Prospects News & Rumors: Brabanec, Mensik, Chromiak & More

The Charlottetown Islanders received commitments from two of their prospects. The Kingston Frontenacs are getting back one of their top players from last season and we take a look at an overage goalie who could be one of the first goalies selected at the draft in our Prospect of the Day.

Islanders Receive Commitments From Two Players

The Islanders announced on Tuesday that they have received commitments from Jakub Brabanec and Matous Mensik, who were both selected in the 2020 CHL Import Draft.

Mensik, a native of Jihlava, Czech Republic, spent this past season playing for Karpat U18 in the U18 SM-sarja. In 34 games played, he managed to score 6 goals and added 10 assists for 16 points. He also represented his country on the world stage where, in 26 games played, he scored 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points.

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Brabanec, a native of Brno, Czech Republic, suited up for HC Kometa Brno U17 squad this past season. In 15 games played, he scored 12 goals and added 22 assists for 34 points. He also donned his country’s colours on the world stage where he collected 5 points in 19 games played.

“The signings of Jakub and Matous are an important step in our roster build for the next three seasons,” said head coach and general manager Jim Hulton. “Both players are elite level 17-year-old players who will play a significant role on our team now and for future seasons. We are delighted to finalize their signings and we look forward to seeing them in action at our camp in late August.”

Both Mensik and Brabanec are eligible for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft next spring.

Chromiak & Pinchuk Return to the Frontenacs

The Frontenacs announced that forwards Martin Chromiak and Vitali Pinchuk are returning to play for them next season. Having both been selected in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, they impressed in their rookie seasons in Kingston.

In 28 games played, Chromiak managed to score 11 goals and added 22 assists for 33 points. Many people believe that a full season of him playing with Shane Wright will produce one of the best duos in the league. Pinchuk managed to play more games with the Frontenacs and had a great rookie season himself. In 54 games played, he scored 13 goals and added 21 assists for 34 points.

“We are thrilled to have commitments from Martin and Vitali for the upcoming season,” said associate coach Luca Caputi in a statement. “Both players demonstrated skill, talent and a high level of character during their rookie seasons. We are excited to see their development as they enter their second season in the Ontario Hockey League.”

Both Pinchuk and Chromiak are eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Prospect of the Day – Nico Daws

Our Prospect of the Day sees us take a look at Nico Daws, an overage goalie playing for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League. He is currently ranked as the top North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting for the upcoming draft.

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In 38 games played for the Storm this past season, he collected a record of 23-8-6 to go along with a 2.48 goals against average and a save percentage of .924. He won the starting job in training camp and did not look back. Although he was passed over last year, he has shown that he has serious potential.

Nico Daws is one of the best goalies available in this draft. (Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Standing at 6-foot-4, Daws has great size for a goaltending prospect in today’s game. He covers a lot of the net and tracks the puck really well. His lateral movement and technique are strong aspects of his game and he makes highlight-reel saves on nightly basis.

Our own Mark Scheig really likes Daws’ game, but believes he needs to make some improvements before he can truly blossom.

“What stands out about Daws is his control of the situation. He makes difficult saves look easy. He plays his position well and is able to go side-to-side in a quick manner. You almost have to be perfect in order to beat him. Plus he has a lightning quick glove.

“Two things stand out to me in terms of improvements. In the games I saw, he let most of his goals get by him on the blocker side. I’d like to see him lock that down more. I’d also like to see him perform better on the bigger stage. This points to consistency in his game against stronger competition. It was quite the leap to make in just one season, so I expect this will rectify itself over time.”

Time will tell whether Daws can take his potential and run with it, but all signs point to him becoming a solid NHL goaltender down the line. If a team is looking for a potential NHL starter, they need to look no further that Daws.