• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
Were there great performances by 2018 draft prospects on Sunday? Of course there were, and they're listed below. Should that be what we are focused on for the rest of the week? No way.
This is a huge week for prospects because the Five Nations tournament begins Tuesday, and takes place at the same time Rasmus Dahlin skates in the Olympics. We'll have plenty of time to discuss the Olympics, but for now, let's focus on Five Nations.
Including the U.S. Under-18 team, some 76 players on preliminary rosters enter the Five Nations as legit prospects. In other words, a full third of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft picks could be playing in this major event at Plymouth, Mich. And there are potential top 10 picks in Oliver Wahlstrom of Team USA, Adam Boqvist of Sweden, and Russia's Andrei Svechnikov.
Look for Five Nations players to appear here in the days ahead. For now, here's that aforementioned group from Sunday:
CURTIS DOUGLAS -- Douglas was in on both goals Sunday as Windsor shut out Niagara 2-0 at home. The game's No. 2 star, who came to the Spitfires in a Dec. 14 trade with Barrie, broke a scoreless tie with the game-winner at 9:39 of the third period before assisting on an empty-netter at 18:49. Douglas now has 17 goals and 38 points in 51 OHL games, but 10 goals and 20 points have come since the trade to Windsor, where he has greatly improved his draft stock. Sunday's points snapped the three-game drought that had followed a nine-game scoring streak. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
SAMUEL ERSSON -- Here's a question for Team Sweden. Why the heck did you not bring Ersson to the Five Nations tournament? Olof Lindbom is a good goalie for sure, but Ersson's stats in the Swedish Under-20 league have put Lindbom's to shame. Now we'll have to wait until the World U-18's to see how he looks against international competition. He continued to draw notice Sunday with 32 saves in Gavle's 3-2 win over Vaxjo. Ersson stopped 17 of 18 shots in the first period, six of seven in the second, and all nine in the third. He is now 8-2-0 in his last 10 starts, including four straight wins during which he has a .952 save percentage. Too bad he's not in Plymouth this week. (Note: 10th appearance on this list in 2017-18)
CARSON FOCHT -- Yet another player who benefited from a major-junior trade, Focht is having great success with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen after starting the season with Tri-City. On Sunday, he scored two goals on six shots, leading his team to a 5-4 win at Medicine Hat. Focht, the No. 2 star, scored at 6:52 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. He later pulled Calgary into a 3-3 tie with a goal at 7:25 of the third. With nine goals and 22 points in 52 games, Focht is not a high-scorer, but this was his second multi-goal game of the season, and he now has points in three of his last five games.
LIAM FOUDY -- London's Foudy has been coming on like a freight train in the second half of the season. The former first-round OHL pick scored twice on Sunday to claim No. 1 star honors in the Knights' 3-2 OT win at Guelph. Foudy got the game's first goal at 5:46 of the opening period and scored the dramatic game-winner at 3:48 of OT. He now has 15 goals in 50 games, but five of those goals came in three straight multi-point performances over the weekend. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JACK McBAIN -- McBain had been absent from this list for awhile, but he remains a potential first-round pick on the strength of his pedigree and physical stature. Former NHLer Andrew McCabe's son was in top form Sunday with a goal and assist in the Toronto Jr. Canadiens' 4-3 OT win over Orangeville. His goal, at 7:13 of the second period, put his team up 2-1, and he had the lone assist on the winner at 3:06 of overtime. McBain remains well over a point-per-game this season with 20 goals and 34 assists in 45 OJHL contests. Sunday's goal snapped a rare, four-game drought. (Note: 10th appearance on this list in 2017-18)
ALLAN McSHANE -- Oshawa's McShane has returned to his earlier high-scoring ways, and Sunday was a prime example. The 5-foot-11 Oshawa center notched two goals as the No. 1 star of the Generals' 7-5 comeback win over Peterborough. His first goal came on a power-play at 4:56 of the second period, cutting the Petes' early lead to 3-1. He later closed the scoring at 15:52 of the final period to complete his third-multi-goal game of the season, but his first since Nov. 12. With 14 goals and 48 points in 53 OHL games, McShane is currently riding an eight-game scoring streak. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JARED McISAAC -- The way things are going for McIsaac, it looks like he will be a first-round pick when all is said and done. The star Halifax defenseman recorded a career-high four points -- all assists -- in a 6-1 win over Shawinigan on Sunday to capture No. 3 star honors. The assist parade began with a power-play helper at 5:09 of the first period to open the scoring. Only 18 seconds later, he had the primary assist on the game-winner for a 2-0 lead. His third assist was another primary one at 8:03 of the first to make it 3-0. He finished the day with another power-play assist at 14:51 of the second. With four consecutive assists on Sunday, as well as points in three of his last four games, McIsaac is now up to 30 in 53 QMJHL games. He has already surpassed his rookie-year numbers in goals, assists, and points. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JACK RANDL -- Randl has lit the USHL of late, and he did it again as a No. 1 star Sunday with two goals in Omaha's 4-1 win over Des Moines. Randl scored the eventual game-winner on a power play at 9:03 of the second period for a 2-0 lead and added an empty-netter with 46 seconds left in the third for his fourth multi-goal game of the season. With 14 goals and 23 points in 31 games, Randl has been hot with points in three of his last four outings. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
SANDRO SCHMID -- Schmid, a 5-foot-10 Swiss right wing who plays in Sweden with Malmo's Under-20 team, scored twice on Sunday to lift the Jr. Redhawks to a 4-3 win at Mora. Schmid's first goal tied the game 2-2 at 5:49 of the second period. He later scored the game-winner, snapping a 3-3 tie at 11:46 of the third. Schmid has three goals in his last two games after not having played a U20 match since Oct. 15. If he skates for Switzerland at the World Under-18, he'll have a big chance to draw scouts' attention. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
RILEY SUTTER -- Hockey fans know you can never count out a Sutter, and Riley is a case in point. After a strong start to the season, his scoring totals dipped a bit, but he has managed to keep reminding scouts of what he can be at the NHL level. On Sunday, Sutter had a goal and assist in Everett's 3-2 win over Spokane, earning No. 3 star honors. His goal, at 19:00 of the second period stretched the lead to 2-0, and he provided the lone assist on the game-winner that made it 3-0 at 12:32 of the third. Sutter has 22 goals and 43 points in 53 WHL games this season, including points in four of his last five games. (Note: Seventh appearance on this list in 2017-18)