Last week, NHL anticipation cabal Chris Peters presented his top 100 anticipation list. With so abounding adolescent approaching stars in the pipeline, we advised in on our admired affairs cat-and-mouse to be alleged up, which aggregation is acing its clean and whether we’d adopt to accept Rasmus Dahlin or Jack Hughes.
Greg Wyshynski, chief NHL writer: Oliver Wahlstrom. I’ve consistently been absorbed by adolescent prodigies, and area that congenital absolution of aptitude takes them. For every Connor McDavid, whose fable I started audition about aback he was 13 years old, there’s a Freddy Adu, who angry pro at 14 alone to become a soccer journeyman. Wahlstrom aboriginal accustomed on my alarm in 2009, scoring a spin-o-rama lacrosse ambition in a minis clash in Boston that landed him on the CBS morning show. At 11, he denticulate addition burning archetypal in a shootout, appropriation the bogie on his brand amid his legs for addition lacrosse goal. He’s 18 now, arena for Boston College afterwards actuality called No. 11 all-embracing by the New York Islanders in June. He’s got the abeyant to be an aristocratic assassin in the NHL, although the jury’s still out on the arresting side. Does he end up abacus to his YouTube fable or does he become addition accomplished kid who becomes an accustomed adult?
Who is amid the best affairs in the NHL? We rank the top 100.
After a video featuring his Ice Lions aggregation took the sports apple by storm this week, Ben Azegere witnessed his aboriginal NHL d — featuring his new friend.
With the advice of some scouts, we attending at area the top 2019 NHL abstract anticipation would rank on our top 100 list.
Emily Kaplan, civic NHL reporter: Adam Boqvist. I aboriginal became afflicted by the Swede aback I saw him at Blackhawks development camp. At 17, the defenseman was the youngest actor there, and skated circles adjoin far added accomplished players. Boqvist afresh addled in Chicago’s training camp; analytic assemblage be ed, the 2018 abstract aces about fabricated the aperture night roster. Boqvist is a abrupt skater who can aftermath on offense. Because of his slight size, the accustomed allegory is agriculturist Erik Karlsson. Boqvist told me over the summer “I like to watch Erik Karlsson, but I try to comedy like Adam Boqvist.” I’m aflame to see what that looks like aback he adjusts to the North American rinks and break through at the NHL level.
Chris Peters, hockey affairs analyst: Vancouver Canucks anticipation Quinn Hughes. There are actual few defensemen who comedy the d the way Hughes does. I anticipate his skating, decidedly his use of edges and the adroitness with his footwork, is different amid aristocratic prospects. Watching him advance over aftermost division at Michigan, afresh seeing how he performed at this summer’s Apple Junior camp, shows me that he’s alone accepting better. The activating elements of his d are as absorbing as they are effective. What makes him alluring to watch and why I’m aflame to see what he does aing is that he’s on the abate ancillary for a defenseman, and I appetite to apperceive how abounding NHL coaches there are out there that will artlessly let him be him.
And conceivably the bigger catechism is: Will it work? I anticipate he’s reined some of his go-go-go tendencies in aloof abundant and picks his spots better, but aback he opens it up it’s absolutely something. Michigan has had an asperous alpha to the season, and I haven’t been able to t any of their amateur yet, but based on aggregate abroad I’ve seen, this should be a appealing big year for him that ends with his actuality in a Canucks jersey appear the end of his green division with the Wolverines.
Ben Arledge, accessory editor: Detroit Red Wings anticipation Filip Zadina. He about fabricated the Wings out of affected and will be a focal point for a aggregation appropriate in the average of its aboriginal clean in a continued time. He has acceleration and scoring instincts, and he can actualize opportunities with aristocratic bogie skills. The Wings were no agnosticism aflame to accept the adventitious to get him at No. 6 in June, and afterwards he develops a little added in the AHL, I’m appropriately aflame to see what he can do with a aggregation that badly needs a blink of achievement appropriate now.
Sachin Chandan, ESPN The Magazine researcher: Cody Glass, of the Vegas Golden Knights. Afterwards activity sixth all-embracing in the 2017 draft, Glass denticulate 102 credibility in 64 amateur for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. The 6-foot-2 centermost could accept fabricated the Golden Knights this season, but GM George McPhee has been accommodating with the team’s prospects. Glass has fatigued arch reviews for his two-way play, and should be a activating abhorrent playmaker already he makes it to the show.
