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Draft Guide

Batherson off to strong start

by Corey Abbott

 

American Hockey League

 

Victor Olofsson claimed the AHL Player of the Week honor for the period ending Oct. 14 after he generated three goals, including two game winners, and four assists in three outings. The AHL rookie leads the league in scoring with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in six matches with Rochester. The 23-year-old Buffalo Sabres prospect is playing his first in season in North America following his best year in the Swedish Hockey League in 2017-18 when he registered 27 goals and 43 points in 50 matches for Frolunda HC. Drake Batherson of the Belleville Senators has had a productive start to his pro career. He has two goals and eight points through four games, which includes both goals and three helpers in two appearances last week. Utica’s Reid Boucher is pacing all players with eight goals in six contests. He found the back of the net five times and added one assist in three games last week. The 25-year-old played in 20 games with the Vancouver Canucks in 2017-18, but he only contributed five points. Rocco Grimaldi accounted for three goals and one helper in three games last week for Milwaukee. He has four goals and nine points through five contests as a member of Nashville’s top minor-league affiliate.

 

National Collegiate Athletic Association

 

Max Johnson and Brandon Kruse of Bowling Green State University have had the most productive starts of the season with two goals and eight points apiece. Johnson, who is a 20-year-old sophomore, had 13 goals and 30 points in 41 matches last season. Kruse, who is a 19-year-old sophomore, was selected in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights. He compiled eight goals and 33 points in 41 games last campaign. Carolina Hurricanes prospect David Cotton tallied a hat trick and added an assist last Saturday against Wisconsin. The 21-year-old center was selected in the sixth round (169th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Cale Makar started his second season with UMass (Amherst) with two goals and two assists in two games. He produced all four points in one outing. The 19-year-old blueliner went fourth overall to the Colorado Avalanche in the 2017 NHL Draft.

 

Liiga

 

Aleksi Heponiemi has compiled four goals and 11 points in 12 games for Karpat this season. The 19-year-old prospect of the Florida Panthers played in the WHL for the Swift Current Broncos for the previous two campaigns. Heponiemi had a goal and an assist in two games last week. He was chosen in the second round (40th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Calgary Flames prospect Eetu Tuulola only posted one assist in three games last week, but he has seven points through 13 matches for HPK this year. He was taken in the sixth round (156th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Buffalo Sabres draft pick Oskari Laaksonen didn’t pick up a point in two matches last week. However, he has one goal and six assists in 12 appearances this campaign for Ilves. The 19-year-old rearguard was snatched up in the third round (89th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Kaapo Kakko has had a hot start to 2018-19 with three goals and nine points in 12 outings. He is projected to be a top-five pick next June.

Corey Abbott

Corey Abbott is an Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @CoreAbbott.