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Prospect Need to Know: Noah Dobson keeps building his draft case

The slick D-man is helping Acadie-Bathurst play for a title, while in the USHL, it's draft time. Catch up on all the latest prospect news in our weekly wrap

As the CHL finals churn on, the USHL grabs some spotlight this week. The American junior league held its annual two drafts, Phase 1 for 2002 birthday players and Phase 2 for kids born from 1998-2001. Maryland native Stephen Halliday, a big, high-scoring left winger who played for the Toronto Marlboros this season, went first overall to Central Illinois in the Phase 1 draft. The Phase 2 draft provided some early intrigue when Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick J.D. Greenway (Jordan’s younger brother) was selected by the Chicago Steel. Greenway is already at the University of Wisconsin, but I’ve been told there’s a chance he’ll leave and several USHL teams believed he will. There’s still a lot going on in the prospect world, so let’s take a look at the movers and shakers.

Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL): Few 2018 draft prospects are still playing hockey right now, but Dobson is in the thick of it, as his Titan battle Blainville-Boisbriand for the Quebec League championship. The big, effortless skater has 10 points through 16 games, including a crucial goal in Game 2 against the Armada that stood as the game-winner. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Filip Hronek, D, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL): Detroit Red Wings fans are very invested in the team’s future right now (with good reason) and Hronek is one of the players with a chance to make a difference. The offensively-inclined defenseman is getting a great opportunity at the World Championship right now and already has a goal for the Czech Republic through two games. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Stuart Skinner, G, Swift Current Broncos (WHL): Taking on Carter Hart isn’t a fun task for a junior goalie, but Skinner has been up to the challenge so far in the ‘Dub’ final, as his Broncos are tied with Everett at a game a piece. Skinner is an Edmonton Oilers prospect with great size and solid fundamentals in the crease. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Quinn Hughes, D, University of Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten): Like Hronek, Hughes is getting a fantastic international stage at the worlds, though he’s playing for Team USA and hasn’t even been drafted yet. The 2018 prospect has two points in his first three games and it’s obvious why the Americans gave him a shot: Hughes’ skating and puck control are incredibly high-end. He’ll be a high pick this summer. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Robert Thomas, C, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL): Everything came together for Hamilton this season, including the acquisition of Thomas from the London Knights. Now they have a lead on Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL final. Thomas has been amazing throughout his Bulldogs tenure, putting up points, winning faceoffs and being the high-end two way player the St. Louis Blues envisioned when they took him in the first round last year. He has 27 points in 18 games to lead the Dogs. NHL arrival: 2018-19

Jakob Schmidt-Svejstrup, LW, Fargo Force (USHL): With 10 points in 10 games, Schmidt-Svejstrup has been a key player for the Force en route to the USHL final. The Danish national and University of Maine commit is a natural goal-scorer with size who still needs to get stronger, but there’s time for that. Right now, the 2018 draft prospect (who was passed over before) is gunning for a title. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Roope Hintz, LW, Texas Stars (AHL): The Stars are up on Tucson in the second round of the AHL playoffs and Hintz has been part of the winning collective. The big, versatile forward has five points through seven games for Texas and is making the transition to North America look positive. The Dallas prospect also has a world junior gold medal on his resume. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Curtis Hall, C, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL): A big-bodied pivot who plays a two-way game, Hall is giving scouts a little more runway to judge his game thanks to Youngstown’s berth in the USHL final. The Yale commit has five points through seven playoff games, which somewhat helps erase the dry spell he had mid-season, when he couldn’t find the scoresheet. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Drake Batherson, RW, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL): The Armada acquired Batherson from Cape Breton this season for his offense and the Ottawa Senators pick has definitely delivered. Batherson has rung up 28 points through 18 playoffs games for B-B, building on the great work he did for Canada at the world juniors. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Brendan Budy, C, Langley Rivermen (BCHL): The second overall pick in the USHL’s Phase 2 draft, Budy is a 2018 draft prospect and Denver commit. Now property of the Tri-City Storm, Budy is a bit on the small side, but he’s got great hands and finishing skills. He was Langley’s captain this season and won gold at the World Junior A Challenge with Canada West. NHL arrival: 2022-23



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