Weather permitting, Boston’s NCAA Beanpot tournament will end next week and hopefully I’ll be there. In the meantime, some more important dates were established when the CHL announced the hosts of next year’s Super Series with Russia: Kamloops, Kelowna, Owen Sound, Windsor, Rouyn-Noranda and Halifax. With that out of the way, let’s take a trip around the world of prospects.
Noah Rod, RW – Geneve-Servette (Swi.)
Though he was hurt recently, Rod has been the pain in a lot of players’ sides this year. As a gritty shutdown winger, the San Jose prospect was tasked with taking on some of the best in his age group at the world juniors for Switzerland, an assignment he relished.
“It’s a nice challenge,” he said. “I love playing like that. For me, it’s very nice.”
Though the Swiss bombed out of the tournament and had to stave off relegation against Germany, the future is bright for Rod, who has played against men back home in Switzerland this season.
“With the men it’s not easy and I learn a lot,” he said. “I play with NHL players, too, so they teach me a lot in the dressing room and on the ice.”
Selfishly, we’re always going to want to see the best talents in the world come over to North America and Rod is no exception. With the way he plays the game and the fact that he can chip in on offense as well, the teen seems perfectly suited for the type of competition he’ll face on this side of the Atlantic. And perhaps we’ll see him soon, but likely not in major junior.
“For me it’s better to play with the men in Switzerland,” Rod said. “But I’m going to come pretty soon, maybe AHL, maybe NHL. I hope NHL.”
Given how an influx of young talent can give even the most veteran NHL team a boost, the Sharks wouldn’t mind that at all. Drafted 53rd overall by San Jose in 2014.
Connor McDavid, C – Erie Otters (OHL)
Not only did McDavid just break the Otters franchise record by going on a 19-game point streak, but in seven games this month, he has multiple points in all but one contest. Fast, talented and blessed with a superb hockey mind, the consensus top prospect is on a tear. Draft eligible in 2015.
Brock Boeser, RW – Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
A hat trick in his last outing pushed Boeser to the top of the United States League with 26 goals and it's a tough circuit to score in. The power forward recently committed to the University of North Dakota, where his combination of size and scoring acumen will be more than welcome in Grand Forks. Draft eligible in 2015.
Brandon Halverson, G – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Simply put, it's incredible Halverson has lost just four decisions this season, especially since he's already at 30 wins. Sure, the Hounds are strong, but the big Michigan native is sitting on back-to-back shutouts, making 30 saves or more in both efforts. Drafted 59th overall by the New York Rangers in 2014.
Austin Wagner, LW – Regina Pats (WHL)
Scouts have been trying to keep Wagner's name on the down-low since they like him so much, but the kid has begun making headlines anyway. A big, fast winger who can create space for his linemates thanks to his speed, Wagner has two goals in his past three games for the Pats. Draft eligible in 2015.
Lucas Carlsson, D – Brynas (Swe.)
Currently playing for Brynas’ junior team, Carlsson has spent time with the big club as well. A mobile defenseman who plays a heads-up game and makes a good first pass, Carlsson was a great offensive driver for the Swedes at the Five Nations with four points in four games. Draft eligible in 2015.
Kevin Roy, C – Northeastern University Huskies (Hockey East)
A pure sniper who stirs the drink at Northeastern, Roy is coming off a fantastic weekend that saw him score four goals in one game and notch three assists in the next one. The talented scorer will need to stay on his game when Northeastern competes for the Beanpot title vs. Boston U. next week. Drafted 97th overall by Anaheim in 2012.
Adam Parsells, D – Wausau West Warriors (Wisc. HS)
An intriguing prospect on the back end who comes in at 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds already, Parsells heads into the Wisconsin high school playoffs on the top-seeded team in their section. The University of Wisconsin commit has great reach and moves well for his size and put up decent numbers for the Warriors. Draft eligible in 2015.
Philippe Desrosiers, G – Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
Rimouski has been on a tear recently, having already locked up a playoff spot in the ‘Q’ and riding two good goalies in Desrosiers and Louis-Philip Guindon. Desrosiers has one of the best goals-against averages in the league at 2.64, using his size and ability to track the puck to pick up wins. Drafted 54th overall by Dallas in 2013.
Denis Guryanov, RW – Ladia Togliatti (Rus.)
Scouts are very interested in what Guryanov has been up to this season and locally, he’s been on fire. The big, quick right winger has more than a point-per-game for Togliatti in Russia’s junior league right now and just had a seven-game point streak snapped. Draft eligible in 2015.