With hockey season getting underway, it’s time for scouts to start focusing on the 2018 NHL Draft. Future Considerations has piled up the scouting reports and here is a look at the top five skaters to play in the United States Hockey League last season, heading into 2018.
Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Muskegon Lumberjacks, 6-2, 190, 03-26-2000
Svechnikov, second in Future Considerations’ preliminary ranking, looks to build off an impressive campaign last season and is regarded as an early favorite to finish as a top-3 pick in June. “He’s got very impressive skating ability, very fluent and calm on his edges,” said Future Considerations scout Jake VanBesien. “Svechnikov is very dangerous when given time and space, his upside right now is tremendous.” Last season in the USHL, Svechnikov scored 29 goals and added 29 assists for 58 points in 48 games. The performance propelled him to become the top pick in the CHL Import Draft by the Barrie Colts. If he dominates the OHL like he did the USHL he should be able to increase his draft stock and possibly push for the top pick in the NHL Draft.
Brady Tkachuk, C, USNTDP, 6-2, 200, 09-16-1999
Tkachuk, second amongst USHL players in the preliminary ranking and sixth overall, played last season with the United States National Team Development Program, and had 25 goals and 29 assists for 54 points in 61 games. He plays an aggressive checking style as evidenced by his 129 penalty minutes. He also captained Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, scoring once and adding six assists for seven points in seven games en route to a gold medal. Tkachuk is committed to Boston University and will look to have an impressive season with the Terriers to prove he is a top prospect heading into 2018.
Bode Wilde, D, USNTDP (U17), 6-2, 195, 01-24-2000
Wilde, seventh in the preliminary ranking and the third-ranked skater from the USHL, will look to continue his success in the development program. After scoring eight goals and adding 11 assists for 19 points in in 56 games with the U17 group, he should have a good season playing with the U18 squad. He is committed to Michigan University for 2018-19, so if he impresses this season teams can be confident that he will develop in an elite NCAA program once he is drafted at this upcoming draft.
Quinton Hughes, D, USNTDP, 5-9, 170, 10-14-1999
Hughes, ninth in FC’s preliminary rankings and the fourth-ranked skater out of the USHL. has committed to the University of Michigan for the upcoming season and will play in the BIG10 at just 18. Last season, he scored 10 goals and added 43 assists for 53 points in 65 games. Hughes also impressed during the Under-18’s in which he scored once and added four assists in seven games. He is a defenseman to watch this season as he tries to use his offensive skills to help Michigan win a national title, and help increase his draft stock before June.
Oliver Wahlstrom, C/RW, USNTDP (U17), 6-1, 200, 06-13-2000
Wahlstrom, 11th in the preliminary ranking, will continue his development with the NTDP. Last season with the U17 group he scored 14 goals and added 11 assists for 25 points in 43 games played. He also took his goal-scoring abilities to the international stage scoring four goals in seven games for the Under-18’s. The Harvard commit played a key role in helping Team USA to gold.