Top 100 NHL Affiliated Prospects – May

By Keven Dow
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May 27th, 2015
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HIGHLIGHTS

Playoff performance pushes Bennett to the top.

After a stellar playoff run with the Calgary Flames, Sam Bennett has taken over as the #1 NHL Affiliated Prospect. Despite only appearing in 1 regular season game, the Flames thought enough of Bennett to not only have him be a big part of their playoff run but also to burn a year off his Entry-Level Contract in order to keep him on the roster. And boy did he ever make the most of it. Despite having off-season shoulder surgery that sidelined him all year, Bennett was always in the Flames plans as he was seen as potentially making the Flames opening day roster had it not been for the injury. It would appear as though the surgery did nothing but delay Bennett’s rise up the ranks as he will no doubt be holding onto his roster spot for the next decade and more, a true offensive star in the making.

Battling for the #1 goalie prospect for a 3rd consecutive year are goaltenders Andrei Vasilevskiy and John Gibson.

Vasilevskiy started his first pro season in North America as the starting goaltender for the Syracuse Crunch. At around mid-season the Tampa Bay Lightning brought up their star goalie prospect due to an injury to Ben Bishop but due to Vasilevskiy’s play Tampa decided to keep him up full time as their backup and release Evgeny Nabokov. There were times towards the end of the season when it appeared as though Vasilevskiy might soon surpass Bishop. Although that didn’t last long, Vasilevksiy is no doubt right on Bishop’s heels and will be so for the foreseeable future.
Gibson on the other hand started the year as Anaheim’s #1, yet because he was on a short leash he was ultimately sent down to the AHL where he eventually steadied himself and found his game. Like Vasilevskiy, he was called up at around mid-season where he also remained the backup for the remainder of the season. What was once deemed as being a very small gap between Frederik Andersen and Gibson has now grown to the point where it may take a few years for Gibson to take control of the Ducks crease as Andersen has been incredible this post season. Due to their respective seasons and the goalie situations of their current teams, I have given the ever so slight edge to Vasilevskiy. Both are Top 10 prospects.

In the top 20 there are 5 players who played a good portion of their season in the NHL with a varied range of success for each player.

Oilers top prospect Leon Drasaitl was, to so the surprise of some, kept up at the beginning of the season and although he was not awful, he clearly was not ready for the big leagues yet. Thankfully the Oilers finally sent him down to where he had a great 2nd half of the season with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. Despite the early season struggles he still proved that he is an elite prospect and a 1st line center in the making, be it with the Oilers or not.

 

Bruins top prospect David Pastrnak on the other hand had no such struggles in the NHL as once he completed a dominant World Juniors for the Czechs he was called up by the Bruins for the remainder of the season and was a huge part of their playoff push. Playing mostly 1st line he never looked out of place which is amazing considering he was the 25th overall pick as well as being the youngest player in the NHL. A guy who was maybe considered a top 50 prospect at the start of the season has now vaulted into the top 10 thanks to his outstanding season in both the AHL and NHL.

 

Hawks top Prospect Teuvo Teravainen, a 1st round pick in 2012, finally came over to North America this season to mixed results. Due to the Hawks incredible depth he was mostly playing out of position as a bottom six forward. Then due to the injury of star forward Patrick Kane, Teravainen got a chance at more playing time and did pretty well for the most part. Sure he’s small and not an overly great skater but his pure offensive skills remind some of #88 himself. A big reason for his high ranking.

 

Derrick Pouliot, the Pens #1 prospect had a very good1st pro season. Not expected to be a part of the NHL squad this season he was forced into play thanks to the plethora of injuries sustained by the Pens D core. He sure made the most of it as he was easily their second most talented offensive-defenseman and skater behind Kris Letang. Both those skills were much needed as the Pens lacked any offense from the blue-line beyond those two. A key part of their defense down the stretch, the Pens badly missed him in the playoffs after he sustained an injury at the end of the season. A great 1st pro season for the 2012 1st rounder.

