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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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While the Detroit Red Wings have struggled over the past few seasons, there’s plenty of hope and excitement for the future with two of their high-end players in the top three of our annual NHL-affiliated prospects ranking.

At No. 1 is Moritz Seider, who was 25th on last year's list. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound German blueliner has elevated his play to the next level with his size, physicality, puckhandling and offensive skill. Drafted sixth overall in 2019, he has the makings of a future No. 1 defenceman.

Red Wings prospect Lucas Raymond, taken fourth overall in last October's draft, is No. 3 on our list. The winger, whose style of play is similar to Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner, has six goals and 18 points in 34 games with Frolunda in the SHL this season.

In second spot is Montreal prospect Cole Caufield. The Wisconsin Badgers right winger was the top scorer in college hockey, is the favourite to win the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's best player, and captured gold with Team USA at the World Juniors.

Caufield, who signed his three-year entry-level contract last weekend, looks ready to turn pro and make a contribution with the Canadiens. Drafted by Montreal in 2019, he has elite scoring ability. The Habs don't have a player like him in their current lineup, so they should give him a chance and see if he can bring that scoring touch.

'It's been a wild 48 hours': Caufield set to begin pro career

It has been a busy couple of days for Habs prospect Cole Caufield. His Wisconsin Badgers were eliminated from the NCAA championship, the 2019 15th overall pick signed his entry level deal, and met the Montreal media Monday morning prior to boarding a plane to Quebec where he will begin his seven day quarantine. Once Caufield completes his isolation, he will start practicing with the AHL Laval Rocket in preparation for his first professional games.

Spencer Knight, who signed his first contract with the Florida Panthers this week, is the top-ranked goaltender in our 75-player ranking. The 19-year-old had a 16-4-1 record at Boston College this season with a 2.18 goal-against average and .932 save percentage. He also helped lead the U.S. to gold at the World Juniors in January.

Knight's college teammate Matthew Boldy, a left wing who signed with the Minnesota Wild this week, comes in at No. 5, while Knight's potential Panthers teammate Anton Lundell, a centre, checks in as our sixth-ranked prospect.

A couple of blueliners are up next with Ottawa's 2019 draft pick Jake Sanderson seventh and Edmonton Oilers prospect Philip Broberg at No. 8.

Centre Dylan Holloway, our ninth-ranked prospect, was a dominant player in college hockey after the World Juniors – likely the second-best college player after his Wisconsin teammate Caufield. Defenceman Nils Lundkvist of the New York Rangers rounds out the Top 10.

On the team side, the Toronto Maple Leafs lead all Canadian franchises with five players in the Top 75 – defenceman Rasmus Sandin (No. 14), forwards Nick Robertson (No. 18), Rodion Amirov (No. 57) and Nicholas Abruzzese (No. 67) and defenceman Topi Niemela (No. 73).

There's plenty to like in the Leafs' system, with Sandin and Niemela named the best defencemen at the 2020 and 2021 World Juniors respectively, Robertson leading the OHL in goal scoring last season, and Abruzzese leading NCAA freshman scoring last year.

'I'm super pumped to be a Sen': Bernard-Docker on signing with Ottawa

After being drafted 26th overall by Ottawa in 2018, defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker stayed committed to the University of North Dakota the last three seasons. Bernard-Docker discusses how excited he is to sign with the Senators, how difficult the decision was to turn pro, how he feels he can help the team, and much more.

The Oilers and Senators are next with four players each. Joining Broberg and Holloway in Edmonton's crop are blueliner Evan Bouchard (No. 43) and goaltender Stuart Skinner (No. 71).

Ottawa has the University of North Dakota trio of Sanderson, Jacob Bernard-Docker (No. 44) and Shane Pinto (No. 61), as well as defenceman Erik Brannstrom (No. 19). Bernard-Docker and Pinto both signed their entry-level contracts on Thursday and could get a look in Ottawa's lineup soon.

The Canadiens, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets each have three players. Joining Caufield on Montreal list are blueliners Kaiden Guhle (No. 36) and Mattias Norlinder (No. 62), while Calgary has forwards Connor Zary (No. 37), Jakob Pelletier (No. 51) and goaltender Dustin Wolf (No. 58). Jets blueline prospects Ville Heinola (No. 12) and Dylan Samberg (No. 39) and forward Cole Perfetti (No. 27) make the list.

The Vancouver Canucks have just one prospect in the Top 75 - right wing Vasili Podkolzin ranked 50th.

The team with the most prospects in our ranking? It's good to be the Kings, with seven players – forwards Arthur Kaliyev (15th) Quinton Byfield (17th), Alex Turcotte (22nd), Rasmus Kupari (33rd) and Samuel Fagemo (74th) and defencemen Brock Faber (23rd) and Kim Nousiainen (69th) making the list.

