A highly touted prospect announced his commitment to the University of Notre Dame,the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings have each loaned one of their top prospects overseas, and we take a look at a player who could make some serious noise in a few years for our Prospect of the Day.
Fleming Commits to the University of Notre Dame
Maddox Fleming announced that he has committed to the University of Notre Dame for the 2022-23 season. A top prospect eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, Fleming is just another name that has been added to an already stacked recruiting class.
Fleming spent this past season playing for Shattuck St. Mary’s 18U Prep in the USHS-Prep League where he scored 14 goals and added 38 assists for 52 points in 42 games.
Fleming is slated to play for the United States’ National U17 Team next season, where he will have a good chance to play a big role. He is at his best with the puck on his stick and is great at making plays with his deceptiveness. He is a high-end playmaker and makes those who play with him better. I am excited to see how his game continues to grow leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft.
Devils Loan Merkley to Finland
The Devils announced that they have loaned Nick Merkley to Assat of the Liiga for the start of the 2020-21 season. He was originally drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in the first round, 30th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Merkley spent this past season playing for the Devils, the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL) and the Binghamton Devils (AHL). In four games with the Devils, he scored one goal and added an assist for two points. In 26 games with the Roadrunners, he tallied three goals and added 13 assists for 16 points, and in 28 games with the Binghamton Devils, he managed to collect eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points.
Although Merkley is a pending restricted free agent, I think the Devils will wish to keep him in their organization. He is still a young player who could provide some value in the bottom six and can eat some big minutes for the Devils. He was good in his limited time in the NHL this past season and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for him.
Kings Loan Prospect Sodergran to Sweden
The Kings announced that they have loaned prospect Johan Sodergran to Almtuna IS of the Allsvenskan. He was originally drafted by LA in the sixth round, 165th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft.
Sodergran spent this past season playing for the Ontario Reign of the AHL where he scored two goals and added five assists for seven points in 48 games. Although he struggled during his first season in North America, there are a lot of positives to be taken from his play.
Sodergran will need to develop his overall game, there is no doubt about that, but he has proven that he can be a great player. He is not the most physical player but can handle his own in front of the net and in the corners. He plays hard whenever he steps out on the ice and I can see him being a nice depth player for the Kings in a few years.
Oskar Magnusson – Prospect of the Day
For our Prospect of the Day, we will be taking a look at forward Oscar Magnusson, who has made a lot of noise this past season. Currently ranked 43rd amongst European skaters, he has the chance to be a solid mid-round pick in years to come.
Magnusson spent this past season playing for the Malmo Redhawks J20 of the SuperElit where he scored 22 goals and added 26 assists for 48 points in 38 games. He also suited up for his country in U18 international play and tallied two goals and four assists for six points in 13 games.
THW’s own Eugene Helfrick thinks that Magnusson has the skills to develop into a top-six forward in the NHL.
“If everything breaks right for Magnusson, he has the skillset to develop into a legitimate NHL-starter, with top-six potential. He could easily slot into a line-up as a scoring forward who can take on playing time both on the powerplay and the penalty kill.”
Magnusson is a very intriguing prospect to many. He amazes people on a nightly basis when the puck is on his stick but he has to work on a lot of things to perfect his game. The team that selects him will have to be patient but he has the chance to become a really solid player in the NHL.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.