• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
It was a fairly busy Tuesday in draft-prospect land. Just enough games were played to make a full list of 10 top-performances possible, but only five truly deserved to be singled out here.
We are at the point in the NHL season -- just shy of the All-Star break -- when we can start writing off teams for the playoffs. The first two out are Buffalo in the East and Arizona in the West. Their records are dreadful. The good news for these teams -- and others to come -- is that they can start scouting the high-end draft prospects with the assurance that they will get one.
If the price of seeing your favorite NHL team struggle is knowing you'll have Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, or Brady Tkachuk on the roster this fall, things could be a lot worse. Dahlin, by the way, will be playing in the Olympics, so fans of the cellar-dwellers will have something good to watch in February.
So keep hope alive, fans of under-water NHL teams, and check out Tuesday's list:
LUKAS DOSTAL -- Dostal has played in several Czech leagues with Brno Kometa this season, and he has been lights-out at the Under-20 level. On Tuesday, the hot goaltender stopped 28 shots to lead Brno to a 3-1 win over Olomouc. Making his first U20 start since Dec. 15, Dostal stopped 12 of 13 shots in the first period before going 11-for-11 in the second and 5-for-5 in the third. His overall U20 record is a sparkling 8-1-0. (Note: 12th appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- leads all goaltenders)
MARTIN FEHERVARY -- Fehervary, a defenseman who played for Slovakia at the World Junior Championship, scored his first Swedish Allsvenskan goal on Tuesday in Oskarshamn's 5-4 OT loss to Karlskoga. The goall came at 19:13 of the first period, putting Oskarshamn up 3-2. He later got the primary assist on a 4-2 goal at 16:17 of the second.
PHILIPPE LAPOINTE -- The son of longtime NHL player Martin Lapointe, Philippe is spending this season with the USHL's Lincoln Stars as he prepares for college hockey at the University on Michigan. He was outstanding on Tuesday as the No. 2 star in Lincoln's 5-3 win over Des Moines -- registering a goal and an assist. He had the lone helper on the game's opening goal at 3:22 of the first period before scoring the game-winner to make it 4-3 at 12:07 of the third. Lapointe has only 10 points in 27 games this season, but half of those points have come in the past four games.
TRISTEN NIELSEN -- After missing 20 games with a wrist injury, Nielsen returned to the WHL's Calgary Hitmen in style on Tuesday, earning No. 1 star honors in a 6-5 win over Saskatoon. His goal and assist were a reminder of how much the Hitmen had missed him. He had the lone assist on a goal at 4:08 of the second period that pulled Calgary into a 2-2 tie and then gave his team the lead at 11:26 of the period, scoring for the first time since Nov. 22 -- the game in which he was injured. Nielsen needs to make a big impression on scouts going forward, since his diminutive size will hurt his draft potential. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
RILEY STOTTS -- Nobody in the WHL seems to have gained as much from being traded as Stotts, who scored a goal and had two assists -- one point per period -- on Tuesday night in Calgary's 6-5 win over Saskatoon. The game's No. 2 star scored at 13:16 of the first period to tie the game 1-1. In the second, he had the primary assist on a power-play goal at 17:36, putting Calgary in the lead at 4-3. He finished his night with the lone assist on the game-winner, making it 6-3 at 10:02 of the third. Prior to joining Calgary, Stotts had only six points in 22 games with Swift Current. Since the trade, he has erupted for 18 points in 20 games. That has included points in six of the last seven games, as well his current three-game scoring streak. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)