The NHL trade deadline has passed and few prospects were actually swapped in the process. Colten Teubert is now Edmonton property, while Michael Chaput is a Blue Jacket. Anton Khudobin, who has already made his NHL debut, is now with the Bruins. But other than that, the kids stayed put on Feb. 28. Here’s a look at some of the other prospects we’re excited to see in the NHL one day.
Max Reinhart, C – Kootenay Ice (WHL)
As Calgary’s first selection in 2010 (albeit in the third round), Reinhart became a second-generation Flame after his dad, Paul. And according to scouts, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Max has displayed the same great hockey sense as his dad, propelling him to near the top of Kootenay’s scoring charts. But that’s not his only ticket to the pros.
“I think skating is my biggest strength,” Reinhart said. “I can play both ends of the ice and I want to produce at the next level.”
Producing in the Western League hasn’t been much of a problem, as Reinhart has already broken the 30-goal mark this season and sits at 70 points in 63 games, just one off the team lead. But the kid’s not one to rest on his accomplishments.
“I gotta work on my faceoffs and the defensive zone in general,” he said. “It’s going to be such a challenge at the next level.”
But at least he won’t be a stranger. Getting drafted by one of this father’s teams means Reinhart already has a little familiarity in Calgary, even though he has dealt with the inevitable comparisons when visiting the organization.
“There were people who told me I looked exactly like him at the same age,” he said.
Assuming he can break into the show like his dad, there probably won’t be any complaints on either side about that. Drafted 64th overall by Calgary in 2010.
Max Everson, D – Edina Hornets (Minn. HS)
The Minnesota high school playoffs are here, with teams competing in the sectionals on the road to the state tournament. Edina received a huge boost in its quest for a repeat when Everson returned from a wrist injury that initially looked more serious. Physical and skilled, the Harvard commit had two assists in a 5-0 semifinal win over Prior Lake. Draft eligible in 2011.
Ben Duffy, C – P.E.I. Rocket (QMJHL)
The Rocket may not exactly be soaring, but the squad has clinched a playoff spot and can thank their slender center for the offensive end. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Duffy, who models his game after Patrick Kane, was held off the scoresheet just once in February and has posted back-to-back three-point games leading into March. Draft eligible in 2011 (undrafted in 2010).
Dmitri Orlov, D – Hershey Bears (AHL)
With his Kontinental League Novokuznetsk team out of the playoffs, Orlov has taken his talents to Chocolate City and it didn’t take long for the world junior star to make an impact. The offensively gifted defenseman has two assists in his first two games for the Bears, who promise to have a much rosier post-season future. Drafted 55th overall by Washington in 2009.
Carl Hagelin, LW – University of Michigan Wolverines (CCHA)
The Swedish senior was lights-out for the Maize and Blue last year, so his performance this time out is no surprise, but he does have a shot at breaking his 50-point junior season. Hagelin currently sits at 45 points through 36 games and, with 17 already, has a real chance at breaking the 20-goal plateau for the first time. Drafted 168th overall by the New York Rangers in 2007.
Joe Colborne, C – Toronto Marlies (AHL)
The centerpiece prospect in the Tomas Kaberle deal, Colborne hit the ground running in Toronto, notching three goals in his first three games for the Marlies. Still filling out at 6-foot-5, 216 pounds, the skilled pivot has a lot of expectation riding on him, but the early returns are solid. Acquired by Toronto from Boston in 2011.
Mike Morrison, G – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
After being one of just three goalies to take part in the NHL’s summer Research & Development Camp, Morrison’s season got off to a choppy start. But since the turning of the calendar year, the third-year OHLer has really taken off and now boasts the third-best goals-against average in the league at 2.55, plus he’s on a four-game win streak. Draft eligible in 2011.
Adam Clendening, D – Boston University Terriers (Hockey East)
After a slow start to his freshman campaign, Clendening has his bearings now and is a frequent contributor to the Terriers offense. His 18 assists and 23 points are tops among BU defenders and top-30 overall in the conference. The Kevin Shattenkirk clone also has a team-best plus-10 rating. Draft eligible in 2011.
Linden Vey, RW – Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
Give it up for Vey, the first junior player in the country to hit triple digits in scoring this season. The competitive center now sits at 105 points, also reaching the 40-goal mark in the process. And lest you think the kid’s all offense, he also boasts a plus-33 rating. Drafted 96th overall by Los Angeles in 2009.
Louis Leblanc, C – Montreal Juniors (QMJHL)
Habs nation, creep back from that ledge. After enduring a three-week slump spanning January and early February, Leblanc is back on top, tallying 14 points in his past six games, including a hat trick plus an assist versus Moncton. The two-way center’s next task will be getting the Juniors past Saint John and Quebec for that league title. Drafted 18th overall by Montreal in 2009.
The Hot List, a roundup of minor league, junior, college and high school players we’re excited to one day see in the NHL, appears every Tuesday only on thehockeynews.com. A player is eligible for The Hot List until they play in their first NHL game.
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