Columnist image
Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

|Archive

Max Domi did more than earn top forward honours at the World Junior Hockey Championship, he earned the No. 1 ranking on TSN Hockey's list of the top NHL-affiliated prospects.

The Arizona Coyotes' 12th overall pick in 2013 heads a list of the best prospects in the world whose rights are owned by NHL teams. Domi is a highly-skilled player with a burning competitive fire to match. The London Knights' superstar was a huge factor in ending Canada's five-year gold drought. 

Two Sams – Reinhart and Bennett - round out the top three NHL-affiliated prospects. Buffalo's Reinhart was also instrumental in Canada's championship after playing 9 games in the NHL prior to being returned to Kootenay of the WHL. His brilliance may be subtle but it is valuable to winning. Calgary's Bennett had shoulder surgery after an injury in Calgary training camp but watching him during a brief NHL pre-season appearance leaves no doubt about his enormous potential. 

Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevsky is No. 4 and the only goalie listed among the Top 30. No. 5 right winger Nikolaj Ehlers is certain to bring high end skill to Winnipeg and perhaps an excitement similar to what Teemu Selanne brought to the Jets 22 years ago. The  Jets have three players in the Top 30, with defenceman Josh Morrissey (No. 9) and centre Nic Petan (No. 17) joining Ehlers. The future is indeed bright for Winnipeg.

Philadelphia is the only other team with three players – all defencemen - in the Top 30. No. 10 Travis Sanheim is a smooth skating blueliner who has all the makings of being a top two defenseman. No. 14 Sam Morin is big, very big and he has skill to along with it. No. 19 Shayne Gostibehere was a 2013-14 Hobey Baker Finalist but had a knee injury early this season in the AHL after debuting for two games with the Flyers. 

Other players in the top 30 from Canadian teams are No. 7 centre Leon Draisaitl, who has spent the majority of the season with Edmonton, No. 16  right winger William Nylander (Toronto) and No. 26 right winger Nikita Scherbak (Montreal). Ottawa and Vancouver don't have prospects among the Top 30, but the top three prospects from all seven Canadian teams are listed below.

 

TOP 30 NHL-AFFILIATED PROSPECTS

 
Player Age NHL Team 2014-15 Team GP G A P
1. Max Domi - C  19  Arizona  London (OHL)  29  17  42  59 
2. Sam Reinhart - C  19  Buffalo  Kootenay (WHL)  18  20  29 
3. Sam Bennett - C 18  Calgary  Kingston (AHL)  - - - -
4. Andrei Vasilevsky - G  20  Tampa Bay  Syracuse (AHL) 19  2.25  .923 
5. Nikolaj Ehlers - RW  18  Winnipeg  Halifax (QMJHL)  25  20  33  53 
6. Leon Draisaitl - C  18  Edmonton  Kelowna (WHL) 
7. Christian Dvorak - C 19  Arizona  London (OHL) 38  28  44  72 
8. Teuvo Teravainen - C  20  Chicago  Rockford (AHL)  33  17  23 
9. Josh Morrissey - D  19  Winnipeg  Kelowna (WHL)  27  16  23 
10. Travis Sanheim - D  18  Philadelphia  Calgary (WHL)  41  10  29  39 
11. Anthony Mantha - RW  20  Detroit  G. Rapids (AHL)  25  12 
12. Darnell Nurse - D  19  Edmonton  S.S. Marie (OHL)  22  16  23 
13. Michael Dal Colle - LW 18  NY Islanders  Oshawa (OHL)  31  25  33  58 
14. Sam Morin - D  19  Philadelphia  Rimouski (QMJHL)  14  12 
15. Dylan Larkin - C 18  Detroit  Michigan (NCAA)  17  14  20 
16. William Nylander - RW  18  Toronto  Toronto (AHL)  21  12  20 
17. Nic Petan - C  19  Winnipeg  Portland (WHL)  27  27  33 
18. Julius Honka - D  19  Dallas  Texas (AHL)  32 
19. S. Gostibehere - D  21  Philadelphia  L. Valley (AHL) 
20. Oliver Bjorkstrand - C  19  Columbus  Portland (WHL)  32  25  23  48 
21. Adrian Kempe - LW 18  Los Angeles  MoDo  32  11  15 
22. Pavel Buchnevich - C  19  NY Rangers  Cherepovets (KHL)  34  10  11  21 
23. Robby Fabbri - C 18  St. Louis  Guelph (OHL)  22  18  20  38 
24. Shea Theodore - D 19  Anaheim  Seattle (WHL)  13  10  15 
25. Riley Barber - RW 20  Washington  Miami-OH (NCAA)  22  10  12  22 
26. Nikita Scherbak - RW  19  Montreal  Everett (WHL)  36  19  34  53 
27. Derrick Pouilot - D  20  Pittsburgh  W-Barre (AHL)  23  13  20 
28. Kevin Fiala - C  18  Nashville  HV 71 (SHL)  20  14 
29. Mike Reilly - D  19  Columbus  Minnesota (NCAA)  18  16  20 
30. Ivan Barbashev - C  19  St. Louis  Moncton (QMJHL)  32  22 28  50 
 

TOP 3 PROSPECTS FROM EACH CANADIAN NHL TEAM

 
Player Age NHL Team 2014-15 Team GP G A P
1. Sam Bennett - C  18  Calgary  Kingston (OHL)  18  20  29 
2. Emile Poirier - LW/RW  20  Calgary  Adirondack (AHL)  31  12  12  24 
3. Joni Ortio - G 23  Calgary  Adirondack (AHL)  27  2.52  .916 
1. Leon Draisaitl - C  19  Edmonton  Kelowna (WHL)  38  28  44  72 
2. Darnell Nurse - D  19  Edmonton  S.S. Marie (OHL)  22  16  23 
3. Laurent Brossoit - G  21  Edmonton  Oklahoma City (AHL)  20  2.43  .922 
1. Nikita Scherbak - RW  19  Montreal  Everett (WHL)  36  19  34  53 
2. J. De La Rose - LW  19  Montreal  Hamilton (AHL)  31 
3. Michael McCarron - C/RW  19  Montreal  Oshawa (OHL)  30  24  21  45 
1. Nick Paul - C/LW  19  Ottawa  North Bay (OHL)  29  20  16  36 
2. Fredrik Claesson - D  22  Ottawa  Binghamton (AHL)  36  10  13 
3. Matt Puempel - LW  21  Ottawa  Binghamton (AHL)  36  15  24 
1. William Nylander - RW  18  Toronto  Toronto (AHL)  21  12  20 
2. Connor Brown - RW  21  Toronto  Toronto (AHL)  37  20  29 
3. Andreas Johnson - LW  20  Toronto  Frolunda (SHL)  36  14  20 
1. Jake Virtanen - RW  18  Vancouver  Calgary  23  10  15  25 
2. Gustav Forsling - D  18  Vancouver  Linkoping (SHL)  30 
3. Thatcher Demko - G  19  Vancouver  Bos. College (NCAA)  18  2.04  .930 
1. Nikolaj Ehlers - RW  18  Winnipeg  Halifax (QMJHL)  25  20  33  53 
2. Josh Morrissey - D  19  Winnipeg  Kelowna (WHL)  27  16  23 
3. Nic Petan - C  19  Winnipeg  Portland  27  27  33