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Prospect Need to Know: Knight is the best goalie in the draft

The NTDP netminder just took down the Fighting Irish and hasn't been beaten yet this year. Learn about him and other top prospects in our weekly wrap

With college teams taking to the ice for a combination of real and exhibition games this past weekend, we’ve pretty much got everyone in the mix now. I’ll wait until next week to bring NCAA kids into the fold, but there are still a lot of prospects making noise around the world right now. As expected, the U.S. National Team Development Program’s under-18 squad has been deadly and you’ll probably see even more NTDP kids than usual on the list this year. But they’re not the only USHL-affiliated prospects with high ceilings. Let’s get to the round-up.

Spencer Knight, G, U.S. NTDP (USHL): The top netminding prospect in the 2019 draft, Knight has lived up to reputation by going 4-0 with a .955 save percentage for the NTDP so far. The big Boston College commit’s latest gem was a 36-save win over Notre Dame, the third-ranked NCAA team in the nation. NHL arrival: 2022-23

Nicolas Roy, C, Charlotte Checkers (AHL): The AHL is in full swing and Roy is making a serious dent right off the hop with four goals and six points in two games, tying him atop the league leaderboard and earning player of the week honors. The Carolina Hurricanes prospect has great size and plays a solid all-around game, so this uptick in offense is very positive news. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Shane Pinto, C, Lincoln Stars (USHL): One of the top scorers in the league with seven points in four games, Pinto is a North Dakota commit who keeps plays alive and does a lot of good work around the net. The 2019 draft prospect has a great work ethic and a nice frame at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Ethan Haider, G, Minnesota Magicians (NAHL): Haider first came on the radar two years ago when he helped Maple Grove win sectionals to make the Minnesota State High School tournament and the kid has grown a few inches to 6-foot-2 now. The Clarkson commit and 2019 draft prospect is tearing up the NAHL so far, posting a .949 save percentage with two shutouts in six appearances. NHL arrival: 2023-24

Nicholas Porco, LW, Saginaw Spirit (OHL): When Porco gets a step on you, it’s over. The 2019 draft prospect has breakaway speed and great hands to finish off plays. Porco has seven goals through his first eight games, tying him for second in the league. He’s a 2019 draft prospect getting good reps on a solid Spirit team. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Jordan Spence, D, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL): Spence’s potential has soared in the past few years, breaking out last season in Jr. A. Now a rookie in the ‘Q,’ the offensive defenseman and 2019 draft prospect has six points in his first seven games for Moncton, using his skating, puck skills and a hard shot to produce from the blueline. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Joachim Blichfeld, RW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL): Blichfeld wasn’t necessarily expected to return to Portland for an overage season, but the Danish import was assigned there by the San Jose Sharks and I’m sure the Winterhawks don’t mind. The talented left winger is tied for the WHL scoring lead with 17 points in seven games, contributing in all situations. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Mikko Kokkonen, D, Jukurit (Fin.): He was the youngest player ever to make his Liiga debut a couple years ago, but that was admittedly a stunt by Jukurit. Now, the 2019 draft prospect is contributing for real with five points in 10 games, making him the team’s top-scoring D-man. He’s also getting decent minutes at 15:26 per game. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Alex Newhook, C, Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL): A shock snub for Canada’s Hlinka-Gretzky team, Newhook has channelled his energies the right way by lighting up the BCHL again. The 2019 draft prospect and Boston College commit has 16 points in 12 games for the Grizzlies, putting him second in league scoring. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Trey Fix-Wolansky, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL): Short on stature but long on skills, Fix-Wolansky has been dynamite for the Oil Kings with 15 points through eight games. The Columbus Blue Jackets pick is a volume shooter and good playmaker who just needs to get stronger if he wants to produce at the next level. NHL arrival: 2022-23



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