Daily 2018 Draft Prospect Updates

Jan. 2, 2018


Tuesday's World Junior Championship quarterfinals were a great stage for 2018 NHL Entry Draft prospects. Unlike last year, when Nico Hischier was the only top prospect to get the full WJC effect, there are multiple 2018 hopefuls having a huge impact on their teams. Two made this top-five performances list.

One thing was clear on Tuesday -- the Czechs are this year's team of destiny. What's most impressive about the Czech Republic's run, which included a quarterfinal upset of Finland, is that the Czechs are doing this with nine draft prospects on their roster. This is the youngest team in the semifinals, and its youngest players are playing major roles in its success.

Joining two WJC participants on the list below are American players from the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team and the Minnesota high school ranks. Check them all out here:

Stars of the Night

DREW DeRIDDER -- The U.S. NTDP Under-18 team's No. 1 goaltender isn't flashy, but he gets the job done. Tuesday was one of those nights, as DeRidder stopped 26 shots to help Team USA drop Ferris State 5-1 at home. It was the NTDP squad's first win over a college team since Nov. 22, and it was DeRidder's first win since Dec. 9. He had a shutout going until Ferris State's final shot at 17:12 of the third period. Although he wasn't listed in the last NHL Central Scouting rankings, he will surely show up on the mid-term rankings later this month. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)

ISAC LUNDESTROM -- With all the Swedish World Junior attention focused on Rasmus Dahlin, it's easy to forget that Lundestrom, another highly-ranked prospect, is also on the team. On Tuesday, he reminded the scouts of his prowess with two goals in Sweden's 3-2 win over Slovakia. Lundestrom scored the game's first goal just nine seconds into the middle period, and he did it again at 10:17 of the third for a 3-1 lead. That second goal stood up as the game-winner. The two goals were also Lundestrom's first two points of the tournament. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)

K'ANDRE MILLER -- The U.S. Under-18 defenseman has been coming on strong of late, and Tuesday was a perfect example. Miller scored two goals and picked up an assist in Team USA's 5-1 win over Ferris State. All three points came in the second period. His first goal, at 1:47, gave the NTDP a 2-0 lead and stood as the game-winner. His second goal, at 15:11, made it 3-0, and he assisted on another goal at 18:38 for a 4-0 lead. Miller now has five points in his last five games, as he is adding offense to his great defensive presence. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)

JACK PERBIX -- Perbix, one of the leading scorers in Minnesota high school hockey, had his first hat trick of the season for Elk River as the Elks beat Andover 5-1 on Tuesday. He opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 2:46 of the first period. His second goal, at 6:24 of the first, made it 3-0, and his third goal came on a power play at 13:56 of the third. Scoring at even-strength, shorthanded, and on a man-advantage was an impressive feat for the Notre Dame recruit, who has 10 goals and 28 points in only 13 games this season. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)

FILIP ZADINA -- This hot prospect is a World Junior power-play machine. On Tuesday, Zadina scored two goals on seven shots and keyed the Czechs' 4-3 OT shootout victory that sent Finland packing. Both goals came on the man-advantage and were huge factors in the game. The first opened the scoring 6:20 into the game, as Zadina drilled home a shot from the left circle. His second goal was a clutch deflection of a Jakub Galvas shot to tie the game 3-3 with only 2:26 remaining in regulation. Although Zadina did not score in his shootout attempt, the Czechs still won in the game he had dominated. Entering a semifinal showdown with Canada, Zadina has five goals and six points through five games. He is tied for the tournament goal-scoring lead, and ranks first in power-play goals with four. (Note: 11th appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all players)