The NHL’s Top 100 Prospects – Midseason Rankings

As we approach the midway point of the 2021-22 season, it’s always a great time to catch up and update the current crop of top prospects this season. We’ve seen Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider and Trevor Zegras make the jump to the NHL and become Calder Trophy contenders, while other names like Dawson Mercer and Jamie Drysdale make some noise as well as top prospects. Before we get into the top 100 prospect ranking update, here are a few notes.


Related: THW’s Wall-to-Wall Prospect & Draft Coverage


What makes a player a prospect varies, but for this list, I will follow Corey Pronman’s rules as a guide. Here are the criteria for this list: A player is considered a prospect if he has played less than 25 games in one campaign (regular season and playoffs combined), less than 50 games total in their career, and is 25 years old by Sept 15. (From: “Pronman: 2019-20 NHL Farm System Rankings”).

Ranked: The NHL's Top 100 Prospects 2019-20

I’m once again very happy to have members of our draft ranking show Greg Boysen, Andrew Forbes and Matthew Zator to help provide the prospect reports. There are no goalies ranked on this list, but you can see the top 10 goalie prospects here

While it was fun to work on this ranking, it was difficult, as some names may have been left off this list that could’ve made their way on. Without further ado, here are the top 100 prospects. Note: All stats are up-to-date as of Jan 10.

100: William Wallinder, Detroit Red Wings

A towering defender at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, William Wallinder was drafted 32nd overall in 2020. He’s extremely mobile and a very strong puck carrier. He needs to work on his defensive game and round out his strengths but the offensive instincts make him a very good option for the Detroit Red Wings on defense. – Peter Baracchini 

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99: Shakir Mukhamadullin, New Jersey Devils

There were a lot of question marks when the Devils selected Shakir Mukhamadullin in the first round of the 2020 draft. He possesses great qualities, but his game is raw and needed to be refined. At 6-foot-4, 194 pounds, he’s extremely mobile and has a very smooth stride in transition, not to mention he has a booming shot from the point. If he’s able to work on his defensive game, the Devils do have another quality defender in their system.– PB 

Shakir Mukhamadullin
16.01.21. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) – Salavat Yulaev (Ufa). Shakir Mukhamadullin (photo credit: photo.khl.ru)

98: Vasili Ponomaryov, Carolina Hurricanes

Playing in Russia this season, Ponomaryov’s speed might be the key to what makes him such a legitimate two-way centre and that provides him with a lot of opportunity at both ends of the ice. Even lacking size, he’s able to win puck battles along the boards and that’s what pushed him to average over a point per game in the Quebec Major Junior League last season with the Shawinigan Cataractes. Playmaking is his specialty and could thrive with the Carolina Hurricanes due to the youth movement under Rod Brind’Amour. – Andrew Forbes

97: Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Pittsburgh Penguins

Pierre-Olivier Joseph has made waves since turning pro in 2019 following a successful junior career in the QMJHL. Originally drafted 23rd overall by the Coyotes in 2017, he was sent to Pittsburgh in part of the Phil Kessel trade. He has 94 games of AHL experience over the past three seasons and had a goal and five points with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 20 NHL games. The 22-year-old’s biggest asset is his performance in the transition game. He is a smart defender who makes quick decisions with the puck and has already proven he can handle tough assignments and big minutes in the NHL.– Greg Boysen 

96: Daniil Gushchin, San Jose Sharks

Daniil Gushchin brings a mix of everything to the table. He’s extremely quick on his feet, he has great hands, he’s determined and has strong vision, making it difficult to try and get a read on what he’ll do on the ice. He has great strength to engage in physical situations and never gives up on a play. He’s taken the Ontario Hockey League by storm as he has 20 goals and 33 points in 24 games with the Niagara IceDogs. – PB 

95: Aleksi Heponiemi, Florida Panthers

A 2017 draftee, Aleksi Heponiemi only played nine games with the Florida Panthers last season and another three this season. With 13 points in 22 games with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL, he has the skills to become a top-six forward in the NHL. Dynamic and with speed to burn, he will be looked upon to take the next step in his development when training camp gets going in September. – Matthew Zator 

Swift Current Broncos center Aleksi Heponiemi
Swift Current Broncos center Aleksi Heponiemi (20) fires the puck out of the defensive zone during Game 4 of the Western Hockey League Championship between the Everett Silvertips and the Swift Current Broncos at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA. Swift Current defeated Everett by a final score of 1-0. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

94: Theodor Niederbach, Detroit Red Wings

Unsigned, but that’s okay. Theodor Niederbach is another Red Wings pick that sees the ice so well. He makes reads that some other prospects might not adjust to even as a 19-year-old and he is relentless as a defensive forward. He does have some offensive upside, but it may not be as consistent as some would like to see from the smaller forward. Regardless, he forces opponents to make plays and could make a good bottom six forward in a few more years. – AF 

93: Marat Khusnutdinov, Minnesota Wild

The Wild’s second-round pick from 2020 (37th overall) is succeeding in his native Russia. After bouncing around between all three levels last season, he has stuck in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg, where he has four goals and 11 points in 30 games. He’s a 200-foot player with excellent feet. His motor is always running, and he uses his quickness to move the puck. He has developed into a heck of a back-checker and continues to improve in reading the play defensively. – GB 

92: Jan Jenik, Arizona Coyotes

Playing between North America and overseas over the past three seasons, Jan Jenik has shown offensive success at each level he’s played at. An underrated offensive threat, Jenik has a high hockey IQ and controls the puck in tight situations. He’s a factor this season with 14 points in 18 games with the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL. The Coyotes called him up for two games last season and he didn’t miss a beat, tallying two goals in those games and showing that he deserves to be recognized as a top NHL prospect. –AF 

91: Akil Thomas, Los Angeles Kings

After coming off a nice first professional season where he scored 11 goals and 26 points, Akil Thomas was dealt major blow missing 22 games to start the season with an injury. But still, that didn’t deter him from making an impact. He has shown that he can take on a leadership role serving as captain for the Niagara IceDogs during his junior career. Thomas is a speedy skater down the middle of the ice and is aggressive on the forecheck. He has great vision and a nice set of hands to go with it. He has played well in all situations during his young career, including on the power play. – GB 

