USHL/USDP Forward Prospects

 

Here are the top point producing forwards from the USHL / US national development program.

Player League PTS/G
Clayton Keller (C) USDP 1.68519
Rem Pitlick (C) USHL 1.58929
Kieffer Bellows (C/LW) USDP 1.33333
Cameron Morrison (C/LW) USHL 1.1
Collin Adams (LW) USHL 1.0339
Grant Jozefek (RW) USHL 0.94643
Hugh McGing (C) USHL 0.85
Wade Allison (RW) USHL 0.83929
Joey Anderson (RW) USDP 0.82143
Matt Filipe (C/LW) USHL 0.64286
Max Zimmer (LW) USHL 0.62963
Trent Frederic (C) USDP 0.62264
Walker Duehr (F) USHL 0.60526
David Keefer (RW) USHL 0.56897
William Knierim (RW) USHL 0.50943

I listed out my top

Clayton Keller (Projection Top 15 Pick)

  • POS: C / Shoots: Left / H: 5’10’’ / DOB: 1998-07-29
  • Last Word on Sports: Clayton Keller has the skill to be a top notch forward, if he can overcome his size issues. Those make him a bit of a risky pick, but with more and small players succeeding in the NHL, we don’t see this as a huge issue. He will need some time to gain the weight necessary to stand up to the rigors of the pro game though. Keller’s style is reminiscent of Doug Gilmour, though this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent.
  • Draft Site: Smaller with a high skill set. A high speed player who acquires pucks and can generate chances for linemates almost instantaneously. Has seen time of the PK besides the PP. he is agile and the high level at which he can control the puck at top speed is a joy to watch. On his carries, he can go from the perimeter to the greasy areas and see his options and make plays. Has an excellent release and shot. Both confident and patient with the biscuit.
    Fours S’s apply to this St. Louis area-Illinois born prospect: Speed, smarts, skill and small. There is no question that playing along side Kieffer Bellows (and Joey Anderson) has given him more room to improve as a player. Needs to get much stronger in his climb up the ladder rungs. Committed to Boston University. —Bill Placzek—
  • Clayton Keller is a high end offensive player with a late birthday. Keller’s closets comparision from the last 10 years are Milano (1.56), Roslovic (1.52) from the US National Development team & USHL offensive stars Jaden Schwartz (1.38) & Kyle Connor (1.42).

 

Kiefer Bellows (Projected Top 30)

  • POS: C/LW / Shoots: Left / H: 6’1’’ / W: 194 lbs /DOB: June, 10, 1998
  • Elite Prospects: Kieffer Bellows is a skilled power forward that can dominate games. Possesses high end puckhandling ability as well as a crisp, accurate release on his shot. Proficient forechecker and loves to win puck battles, which stands out as a consistent part of his game. Strong skater that can bull through the opposition or go around them. Drives the net hard and is a decisive finisher. All-in-all, a competitor that punishes the opposition physically, as well as on the scoreboard. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
  • Scouting Post: Fine skater with ability to separate in the open ice with rapid acceleration. Wicked shot and high-level hockey sense combine to make him a danger to score on every shift. He drifts into open seams in the offensive zone and puts himself into prime scoring areas.
  • The Hockey Writers: Bellows possesses a rocket of a shot, very powerful and accurate. His elite shot was the best of the (5 Nations) tournament, his net presence too. He had a nose for the net, was very hard to move away and defenders didn’t manage to prevent him from executing rebounds. He is a strong skater, showed good balance on the skates and played with drive to the net.

Cameron Morrison (2nd Round)

  • POS: LW / Shoots: Left / H: 6’2 / DOB: Aug, 27, 1998
  • Redline Report: Big winger Cameron Morrison first caught our attention in early August at Team Canada’s U-18 evaluation camp. We loved the way he moved so fluidly and his shot … move(d) to Youngstown in the United States Hockey League, and has been lighting up the scoresheet.
  • Youngstown Phantoms: Assistant General Manager Jason Koehler Says: “Morrison is the top goal scorer I saw this season while scouting. He has the ability to be a standout top-six scoring line winger, and has outstanding size, sense, and goal scoring ability. In my opinion, he has the chance to be a top-three round NHL Draft selection in the 2016 draft.”
  • Cameron Morrison is likely to be chosen in the middle of the second round pick. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft and has put up point per game totals similar too Brock Boesner (1.19), Zemgus Girgensons (1.12) & Jordan Greenway (.91).

Joey Anderson (2nd Round)

  • POS: RW / Shoots: Right / 5’11 / DOB: June, 19, 1998
  • Chris Dilks from SB Nation: The thing I love about Anderson though is that he plays with such a high motor. He competes really hard, and has some nice skill to back that up. He’s not a guy that drives possession, but is very good in the right role.
  • I worry about Anderson’s offense given that he’s not a big player and has spent time with Keller and. I think high-end he’s likely a 2nd line complementary player with a more realistic shot at being a 3rd line player. His scouting reports looks like a player in the mold of Ryan Callahan.

Trent Frederic (2nd – 3rd Round)

  • POS: C / Shoots: L / H: 6’2 / DOB: Feb, 11, 1998
  • Draft Site: Centre with good size who plays strong on the puck and good puckhandling skills. More of a North-South straight line skater with little lateral mobility. Displays a very good shot, with nice release. He might project as a future left wing, but he really needs to add to his offensive game and add more creativeness to his attacking skills.
  • Frederic is rated as a second round pick or early third round. He’s has good size with high upside and drawn comparison to James Van Riemsdyk.