Arguably the most impactful prospect on this list outside of Pastrnak, Andre Burakovsky had an outstanding season for the Capitals this year. The 2013 1st rounder was thought by most to be returning to Erie this season but surprisingly made the Caps roster and held onto his spot in the lineup for the better part of the year, something that’s not easy to do for a 19-year-old in a Barry Trotz system. Showing a great two-way game as well as solid scoring he made the most of his opportunity. The best of the bunch in a great Capitals prospect pool.

NHL 2014 Entry Draft Picks

Early 2014 1st round picks such as Nikolaj Ehlers, Kevin Fiala, William Nylander and Michael Dal Colle all crack the top 20 as they had great respective seasons in be it the CHL or Overseas. Ehlers and Dal Colle both dominated their respective CHL leagues, during the regular season as well as in the playoffs. Nylander and Fiala had great seasons in Europe and continued it once they came over to play in the AHL.

Risers

Some of the biggest risers in the top 100 are guys like Dylan Larkin, Matt Murray, Anthony Duclair, Damon Severson and Christian Dvorak who all had outstanding seasons wherever they played and really showed that extra gear that their respective teams were maybe not expecting this soon.

 

Fallers

Some of the biggest fallers are those who failed to match expectations this year with disapointing seasons, guys like Griffin Reinhart, Haydn Fleury, Zach Fucale, Valentin Zykov and Ryan Sproul. These players had either mediocre seasons where there was little to no progression or regressed to the point of barely keeping their spot on this list.

 

 

Here is my list of the Top 100 NHL Affiliated Prospects. Arizona, Detroit and Montreal lead all teams with 6 prospects a piece. Columbus, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg are next in line with 5 each. Unfortunately for them, Carolina, New Jersey and Ottawa are last on the list with only 1 prospect each. In terms of positions there are 59 forwards, 29 defensemen and 12 goalies on the list. This list is led by thirty-two 2014 Draft Picks which includes an incredible 27 First Rounders. The 2013 Draft comes in second with 29 Draft Picks (13 First Rounders), the 2012 Draft places third with 23 Draft Picks (9 First Rounders), the 2011 Draft then has 10 Draft Picks (only 1 First Rounder) and lastly the 2010 Draft has 6 Draft Picks (1 First Rounder as well).

