Daily 2018 Draft Prospect Updates

Nov. 17, 2017


It was a weird Friday for draft prospects, particularly in Europe. Despite the high number of games, it wasn't so easy to find 10 performances that merit no-brainer inclusion on this list. And incredibly, despite a full slate of action in Europe, only one of the 10 players on the other side of the Atlantic can be found here.

The list below includes five major-junior players as well as five from leagues less commonly found on it. Citizens of five countries are represented. Have a look:

Stars of the Night

AUSTIN CHORNEY -- The defenseman had a goal and an assist in Salmon Arm's 4-1 BCHL victory over Cowichan Valley on Friday, earning his first three-star selection as the No. 2 star. Chorney didn't waste any time getting on the scoresheet, as he assisted on a goal just 28 seconds into the game. He later scored at 5:55 of the third period to make it a 4-1 final and complete his best offensive game of the season. Although he is not rated by Central Scouting, his good size could help him on draft day.

PAUL COTTER -- Western Michigan fans must feel good when they see how well their recruit Cotter is playing of late. On Friday, Cotter scored a goal and picked up an assist as the Lincoln Stars blanked USHL rival Fargo 3-0. Cotter, the No. 3 star of the game, picked up the lone assist on the opening (and game-winning) goal at 1:09 of the second period. He then scored on a power play at 10:00 of the second to make it 2-0. Cotter, who made a big impression at this year's All-American Prospects Game, has six points in his last three outings. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)

VLADISLAV KOTKOV -- What a huge Friday night for Kotkov, who registered his first QMJHL three-point game in Chicoutimi's 7-4 victory at Rouyn-Noranda. He began the scoring binge with a power-play goal at 4:40 of the second period to give the Sags a 3-1 lead. He later had the primary assists on a power-play goal at 10:02 of the third to make it 6-2 and an empty-netter at 17:38. It was the Russian import's first multi-point game since Oct. 20.

LUCAS MATEWA -- He's not even 5-foot-10, which might rule him out for many scouts, but this Swiss defenseman is a serious talent with a big upside. On Friday, Matewa was the hero with a goal and assist in the Lugano U20 team's 3-2 win at Geneva. After assisting on a power-play goal that forced overtime at 18:23 of the third, Matewa delivered the winner at 3:44 of OT. Recently given a brief taste of life in the Swiss League, Matewa now has a four-game point streak in U20 play -- racking up two goals and five assists. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)

RYAN McLEOD -- An offensive machine for the OHL's Mississauga Steelheads. On Friday, he had three assists -- one per period -- in a 4-2 win over Oshawa. McLeod, the No. 2 star, started with the lone assist on the opening goal at 16:52 of the first period. He later assisted on a power-play goal to make it 2-0 at 7:47 of the second a second, the game-winner, for a 3-2 lead at 7:38 of the third. That final goal was scored by Ryan's older brother, Michael, who started his season with the New Jersey Devils. This marked Ryan's third three-star selection in the month of November with 19 assists and 26 points in 26 games, he leads the Steelheads in assists and is second in scoring. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)

MATEJ PEKAR -- Czech native Pekar had his best game of the season for Muskegon on Friday. Despite his goal and assist, Muskegon lost 5-3 at Sioux Falls. The goal was impressive -- a shorthanded marker at 15:45 of the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. He later assisted on a goal at 19:50 of the second to make it 3-3. Pekar has points in five of his last seven USHL games.

OLIVIER RODRIGUE -- One of the draft pool's top goalies, his up-and-down season has raised some doubts. Rodrigue was hot Friday, stopping 31 shots to lead Drummondville to a 4-1 win over Blainville-Boisbriand. Sixteen of those saves came in the third period, as he notched his second straight win and third in the past four starts. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)

KYLE TOPPING -- Topping, a center, has quietly put together more than a point-per-game average to boost his draft stock. He'll get drafted in June even though he lacks a preliminary Central Scouting rating. On Friday, Topping had a goal and two assists in Kelowna's 7-4 win over Lethbridge. He scored at 14:45 of the second period for a 4-3 lead and added primary assists on goals and 12:28 and 17:04 of the third. He has a three-game point streak with goals in back-to-back games. With 24 points in 21 WHL games, he is crushing his numbers from last season, when he had 29 in 59. He has also matched his 2016-17 assist total with 15 to rank third in scoring for Kelowna. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)

OLIVER WAHLSTROM -- Wahlstrom is the leading scorer on the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team. On Friday, he scored a goal, picked up an assist and went plus-3 in Team USA's wild 8-5 win at Youngstown. After assisting on the game's first goal at 7:02 of the opening period, Wahlstrom scored shorthanded at 3:27 of the second to make it 6-2. The game's No. 1 star, he has earned a three-star selection in three of his last four USHL games. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)

FILIP ZADINA -- Like Nico Hischier last season, Zadina has been a huge presence in the draft pool, following Hischier's footsteps for Halifax. Initially ahead of Hischier's scoring pace from last season, Zadina has tailed off a bit, but is still dominating. On Friday, the Czech import had a goal and assist before his team collapsed in a 7-2 loss to Saint John. He picked up the primary assist on the opening goal at 1:13 of the first period and scored to make it 2-2 at 12:46 of the second. That goal was his 17th of the season, tying him for the QMJHL lead. His 32 points rank second in the QMJHL. Through 22 games, Zadina has the same number of goals and only two fewer points that No. 1 overall pick Hischier had last season. He is now a consensus top-5 pick and might go in the top 3. (Note: Eighth appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all players)