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Prospect Need to Know: Perunovich hasn't missed a beat

The reigning NCAA champion is already building off his impressive freshman campaign. Learn more about him and other future NHLers making moves right now in our weekly wrap.

We’ve got some intriguing storylines in the prospect world right now, so let’s start off with some news: the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets have fired coach Jason Smith after a 4-10 start and his replacement is expected to be former NHL star Adam Foote, whose son Nolan plays for the squad. Since retiring, Foote has worked for the Colorado Avalanche and then KO Sports, the player agency that reps Ryan Johansen, John Gibson and Jacob Trouba, among many others.

In the college game, both Boston University and Boston College are off to 0-3 starts for the first time since the 1930s. That’s going to make for an interesting Beanpot if things don’t turn around.

As for the rest of the prospect world, let’s take a look at some of the players doing damage right now.

Scott Perunovich, D, University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (NCHC): How would Perunovich follow up his national championship/rookie of the year campaign for the Dogs? Well, 10 points in six games to lead the conference will do it. The St. Louis Blues pick continues his offensively-dominant game from the blueline. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Victor Olofsson, RW, Rochester Americans (AHL): Olofsson has grown from his seventh-rounder status and is now one of the most dangerous players in the AHL, with 14 points in eight games to lead the league. Great hands and a quick shot make him a threat out there, which has Buffalo Sabres fans begging for a call-up. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Trevor Zegras, C, U.S. NTDP (USHL): Lately, Zegras has been playing right wing for Jack Hughes, but the Boston University commit is also a pivot. Against Dartmouth, Zegras put up two goals to increase his yearly total to 11 points in 10 games. The 2019 draft prospect is an offensive wizard who doesn’t mind going to the net. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Morgan Frost, C, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL): It’s not that Frost had a slow start to the year, because he didn’t – but now the Philadelphia Flyers pick is in overdrive. Frost has nine points in his past three games to vault him among the OHL leaders. The kid has a ton of skill and vision. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Ryan Johnson, D, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL): The league’s defensive player of the week, Johnson had three points in two games for the hot Musketeers. The 2019 draft prospect is a University of Minnesota commit who hails from Orange County, California. He’s got great mobility on the back end. NHL arrival: 2022-23

Andrew Peeke, D, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (BigTen): The Irish are the No. 1 team in college hockey right now and Peeke is their captain. The Columbus Blue Jackets pick also has five points in four games, which is pretty nice for a defenseman with size and mobility who also takes care of his own end. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Emil Bemstrom, C, Djurgarden (SHL): With 10 points in 10 games, Bemstrom leads all junior-aged players in SHL scoring and is tied for fourth amongst all players. The Columbus Blue Jackets pick has an active stick and a knack for goal-scoring. Look for him to be a key part of Sweden’s world junior squad in Vancouver. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Jakob Pelletier, LW, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL): Pelletier lost some spotlight after breaking his wrist at the Hlinka-Gretzky tournament in the summer, but he’s been burning in the ‘Q’ with 16 points in his first 11 games. The compact 2019 draft prospect has great speed and skills, but he’s also a character kid. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Bowen Byram, D, Vancouver Giants (WHL): One of the top defensemen available in the 2019 draft, Byram has skating, skill and a solid frame. He’s shooting the puck more recently and has put up seven points in his past five games for a very good Giants team that currently leads the Western Conference in points. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Jordan Kooy, G, London Knights (OHL): Kooy was the backup to Joseph Raaymakers the past two seasons, so he didn’t get a lot of starts, but the Vegas Golden Knights grabbed him with a seventh-round pick this summer and the early returns are good. The 6-foot-2 Kooy is rocking a .932 save percentage now that he’s in charge of the Knights’ crease. NHL arrival: 2023-24


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