RankPlayerTeam# of NHL Games PlayedPosition RankWhen They Were Drafted
01Sam BennettCalgary Flames01 GPCenter #01 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (04th Overall)
02Sam ReinhartBuffalo Sabres09 GPCenter #02 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (02nd Overall)
03Andrei VasilevskiyTampa Bay Lightning16 GPGoalie #01 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (19th Overall)
04Leon DrasaitlEdmonton Oilers37 GPCenter #03 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (03rd Overall)
05Nikolaj EhlersWinnipeg Jets0 GPCenter #04 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (09th Overall)
06John GibsonAnaheim Ducks26 GPGoalie #02 2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (39th Overall)
07David PastrnakBoston Bruins46 GPRight Wing #01 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (25th Overall)
08Darnell NurseEdmonton Oilers02 GPDefenceman #01 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (07th Overall)
09William NylanderToronto Maple Leafs0 GPCenter #05 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (08th Overall)
10Michael Dal ColleNew York Islanders0 GPCenter #062014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (05th Overall)
11Kevin FialaNashville Predators01 GPLeft Wing #01 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (11th Overall)
12Teuvo TeravainenChicago Blackhawks37 GPCenter #072012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (18th Overall)
13Derrick PouliotPittsburgh Penguins34 GPDefenceman #02 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (08th Overall)
14Andre BurakovskyWashington Capitals53 GPLeft Wing #02 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (23rd Overall)
15Anthony ManthaDetroit Red Wings0 GPRight Wing #02 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (20th Overall)
16Shea TheodoreAnaheim Ducks0 GPDefenceman #03 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (26th Overall)
17Max DomiArizona Coyotes0 GP Center #08 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (12th Overall)
18Dylan LarkinDetroit Red Wings0 GPCenter #09 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (15th Overall)
19Josh MorrisseyWinnipeg Jets0 GPDefenceman #04 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (13th Overall)
20Anthony DeAngeloTampa Bay Lighhting0 GPDefenceman #05 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (19th Overall)
21Damon SeversonNew Jersey Devils51 GPDefenceman #06 2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (60th Overall)
22Petr MrazekDetroit Red Wings40 GPGoalie #03 2010 NHL Draft - 5th Round (141st Overall)
23Jakub VranaWashington Capitals0 GPLeft Wing #03 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (13th Overall)
24Julius HonkaDallas Stars0 GPDefenceman #07 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (14th Overall)
25Travis SanheimPhiladelphia Flyers0 GPDefenceman #08 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (17th Overall)
26Marko DanoColumbus Blue Jackets35 GPCenter #10 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)
27Ryan PulockNew York Islanders0 GPDefenceman #09 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (15th Overall)
28Oliver BjorkstrandColumbus Blue Jackets0 GPRight Wing #03 2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (89th Overall)
29Anthony DuclairArizona Coyotes18 GPLeft Wing #04 2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (80th Overall)
30Jake VirtanenVancouver Canucks0 GPRight Wing #04 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (06th Overall)
31Nick RitchieAnaheim Ducks0 GPLeft Wing #052014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (10th Overall)
32Robby FabbriSt. Louis Blues0 GPCenter #11 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (21st Overall)
33Pavel BuchnevichNew York Rangers0 GPLeft Wing #06 2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (75th Overall)
34Madison BoweyWashington Capitals0 GPDefenceman #10 2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (53rd Overall)
35Ivan BarbashevSt. Louis Blues0 GPCenter #12 2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (33rd Overall)
36Griffin ReinhartNew York Islanders08 GPDefenceman #11 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (04th Overall)
37Connor HellebucykWinnipeg Jets0 GPGoalie #04 2012 NHL Draft - 5th Round (130th Overall)
38Teemu PulkinenDetroit Red Wings34 GPRight Wing #05 2010 NHL Draft - 4th Round (111th Overall)
39Nic PetanWinnipeg Jets0 GPCenter #13 2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (43rd Overall)
40Nikita ScherbakMontreal Canadiens0 GPRight Wing #06 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (26th Overall)
41Haydn FleuryCarolina Hurricanes0 GPDefenceman #12 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (07th Overall)
42Juuse SarosNashville Predators0 GPGoalie #05 2013 NHL Draft - 4th Round (99th Overall)
43Sonny MilanoColumbus Blue Jackets0 GPLeft Wing #07 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (16th Overall)
44Ryan SpoonerBoston Bruins56 GPCenter #14 2010 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (45th Overall)
45Brandon GormleyArizona Coyotes32 GPDefenceman #13 2010 NHL Draft - 1st Round (13th Overall)
46Alex TuchMinnesota Wild0 GPRight Wing #07 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (18th Overall)
47Chris BigrasColorado Avalanche0 GPDefenceman #14 2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (32nd Overall)
48Ville PokkaChicago Blackhawks0 GPDefenceman #15 2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (34th Overall)
49Kasperi KapanenPittsburgh Penguins0 GPRight Wing #08 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (22nd Overall)
50Vladislav NamestikovTampa Bay Lightning47 GPCenter #15 2011 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)
