• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
It was a quiet Tuesday for 2018 NHL draft prospects, as only two players qualified for this top performances list. Injuries are starting to take a toll on the draft pool. On Tuesday, Lulea forward Isac Lundestrom, one of the top prospects playing in the SHL, missed his first game due to an injury suffered during a Nov. 9 Nations game in Russia. Meanwhile, in the WHL, defenseman Jett Woo was out of the Moose Jaw lineup due to an injury suffered two nights earlier.
Let's not forget Alexander Khovanov, who has missed all of the KHL/MHL season for Kazan because he has Hepatitis A. Khovanov was a projected first-round pick, might not play until the spring, which will make him a wild card in June instead of a sure thing. Fellow Russian forward Mikhail Bitsadze is also sidelined with an injury that has kept him out of all but one KHL game this season.
The two players listed below both come from the WHL, which played six games on Tuesday night. Here they are:
ALEXANDER ALEXEYEV -- Speaking of injuries, Alexeyev missed almost all of October because he was hurt. The defenseman is back now with a vengeance, as he has scored points in six of nine games since returning to the Red Deer lineup. On Tuesday night, Alexeyev posted two assists as the Rebels won 5-3 at Victoria. His first assist, at 4:38 of the second period, made it a 2-0 game, and his second came on an empty-net goal to seal the victory at 19:13 of the third period. Alexeyev has 11 points in 12 games this season -- almost double his scoring pace from 2016-17. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
TRISTEN NIELSEN -- Nielsen scored twice in Calgary's 6-5 overtime loss at Brandon. Both goals were unassisted. The first, at 2:49 of the third period, put the Hitmen up 3-2. He got credit for the goal after a Brandon player steered it into his own net. The second goal, just over five minutes later at 8:01, gave Calgary a 5-3 lead that the Hitmen could not maintain. In the month of October, Nielsen scored a total of two goals. Halfway through November, he has four goals on the month -- both coming in two-goal performances. His biggest obstacle to getting drafted will be his height. he's shorter than 5-foot-9, which could scare off the scouts in the same way they passed on Trey Fix-Wolansky in 2017. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)