• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
We had an incredibly busy Saturday in draft-prospect land, but only 10 players were going to end up on this list, so making the cut was no easy feat.
As the season moves past its halfway mark, many players are making a push to raise their draft stock, and it's showing in these prospects claiming more of the three-star honors in their respective leagues. The depth of this draft continues to be the story. You have a powerhouse top five, but you also have the opportunity to get quality players as late as Rounds 3 and 4. Don't be surprised if second-round picks end up in the NHL next season.
Saturday's top 10 features players from eight different leagues as well as one from the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team. Now that's diversity! Here's the full list:
JETT ALEXANDER -- Alexander, who played in goal at the recent CJHL Top Prospects Game, was a wall for North York on Saturday, as the Rangers edged host Mississauga in OJHL action. After allowing a goal in the game's first minute, Alexander shut the door for the next 59:07 to earn No. 2 star honors. He stopped 10 of 11 first-period shots, all nine in the second period, and all eight in the third.
COLE FONSTAD -- Fonstad has been a force for Prince Albert all season and was recognized with a spot in the CHL Top Prospects Game. On Saturday, he was in top form, scoring two goals and adding an assist in the Raiders' 9-2 win over Edmonton. Honored as the No. 1 star, Fonstad began his two-goal night with a power-play goal at 9:25 of the first period to open the scoring. In the second, he scored the eventual game-winner to go up 3-1 at 4:38. Just 42 seconds into the final period, he had the lone assist on a goal that made it 5-2. Fonstad is averaging more than a point-per-game with 15 goals and 36 assists in 49 WHL outings. He has scored goals in back-to-back games since netting one in the Top Prospects Game. (Note: Seventh appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JAKE GOLDOWSKI -- Goldowski is now a bona fide OHLer after leaving the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team earlier this season. On Saturday, he notched two third-period, power-play goals to lead Saginaw to a 6-5 win over Windsor. The game's No. 1 star scored on a 5-on-3 at 7:32 to snap a 4-4 tie and then delivered the game-winner to make it 6-4 just 34 seconds later at 8:06. He now has six goals and 11 points in 21 games, including four points in his last three.
KYLER GRUNDY -- Playing in the NAHL often means living in obscurity, but Grundy has managed to emerge from the shadows this season. On Saturday, he scored two goals and added an assist in the Minnesota Magicians' 6-5 OT shootout win over Kenai River -- claiming No. 2 star honors. Grundy got the primary assist on a goal at 5:54 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. He followed that at 8:57 with a goal to make it 3-1, and the scored on a power play at 9:17 of the third to pull the Magicians within one at 5-4. Grundy's 11 goals and 26 points in 38 games aren't eye-popping, but he is emerging now with goals in three of his last four outings. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
ANTON HEIKKINEN -- Perhaps the smallest player in the entire 2018 draft pool, left winger Heikkinen stands only 5-foot-6. Size didn't limit him in Swedish Under-20 action Saturday, however, as he erupted for a hat trick on three shots in Jonkoping's 5-1 win at Lulea. His first goal, the eventual game-winner, came with only four seconds left in the opening period for a 2-0 lead. His second was a power-play marker at 2:23 of the third to go up 4-1, and he completed the hat trick at 14:30 to make it 5-1. In the second half of the Swedish U20 season, Heikkinen has eight goals in eight games. Hard to see him getting drafted, but a guy that small is fun to watch.
DEMENTRIOS KOUMONTZIS -- Arizona State can celebrate the progress of its recruit Koumontzis, who has been on fire for Edina in Minnesota high school hockey. He picked up another two goals on Saturday, leading the Hornets to a 5-3 win over Eden Prairie. His first goal, at 3:01 of the second period, stretched the lead to 2-0, and his second tally was the eventual-game winner for a 4-2 lead at 4:10 of the third. Through 19 games, Koumontzis has 15 goals and 31 points. This was his third multi-goal game of the season. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BEN KRAWS -- Goaltender Kraws suffered a hard-luck loss on Saturday, as Sioux City fell to Sioux Falls 2-1 in OT, but he was the only reason the Musketeers didn't lose in regulation. He stopped 35 shots in his first USHL start since Jan. 13, making 11 saves in the first period, stopping 10 of 11 in the second, and adding 13 saves in the third, plus one in overtime. It's been a tough season for Kraws, who has not won since Dec. 2 in his role as Sioux City's backup. He has a bright NCAA career ahead of him at Miami University. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
KEVIN MANDOLESE -- Another player who got a spark from the CHL Top Prospects Game, Cape Breton goaltender Mandolese dominated the Screaming Eagles' 3-1 win at Charlottetown on Saturday. With 30 saves, he was a clear choice for No. 1 star. The only goal he allowed came at 13:47 of the first period, but it was 46:13 of lights-out play after that. Ten saves came in the first, 11 in the second, and nine in the third. Mandolese was solid at the Top Prospects Game, stopping 18 of 20 shots, and the play has carried over. In only his second QMJHL star since a long layoff due to injury, he earned his first win since Jan. 3. Now it's time for him to boost his .893 save percentage as he looks to land a high draft spot. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JACK RANDL -- The future Michigan Wolverine tallied both goals to earn No. 1 star honors in Omaha's 2-1 win at Lincoln on Saturday. He scored only 15 seconds into the game and later made it 2-0 with the game-winner at 3:33 of the second period. Randl has 11 goals and eight assists in 25 USHL games -- with goals in each of his last three games. He has shown the ability to take over a game at times this season, and Saturday was a great example. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
OLIVER WAHLSTROM -- Wahlstrom recently got a No. 9 ranking from TSN's Bob McKenzie, and it was well-deserved. The draft's best American-born sniper scored two goals on five shots Saturday in the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team's 5-3 loss at Minnesota State. Both of his goals tied the score. He made it 1-1 at 14:26 of the first period and 2-2 at 5:37 of the second. Harvard fans have so much to look forward to with Wahlstrom's arrival on campus this fall. He has scored in six consecutive games, and with 29 goals in 36 games this season, Wahlstrom has three more goals than last year's Under-18 team leader. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)