• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
Although there were lots of games involving draft prospects on Saturday, there weren't many eye-popping performances.
One reason is that many of the hottest prospects were away from their teams at selection camps for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge in Nova Scotia. That tournament begins on Dec. 10, and it's a great showcase for the Tier II players who are already making waves this year. You know it's a deep draft pool when there's an abundance of talent at the World Junior A.
The list below features two Swedes and four Americans. The four remaining players are Canadians from the major-junior ranks. View them all here:
AXEL ANDERSSON -- Andersson, a defenseman, had a goal and two assists in Stockhom Djurgarden U20's 5-4 overtime win at Leksand on Saturday. All three of his points came in crunch time. His goal, at 4:06 of the third period, cut the Leksand lead to 3-1. His first assist, a primary helper, at 13:32 of the third, helped tie the game 3-3. He then recorded the lone assist on the winner at 3:39 of overtime. Andersson has five points in the last four games and six multi-point games this season, but this was his first three-point effort. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
NICOLAS BEAUDIN -- Beaudin continues to amaze. The Drummondville defenseman set up three goals Saturday, helping his team rout Saint John 7-2. The No. 3 star, Beaudin had a power-play assist on a goal at 16:40 of the first period to tie it 1-1. He picked up a primary power-play assist with 27 seconds left in the first to put his team up 2-1, and he assisted on a goal at 16:04 of the third to make it 5-2. Beaudin is averaging just under a point per game in this season's QMJHL with 28 in 29. Saturday was his eighth multi-point effort and is second three-assist game. Even more impressive is his plus-20 rating for the season -- a huge jump from his minus rookie year. (Note: Sixth appearance on this list in 2017-18 -- tied for lead among defensemen)
PATRICK GILES -- Giles, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area, had a big night for the U.S. NTDP Under-18 team in a 7-3 loss to the University of Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines were a much older and better team than the U-18's, but thanks to Giles' two second-period goals, Michigan was in a nail-biter after two periods. Giles scored at 8:42 to cut Michigan's early 4-0 lead down to 4-2. He then pulled Team USA within a goal by scoring at 16:53. The back-to-back goals gave Giles his first two-goal game of 2017-18 and certainly drew notice from the Boston College hockey program, where he is headed next.
ALEXIS GRAVEL -- The Halifax backup goalie began his season with high hopes for a high draft position as one of the top QMJHL netminder prospects. But it has been a rocky year. On Saturday, he pulled it all together and made 32 saves in the Mooseheads' 4-2 win over Val d'Or. The game's No. 1 star was perfect through two periods, stopping all 19 shots faced. In the third, he added 13 saves for his first victory since Oct. 21. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
NICOLAS GUAY -- While Nicolas Beaudin was picking up three assists on Saturday, Guay was converting them for goals. Passed over in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, he looks good for this one after getting a hat trick on eight shots and winning 14 of 17 faceoffs for No. 1 star honors in Drummondville's 7-2 win over Saint John. Guay scored power-play goals at 16:40 and 19:33 of the first period to go up 2-1. He added a goal at 16:04 of the third to make it 5-2. This was Guay's first QMJHL hat trick, but his seventh multi-point game this season. With 18 assists and 27 points, he already has career-highs in both categories.
CARL JAKOBSSON -- Jakobsson has been surging for Karlstad in the Swedish U20 junior league. On Saturday, he scored twice and had a primary assist in his team's 7-4 win over Malmo. He wasted no time, as he got the game's first goal just 19 seconds into the opening period. He later had an unassisted goal at 18:00 of the first for a 2-2 tie, and he set up a goal at 6:16 of the second to make it 3-2 -- driving Malmo goalie and fellow draft prospect Linus Gidbark out of the net. Jakobsson, who had his first three-point game in U20 play, has four multi-point games this season as well as points in three of his last four outings. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
BLADE JENKINS -- It appears Jenkins made a good career choice in leaving the U.S. NTDP for the OHL. On Saturday, the rising Saginaw star had a goal and two assists in the Spirit's 7-6 OT win over Sarnia to earn No. 3 star honors. The Spirit pulled off an amazing feat by coming back from a 6-0 deficit late in the second period. All of Jenkins' points came in the clutch, capping off the comeback. His goal at 5:57 of the third period cut the lead to 6-3. He then had the lone assist on a goal at 16:30 of the third to force the overtime. He ended by assisting on the game-winner at 4:23 of OT. This was Jenkins' third three-point night of the season, as he now has 12 goals and 21 points in 26 games. (Note: Third appearance on this list in 2017-18)
DEV McCABE -- McCabe erupted for a pair of goals and an assist -- one point per period -- in Lincoln's 5-1 win over USHL rival Green Bay on Saturday. Honored as the No. 1 star, he opened the scoring on a power play at 2:27 of the first period. He later got the primary assist on the power-play game-winner at 11:14 of the second for a 2-1 lead, and he scored again at 16:45 of the third. It was the first USHL two-goal game for McCabe, who snapped a five-game scoring drought. The 5-foot-11 center will play college hockey at Minnesota-Duluth. (Note: Second appearance on this list in 2017-18)
JAXON NELSON -- The No. 1 star of Sioux Falls' 4-2 win at Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Nelson scored twice in the Stampede's 4-2 win. His goal at 11:40 of the third period was the game-winner, breaking a 2-2 tie. Six minutes later, he put the game on ice with a goal at 17:57 to close the scoring. Nelson, a center recruited by the University of Minnesota, has three goals this season. All three were scored within his last four USHL games.
TY SMITH -- It's hard to say enough good things about Smith, a sure-fire first-round pick next June. The Spokane defenseman was the hero of the Chiefs' 4-3 OT win at Tri-City, scoring the winner at 3:27 of overtime. Before that, he had the primary assist on the power-play goal that pulled the Chiefs into a 3-3 tie at 1:04 of the third period. With two points on Saturday, Smith is now averaging a point per game with 28 in 28. He is the WHL's sixth-highest scoring defenseman and leads all WHL defensemen who are first-year-eligibles for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. (Note: Fifth appearance on this list in 2017-18)