Here are three 2015 NHL Draft prospects to watch when play resumes again this fall.
RW – Sarnia Sting (OHL) – 6’02” 176
Nikita was selected in the first round by the Sarnia Sting and due to joining a young team was able to exhibit his excellent offensive upside right from the start with his outstanding first career OHL goal. Nikita has an NHL level shot right now and is extremely dangerous when given any chance to shoot the puck from anywhere that could be considered a decent scoring area. He is also dangerous on breakaways and in shootouts because of his excellent hands combined with his powerful shot. One thing that goes underrated about Korostelev is that he is capable of making creative and intelligent passes. He has created a wealth of scoring chances and goals for his linemates. Korostelev will challenge defenders one on one and is usually successful. His forecheck can be a little inconsistent, but when he’s on he shows great determination and is capable of forcing turnovers.[pull_quote_left]Nikita has an NHL level shot[/pull_quote_left]
Nikita’s physical play is also inconsistent, but when he’s in the mood for it, he can hit hard. His skating is effective for someone his size and age but has room for improvement, particularly his first few steps. Nikita will need to improve on his consistency with his forechecking and physicality in addition to improving his first few steps. However with that said, he is among the most pure offensive talents expected to come out of the OHL at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and possesses more size than those who are ahead of him at the moment.
RW – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) – 6’0” 200
Meier was the 12th overall selection in the 2013 CHL Import Draft by the Halifax Mooseheads, who also selected Nikolaj Ehlers with the 6th overall pick. Meier is a very different player in comparison to Ehlers, as he’s not as flashy or speedy, but does a lot of dirty work along the wall and pays attention to small details. The Swiss forward plays a very North American game and likes to get involved physically in games; the more the year progressed, the more he was involved and comfortable with that style of play. For most of the year, Meier played on a 3rd line with the high-powered Mooseheads, and didn’t get as many opportunities on the power play to show off his offensive skills as a guy like Ehlers did. He plays a powerful north and south game. He’s not very tall, but is sturdy on his skates and takes the puck to the net. He is not a great puckhandler and can lack confidence at times with the puck, but he does work in dirty areas of the ice.[quote_left]”12th overall selection in the 2013 CHL Import Draft”[/quote_left]
With a better supporting cast on his line Timo could see his production improve next season. Seeing him earlier this season, his skating was worrisome, as he didn’t have great speed and his footing was average at best. He has since made some strides in this department, not that he’s suddenly a great skater, but he made some nice progress and it will keep getting better as he keeps getting stronger. He has a good wrist shot as well, but we would like to see him make quicker decisions when the puck is on his stick and improve his release as well.
RC – Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL) – 6’04” 190
Nicolas Roy was selected first overall at the 2013 QMJHL Draft by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, but he was traded before the beginning of the season to the Chicoutimi Saguenéens for three first round draft picks. He had a good season with this rebuilding team where he earned 41 points in 63 games.
There is no doubt in our mind that his biggest quality is his anticipation and his vision. He’s always in the right place and he does many things that only well-rounded forwards can do. He blocks shots on a regular basis and he supports his defensemen well down in his zone. Most of the time, he will be the one able to get the puck out of his zone on his line. One of the things we likes about Roy is that he shows excellent offensive instincts and is adept at picking off passes through the neutral zone creating quick counter attacks and odd-man rushes.
When he’s entering in the offensive zone, he will often slow down right after gaining the opposing blueline hoping to find open teammates, which he does successfully quite often. He also likes to move towards the middle lane off the rush to get shots from scoring position and drives hard to the net looking for his opportunities in tight. He uses his body well deep in the zone to win puck battles and to create space for teammates. Roy has tremendous puckhandling skills and excels when he has time and space. He is ﬂuid with the puck and will beat defenders 1-on-1 if they try to play the puck against him. The Amos native has a strong wrist shot and gets into good scoring positions coming off the wall on the cycle. He is also a good playmaker and shows great awareness and vision ﬁnding teammates with a variety of creative passes. He handles contact well and looks to be fairly strong for such a young kid allowing him to control the puck with contact and keep going. He’s a lanky skater that lacks jump right now. However, he moves fairly well and once he’ll get stronger, his long strides will no doubt be more powerful and effective. Roy has the smarts and work ethic to progress well in the next seasons.