One of the biggest events in the scouting community, the annual CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game offers an opportunity to see some of the top junior talent available for the NHL Draft.
And while one-off games aren’t necessarily the most ideal scouting situation, the event offers much in the way of being able to compare player fundamentals. Some players shine while others lose their lustre just a little bit.
Team Orr came out of the tilt with a 3-0 victory, but that’s not all the players will come away with, according to Future Considerations scout Josh Deitell, who was in attendance in Halifax.
Philippe Desrosiers, Rimouski, QMJHL
One of the more underrated tenders in this draft got his chance to shine and that is just what he did as he pitched the second half of the shutout for team Orr. He displayed a calm and positional game in Halifax.
Spencer Martin, Mississauga, OHL
Love the confidence this kid exudes, even the Ken Dryden like stance daring the opposition to put one by him before the puck even dropped. When the puck was dropped – his net coverage, quick legs and solid mobility were all in top form as the opposition was unable to solve him.
Chris Bigras, Owen Sound, OHL
Plays a lot like Scott Harrington with the London Knights in that he is a safe and smart defense first player who reads the play well as it develops. Bigras made a few strong plays in Halifax to eliminate some highly skilled prospects from showing off what got them selected for this contest.
Seth Jones, Portland, WHL
The most noticeable prospect on the ice in Halifax, jumping in offensively, getting back in position defensively and showing very strong reads on where to be for breaking up the oppositions attack. Jones really impressed with his ability to skate the entire ice surface and at times looked like a father playing with his sons he was so dominant.
“Probably the best overall player in the game. Always involved, so smooth and intelligent. His reach is unbelievable.”
– Josh Deitell.
Nikita Zadorov, London, OHL
Zadorov had many scouts licking their chops at what this kid could bring to their organization in a few short seasons. His skating and physicality were on full display as he moved into position and blew up a handful of opponents as they entered his zone with their heads down. He also had a couple rushes up ice with the puck and even joined the play down low a few times.
“Threw some massive hits, defended well in his own zone and against the rush with both his body and his reach. Took himself out of position a few times but I think he was trying to make an impression and definitely did that.”
– Josh Deitell.
Max Domi, London, OHL
Domi showed some good wheels, strength and puck handling ability as he was buzzing around the ice all game long. He made some strong passes and was able to set-up his line mates for some prime scoring chances.
Bo Horvat, London, OHL
Horvat played the best offensive game I have seen from him in a few weeks as he was able to get himself open and into strong scoring position. He looks like a real solid goal scorer, something he has not always shown the past two years in London – mostly due to the role he has been asked to play – and with his solid defensive instincts really opened some eyes with this showing.
“Max Domi and Bo Horvat – Both were able to play their games pretty well. Domi spent some time with the puck and showed off the hands, Horvat played a nice two-way game. Obviously the chemistry was a factor. Worked well together in the cycle and made some nifty plays around the net. Didn’t put up any points but I thought they were impressive.”
– Josh Deitell.
Adam Erne, Quebec, QMJHL
Erne played a strong north-south game as he powered his way up and down the ice and took the puck to the net when the opportunity was there. He showed off his strong shot and that when his intensity is up he can be a hard power forward to play against.
Nicolas Petan, Portland, WHL
Worked real well with linemates, Duclair and Bjorkstrand, as that threesome fed off each other and created more than a few impressive scoring chances headlined by Petan’s quickness, strong passes and good creativity with the puck.
Laurent Dauphin, Chicoutimi, QMJHL
The top performer in the game not names Jones, Dauphin looked as though this was just another day in the office as he was effective showing both a skilled scoring ability and good shot as well as a strong all-round game. His ability to shrug off Hartman’s bit time hit early in the game and turn up his own intensity and drive was impressive.
“Bit of a Cinderella story as an injury replacement, but didn’t look out of place at all. Played a skilled and intelligent game and definitely raised some awareness for those who did not know about this draft riser.”
– Josh Deitell