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North American Prospect Report: Chasing the playoffs

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This Nick Robertson kid is pretty good, eh?

Peterborough Petes v Oshawa Generals Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

Hello fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs! It’s been a long time since we’ve had a proper look at all of our prospects in North America; that’s my bad. I picked a job that’s downright insane in the winter, and I’ve now recovered from all of the awfulness and have time to write and breathe and think so here we are.

Today’s a quick catch up before getting back into our weekly routine, just in time for the final regular season crunch ahead of the playoffs. First, we start with the kids playing in the CHL as they have less than three weeks left in their seasons.

Ontario Hockey League


#19 - Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (C) / Nicholas Robertson (C/LW)
52GP - 8G - 59A - 67Pts / 43GP - 50G - 26A - 76Pts
x - Peterborough Petes - 34-21-2-2 - 2nd in East Division

The Petes made a big move picking up Team Canada star Akil Thomas at the OHL trade deadline, and he’s jumped right into the thick of things in Peterborough. The Maple Leafs Nick Robertson has been the star of the show so far this year in Peterborough, scoring on close to a two point per game pace. Semyon Der-Arguchintsev has also rebounded from a lackluster season last year, sitting third in team scoring, just nine points back of Robertson.

Robertson has been the hottest Leafs prospect of the season, and has been making the media rounds and making people ask if he’ll be on the Leafs roster next season.

After starting the season on the road, the Petes will be playing the majority of their remaining games at home, so if you want to see these two prospects live you’ll have to make the trip to cottage country.

If the Petes hold steady they’ll be playing either Hamilton or Mississauga in round one of the playoffs, so away games could be a good way to catch up on these two then.

#25 - Kalle Loponen (D) - 53GP - 6G - 18A - 24Pts
x - Sudbury Wolves - 32-26-1-1 - 1st in Central Division

The Wolves hold the #2 spot in the Eastern Conference since they’re first in the Central Division - even though they’re fourth overall in the east - but have been having a good season even after losing superstar goalie Ukko Pekka Luukkonen to the AHL.

Loponen is having a quiet defensive season for the Wolves, not putting up star defender stats like Nick Robertson, but is having an impact on the Wolves power play.

The Wolves are looking like they’re going to get first overall in their division, they’ll play the worse of Hamilton/Mississauga in round one.


Western Hockey League

#18 - Riley Stotts (C) - 61GP - 25G - 40A - 65Pts
x - Calgary Hitmen - 34-21-4-1 - 1st WC East

Must be signed by June 1st

In his final year of junior eligibility, Stotts is having a career year. Just one point behind Senators 2019 pick Mark Kastelic, he’s over a point per game and making a case for a contract. Stotts is one of three prospects whose rights expire this June.

#18 - Filip Kral (D) - 51GP - 12G - 35A - 47Pts
x - Spokane Chiefs - 37-18-4-1 - 3rd US Division

Must be signed bu June 1st

Kral sits tenth in defender scoring in the WHL, and seventh on the Chiefs. His best stat however is a perfect 100% face-off winning percentage. Another player who needs to be signed this summer and is having a career year (though at his age in the WHL he should be), but he has missed a few games due to injury, which has been a pattern each season he’s played in Spokane.

#33 - Ian Scott (G)
x - Prince Albert Raiders - 34-17-5-4 - 1st East Division

The mystery of Ian Scott was finally solved. Scott has had double hip surgery and will miss this entire season.


Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#9 - Mikhail Abramov (C/RW) - 60GP - 34G - 39A - 73Pts
Victoriaville Tigres - 24-27-5-4 - 7th Western Conference

When the season began things weren’t looking so hot for Abramov, but he’s turned his season around and is trying to will the Tigres into a playoff spot - he has a 22 point lead over his closest teammate. He’s 15th overall on the scoring list and has a chance to jump into the top ten before the season ends.

The Tigres aren’t locked into a playoff spot yet, but they’re seventh in the Western Conference and ten points ahead of eighth. It’s all but a formality for them to get in.

#33 Zachary Bouthillier (G) - 43GP - 4.03GAA - .899sv% - 2SO
x - Saint John Sea Dogs - 30-30-1-0

Must be signed by June 1st

The only Leafs goalie prospect not to be invited to training camp has put up bad numbers on a rebuilding team, and it’s hard to get excited about him. I don’t see him getting a contract by the deadline - we have Ian Scott and Joseph Woll for the Marlies next season and unless he wants a two way AHL deal to be the Growlers starter, it’s back to the draft for him.


USHL

Michael Koster (D) - 35GP - 3G - 16A - 19Pts
Tri-City Storm - 23-16-5-2 - 4th Western Conference

Koster has missed 13 games this season with a mystery injury, but has been working on transitioning out of high school hockey before his time at the University of Minnesota begins in the fall.


NCAA

Ryan O’Connell (D) - 27GP - 1G - 6A - 7Pts
Ohio State Buckeyes
Overall: 18-11-5 / Conference: 11-9-4

O’Connell has more than tripled his point totals from last season (2), and the Buckeyes sit second in Big10 hockey standings. There are only three games left on the schedule for the Big10 playoffs begin, and all are against rival Wisconsin.

If they can win out they may pass Penn State for first overall and get a bye to the semi-finals. Otherwise they’re looking at a best of three series against either Wisconsin or Michigan State.

Nicholas Abruzzese (C) - 29GP - 13G - 26A - 39Pts
Harvard Crimson
Overall: 13-10-6 / Conference: 11-6-5

Harvard is fifth in the ECAC hockey standings, and will take on #12 St. Lawrence in the first round of the playoffs this weekend. Abruzzese is the best first year player for Harvard and was recently named rookie of the month for February.

Playoffs round one vs St. Lawrence
Game 1: March 6 - 7PM
Game 2: March 7 - 7PM
Game 3*: March 8 - 4PM

#14 - JD Greenway (D) - 33GP - 1G - 8A - 8Pts
Maine Black Bears
Overall: 17-11-5 / Conference: 11-9-3

Greenway hasn’t been playing well in his return to the NCAA this season, but hopefully he’s doing better at school this year. His nine points are a career high for his college game, but at his age he should be scoring at a higher rate.

Maine is fifth in the Hockey East standings, and are looking to play the University of Connecticut in round one. It should be a close series as both teams are only separated by one point.


One prospect begins his run for a championship this weekend and the rest will follow suit soon, and in a few weeks it will be nothing but playoff action and I’m back just in time to hop on board some bandwagons.

We’ll be back to regular prospect reports on Tuesday’s like in the olden days. See you next week.