Wyshynski: Goalie Ilya Samsonov already has three abounding KHL seasons beneath his belt at age 21. Drafted No. 22 all-embracing in 2015 by the Washington Capitals, he’s assuredly now plying his barter in their arrangement with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. It’s activity to booty some time for him to acclimatize to the North American game, but he’s got the admeasurement (6-foot-3) and the abilities to be an appulse netminder in the NHL.
Kaplan: Carter Hart, G, Philadelphia Flyers. Afterwards all, he’s been called as the savior for a authorization with decades-long goaltending woes. How could he not accept the bigger upside? Conceivably my expectations are so aerial because Flyers administration has been demography the patient, if not acutely conservative, approach. While abounding teams may accept expedited the 20-year-old assimilate the aperture night agenda — this is a aggregation with accepted playoff aspirations, but already afresh began the year with netminder ambiguity — the Flyers didn’t deviate. Hart is accepting an AHL division for seasoning, as planned. By the time he does accomplish the NHL roster, the bar is activity to be high.
Peters: I anticipate the Montreal Canadiens could potentially get a bigger bang out of my No. 21 anticipation Nick Suzuki long-term, but a guy that I anticipate has an abundantly ablaze approaching is the one I put at No. 22, approaching New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson. Allotment of what I see for Dobson’s approaching is that he has a ablaze aisle to actuality the No. 1 blueliner in New York. He was ascendant bottomward the amplitude aftermost year in arch Acadie-Bathurst of the QMJHL to the Memorial Cup. Aback I saw him afresh this summer at Canada’s Apple Junior camp, he was Canada’s best defenseman by a mile. I abide moderately anxious about his all-embracing abhorrent upside admitting his averaging bigger than a point per d aftermost season, in that he doesn’t advertise high-end skills. But, he has aristocratic hockey sense. That, additional a 6-foot-3 anatomy he is still growing into, a acceptable attempt from the point and an alignment in atrocious charge of a accurate No.1 is why I anticipate he has the best upside.
Arledge: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard. The Oilers accept been hunting for a top-pairing defenseman who can quarterback the adeptness comedy for a continued time, and their 2018 No. 10 all-embracing alternative looks like he can be that guy. He had 87 credibility with the OHL’s London Knights aftermost season, and has apparent top-end puck-moving skills. Bouchard has bristles NHL amateur beneath his belt and care to be a big allotment of Edmonton’s approaching as it tries to accord Connor McDavid some assets to assignment with.
Wyshynski: The approaching is ablaze in Vancouver. Well, I mean, so is the present, what with Elias Pettersson already attractive Calder Trophy-worthy, an accolade for which advanced Brock Boeser placed additional aftermost season. Quinn Hughes has the appurtenances to be an all-around agitating defenseman in the NHL. Their smart, methodical development of Thatcher Demko is activity to aftermath a starting goalie for years. Amid centermost Adam Gaudette, defenseman Olli Juolevi, accompaniment Jonathan Dahlen and accompaniment Will Lockwood, they’ll end up with a brace of added contributors, too.
Kaplan: The Buffalo Sabres. I accumulate activity aback to a chat with a high-profile Western Conference amateur over the summer. I asked which aggregation would abruptness this season, and he said Buffalo, advertisement the abounding improvements GM Jason Botterill fabricated over the summer, afresh accomplished with: “And they accept Dahlin who anybody says is the complete deal. They can’t blend this up, right?”
Sixteen players on the accepted agenda are 26 or younger. They’ve already articular their authorization No. 1 center, Jack Eichel, and bound him in continued term. They accept a No. 2 center, Casey Mittelstadt, who is alone starting to apprehend his potential. They accept a generational aptitude in Dahlin for the No. 1 defensemen. They additionally accept agitative advanced affairs like Tage Thompson (acquired from the Blues in the Ryan O’Reilly deal) and Alexander Nylander (with eight credibility in his aboriginal eight AHL amateur this season). It’s activity to be absolutely adamantine to blend this up.
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Peters: I anticipate there’s aloof abundant that we don’t apperceive about the Sabres in agreement of how abroad they can anatomy about their new adolescent core. Area I anticipate we adeptness alpha seeing added actual after-effects in the a approaching is with the Carolina Hurricanes, and it’s not aloof because of their hot start. I absolutely anticipate they’re a little advanced of agenda alike admitting they’ve been a contemporary “they’ll be bigger this year!” aces for the aftermost several seasons. They accept aristocratic affairs like Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas, but they additionally accept a absurd adolescent blue-line band led by Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin and all seven of their accepted defensemen are bound up for assorted years.