Prospects #90-81

90: Helge Grans, Los Angeles Kings

Helge Grans has appeared to have made a nice transition to North America with nine points in 18 games with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League. Drafted 35th overall in 2020, he displays an efficient two-way style that’s going to bode well for the Kings down the line. He’s very mobile and can play a sound defensive game in every zone on the ice. He was a major factor for Sweden at the World Juniors with three assists before the tournament was paused. – MZ

89: Noel Gunler, Carolina Hurricanes

Once ranked as high as 18th overall in the 2020 Draft, Noel Gunler surprisingly fell to the second round and landed in the Hurricanes’ lap. A steal if there ever was one, he turned it up to eleven during his second season in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), scoring a career-high nine goals and 15 points in 39 games and has followed that up with 12 points in 31 games in 2021-22. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s pretty impressive when you consider he was doing it at 20 years old. The guy just knows how to generate offence. Whether it be with his shot, hands or insane offensive instincts, he will be a top-six threat in the NHL in no time. – MZ 

Noel Gunler Lulea HF
Noel Gunler, Lulea HF (Photo by RvS.Media/Monika Majer/Getty Images)

88: Jack Thompson, Tampa Bay Lightning

A smooth skating, right-shot defender, Jack Thompson has the ability to know when to pick his spot and jump into the play and attack. The former captain of the Sudbury Wolves was recently traded to the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL, has been a major point producer with 23 in 29 games and could very well close in on his 2019-20 points total. He displays great defensive awareness as he provides strong coverage in front of the net and an active stick to break up plays. Even though the Lightning don’t have household names, Thompson is definitely providing value as a mid-round prospect. – PB

87: Samuel Fagemo, Los Angeles Kings

Samuel Fagemo flies a bit under the radar with the prospect depth the Kings currently have. However, the Swedish-born forward is off to another strong start in 2021-22. He had 10 goals and 18 points in his 32 games with the Reign last season and is looking to surpass his points total as he has 15 in 26 games. He has an accurate slapshot and quick wrist shot. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t shoot as much as he should. Fagemo also has good hands and speed, which makes him a dual-threat on the ice. – GB 

86: Sean Farrell, Montreal Canadiens

Versatility gives Sean Farrell an edge up on some of the other prospects on this list. He’s able to play down the middle and on the wing giving him an opportunity to see the game from two different perspectives. Another player that might be undersized by some standards, he has the playmaking ability and sees the ice well enough to consider him a top 100 prospect. While he tore through the USHL with the Chicago Steel in 2020-21 with 101 points in 53 games, Farrell went the NCAA route with Harvard and is averaging over a point per game in 2021-22. – AF

85: Arseni Gritsyuk, New Jersey Devils

Not many fifth-round picks find themselves on top-100 prospect lists, but Arseni Gritsyuk is not just any fifth-round pick. After posting only one goal and two points in 12 games last season with Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), he has broken out to the tune of 16 goals and 28 points in 39 games this season. A draft pick of the New Jersey Devils back in 2019, his play in 2021-22 has made everyone take notice of his game. He was a consistent presence on Team Russia during the 2021 World Juniors and has now become a prospect to be reckoned with. Blessed with speed and a knack for getting under the skin of his opponents, it will be interesting to see if his game can transfer over to the NHL one day. – MZ 

84: Jake Neighbours, St. Louis Blues

Jake Neighbours got a taste of the NHL this season when he suited up for nine games with the St. Louis Blues at the beginning of October. He didn’t look out of place as he scored his first NHL goal in only his fourth game. Despite that, the Blues thought it was best to send him back to the Edmonton Oil Kings to continue his junior career rather than have him see limited ice time in the NHL. Since his return, he has been named captain of the team and accumulated 18 points in 10 games. Suffice it to say, he has come back with a vengeance. Described as a “brick wall” by Elite Prospects, he is difficult to knock off the puck and his playmaking skills are border-line elite. When he makes the Blues full-time next season, he will be a force in every sense of the word. – MZ 

Jake Neighbours St. Louis Blues
Jake Neighbours, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

83: Pavel Dorofeyev, Vegas Golden Knights

With the current Vegas Golden Knights salary cap situation, they will need to find some young and cheap talent to contribute in the near future. Pavel Dorofeyev, drafted in the third round (79th overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, just may fit that bill. He is a creative forward with excellent puck handling skills and a heck of a release. He played in all three levels of Russian hockey last season with most of the time in the VHL before making his way to the U.S. He currently has 11 goals and 22 points in 26 AHL games with the Henderson Silver Knights this season. He will likely spend another season in the AHL but could be one of the first players called up once as an injury replacement. – GB 

82: Isak Rosen, Buffalo Sabres

Isak Rosén was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2021 and it’s his skating that makes him such a tough prospect to take out of the top 100. He’s small and has some areas of his game that need to develop before he makes that next jump, but his ability to use his body to draw defenders out of position makes him a scary offensive threat – opening up lanes for his teammates with his deceptiveness. – AF

81: Justin Barron, Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche keep cranking out young defensemen, and Barron is another blueliner who should be part of their long-term plans. Drafted 25th overall in 2020, he made his professional debut following the QMJHL season with seven games for the Colorado Eagles. He had a goal and four points in his first taste of AHL action and has looked great in 2021-22 with 11 points in 18 games. Barron is great at leading the rush up the ice and has an excellent shot from the point. He will spend another season developing with the Eagles before making a serious push to play in Denver. – GB 

Prospects #80-71

80: Raphael Lavoie, Edmonton Oilers

Ranked in the first round by many pundits going into the 2019 Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are looking like bandits getting him a round later at 38th overall. The 6-foot-4, 196-pound forward has size and an NHL-caliber shot and he’s made great strides in his game since being drafted. He’s adjusting well to the pro level with 22 total points in two seasons in the AHL and he could be ready to challenge for a bottom-six spot with the Oilers in the future. – MZ 

