Editor’s Note: The last time I did one of these, my top three prospects were Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba and Adam Lowry. So it’s been a while. Also, those guys turned out okay.
Also, if a player is currently up with the Winnipeg Jets, they are ineligible for this list.
Top Ten Prospects
1. Jack Roslovic (20) - Manitoba Moose (AHL) - 26 GP - 13G - 15A - 28PTS - 8PIM
A no-brainer for top prospect, in my opinion. Roslovic is the top scorer on one of the best teams in the AHL. The 20-year old is bound to get an NHL shot at some point, though with the Jets doing as well as they are that time might not be until next season.
2. Kristian Vesalainen (18) - HPK Hameenlinna (SM-liiga) - 26 GP - 8G - 11A - 19PTS - 2PIM
The 24th overall selection in the 2017 draft, Vesalainen has proven he can play pro hockey this year during his time with HPK of the SM-liiga in Finland. He sits second on the team in points, and will feature prominently on Team Finland’s World Junior team in a couple of weeks.
3. Brendan Lemieux (21) - Manitoba Moose (AHL) - 15GP - 7G - 10A - 17PTS - 29PIM
Having scored his first NHL goal earlier this year, and scoring at more than a point-per-game pace with the Moose, Lemieux is a promising piece of the Evander Kane trade (just like Jack Roslovic). His ability to score at the pro level, hockey “pedigree”, and playing the style of hockey many seem to love (skate fast and check hard) means he will eventually stick on an NHL roster.
4. Sami Niku (21) - Manitoba Moose (AHL) - 26GP - 2G - 14A - 16PTS - 4PIM
In his first pro season in North America, Niku has made a seamless transition from the SM-liiga to the AHL, at one point leading the team in assists (now sitting tied for third). While Julian Melchiori and Tucker Poolman remain above him in the pecking order, Niku has inserted himself into the conversation of names that can be called up in event of injury.
5. Mason Appleton - Manitoba Moose (AHL) - 26GP - 9G - 13A - 22PTS - 16PIM
The rookie has surprised with a strong showing thus far, sitting third on the Moose in scoring. I can admit, I wasn’t expecting much, but the Michigan State product has quite quickly found his pro game.
6. Eric Comrie - Manitoba Moose (AHL) - 8-4-1 - 2.30GAA - .927 SV%
Unlike last season, when he got the bulk of the playing time with the Moose, the return of Michael Hutchinson has seen more of a 1A and 1B setup for the AHL squad. Comrie’s call-up over Hutchinson indicates he is still seen as the goaltender of the future for the Jets.
7. Mikhail Berdin - Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) - 18GP - 9-4-1 - 2.63GAA - .930 SV% - 0 SO
The last time I did this list, Connor Hellebuyck was in 8th spot as the highest ranked goaltender. This time around, I have two goaltenders higher. Part fo that may be due to the presence of players like Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine no the NHL roster, rather than still developing in the minors or junior. Berdin will be part of the Russian World Junior team, though I have doubts he sees much playing time...this year.
8. Logan Stanley (19) - Kitchener Rangers (OHL) - 30 GP - 7G - 18A - 25PTS - 58PIM
He will likely never surpass the guy who the Jets drafted second voerall in his draft year, but the Jets’ OTHER first round pick in 2016 still has potential, despite being cut yesterday from Team Canada’s World Junior squad.
9. Nic Petan - Manitoba Moose (AHL)- 19GP - 3G - 14A - 17PTS - 2PIM
After six games, the Jets sent the diminutive forward down to the Moose, and found himself on Jack Roslovic’s left wing. He earned the AHL Player of the Week honour on December 4 after scoring eight points in three games.
10. Jordy Stallard - Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)- 33GP - 24G - 21A - 45PTS - 16PIM
Stallard has rebounded very well from shoulder surgery that cut his 2016-2017 season short. He is leading Prince Albert in scoring, as is typically expected of 20-year-olds. I can see him being a member of the Manitoba Moose next season.
Manitoba Moose - AHL
Manitoba Moose Skaters and Goalies
|9||Chase De Leo||C||26||6||10||16||8||10/25/1995|
Nelson Nogier suffered an injured shoulder in the Jets’ first exhibition game and has not played this season. At the time of his injury, he was expected to miss 4-6 months.
|WHL||Prince Albert||Jordy Stallard||C||33||24||21||45||16||September 18, 1997||Round 5/2016|
|WHL||Portland||Skyler McKenzie||L||31||20||19||39||31||January 20, 1998||Round 7/2017|
|OHL||Kitchener||Logan Stanley||D||30||7||18||25||58||May 26, 1998||Round 1/2016|
|NCAA||Providence College||Erik Foley||L||16||10||11||21||10||June 30, 1997||Round 3/2015|
|SM-liiga||HPK||Kristian Vesalainen||C||26||8||11||19||2||June 1, 1999||Round 1/2017|
|NCAA||Minnesota State U - Mankato||C.J. Suess||F||16||4||14||18||31||March 27, 1994||Round 5/2014|
|ECHL||Jacksonville||Jimmy Lodge||D||21||6||11||17||16||March 5, 1995||Round 3/2013|
|QMJHL||Cape Breton||Leon Gawanke||D||29||2||14||16||22||October 7, 1988||Round 5/2017|
|NCAA||Merrimack College||Jonathan Kovacevic||C||16||1||9||10||4||July 12, 1997||Round 3/2017|
|KHL||Yaroslavl||Pavel Kraskovsky||F||39||2||6||8||22||September 11, 1996||Round 6/2014|
|USHL||Dubuque||Santeri Virtanen||C||11||2||5||7||2||May 11, 1999||Round 4/2017|
|NCAA||Minnesota-Duluth||Dylan Samberg||D||19||0||4||4||31||January 24, 1999||Round 2/2017|
|NCAA||UMass-Lowell||Croix Evingson||D||9||1||2||3||6||August 28, 1997||Round 7/2017|
|NCAA||Minnesota||Jack Glover||D||16||0||3||3||21||May 17, 1996||Round 3/2014|
|NCAA||Wisconsin||Matt Ustaski||F||13||0||2||2||0||May 27, 1994||Round 7/2014|
|QMJHL||Sherbrooke||Luke Green||D||0||0||0||0||0||January 12, 1998||Round 3/2016|
|Allsvenskan||IK Oskarshamn||Jacob Cederholm||D||9||0||0||0||8||January 30, 1998||Round 4/2016|
|USHL||Sioux Falls||Mikhail Berdin||18||1003||44||2.63||9||4||1||0|
|SuperElit||Karlskrona HK J20||Arvid Holm||26||1333||82||3.69||6||17||0|
Luke Green also suffered a shoulder injury in training camp that will keep him out a total of 4-5 months, which is why he has not played for Sherbrooke in the QMJHL this season.