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Prospect Need to Know: Boldy makes an early statement for 2019

In our weekly round-up of prospects from around the hockey world, our expert takes a look at major junior's opening weekend and the MVP of the All-American Prospects Game

The major junior season has officially begun and with Europe already in full swing, we’ve got a lot of hockey to watch, folks. With real games being played, it’s exciting to see that the phenoms are making noise already: Jack Hughes, Quinton Byfield, Josh Lawrence and Alexis Lafreniere are all off to amazing starts and that bodes well for the next two drafts. But since I’ve already talked about those kids over the summer, let’s focus on some of the other great performances of the past week. The cream seems to be rising to the top right off the hop and that’s fun.

Matthew Boldy, LW, U.S. NTDP (USHL): The All American Prospects Game was last Wednesday and it was a pretty great game. Boldy earned MVP honors on the strength of two goals and three points, showing off wicked vision and a fast shot. The 2019 draft prospect is a Boston College commit and along with Jack Hughes, will be a driver for what promises to be an excellent NTDP squad this season. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Valentin Nussbaumer, C, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL): You can’t get off to a better start than Nussbaumer, who posted a hat trick in his first ‘Q’ game. The Swiss import and 2019 draft prospect has a great shot, and can create offensive chances by himself. Not afraid to pull the puck back in order to re-start a rush. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS (Fin.): While Jack Hughes is the consensus No. 1 in the 2019 draft, Kakko has the inside track on going second thanks to a great combination of size, skill and puck protection ability. Kakko is already off to a cracking start in the Liiga, posting six points through five games, putting him just one point behind the league leaders. It’s early, but that’s a better pace than Patrik Laine had in his spectacular draft year. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon Blades (WHL): With seven points in two games – including a hat trick in one of those meetings – Dach is off to a sizzling start in his draft year. The 2019 prospect boasts size, smarts and skating, adding up to a pretty complete skills package. He’ll be a driver for the Blades and a potential lottery pick. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Hunter Jones, G, Peterborough Petes (OHL): In his season debut, Jones posted a 38-save shutout against Kingston, then followed it up with a 37-save win over Ottawa. The 2019 draft prospect is a big kid (6-foot-4) with really good reflexes who gets down in the butterfly very quickly. Are Canadian goalies becoming a thing again? NHL arrival: 2022-23

Ioraslav Likhachev, RW, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL): With four points in his ‘Q’ debut, Likhachev certainly made the Olympiques look good with their import pick. The 2019 draft prospect from Russia has great anticipation, is aggressive on the puck, and finishes off plays with nice skill. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Dylan Ferguson, G, Kamloops Blazers (WHL): Famously part of Vegas’ endless stream of goalies last year, Ferguson is back where he should be, developing in the ‘Dub.’ The Golden Knights prospect was named goalie of the week thanks to two wins and a .970 save percentage, using his athleticism and battle level to swat away chances. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Johan Sodergran, LW, Linkoping (SHL): Last year, Sodergran had zero points in 20 SHL games, but the Los Angeles Kings pick already has four in his first three (including three goals) this season. The big sixth-rounder has a good shot and can also play center, lending him some nice versatility up front. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Igor Shesterkin, G, SKA-St. Petersburg (KHL): Ho hum, Shesterkin is once again ruling in Russia. The New York Rangers pick was named goalie of the week in the KHL thanks to two straight shutouts and a goalless streak of 131 minutes and 11 seconds. Shesterkin is undefeated in four games and his contract is up in April - so we may finally see him in North America soon. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Jason Robertson, RW, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL): This is going to be a big year for Robertson, as the Dallas Stars pick looks trimmer and quicker. Robertson had a hat trick vs. Oshawa on the weekend and his size, reach and shot will be a problem for the opposition all year. Could be a world junior guy for Team USA, too. NHL arrival: 2021-22



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