Matt Filipe (3rd Round)

  • POS: C-LW / Shoots: L / H: 6’2 / DOB: Dec, 31, 1997
  • Filipe is rated as a 3rd round pick by NHL scouting. He has good size, but the offense is a little shy. He was compared to Erik Foley (drafted 2015), but Foley put up nearly a point per game in his draft year. Add to that that Filipe is a late birthday, I’d caution taking him inside the top 100 picks. If he was in the 4th – 5th round I would take a chance on him.   USHL.com: “He’s a good player,” one Western Conference scout said. “His game has started to come on. I like his skating and probably his whole skill set. He’s starting to put up some good numbers.”

Wade Allison  (5 – 6th round)

  • POS: RW / Shoots: Right / H: 6’2 / DOB: Oct, 14, 1997
  • Allison is rated as a 6th or 7th round pick right now. “Wade is a prototypical power forward that is big, physical and skates well,” said head coach Bill Muckalt. “Those are all important attributes.”

Max Zimmer (5 – 6th round)

  • POS: LW / H: 5’11 / DOB: Oct. 29, 1997
  • Zimmer is rated as a 3rd – 4th round pick. Zimmer had a strong World Junior A Challenge with 8 points in 5 games. In league play he was a little shy offensively but has been projected a little better. “I like how he projects,” one NHL Western Conference scout “He’s a smart player with a real good skill set. He can really skate.”

Walker Duehr

  • POS: RW / H: 6’2’’ / DOB:
  • Considering Duehr had knee surgery in July he’s had a fairly good impact this season. He looks like a strong buy low candidate with a good work ethic. Prior to his injury OTB on HFboards stated; His skating mechanics are strong and will only improve with added strength, Duehr plays with frenetic intensity at times and can be the definition of disruptive.

William Knierim (6th – 7th Round)

  • POS: RW / Shoots: Right / H: 6’3 / DOB: Jan, 22, 1998
  • com: Knierim is a big guy that has some real upside. “He possesses real good size,” an opposing GM said. “He gets up and down the ice well for a big man. He has a physical element to his game.” “Knierim isn’t afraid to play physical. “He plays hard and likes traffic,” one scout said.

Rem Pitlick (6th – 7th Round)

  • POS: Center / Shoots: Left / H: 5’9’’ / W: 190 lbs /DOB: Apr, 2, 1997
  • USA Hockey: “The returns he’s getting on his work ethic; he’s understanding that the harder he works, the more returns he’s going to get,” Todd Krygier (Head Coach) said. “Other guys will be gone, and an hour after practice he’s still shooting pucks at our shooting station. … He does a lot of extra work that people don’t see or know. … This stuff just doesn’t happen by mistake.”
  • Rem Pitlick, son of former NHLer Lance Pitlick, had bulked up putting on 20+ pounds of muscle and a move to center helped with his sudden spike in point production this past season., A point comparison would be Kevin Roy who was also drafted as an overager (like Pitlick) and scored 1.76 Pts/G. Roy, the former 4th round pick of Anahiem, just signed a two-year deal with the Ducks.

 

Matt Gosiewski (6th – 7th Round)

  • POS: C / Shoots: Left / H: 6’4 / DOB: May, 10, 1998.
  • Over the Boards: Gosiewski’s size and ability to make plays are impressive for a skater any age in prep school – it becomes unignorable once you note his age. Vision, puck patience and deceptive plays in the zone highlight his offensive faculties, but his stride is smooth, he gets to a nice speed and can be a force surging up the ice.
  • Gosiewski is likely a 7th round pick if he get selected at all.       Although he doesn’t deliver high end offense (.33 Pts/G) he has excellent size and the ablity to play center. He will spend next season in USHL and then is committed to Harvard. He would be a good draft and follow player with a late round pick.

US National Development

These are additional USND program forwards that are on the draft radar.

  1. William Lockwood – POS: RW / H: 5’10 / DOB: June, 20, 1998 / PTS/G: .5
  2. Keenan Suthers – POS: LW / H: 6’7 / DOB: Apr, 27, 1998 / PTS/G: .22
  3. Graham McPhee – POS: LW / H: 5’11 / DOB: July, 24, 1998 / PTS/G: .25
  4. Nick Pastujov – POS: LW / H: 6’ / DOB: Jan, 21, 1998 / PTS/G: .32
  5. James Sanchez – POS: LW / H: 6’2 / DOB: Feb, 25, 1998 / PTS/G: .28
  6. Zach Zalker – POS: F / H: 6’ / DOB: Aug, 2, 1998 / PTS: .16

Smaller Forwards

Players that are on the smaller side (6’ and under) with good but not great offensive production, are likely not worth a draft pick. This player type can most likely be signed as a free agent after four years of college than an NHL draft pick. You can sign players like these every March/April. So perhaps they are worth a 7th round pick but more often than note they go undrafted.

  1. Tanner Laczynski – POS: RW / Shoots: R / H: 6’ / DOB: June, 1, 1997: PTS: 1.21
  2. Collin Adams (POS: C / Shoots: L / H: 5’9 / DOB: Apr, 24, 1998): PTS/G 1.03
  3. Grant Jozefek (POS: RW / Shoots: L / H: 5’10 / DOB: Oct., 25, 1997): PTS/G .94
  4. Hugh McGing (POS: C Shoots: L / H: 5’8 DOB: July, 7, 1998): PTS/G – .85
  5. David Keefer (POS: RW / H: 5’9 / DOB: Oct, 21, 1997

 

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