With NHL rosters almost set, some Hot List favorites appear to be graduating ahead of schedule. So if you don’t see Alexander Burmistrov, Jeff Skinner or Cam Fowler anymore, it’s because they’ve debuted in the NHL. Elsewhere, Jeremy Morin and Jerry D’Amigo have tickets to the American League, so they’ll be interesting to watch as well. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the other prospects we’re excited to see in the NHL one day.
Joey Hishon, C – Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
One of the bigger surprises in the 2010 draft was the first round selection of Hishon by the Colorado Avalanche, though the high-energy Attack pivot wasn’t too shocked himself.
“I was ranked pretty high going into the year,” Hishon noted. “But after my tough season I slid a bit.”
Tough season? True. Hishon played just 36 games for Owen Sound last year due to a variety of injuries, but still managed to post 40 points in the process. Pro-rated over an entire season, that would have vaulted him into a pretty impressive trajectory. An elite stickhandler and playmaker, the new Avs prospect is just happy to have an NHL team to call his own.
“Obviously Colorado still believes in me,” Hishon said. “And I can’t wait to get my foot in the door.”
In a cruel twist of fate, Hishon sustained a hand injury during an Avs scrimmage in September, but he has already rebounded nicely: back in Owen Sound, the 5-foot-10, 173-pounder has five points in two games. It’s just tough to keep this kid down, apparently. Drafted 17th overall by Colorado in 2010.
Kirill Petrov, RW – Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (KHL)
Petrov’s Kontinental League career had been stalled by a lack of playing time with Ak Bars Kazan, but a trade to KHL newcomer Yugra will clear that up. The big right winger had an assist in his first game, but more importantly, was given 15 minutes of ice time – far more than he was ever given consistently with Ak Bars. Drafted 73rd overall by the New York Islanders in 2008.
Tim Heed, D – Vaxjo Lakers (Swe.)
Talk about getting offense from your blueline, Heed has erupted to start off his season in Sweden’s second division after being loaned from Sodertalje. The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder may not have size, but his seven assists and eight points in three games kind of makes you forget about the measurements. Drafted 132nd overall by Anaheim in 2010.
Ty Rattie, RW – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
The sweet-shooting Rattie has been overshadowed for much of his ‘Dub’ career, whether it was being the second pick in the bantam draft behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, or on his own team behind Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter last year. But with his teammates away at NHL camps, Rattie has put up numbers early, leading the Hawks with eight points in five games. Draft eligible in 2011.
Scott Stajcer, G – Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Although this is likely the first time Owen Sound has scored two nods on The Hot List in the same week, it would have been impossible to ignore Stajcer’s start to the season. The fourth-year OHL netminder has been lights-out for the surprising Attack, boasting a 1.00 goals-against average and .969 save percentage in three undefeated starts. Drafted 140th overall by the New York Rangers in 2009.
Alex Galchenyuk, C – Sarnia Sting (OHL)
The top pick in the OHL draft this past summer, Galchenyuk is paying immediate dividends – and not just because his presence helped entice import Nail Yakupov over from Russia. Galchenyuk has posted seven points in his first four games and allowed the Sting to ice two dangerous forward lines and a lethal power play. Draft eligible in 2012.
Scott Mayfield, D – Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
The United States League’s defensive player of the week, Mayfield had a game-winner for the Phantoms and has the build to do a lot of damage in his second USHL season. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder looked great at the NHL’s R&D camp this summer and showed some nice speed and rushing instincts. Draft eligible in 2011.
Alex Saulnier, C – Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Whatever Alex and twin Allain did over the summer, it clearly worked. The brothers and linemates are looking like Quebecois Sedins so far, both notching 15 points in 10 games for a Wildcats squad that lost a lot of firepower from last year’s Memorial Cup qualifiers. Not the biggest kids in the world, the Saulniers obviously have been making up for it with chemistry. Draft eligible in 2011 (undrafted in 2010).
Ryan Tesink, LW – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
In our latest installment of ‘better know a draft-eligible Sea Dog,’ we present Tesink, the team’s early leader with a plus-11 rating and 10 points in eight games, mostly off his playmaking skills. Better yet, Tesink is a hometown Saint John boy who played Jr. A against much older competition last season. Draft eligible in 2011.
Darcy Kuemper, G – Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
Through five appearances, Kuemper has held up his end of the bargain for the Rebels, allowing just nine goals for a .920 save percentage and a 1.81 GAA. His 3-2 record should probably be better based on his numbers, but Kuemper’s a big kid in net at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and the Wild are pretty good when it comes to scouting goalie talent. Drafted 161st overall by Minnesota 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 regularly throughout the off-season only on thehockeynews.com. A player is eligible for The Hot List until they play in their first NHL game.
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