Plenty to get caught up on in this week’s edition of the prospect notebook.
First, how about Matvei Michkov? He continues to amaze, and is now the youngest Russian skater (16 years, 11 months, two days) to represent his country with the men’s senior national team, breaking a record held by Alex Ovechkin. He did so playing in the Karjala Cup, where he scored this beauty..…
Michkov is eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft.
• Staying with that topic, there’s great depth in the high-end prospects department for 2023. We will continue to keep you in the loop. Here’s another one: Calum Ritchie of the Oshawa Generals. Through Wednesday’s OHL games, Ritchie is the league’s top rookie point getter with eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 14 games. He’s produced four multi-point efforts and has been held off the scoresheet just four times all season. A 6-foot-2, 178-pound right shot centre, he is currently starting at right wing on Oshawa’s second line with NHL draftees Ty Tullio and Brett Harrison.
• With the international break coming to a close, the most scouted event for the 2022 draft was the U18 Five Nations event in Monthey, Switzerland. The USNTDP U18 team captured the tournament, capping the four-game sweep with a 9-2 win over Finland. Jimmy Snuggerud lead the way with six goals in the event. Rutger McGroarty had four goals, while Cutter Gauthier had five assists. USA outscored its opponents 30-5 over the four games.
• Canada’s world junior selection camp kicks off Dec. 9, with the tournament opening on its traditional Boxing Day date.
• The CHL announced the 2022 CHL/NHL Top Prospects game will go Feb. 2 in Kitchener, Ont. A big market with a rich history of hosting top-notched events, Kitchener is the ideal place to help kick off the CHL’s return to marquee events.
• NHL Central Scouting released its most recent Players to Watch list, broken down by league. (PDF link to the list here)
• Our next release for the top 32 prospects available for the NHL draft will be released Dec. 8 online and on Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey. Our November list can be found here.
• If following prospects is your thing, check out the rookie point getters at NHL.com. It’s fun to go back and see where your favourite players from the past end up. We try to feature some of the great stories on Hockey Central’s Rookie Report.
• Spent a few days in Winnipeg last week, preparing for my first NHL game in 17 years and eight months. It was also my HNIC debut. I last worked my first and only NHL game with with Peter Loubardias on March 1, 2004. I had never met the legendary Harnarayan Singh but we had a blast, and go figure, got an exciting OT goal for the home side over the LA Kings.
• It was great to see the Kings and some of their younger players. Adrian Kempe is just coming into his own, now in his fifth full season in the league. Kale Clague is taking full advantage of his opportunity with Drew Doughty and Sean Walker not available. Clague has a renewed sense of confidence, and is getting some power play minutes.
• Rasmus Kupari, who was taken by Los Angeles with the 20th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is comfortable playing 3C. He’s skating well, distributing and will show more offence as he gains experience.
• As part of that trip, I had the privilege of sitting down with Conor Geekie and Matthew Savoie of the Winnipeg Ice. It'll be part of some draft eligible content you will see in the near future. I also got the chance to sit down with Minnesota first-rounder Carson Lambos, Flyers prospect Connor McClennon, and Ice head coach James Patrick. Huge thanks to PR specialist Brian Munz and Ice GM Matt Cockell for allowing us safe access.
• Saw the Ice play Lethbridge on the night I landed, and they’re for real. Definitely a contender for a WHL title.
A few notes from that game:
• Lambos will look like a steal for Bill Guerin and head ccout Judd Brackett. I was taken aback by how good he looked.
• McClennon is an absolute snipe show and continues to flirt with a goal per game pace on the number one team in the CHL.
• Don’t sleep on late 2002 born Mikey Milne, who’s tied with McClennon for the league lead with 14 goals, and the points lead with 29.
• Zack Benson is a name to watch for the 2023 draft off the Winnipeg roster. Defenceman Ben Zloty is a 19-year-old, left-shot defenceman who is likely to be picked at the next NHL draft in July.
• Typically we would be coming up to the U17 World Challenge, an event featuring the best U17 players across the world in an IIHF unsanctioned event. Due to the pandemic, the event was cancelled, but as a way to continue the development of Canada’s top U17 players, Hockey Canada came up with the Capital City Challenge. The top 66 U17 players as identified by Hockey Canada’s scouting staff in conjunction with local input, will be split into three teams and play a tournament style format with Canada’s National Women’s team as the fourth participant. The tournament takes place in Ottawa and begins Nov. 26, ending Dec. 1.
• Like to give some of the overlooked 2003-born prospects a little love. This week, it’s Ryan Del Monte of the Barrie Colts. Del Monte is the son of former German pro Daniel, who way back when was a Peterborough Pete. Del Monte spent last year in Germany with EHC Freiburg in the second league and Hannover in the German third league. A nifty skater with playmaking abilities, creativity and vision, Del Monte is up over a point per game with the Colts.
• With a week off and space limited, be sure to check back in this space next week. Awesome little bit on Marc Guevremont, an unsuspecting key to the Ottawa 67’s success.
Also, we’ll take a look at the QMJHL Cup, and what it means to the Q.