As the NHL inches closer to the 2020-21 season, the rest of the hockey world has been in flux. With many North American junior leagues either not yet started or frequently interrupted by postponements or cancellations, and European pro leagues doing all they can to complete seasons, tracking prospects has never been more challenging.
But while we don’t have as complete a picture as we’d normally like by this point, there’s still enough of a body of work for each NHL prospect to compare and contrast where they stand. So we ranked the top 100 right now. Many of the players on this list should figure into the forthcoming NHL season, as the flat cap puts an even higher premium on players with entry-level contracts.
The criteria my the list: Essentially, any player that is still eligible for rookie status in the NHL this season is also eligible to be included here. The cut-off is 26 games played in a single season or 50 career games to this point. Additionally, players must be 25 years old or younger for inclusion. For example, Rasmus Sandin and Ryan Poehling just miss the cut based on games played last season.
OK, here are the top 100 prospects affiliated with an NHL club right now, starting with a no-brainer.
The top pick in the 2020 draft is headed straight to the NHL and even had extra time to continue building strength and prepare physically for his first season. Lafreniere is one of the most decorated junior hockey players to enter the NHL in some time, as a two-time winner of the CHL MVP award. His puck skills are advanced, but the added edge and physicality Lafreniere plays with is what could make him a handful in his first season. Expectations are deservedly high for this exceptional prospect.
Whether Byfield plays in the NHL or not this season does not change the fact that he has one of the highest ceilings of any player outside of the NHL currently. His size and speed give him an advantage, but he also makes a ton of plays with high-end vision and hockey sense. As one of the youngest players on this list, the upside Byfield possesses is a separating factor.
While he can play center, I think he’ll end up on the wing long-term and produce at a high rate. He’s a natural play-driver, gains the zone well and can make plays all over the ice. Stuetzle’s speed is an exceptional trait and one that will allow him to challenge NHL defenders. Combine that with natural puckhandling skills and creativity, and you’ve got yourself an especially exciting player to watch.
In the early-going of the season, Raymond has seized the added ice time he has gotten at Frolunda. He has made high-end plays and keeps opposing defenders on their toes with his skill. Raymond has also shown off a quicker and better shot release to enhance his goal-scoring talent. He competes hard and doesn’t take shifts off. Raymond can finish out the year in Sweden and probably grab a roster spot with Detroit as early as the 2021-22 season.
Kaprizov Watch is effectively over, as he’s finally with the Wild. Now we get to see what he can do at the NHL level. Few players as young as Kaprizov have come from the KHL with more accolades. He’s the reigning two-time goal-scoring champion of the KHL and leaves a trail of hardware in his wake, including an Olympic gold medal and KHL title. Kaprizov’s 113 goals and 230 points dwarfs any predecessor in the KHL before the age of 24. On top of the counting stats, Kaprizov has a great motor and strength on pucks, and he never shies away from the hard areas of the ice. The excitement is warranted.
Speed and power are going to be major pieces of Cozens’ game at the NHL level. He took advantage of the extra time off to get even stronger and more explosive. That, coupled with the steps he took to be a more dominant offensive player last season, suggests a big jump in progression year over year. He’s not as dynamic as the players surrounding him on this list, but he has the skill package to be an especially effective NHLer.
One of the most dynamic passers outside of the NHL, Zegras has elite vision and precision in his game. There’s a creativity he has with the puck and a deceptiveness he uses to suck in defenders and the goalie before surprising them with a perfect cross-ice feed. Zegras also has a fearlessness to his game which can sometimes get him into trouble if he’s forcing things, but his ideas with the puck work so often you can be more comfortable living with the risks he takes. He should have a real chance to crack the Ducks’ roster when the NHL resumes, but some time in the AHL — if that’s going to be possible — is not a bad alternative by any means.
