In this week’s Prospects News and Rumors, there was a trade late Thursday evening involving the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Meanwhile, in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Montreal Canadiens top prospects Owen Beck and Filip Mesar are off to hot starts and in Ottawa, Shane Pinto is being tagged as an early frontrunner for the Calder Trophy.
Bruins Finally Give Up on Studnicka, Deal Him to the Canucks
After three seasons of bouncing between Providence and Boston, the Bruins decided to part ways with prospect Jack Studnicka on Thursday night (Oct. 27) by dealing him to the Canucks for goaltender Mike DiPietro and right-handed defenseman Jonathan Myrenberg. Selected 53rd overall by the Bruins in 2017, he is the second high pick from that draft to be traded this year joining Urho Vaakanainen (18th overall), who was dealt to the Anaheim Ducks in the Hampus Lindholm trade last March.
In DiPietro, the Bruins get a young goaltender who has been put through the wringer in his NHL career so far. First, he was brought up as an emergency call-up from the Windsor Spitfires back in 2018-19, where he immediately started his first NHL game against the high-powered San Jose Sharks. To put it lightly, the game didn’t go well, as he gave up seven goals on 24 shots in what ended up being a 7-2 loss. Then, in 2020-21 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he was part of the taxi squad and never played a game, which probably stunted his development.
Fast forward to the 2022 offseason, and with Colin Delia and Arturs Silovs seemingly ahead of DiPietro on the depth chart, he understandably requested a trade out of Vancouver. Now part of the Bruins organization, he faces a similar uphill battle, but one that is easier to navigate considering he is probably their clear-cut number-three behind Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.
As for Myrenberg, he is a raw defensive prospect who is still finding his game overseas with Mora IK in the HockeyAllsvenskan. Selected 140th overall by the Canucks in 2021, he is showing some promise after a great season in the J20 Nationell where he recorded eight goals and 31 points in 35 games and eight points in the playoffs. Touted as a solid puck-moving defenceman with a hard shot from the point, the 6-foot-3 Täby native will add some depth to a right side that is thin for the Bruins at the moment.
For Studnicka, he will get a fresh start with the Canucks after struggling to gain a foothold in the NHL with the Bruins. Already proven to be a productive player in the AHL with 34 goals and 96 points in 117 career games, he has yet to translate that to the next level. At 23 years old, he definitely still has the potential to become a top-nine forward. Hopefully, for his sake, he can reach that ceiling in Vancouver.
Canadiens Prospects Beck & Mesar Off to Hot Starts in the OHL
Moving over to the OHL and Canadiens prospects Beck and Mesar, they are both off to hot starts for the Mississauga Steelheads and Kitchener Rangers respectively. This past week (Oct. 21-28) was particularly productive for Beck as he recorded a six-point game (1G, 5A) against the 2021 OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs last Friday (Oct. 21) and another three-point outing (2G, 1A) the next day against the Barrie Colts. He now has six goals and 12 points in seven games so far and is well on his way to shattering the 21 goals and 51 points he put up in 2021-22.
As for Mesar, while he didn’t match Beck’s nine-point effort in two games, he did score three goals and seven points in three games this past week – highlighted by his four-point game against the Sudbury Wolves on Oct. 21. The slick Slovak was the Canadiens’ 26th overall pick in this past year’s draft and is looking like he could be an early Rookie of the Year candidate in the OHL.
Pinto’s Early Dominance Generating Calder Trophy Buzz
It’s early, but Pinto is already making a strong case for some Calder Trophy votes with his five goals in seven games. After being shut out in his first game against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 13, he went on a five-game goal streak until the Minnesota Wild shut him down last night (Oct. 27). The former University of North Dakota star has shown off his quick release and has fit in nicely on an effective third line with Tyler Motte and Mathieu Joseph, making his production that much more impressive.
“That’s him. He shoots the puck well. – obviously from the slot – that’s where we want him to be. He’s got a good wrister. He works hard though. He’s reliable, a young guy – he’s still learning a bit of the game. If we can continue to push him, he’s going to be a great player.”Tyler Motte on Shane Pinto
It remains to be seen if Pinto can keep scoring at the rate he is, considering his shooting percentage is a gaudy 38.5 percent. But that should not discount the success he is having, it just means he’s capitalizing on the chances and shots he is getting right now.
That does it for the first Prospects News & Rumors report of the 2022-23 season here at The Hockey Writers. We will have another one in a few days as we continue tracking all the major stories across the world of prospects.
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Matthew Zator is the assistant managing editor at THW and a writer who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.
Matthew also co-hosts The Hockey Writers Prospect Corner on YouTube.