• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
There were four World Junior Championship games on Friday, but only two of the eight players on this top-performances list were involved in them.
The big World Junior story was Team USA's 4-3 OT shootout win over Canada in the much-hyped outdoor game -- basically played in a blizzard. It was difficult to watch and not terribly satisfying. Snowfall is not a good thing when you're watching -- or playing -- elite-level hockey. Perhaps outdoor games should be rescheduled for days without heavy snow in the forecast.
Some of Friday's best games involving draft prospects were played in Europe. Two European-based players made this list below, while the rest came from a combination of the three major-junior leagues and the USHL. It was also a good day for goaltenders. View the full list here:
TRISTAN COTE-CAZENAVE -- Victoriaville's goalie is also the Tigres' best first-year-eligible draft prospect. On Friday, Victoriaville rolled to a 6-1 win at Rimouski, thanks largely to Cote-Cazenave's 40-save night. He went 14-for-14 in save opportunities in both the first and third periods. Cote-Cazenave has not won five of his last six QMJHL starts without having given up more than two goals in any of those victories. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
RILEY DAMIANI -- Damiani had a goal and an assist to earn No. 2 star recognition in Kitchener's 4-3 win over Erie. His first point was the primary assist on a goal at 18:45 of the second period, putting the Rangers in the lead at 3-2. He then came through with the game-winner, snapping a 3-3 tie on an unassisted goal with 3:51 remaining in regulation. With 12 goals and 12 assists in 36 OHL games, Damiani has passed last season's totals of nine goals and 22 points. His scoring surge has included points in six of his last seven games. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
LUKAS DOSTAL -- Over his last two starts against men in the Czech WSM Liga, the 17-year-old Dostal stopped 65 of 68 shots for a .956 save percentage. That includes 40 saves in Trebic's 2-1 loss at Ceske Budejovice on Friday. He didn't win, but the fact that he can play this well in a men's league when he's nearly a year younger than fellow Czech goalie Jakub Skarek means a lot. The upside is tremendous. (Note: 10th appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- tied for overall lead and leads all goalies)
FILIP HALLANDER -- Hallander continued his strong play for Timra in Sweden's Allsvenskan league on Friday. He had a goal and an assist, as well as four shots in a 3-2 OT shootout win over Solna AIK. The assist, at 11:10 of the opening period, tied the game 1-1. His goal, which will count in his Allsvenskan season totals, was the game-winner in the fifth round of the shootout. Hallander is on a three-game scoring streak in which he's put up three goals and two assists -- playing against men. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BARRETT HAYTON -- Sault Ste. Marie's top draft prospect scored a goal and picked up an assist in the Greyhounds' 6-5 win over Flint on Friday. He assisted on a goal at 3:57 of the third period to put the Hounds up 3-2, and he delivered the dramatic game-winner with 16 seconds left in the third. Hayton now has 14 goals and 32 points in 35 OHL games, including five points in his last three games. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
KEEGAN KARKI -- Karki sure likes beating the U.S. NTDP program that he was very much a part of during the 2016-17 season. After beating the Under-18's earlier this month, the Muskegon Lumberjacks' No. 1 goalie came back Friday and shut out the Under-17's. He stopped 20 shots in the 3-0 win to earn No. 1 star honors. He was particularly strong over the final 40 minutes, stopping 15 total shots for his fifth straight USHL victory. His save percentage in those five wins is a remarkable .937. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
RASMUS SANDIN -- Sandin, a defenseman, had the best offensive performance of his OHL career on Friday as the No. 1 star of Sault Ste. Marie's 6-5 win at Flint. The Swedish import, who began his season in the SHL, scored a career-high two goals and three points. His first goal, on a power play at 18:33 of the second period, made it a 2-2 tie. His second goal, scored at 11:11 of the third, put the Greyhounds up 4-3. He closed out the night with an assist on Barrett Hayton's game-winner with 16 seconds to go. Sandin has an impressive four goals and 20 points through 23 OHL games since coming over from Sweden. His goals were his first since Nov. 22, as he earned his second three-star selection of the season and his first No. 1 star slot.
ANDREI SVECHNIKOV -- The beat goes on for Svechnikov, who had two assists in Russia's 5-2 win over Belarus Friday at the World Junior Championship. He did this in only 9:48 of icetime on the fourth line. The first assist was the lone helper on a goal at 3:33 of the second period to make it 3-0. He later got the primary assist on a goal that made it 5-1 at 8:12 of the third. Both assists came on goals by Klim Kostin, helping Svechnikov move into a tie for third in World Junior scoring. (Note: Ninth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
DAVID TENDECK -- What was most impressive about Tendeck's on Friday was that his 34 saves in a 2-1 win at Everett came after his worst start of the year. Rebounding from a rough Wednesday, in which he gave up six goals in 40 minutes, Tendeck led the Vancouver Giants to a revenge win over the Silvertips, earning No. 2 star honors He stopped 11 shots in the first period, 14 in the second, and was a perfect 9-for-9 in the third. Tendeck has won seven of his last eight WHL starts and has been a three-star selection in four of those wins. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BRADY TKACHUK -- One of the darlings of this year's World Junior, Team USA's Tkachuk made his mark in the outdoor game against Canada by scoring for a 3-3 tie at 6:43 of the third period. He later was one of two USA players to score in the OT shootout, delivering the memorably 4-3 win. Snow didn't faze him, as he saw a whopping 22:41 of icetime despite being the team's second-youngest player. Through three tournament games, Tkachuk had two goals and an assist. You almost have to wonder if he could end up in the top two picks in the 2018 draft. Not likely, but he's making a big statement on a big stage. (Note: Seventh appearance on this list in 2017-18)