Simply put, Askarov has been borderline unbeatable so far this season. Going into the World Juniors, he has a .962 save percentage in seven KHL games. He allowed three total goals as the Russian U20s beat pros from Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic in the Karjala Cup. Askarov is the best goaltending prospect I’ve personally seen since I’ve been evaluating prospects. He is advanced in so many facets of the position. There’s a controlled explosiveness in his game which I think is unique. He can make the big saves, his positioning is solid, he’s elite at taking away the bottom of the net, he is composed in all situations, and he gives very little to any shooter.
9. Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings
Based on what I’ve seen from Seider in the SHL this season and the AHL in 2019-20, he’s ready to play a big role on an NHL blue line. Seider has such a smoothness and confidence in his game. The offensive elements of his game have come along quite nicely, and he just knows how to play. Defensively, there’s not much cause for concern, as Seider’s feet have continually improved. While he’s not going to bury anyone physically, he’s defending at a high level and is tough to get around. More importantly, however, he can play composed and in control, making good puck decisions and helping his team own the puck more when he’s on the ice.
Having gotten his first taste of NHL action last season, we’ve got a pretty complete picture of what Shesterkin is trending toward. He has excelled over the last several seasons in Russia, crushed his transition to North America in 2019-20 and made the NHL look pretty simple in his first action before everything got shut down. His save percentage hasn’t dipped below .930 in any of his pro stints over the last four seasons.
One of the more dynamic playmakers who also happens to have a high-end release on his shot, Perfetti slipped farther than I expected him to in the 2020 draft. That was to the gain of the Jets, which have largely hit home runs with their first-round picks. Perfetti still needs to gain a step in his skating, but it’s something he has been working on already.
He didn’t get a lot of games at the NHL level last season and unfortunately had to do some more sitting around than either he or the club probably would have preferred. However, Hayton showcased his immense skill set at the World Juniors where he captained Canada to gold. He missed a lot of game reps in the last year, but with hockey sense and a motor like his, Hayton remains an especially promising prospect.
A brief stint in the bubble with the Maple Leafs showed how much Toronto thinks of its 2019 second-round pick. Robertson had just come off of a spectacular 55-goal season in the OHL. The time off afforded him the opportunity to get stronger, and he’s expected in camp with the Maple Leafs with an honest shot to make the big club. Robertson has excellent hand skills, highlighted by one of the quicker releases among prospects.
He’s off to a highly-productive start in his sophomore season at Wisconsin, but he has also shown more commitment to being involved at both ends of the ice. Caufield is carrying the puck more and taking more responsibility for driving a line. His shot remains elite, and while he’s much better with a playmaking center who can set him up, he still creates chances for himself.
Byram is a highly-skilled player who seems like he would fit in very well with what the Avalanche are building right now. His skating and puck skills are both high-end traits that should allow him to produce at the NHL level. I didn’t see a ton of year-over-year progression from Byram last season compared to his draft year, but to be fair, he was starting at a pretty high point. It’s tough to project rosters for this season, but you have to think Byram would be given the chance to make the Avs out of camp and get some playing time early on.
16. Alex Newhook, C, Colorado Avalanche
Newhook was the best player in the NCAA over the second half of last season, and I didn’t think it was particularly close. He’s a brilliant offensive performer with higher-end puck skills and excellent skating. Newhook also got stronger as the year went on and was able to assert himself more physically. He thrived in tight-checking situations, which was a concern during his draft year.
17. Marco Rossi, C, Minnesota Wild
The Wild had to be pretty ecstatic Rossi was available to them at No. 9 in the draft, given he had one of the more remarkable scoring seasons in the OHL for a draft-eligible player since Connor McDavid was torching the league. Rossi had been prepping for the season in Switzerland but might have a chance to impress the Wild in their training camp.
One of the best pure snipers outside of the NHL currently, Holtz is off to a really strong start in the SHL. He is a shoot-first player but has showcased more of a playmaking element in his game. That said, he’s still directing a ton of pucks to net, having already nearly reached last season’s shot total in 16 fewer games. He’s driving plays, using his strength and skill to challenge opposing defenders and win puck battles. Holtz is also a top-line player in the SHL at 18 years old, which is no small thing.