79: Fydor Svechkov, Nashville Predators

The biggest strength in Fydor Svechkov’s game is his ability to process the game and think one step ahead of the competition. He brings a high level of intensity and strong work ethic every shift. When he doesn’t have the puck, he has great positioning to keep the opposition to the outside and force turnovers. Offensively, he provides excellent puck support and is always in a position to create space, find an open lane and setup his teammates. The Predators really lucked out by drafting a strong two-way centreman 19th overall in the 2021 draft. – PB 

Fyodor Svechkov, Lada Togliatti
Fyodor Svechko, Lada Togliatti (Photo Courtesy of HCLADA.RU)

78: Ville Koivunen, Carolina Hurricanes

Part of the pesky Finns, Koivunen is playing in the Liiga this season and hasn’t shown any lack of production to start the year. A second-round pick of the Hurricanes in 2021, Koivunen signed his entry-level deal with the Canes and fits in nicely with an organization that is already home to players like Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. He’s a player that wants the puck and when he gets it isn’t afraid to attack defenders and lead the charge. Don’t look now, but Koivunen could very well be on his way to developing into yet another solid player for the Hurricanes in the next couple of years. – AF

77: Vitali Kravtsov, New York Rangers

Vitali Kravtsov made his NHL debut last season, but his road to the NHL has hit a road block, being loaned to the KHL and asking for a trade request. Drafted ninth overall, he’s posted 13 points in 19 games since then while averaging 15 minutes of ice time. Known for his versatility, size and solid two-way game, he should be a valuable top-nine forward in the NHL for many years to come, once everything settles out with his current situation. – MZ 

76: Carson Lambos, Minnesota Wild

All things are looking up for Minnesota general manager Bill Guerin these days. His team is currently near the top of the NHL standings and his prospect pool is well-stocked. Getting Lambos at 26 could turn out to be a steal. He is an offensive threat from the blue line with a potent shot he is not afraid to use. He’s a smooth skater that can quickly get the puck headed out of his zone. He’s willing to get physical and mix it up along boards and has played on both the power play and penalty kill. ­– GB 

Carson Lambos Winnipeg Ice
Carson Lambos of the Winnipeg Ice (Zachary Peters/Winnipeg ICE)

75: Samuel Poulin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Probably viewed as the Penguins’ top prospect in their system, Samuel Poulin is a very reliable and strong two-way player who is always giving it his all every shift. From his aggressive ability to pursue the puck and playmaking abilities to his active stick and defensive awareness, he’s a very dependable player to have. Even though their prospect pool isn’t as strong, Poulin serves as a potential key piece for the team in the future. – PB

74: Zachary Bolduc, St. Louis Blues

The 17th overall pick in 2021 has good size and skates well. He possesses elite-level vision, but there are times when poor decision-making has gotten him in trouble. Bolduc can skate himself out of danger and has a very good shot. He has improved his consistency over the past year and a half, which should make the Blues’ brass happy. He has 15 goals and 35 points in 29 games in his first season with the Quebec Remparts. – GB 

73: Jan Mysak, Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens got a really great player in the second round at 48th overall. A tenacious forechecker and transitional threat, he might turn out to be the steal of his draft class. Making his pro debut in the AHL last season and captaining his Czech team during the 2021 WJC, he scored his first two pro goals, playing 22 games overall and has followed that up with 31 points in 25 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL. With his skillset, I could see him turning into a very effective top-nine option for the Canadiens in the future. – MZ 

Jan Mysak Hamilton Bulldogs
Jan Mysak, Hamilton Bulldogs (Josh Kim / The Hockey Writers)

72: Chase Stillman, New Jersey Devils

A feisty, scoring winger, Stillman always brings a high level of energy and intensity to his game. He has the speed and physical presence to be the first one in the offensive zone to establish a forecheck and the strength to come out on top of puck battles. Offensively, he has a really great shot and ability to find his teammates with crisp and accurate passing. His 20 points in 24 games, currently has him fourth overall in scoring on the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL. – PB 

71: Victor Söderström, Arizona Coyotes

After playing 12 games in his native Sweden last season, Söderström came over for his first trip to North America. He played 32 games for the Tucson Roadrunners, scoring two goals and 10 points and finishing with a minus-16 rating. He also had a goal and two points in four NHL games with the Coyotes. With Ekman-Larsson now with the Canucks, the youngster will have a chance to cement himself in the Arizona lineup. He excels at getting the puck up the ice, whether with a crisp first pass or skating with it himself. Söderström is a smooth skater who plays well in all three zones and is not afraid to be physical when the situation calls for it. – GB

Prospects #70-61

70. Brandon Coe, San Jose Sharks

A fourth-round pick in 2020, Coe has taken a major step in his development dominating the OHL. He currently leads the league in points with 56 and is averaging 1.75 points per game. His NHL-like frame already stands out giving him the advantage in puck battles and out muscle his opponent. But his positioning and awareness is something to note as he always knows when to be in the right spot at the right time. His breakout season earned him an entry-level contract with the Sharks. – PB

69: Zachary L’Heureux, Nashville Predators

It almost seems like the Predators have secretly been loading up their pipeline with guys like Yaroslav Askarov, Luke Evangelista and now L’Heureux. Another prospect signed by the Predators to an entry-level deal, he’s a blue-collar type player that relies on his physicality to be successful. He’s able to finish, but can also dish the puck and be a presence in both ends of the ice. L’Heureux, while working his way up our list, could impress the Predators’ staff quicker than we think. – AF

68: Kirill Marchenko, Columbus Blue Jackets

Kirill Marchenko took a major step forward with his development last season with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. He scored 15 goals and finished with 28 points in 41 games, showcasing his powerful shot. His goal scoring abilities look even sharper as he has 12 goals and 20 points in 38 games this season. He possesses great puck control and strength as he’s extremely difficult to knock the puck off of. He’s with a growing pipeline and he’s a player to keep an eye on in the Columbus Blue Jackets system. – PB 

67: Nolan Foote, New Jersey Devils

The Foote hockey lineage continues with Nolan, the son of Adam and brother of Cal. Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning he was acquired by the New Jersey Devils in the Blake Coleman deal. Foote has tremendous size, excellent vision and the ability to drive hard to the net. He’s got a wicked shot and his size and strength makes him extremely difficult to contain. – PB 

Nolan Foote Binghamton Devils
Nolan Foote, Binghamton Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

