Today is a newsworthy day here in the United States, as far as current and future National Hockey League prospects go. A recent draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens continued his hot start to the 2020-21 season in the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Philadelphia Flyers have signed a member of their 2019 draft class. Finally, one of the top-rated players of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is showing exactly why scouts are so high on him.
Farrell Buries Another One
It seems that everything the Chicago Steel touches turns to gold over the past few seasons. They have had a ton of success in the USHL and have produced multiple NHL draft picks of late. One of those recent picks is forward Sean Farrell, who was drafted in the fourth round (124th overall) by the Canadiens at the most recent NHL Entry Draft.
Farrell has picked up right where he left off last season. During the shortened 2019-20 season, he finished with 15 goals and 41 assists. His 56 points were the sixth-most in the league but were only good enough for fifth on his team to give you an idea of how good the Steel was. With the top four scorers from last season, Mathieu de St. Phaile, Brendan Brisson, Sam Colangelo and Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, all moving onto the college ranks, Farrell has become the go-to guy in Chicago.
The Steel scored two goals in the final three minutes and erased three one-goal deficits to beat the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 6-5, on Friday night. Farrell scored the game-winning tally, with just over a minute to play, after Josh Doan evened up the score.
The victory was the Steel’s eighth in a row as the defending USHL champs improved to 10-2-0 on the season. Farrell now has eight goals and 21 points through his first 11 games. He is averaging 1.91 points per game, which is a much higher rate than he scored last season, at 1.27.
Obviously, taking on a bigger role has not been an issue for the 19-year-old left winger. He is committed to playing for Harvard University next season. He was supposed to play there this season, but due to the uncertainty of the college season, he elected for one more go-round with the Steel.
Millman Inks an NHL Deal
The Flyers announced Friday afternoon that they signed defenseman Mason Millman to a three-year entry-level contract. Philadelphia drafted the 6-foot-1, left-handed defenseman in the fourth round (103rd overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He is the first player from their 2019 draft class to sign an entry-level deal.
This is some great news for Millman, who has had a rough go of it the past couple of weeks. He was recently sent home from Team Canada’s World Junior Championship selection camp because he was deemed unfit to play after a COVID-19 outbreak on the team.
Outside of his time in camp, Millman has yet to play this season as he awaits the start of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) season. He led all Saginaw Spirit defenseman during the 2019-20 season with 13 goals and 44 points. His plus-31 rating was the fifth-best among all OHL blueliners. His 44 points in 58 games were a huge jump in offensive productivity after scoring three goals and 25 points, in 66 games, during his first season with the Spirit.
Hughes Shows Defense Leads to Offense
The Hughes family appears to have another very talented member heading to the NHL in the future. Oldest brother Quinn, who had a tremendous rookie season with the Vancouver Canucks in 2019-20, was selected seventh at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Then there is Jack, who was the first overall pick in 2019 by the New Jersey Devils.
Luke is the next of the Hughes brothers to come on the scene. He, like Quinn, is a defenseman and his play with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) is turning heads across the league.
He showed exactly why his future is bright with this play during the USNTDP’s 4-1 victory of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, in USHL action Friday night. He showed amazing closing speed to force a turnover then, without missing a beat, he got the puck quickly up the ice, leading to a goal for his team. While he was not credited with an assist on the play, he was the biggest factor in creating the goal.
Hughes is one of the top-rated players of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. In 18 total games between the U18 National Team and the USHL, he has six goals and 11 points. Whenever the draft happens in 2021, he will not have to wait very long to hear his name called.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.