Welcome to this first edition of The Snapshot, where we keep you in the know every week with what’s happening in the world of Hockey Prospects. Today will take a look at some news from this past summer that you might have missed.
– The 2019 Summer Showcase ended at the beginning of the month of August in Plymouth, Michigan. It was a good opportunity to see some recent NHL draftees play against each other, eyeing to earn a spot on their respective countries’ World Junior squads come December. It was also a great chance to see some of the best available for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in action, as a total of five possible first-round picks took part in this event. You can read our reports from this event in our game report section here.
– Team Russia won the 2019 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, with a win over Team Canada in the gold medal game. We have had started to add reports from this event here.
– The US development program announced their schedule for the upcoming season. Click here to see the schedule of the U-18 and U-17 teams.
– Some QMJHL news: One of the biggest transactions to open the league’s trade period was the acquisition of Oscar Plandowski by Charlottetown for a pair of draft picks from Chicoutimi. The 16-year-old defenseman also signed with the Islanders following the trade. Plandowski was the 18th overall pick in the QMJHL Draft this past June by the Saguenéens. He was committed to Quinnipiac University, which led him to fall in the draft. We had the Nova Scotia native ranked 7th overall in our rankings and he was our top-rated defenseman in the draft. The Islanders could have a dynamic duo on their back end with Plandowski and 2nd-year blueliner Lukas Cormier playing a lot of minutes for them in the next 3 seasons.
– Another highly-rated defenseman from the 2019 QMJHL Draft class was also moved to an Atlantic team. Cameron Whynot, drafted 9th overall by Sherbrooke, was moved to Halifax along with a 3rd pick in 2021. Whynot did want to play in the QMJHL, but wanted to stay in the Maritimes. He was our 9th-ranked prospect going into the QMJHL Draft this past June, and our 3rd-ranked defenseman behind Plandowski and Evan Nause (more on him below). Meanwhile, Sherbrooke gets Xavier Parent in return. Parent played the past two seasons with Halifax after being drafted 4th overall in 2017. He’s a skilled forward and could enjoy a bounce-back year in Sherbrooke after being reunited with his minor hockey teammate Samuel Poulin (Pittsburgh’s 1st round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft).
– More news out of the QMJHL: Some top players from the 2019 Draft class have elected to go play outside of the QMJHL. Peter Reynolds was the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 21st overall pick and our 3rd-ranked prospect in the draft. He signed with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL for the upcoming season; he’s a Boston College commit. Zachary Bolduc, our 5th-ranked prospect who was selected 14th overall by the Rimouski Océanic, has elected to play for Mount St. Charles Academy next season. Bolduc is not committed to any NCAA school as of now, but his USHL rights are owned by Sioux Falls. Evan Nause, drafted 6th overall by the Val-d’Or Foreurs, will play for Sioux Falls in the USHL this season. Nause was our 8th-ranked prospect in our 2019 QMJHL Draft Guide and the 2nd-best defenseman available. Another first-rounder, Guillaume Richard (selected 7th overall by Victoriaville) will join Bolduc at Mount St. Charles Academy this season. Richard is a Maine commit and our 15th-ranked prospect. Jacob Guévin (29th overall selection – Chicoutimi) also is going south, as he will play for the Northwood Prep School next season. Guévin was our 16th ranked prospect last June for the QMJHL Draft; he’s a Nebraska-Omaha commit.
– Shawinigan signed their top pick in the CHL Import Draft: Vasili Ponomaryov from Russia. He’s a first-round talent for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, and just recently played in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup where he won gold.
– In the OHL: The Barrie Colts announced the signing of Ryan Del Monte. The 24th-overall pick in the 2019 OHL Draft is originally from Mississauga and was committed to play college hockey at Harvard University. The Colts’ training camp opens up on August 27th.
– The Kitchener Rangers have signed their two CHL Import Draft selections, Ville Ottavainen and Axel Bergkvist, to standard player agreements. Ottavainen, a 17-year-old defenseman from Finland, is eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and was selected with the 35th overall pick in the CHL Import Draft. Bergkvist was the 200th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes. The Rangers selected him with the 95th overall selection in the CHL Import Draft.
– Kitchener also announced the signing of Francesco Pinelli, ranked 10th in our final rankings in our OHL Draft Guide and picked 13th overall by the Rangers. Last season with the Toronto Red Wings, he amassed 49 goals and 65 assists: 114 points in 71 games played. Pinelli took part in Hockey Canada’s U-17 Summer Camp in late July.
– Niagara signed their top pick in the CHL Import Draft: blueliner Giancarlo Chanton, a late ‘02 birthday from Switzerland. The Ice Dogs selected him with the 47th pick and he just recently played for his country at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.
– More Import Draft signings from across the OHL: Ruben Rafkin with the Windsor Spitfires, Oliver Suni with Oshawa, Evgeny Oksentyuk with Flint, Eric Hjorth and Marek Berka with Sarnia, Kirill Steklov with London, Ilya Solovyov with Saginaw and Ole Julian Bjorgvik Holm with Mississauga.
– Out West, the Portland Winterhawks have also signed their two selections in the CHL Import Draft: Simon Knak of Switzerland and Jonas Brondberg of Denmark. Knak was captain of the Swiss team at the most recent Hlinka-Gretzky Cup tournament, and Brondberg was captain of Team Denmark’s U-18 squad this past season at the international level.
– Other Import Draft signings for WHL teams: Lukas Parik with Spokane, Jesse Seppala with Edmonton, Michal Gut with Everett, Filip Koffer with Prince George, Radek Kucerik with Saskatoon, Michal Teply and Nino Kinder with Winnipeg.
– Some early summer news from the WHL and the Winnipeg Ice: in June, they announced they signed Matthew Savoie to a WHL standard contract. Savoie was the 1st overall pick in the WHL Draft. Savoie was committed to Denver University and should see some action this year with the Ice, even though he’s only 15 years old. Savoie is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft. In early April, the Ice also acquired the rights to his older brother Carter from Regina. Also committed to Denver University, Carter is expected to keep going the NCAA route and play in the AJHL once again this season.