An entertaining player on his best days, Denisenko always seems to be switched on. He has quick hands and a devastating release, and he can see the ice remarkably well. He’s in North America, too, which is half the battle with some of the top Russian talents at his age. There’s every reason to believe he could make the Panthers out of camp, and if given the ice time, he could be an impact player in the very near future.
Sanderson only played in three games before he had to leave for the World Juniors, but the North Dakota freshman was already a top blueliner for one of the best teams in the country. He does so many things well at both ends of the ice and might be one of the most well-rounded defense prospects at the moment. Sanderson is an elite skater and defender, and his offensive game remains an underrated characteristic because the numbers didn’t back it up in his draft season. Don’t sleep on his ability to produce.
Drysdale seems like such a perfect fit for the modern NHL. He’s really good at buying time and space, and he is so mature with the puck on his stick. While he doesn’t produce like a top-end offensive defenseman, Drysdale has the skill to keep teams honest. The skating ability is really his stand-out trait, as his edgework is impeccable, especially when he’s evading attackers or trying to open up lanes.
Lundell hasn’t just been good in Liiga this season … he has been dominant. Among the top scorers in the league and the driving force behind HIFK’s offense, Lundell is shaking off a draft season that saw him get surpassed by a few players. He’s looking very much like the player many of us thought he was becoming in his draft-minus-one year. He wears a letter for HIFK, will captain Finland at the World Juniors and is on his way to one of the best U20 seasons Liiga has seen in over 20 years.
Podkolzin is an absolute pain to play against. He’s a bulldog on the forecheck and gets after teams defensively. Podkolzin has often been stronger than his peers, and now he’s showing that he can even overpower KHL pros.
24. Alex Turcotte, C, Los Angeles Kings
Turcotte had a bit of an underwhelming draft-plus-one season at Wisconsin. He has since signed his contract and likely ends up playing in the AHL for a bit, which should be very good for him. Turcotte doesn’t blow you away with hand skills, but he has the motor and drive to make things happen deep in the offensive zone. Speed and a strong hockey sense should also carry him pretty far.
High-octane hockey is what I think of when I think of Romanov. He can skate and play a strong physical game, while making his opponents work for everything they get. Offensively, his numbers don’t jump, but his skill set does. He’s a smooth operator with the puck on his stick and has a pretty slick release from the blue line that can sneak up on goalies.
26. Jack Quinn, LW, Buffalo Sabres
Quinn’s explosion of offense last season was incredible to watch. He scored 52 goals while also showcasing improved puck skills and an ability to drive the middle of the ice. The Sabres took him a little earlier than I would have, but you can understand the intrigue given the way he played last season.
27. Spencer Knight, G, Florida Panthers
He makes the goaltending position look easy. Knight was among the top goalies in college hockey last season and has looked good in early action this year. One of the most technically-sound and smart goalies you’ll find at his age, Knight is a student of the position. Everything is contained and in control.
28. Matthew Boldy, LW, Minnesota Wild
A slow start last season was quickly overcome with a big second half at Boston College for Boldy. The big winger has such skill, that it was only a matter of time before he got things going offensively. In the four games he played this year before leaving for the WJC, he had eight points.
29. Rodion Amirov, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs
As good as Amirov was last season, he has taken an even bigger step forward this season. Amirov has shown an improved knack for goal scoring while in the KHL this season. He can make plays under pressure and in traffic, which there will be a lot more of in the NHL.
30. Nils Lundkvist, D, New York Rangers
Putting together the best season by a U20 defenseman in the SHL is quite a feat considering the players who have come through Sweden’s top pro circuit, but that’s what Lundkvist did last season. And he’s producing at a similarly-high clip this season. The maturity in his game over the last two years stands out. He can produce, but he is reliable defensively and is never overwhelmed.
Year-to-year progression has been a big factor for me when looking at these players. Few have been as strong in that regard as Marchenko, who just gets better every time I see him. He has good size and electric hands. Given a bigger role at SKA this season, Marchenko has been the best U21 player in the league outside of maybe Askarov, who has played far fewer games.