66: Jacob Bernard-Docker, Ottawa Senators

A member of the Senators’ pipeline, Jacob Bernard-Docker will definitely be a key part of their future. The second of two first-round picks by Ottawa in 2018, the 21-year-old blueliner wrapped up his college career last season. In 18 games with the Bellville Senators in the AHL, he’s scored twice and has three points. He recorded his first NHL assist in three games with the Senators this season. He and Jake Sanderson played together in North Dakota. If everything goes right in Ottawa; they could be a pairing for a long time. – GB 

65: Lukas Cormier, Vegas Golden Knights

Drafted 68th overall in 2020, the Golden Knights have a potential offensive threat on the blueline in Cormier. He’s an offensive dynamo always engaging in the play in the offensive zone and jumping into the rush. While he excels offensively, he’s a reliable defender and capable of providing steady defense in his own end. He’s second in scoring among defenders in the Quebec Major Junior League with 36 points in 26 games this season and has recorded 18 points in 10 games before heading to the World Junior Hockey Championship. – PB 

64: Oskar Olausson, Colorado Avalanche

Despite having a late first-round pick in 2021, the Avalanche still managed to add another shifty sniper to their arsenal that already includes Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. That weapon was Oskar Olausson, the man that was ripping up the OHL with the Barrie Colts before being traded to the Oshawa Generals. Humming along at a point-a-game pace to start his junior career in Canada, he will be just another threat the Avs can throw out to make their opponents’ lives miserable. –MZ  

63: Sasha Pastujov, Anaheim Ducks

It’s amazing how Pastujov dropped to the third round as he was slated to be a late first or early second-round pick. He’s a very shifty playmaker, having great control of the puck and awareness to open the game up and spot his teammates with a strong pass. However, his ability to find the back of the net has taken off. He’s currently 11th overall in OHL scoring with 20 goals and ninth in shots on goal. A dual threat offensively, the Anaheim Ducks have another prospect to add into their deep and talented pool. – PB  

62: Wyatt Johnston, Dallas Stars

Not only did the Stars take Johnston 23rd overall, but they also quickly inked him to an entry-level contract. He is having a great season with the Windsor Spitfires, scoring 20 goals and 54 points in 29 OHL games earning player of the month honours for December. The young center does all the little things right on the ice and has keen attention to detail. He excels at finding the soft spots of the ice to set up scoring chances and sneak his passes through tight spaces. Dallas needs an influx of talent, and Johnston should lead that charge. – GB 

Wyatt Johnston Windsor Spitfires
Wyatt Johnston, Windsor Spitfires (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

61: Grigori Denisenko, Florida Panthers

Finally making his debut in North America after two seasons in the KHL with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Denisenko had a pretty solid professional debut last season. Starting in the AHL with the Crunch, he put up nine points in 15 games and earned a call-up to the Panthers. Once there, he proceeded to put up four points in seven games while showcasing his speed, creativity and playmaking skills in the process. This season, he surpassed AHL point total with 16 in 29 games with the Checkers in the AHL. If all goes well, he could be a regular in the top six of a Panthers’ team that is poised to make some noise in the Atlantic Division this season. – MZ  

Prospects #60-51

60: Jack Rathbone, Vancouver Canucks

Canucks fans got a small taste of Rathbone as he dressed for eight NHL games during the 2020-21 season. He impressed with a goal and three points and did not seem out of place against the speed and skill at the game’s highest level. He has the potential to be a future power-play quarterback, and his mobility from the back end is precisely what NHL teams crave. – GB 

59: Carter Savoie, Edmonton Oilers

Offensively, Savoie is so deceptive. He can dangle, and create off the boards, but he can make plays and deceive the opposition as good as anyone. He reads the play well and takes the shot when needed, but isn’t afraid to dish the puck if a teammate has a clear opportunity. The Edmonton Oilers are a team that will be looking to add some pieces over the next couple of seasons – so you can imagine that they will be looking at what they have in the pipeline. Mind you, that opportunity likely won’t come for Savoie for another few seasons. – AF 

58: Ridly Greig, Ottawa Senators

Drafted 28th overall in 2020, Ridly Greig brings everything to the table as he excels in all aspects of the game. He has great offensive instincts and always finds a way to get on the scoresheet. In addition, he can be physical and get under the opposition’s skin as well as the ability to prioritize defense when he needs to. The captain of the Brandon Wheat Kings sits second in team scoring with 28 points this season. – PB 

Brandon Wheat Kings Ridly Greig
Ridly Greig of the Brandon Wheat Kings (Brandon Wheat Kings)

57: Chaz Lucius, Winnipeg Jets

Despite losing a lot of time last season rehabbing a knee injury, the Winnipeg Jets still chose Chaz Lucius 18th overall in the 2021 Draft. His elite playmaking abilities and scoring potential were just too enticing to ignore. Now playing for the University of Minnesota after two years with the United States Development Program (USDP), he is having a solid freshman season with seven goals and 12 points so far. – MZ  

56: Scott Perunovich, St. Louis Blues

Perunovich turned pro after a very successful college career. After starting this season in the AHL and recording 20 points in 12 games, he was promoted to the St. Louis Blues. He hasn’t missed a beat as he has six assists in 18 games. In 115 NCAA games with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he had 20 goals and 105 points from the back end with a plus-49 rating. He was a key piece of back-to-back National Championship wins in 2018 and 2019. He is undersized at just 5-foot-10 and 174 pounds, but his offensive upside will get him plenty of looks. Perunovich is an elite skater with great vision who makes crisp and accurate passes. – GB 

55: Matthew Coronato, Calgary Flames

After ripping up the competition in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Chicago Steel last season, Coronato moved his game to the NCAA and the Harvard Crimson in 2021-22. He’s not posting the same ridiculous numbers, but he’s still scoring goals and generating points in his freshman season. His shot and ability to score from virtually anywhere on the ice will do him well when he hits the NHL in a few seasons. – MZ 

54: Matthew Knies, Toronto Maple Leafs

Joining Coronato in the skilled Matthews club is Matthew Knies. Selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second round of the 2021 Draft, he has been a force in the NCAA this season playing for the University of Minnesota. The burgeoning power forward has seven goals and 20 points in 20 games so far and is one of the top point producing freshman in the league right now. The Leafs may not have had a first round pick in 2021, but they got a first-round talent in Knies and he’s showing everyone why that is. – MZ 