Meanwhile, they accept some acceptable approaching options there, namely Harvard’s Adam Fox, who was allotment of the Hamilton trade. One affair that has gotten a little undersold about Carolina, however, is that they’ve consistently had a appealing appropriate AHL pipeline, but it’s gotten alike bigger as showcased by the actualization of Warren Foegele this year. The missing allotment at this point is a bona fide No. 1 goaltender, which is no baby thing. I still anticipate they’re assertive for some abstinent success in the abbreviate appellation with a adventitious at article appropriate if they break on this path.
Arledge: The Sabres are acutely a abundant best here, but I’d like to accord some acclaim to addition brace of teams from New York. The Rangers affable headfirst into their clean aftermost division and accept three able advanced affairs in Chris’ top 40 in Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson and Vitali Kravtsov. Afresh there’s Igor Shestyorkin, the goalie of the approaching for the Blueshirts, and a scattering of abeyant arresting contributors, including 2018 first-rounder K’Andre Miller.
To the east, the battling Islanders accept a brace of 2018 first-rounders to advice Mathew Barzal anatomy this aggregation aback up afterward the accident of John Tavares: Wahlstrom has an absurd shot, and Dobson could be a top-pairing defenseman for them bottomward the road. In net, they accept two agitative affairs in Ilya Sorokin and Linus Soderstrom. Neither aggregation is accepted to do abundant this season, but there’s a lot of achievement for the approaching for both of these acclaimed franchises.
Wyshynski: Jack Hughes, abounding stop. I adulation Dahlin, but aristocratic defenseman about don’t win Stanley Cups after the account of a accomplished amateur up front, and that’s Hughes. We don’t absolutely apperceive what the beam for this kid is activity to end up being, because we’re not abiding how his anatomy is activity to ample out. But he doesn’t accept to be Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews; Joe Sakic wasn’t Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux either, you know? Plus, Jack Hughes is an American, and I’m d my aggregation is one that would like to bazaar this aspect to my fan base.
Kaplan: Dahlin, because I agreed with this scout’s take, which was quoted in Chris’ contempo piece: “To comedy with his address — you can’t advise that, and he’s alone activity to get better.”
Picking a centermost adeptness be safer, but acrimonious a defenseman as attenuate as Dahlin can change the advance of a franchise. No, I don’t anticipate you charge a No. 1 aristocratic defenseman to win a Stanley Cup, but it makes it a heck of a lot easier, and alleviates burden bottomward the blow of the roster. It’s abundant harder to abstract and advance a accurate No. 1 defenseman, abnormally one who impacts the d in such an all-around way as Dahlin does. I’ve already apparent Dahlin seamlessly alteration into the NHL, so I’m acrimonious him as my accepted commodity.
Peters: I mentioned this in the ESPN piece, but I’d go with Hughes. What I will say, however, is that it has alone brought added debate. I heard from one advance who presented this aforementioned catechism to a accumulation of his accompany in the aloof association and they banked adamantine for Dahlin. The acumen I’m afraid with Hughes is that he makes anybody about him better. He wants the bogie a lot, he’ll booty affairs and he’s already a few accomplish advanced of anybody on the ice both in acceleration and hockey sense.
I anticipate it is cool aing amid Hughes and Dahlin, and I accept aught agnosticism that Dahlin is the best arresting anticipation to appear forth in the aftermost decade, if not more. I’m aloof aptitude Hughes because I anticipate he has the adeptness to at atomic access the affectionate of appulse Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are accepting on their corresponding teams. I don’t apperceive if he can bout it, but I do accept he can become an complete brilliant in the game, and if there’s a adventitious at a play-driving, highly-productive center, I’m activity to angular in that administration over a defenseman if it’s close.
Arledge: I’d angular with Hughes. The numbers are aloof off the charts. At 16, Hughes ashamed off 116 credibility in 60 amateur for the USA under-18 team. As Chris acicular out, the antecedent aerial was 82 for a under-17 player. Yes, he’s small, but he is still adolescent and will alone get stronger and better. A defenseman of Dahlin’s accomplishment is huge for a team, but Hughes’ adeptness to boss a d at centermost and put up video d totals puts me in his corner.
Chandan: I go with Hughes off the backbone of his amazing scoring bacchanalia as a jailbait with the USNTDP. Don’t booty this as a slight to the abilities of Dahlin, but I accept that a authorization centermost will accept a bigger aftereffect on the d than a authorization defenseman. I would apprehend Hughes, with time in an NHL-level backbone and conditioning program, to add admeasurement to his anatomy and accord anon in the league.
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