A breakout in McMichael’s draft-plus-one season was eye-opening. He was utterly dominant in a 102-point campaign for the London Knights in the OHL, in addition to a great World Juniors. McMichael has really good work ethic to go along with his skill, and that tenacity could carry him right into the NHL, possibly as early as this season.
33. Arthur Kaliyev, RW, Los Angeles Kings
Owner of probably the best one-timer outside of the NHL right now, Kaliyev is a goal-scorer first and foremost. He has other things he needs to work on, like commitment away from the puck, but his offensive skill set is excellent. No player had as many as his 126 goals over the last three OHL seasons.
Frost had seven points in 20 NHL games last season and looked like he belonged. The Flyers have a lot of depth, which might make it tougher for Frost to crack a regular role, but he has the offensive talent to be an impact player down the line. His skating has improved to a point where it should not hold him back, and he continues to have excellent puck skills and vision.
35. Ty Smith, D, New Jersey Devils
Transitioning from junior to pro, Smith has the third-most points among WHL defensemen over the last 20 years. He finished his WHL career with 235 points in 240 games. There are dynamic elements to Smith’s game that should allow him to aid the Devils in the near future.
After a really strong season last year in the AHL, Bouchard has spent the first half of this season in Sweden, getting reps and putting up a ton of points for Sodertalje in the second pro division. The game looks easy to him at times, and his panic threshold is seemingly unreachable.
37. Josh Norris, C, Ottawa Senators
Norris has come into his own over the last year-plus. He had a breakout season in the AHL with 61 points in 56 games and should be a full-time NHLer this season. He possesses some really strong two-way skills which will allow the Sens to move him around their lineup as needed.
Sorokin looks like a No. 1 goaltender. It’s what he has been at the KHL level for the last four seasons, and his numbers are silly: a .930 save percentage in 244 KHL games.
With excellent wheels, Formenton put up big points in his first AHL season, with 53 in 61 games for Belleville. His size and skating ability will give NHL teams problems in transition. Formenton can finish plays with the best of them and really took a nice step forward last season.
40. Vitaly Kravtsov, LW, New York Rangers
Kravtsov headed back to the KHL to start the season and has looked solid. That was never really in doubt, but last season in the AHL, the game looked more challenging for him. The high-end skill is still there, but patience will be required for him to meet his potential.
41. Owen Tippett, LW, Florida Panthers
Tippett has taken a bit longer road than expected to get to the NHL, but make no mistake, he is still progressing towards a spot. There’s a good chance this is the year he seizes a role after putting up 40 points in 46 AHL games last season.
Mercer has only gotten into seven QMJHL games this season, but he sure made them eventful, with seven points. The offensive elements of his game continue to grow, as he has a really good processing speed. He can do a little bit of everything.
43. Rasmus Kupari, C/W, Los Angeles Kings
An injury at the World Juniors last season cost him the rest of the year. It has been almost 12 months since Kupari has played a game of any kind, but he needed that time to recover and gain strength. The speed he has is going to give NHL defensemen problems.
44. Samuel Fagemo, LW, Los Angeles Kings
A high-end goal scorer who put up some great numbers in the SHL and World Juniors last season, Fagemo is spending the first portion of this season in the second division. He could compete for a roster spot with the Kings but is more likely going to need some time to adjust to North America in the AHL.
An exceptional skater whose game just continues to grow, Tomasino put up 100 points last season between Niagara and Oshawa in the OHL. He should have a chance to compete for a spot with the Preds very, very soon.
46. Seth Jarvis, LW, Carolina Panthers
The second-leading scorer in the WHL last season, Jarvis plays the game with tremendous skill and has quickness that is tough to contain. But he’s probably at least a year away from the NHL.
47. Cam York, D, Philadelphia Flyers
Calm, composed and almost casual at times, York is unafraid to get deep into the offensive zone to help out offensively, and he makes a lot of great decisions with the puck. A transition wiz, he is going to help his team control the puck, while contributing points and playing on the power play.