Matthew Knies University of Minnesota
Matthew Knies, University of Minnesota (Image courtesy of University of Minnesota Athletics)

53: Tyson Foerster, Philadelphia Flyers

A big-bodied center, Tyson Foerster made the jump to the AHL in 2020-21, where he scored 10 goals in 24 games and that’s from a player that is also known for his playmaking abilities. This season, he only played in nine games after suffering a shoulder injury. He has great instincts in his own end and that kind of ability could push him over the top when it comes to the Flyers’ depth chart. While it’s likely take a couple more seasons for him to be a full-time Flyer, they’ve got a significant piece down the middle when it comes to Foerster. –AF 

52: Francesco Pinelli, Los Angeles Kings

With the OHL shut down in 2020-21, Pinelli went to Slovenia to play hockey and continue to showcase what he had prior to being drafted in the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft by the Kings. Like many before him, the Kings found themselves yet another big center that could be a game-changer at some point in his career. Now, he’s wearing the ‘C’ for the Kitchener Rangers and averaging just over a point per game, showcasing just how impressive his playmaking skills are and can be as he looks to make the jump. – AF

51: Emil Andrae, Philadelphia Flyers

Andrae makes up for his 5-foot-9 frame with his work ethic. He is tenacious in puck battles and refuses to lose. He is an effective weapon from the point as he can open up shooting lanes. The young defender has exceptional vision and the ability to make plays to give his teammates prime scoring chances. He has a great combination of smarts, confidence, and toughness, making him an intriguing prospect. – GB 

Prospects #50-41

50: Thomas Bordeleau, San Jose Sharks

From the U.S. Development Program to the University of Michigan, Thomas Bordeleau is a pass-first offensive threat. On the smaller side, he plays a perimeter game, but can steer opposing defense off the puck to open up space in the offensive zone. Considering what the Wolverines are setting themselves up for in the 2021-22 season, Bordeleau will spend the season there, but he could crack the Sharks lineup in the near future with some turnover up front. – AF 

49: Tristen Robins, San Jose Sharks

Now playing in his fourth season in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Saskatoon Blades, Tristen Robins has returned to the form that saw him put up 73 points in 62 games during the 2019-20 season. Currently recording over a point-a-game, the slick puck-handler from Great Britain has taken on a leadership role with the Blades this season and has caught the eye of his head coach. “He’s one of the very best players in our league,” said Colin Priestner. “He’ll just be a huge asset to us in all facets, you don’t get first-line centres like him dropped in your lap too often.” The San Jose Sharks got a good one in the second round if he can translate his skills to the NHL.– MZ 

Tristen Robins Saskatoon Blades
Tristen Robins of the Saskatoon Blades. (Steve Hiscock/Saskatoon Blades)

48. Morgan Frost, Philadelphia Flyers

Now that the Flyers have moved on from Nolan Patrick, Morgan Frost gets the pressure of being the “first-line center of the future” in Philadelphia. He earned a call up to the Flyers this season and is continuing to improve each game. Frost is the quintessential play-making center who can both score and set up his teammates. He reads the play quickly in all three zones of the ice and reacts well. This could be a make-or-break season for the 22-year-old center as he looks to live up to the expectations of being a first-round pick. – GB 

47: Brendan Brisson, Vegas Golden Knights

After recording 21 points in 24 games last season on a stacked University of Michigan team, Brendan Brisson continued where he left off, once again being an offensive factor with 22 points in 21 games. He has great smarts and is always thinking about his next move before the opposition. He’s a deceptive skater and is very evasive when the puck is on his stick. – PB 

46: Brock Faber, Los Angeles Kings

In his second season with the University of Minnesota, Brock Faber is continuing to display the attributes that got him selected in the second round by the Kings in 2020. He has the mobility and defensive game to make it as a top-four defenseman one day. He is on track to surpass his rookie point totals as he has 11 in 20 games this season. – MZ   

45: Calen Addison, Minnesota Wild

Calen Addison went to the Wild as the major piece in the Jason Zucker deal with the Penguins. Another smaller defensive prospect, Addison sees the ice very well and can move the puck among some of the best in the game right now. Now in his second season in the AHL, he has tallied nine points in 17 games an even registered his first NHL goal this season. There’s a good chance that Addison could find himself in the NHL in the coming years in a second or third pairing role. –AF 

44: Jakob Pelletier, Calgary Flames

He plays more physical than his size might lead you to believe, but Jakob Pelletier is an offensive threat with a little mustard in his game. Still, it’s his play-making and natural puck- handling skills that make him such an impressive prospect for the Calgary Flames. His 31 points currently has him second overall in AHL scoring this season. There is some uncertainty up front with the Flames and Pelletier could push for a spot in the next two years. – AF 

Jakob Pelletier
Moncton Wildcats’ Jakob Pelletier (Courtesy of Daniel St Pierre)

43: Luke Evangelista, Nashville Predators

Who said anything about size? At five-foot, eleven and just under 170 pounds, Evangelista has shown, like many before him, that size doesn’t matter if you have the skill. Now 19, he’s leading the charge as the captain of the OHL’s London Knights after being a second-round pick for the Nashville Predators in 2020. It’s no secret the Predators’ roster has some holes in it, and with him signed to an ELC, it’s not a stretch to think that Evangelista could use his speed and natural skill to get into the lineup in the next year or two. – AF

42: Braden Schneider, New York Rangers

With Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller making a major impact for the New York Rangers, Braden Schneider is another defensive player that makes them deeper on the back end. A mobile, two-way defender, Schneider has a powerful shot from the point and is smart to pick his spots to join the rush. He’s got great strength as he’s tough to go up against in one-on-one situations and isn’t afraid to step up and make a big hit. – PB 

41: Adam Beckman, Minnesota Wild

Another player with a high hockey IQ, Adam Beckman has made a great transition from junior to the pro level as he has 17 points in 25 games. He should be bringing his quick release to the NHL as he’s just one of many top prospects in the system looking to make the jump. – MZ 

