• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
Another busy day in draft-prospect land was another good one for defensemen. Three blueliners, including two from Tier II junior leagues, make this top-performances list for Friday, and several more were under consideration. There were a couple of no-brainer choices for Friday, but there were a lot of borderline performances that just missed the cut.
The list below includes two players from European leagues, four from major-junior, three from Tier II with their sights set on college hockey, and one already playing in the NCAA. Check them all out:
JACOB BERNARD-DOCKER -- University of North Dakota hockey fans can start to celebrate, because this defenseman recruit is the real thing. Bernard-Docker continued his remarkable season with the AJHL's Okotoks Oilers on Friday night, posting a goal and four assists in his team's 6-2 win at Bonnyville. He had four straight assists over the second and third periods before tacking on a goal to close the scoring. All four of those assists were primary helpers. They came at 1:12 of the second for a 2-2 tie, at 1:35 of the second on the eventual game-winner, at 5:48 of the third, and on a power play at 17:14 of the third. His goal, with 1:30 remaining, was also scored on a power play. Bernard-Docker, following in the footsteps of fellow AJHL defenseman Cale Makar, now has nine goals and 21 points in 26 games. He also has goals in three of the past five games. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
PAUL COTTER -- Cotter, a Western Michigan University recruit , was the No. 1 star of Lincoln's 4-3 win over Green Bay on Friday. In the first period, he scored twice and set up another goal. After getting the primary assist on a goal at 11:26 of the opening period -- tying the game 1-1 -- Cotter scored on a power play at 13:07 and even-strength at 16:41 to stretch the lead to 3-1. His three-point night snapped a three-game scoring drought. It was also his third multi-point game of the young USHL season. He has seven goals and three assists in 14 games. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
SLAVA DEMIN -- Demin a defenseman with the BCHL's Wenatchee Wild exploded for two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win at Salmon Arm. The game's No. 2 star, who will play college hockey at Denver, began with the primary assist on a power-play goal at 9:27 of the first period for a 1-1 tie. He later notched goals at 5:17 and 9:16 of the third to close out the scoring. Demin, who has been the No. 2 start in two of his last five games, recorded his first two-goal game of the season and now has six goals and 20 points in 28 games. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
LUKAS DOSTAL -- The Czech goalie rebounded from his first U20 loss on Thursday to stop 39 shots in Brno's 6-4 win at Prague Slavia on Friday. Dostal, who has spent much of the season playing against men in the Czech WSM Liga, might be a candidate for the Czech World Junior team. He is more likely to play in the World Under-18's next spring, as he is now 6-1 in U20 play. (Note: Seventh appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all goaltenders)
AIDAN DUDAS -- He might not even be drafted if scouts are scared off by his diminutive size, but he's doing everything in his power to make sure that won't happen. On Friday, the red-hot Dudas picked up three assists -- one per period -- in Owen Sound's 5-4 OT loss at Kitchener. He had the primary assist on a power-play goal at 6:18 of the first period for a 2-1 lead, followed by the primary assist on a goal at 14:09 of the second to put the Attack up 3-2. It was 4-2 just seven seconds into the third period, when Dudas helped set up another goal. Dudas has five assists in the past two games and seven in the past four. This was his second three-assist night. He has 14 goals and 30 points in 26 OHL games to rank third on the high-scoring Attack team. (Note: Seventh appearance on this list in 2017-18)
CHRIS McQUAID -- Heading into Friday, McQuaid, a defenseman, had not scored a single point during the current QMJHL season. That changed in a hurry on Friday, as he scored both Huskies goal in Rouyn-Noranda's 6-2 loss at Halifax to earn No. 3 star honors. McQuaid's goals came at 13:05 of the second period and 4:57 of the third. Both trimmed four-goal leads down to three, but it wasn't enough on a night the Mooseheads dominated.
MILOS ROMAN -- Roman represents both Slovakia and the WHL on this list after picking up a goal, an assist and an 11-for-19 faceoff showing in Vancouver's 5-3 win at Prince George. The Giants center and game's No. 2 star scored his goal at 13:49 of the first period to open the scoring. He then had the primary assist on a goal just 37 seconds into the middle period, making it 2-0. Roman is now on a three-game points streak with back-to-back three-star selections. He is averaging nearly a point per game with 26 in 28 games. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BRADY TKACHUK -- Tkachuk might be among the top five players drafted in June. The Boston University freshman is the highest-profile draft-eligible NCAA forward, and he lived up to the reputation Friday with a goal, an assist, and six shots in the Terriers' 7-4 win at rival Boston College. Tkachuk's shorthanded breakaway goal at 18:14 of the first period put BU up 3-2. He later had the primary assist on the game-winner at 7:54 of the second, making it 5-3. Tkachuk, who has NHL ties in his father, Keith, and older brother, Matthew, is on a three-game point streak and has scored both of his first two college goals over the span. He also has an impressive 12 pionts in 16 games -- big numbers for a freshman on a loaded Hockey East squad. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JESSE YLONEN -- His dad, Juha, played in over 300 NHL games. Jesse, a left wing playing against men in Finland's Mestis league, could end up playing more. On Friday, he scored a goal and had an assist in Espoo's 5-1 win at Vantaa. The assist, a primary helper, came at 7:11 of the second period on the eventual game-winner that broke a 1-1 tie. He scored to make it 3-1 at 3:14 of the third. Ylonen now has points in three of his last five games after scoring points in only five his first 12.
FILIP ZADINA -- For a while it appeared that Zadina was going to put up even bigger QMJHL rookie numbers than 2017 NHL No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier, who also played for the Halifax Mooseheads. At this point, Zadina is still scoring in bunches, although he probably won't catch up to Hischier's standard. On Friday, Zadina had two goals, an assist, and nine shots in Halifax's 6-2 rout of Rouyn Noranda. The game's No. 2 star scored the eventual winner at 2:03 of the second period to make it 3-0. He then had the primary assist on a goal at 7:33 of the second to go up 3-0 and closed out the scoring with another goal at 14:29 of the third. Now on a three-game scoring streak with a total of six points in the span, Zadina leads the QMJHL in goals (21) and points (41). However, he is not at Hischier's pace. Through 28 games last season, Hischier had one more goal and six more assists. (Note: Ninth appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all players)