The raw offensive skills were always good enough for the NHL. Might he be a trade candidate? At 6-foot-6, Gillies is naturally built to block the net well, so he just needs to discover consistency. Their management team loves his quick hands.10. You can purchase the special edition magazine here. his 1.81 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in a six-game sample with Canada at the WJC were downgrades from his season numbers. It’s tough to evaluate him properly until he tries his hand at the North American pro game, which he likely will soon after four seasons with Farjestad of the Swedish League. He’s been a full-time NHLer for two months now! That’s obviously cost him major development time, but keep in mind some of our scouts cast their votes before Jones got hurt, so we can’t let him completely off the hook. Kyrou has gone absolutely bananas with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting this season, rattling off 109 points in 56 games, and he led Team Canada’s world junior gold-medal squad with 10 points in seven games this winter. They want the throne ready for Hart in the next couple years.3. Because Future Watch is such a big project and it takes a lot of time to tabulate all the scouting data, we conduct our voting a couple months before the magazine hits newsstands. He’s missed two months after surgery on a broken finger. Not only do they have a deep farm system, but Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander are all young enough to factor into the grade. He’s a left shot, but it’s still natural to picture him as a long-term replacement for Drew Doughty should he leave as a UFA next summer. Since he also has strong two-way sensibilities, he has a real shot to make the Blues next season and join an exciting new wave of forwards including Tage Thompson, Robert Thomas and Klim Kostin.2. All rights reserved. CARTER HART, G, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (+66) Last year: not ranked in top 100. That gives us 310 players total. But, hey, maybe a player with as much skill as he has will simply work better alongside NHL-caliber teammates. So why the noteworthy jump in rank in our scouting panel members’ eyes? He was a nice piece in the package Colorado acquired for Matt Duchene. He last played Jan. 21. 2018 NHL Draft Rankings Here is our next installment updating the top 2018 NHL draft rankings from some of the best scouting services and media outlets out there. Readers often get upset if their favorite teams’ youngsters land on this list, but it’s not always an indictment of a player when that happens. He’s a smooth-skating, crafty offensive defenseman. Heiskanen looks like a future star, fair, and Faksa has slowly matured into a legit shutdown center. Sign up today to get the best features and analysis from the NHL and beyond. Even if he has changed, Miller is going to have a difficult time changing people's minds about him. Sure seems like that’s the most prevalent theme of this list so far, doesn’t it? When the drop is that big, there’s a reason for it other than bad luck. Even if he decides to leave Harvard, turn pro and finish this season in the AHL, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him stay in Stockton at least a year before getting a look in the NHL. It’s our annual look at every NHL team’s development system, which consists of all its drafted talent not yet in the NHL, plus any NHLers aged 21 or younger. Marie Greyhounds, his offense has made exactly the kind of leap you want to see from a second-tier prospect. With such a big, projectable body, you’d think he’s close to a shot at NHL duty, but he hasn’t done enough to earn it this season.4. The prospects from Edmonton and Los Angeles are two Canadian kids getting game experience in Europe right now - and learning just how different food can be over there. Kamenev brings something different to the speedy Avs lineup, as he has real two-way sensibilities at center. Commitment to defense after working hard with Laval coach Sylvain Lefebvre. A refresher on how Future Watch works: first, we consult personnel and scouts from every NHL franchise and come up with an updated list of their top 10 prospects. The Chicago Wolves belong to Vegas, with the roster partially populated with Blues prospects, while the overflow forces the Blues to send some prospects elsewhere. It seems the tourney win had an influence on our scouting panel. Disclaimer 1: prospects drafted in 2017 don’t qualify, as they obviously weren’t ranked last year and thus have no comparison number to “rise” from. Must read content, player grades, stuff you can't get anywhere else. This year: 35th. In Future Watch 2017, he was labelled a “supreme playmaker.” In 2018: “he grinds it out with a decent dose of skill. Earlier this week came the good news from our Future Watch 2018 magazine with our top 10 rising prospects. David Rittich has established himself as the No. © 2020 The Hockey News, Roustan Media Ltd. ou can purchase the special edition magazine here. What? The deck has been a bit stacked against him, though. Another NHL offseason is on the verge of coming … NICK MERKLEY, RW, ARIZONA COYOTES (+52)Last year: not rankedThis year: 49th Merkley has thrived playing the wing on one of the AHL’s most dominant lines with Dylan Strome, with both of them earning All-Star Game invites. In Future Watch 2018, Ducks beat writer Eric Stephens reports that Jones’ had a “so-so” camp to start the year. Not only is failing to make the team a perceived slight on a player’s value, but it takes away a crucial evaluation showcase, and the WJC has an enormous influence on our Future Watch rankings. That’s why the Toronto Maple Leafs won our scouts poll this year. One flaw in his game to note: consistency. The Blues’ AHL affiliate situation is highly unstable. You can read that breakdown here. We know this ranking really isn’t Kamenev’s fault. Ten of his 28 points have come in a five-game stretch across his 38 games. 