CHL Notebook: Top 2020 NHL draft prospects off to flying starts

Alexis-Lafreniere

Rimouski Oceanic winger Alexis Lafreniere. (Vincent L. Rousseau)

It’s been quite a start to the season for 2020 NHL draft prospects around the Canadian Hockey League, three in particular.

Alexis Lafreniere is no stranger to the draft limelight.

The Rimouski Oceanic forward, who has been widely considered the top prospect available, has charged out of the gate in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

After being held off the scoresheet in the season opener, Lafreniere has points in all seven games since. What’s more impressive is the 19 points he’s posted in that stretch, including six over the weekend in three games.

Meanwhile, Shawinigan Cataractes goaltender Antoine Coulombe has continued his strong start to the season.

After posting shutouts in his first two starts, Coulombe got into the third period of his third start before surrendering a goal.

The 17-year-old went on a stretch of 191:01 before surrendering his first goal of the season.

In the Ontario Hockey League, Sudbury Wolves forward Quinton Byfield has maintained a solid opening to the season.

Similar to his draft eligible counterpart Lafreniere, Byfield has only been held off the scoresheet once this season and is averaging over two points per game.

While draft eligible prospects have been making waves in the OHL and QMJHL, it’s a drafted goaltender that has drawn some attention in the Western Hockey League.

Arizona Coyotes prospect David Tendeck is making the most of his over-age season early on with the Vancouver Giants.

Coming off a great regular season and playoff run last year, Tendeck has given up just one goal in three starts this season with the Giants. Tendeck hasn’t surrendered a goal since the opening period of his first start of the season which is a span of 179:57.

His two shutouts this season give him nine in his WHL career.

LOCKE RETURNING TO OHL

The Guelph Storm added to its coaching staff this week.

The team announced the hiring of former high-scoring forward Corey Locke as a coaching assistant.

Locke played 15 years of professional hockey after his OHL career with the Ottawa 67’s ended in 2004.

While with the 67’s, Locke was named the OHL’s most outstanding player twice, including in the 2002-03 season when he scored 63 goals and 151 points in 66 games.

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