With the 2017-2018 NHL season right around the corner, this would be a solid time to take a look at which prospects can make an impact this season or in the near future.
10. Tyler Parsons, Goalie, Calgary Flames: Tyler Parsons was a second-round pick for the Calgary Flames in 2016. He has high upside in the near future and Parsons has the potential to become a starting goalie in the NHL in a couple of seasons from now. Earlier in 2017, the Flames signed him to a three-year entry level contract. Parsons has won the Memorial Cup with London (OHL) in 2016 and the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships for team U.S.A. Parsons record in 2015-2016 was 37-9-3 with a 2.33 GAA and a .921 save percentage and four shutouts. This past season, his record was 23-6-3 with a 2.37 GAA and a .925 save percentage and three shutouts. Parsons will probably be the starting goalie in Calgary by the 2019-2020 season.
9. Ilya Samsonov, Goalie, Washington Capitals: Ilya Samsonov was a first-round pick for the Washington Capitals in 2015. Samsonov is a very athletic and consistent goalie. He is currently playing in the KHL in Russia for team Magnitogorsk Metallurg. His contract expires after the 2018 season and Samsonov will most likely sign an entry level deal with the Capitals after he is done playing in Russia. It’s obvious Braden Holtby won’t be losing the starting job any time soon in Washington, unless things go south in a hurry for him. Samsonov has starting goalie material written all over him. In the KHL last season, his record was 15-3-5 with a 2.13 GAA and a .936 save percentage and two shutouts. Samsonov might not reach the NHL until the 2019-2020 season.
8. Tyson Jost, Center, Colorado Avalanche: Jost was a first-round pick for the Colorado Avalanche in 2016. Jost is a solid center and he can make plays for other teammates. He scored 16 goals and had 19 assists last season at the University of Dakota. Jost appeared in 33 games and his plus/minus was a solid 17. He played well enough that the Colorado Avalanche decided to play him in six games last season. He scored a goal but his plus/minus was a -5. Colorado wasn’t very good in 2016-2017 so maybe Jost could give them some excitement in 2017-2018.
7. Mikhail Sergachev, Defenseman, Tampa Bay Lightning: Sergachev was a first-round pick for the Montreal Canadiens in 2016. He will provide valuable depth for the Tampa Bay Lightning organization on defense. Sergachev was in the same trade that sent Jonathan Drouin to Montreal. It will be very likely that Sergachev will start the season in the minors, but he will also see some ice time as well in Tampa Bay this season. He appeared in 50 games with the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) last season. Sergachev scored 10 goals and had 33 assists. His plus/minus was also 22. Sergachev played in four NHL games with the Canadiens last season and he didn’t score or have an assist.
6. Mathew Barzal, Center, New York Islanders: Barzal was a first-round pick for the New York Islanders in 2015. He was a play making machine and Barzal was one of the reasons why the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL), won the WHL championship. In 41 regular season games, he scored 10 goals and had 69 assists. His plus/minus was 32. In the postseason, he scored 7 goals and had 18 assists. Barzal could play a big role for the New York Islanders in 2017. He could be the play maker the Islanders desperately need since John Tavares’s contract is up at the end of the season.
5. Kirill Kaprizov, Left Wing, Minnesota Wild: Kaprizov was drafted in the fifth-round by the Minnesota Wild in the 2015 NHL Draft. The Wild have seemed to find a gem in Kaprizov in the late rounds, but the problem is he will be playing in the KHL for three more seasons. Kaprizov played for team Ufa Salavat Yulayev last season. In 49 games, he scored 20 goals and had 22 assists. His plus/minus was a nine. Kaprizov is a very quick player but don’t expect him to be at the NHL level until the 2020-2021 season or beyond.
4. Clayton Keller, Center, Arizona Coyotes: Clayton Keller could be one of the best young centers to play a full load at the NHL this season. He will be one of the cornerstone pieces that will make the Coyotes a factor for the next several years. His playing making ability and scoring is what will make him dangerous. He was taken in the first round of the NHL Draft in 2016. At Boston University last season, he scored 21 goals and had 24 assists. His plus/minus was 15. Keller appeared in three games for the Coyotes last season and he had two assists.
3. Nico Hischier, Center, New Jersey Devils: Nico Hischier was taken number one overall in the 2017 NHL draft. He has the ability to take over a game and Hischier has a higher ceiling than number two overall pick Nolan Patrick. Hischier will bring offense to a team that has been missing it for the past few seasons. Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique should be happy about this. Hischier scored 38 goals and had 46 assists in 57 games last season for the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). The Devils should be improved on offense in 2017-2018 with him in the lineup.
2. Thomas Chabot, Defenseman, Ottawa Senators: Thomas Chabot was drafted in the first-round in the 2015 NHL Draft. He will most likely compete for a starting job in training camp. Chabot scored 10 goals and had 35 assists last season with the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). His plus/minus was a 29 which is impressive. In the postseason, Chabot scored 5 goals and had 18 assists. He was one of the main reasons why they won the QMJHL title. Chabot has solid skill to his game.
1. Dylan Strome, Center, Arizona Coyotes: Dylan Strome was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Strome will probably be the captain of the Coyotes at somepoint in the near future. If he and the younger players can gel together right away, this will be a very good sign for their future. Strome scored 22 goals and had 53 assists in 35 games last season with the Erie Otters (OHL) last season. That is averaging a little bit over two points per game which is outstanding. His plus/minus was an excellent 36. In 22-playoff games, Strome scored 14 goals and had 20 assists.