Montreal Canadiens prospect Sean Farrell recorded his 83rd and 84th points of the season, breaking a Chicago Steel franchise record for points in a single season. Ottawa Senators prospect Jake Sanderson has opted to return to the University of North Dakota for his sophomore season instead of signing an entry-level contract with the Senators. United States National Development Team Program (USNTDP) forward Chaz Lucius continued his hot start to the season with 12 goals in ten games.
Farrell Breaks Steel Franchise Record
With a goal and assist in the Chicago Steel’s 5-4 loss against Dubuque on Friday, Canadiens prospect Sean Farrell has now scored the most points in a single season in Steel franchise history. The two-point night extended his current point streak to seven games in which he’s amassed four goals and 10 assists for 14 points. On the season, he now has 26 goals and 58 assists for 84 points in 45 games played, which tops the entire United States Hockey League (USHL) in scoring by 11 points. Amazingly he has only failed to register a point in five of his 45 games this season.
THW’s Nick Lariviere had this to say about what to expect for Farrell’s future in the NHL in a breakdown back in February.
If he performs well enough once he joins the pros, he could make it to the NHL as a middle-six winger. The fact that the NHL, circa 2013, is more skill-based than it used to be, plays in Farrell’s favour, as the winger only stands at 5-foot-9. Only 10 years ago, it would have been a lot harder for him to make it. Even as we speak today, it is hard to see him be an NHL regular, given his size and the level of competition he’s playing. However, if he continues down the path he is going, anything is possible, and we could see him be a regular on the Canadiens or with another NHL team someday.
Drafted 124th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season with the Steel in the USHL. It was his first season with the team and he recorded 15 goals and 41 assists for 56 points in 44 games played. He led the entire league in assists and ranked fifth on his team in scoring. Farrell is committed to Harvard University for the 2021-22 season, so it might be the last time we will see him grace the ice in the USHL. Canadiens fans have a lot to be excited about, with Cole Caufield dominating the NCAA and Farrell having such an impressive season in the USHL.
Sanderson Returns to North Dakota
Senators prospect Jake Sanderson has opted to return to the University of North Dakota for his sophomore season next year. There was some speculation that he would follow UND teammates and fellow Senators prospects Jacob Bernard-Docker and Shane Pinto in signing their entry-level contracts with the NHL club. However, he will return to the NCAA next year and be a key part of UND’s success in the 2021-22 season. He’s coming off an impressive freshman season that saw him record two goals and 13 assists for 15 points in 22 games played. He was also named to the NCAA (NCHC) All-Rookie Team.
UND head coach Brad Berry had this to say about Sanderson’s decision to return to the team and what it means for his development next season.
He’s going to grow exponentially next year. He’s taking another step. These are the days you’re never going to get back, to make sure you’re ready to play at the next level. He’s going to take on a huge leadership role for us next year.from ‘Jake Sanderson to return to UND for his sophomore season,’ Grand Forks Herlad, April 2, 2021
He represented Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal and recording two assists in seven games played. He’ll be back for the 2022 World Junior Championship and likely play an increased role as a leader in the team. Senators’ fans might have to wait a little bit longer to see Sanderson in red and black, but in the meantime they’ll get to watch him play some exceptional hockey with UND.
Lucius Keeps Scoring For USNTDP
Chaz Lucius just can’t stop scoring for the USNTDP since returning to the lineup in February. The 17-year-old is a gifted goal scorer who was sidelined all season with a lower-body injury. Through his first 10 games of the season, he now has 12 goals and five assists for 17 points, and he has goals in nine of his first 10 games. He’s got a lot of ground to make up to get back into the discussion as a top-10 pick for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, but he’s doing everything he can production-wise to get there.
Former THW writer Josh Bell broke down Lucius’ goal-scoring ability in his ‘5 USNTDP Players to Watch’ article from earlier this year.
While the 2020 NHL Draft has a few players who enter the conversation of best shot (sidebar: it’s Alexander Holtz), Lucius should have that in the bag for the 2021 edition. He has a nose for the back of the net, and his shot has the speed and strength to force its way through. Not that it needs to, as he can pick corners with relative ease. Lucius used this goalscoring ability to put on a show at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, leading the tournament in goals (seven) and points (10) while winning the silver medal and earning a spot on the All-Star Team. In 2020-21, look for Lucius to put up Cole Caufield-like numbers.– Josh Bell
Lucius is committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2021-22 season, so this is an impressive swan song for the Grant, Minnesota-native on his time with the USNTDP. Premier goal scorers are always in high demand, and Lucius could be the very best in this year’s draft. That alone will see him rise in the rankings as he gets more reps this season.
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