Broberg’s feet remain the highlight of his game. He can really move up and down the ice and should be a big boost to the Oilers’ transition down the line. His production rate is a bit higher this year than it was last, but there’s still some development ahead for him to really be a reliable source of offense from the back end.
Size, skill and excellent mobility translated to nearly a point per game from the blue line last season in the OHL. Harley impressed enough to earn a nod to the Stars’ postseason roster and appeared in one game during the club’s run to the Stanley Cup final.
After he recovered from his Achilles injury sustained in the lead-up to the 2019 draft, Krebs put on a show. He continues to be one of the best playmakers in the WHL with elite vision and offensive sense. He had 60 points in just 38 games.
A slick-skating defenseman, Soderstrom certainly has the skills to be an impact defenseman at the next level. He’s not really elite in any one area, but I’m a big fan of his footwork, especially along the offensive blue line.
52. Nils Hoglander, RW, Vancouver Canucks
A human highlight reel, Hoglander has shown growth, playing more of a leading offensive role for Rogle in 2020-21. He can score, but his wizardry as a passer is probably his most intriguing trait.
A positive COVID-19 test for Reichel knocked him out of the World Juniors, but the Blackhawks can be excited to have a dynamically skilled forward who has a deceptive release and can make excellent decisions with the puck in all areas of the ice.
Was it ever great to see Vilardi playing regularly last season. And not only did he play, he also looked great. After two injury-plagued seasons, he got back on his game and showcased the hockey sense and playmaking skills that made him a high pick in 2017. He even had seven points in 10 games with the big club last season.
An incredibly smart, versatile player, Zary often finds ways to stand out in games by making great decisions and thinking a few steps ahead of his opponents. That translated to a massive uptick in production last season, with expectations only rising.
One look at Holloway this season tells you he’s taken a step physically and mentally. Highlighted by high-end skating ability, he has so many skills in his toolkit that he can play anywhere in a lineup and give quality minutes. Look for him to break out this season.
Each year, Addison takes another step and improves more facets of his game. While no one will confuse him for a shutdown defenseman, he showed improved puck decisions and offensive consistency last season, and he could be a power-play weapon down the line.
Studnicka’s first pro season was an eventful one, with 49 points in 60 AHL games, plus five games in the postseason bubble with the Bruins. The 2017 second-rounder has made a good case for inclusion on the NHL roster thanks to speed, tenacity and an ability to finish.
Last year’s Hobey Baker winner in college hockey has been on a skyrocketing upward trend in his development. Perunovich was an offensive driver for one of the best teams in the country. His transition from offensive weapon to dominant force in the NCAA was incredible to witness, and he could now push for a spot with the Blues right away this season.
An eye injury sustained last season very easily could have ended Suzuki’s career, but he came back and had a great second act to the 2019-20 OHL season. After being traded to Saginaw, Suzuki put up 35 points in 23 games.
61. Kaiden Guhle, D, Montreal Canadiens
A brilliant skater with physical presence, Guhle’s offensive game really improved over the course of last season and showed he has plenty of two-way abilities.
Miller’s production dipped last season, and while he has a mountain of upside, there are still some valid concerns about his decisions with the puck on his stick that can hopefully be corrected with experience.
The 2019-20 season was an eye-opener for me when it came to Poulin. He took a big step in the skill department, showing more creativity than I thought he had while maintaining his physical edge.
64. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Nashville Predators
The shine has faded for Tolvanen, but there were plenty of flashes last season of the player he can be. Tolvanen’s numbers in the AHL improved, and he may have a great chance to make the Preds’ roster this season with how he has looked so far in his KHL stint. Tolvanen is a bit of an enigma at times, but he still has the talent to be a top prospect.
Defensively solid, strong, physical and smart, Schneider does all of the little things well. The offensive elements of his game need more improvement, but he makes smart passes and doesn’t overcomplicate the game.