Prospects #40-31

40: Connor Zary, Calgary Flames

Connor Zary split time between the AHL and WHL last season. In hist first full season in the AHL, he finds himself in the top-15 in scoring on the Stockton Heat with eight points. The 19-year-old center’s shot is his biggest weapon. His release is deceptively quick, and he can place his shot anywhere he wants. He loves to make things happen around the net and is constantly driving the play. – GB 

39: Thomas Harley, Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars have an extremely deep defensive unit in the NHL with Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg. Thomas Harley is another blueliner to come up in the future and potentially be a key factor for them. Harley’s a very smooth skater with great speed and has a great pass first mentality. He still needs to round out his game on the defensive side of things, but when he does he’ll be another weapon on the Stars defense. – PB 

38: Brennan Othmann, New York Rangers

Today’s NHL is driven by talented players who use speed and aggression to dictate the game. That is precisely what the 16th pick of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft does. Brennan Othmann loves to lead the charge into the attacking zone at full speed. He plays a high-pressure of intense hockey in all three zones of the rink. He has a quick release that he can fire off while skating at top speed. In 27 OHL games with the Flint Firebirds, he has 22 goals and 41 points. – GB 

Brennan Othmann Flint Firebirds
Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

37: Logan Stankoven, Dallas Stars

Despite being 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, Logan Stankoven plays a much bigger game than his size dictates. He is absolutely fearless and always in attack mode with high energy and motor. He’s always attacking the middle of the ice and his speed allows him to get the inside edge on his opponent. He was a critical part for Team Canada at the U18 tournament where he had eight points in seven games, en route to a gold medal. He currently has 32 points in 22 games with the Kamloops Blazers, tied for first overall in team scoring. Dallas Stars fans have a lot to be excited about with Stankoven. –PB 

36: Joe Veleno, Detroit Red Wings

Highly touted coming out of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs where he finished with 104 points in 59 games, he has yet to blow the socks off anyone in the AHL so far. Having said that, he is still a top prospect for the Winged Wheel. He earned a call-up to the NHL this season and has produced three goals and four points in 20 games, marked with solid two-way hockey. He could be tagged as a middle-six forward going into next season. – MZ  

Joe Veleno Grand Rapids Griffins
Joe Veleno, Grand Rapids Griffins (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

35: Philip Broberg, Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers made some offseason moves to sure up their blue line for now, but they still have their big Swede waiting in the winds in Philip Broberg. Broberg is an incredible skater and manages the puck well – especially in his own end. He might not put up top-end offensive numbers, but you can be sure he’s going to be a top-two or three defenseman once he does finally crack the Oilers’ lineup. Time will tell when that will be, but with Bouchard in the mix as well, Broberg might have a slightly longer road to the NHL – at maybe another year or two. – AF 

34: Lukas Riechel, Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks have quickly gone from rebuilding to retooling with their offseason moves. Even with bringing in veterans like Marc-Andre Fleury and Seth Jones, they are still looking towards the future and Lukas Riechel is their top-rated prospect. In 20 games with the Rockford IceHogs this season, the 19-year-old forward had 11 goals and 20 points. Reichel is relentless on the forecheck and backcheck, and always gives a high effort. He signed his entry-level contract back in June and will get a chance to make the NHL roster this fall. – GB 

33: J.J. Peterka, Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres second-round pick from 2020, is constantly engaging and being a force battling for the puck. Even if he comes up on the losing end of a battle, he’s right back at it to apply pressure on the puck carrier. He shined at the 2021 World Junior Championship with 10 points in five games along with fellow countryman Tim Stützle. He’s taken a major step forward in his development with 25 points in 27 games at the AHL level. His relentless play style is something the Sabres will benefit from. – PB 

32: Kaiden Guhle, Montreal Canadiens

Size, skill and physicality. Those all describe Canadiens’ defensive prospect Guhle who has an innate ability to separate opposing players from the puck quickly and with ease before they hit the hashmarks in his defensive end. Add to that his speed and skill and you’re talking about an eventual top pairing defenseman. He looked great for the Canadiens during training camp and was an early force for Canada at the World Juniors before it was paused. – AF 

31: Cam York, Philadelphia Flyers

Another smaller defenseman, Cam York makes up for his lack of size with what he can do on the offensive side of the puck. He had 20 points in 24 NCAA games with the University of Michigan and even made a quick jump to the Flyers’ NHL squad in 2020-21, but didn’t hit the scoresheet. In 21 games with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season, he has a goal and eight points and should find a permanent home with the Philadelphia Flyers in the next two seasons as a second or third pairing defenseman until he gets his footing under him. – AF 

Prospects #30-21

30: Xavier Bourgault, Edmonton Oilers

A first-round pick of the Oilers in 2021, Bourgault is on pace for a career-year with the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes. He has 22 goals and 42 points in 24 games and looked great for Canada at the 2022 World Juniors before it was paused. While Edmonton has yet to sign him to an entry-level contract, don’t be surprised to see this kid vying for a job with the big club in two to three years – so long as he can remain a consistent offensive threat. –AF

29: Topi Niemela, Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have a backlog of defensive prospects which could ultimately stunt Topi Niemela’s movement within the organization for a couple of seasons. That said, the third-round pick in 2020 is making a strong argument to crack the Leafs’ roster ahead of some others within the organization. He was named the best defenseman at the 2020-21 World Juniors and has dominated the Liiga as a 20-year-old with 24 points in 33 games. He’ll be an interesting prospect to watch if the Maple Leafs choose to hold onto him moving forward. – AF 

28: Matthew Boldy, Minnesota Wild

At 6-foot-2, 204 pounds, Matthew Boldy brings great size and strength to his game. He always delivers the intensity every time he’s on the ice. Boldy has excellent vision, either getting into the right spot for a shot on net or displaying great patience to make a play and distribute the puck. Selected 12th overall in 2019, he’s one of many Minnesota Wild prospects to emerge from their farm system as he was recently called up and scored his first NHL goal. – PB 

