CHL Prospect Report: How the Hockey World's Top Youngsters are Faring
The hockey season is officially on! The WHL, OHL, and QMJHL seasons are off to the races and some prospects have hit the ground running! Today we take a look at some top prospects (some draft eligible, some already drafted), and how they are faring more than two weeks into the season!
- Vegas Golden Knights prospect Cody Glass is having a field day so far in the WHL. It’s clear that after this season Glass (picked 6th overall by Vegas in 2017) will be ready for a new challenge, presumably the NHL. Through 6 WHL games, Glass has 3 goals and 14 (!!) assists for a remarkable 17 points. That’s a 2.83 Points Per Game average, tops in the league. It is unlikely Glass will continue to produce at this rate for the rest of the WHL season, but anything over 2 PPG in a full season would be noteworthy from the Golden Knights prospect. A year later from when Glass was a surprising cut from Canada’s World Junior team, he looks like an early favorite to lead the team this year.
- Left winger Liam Kirk became the first player in NHL history to be drafted out of England (189th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2018), playing for the Sheffield Steelers of the EIHL. His first 10 games in the OHL have gotten off to a respectable start, with Kirk potting 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points on the Peterborough Petes.
- Two 2019 draft-eligible players making some noise: Ryan Suzuki in the OHL, and Kirby Dach in the WHL. Suzuki leads the OHL in scoring with 18 points in 10 games, playing for the Barrie Colts. Suzuki is a great two-way centre with high level hockey sense and elite vision. Dach is among the leading scorers in the WHL with 16 points in 9 games He is a lanky 6’4’ centre with a great shot. Dach’s hot start has garnered him top three consideration for the upcoming 2019 draft, but there is plenty of season to go for Dach and his Saskatoon Blades.
- The 1st overall pick in the 2018 OHL Bantam Draft, centre Quinton Byfield, is a physical specimen, standing at 6’4’ and 214 pounds at just 16 years old. On the ice with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves, Byfield is also off to an impressive start with 3 goals and 6 points in 9 games. He is draft eligible in 2020.
- Another 2020-eligible prospect in the OHL turning heads is defenseman Jamie Drysdale. The 16-year-old rearguard is off to an impressive start with the Erie Otters, posting 5 points in his first 7 games. Drysdale is an impressive skater who plays a game in the mold of modern defense prospects such as Quinn Hughes and Bowen Byram.
- In two games since being returned to the OHL by the Arizona Coyotes, Barrett Hayton has 5 points in 2 games. Hayton made the Coyotes out of camp but was returned to junior before playing his first game.
- In the QMJHL, the dynamic duo of Alexis Lafreniere (2020 draft eligible) and David Zavgorodny (drafted 198th overall by the Calgary Flames in 2018) on the Rimouski Oceanic is making noise. Lafreniere continues to wow with 15 points in 10 matches, while Zavgorodny ranks second in QMJHL scoring with 17 points in as many games.