• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
It's only fitting that a weekend featuring great games from goaltenders and defensemen would end with only one forward making the top performances list for Sunday. There's no question that the depth of the pool for defense is greater than it is for forwards in 2018. There is also an unusual wealth of high-end goalies from Europe to go along with the usual number of North American netminders.
The five on Sunday's list come almost entirely from the major-junior ranks, where both the OHL and QMJHL had considerable activity. The outsider is a Swede. Check them all out below:
EVAN BOUCHARD -- A great prospect for the 2018 draft who could be the first North American selected, Bouchard is just rolling through this OHL season. On Sunday, he added a goal and two assists to his massive point totals as London routed host Guelph 5-1. Bouchard, the game's No. 1 star, got its first tally on a power-play at 6:47 of the second period. Later in the second, he assisted on another power-play goal for a 3-0 lead at 17:41. He wrapped his power-play bonanza with another assist just 37 seconds into the third period to make it 4-0. On top of all that, he finished with seven shots on net. Bouchard has points in seven of the past eight games for a total of 30 in 25 this season. (Note: Sixth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
NOAH DOBSON -- Dobson is among the best QMJHL defense prospects. It will be tough not to pick him in June's first round. On Sunday, Dobson had a goal and two assists in Bathurst's 5-4 win over Halifax. With eight shots on goal, he was also the game's No. 1 star. His first point was a power-play assist at 13:28 of the second period for a 2-2 tie. The second point was a primary assist on a goal at 9:51 of the third, tying the game 4-4. Point No. 3 was the game-winning goal at 16:25 of the third period. Dobson now has a four-game point streak as well as 25 points in 27 games this season. His 27 points are already better than his 2016-17 total of 26 in 63 games. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
NATHAN DUNKLEY -- The only forward on this list is Kingston center Dunkley, who has been red-hot of late. On Sunday, he put home two goals and had an assist in Kingston's 9-1 laugher at Flint. He had a point in each period. His first goal, at 10:23 of the first, stood up as the game-winner and gave the Frontenacs a 2-0 lead. He followed that with an assist at 5:53 of the second period, making it 5-0. His final goal came at 11:36 of the third, making it 8-1. Dunkley has back-to-back three-point games, three straight multi-point games, and a four-game overall point streak with two goals and six assists over the span. He is well over a point-per-game average with 24 points over 20 OHL games. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
ZACHARY EMOND -- Rouyn-Noranda's backup goaltender knows how to make the most of his starts. On Sunday, he had 33 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss at Sherbrooke to earn No. 2 star honors. He kept a shutout going for more than 48 minutes, and made a total of 26 stops over the second and third periods. Emond has been a three-star selection in two of his last three QMJHL starts, and his season save percentage is a solid .903 despite limited action. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
SAMUEL ERSSON -- A number of talented Swedish goalies will be in the 2018 draft pool, and Ersson might be the best of all. On Sunday, he made 37 saves to lead Gavle U20 to a 3-1 victory at Lulea, losing his shutout with less than five minutes remaining. Through two periods, he had 22 saves. Ersson has now won five of his last six starts and 14 of 19 on the season. No Swedish U20 goaltender has won more games. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)