• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
The Canada-Russia series, which wrapped up Thursday night, included only a handful of 2018 NHL draft prospects, but a total of eight first-year eligibles did see action. The six-game series, which Canada won 4-2, featured the visiting Russian team playing two games each against teams of WHL, OHL, and QMJHL stars. In a very good sign for the 2018 draft, the team featuring the most draft prospects -- the QMJHL squad -- was the only one to sweep both games against the Russians.
Unfortunately, none of the QMJHL players in Thursday's 2-1 shootout win played a major role, so the five players on this top performances list come from other leagues. Read about them below:
EVAN BOUCHARD -- The London Knights' high-scoring defenseman had a goal, an assist, and six shots in Thursday's 7-4 win over Guelph. His first point was the primary assist on a goal at 13:32 of the first period for a 2-1 lead. He later scored on a power play with eight seconds left in the second period -- making it 4-2. Bouchard, who has points in four of his last five games, now has five goals and 17 assists on the OHL season. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
AIDAN DUDAS -- If Dudas were bigger, more people would be talking about him. He is having a great season for Owen Sound and was in top form in a 6-3 win at Windsor on Thursday. The game's No. 1 star scored a dramatic goal and added an assist. His goal, a shorthanded tally at 14:09 of the third period, tied the game 3-3. Four minutes later, at 18:07, Dudas assisted on the empty-netter that sealed the game. Through 19 OHL games, Dudas has 12 goals and five assist. He now leads the Attack in goals, ranking ahead of 2017 first-rounder Nick Suzuki, who has 11. (Note: Fourth appearance on this list in 2017-18)
DAVID GUSTAFSSON -- Playing in the Sweden's top league at age 17 is no easy feat, but Gustafsson is among Jonkoping HV-71's core players. On Thursday, he scored in a 2-1 shootout win at Linkoping. His goal at 3:17 of the second period got Jonkoping on the board with a 1-1 tie. It was his first SHL goal since Sept. 26. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
VITALY KRAVTSOV -- Perhaps the hardest league for a teen draft prospect is Russia's KHL. Kravtsov, a likely 2018 first-round pick, picked up two assists in only 9:14 of icetime during Chelyabinsk's 4-1 win at Nizhny Novgorod. His first assist was the lone helper on the opening goal, scored at 11:47 of the first period. He later assisted on a goal that made it 4-1 at 14:32 of the third. It was the first multi-point KHL game for Kravtsov, who turns 18 on Dec. 23. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
DANILA ZHURAVLYOV -- Zhuravlyov scored two third-period goals in Kazan's 4-2 MHL win at Almetevsk. The first goal came at 4:33 for a 3-1 lead. The second was scored on a power play at 6:44 to make it 4-1. The smooth-skating Zhuravlyov now has seven goals this season -- more than any Russian MHL blueline draft prospect. He is also riding a seven-game point streak, which is basically unheard of for a 17-year-old defenseman. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)