Prospects News & Rumors: Zegras, Helleson & Caufield

Anaheim Ducks’ prospect Trevor Zegras impressed in his AHL debut with the San Diego Gulls, recording one goal and two assists in their 4-1 victory. Colorado Avalanche prospect Drew Helleson scored a highlight-reel goal to win the game in overtime for Boston College. Montreal Canadiens’ top prospect Cole Caufield continues to score in the NCAA and leads the league in both goals and points.

Zegras Has Impressive AHL Debut

Ducks fans got their long-awaited look at top prospect Trevor Zegras in his pro hockey debut with the San Diego Gulls last night. The native of Bedford, New York, finished the game with one goal and two assists, as the Gulls walked away with a 4-1 victory over the Bakersfield Condors. Zegras’ second assist of the game was especially impressive as he faked the “Michigan” move twice before launching a pass from behind the net to fellow debutant Kodie Curran to make it a 3-1 game.

Zegras has tons of potential, and after his performance at the 2021 World Junior Championship, where he posted seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in seven games and won tournament MVP, Ducks fans are eager to see him promoted to the NHL level. The Ducks organization likes to take their time with prospect development, so it might be a little while longer before we see Zegras make his NHL debut, but with performances like these, they won’t be able to keep him down for long. His creativity would be a welcome addition to a Ducks’ forward group that has recorded 1.92 goals per game over the first 12 games of the season, which ranks 30th in the league.

Drafted ninth overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Zegras spent the 2019-20 season in the NCAA with Boston University. He recorded 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points in 33 games played and finished third in team scoring. Along with Zegras, 2020 NHL Entry Draft selections Jamie Drysdale and Jacob Perreault both made their professional debuts. Drysdale finished scoreless with one shot on goal, and Perreault grabbed his first AHL point with an assist on the Gulls’ fourth goal of the game.

Helleson Scores Buzzer Beater In NCAA

Avalanche prospect Drew Helleson decided to take matters into his own hands in the Green Line Rivalry between Boston College and Boston University. The sophomore defenseman picked up the puck in his own zone, carried it up the ice, makes a move on the defenseman and beats the goalie to give BC the 4-3 victory in overtime. The goal was Helleson’s second of the season and his second point of the game. Through 12 games in the NCAA this season, he has recorded two goals and five assists for seven points. That surpasses his total from last season, in which he amassed one goal and five assists for six points in 28 games played.

He represented Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal and recording two goals and two assists for four points in seven games played. He co-led the tournament in goals by defensemen and ranked third on his team with points by defensemen. Helleson joins Samuel Girard, Cale Makar, Bowen Byram and Connor Timmins in a long line of young defensemen on the way for the Avalanche.

Caufield Keeps Scoring For Wisconsin

Canadiens’ prospect Cole Caufield is on a mission in his sophomore NCAA season with the University of Wisconsin. After a two-goal performance in Wisconsin’s 4-1 victory over Minnesota on Friday, he’s up to 16 goals on the season, leading the NCAA. Caufield has recorded nine goals in his last six games, including three straight games with two goals. Not only are Caufield’s 16 goals four more than the next highest player, but he also leads the entire NCAA in scoring with 30 points in 19 games played. He’s rapidly nearing his point totals from last season, in which he recorded 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points in 36 games played.

Montreal Canadians Cole Caufield NHL draft
Montreal Canadians select Cole Caufield during the first round NHL draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Friday, June, 21, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Just like Zegras and Helleson, Caufield also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championship. He recorded two goals and three assists for five points in seven games played. Caufield was Big Ten Rookie of the Year and Scoring Champion during the 2019-20 season, so it’s no a surprise he will be challenging for the NCAA scoring title this season.

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