This is the first edition of what should become a weekly thing, where I share my notes from the last week. Over the course of a week, I watch a game or two featuring 2018 NHL Draft eligible prospects, and I’ll share my notes from those games, as well as the latest prospect news and analysis here.
Veleno was traded from Saint John to Drummondville in the QMJHL Friday. Veleno will hope to rebound with his new team after a tough first couple months that has seen him falling on draft boards. He has started to regain his footing after a tough start, and is now at 31 points in 31 games on the year, exactly a point per game. Veleno is -10 this season. He’ll look to heat up with Drummondville as he tries to make up lost ground.
Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Brady Tkachuk, Quinn Hughes and Rasmus Kupari headline the 2018 eligible draft talent that are expected to make WJC teams. Adam Boqvist was the most surprising draft eligible snub. Boqvist, ranked 3rd, was not named to Sweden’s preliminary WJC roster. Oliver Wahlstrom and Jesper Kotkaniemi were also surprisingly left off WJC rosters.
Svechnikov has returned from his hand injury and will play on Saturday against Oshawa, a game that will be shown on Sportsnet in Canada as a part of their CHL Saturday Showcase series. Viewers with Sportsnet as a part of their television plans will be able to see Svechnikov multiple times this season, as the Barrie Colts are frequently involved in the Saturday Showcase on the channel.
Dobson continues to rise on draft boards, as his calm, puckmoving game continues to impress scouts. Could be the Cale Makar of 2018, a dark horse top 5 pick.
McBain has seen himself fall after a poor start to the season where he has had 38 points in 31 games in the OJHL, a Junior A league. Those numbers appear to be good, but a potential first round pick should really stand out in a 2nd-tier junior league, and McBain has not done so this season.