standout performances by draft prospects.
Nevertheless, there were also games in the QMJHL and USHL on Thursday, and they were able to produce three players for the list below. A busy weekend looms, so there won't be any trouble finding a longer list for the next few days.
Here are the best performances from Thursday:
BENOIT-OLIVIER GROULX -- Groulx continued his high-scoring play with a goal and an assist in Halifax's 3-2 loss to Baie-Comeau. Honored as the game's No. 2 star, he assisted on a power-play goal at 6:10 of the first period for a 1-0 lead and then cut the Drakkar's lead to 3-12 with a goal at 15:25 of the third. It was the fifth multi-point game of the QMJHL season for Groulx, who has 10 goals and 22 points in 20 games. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JAKE KUCHARSKI -- Providence College's goaltending recruit continued to make a name for himself as the No. 3 star of Des Moines' 4-2 USHL win at Fargo. Kucharki stopped a remarkable 44 shots to deliver the win for the Buccaneers. It was his second straight USHL victory and the third in his last four starts. It also led to his first three-star selection of the season. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JOE VELENO -- Ranked among the top 10 draft prospects by several scouting services, Veleno had not been putting up the points earlier in the QMJHL season. He has picked up his game of late, however, and had two assists as the No. 3 star of Saint John's 5-4 shootout loss to Sherbrooke on Thursday. Both of his assists were turning points in the game. The first was a primary helper at 1:42 of the second period to tie the score 1-1. The second was another primary assist on a power-play goal at 5:32 of the third, pulling his team into another tie at 4-4. Veleno now has two goals and six assists in the past five games. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)