What are the prospects for the NHL that has seen its stock soar in the first half of the season?

On the heels of our mid-season replace for High NHL gamers and prospects below the age of 23 This week, as we speak I assumed I would spotlight the younger gamers who’ve seen their potential inventory rise probably the most within the first half among the many higher-level names.

Alexander Nikishin, Physician of Human Sciences, Carolina

Calling Nikishin a riser can be an understatement. After being a 3rd spherical choose within the 2020 NHL Draft, he seems to be like a high 5 choose this season within the KHL. He was arguably the perfect defenseman within the KHL as a 21-year-old. His skate, physique, and measurement made him very attention-grabbing as a NHL A risk, however it added much more offense than I assumed. Nikishin performs robust video games with the puck now on a constant foundation to go along with his bomb from the purpose. Now he has all of the instruments you need in an NHL participant. The difficulty is his contract. After SKA traded for him this summer time, they prolonged him till the top of the 2024-25 KHL season (that is in line with SKA Normal Director Roman Rotenberg). So, this may very well be one other Evgeny Kuznetsov/Kirill Kaprizov The state of affairs – ready for a big Russian prospect.

Tyler Boucher, RW, Ottawa

It’s kind of unusual to lastly profile a tenth total who I feel he is delivering as a mid-six winger, however after how troublesome the 2021-22 season has been, it wasn’t clear that that will be his expectation. He is trying significantly better between his OHL and World Junior play this season. A very powerful factor I’ve seen along with some offensive touches is that his recreation has extra velocity to go together with his common physique. This mixture of traits ought to translate into a superb skilled, assuming he can keep wholesome.

Philip Bistedt, C., San Jose

Bystedt has appeared stable towards the lads this season and with the Swedish U20 workforce in numerous tournaments all year long together with the World Youth. His toolkit has all the time been very enticing, however the consistency wasn’t all the time there. This a part of his recreation continues to be not excellent, however he has been higher this season. Now you’ve a tall, quick and skilful middle who can rating and seem extra typically; It makes him probably an attractive professional.

Ryan Inexperienced, C, Chicago

Inexperienced was a troublesome participant to be thought of draft-eligible. I noticed within the USHL the expertise he had. He was a superb skater with respectable talent, playmaking and ending skill, and he killed penalties for his rookie workforce. Nonetheless, in his draft season, he was thirtieth in league scoring and effectively beneath a degree/recreation. I nonetheless like him due to the expertise however I wasn’t thrilled with him. This season we have seen that expertise once more as a freshman at Boston College, however on show extra persistently. Greene did wonderful in faculty and got here very shut to creating the Canada U20 workforce.

Issues have been going very well for Watt Johnston and the Dallas Stars currently. After being the OHL’s MVP final season, Johnston made Dallas a teen and by no means appeared misplaced on probably the greatest offenses within the league. He has been on a steep upward trajectory since his massive development spurt just a few years in the past to go along with his expertise, imaginative and prescient and competitiveness. His lack of high velocity has been a knock on him, however given these strengths and weaknesses, I spoke to NHL scouts this season who in contrast his recreation to David Krejci. Up to now he has proven that his weaknesses don’t stop him from falling behind within the main tournaments.

Jerry Kulich, LW, buffalo

Kulich was excellent within the AHL for an 18-year-old, and performed an vital function for Rochester. Kulich has the talent and might rating objectives. This was evident in how he scored towards males and juniors traditionally, however it was his model of play that actually attracted scouts. He is a competitor who places in an sincere effort each evening, goes to excessive visitors areas, and has good tempo in his recreation. I would not name him a dynamic participant, however he does many issues very effectively and continues to provide, additionally popping out of the world’s youngest.

Carter Mazur, RW, Detroit

Mazur’s important upward improvement development over the previous few years continued into this season, as he was probably the greatest gamers in faculty hockey. His stage of skating and competitors have all the time been positives to his recreation, however the stage of offense he is displaying now is essential in comparison with the previous few seasons. Mazur can shoot the puck, has good arms and an offensive really feel to go along with his velocity and direct model of play. He seems to be like somebody who may very well be one of many six greatest wingers within the NHL sometime.

Parssinen needs to be probably the greatest anticipated tales of the season and probably the most uplifting total. After being a seventh-round choose in 2019, Parssinen has typically lined out as Nashville’s first-line middle this season. Whereas I do not assume he is an precise 1C, greater than 2/3 for me, this can be a huge addition to the group from one of many final picks of his draft class. Parssinen’s skating nonetheless is not nice, however he has proven an excessive amount of talent and a pure playmaking skill within the years since his draft. I’ve seen flashes of talent when he was youthful, however I’ve by no means seen this stage of puck recreation coming. He combines that with a good-sized tire and a willingness to assault the within with this one. This pro-style mentality that goes alongside along with his creativity has been and can proceed to convey him a variety of success.

Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, St. Louis

Snuggerud has been nice this season, being the main scorer in faculty after which in World Youth. Snuggerud was on the entrance traces with the USNTDP his draft season however he was by no means *the*man* on that workforce. In actual fact, 4 different strikers on that workforce had been picked forward of him. Snuggerud was all the time seen as a talented, hard-working marksman however there have been questions on his tempo of footing and his attacking dynamism. This season he has proven that he has one other stage of offense whereas nonetheless being one of many hardest staff on the ice. Snuggerud is on his technique to being a stable high six participant.

William Wallender, LHD, Detroit

Wallinder has been wonderful within the SHL this season, with the 20-year-old being one among Rogle’s greatest gamers. As a 6-foot-4 defenseman who can skate effectively for his measurement and reveals loads of offense this season, in the future you may think about Wallinder in one of many high 4 spots within the NHL. His protection and physique may wish some enchancment, however he isn’t missing as a defender. Instruments that set him aside as knowledgeable, particularly with the extent of talent and playmaking he now shows.

(Photograph by Carter Mazur: Lawrence Scott/Getty Pictures)

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