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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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It’s been a trying season in Vancouver, but there’s reason to believe better days are ahead.

TSN Hockey’s annual list of the Top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects features five Canucks, including top-ranked Elias Pettersson, a 19-year-old centre currently playing for the Växjö Lakers in the Swedish Hockey League.

Only players considered to have not achieved full-time NHL status are included in the Top 50.

The rest of the top five is rounded out by Eeli Tolvanen (No .2), a right winger and Nashville Predators prospect who has 34 points in 47 games for Jokerit of the Kontinental Hockey League this season; Martin Necas (No. 3), a Czech centre and Hurricanes prospect who had 11 points in seven games at the World Juniors; Cody Glass (No. 4), a centre and right wing for the Portland Winterhawks who’s property of the Vegas Golden Knights; and Casey Mittelstadt (No. 5), a centre for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Buffalo Sabres prospect who was a star for Team USA at the World Juniors.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Pettersson has been a revelation in the SHL this season, racking up 17 goals and 45 points in 35 games to sit third in league scoring. The 2017 fifth-overall pick is joined by fellow Canucks prospects Olli Juolevi (No. 24), Adam Gaudette (No. 26), Jonathan Dahlen (No. 31) and Thatcher Demko (No. 42) in TSN’s top 50.

Juolevi, a 19-year-old defenceman who was the fifth-overall pick in 2016, is playing for TPS Turku in Finland’s top league this season after spending the previous two years in the OHL with the London Knights.

Gaudette, a centre who was a fifth-round pick (149th overall) in 2015, has 20 goals and 42 points in 28 games for the Northeastern Huskies to lead the NCAA in scoring.

Dahlen, a 20-year-old left wing for Timra IK in Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan, is second in league scoring with 37 points in 35 games. Demko, 22, sits fourth in American Hockey League save percentage (.929) in 29 starts for the Utica Comets.

The Calgary Flames are second among Canadian franchises with three players on the list – Tri-City Americans defenceman Juuso Valimaki (No. 18), Harvard University defenceman Adam Fox (No. 36) and Kelowna Rockets forward Dillon Dube (No. 38), who captained Canada to gold last month at the World Juniors.

The Ottawa Senators are represented by one player – right wing Drake Batherson of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (No. 29).  ­

The Oilers, Jets, Maple Leafs and Canadiens don’t have any players in the top 50.

Other notes from this year’s Top 50:

- The Philadelphia Flyers have four players in Top 50 ­- goaltender Carter Hart (No. 19), defenceman Phillipe Myers (No. 30), and centres Morgan Frost (No. 33) and German Rubtsov (No.47).

- Three Russian goaltenders made the top 10 this year - Islanders prospect Ilya Sorokin (No. 7), Rangers prospect Igor Shesterkin (No. 9) and Ilya Samsonov (No.10 ) of the Washington Capitals. All three have a good chance to be No.1 goalies at the NHL level.

- Twenty-nine players on our list are first-round picks.

 

Top 50 NHL-Affiliated Prospects

 
RK Name Age NHL Team 2017-18 Team GP G P
1 Elias Pettersson, C 19 Van Växjö (SHL) 35 17 45
2 Eeli Tolvanen, RW 18 Nsh Jokerit (KHL) 47 17 34
3 Martin Necas, C 19 Car Brno (CZE Extra) 20 8 12
4 Cody Glass, C/RW 18 VGK Portland (WHL) 45 25 69
5 Casey Mittelstadt, C 19 Buf Minnesota (NCAA) 26 8 22
6 Robert Thomas, C 18 StL Hamilton (OHL) 36 22 56
7 Ilya Sorokin, G 22 NYI Moskva (KHL) 36 1.58 .930
8 Miro Heiskanen, D 18 Dal Helsinki (SM Liiga) 25 11 19
9 Igor Shesterkin, G 22 NYR St. Petersburg (KHL) 27 1.77 .930
10 Ilya Samsonov, G 20 Was Magnitogorsk (KHL) 24 2.44 .922
11 Cale Makar, D 19 Col Mass/Amherst (NCAA) 23 3 15
12 Dylan Strome, C 20 Ari Tuscon (AHL) 33 17 41
13 Lias Andersson, W/C 19 NYR Frölunda (SHL) 22 7 14
14 Kirill Kaprizov, LW 20 Min Moskva (KHL) 46 15 40
15 Jordan Kyrou, RW 19 StL Sarnia (OHL) 41 27 82
16 Henrik Borgstrom, C 18 Fla Denver (NCAA) 27 17 37
17 Aleksei Heponiemi, C 19 Fla Swift Current (WHL) 39 24 93
18 Juuso Valimaki, D 19 Cgy Tri-City (WHL) 22 5 22
19 Carter Hart, G 19 Phi Everett (WHL) 27 1.57 .951
20 Erik Brannstrom, D 18 VGK HV71 (SHL) 35 0 8
21 Kieffer Bellows, LW 19 NYI Portland (WHL) 37 26 52
22 Gabe Vilardi, C 18 Los Kingston (OHL) 14 8 28
23 Nick Suzuki, RW 18 VGK Owen Sound (OHL) 45 25 67
24 Olli Juolevi, D 19 Van Turku (SM Liiga) 28 6 17
25 Alex Nylander, C 19 Buf Rochester (AHL) 25 2 9
26 Adam Gaudette, LW 21 Van Northeastern (NCAA) 28 20 42
27 Filip Chytil, RW 18 NYR Hartford (AHL) 26 7 21
28 Nick Merkley, RW 20 Ari Tuscon (AHL) 29 18 35
29 Drake Batherson, RW 19 Ott B-Boisbriand (QMJHL) 35 22 56
30 Phillipe Myers, D 21 Phi Lehigh Valley (AHL) 30 3 12
31 Jonathan Dahlen, LW 20 Van Timrå (SWE-Als) 35 20 37
32 Ryan Donato, C 21 Bos Harvard (NCAA) 23 21 31
33 Morgan Frost, C 18 Phi S.S. Marie (OHL) 50 30 85
34 Conor Timmins, D 19 Col S.S. Marie (OHL) 30 6 35
35 Pierre-Olivier Joseph, D 18 Ari Charlottetown (QMJHL) 45 10 38
36 Adam Fox, D 19 Cgy Harvard (NCAA) 19 0 12
37 Dante Fabbro, D 19 Nsh Boston U (NCAA) 26 8 22
38 Dillon Dube, LW 19 Cgy Kelowna (WHL) 34 22 50
39 Rasmus Asplund, C 20 Buf Färjestad (SHL) 41 7 27
40 Boris Katchouk, LW 19 Tam S.S. Marie (OHL) 42 33 62
41 Owen Tippett, RW 18 Fla Mississauga (OHL) 33 21 46
42 Thatcher Demko, G 22 Van Utica (AHL) 29 2.27 .929
43 Dylan Sikura, LW 22 Chi Northeastern (NCAA) 25 14 38
44 Jordan Greenway, C 20 Min Boston U (NCAA) 28 9 25
45 Taylor Raddysh, RW 19 Tam S.S. Marie (OHL) 41 25 63
46 Sam Steel, C 19 Ana Regina (WHL) 37 20 54
47 German Rubtsov, C 19 Phi A-Bathurst (QMJHL) 35 12 34
48 Kale Clague, D 19 Los Moose Jaw (WHL) 37 10 57
49 Michael Rasmussen, C/LW 18 Det Tri-City (WHL) 27 19 38
50 Cal Foote, D 19 Tam Kelowna (WHL) 42 13 47
 

