Minnesota Wild top prospect Matt Boldy recorded a five-point night to take the team lead in scoring for Boston College. Florida Panthers prospect Grigori Denisenko recorded his first AHL goal and Arizona Coyotes prospect Matias Maccelli is having another impressive Finnish Liiga season.
Boldy Registers 5-Point Night
It was a night to remember for Wild prospect Matt Boldy as he recorded a five-point effort in Boston College’s 7-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Lowell on Friday. He scored one goal and added four assists to bring his season totals to six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in 15 games played. He currently leads all Boston College skaters in scoring. Drafted 12th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, his 2019-20 season was his freshman season in the NCAA. He played in 34 games, amassing nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points and finishing fifth in team scoring. Thanks to an impressive rookie season he was named to the NCAA (Hockey East) All-Rookie Team.
Boldy represented Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal and recording five goals and two assists for seven points in seven games played. His five goals were tied for the fourth most in the tournament. He’ll likely spend another further year in the NCAA before making the jump to the NHL with the Wild. He joins a growing list of impressive prospects that the Wild are compiling. Add to Kirill Kaprizov, Marco Rossi and Marat Khusnutdinov and it’s an exciting future for Wild fans.
Denisenko Scores First AHL Goal
Panthers prospect Grigori Denisenko scored his first professional goal in his third AHL game of the season in Syracuse’s 5-4 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night. This is Denisenko’s first stint in North America after spending the early part of his young career in Russia. He currently has one goal and one assist for two points in three games played. Drafted 15th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season playing in the KHL in Russia amassing six goals and six assists for 12 points in 38 games played. He captained Russia at the 2020 World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal and leading his team in scoring.
THW’s Ryan Womeldorf had this to say about Denisenko’s outlook prior to the 2020-21 season, and it’s likely that this is the approach the Panthers will take with the young Russian forward.
Denisenko’s size remains somewhat of a concern given that he doesn’t have the frame and body strength needed to win battles in the NHL. He will need to use his skating ability and elusiveness to evade defenders, creating space for linemates. It is likely that his defensive inefficiencies and strength will earn the ire of coaches and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see him spend as much time in the AHL as he does in the NHL.
Despite the Panthers’ impressive 8-2-2 start to the season, their depth on the wing is thin and it should afford Denisenko an opportunity to earn a roster spot sooner rather than later if he can keep producing at the AHL level. His supreme level of skill seems like he’s made to play with Aleksander Barkov when he does make it to the NHL. Beyond Jonathan Huberdeau, the Panthers’ skill on the wing is in short supply.
Maccelli Excelling in Sophomore Liiga Season
Coyotes prospect Matias Maccelli has continued to produce in the Finnish Liiga and picked up another multi-point game for Ilves on Friday. Drafted 98th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season with Ilves. It was his rookie season in Finland and he didn’t disappoint, amassing 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 43 games played. He finished fifth in team scoring and won SM-liiga Rookie of the Year.
Maccelli has been just as impressive this season, posting 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 34 games played. The 20-year-old forward is showing that he should’ve been selected much higher than the fourth round and could defy the odds and make it to the NHL as an impact player. The Finnish Liiga season ends in April, so it’s unlikely we see Maccelli return to Arizona this season, but he will likely be with the Coyotes organization for the 2021-22 season.