For the third time in recent weeks we return to the potent University of Wisconsin after featuring drafted prospects K'Andre Miller (New York Rangers) and Cole Caufield (Montreal) and focus on 2020 NHL Draft eligible Dylan Holloway. He is the highest ranked player skating in the United States on our initial top 31 ranking found here: Ryan Wagman provided some notes on the top 31 players on NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk recently you may enjoy.
For the prospect in the news two 2019 draftees are making an impression in the OHL in the first part of the season. Brock Otten shares some notes on Connor McMichael and Jamieson Rees who are tearing up defenses. You can find full scouting reports and profiles on our site.
Finally, we have provided some profiles from the McKeen’s 2019-20 Yearbook for prospects on the teams playing in the NBC Wednesday Hockey double header – Washington vs. Philadelphia and Chicago vs. Vegas.
Enjoy. The McKeen’s team are scouting and writing about prospects all season long and provide in-depth reports on our website: www.mckeenshockey.com
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The New York Rangers face the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night starting at 6:30 PM ET on NBCSN. Stream all the action here!
2020 NHL Draft
Dylan Holloway, University of Wisconsin, NCAA
2019 Stats: one goal and three assists in nine games
Looking only at his raw tools, Dylan Holloway is a very intriguing prospect for the 2020 draft. He has solid size and strength, plays a skilled, heavy game, and makes things happen in the offensive zone. Then you look at his numbers and are reminded of the fallibility of the "eye test". He was part of Wisconsin's prized recruiting class this year, along with the likes of Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield. There were voices that thought that Holloway could be the best of the trio. But he has only four points in his first nine collegiate games.
Despite his good wheels, and plus stickhandling, the finish has been lacking. It isn't like he has been playing bottom line minutes either. He plays a mostly straight-line game, attacking the offensive zone with dangerous intent, but he lands more checks than scoring chances as his 29 PIMs lead the team. The problem seems to be an issue of pace of play. Holloway can play at high speed, but his hands and vision can't keep up to the extent of his feet. He gets a rush going and starts off looking like he will make something, but fails to properly read the defense, or even his teammate options at that speed, and the chance fizzles out.
It is still early enough in the year, and in Holloway's NCAA career, that he could and should take more developmental steps forward before an NHL team has to ask itself whether he is worth a given spot in the draft. He still has definite top 15 potential, but he needs to adjust to secure that status. The next step should be learning to slow things down with the puck and learn to control the chaos. – Ryan Wagman, McKeen’s Prospect Director, NCAA/USHL
Prospects in the News - OHL
You’d be hard pressed to find two hotter players in the OHL right now, or in all of junior hockey, than London Knights forward Connor McMichael, and Sarnia Sting forward Jamieson Rees. Historically, they are performing at a torrid pace. McMichael’s 2.56 points per game puts him second to Eric Lindros all time in points per game among U19 players in the OHL (post OHA era). Rees’ 2.36 points per game puts him tenth. Of course, sustaining this type of production will be difficult and does seem unlikely...but what if?
Connor McMichael - C - 6’0, 180lbs
2019 Statistics: 19 goals and 22 assists in 16 games for London (OHL)
McMichael, a Washington Capitals first round pick in 2019, was once the prize jewel that the Knights received in a trade with Hamilton for now St. Louis Blues forward and reigning Stanley Cup Champion Robert Thomas. He already led the Knights in scoring last year, as a draft eligible player, but this year he has elevated his game to unforeseen heights. An intelligent player at both ends, McMichael can be relied upon to play in any situation. He plays on the top powerplay and penalty kill for London and is on the ice late in games whether protecting a lead or searching for one.
At the heart of McMichael’s game is his hockey sense. He processes the game quicker than the majority of his peers and this allows him to operate as equal parts playmaker and goal scorer. Previously he had operated as more of a shoot first center, but he has made alterations to his game and approach to make him a more patient and poised play creator. His speed and overall skating ability are also assets, and his confidence in his puck handling ability has really grown, allowing him to drive the play consistently. Last year, there were some analysts who questioned his high-end offensive upside at the NHL level. Obviously, this hot start is making them re-evaluate this perception.
Jamieson Rees - C - 5’10, 170lbs
2019 Statistics: 11GP, 10G, 16A, 26PTS, +14 10 goals and 16 assists in 11 games for Sarnia (OHL)
Rees, a Carolina Hurricanes second round pick in 2019, fought through an injury plagued draft year (with a lacerated kidney doing most of the damage). A terrific performance at the U18’s for Canada really helped to elevate his draft stock and he has certainly carried over that confidence and success to this year with the Sting. While he is slightly undersized and long-term durability could be an issue, Rees is an all situations player just like McMichael. He does it all for Sarnia and does it well.
However, his season did not start as planned. He was suspended for six games after his first game of the year, where he picked up a head checking major against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Prior to his return, the Sting were 0-7. Upon his return, the Sting are 9-1. Talk about being a difference maker.