Every season, Dellandrea gets a little better and adds another element to his game. He put up 70 points in 47 games last season, was integral player to Canada’s golden World Junior team and got to spend his summer in the bubble with the Stars.
67. Liam Foudy, C/W, Columbus Blue Jackets
After a nice OHL season where he captained the London Knights, Foudy appeared in 10 playoff games with Columbus. His speed and versatility are going to give him a chance to be a part of Columbus’ short-term plans as he can fill a variety of roles.
Ducks fans are going to have to be a little patient with Perrault, as he’s a bit more of a project. But his skill level and ability to score are especially intriguing.
A defenseman who shows strong hockey sense and earned rave reviews from Drew Doughty during the 2019-20 preseason and a brief three-game stint with the Kings last season, Bjornfot has a bright future. He’ll always excel more in the defensive elements of the game.
70. Brendan Brisson, C/W, Vegas Golden Knights
A high-end scorer who finds the softer areas of the ice well, Brisson doesn’t have a ton of standout traits. Hockey sense is definitely on the high-end side, and he shoots off the pass remarkably well. As he gets stronger and more explosive, his stock will rise.
A year spent with the London Knights may have been just what the doctor ordered for Merkley. He scored 76 points from the blue line, and while some of the old bad habits are still there, he showed more maturity to his offensive game.
It was great to see Lapierre start this season healthy — and start it strong. Even though he did not make Canada’s World Junior team, his early-season exploits in the QMJHL reminded everyone just how skilled he can be.
73. Jake Bean, D, Carolina Hurricanes
The top scoring defenseman in the AHL last season, Bean is in the over-ripening stage of his prospect existence. The Hurricanes may need to find a way to make room for him this year because he’s ready for a promotion.
74. Joe Veleno, C, Detroit Red Wings
As expected, Veleno’s move to the AHL last season had its ups and downs. He’s still trying to find his offensive game, but a stint in Sweden might help him, as he’s averaging half a point per game in the SHL with Malmo. Veleno is such a smart player that he’s going to find a way to contribute, even if it may be down the lineup.
75. Ian Mitchell, D, Chicago Blackhawks
Mitchell put up 32 points in 36 games while captaining the University of Denver last season. Spending that extra year in the NCAA likely helped prepare Mitchell to contend for a roster spot with the Blackhawks.
76. Tyler Madden, C/W, Los Angeles Kings
The rich got richer in the prospect department last season when the Kings landed Madden in a trade. Before an injury abruptly halted his college season, Madden was lighting it up with 37 points in 27 games as a sophomore at Northeastern.
77. Nolan Foote, LW, New Jersey Devils
Though he was traded away by the Lightning, Foote was very good in an injury-shortened draft-plus-one season where he showcased his power forward tendencies and scoring ability.
Wahlstrom was a tough prospect to read last season, but he had plenty of flashes to show that he remains a top prospect. His goal scoring touch has evaded him a bit at the pro level, but he seemed to find it again during a loan to Sweden this fall.
79. Lucas Elvenes, LW, Vegas Golden Knights
In the early-going of last season, Elvenes was making the transition to North American hockey look pretty easy. He faded a bit down the stretch, but there were still a lot of positives in terms of his skill level, vision and ability to still produce in tight-checking games.
80. Justin Barron, D, Colorado Avalanche
I definitely underrated Barron for the 2020 draft, scared off by some of his health concerns. In the little bit I’ve seen from him this season, he’s even stronger and more assertive with an improved offensive skill set. It’s no wonder he made Team Canada for the World Juniors.
81. Thomas Bordeleau, C, San Jose Sharks
A highly skilled and creative player, Bordeleau has been popping early in his first college season with Michigan. He is an expert at creating time and space, and as he gets stronger physically, he’ll be even more difficult to contain.
82. Kevin Bahl, D, New Jersey Devils
Bahl has been one of the most improved players year-over-year since his draft. With his 6-foot-6 size, his footwork has become a strength, and he has the physical edge teams crave. On top of that, his puck skills and decision-making have come along, and he can be relied on to make good passes.
