• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
It was a very busy Sunday in Europe and the OHL, and a number of draft-eligible prospects took full advantage. The day also provided a showcase for the sons of two former NHLers. If you were a big fan of Wendel Clark or Andrew McBain during their playing days, you can start getting excited about their sons.
The breakdown for a full list of 10 star performers features players from four European countries. The half-Euro, half-North-American top 10 includes:
AXEL ANDERSSON -- He's not getting the attention of fellow Swedish defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Adam Boqvist, but Andersson is quietly having a great season for Stockholm Djurgarden's U20 team. On Sunday, he had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win at Mora. The assist was the primary helper on a power-play goal, the game-winner, at 9:14 of the second period for a 3-1 lead. Just over two minutes later, he scored at 11:35 to make it 4-1. Andersson has seven points in his last five games after getting two points in his first five. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JUSTUS ANNUNEN -- Annunen, who plays in the Finnish U20 league, will likely be his country's first goaltender chosen at the 2018 draft. He is using his draft year to ensure that possibility by utterly dominating opponents. On Sunday, he made 21 saves in Oulu's 3-1 win over Kuopio. That lifted his record to 9-1 on the season with a 2.10 GAA and .921 save percentage. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
KODY CLARK -- Wendel Clark's son had the best game of his OHL career as the No. 1 star in Ottawa's 5-4 overtime win at Sault Ste. Marie. Kody Clark was on fire Sunday with two goals and an assist. He picked up the assist at 3:51 of the second period, trimming the lead to 3-2. At 13:45 of the third, he cut it to 4-3 with an unassisted goal. Finally, he came through on another unassisted goal to win it at 3:08 of OT. Through 11 games, he is four points shy of the 11 he posted as a rookie last season.
GRIGORI DENISENKO -- The Russian Under-18 team won its best-of-three series vs. the Czechs on Sunday by cruising to a 5-2 win in the decisive game. Russia's hero was winger Denisenko, who is already projected by NHL Central Scouting as a first-round pick. He scored twice on Sunday, scoring the game's first goal at 8:03 of the opening period, and adding an empty-netter to close the scoring at 19:36 of the third period. He finished the three-game series with three points.
COLE FONSTAD -- Back-to-back brilliance for Fonstad over the weekend. After making this list with a goal and two assists on Saturday, Fonstad reversed the equation Sunday with two goals and an assist in Prince Albert's 6-5 overtime loss at Brandon to earn No. 2 star honors. He started his binge with a goal at 17:11 of the first period for a 2-2 tie. He then had the primary assist on a power-play goal at 3:25 of the third for a 4-2 lead, and scored again at 10:45 of the third to make it 5-3. Fonstad, tied for the Raiders' scoring lead, has 14 points in nine games this season, with nine of the points coming in the past four games. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
LINUS GIDBARK -- The backup goaltender for Malmo's U20 squad, Gidbark is doing everything he can to get more playing time. On Sunday, he dazzled with 42 saves in a 6-1 win at Orebro. Since Sept. 27, Gidbark has made four starts, and his save percentage in thos games is an eye-popping .954. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BRADY HINZ -- If he weren't so undersized, everybody would be talking about him. At the rate he's going, he will be drafted higher than imagined. On Sunday, he was the No. 1 star of Sarnia's 3-2 win at Windsor with a goal and adding an assist. His first goal opened the scoring 10:12 into the game. His second came on a power play at 11:55 of the middle period for a 2-0 lead. He later picked up the lone assist on the eventual game-winner at 6:09 of the third. Hinz has 12 points in 10 OHL games, including a team-leading nine goals. He also has a four-game goal streak. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JACK McBAIN -- Buried in the OJHL because of his commitment to play college hockey, Andrew McBain's son, Jack, doesn't get as much attention as his major-junior friends, but when he has a big game, he really has a big game. On Sunday, he was the No. 1 star with a goal and two assists in the Toronto Jr. Canadiens' 5-3 win at Pickering. After assisting on a 2-0 goal at 10:01 of the first, he scored the eventual game-winner for a 4-2 lead at 11:26 of the third period. Only 18 seconds later, he had the primary assist on his team's fifth goal of the night. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
DYLAN PENA-TRIANA -- Last season, Swiss native Pena-Triana was in Connecticut playing for South Kent Selects Academy. His year in North America seems to have helped, since he is making an impact back home for Bern's Under-20 squad. He was particularly sharp on Sunday, scoring a goal and registering an assist in his team's 4-3 win over Biel-Bienne. Pena-Triana scored on a power play at 5:01 of the second period to tie the game 2-2 and had the primary assist on a shorthanded game-winner at 14:52 of the third. He ran his point streak to six games, picking up four goals and three assists over the span.
JACK RANDL -- He was strong in the All-American Prospects game, and he's even stronger for the USHL's Omaha Lancers. Randl, who is bound for the Michigan Wolverines, had his best game of the young season on Sunday with two goals, two assists, and a plus-5 rating in the Lancers' 5-0 rout of Tri-City. The game's No. 1 star wasted little time getting the winning goal, when he made it 1-0 just 23 seconds after the opening faceoff. At the first period's 5-minute mark, he scored again to make it 2-0. He later assisted on Omaha's third goal at 0:21 of the third and had the primary assist on a goal at 6:49 to make it 4-0. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)