27: Jonatan Berggren, Detroit Red Wings

Drafted 33rd overall in 2018, Berggren was tied for first on Skellefteå AIK in scoring with 45 points last season. He has since made the jump to North America and has fared very well with 20 points in 26 games. His game is built on speed, as he’s got strong movement and great agility. He’s got great vision to spot his options and look for the right time to distribute the puck. He’s just one of many prospects that’s going to make an impact for the Red Wings for years to come. – PB 

26: Mavrik Bourque, Dallas Stars

In his second season with the “C” stitched to his jersey, Mavrik Bourque continued to dominate the QMJHL with his third-straight season at over a point-a-game pace. He also got a taste of professional hockey with the Texas Stars last season where he almost hit the point-a-game mark again with five points in six games. Described as an efficient two-way player with speed and hockey IQ, he should develop into a top-nine forward in the future. – MZ 

25: Simon Edvinsson, Detroit Red Wings

Left off the top-100 list at the beginning of the season, big Swedish defenceman Simon Edvinsson made sure he wasn’t left behind at midseason. Playing over 20 minutes in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) with Frolunda HC, he has shown tremendous poise leading the blue line at only 18 years old. With his 6-foot-5 frame and exceptional mobility, he will be doing the same thing with the Detroit Red Wings sooner rather than later. – MZ 

24: Jacob Perreault, Anaheim Ducks

Jacob Perreault has the NHL in his DNA as his father Yanic played over 800 games in the league with six different teams. Jacob is a pure sniper with a hard and accurate shot he uses to score from anywhere on the ice. He excels at receiving passes and getting off a quick shot, even if they aren’t in his wheelhouse. In 23 games this season with the San Diego Gulls this season, he has eight goals and 18 points. He is part of a talented group of young prospects but will need more time in the AHL before challenging for a spot in Anaheim. – GB 

23: Shane Pinto, Ottawa Senators

Graduating to the NHL after two seasons at the University of North Dakota, Shane Pinto burst onto the scene with an impressive seven points in 12 games, which included his first goal. Known around the prospect world for his hard shot and lethal one-timer, he looked comfortable playing on a line with Stützle and Connor Brown. The trio was, at times, one of the Senators’ best combinations. He would’ve been extremely productive had he not sustained an injury early on in the season. – MZ 

22: Ville Heinola, Winnipeg Jets

The Jets’ first-round pick in 2019, Heinola has seen 13 games at the NHL level so far with a goal and four assists to show for it. While he spent the majority of the 2020-21 season with Lukko of the Liiga and the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, Heinola’s offensive capabilities and the lack of security on the Jets’ blue line could force the team’s hand to get him to the NHL sooner than later. He’s creative with the puck and it allows him to be more mobile, and if the Jets don’t get him into the lineup full time this season, be sure he’ll be there sooner than later. – AF 

Ville Heinola Manitoba Moose
Ville Heinola, Manitoba Moose (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

21: Rodion Amirov, Toronto Maple Leafs

Yet another player with a sound two-way game, Rodion Amirov has the tools to become a Selke Award winner in the NHL one day. He already had a dangerous arsenal of offensive weapons at his disposal before he was drafted. Now, with an improved shot, his top-line winger ceiling got a whole lot clearer. – MZ

Prospects #20-11

20: Nicholas Robertson, Toronto Maple Leafs

There are high expectations for Robertson in Toronto as fans hope he will join Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander as a member of the team’s core. However, an injury at the start of the 2021-22 season has kept him out of the lineup. He had five goals and 16 points in 21 AHL games for the Toronto Marlies and one assist in six appearances with the Maple Leafs last season. His puck skills make up for his smaller stature, as he is a threat every time he’s on the ice. Robertson still needs some seasoning before he can be expected to be an everyday NHL player. – GB  

19: Dylan Holloway, Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers 14th overall pick in 2020, Dylan Holloway always plays with a power forward’s mentality. He’s extremely quick with his skating and speed and is always active on the forecheck using his 6-foot-1, 203-pound frame to his advantage and get the inside edge in puck battles. He didn’t have a strong freshman year with the University of Wisconsin (17 points in 35 games), but he bounced back in his sophomore season with 35 points in 23 games last season. – PB 

18: Peyton Krebs, Buffalo Sabres

Even though he was traded from the Golden Knights to the Sabres, Peyton Krebs remains an important piece in the Sabres’ rebuild. Krebs is a utility knife kind of player as he has a great blend of tools in his game and excels in every aspect. He brings a strong two-way presence as he can skate, shoot, set up plays and be reliable in defensive situations. He continues to get better and is going to be a dependable centreman for the future. – PB 

17: Jack Quinn, Buffalo Sabres

Selected eighth overall by the Sabres in the 2020 Draft, Jack Quinn turned pro during the 2020-21 season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Struggling a bit with the defensive side of the game finishing with a minus-14 in the plus/minus column, he put up a modest two goals and seven points before surgery ended his season. However, he has taken a major step forward in his development as he has been dominant in his second pro season as he’s 12th in league scoring with 26 points. – MZ 

Jack Quinn Ottawa 67's
Jack Quinn of the Ottawa 67’s (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

16: Hendrix Lapierre, Washington Capitals

Hendrix Lapierre’s development path has been a rocky one to say the least. Since 2019, he has only played 40 games and while over a point-a-game in that time, he has not seen a full season in his career yet. He is still a fast skater with soft hands, so hopefully injuries are a thing of the past and he can start trending in the right direction. He looked great in his stint with the Capitals, scoring his first career NHL goal before being sent down to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. – MZ 

15: Dylan Guenther, Arizona Coyotes

Drafted by the Arizona Coyotes using the pick they acquired in the Oliver Ekman-Larsson deal, Dylan Guenther was quite the prize at ninth overall. A pure sniper in junior and ranked as high as the top-three in some circles, his NHL ceiling is massive. If all goes as planned, he likely will be the Coyotes’ top scorer for the next decade. Multiple 30-goal campaigns are not out of the question either. – MZ

14: Kent Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets used the fifth overall pick of this past draft to take the play-making center. He has five goals and 23 assists through his first 19 games with the super-talented University of Michigan. Johnson’s game looks effortless at times. That comes from his elite anticipation on the ice. It seems that he knows where his teammates and opponents will go before they do. As he improves his size, strength, and speed, he will be the complete package when it comes to an NHL center. – GB 

