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Prospect Need to Know: Acadie-Bathurst rules the Memorial Cup

The Titan got it done in Regina, while some new team commitments caught our eye this week. Learn which prospects are making noise in our weekly wrap

It almost happened again. After losing in the first round of the playoffs, the host team at the Memorial Cup nearly won it all. Unfortunately for the Regina Pats, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan said no. Will all due credit to the Pats, the Titan victory is pretty cool. Acadie-Bathurst is a very small market and the team had never won the Cup before. That they won the 100th edition makes it extra-special. We’re almost out of prospect hockey for the year, but there is one more to go, as the AHL final is now set with the Toronto Marlies squaring off against the Texas Stars. It should be a bell-ringer of a series and let’s not forget how close the draft is. With all that in mind, let’s take a whirl around the prospect world again.

 

Antoine Morand, C, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL): Morand just helped the Titan win the Memorial Cup and it looks like he’ll have another chance next season. The Anaheim Ducks prospect has been traded to Halifax and the Mooseheads host next season. In Morand, the Herd gets an excellent playmaker and a character guy who should also make Canada’s world junior squad. NHL arrival: 2020-21

 

Andreas Johnsson, LW, Toronto Marlies (AHL): We’re looking at a potential Calder Cup MVP here. Johnsson has 15 points in nine games to lead the Marlies and had two goals in the conference clincher against Lehigh Valley. The Swedish national’s combination of quickness, skill and smarts make him a handful to contain and not many opponents have been able to do it so far. NHL arrival: 2018-19

 

Sam Steel, C, Regina Pats (WHL): No doubt Steel would have preferred the Memorial Cup over the MVP honor, but the Anaheim Ducks prospect certainly made a statement on home turf. Steel led the field in scoring with 13 points in five games and looked dangerous throughout. His playmaking vision is something to behold, as linemate Nick Henry can attest. NHL arrival: 2018-19

 

Massimo Rizzo, C, Penticton Vees (BCHL): One of the top prospects for the 2019 draft, Rizzo just committed to the University of North Dakota, where the Fighting Hawks get another blue-chipper. Vision and hockey sense are his calling cards and Rizzo was nearly a point-per-game player in the BCHL playoffs this spring. NHL arrival: 2021-22

 

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Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, U.S. NTDP (USHL): Wahlstrom had previously committed to Maine and Harvard, but he will suit up for Boston College next year due to Harvard’s stringent academic standards. The Crimson’s loss is the Eagles’ gain, as the 2018 draft prospect boasts an NHL-caliber shot already, plus a lot of hockey smarts. NHL arrival: 2019-20

 

Max Paddock, G, Regina Pats (WHL): The Pats may have fallen in the Memorial Cup final, but Paddock did his part. The 2018 draft prospect put on some clinics in the tourney, using great movement to keep the puck out of the net. Playing for his uncle, John Paddock, Max certainly made a case for his own pro future this spring. NHL arrival: 2022-23

 

Roope Hintz, LW, Texas Stars (AHL): The Stars have a lot of veterans doing the heavy lifting in the playoffs, but Hintz is a younger exception. The versatile Finn notched the series-winning overtime goal against Rockford in the conference final and has been great in the post-season for Dallas’ farm team. NHL arrival: 2019-20

 

Jeffrey Truchon-Viel, LW, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL): Viel certainly saved the best for last, earning himself QMJHL playoff MVP honors before leading the Titan in scoring with 10 points in four games at the Memorial Cup. A San Jose Sharks prospect, Viel has great hands and is a deadly threat on the penalty kill. Should be interesting to see him in the AHL next year. NHL arrival: 2020-21

 

Aleksi Heponiemi, C, Swift Current Broncos (WHL): After lacerating the ‘Dub’ for the past two seasons, Heponiemi has done as much as he could in the league, including helping the Broncos to the Memorial Cup. So next year, the Florida Panthers pick will head home to Finland to play for Karpat, where his playmaking skills will be welcomed. NHL arrival: 2019-20

 

Kaden Fulcher, G, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL): It’s not Fulcher’s fault the Bulldogs failed to advance to the Memorial Cup final; he had the best goalie stats of the tournament. The Detroit Red Wings prospect put up a .918 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average in four games, using his size to his advantage. NHL arrival: 2021-22