 

Top 5 Prospects From Each Canadian NHL Team

 
RK Name Age NHL Team 2016-17 Team GP G P
1 Juuso Valimaki, D 19 Cgy Tri-City (WHL) 22 5 22
2 Adam Fox, D 19 Cgy Harvard (NCAA) 19 0 12
3 Dillon Dube, LW 19 Cgy Kelowna (WHL) 34 22 50
4 Jon Gillies, G 24 Cgy Stockton (AHL) 29 2.64 .915
5 Tyler Parsons, G 20 Cgy Stockton (AHL) 4 3.06 .898
               
1 Kailer Yamamoto, RW 19 Edm Spokane (WHL) 22 10 36
2 Tyler Benson, LW 19 Edm Vancouver (WHL) 39 19 50
3 Ethan Bear, D 20 Edm Bakersfield (AHL) 27 3 11
4 Stuart Skinner, G 19 Edm Swift Current (WHL) 41 3.11 .904
5 Aapeli Rasanen, C 19 Edm Boston College (NCAA) 23 3 12
               
1 Ryan Poehling, C 19 Mtl St. Cloud State (NCAA) 22 7 21
2 Noah Juulsen, D 20 Mtl Laval (AHL) 26 1 2
3 Nikita Scherbak, RW 22 Mtl Laval (AHL) 24 7 30
4 Joni Ikonen, C 19 Mtl KalPa (SM Liiga) 41 3 9
5 Will Bitten, C 19 Mtl Hamilton (OHL) 50 18 57
               
1 Drake Batherson, RW 19 Ott B-Boisbriand (QMJHL) 35 22 56
2 Logan Brown, C 19 Ott Kitchener (OHL) 19 16 36
3 Filip Chlapik, C 20 Ott Belleville (AHL) 33 7 18
4 Alex Formenton, LW 18 Ott London (OHL) 30 17 32
5 Christian Jaros, D 21 Ott Belleville (AHL) 31 2 12
               
1 Timothy Liljegren, D 18 Tor Toronto (AHL) 21 1 10
2 Andreas Johnsson, LW 21 Tor Toronto (AHL) 41 22 37
3 Andrew Nielsen, D 21 Tor Toronto (AHL) 41 2 13
4 Carl Grundstrom, LW 20 Tor Frolunda (SHL) 26 9 14
5 Garret Sparks, G 24 Tor Toronto (AHL) 26 1.62 .944
               
1 Elias Pettersson, C 19 Van Växjö (SHL) 35 17 45
2 Olli Juolevi, D 19 Van Turku (SM Liiga) 28 6 17
3 Adam Gaudette, LW 21 Van Northeastern (NCAA) 28 20 42
4 Jonathan Dahlen, LW 20 Van Timrå (SWE-Als) 35 20 37
5 Thatcher Demko, G 22 Van Utica (AHL) 29 2.27 .929
               
1 Dylan Samberg, D 19 Wpg Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA) 28 0 6
2 Kristian Vesalainen, LW 18 Wpg Hameenlinna (SM Liiga) 38 15 34
3 Eric Comrie, G 22 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 23 2.55 .920
4 Erik Foley, LW 20 Wpg Providence (NCAA) 28 13 31
5 Logan Stanley, D 19 Wpg Kitchener (OHL) 48 13 35