Note: The first column in the table below indicates the prospect’s placement in our 2020 ranking:

 

Top 75 NHL-Affiliated Prospects

 
2020 2021 Name Age NHL Team 2020-21 Team GP G P
25 1 Moritz Seider, D 19 Det Rogle (SHL) 41 7 28
10 2 Cole Caufield, RW 20 Mtl Wisconsin (NCAA) 31 30 52
  3 Lucas Raymond, RW 19 Det Frolunda (SHL) 34 6 18
11 4 Spencer Knight, G 19 Fla Boston College (NCAA) 21 2.18 .932
  5 Matthew Boldy, LW 19 Min Boston College (NCAA) 22 11 31
  6 Anton Lundell, C 19 Fla HIFK (SM Liiga) 24 16 25
  7 Jake Sanderson, D 18 Ott North Dakota (NCAA) 22 2 15
  8 Philip Broberg, D 19 Edm Skelleftea (SHL) 44 3 13
  9 Dylan Holloway, C 19 Edm Wisconsin (NCAA) 23 11 35
22 10 Nils Lundkvist, D 20 NYR Lulea (SHL) 52 14 32
  11 Alexander Holtz, RW 19 NJ Djurgardens (SHL) 40 7 18
21 12 Ville Heinola, D 20 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 16 4 10
  13 Yaroslav Askarov, G 18 Nsh St. Petersburg (KHL) 9 1.21 .951
6 14 Rasmus Sandin, D 21 Tor Toronto (AHL) 1 0 0
16 15 Arthur Kaliyev, RW 19 LA Ontario (AHL) 23 7 15
36 16 Vitali Kravtsov, RW 21 NYR NY Rangers (NHL) 49 16 24
  17 Quinton Byfield, C 18 LA Ontario (AHL) 22 6 16
17 18 Nicholas Robertson, LW 19 Tor Toronto (AHL) 11 3 10
24 19 Erik Brannstrom, D 21 Ott Ottawa (NHL) 14 2 5
26 20 Peyton Krebs, C 20 VGK Winnipeg (WHL) 10 6 18
  21 David Farrance, D 21 Nsh Boston U (NCAA) 11 5 16
15 22 Alex Turcotte, C 20 LA Ontario (AHL) 17 2 10
  23 Brock Faber, D 18 LA Minnesota (NCAA) 27 1 12
2 24 Gregori Denisenko, RW 20 Fla Syracuse (AHL) 5 3 4
  25 Thomas Bordeleau, C 19 SJ Michigan (NCAA) 24 8 30
  26 Seth Jarvis, C 19 Car Portland (WHL) 6 2 4
  27 Cole Perfetti, C 19 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 20 4 10
  28 Ivan Morozov, C 20 VGK St. Petersburg (KHL) 55 13 31
37 29 Alexander Alexeyev, D 21 Wsh Ufa (KHL) 55 8 16
  30 Alex Newhook, C 20 Col Boston College (NCAA) 12 7 16
  31 Marco Rossi, C 19 Min ZSC (NL) 1 0 0
  32 Jeremy Swayman, G 22 Bos Providence (AHL) 9 1.89 .933
  33 Rasmus Kupari, C 21 LA Ontario (AHL) 18 4 16
46 34 Jack Dugan, C 23 VGK Henderson (AHL) 18 3 17
  35 Pierre-Olivier Joseph, D 21 Pit WB/Scranton (AHL) 9 0 4
  36 Kaiden Guhle, D 19 Mtl Prince Albert (WHL) 2 1 2
  37 Connor Zary, C 19 Cgy Kamloops (WHL) 2 1 4
  38 Shakir Mukhamadullin, D 19 NJ Ufa (KHL) 39 3 10
  39 Dylan Samberg, D 22 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 20 0 1
  40 JJ Peterka, LW 19 Buf Munchen (DEL) 21 4 9
19 41 Connor McMichael, C 20 Wsh Hershey (AHL) 18 6 10
  42 Nicolas Beaudin, D 21 Chi Chicago (NHL) 14 2 5
  43 Evan Bouchard, D 21 Edm Edmonton (NHL) 12 1 4
42 44 Jacob Bernard-Docker, D 20 Ott North Dakota (NCAA) 27 3 18
  45 Hendrix Lapierre, C 19 Wsh Chicoutimi (QMJHL) 20 8 31
  46 Cam York, D 20 Phi Philadelphia (NHL) 24 4 20
28 47 Matias Maccelli, LW 20 Ari Ilves (SM Liiga) 48 14 37
  48 Philip Tomasino, RW 19 Nsh Chicago (AHL) 13 5 12
38 49 Nolan Foote, LW 20 NJ Binghamton (AHL) 16 5 15
14 50 Vasili Podkolzin, RW 19 Van St. Petersburg (KHL) 35 5 11
  51 Jakob Pelletier, LW 20 Cgy Val-d'Or (QMJHL) 27 11 41
  52 Dawson Mercer, RW 19 NJ Chicoutimi (QMJHL) 22 19 36
  53 Jonatan Berggren, LW 20 Det Skelleftea (SHL) 49 12 45
34 54 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, G 22 Buf Rochester (AHL) 9 3.29 .899
18 55 Thomas Harley, D 19 Dal Texas (AHL) 19 3 11
  56 Brendan Brisson, C 19 VGK Michigan (NCAA) 24 10 21
  57 Rodion Amirov, LW 19 Tor Ufa (KHL) 39 9 13
  58 Dustin Wolf, G 19 Cgy Everett (WHL) 5 0.59 0.979
  59 Barrett Hayton, C 20 Ari Tuscon (AHL) 15 2 5
  60 Ivan Chekhovich, LW 22 SJ San Jose (AHL) 4 0 1
50 61 Shane Pinto, C 20 Ott North Dakota (NCAA) 28 15 32
  62 Mattias Norlinder, D 20 Mtl Frolunda (SHL) 36 5 10
23 63 Justus Annunen, G 21 Col Karpat (SM Liiga) 22 2.48 .880
7 64 Jan Jenik, LW 20 Ari Tuscon (AHL) 15 1 5
  65 Mason Lohrei, D 20 Bos Green Bay (USHL) 40 15 53
  66 Yegor Chinakhov, RW 20 Clb Omsk (KHL) 32 10 17
  67 Nicholas Abruzzese, C 21 Tor Harvard (NCAA)      
  68 Justin Barron, D 19 Col Halifax (QMJHL) 26 5 25
  69 Kim Nousiainen, D 20 LA KalPa (SM Liiga) 49 9 25
  70 Kiriil Marchenko, RW 20 Clb St. Petersburg (KHL) 41 15 28
  71 Stuart Skinner, G 22 Edm Bakersfield (AHL) 17 2.44 .912
  72 Daniil Tarasov, G 22 Clb Cleveland (AHL) 16 2.07 .925
  73 Topi Niemela, D 19 Tor Karpat (SM Liiga) 15 0 4
18 74 Samuel Fagemo, RW 21 LA Ontario (AHL) 19 7 12
31 75 Victor Soderstrom, D 20 Ari Tuscon (AHL) 18 1 3
 

