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Another week, another look ahead.
After a wild week of trades in the Canadian Hockey League, some of the league’s top stars are already clicking with their new teams. Shane Wright, for example, has up to six points in three games with Windsor and will likely be the center of next week’s roundup.
But today we’re going to have a heavy focus on the NCAA. If you’re a Habs fan, you love the game of Sean Farrell, who has been on an absolute tear in the three seasons since the team took him on.
Let’s take a look at 10 prospects who are making noise right now:
– The Montreal Canadiens selected Sean Farrell in the fourth round in 2020, and it instantly became found money. He led the USHL with 72 assists and 101 points in 2020-21, then had 28 points in 24 games as a rookie with Harvard. Heck, he was even USA’s best player at the 2022 Olympics and was excellent in a midfield role at the World Championship. He took his performance in the NCAA to another level, with his three-goal weekend scoring 25 points in 17 games to lead Harvard over a host of other NHL draft prospects. The biggest knock against Farrell is his 5-foot-9 frame, but Montreal has never been afraid to give opportunities to smaller prospects.
– After a quiet season at the University of Minnesota, Tristan Broz transferred to Denver for 2022-23 and is finally starting to find his groove. He had four goals on Saturday against Miami and two more assists the day before. He had another four-point night just a few weeks ago against Lindenwood. Last weekend’s games were the best Pittsburgh Penguins prospect’s NCAA career, and the rest of the season will be all about building on his recent momentum.
– Joe Miller, a sixth round 2020, is not in the high end of the Toronto Maple Leafs‘, but he really starts to shine as a freshman at Harvard. He’s 10 goals and 15 points in 17 games, highlighted by his three goals this weekend against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. He has eight points in his last five games as Harvard sits second in the ECAC. I don’t know what his future looks like in the NHL, but he’s playing well as a college rookie, at least.
– The Kamloops Blazers are one of the best teams in the CHL in terms of quality draft prospects and left wing Daylan Kuefler is a big reason why. Selected by the New York Islanders as an older prospect last year, Kuefler has up to 24 goals and 45 points at age 20. There’s nothing too incredible about that, but he’s had seven multi-point efforts in the last 11 games, including eight points in his last five games. When drafting an older prospect — in this case, someone who’s been passed over for two years in a row — you’re hoping for someone who’s immediately more ready for the pros. With a good 6-foot-2 frame and a great outing, Kuefler could one day be a decent depth player.
– Francesco Arcuri was a prized acquisition by the Kitchener Rangers after Kingston went into fire sale mode earlier this year. The Dallas Stars the hope had 12 points in its first nine games, including a pair of three-pointers. Arcuri likes to use his teammates as much as possible, but he has a quick release and can be dangerous up close. He is the second cousin of Mike Cammalleri, so he was a good influence on hockey during his life.
– Brandt Clark is probably too good to play in the OHL and the Los Angeles Kings probably know that. But without a roster spot with the big club and not eligible to play full-time with the Ontario Reign, he returned to the Barrie Colts after winning gold with Canada at the World Junior Championship. Clarke had assists in his first two games this week but really got the upper hand with a two-goal, four-point effort against Mississauga on Sunday. The Colts are now 3-0-0 with him in the lineup and look destined for a lengthy playoff series with him in the lead.
– It’s been a good few days for the 19-year-old defender Frederic Brunet, who started Friday with a four-point night and added three more assists on Sunday. He now has eight points in four games since Rimouski transferred him to Victoriaville. The Boston Bruins selected him in the fifth round to add a presence as a two-way offensive defenseman, but he also cleaned up his defensive game.
– zac jonesa 22-year-old offensive defenseman, got a ton of hype after leaving UMass in 2021, earning a 10-game stint with the New York Rangers to end the season. He failed to stay with the club full-time, but the attacking defender had a big weekend with three points in two games against Providence. He also had a two-assist night against Charlotte on Tuesday, scoring one of the best streaks of his professional career. He has already played 16 games for Rangers this year and will likely be back at some point if a spot becomes available.
– The Minnesota Wild had hoped that the best prospect Marco Rossi would have a big impact as a rookie this season. Instead, he had just one assist in 16 games before being returned to the AHL in late November. Now back in Iowa, he’s been very streaky lately, Rossi is up to 16 points in 17 games and, if he stays in the minors for the rest of the season, could even his rookie campaign of 53 points from last year. Firing him was all about getting his confidence back, and it seems to be working.
– The Swedish offense struggled to generate a lot in the WJC, but Noah Ostlund still managed to score four points. Drafted 16th overall by the bison sabers last year, Ostlund have been efficient since returning to Djurgardens, scoring three points in two games this week. He scored twice against Karlskoga in a 4-3 loss, scoring his first HockeyAllsvenskan goals since Nov. 4. Hopefully that will help kick off a strong end to the regular season, with Ostlund sitting at four goals and 14 points in 21 games. in his second year of Swedish professional hockey.
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