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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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William Nylander scored on his first shift at the World Junior Championship, serving notice that the tournament would be his platform to shine among his peers. Unfortunately, his tournament ended less than 15 minutes later after he took an illegal hit from a Swiss opponent. What could have been will never be known.

In just over a year since joining the Toronto Marlies and playing in the AHL as teenager, Nylander has produced 29 goals and 72 points in 67 games played. Toronto Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock recently said, “I’m dying for somebody to score.” Death, taxes and Nylander producing points are certainties, so while the Leafs continue along a path of patient development, Babcock can take comfort in knowing that scoring prowess is in the system.

Nylander has all the essential skills to contribute offensively at the NHL level, but his imagination, creativity and tremendous poise separates him and puts him in an elite class of talent. That mix of skills puts him on top of TSN Hockey’s Top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects list.   

Max Domi has been a terrific rookie for the Arizona Coyotes after earning the No. 1 spot on the list last year. Two Coyotes prospects come in at spots two and three this year. Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak are excellent centres who can play any situation in the game. It’s a tenet of successful team building that strength down the middle is mandatory. The prospect cupboard for the Coyotes is well stocked with five players in the top 50, including the dynamic and dangerous Conor Garland of the Moncton Wildcats (22) who was the MVP in the QMJHL last season and is the runaway scoring leader this season.

Fourth on the list is defenceman Ivan Provorov of the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Philadelphia Flyers prospect is an outstanding player and his time in the NHL doesn’t look to be far off. In fifth is Winnipeg Jets’ prospect Kyle Connor, who is tied for the scoring lead in the NCAA with the Michigan Wolverines as a freshman. Connor could accomplish what Jack Eichel did last year, winning the Hobey Baker Award for best college player as a freshman.

While there is only eight prospects in the top 50 who belong to Canadian organizations, three of the top six and six of the top 20 are property of Canadian clubs. With players such as Jared McCann, Jake Virtanen, Sam Bennet, Connor McDavid and Nikolaj Ehlers all playing as teenagers in the NHL, there is no lack of young and promising talent amongst the Canadian teams.

 

Top 50 NHL-Affiliated Prospects

 
RK Name Age NHL Team 2015-16 Team GP G P
1 William Nylander, C/LW 19 Tor Toronto (AHL) 30 15 40
2 Dylan Strome, C 18 Ari Erie (OHL) 38 26 76
3 Christian Dvorak, C 20 Ari London (OHL) 42 40 90
4 Ivan Provorov, D 19 Phi Brandon (WHL) 44 12 50
5 Kyle Connor, LW/RW 19 Wpg Michigan (NCAA) 25 20 44
6 Mitch Marner, RW 18 Tor London (OHL) 40 30 83
7 Sebastian Aho, C/LW 18 Car Karpat (SM-Liiga) 36 13 30
8 Jimmy Vesey, LW 22 Nsh Harvard (NCAA) 23 18 17
9 Zach Werenski, D 18 Clb Michigan (NCAA) 23 6 19
10 Timo Meier, LW/RW 19 SJ R-Noranda (QMJHL) 35 20 53
11 Ilya Samsonov, G 18 Was Magnitogorsk (KHL) 17 2.13 .923
12 Shea Theodore, D 20 Ana San Diego (AHL) 31 4 17
13 Vladislav Kamenev, C 19 Nsh Milwaukee (AHL) 27 8 19
14 Mike Reilly, D 22 Min Iowa (AHL) 40 5 21
15 Thatcher Demko, G 20 Van B. College (NCAA) 26 1.64 .940
16 Jacob Larsson, D 18 Ana Frolunda (SHL) 37 4 13
17 Mikko Rantanen, RW 19 Col San Antonio (AHL) 31 17 41
18 Adrian Kempe, LW 19 Los Ontario (AHL) 35 8 20
19 Colin White, C/RW 19 Ott B. College (NCAA) 26 16 35
20 Brock Boeser, RW 18 Van N. Dakota (NCAA) 26 18 31
21 Pavel Buchnevich, C/RW 20 NYR St. Petersburg (KHL) 16 3 7
22 Conor Garland, RW 19 Ari Moncton (QMJHL) 48 31 107
23 Travis Sanheim, D 19 Phi Calgary (WHL) 34 8 43
24 Joel Eriksson Ek, C 19 Min Farjestad (SHL) 34 8 14
25 Jake Walman, D 19 Stl Providence (NCAA) 24 13 26
26 Julius Honka, D 20 Dal Texas (AHL) 51 8 32
27 Jakub Vrana, RW/LW 19 Was Hershey (AHL) 13 7 16
28 Mathew Barzal, C 18 NYI Seattle (WHL) 42 18 63
29 Travis Konecny, RW 18 Phi Sarnia (OHL) 16 12 28
30 Brayden Point, C 19 Tam Moose Jaw (WHL) 31 25 58
31 Matt Murray G 21 Pit Wilkes-Barre (AHL) 27 2.05 .932
32 Riley Barber, RW 22 Was Hershey (AHL) 48 15 34
33 Ville Saarijarvi, D 18 Det Flint (OHL) 41 10 19
34 Artturi Lehkonen, LW 20 Mtl Frolunda (SHL) 42 15 29
35 Kevin Fiala, LW/RW 19 Nsh Milwaukee (AHL) 37 7 23
36 Nick Schmaltz, C 20 Chi N. Dakota (NCAA) 22 3 27
37 Jason Dickinson, LW/RW 20 Dal Texas (AHL) 50 13 35
38 Philippe Myers, D 19 Phi R-Noranda (QMJHL) 49 14 35
39 Alex Nedeljkovic, G 20 Car Niagara (OHL) 15 2.45 .913
40 Anthony Beauvillier, C/LW 18 NYI Shawinigan (QMJHL) 31 25 53
41 Esa Lindell, D 21 Dal Texas (AHL) 49 9 28
42 Thomas Chabot, D 19 Ott Saint John (QMJHL) 31 8 29
43 Evgeni Svechnikov, RW 19 Det C. Breton (QMJHL) 38 25 61
44 Christian Fischer, RW 18 Ari Windsor (OHL) 49 24 64
45 Ryan Hartman, RW 21 Chi Rockford (AHL) 41 11 14
46 Zachary Senyshyn, RW 18 Bos S.S. Marie (OHL) 50 33 49
47 Ryan MacInnis, C 19 Ari Kitchener (OHL) 43 26 61
48 Ivan Barbashev, C 20 Stl Chicago (AHL) 41 8 22
49 Michael Dal Colle, LW 19 NYI Kingston (OHL) 44 23 56
50 Niklas Hansson, D 21 Dal HV71 (SHL) 34 6 14
 