 

Top 5 Prospects From Each Canadian Team

 
RK Name Age NHL Team 2020-21 Team GP G P
1 Connor Zary, C 19 Cgy Kamloops (WHL) 2 1 4
2 Jakob Pelletier, LW 20 Cgy Val-d'Or (QMJHL) 27 11 41
3 Dustin Wolf, G 19 Cgy Everett (WHL) 5 0.59 .979
4 Yan Kuznetsov, D 19 Cgy Stockton (AHL) 16 1 6
5 Jeremie Poirier, D 18 Cgy Saint John (QMJHL) 24 7 27
               
1 Philip Broberg, D 19 Edm Skelleftea (SHL) 44 3 13
2 Dylan Holloway, C 19 Edm Wisconsin (NCAA) 23 11 35
3 Evan Bouchard, D 21 Edm Edmonton (NHL) 12 1 4
4 Stuart Skinner, G 22 Edm Bakersfield (AHL) 17 2.44 .912
5 Dmitri Samorukov, D 21 Edm Moscow (KHL) 48 2 8
               
1 Cole Caufield, RW 20 Mtl Wisconsin (NCAA) 31 30 52
2 Kaiden Guhle, D 19 Mtl Prince Albert (WHL) 2 1 2
3 Mattias Norlinder, D 20 Mtl Frolunda (SHL) 36 5 10
4 Cayden Primeau, G 21 Mtl Laval (AHL) 13 2.23 .906
5 Ryan Poehling, C 22 Mtl Laval (AHL) 20 6 15
               
1 Jake Sanderson, D 18 Ott North Dakota (NCAA) 22 2 15
2 Erik Brannstrom, D 21 Ott Ottawa (NHL) 14 2 5
3 Jacob Bernard-Docker, D 20 Ott North Dakota (NCAA) 27 3 18
4 Shane Pinto, C 20 Ott North Dakota (NCAA) 28 15 32
5 Filip Gustavsson, G 22 Ott Ottawa (NHL) 3 0.86 .973
               
1 Rasmus Sandin, D 21 Tor Toronto (AHL) 1 0 0
2 Nicholas Robertson, LW 19 Tor Toronto (AHL) 11 3 10
3 Rodion Amirov, LW 19 Tor Ufa (KHL) 39 9 13
4 Nicholas Abruzzese, C 21 Tor Harvard (NCAA)      
5 Topi Niemela, D 19 Tor Karpat (SM Liiga) 15 0 4
               
1 Vasily Podkolzin, RW 19 Van St. Petersburg (KHL) 35 5 11
2 Jack Rathbone, D 21 Van Utica (AHL) 4 1 5
3 Kole Lind, R 22 Van Utica (AHL) 8 5 8
4 Toni Utunen, D 20 Van Tapparra (SM Liiga) 45 1 4
5 Dmitry Zlodeyev, C 19 Van Moscow (MHL) 16 4 12
               
1 Ville Heinola, D 20 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 16 4 10
2 Cole Perfetti, C 19 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 20 4 10
3 Dylan Samberg, D 22 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 20 0 1
4 Mikhail Berdin, G 23 Wpg Manitoba (AHL) 18 2.8 .904
5 Daniel Torgersson, LW 19 Wpg Frolunda (SWE J20) 10 4 9