83. Jan Jenik, C/W, Arizona Coyotes
Jenik was in the midst of a spectacular breakout season when an injury at the World Juniors halted things. But on loan in Finland this year, he picked up right where he left off as a high-end playmaker.
84. Jack Dugan, RW, Vegas Golden Knights
The leading scorer in all of college hockey last season, Dugan’s development path has been purposely longer than most prospects. His vision and playmaking skills have really come along.
85. Tyson Foerster, LW, Philadelphia Flyers
A late riser in the 2020 draft, Foerster has yet to play this season and was one of the last cuts from Canada’s World Junior roster. He has size, strength and a good shot, but if he can add a more explosive element to his skating, he’s going to have a chance to do something special.
86. Adam Beckman, LW, Minnesota Wild
The leading scorer in the WHL last season, Beckman did a lot of great things that helped him break out. One thing I have underrated about Beckman: his hockey sense, which was a big part of his 107-point season.
87. Logan Brown, C, Ottawa Senators
The massive center has continued his progression in the AHL and looked solid in a 23-game stint with the Senators last season. There’s a good chance he’s a full-timer this year and could slot in as a strong middle-six option down the road.
Valimaki missed all of last season with an ACL injury, and the uncertainty around that dropped him down the list a bit. That said, he has been a point-per-game player while on loan in Finland and isn’t showing too many signs of rust, which puts him on track to challenge for a roster spot in Calgary.
89. Yegor Zamula, D, Philadelphia Flyers
One of the breakout stars of the 2020-21 season, the undrafted Zamula was a standout for Russia at the World Juniors and a point-per-game defenseman in a shortened WHL season.
No player under 23 has scored more points than Barre-Boulet over the last two seasons in the AHL. He has yet to get his NHL shot due to the depth of the Tampa Bay roster, but he may be a realistic option for the Lightning amid a cap crunch.
91. Matias Maccelli, LW, Arizona Coyotes
A truly stunning draft-plus-one season for Maccelli as a first-year pro really boosted his stock, and he’s well on his way to another incredible season. His puck skills make him tough to contain.
92. Shane Pinto, C, Ottawa Senators
With his standout performance at the World Juniors last year, Pinto’s stock has been on the rise. He looks like one of the best centers in the NCAA this season with impact at both ends of the ice.
Expectations should be high for Bourque in his draft-plus-one season in the QMJHL. He was rounding out his game at the end of the year and looked dominant at times. Now he has to do that on a more consistent basis.
94. John-Jason Peterka, LW, Buffalo Sabres
Peterka has been loaned out to Redbull Salzburg in Austria and has scored with ease so far there. After a more substantial role at the World Juniors, he should have the chance to develop more of his offensive traits against better competition when he returns to Munich.
Lundestrom’s progression has been more gradual, but it’s still progression, as he remains a solid two-way player who should be expected to take a step forward offensively this season.
96. Alexander Khovanov, C, Minnesota Wild
Khovanov put up fantastic numbers in the QMJHL last season and was in a starring role for Russia at the World Juniors. When loaned out to the KHL, Khovanov struggled to find his offensive footing, which was of mild concern. But in the second-division VHL, he has been difficult to stop.
Liljegren took a nice step in the AHL last season, putting up more points and proving reliable on the back end. The question is where will he fit in with the Leafs as the team is currently structured.
98. John Leonard, LW, San Jose Sharks
Over the past three years, Leonard has developed into a more dynamic offensive talent. He put up 27 goals last season before the NCAA was shut down and looked more than ready to make the jump to pro.
99. Jakob Pelletier, C/W, Calgary Flames
Pelletier has progressed rather nicely over the last two seasons, showing quite a bit of versatility. His tenacious style and skill have overwhelmed junior defensemen in the QMJHL.
100. Cal Foote, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
A dependable two-way defenseman who excels more on the defensive side of the puck, Foote could be in line for a more permanent role in the Lightning’s D corps in the very near future.