13: Brandt Clarke, Los Angeles Kings

Brandt Clarke boasts some of the best offensive smarts and decision-making with the puck as a defenseman in his draft class. Selected eighth overall in 2021, Clarke can take control of a shift or lead a rush chance whenever he’s on the ice with his skating and speed. He won a gold medal for Canada at the World U18 Championship recording seven points in seven games. He picked up where he left off as he’s the second most productive defenseman in the OHL with 28 points in 23 games. – PB 

12: Luke Hughes, New Jersey Devils 

Luke Hughes makes a significant rise based on his play and his potential. As talented as his older brother Quinn, but with the added benefit of a 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame, he could turn out to be better than both his brothers one day. He’s already making an immediate impact with the powerhouse that is the Michigan Wolverines with 19 points in 22games. Look for him to solidify his status as one of the NHL’s most anticipated prospects very soon. – MZ  

Luke Hughes of the USDP
Luke Hughes of the USDP (Photo: Rena Laverty)

11: Mason McTavish, Anaheim Ducks

The third overall pick in 2021 showed great glimpses with his play in the NHL scoring twice and adding an assist. However, he was sent back down to the Peterborough Petes of the OHL and has  scored six goals in five games, including a hat trick in his first game back. He possesses a lot of NHL ready qualities. He’s got great size, physicality, work ethic and a powerful shot. The Ducks are already deep with talent in their system and they have another quality top-six player that could make a major impact down the line. – PB 

Prospects #10-1:

10: William Eklund, San Jose Sharks

The Sharks struck gold with William Eklund at seventh overall in the 2021 draft. Out of the prospects in that draft, he probably has the highest ceiling as he plays the game with a high level of pace. He’s a 200-foot player with high-end skill and IQ. For a rebuilding team like the Sharks, this is the kind of player you would want as part of the core going forward. – PB  

9: Alex Turcotte, Los Angeles Kings

Part of the embarrassment of riches the Kings have going at center ice, Alex Turcotte transitioned perfectly to professional hockey in 2020-21. Spending all of his time in the AHL with the Reign, he recorded six goals and 21 points in 32 games and has another 10 points in 18 games this season. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2021 WJC last year where he scored three goals and eight points in seven games. His two-way game, playmaking skills and wicked shot will definitely get him time with the Kings this season as a call-up. – MZ 

8: Marco Rossi, Minnesota Wild

After a health scare that could have cost him his life, Marco Rossi returned to the ice and feels great. The slippery Austrian almost made his NHL debut last season, but COVID-19 and a heart condition prevented that from happening. Now that he is healthy, he will be able to resume the pursuit of his childhood dream. He dominated the AHL this season where he’s over a point-per-game with 23 in 21 games has earned him call-up to the NHL. Fast, creative and dangerous almost every shift, he should become the Wild’s top-line center one day. – MZ 

7: Alexander Holtz, New Jersey Devils

An extremely talented sniper, Alexander Holtz possesses a powerful release with great accuracy. He was labeled as having one of the best shots in the 2020 draft class. He’s only 19 years old and already got a taste of playing in North America. He had three points in 10 games with Binghamton Devils in the AHL last season and another 13 points in 12 games this season with the Utica Comets. With Jack Hughes continuing to elevate his play, Holtz would be a fantastic finisher on his wing forming a strong top-line duo. – PB 

6: Cole Perfetti, Winnipeg Jets

Making the jump to the AHL last season, Perfetti recorded 26 points in 32 regular season games for the Manitoba Moose and another 15 points in 17 games in 2021-22. That should translate to the NHL level taking into consideration his ability to maintain puck control, create space and open up the game for himself as well as his teammates. There’s a reason he had 74 assists in 2019-20 and that’s his vision and ability to create openings. Still, don’t expect him to be a full-time NHLer right away. He’s still likely another year from stepping into the Jets’ rotation. – AF 

5: Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche are already one of the most talented teams in the NHL, and they have some exciting young players still on the way. Defenseman Bowen Byram has played in 17 games recording 11 points, but has missed significant time due to a concussion and head injury this season. The 20-year-old is an elite skater, but he doesn’t shy away from physical play. He plays an up-tempo style of hockey. He is defensively sound while being creative in the offensive zone.  –GB 

Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche
Bowen Byram, Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

4. Jake Sanderson, Ottawa Senators

With NHL pedigree, Sanderson will make the Senators’ back end a lot tougher to play against when he cracks that lineup, which won’t be far into the future now. He fits everything that you want in a top four defenseman and should push for a top-pairing spot in the next three to five years. He’s physical and disciplined, while he’s defensively sound, he can create off the rush as well, knowing when to pinch at the offensive blue line. – AF

3. Matthew Beniers, Seattle Kraken

The second overall pick in 2021 and Seattle Kraken’s top prospect has a lot of qualities that you would want in a top-line centreman. He’s got great poise, vision, and skill that allows him to excel in any situation. He proved that he could play at the senior level suiting up for Team USA at the World Hockey Championships. He played extremely well, before sustaining a lower body injury during the tournament. Heading back to Michigan, he’s once again proving to be dominant force this season. – PB 

2. Owen Power, Buffalo Sabres

Selected first overall by the Sabres at the 2021 NHL Draft, fans will have to wait another season to see Owen Power in action. Electing to return to the Michigan Wolverines for his sophomore season, it might be a while before we see him in the NHL. The 6-foot-5 Mississauga native has everything you want in a top-pairing blueliner. From his size, mobility and impressive hockey IQ to his ability to play in all situations, he will be a handful when it comes time for his debut. – MZ 

1: Quinton Byfield, Los Angeles Kings

The second overall pick in 2020, Quinton Byfield once again retains the status of top prospect. He’s an excellent skater with a quick first step and has no trouble weaving his way through traffic with his sleek puck handling skills. His size allows him to gain an inside edge and matchup against the competition physically. As a result of his strength he’ll always come out on top of a puck battle.

He missed significant time this season due to an ankle injury he sustained before the start of the season, but he has returned and has recorded three goals and four points in eight games. His path to being a franchise centre for the Kings is looking very promising for a team that’s looking to finish off it’s rebuild and compete again. – PB 


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