51Brett RitchieDallas Stars31 GPRight Wing #09 2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (44th Overall)
52Chris TierneySan Jose Sharks43 GPCenter #16 2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (57th Overall)
53Emile PoirierCalgary Flames06 GPRight Wing #10 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (22nd Overall)
54Kerby RychelColumbus Blue Jackets05 GPLeft Wing #08 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (19th Overall)
55Brendan PerliniArizona Coyotes0 GPLeft Wing #09 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (12th Overall)
56Matt MurrayPittsburgh Penguins0 GPGoalie #06 2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (83rd Overall)
57Connor BrownToronto Maple Leafs0 GPRight Wing #11 2012 NHL Draft - 6th Round (156th Overall)
58Jared McCannVancouver Canucks0 GPCenter #17 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (24th Overall)
59Nick SchmaltzChicago Blackhawks0 GPCenter #18 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (20th Overall)
60Brady SkjeiNew York Rangers0 GPDefenceman #16 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (28th Overall)
61Jake McCabeBuffalo Sabres09 GPDefenceman #17 2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (44th Overall)
62Thatcher DemkoVancouver Canucks0 GPGoalie #07 2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (36th Overall)
63Mirco MuellerSan Jose Sharks39 GPDefenceman #18 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (18th Overall)
64Michael MathesonFlorida Panthers0 GPDefenceman #19 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (23rd Overall)
65Samuel MorinPhiladelphia Flyers0 GPDefenceman #20 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (11th Overall)
66Nikolay GoldobinSan Jose Sharks0 GPLeft Wing #10 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)
67Malcolm SubbanBoston Bruins01 GPGoalie #08 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (24th Overall)
68Jacob de la RoseMontreal Canadiens33 GPCenter #19 2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (34th Overall)
69Henrik SamuelssonArizona Coyotes03 GPCenter #20 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (27th Overall)
70Mike ReillyColumbus Blue Jackets0 GPDefenceman #212011 NHL Draft - 4th Round (98th Overall)
71Ian McCoshenFlorida Panthers0 GPDefenceman #222013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (31st Overall)
72Christian DvorakArizona Coyotes0 GPCenter #21 2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (58th Overall)
73Scott LaughtonPhiladelphia Flyers36 GPCenter #22 2012 NHL Draft - 1st Round (20th Overall)
74Charles HudonMontreal Canadiens0 GPCenter #23 2012 NHL Draft - 5th Round (122nd Overall)
75Scott HarringtonPittsburgh Penguins10 GPDefenceman #232011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (54th Overall)
76Jon GilliesCalgary Flames0 GPGoalie #09 2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (75th Overall)
77Xavier OuelletDetroit Red Wings25 GPDefenceman #24 2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (48th Overall)
78Stephen JohnsChicago Blackhawks0 GPDefenceman #25 2010 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (60th Overall)
79Nick PaulOttawa Senators0 GPCenter #24 2013 NHL Draft - 4th Round (101st Overall)
80Jimmy VeseyNashville Predators0 GPLeft Wing #11 2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (66th Overall)
81Valentin ZykovLos Angeles Kings0 GPLeft Wing #12 2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (37th Overall)
82Ty RattieSt. Louis Blues13 GPRight Wing #12 2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (32nd Overall)
83Calvin PickardColorado Avalanche16 GPGoalie #102010 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (49th Overall)
84Adrian KempeLos Angeles Kings0 GPLeft Wing #13 2014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (29th Overall)
85Nic KerdilesAnaheim Ducks0 GPLeft Wing #14 2012 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (36th Overall)
86Shayne GostisbeherePhiladelphia Flyers02 GPDefenceman #26 2012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (78th Overall)
87Michael McCarronMontreal Canadiens0 GPRight Wing #13 2013 NHL Draft - 1st Round (25th Overall)
88Brayden PointTampa Bay Lightning0 GPCenter #252014 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (79th Overall)
89Oskar SundqvistPittsburgh Penguins0 GPCenter #262012 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (81st Overall)
90Anton SlepychevEdmonton Oilers0 GPLeft Wing #15 2013 NHL Draft - 3rd Round (88th Overall)
91Josh Ho-SangNew York Islanders0 GPCenter #272014 NHL Draft - 1st Round (28th Overall)
92Eric ComrieWinnipeg Jets0 GPGoalie #11 2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (59th Overall)
93Riley BarberWashington Capitals0 GPRight Wing #14 2012 NHL Draft - 6th Round (167th Overall)
94Tyler WotherspoonCalgary Flames15 GPDefenceman #27 2011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (57th Overall)
95Martin RewayMontreal Canadiens0 GPCenter #28 2013 NHL Draft - 4th Round (116th Overall)
96Ryan SproulDetroit Red Wings0 GPDefenceman #282011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (55th Overall)
97Rocco GrimaldiFlorida Panthers07 GPCenter #292011 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (33rd Overall)
98Gustav OlofssonMinnesota Wild0 GPDefenceman #29 2013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (46th Overall)
99Vladislav KamenevNashville Predators0 GPCenter #30 2014 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (42nd Overall)
100Zach FucaleMontreal Canadiens0 GPGoalie #122013 NHL Draft - 2nd Round (36th Overall)
Keven Dow (20 Posts)


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