Prospects News & Rumors: Farrance, Robins & NCAA Final

One of the Nashville Predators’ top prospects made their NHL debut after a successful career in the NCAA at Boston University. San Jose Sharks prospect Tristen Robins has continued to improve on his 2019-20 season in the Western Hockey League with a four-point performance last night. The NCAA Final is set as St. Cloud State University will take on The University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Farrance Makes NHL Debut With Nashville

The Predators have been on a roll lately, winning 11 of their last 13 games and sneaking into a playoff spot in the Discover Central Division. The Predators continued their run in impressive fashion on Thursday night with a 7-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Not only was it a big win for the team, but it also marked the NHL debut of defenseman David Farrance.

The 21-year old defenseman recorded one shot on goal in his debut and played 13:46 time on ice. Drafted 92nd overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the beginning of the 2020-21 season with Boston University. It was the New York natives senior season at BU, and he amassed five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 11 games played. He was named to the NCAA (Hockey East) First All-Star Team and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

His junior year during the 2019-20 season was just as impressive. He amassed 14 goals and 29 assists for 43 points in 34 games played. He led BU in scoring and finished sixth in the NCAA in scoring and first among defensemen. That culminated with him being named to the NCAA (East) First All-American Team, NCAA (Hockey East) First All-Star Team, and the NCAA (New England) Best Defenseman. He was also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. It will be interesting to see if he sticks with the Predators for the rest of the NHL season. He jumped right from the NCAA into the NHL, and at some point, he might be sent to the American Hockey League if he doesn’t adjust quickly.

Robins Records Four-Point Night

Sharks prospect Robins recorded a four-point effort in the Saskatoon Blades 5-3 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders on Thursday night. He put up one goal and three assists, one of which set up the game-winning goal from Brandon Lisowsky. Drafted 56th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season with the Blades in his second season with the team. He recorded 33 goals and 40 assists for 73 points in 62 games played. He led his team in both goals and points and ranked 14th in the WHL in scoring.

THW’s own Dayton Reimer wrote in Robins’ draft prospect profile that his size is noticeable when you first see him, but “he possesses an incredible work ethic and determination, never shying away from the corners or taking on a bigger opponent on the forecheck. His tenacity is blended with a high hockey IQ, making him a nuisance to play against.” He has some unique ties to the Sharks organization the dates back to his father, who was a goaltender in the team’s system back in his playing days. Jonathan Hodgson took an in-depth look at that connection with some quotes from the player and his father.

He began the year in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda, where he played two games for the team before returning to the WHL for the beginning of their 2020-21 season. Since his return, he’s been the Blades’ most dangerous player, leading the team in scoring with eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 14 games played. He also ranked eighth in the entire WHL in scoring. He has failed to record a point only twice this season, so I’d expect his hot run of form to continue.

NCAA Final Is Set For Saturday

The NCAA Final is set for Saturday, Apr. 10, as St. Cloud State University will take on The University of Massachusetts Amherst in the national championship game. Starting with UMass, they avenged their 2019 National Championship defeat against the University of Minnesota Duluth with a 3-2 overtime victory on Thursday night. Junior forward Garrett Wait secured the overtime victory in his first year with the team after spending his first two NCAA seasons at the University of Minnesota. It’s a second straight trip to the national championship game for UMass, and they’ll be looking to win it all this year. New York Rangers prospect and UMass defenseman Zac Jones is a player to keep an eye on as he finished the 2020-21 season with nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points in 28 games played.

St. Cloud State continued their impressive run to the finals with a 5-4 victory over Minnesota State in their semifinals matchup. They won it in dramatic fashion as junior forward Nolan Walker scored the game-winning goal with less than a minute left in regulation to send his team to their first-ever national championship game. Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Veeti Miettinen is a player to keep an eye on as he co-led his team in scoring with 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in 30 games played.

Sign up for our regular 'Prospects Newsletter' for all the latest.