• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
It was a typical Thursday on the draft-prospect front: not many games, but enough to find five players for this top-performances list. As we get set for a very busy weekend of hockey, expect to see full lists of 10 players here over the next few games.
We are getting into the Top Prospects Game season. The USHL held its game this week, the CJHL will go on Jan. 23, and the mother of all such games, the CHL Top Prospects Game, is set for Jan. 25. These gatherings are always interesting, even though the games themselves are fairly meaningless. The best evaluation stage might be the various league playoffs, but those are still at least two months from now.
Thursday's list features four players from major-junior and one American high-schooler. Players ranked No. 2 and No. 3 on the HDC Top 62 both landed on the list. View all five players below:
CURTIS DOUGLAS -- Douglas has been flourishing since Barrie traded him to Windsor on Dec. 14. On Thursday, he had a goal and an assist in the Spitfires' 5-3 loss to Sarnia, claiming No. 3 star honors. After the Sting built up a 4-0 lead, Douglas got Windsor on the board by scoring at 16:43 of the second period. He later assisted on a power-play goal at 12:55 of the third to close the scoring. Douglas has 12 goals and 26 points in 37 OHL games, but five goals and eight points have come in the nine games since he was traded to Windsor, including goals in three of the past four games.
COLIN SCHMIDT -- The Minnesota high school circuit has some great top-end prospects this season. One of them is Plymouth Wayzata center Colin Schmidt, who set up all three of his team's goals in a 3-1 win at Hill-Murray on Thursday. He had primary assists on the opening goal at 14:49 of the first period, the eventual game-winner (shorthanded) to make it 2-1 at 5:55 of the third, and the game's final goal at 15:13 of the third. Schmidt, a University of Minnesota recruit, has posted six goals and 17 points in 14 games this season. Thursday marked his third three-point game. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
ANDREI SVECHNIKOV -- Svechnikov, who looks to be the wire-to-wire No. 2 prospect for the 2018 draft, had a goal and an assist in Barrie's 10-1 win over Sudbury on Thursday. He scored the eventual game-winner on a power play at 18:53 of the first period for a 2-0 lead. He then had the lone assist on a goal at 2:47 of the second to make it 3-0. Although he missed several weeks of the season with a broken hand, Svechnikov has put up big numbers, with 16 goals and 25 points in 19 OHL games. He has points in all three of his games since returning from a stint with Russia at the World Junior Championship. (Note: 10th appearance on this list in 2017-18)
AKIL THOMAS -- After a brief slump, compared to how he was scoring earlier in the season, Thomas is back in the saddle with a 10-game OHL point streak. On Thursday, he had an assist and the OT shootout winner to earn No. 2 star honors in Niagara's 5-4 victory over Erie. His assist came on a goal at 10:43 of the second period, making it 2-1. As the final shooter in the shootout, Thomas scored to put the game away. The Florida native now has 11 goals and 45 points in 39 OHL games, bringing him within three points of last season's total over 61 games. (Note: Eighth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
FILIP ZADINA -- In another year, he might go No. 1 overall. On Thursday, the rising Czech star continued his QMJHL domination with two goals, an assist, and seven shots in Halifax's 6-3 win over Charlottetown. The game's No. 1 star scored at 16:16 of the first period for a 3-0 lead. In the second, he assisted on the eventual game-winner to make it 4-3 at 14:36 and scored the next goal at 19:29. With 27 goals and 51 points in 34 games, Zadina ranks second in the QMJHL in both categories. He has goals in three straight games and five points in two games since his return from the World Junior Championship and is nine points behind Nico Hischier's pace with Halifax last season. (Note: 14th appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all players)