Rees is very much a throwback to yester-years. He plays with a furious intensity that is contagious among his teammates. His insatiable appetite for the puck makes him an elite forechecker and three zone player. While his level of physicality can get him into penalty trouble at times, it also helps to make him such an impact player. Rees is also a dynamic offensive player because of his elite speed and creativity. He is able to make jaw dropping moves while in full stride and it has caused him to hit many highlight reels already this year. Like McMichael, there were some who questioned whether Rees’ offensive game would be able to translate to the NHL level. And like McMichael, his draft +1 year is helping to shift their opinion. Brock Otten, OHL
NBC Wednesday Night Hockey – Washington vs. Philadelphia, Chicago vs. Vegas
This is the fifth column we have done early in the season and it is the third one featuring Philadelphia. Our first article of the season focused on promising but ill fated, injury prone defender Samuel Morin and Joel Farabee and can be found here along with their profiles from McKeen’s 2019-20 Yearbook.
Farabee has since graduated to the roster and currently skating beside Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk and has two goals and an assist in his last six games. Morin sadly tore his anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in his career after missing much of the last two seasons with injury. The Flyers first round pick in 2013 faces another long recovery – a road he has been down before. He has seen some tough luck and we wish him a full recovery.
In our second column featuring the Flyers we looked Morgan Frost and his profile from McKeen’s 2019-20 Yearbook can be found here.
Cody Glass, C (6th overall, 2017. McKeen’s team rank: 1 Last Year: 1)
2019 Stats – three goals and four assists in 19 games for Vegas
Cody Glass started the season off hot with seven points in the first nine games skating with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone for the first five games. Paired with Cody Eakin and a variety of wingers in the last 14 games and has had one point in the last eight games. He was reassigned to the Chicago Wolves in the AHL yesterday. He is a likely candidate to be called back to the big club soon. His profile from McKeen’s 2019-20 Yearbook is below:
‘The Golden Knights first ever draft pick is a highly touted prospect and should be an elite talent when ready. Glass, who should have had a dominant year, seemed to have a disappointing season as he was hampered with injuries and misfortune. The Winterhawks’ captain skated with the team for 38 games during which he compiled 69 points, before missing the majority of the second half with a leg injury. Glass also put up six points in five games for Canada at the WJC. He returned for one playoff game for Portland before being promoted to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves where he played in their last six regular season games, before he scored seven goals and 15 points in 22 playoff games adjusting seamlessly to the heightened pace and physicality of the pros, looking dynamic in the process. He should challenge for a position with Vegas this season.’ – Kevin Olexson, McKeen’s 2019-20 Yearbook
Ilya Samsonov, G (22nd overall, 2015. McKeen’s team rank: 2 Last Year: 1)
2019 Stats: 2.45 Goals Against Avg., 0.915 save percentage in seven games for Washington
We have already covered one exciting prospect on Washington in the ‘prospects in the news’ in Connor McMichael above, but Ilya Samsonov has made a rapid ascension this season in the crease for Washington and looks ready to shed his prospect status sooner than McKeen’s anticipated. One of the most touted goaltending prospects in recent years, he ranked fourth on McKeen’s preseason list amongst all prospect netminders. His stats in six starts and seven games are outpacing Braden Holtby (.915 save percentage vs. .898 and 2.45 goals against average vs. 3.25 for Holtby) to date.
‘Having had good numbers in the KHL, Samsonov was destined to be a top goaltender in North America, however despite his cool demeanor, depending on the outcome of a play he can get easily frustrated and distracted. His playoff performance with AHL Hershey was less than desirable and he seemed to lack the maturity to keep his focus into the postseason. Samsonov is a very intense, high pressure goaltender and he has all the traits to be a starter in the NHL. It will be a matter of time and perhaps a chance at a better playoff run to build his confidence up before we see him make the leap to starting more than a game or two with Washington. There is no doubt that with his tracking abilities and poise Samsonov will see another call up to the NHL again this season and hopefully for a longer time frame in order to further his NHL experience.’ – Shaiyena Cote, 2019-20 McKeen’s Yearbook
Adam Boqvist was a recent call up for Chicago. Please find his McKeen’s 2019-20 Yearbook profile below.
Adam Boqvist, D (8th overall, 2018. McKeen’s team rank: 2 Last Year: 1)
2019 Stats: one goal and one assist in five games played for Chicago (NHL)
One goal and zero assists in six games for Rockford (AHL)
‘An elite offensive defender, Boqvist has the requisite tools to be a high scorer in the NHL. His skating stride is not only smooth, it is powerful, and it allows him to take risks by jumping up into the rush quite frequently. He also possesses fantastic scoring instincts for a defender, sliding down into the slot or using his agility to open up shooting lanes for himself at the blueline. While his offensive game could best be described as dynamic, his defensive game can be summarized as “developing.” Boqvist is a high risk, high reward player who may never be a defensive stalwart but his reads and physical assertiveness will need to improve for him to be a reliable even strength player. He will either play with Chicago, or in the AHL this season. A year of minor pro would likely greatly help his defensive game and make him more equipped to handle the rigors of the NHL.’ – Brock Otten, McKeen’s 2019-20 Yearbook