• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
Nothing makes these daily top-performances lists more relevant than the announcement made by the New York Rangers.
Realizing their season was in trouble and that there future needed brightening, the Blueshirts publicly committed to selling off much of their existing roster in exchange for prospects and draft picks. The underlying message was that the only way to really build a champion is through scouting and the draft. That's a big reason why this site exists.
While the Rangers (and other teams) get ready to invest in the 2018 talent pool, they now have a great year for stockpiling picks. Any team drafting 10 or more picks in the top 100 is going to have an incredible pipeline of talent over the next several years.
As for Thursday night, five players make the list. Look for 10 per day over the weekend, when countless games are scheduled. For now, check out Thursday's big five:
BEN ALMQUIST -- Almquist continued to light up the scoresheet for Minnesota high school power Holy Family on Thursday. The University of Wisconsin recruit had a goal and four assists to lead the Fire to a 7-2 rout of Prior Lake. He began the scoring binge with the eventual game-winning goal for a 3-1 lead just 55 seconds into the middle period. He followed that 18 seconds later with an assist on the 4-1 goal, and then had the lone assist on a goal at 13:27 to make it 5-2. In the third period, Almquist assisted on a goal at 5:17 and had the primary helper on the game's final goal at 6:57. Almquist now has both a five-point and six-point game this season. His 26 goals in 22 games rank 14th in the state, and he is tied for 18th in points with 49. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
ZACHARY BOUTHILLIER -- Any NHL team looking for goaltending talent, should go all-in on Bouthillier at the draft. The rising Chicoutimi star made 43 saves on Thursday, opening the door for the Sags' 4-3 OT win at Halifax. He stopped 14 of 16 Mooseheads shots in the first period, 15 of 16 in the second, and all 14 in the third. Bouthillier has now won four consecutive QMJHL starts with a stunning. 943 save percentage in those games. (Note: Seventh appearance on this list in 2017-18)
AIDAN DUDAS -- Perhaps no NHL team wants to draft a 5-foot-7 center in June. That kind of thinking will get a team in big trouble when Dudas is available. The Owen Sound star plays much bigger than his size and has a chance to be a Johnny Gaudreau type -- compensating for his size with amazing hockey sense. On Thursday, Dudas was at his fines, scoring his first OHL hat trick and adding two assists for a career-high five points in the Attack's 6-5 win at Peterborough. A no-brainer choice for No. 1 star, Dudas had one point in both the first and second periods before erupting for three more in the third. His first assist came on the opening goal at 10:34 of Period 1. He notched his first goal at 5:17 of the second to make it 2-2. In the third, Dudas scored at 0:42 to cut the Petes' lead to 4-3. He followed that with the lone assist on a 4-4 goal at 6:29, and completed his hat trick with an unassisted goal just five seconds later at 6:34. Dudas now has 26 goals and 54 points in 50 games, including his current three-game scoring streak that features five goals and eight points. (Note: 11th appearance on this list in 2017-18)
COLIN SCHMIDT -- Schmidt, a Minnesota recruit, continued his strong high school senior season with a goal and two assists in Plymouth Wayzata's 4-3 win over visiting Eden Prairie on Thursday. His first point was an assist on a goal at 11:55 of the opening period for a 1-1 tie. Less than a minute later, he scored his goal at 12:41 to make it 2-1. He closed with an assist on the game-winner for a 4-2 lead at 9:26 of the second period. Schmidt, already a great physical specimen at 6-foot-4, has five points in his last two games. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
ANDREI SVECHNIKOV -- It's obvious now that Svechnikov scores goals in bunches. On Thursday, he delivered two more goals in Barrie's 5-1 win at Hamilton, earning No. 3 star honors. Svechnikov opened the scoring on a power play at 4:22 of the first period. He then closed the scoring with an empty-netter at 15:18 of the third. The goals stretched his current goal-scoring streak to six games and his point streak to nine. With 29 goals and 45 points in 30 games, Svechnikov is only three points behind the OHL rookie scoring leader and leads all rookies in goals. Despite missing a big chunk of the season with a hand injury, he is tied for 10th in the league in goals. (Note: 16th appearance on this list in 2017-18)