Prospect Roundup: November's Stock Watch Update

Which draft prospects are coming off of a big month? Which ones fell down a peg? Tony Ferrari breaks down the top names you need to know.

Prospect Roundup: November's Stock Watch Update
© Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Yuri Kuzmin/KHL

It’s time again for our monthly look at which draft-eligible prospects are on the rise and which players are falling down draft boards a bit.

With most players hovering around the 20-game mark in their draft years, we have begun to see which players have taken a step this year and which players have been lacking to start the year. There is still plenty of hockey to be played but the early returns have certainly given analysts and scouts the ammo needed to make some judgments.

Before we get to it, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address a hot topic from the last Stock Watch. With his slow start, Shane Wright was placed in the ‘Stock Down’ category with the caveat that he was still the class’ top player. Since then, the presumptive number one pick has bounced back and is clicking at over a point-per-game pace and he’s had a good month of November. It’s safe to say that after 18-months of nearly no hockey, Wright is rounding into form.

Stock Up: C/W Filip Mešár, HK Poprad (Slovakia)

One of the most exciting players in this upcoming draft class, Mešár has seen his stock rise since the summer. He was a force at the Hlinka-Gretzky tournament where he racked up eight points in five games as a dynamic presence on a surprising Slovakian squad. Mešár made his men’s team debut earlier this month as well, collecting an assist in his three games at the Deutschland Cup.

Mešár possesses top-end skating ability with the pure speed to put defenders on their heels as well as the agility and quickness to cut to the inside and attack the slot. The young Slovak is a silky smooth passer who is able to read defenses at a high level.  Playing against men in Slovakia has been a good challenge for Mešár. It’s certainly not the most impressive league in the world, but his eight points in 15 games have been a welcome sight.

Stock Down: LW Ivan Miroshnichenko, Omskie Krylia (VHL)

After a year in Russia’s junior circuit with decent, yet uninspiring results, Miroshnichenko has been very much the same this season. His international play has been quite good and has given those who value it highly more than enough reason to keep him in the top-five on their boards but the more tape you watch, the less impressive Miroshnichenko has been.

Miroshnichenko is a powerful skater who works off his edges well to maneuver around the ice and he has the intelligence to put himself in good position in all three zones. The young Russian has a well-rounded variety of ways to find twine whether it’s his wrist shot from between the dots or a one-timer from the wing. He doesn’t have any major holes in his game but most of the concern comes from where his ceiling may ultimately be. Is Miroshnichenko going to project as a very good third-liner? 

Can he be a top-six player? Thankfully, there’s plenty of time to find out.

Stock Up: RW Jimmy Snuggerud, U.S. NTDP (USHL)

Despite the all-world name, Snuggerud has often been forgotten with the likes of Logan Cooley, Frank Nazar, and Rutger McGroarty all putting up big numbers for the U.S. U18s. He has done everything in his power to rectify that, including two hat tricks at the recent Five Nations tournament.

Sitting at over a point-per-game, Snuggerud is starting to make a name for himself. He has good size at 6-foot-2 and moves through space well in the offensive zone. He does a good job of finding pockets and getting himself open for his teammates. He isn’t the most flashy player as a passer but he is efficient and seems to know where to send the puck for high danger scoring chances. 

Snuggerud might not crack the first round but one lucky team will get an intriguing prospect who does a lot of little things well.

Stock Down: RHD Elias Salomonsson, Skellefteå AIK J20 (J20 Nationell)

Last season, Salomonsson put his name on the radar with an excellent season in his D-1 season. The young Swedish defender put up 15 points in just 14 games at the U-20, level earning him three games in the SHL. He has impressive offensive instincts, impressive puck skills as a blueliner and he thrived on moving the puck up ice on the breakout. His D-1 season had him fitting into the top half of the first round on most boards coming into the year.

The issue is that when watching Salomonsson this season, not only has there not been much progression, his play seems to have regressed. In 16 games, he has just 10 points this year. His precise passing from last season seems to have become more wild and inaccurate. His mobility is still an asset but he hasn’t been as effective with the puck on his stick in transition. His defensive game was always a concern but the tools were there to build upon it, which hasn’t happened. There is still plenty of intrigue for the Swedish rearguard but he will need to figure out his game.

Stock Up: LHD Calle Odelius, Djurgårdens IF J20 (J20 Nationell)

It’s been an impressive year for Djurgårdens prospects, and Calle Odelius has joined the party. 

Odelius has 17 points in 20 games with the U-20 squad, and even got into a handful of SHL games. At 6-foot-0 and 185 pounds, Odelius has shown the ability to handle the physicality of the pro game on most nights, and his ability to break the puck out as a passer has looked solid against men in a small sample.

Odelius plays a solid defensive game, shows impressive puck-moving ability at both ends of the ice, and displays poise all over the ice. If you want to buy low on stock and watch it rise, Odelius might be the guy to buy in on.

Stock Down: RW Gavin Hayes, Flint Firebirds (OHL)

The highly touted forward has been struggling to start the season. Hayes had quite a bit of fanfare coming into the year thanks to his good size and a tremendous amount of puck skill. He played on the U.S. Hlinka-Gretzky team and put up three points in four games but was unable to translate his scoring ability to the OHL. Held off the scoresheet through 11 games with Flint, he was finally able to pot two goals in a recent game to get off the slide.

One of the main factors in Hayes’ slow start has been his deployment. Averaging 11:56 of ice time this season, he has only played more than 15 minutes once. Hayes’ recent two-goal game was the first time he played more than 13:04 in a game this season. While he certainly needs to earn a run in the top-six, if given the opportunity, Hayes has all of the talent to be a capable scoring winger for the Flint Firebirds. If he continues to play fourth-line minutes on most nights, it may be difficult for him to find his scoring touch on a consistent basis.

Keep your eye on:

C Owen Beck, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

C Tucker Robertson, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

RW Jordan Dumais, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

RW Jagger Firkus, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

C/W Filip Bystedt, Linköping HC U20 (J20 Nationell)

C/W Aleksanteri Kaskimäki, HIFK U20 (U20 SM-sarja)

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