• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
The CJHL held its annual Top Prospects Game on Tuesday, and like so many of these All-Star affairs, it wasn't too exciting.
Despite the low entertainment value, it was a rare opportunity to see most of the Canadian Tier II players likely to be drafted in June. And there is no doubt that this is one of the better draft years for prospects from the CJHL. Team West won the game, and it clearly had the lion's share of talent.
Other than the CJHL game, not much was going on for draft prospects Tuesday. Despite the relative scarcity of games, five players managed to make this top-performances list. Here they are:
ANGUS CROOKSHANK -- Crookshank was one of the top players for Team West at Tuesday's CJHL Top Prospects game, scoring a goal and adding an assist in the 5-2 win over Team East. He got the ball rolling with the game's first goal at 13:08 of the opening period and had the primary assist on a goal to make it 2-1 at 16:47 of the second. Crookshank, a University of New Hampshire recruit who plays for Langley of the BCHL, has been averaging over a point per game this season with 32 in 30.
SAMUEL ERSSON -- Perhaps the most consistent draft-eligible goalie in Europe this season, Ersson stopped 42 shots in Gavle's 6-1 Swedish U20 win at Vaxjo on Tuesday. After allowing one goal on 15 shots in the first period, he closed out the game by going 12-for-12 in the second and 16-for-16 in the third. Ersson has won three of his last four U20 starts, and has not allowed more than two goals in each of his past five games. (Note: Eighth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BRAD GINNELL -- Ginnell is hardly a big-time scorer with 15 points in 37 WHL games this season, but he was the man of the hour on Tuesday, as he registered a goal and assist in Kootenay's 7-3 rout of Lethbridge. The game's No. 1 star scored at 18:05 of the first period for a 1-1 tie, and he later had the primary assist on the eventual game-winner, making it 4-1 at 2:28 of the second. After starting the season with Portland, where he played 25 games, Ginnell has found new life with the Ice. His goal on Tuesday snapped a six-game drought. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
DANIEL KOWALCZYK -- The Czech junior defenseman had a goal and an assist in Brno's 8-7 OT loss at Jihlava on Tuesday, giving him goals in back-to-back games. Both points came on the power play -- a primary assist at 19:19 of the second period for a 6-3 lead and a goal at 2:31 of the third to make it 7-3. Kowalczyk, who plays on a Brno U20 team with at least four potential draft picks, now has six goals and 14 points in 26 games.
FILIP KRAL -- Kral, a defenseman ranked No. 52 by Central Scouting, had the first two-goal game of his WHL career on Tuesday, leading Spokane to a 4-2 win over Swift Current and earning No. 1 star honors. After coming over to the Chiefs from the Czech Republic in October, Kral has proven to be an offensive spark at times. On Tuesday, he scored at 17:26 of the first period to put Spokane up 2-1. He later closed the scoring at 13:10 of the third. Kral now has five goals and 19 points in 29 games. The goals on Tuesday were his first since Nov. 22. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)