 

Top 5 Prospects from each Canadian NHL Team

 
RK Name Age NHL Team 2015-16 Team GP G P
1 Jon Gillies, G 22 Cgy Stockton (AHL) 7 2.31 .920
2 Mark Jankowski, C 21 Cgy Providence (NCAA) 28 12 28
3 Rasmus Andersson, D 19 Cgy Barrie (OHL) 48 7 47
4 Andrew Mangiapane, LW 19 Cgy Barrie (OHL) 42 34 68
5 Brandon Hickey, D 19 Cgy Boston U (NCAA) 26 5 8
               
1 Laurent Brossoit, G 22 Edm Bakersfield (AHL) 26 2.70 .921
2 Ethan Bear, D 18 Edm Seattle (WHL) 54 12 51
3 Anton Slepyshev, LW 21 Edm Bakersfield (AHL) 24 6 8
4 Caleb Jones, D 18 Edm Portland (WHL) 54 8 34
5 Ziyat Paigin, D 21 Edm Sochi (KHL) 35 9 26
               
1 Artturi Lehkonen, LW 20 Mtl Frolunda (SHL) 42 15 29
2 Noah Juulsen, D 18 Mtl Everett (WHL) 45 5 21
3 Morgan Ellis, D 23 Mtl St. John's (AHL) 49 11 28
4 Michael McCarron, RW/C 20 Mtl St. John's (AHL) 47 14 16
5 Nikita Scherbak, RW 20 Mtl St. John's (AHL) 21 5 8
               
1 Colin White, C 19 Ott B. College (NCAA) 26 16 35
2 Thomas Chabot, D 19 Ott Saint John (QMJHL) 31 8 29
3 Andreas Englund, D 20 Ott Djurgarden (SHL) 36 2 6
4 Matt Puempel, LW 23 Ott Binghamton (AHL) 29 13 24
5 Gabriel Gagne, RW 19 Ott Shawinigan (QMJHL) 17 7 13
               
1 William Nylander, C/LW 19 Tor Toronto (AHL) 30 15 40
2 Mitch Marner, RW 18 Tor London (OHL) 40 30 83
3 Andreas Johnson, LW 21 Tor Frolunda (SHL) 42 17 37
4 Andrew Nielsen, D 19 Tor Lethbridge (WHL) 53 14 55
5 Dmytro Timashov, LW/RW 19 Tor Shawinigan (QMJHL) 41 19 73
               
1 Thatcher Demko, G 20 Van B. College (NCAA) 26 1.64 .940
2 Brock Boeser, RW 18 Van North Dakota (NCAA) 26 18 31
3 Hunter Shinkaruk, RW 21 Van Utica (AHL) 40 18 34
4 Tate Olson, D 18 Van Prince George (WHL) 49 6 41
5 Guillaume Brisebois, D 18 Van A-Bathurst (QMJHL) 39 6 20
               
1 Kyle Connor, LW/RW 19 Wpg Michigan (NCAA) 25 20 44
2 Jack Roslovic, RW 19 Wpg Miami-Ohio (NCAA) 27 10 21
3 Eric Comrie, G 20 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 35 3.13 .907
4 Josh Morrissey, D 20 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 47 3 14
5 Brendan Lemieux, LW 19 Wpg Windsor (OHL) 21 19 31