6 … Sorry, Sens fans. Sign up today to get the best features and analysis from the NHL and beyond. There’s no edition of THN I enjoy participating in more. 6 on the Stars’ list alone, behind Heiskanen, Nichushkin, Jason Dickinson, Gurianov and Roope Hintz. Kamenev is still a nice B-grade prospect. Evgeny’s game has gone backwards at the AHL level this season, as he’s found the net just seven times in 52 games, and on the pages of Future Watch 2018, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill criticizes Svechknikov for not playing with enough pace and for taking too many minor penalties. ©2020 The Athletic Media Company. Which NHL-affiliated prospects made the biggest strides year over year in our annual scouting poll? Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks. 67 overall prospect in Future Watch 2018. Well, if a team’s youth development is going so well that its teenagers are jumping right to the NHL while another franchise’s teens are still in the minors, the team whose prospects are ahead of the curve should not be “punished” in the rankings, should it? In Future Watch 2018, GM Brad Treliving praises Fox’s brain as his best attribute. First, a refresher on how our Future Watch edition comes together: we consult personnel and scouts from every NHL franchise and produce an updated list of their top 10 prospects. Maybe, but that doesn’t matter if the pair stays together at the NHL level someday. Fox needs to add strength to his 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame, but he has time. Has some of Merkley’s success been dependent on Strome? EVGENY SVECHNIKOV, RW, DETROIT RED WINGS (-45)Last year: 20thThis year: 65th It looks like Evgeny’s younger brother Andre, a projected top-three pick in the 2018 draft, will reach the NHL and make an impact first. It’s finally here. Things haven’t gone nearly as well for Walman, who has struggled to produce much offense. Wheeler: The Top 50 drafted NHL prospects ranking, 2018 edition. Also, if a year passes without a prospect reaching the NHL, that means another draft has passed, meaning there are more bodies to compete against in the rankings. In 47 games with WHL Everett: 1.60 GAA and a .947 SP. To go from a consensus top-25 prospect in our scouts’ poll to…not even a top 100 prospect? You hence won’t see an Elias Pettersson or Casey Mittelstadt on this list. He’s sniped 18 goals in 28 games with his new club.8. He has that blend of skill and aggression to become a Corey Perry type and only just turned 20, so Jones, like Gauthier, still has time to figure things out.3. The skilled, swift-skating Kyrou suddenly projects as a guy who will have more space to work with in the NHL than he would have even five years ago. It can’t be easy to adjust to two sets of coaches and teammates. RILEY TUFTE, LW, DALLAS STARS (-50)Last year: 43rdThis year: not ranked Tufte went from top-50 prospect NHL-wide to ranked No. He was scoring at less than a point-per-game pace with OHL London before a trade to the Kingston Frontenacs, which sets him up to gain valuable experience in a deep playoff run…when he’s back in the lineup. Future Watch 2018. He isn’t the biggest goalie in the world, but he’s remarkably competitive, studious, consistent and fundamentally sound. My theory as to why he’s slipped so far: he got cut from Team Canada’s 2018 world junior squad. In one year? There’s still time for Honka. Look at Jordan Kyrou. He’s looked good during his call-up, even earning some power play time, and it’s possible he stays in the NHL for good at this point. Just create an account, no credit card required! It’s to be expected from a 6-foot-6, 220-pound behemoth still growing into his body. Every kid on it has accomplished something significant and/or shown noteworthy improvement over the past year. They don’t officially have one right now. Yikes. JAKE WALMAN, D, ST. LOUIS BLUES (-51)Last year: 50thThis year: not ranked A year ago, prospect D-men Walman, Jordan Schmaltz and Vince Dunn were perceived as neck and neck in the Blues’ pecking order, all offering similar puck-moving skill sets and fighting to crack the NHL lineup. He’s improved his scoring rate at the University of Minnesota-Duluth as a sophomore, nearly doubling his goal total in roughly the same number of games, and he represented Team USA at the 2018 world juniors. 1 overall prospect Casey Mittelstadt at center, so where would Asplund slot into the lineup? The Stars want more consistency and discipline from him. Subscribe now to get full access to the new sports page. VLADISLAV KAMENEV, C, COLORADO AVALANCHE (-53)Last year: 48thThis year: not ranked Don’t shoot the messenger here. Whereas Strome is a big guy, Merkley is just 5-foot-11, so he needs to get faster if he doesn’t have size in his favor.4. KALE CLAGUE, D, LOS ANGELES KINGS (+36)Last year: 94thThis year: 58th Any defenseman flirting with not one, but two points per game turns heads, and Clague was doing that with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings before a mid-season trade to the contending Moose Jaw Warriors. As reported in Future Watch 2018, Gauthier’s transition from major junior to his first season as a pro with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers has been rocky. Scherbak simply had to mature. Even if he has changed, Miller is going to have a difficult time changing people's minds about him. We then turn that group of 310 over to our hand-picked panel of scouts from around the NHL, who rank all the players, yielding an individual list of our top 100 prospects. The good news: Gauthier has worked hard to improve and showed flashes this winter, especially when placed on a prospect line with Janne Kuokkanen and Nicolas Roy. Some have been unlucky, some have stalled in their development, some have regressed, and some haven’t necessarily done anything bad. LOGAN STANLEY, D, WINNIPEG JETS (-43)Last year: 58thThis year: not ranked He’s built like Zdeno Chara, who was famously a project before blooming into a Hall of Famer, so it’s not the end of the world if Stanley develops slowly.