- Fisher’s Top 300 for March
- Fisher’s Top 217 for February
- Fisher’s Top 217 for January
- Fisher’s Top 186 for December
- Fisher’s Top 186 for November
- Fisher’s Top 124 for October
- Fisher’s Top 124 Preseason Rankings
Skill, skill, skill — that’s the theme of this month’s risers.
These prospects all have high ceilings, and potential upside continues to be a key factor for my draft rankings.
Here are 10 of the biggest risers from within my Top 100 for March:
1) Pavel Dorofeyev (LW/RW, Russia, Magnitogorsk MHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 23
MARCH RANKING: 13
ANALYSIS: This high-skill forward is dazzling in Russia’s junior league and gaining momentum much like Vitali Kravtsov last year. Kravtsov was a big-time riser in the second half and wound up cracking the top 10 at ninth overall in 2018. I don’t think Dorofeyev will climb quite that high, but a case could be made that he’s a top-10 talent for 2019 in terms of offensive tools. Dorofeyev is a good bet to go in the teens as of today.
2) Alex Newhook (LC/LW, Canada, Victoria BCHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 24
MARCH RANKING: 14
ANALYSIS: Newhook was a faller for me last month, dropping from No. 13 in January to No. 24 in February after another mediocre showing on a big scouting stage at the CJHL Top Prospects Game. But Newhook responded by absolutely torching the BCHL down the stretch to win the scoring title with 102 points in 53 games. That late-season heater has carried over to the playoffs, which bodes well for Newhook’s draft stock since the knock on him has been an inability to rise to the occasion when the pressure is on and the stakes are higher.
Grizzlies’ captain Alex Newhook named BCHL MVP
Victoria Grizzlies forward Alex Newhook, projected for the first round of the 2019 NHL draft, was named Vern Dye Memorial Award winner Tuesday as BCHL most valuable player.
— Victoria Grizzlies (@BCHLGrizzlies) February 27, 2019
3) Bobby Brink (RW, USA, Sioux City USHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 31
MARCH RANKING: 15
ANALYSIS: Brink has overcome an ankle injury to continue his USHL dominance. He’s putting up numbers worthy of being drafted in the teens, and Brink left a lasting impression on the scouts who attended the World Junior A Challenge in December. Many are convinced he’s the real deal, capable of being an offensive catalyst in the NHL in due time.
4) Tobias Bjornfot (LD, Sweden, Djurgardens J20)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 36
MARCH RANKING: 29
ANALYSIS: Bjornfot forced his way into my first round with a stellar showing at last month’s Five Nations tournament. He was a force for Sweden there, highlighted by his end-to-end goal against the United States. Bjornfot isn’t always that flashy, but he’s displaying more offensive capabilities than I previously gave him credit for.
5) Jamieson Rees (LC, Canada, Sarnia OHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 61
MARCH RANKING: 54
ANALYSIS: Rees flashed his skill-set at the CHL Top Prospects Game, standing out in spurts during that showcase. The upside is evident to the eye, he’s got some instincts that can’t really be taught, and Rees should only get better with age as he continues to add strength and power to his finesse base.
6) Matvei Guskov (LC, Russia, London OHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 63
MARCH RANKING: 55
ANALYSIS: Guskov has been hit and miss this season on a stacked London squad, still adjusting to the North American game. But you can see he’s one of those sky-is-the-limit type prospects that could soar to new heights next season. Guskov has been hitting his stride and becoming a more consistent threat since the calendar flipped to 2019, so scouts won’t be sleeping on him in watching that juggernaut team.
7) Brayden Tracey (LW, Canada, Moose Jaw WHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 110
MARCH RANKING: 64
ANALYSIS: One of my biggest risers for March, Tracey is racking up the points on arguably the WHL’s best line with Pittsburgh prospect Justin Almeida and undrafted overager Tristin Langan. Those two are among the league’s top-five scorers and Tracey isn’t too far behind in leading the rookie pack by a significant margin. Tracey benefits from his older linemates, but he’s become a big part of Moose Jaw’s success and has been a catalyst for that trio in every viewing I’ve had of the Warriors this season. As a result, the Brayden Point comparisons are becoming inevitable.
8) Alex Beaucage (RW, Canada, Rouyn-Noranda QMJHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 79
MARCH RANKING: 65
ANALYSIS: Beaucage is in a similar boat, playing on one of the Q’s most potent lines, but he’s proven to be a legitimate sniper throughout his draft year. Beaucage is an impactful player and, like Tracey, isn’t necessarily riding any coattails. There is lots to like about those two, Tracey and Beaucage, and both are on the cusp of cracking my second round.
9) Blake Murray (LC, Canada, Sudbury OHL)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 82
MARCH RANKING: 66
ANALYSIS: Murray was a first-rounder for me to start the season — No. 14 in my preseason rankings — but had been trending down before heating up in the second half. Now, as he closes in on a 30-goal campaign, Murray is trending up again. He might wind up as a second-rounder for me, depending on his playoff performance.
10) Tuukka Tieksola (F, Finland, Kärpät U20)
FEBRUARY RANKING: 138
MARCH RANKING: 86
ANALYSIS: The biggest riser on this list, Tieksola has been flying under the radar for most, including myself. I’m trusting Jokke Nevalainen on this one — he’s become my go-to Finnish scout on Twitter — and he’s been touting Tieksola as an “undersized playmaking winger with high-end vision, skating and passing skills.” Jokke has posted plenty of Tieksola highlights in recent months and that body of work has certainly been impressive. Worthy of this ranking, from what I’ve seen.
Larry Fisher is a senior writer and head scout for The Hockey Writers, having been an at-large contributor for THW since August 2014. Fisher covers both the NHL and the WHL, specializing in prospects and NHL draft content, including his annual mock drafts that date back to 2012. Fisher has also been a beat writer for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets since 2008, formerly working as a sports reporter/editor for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada from 2008-2019. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.