Ahead of the 2016 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC (Sept. 16-19), CalgaryFlames.com has highlighted five players from the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets to keep an eye on at the tournament.
Here are five Canucks prospects to keep tabs on when the Calgary Flames close out the tournament against their divisional rival on Monday (4:00 PM MT, CalgaryFlames.com, Flames app).
Thatcher Demko has blossomed into one of hockey’s top goaltending prospects since being selected 36th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 20-year-old went 62-26-10 with a 2.08 GAA and .928 save percentage in 98 games over three seasons at Boston College, and signed an entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks in April. Demko received the Mike Richter Award as the top goaltender in college hockey, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as top player after going 27-8-4 with a 1.88 GAA and .935 save percentage to cap his collegiate career.
As one of the top defencemen in the Canadian Hockey League last season, Olli Juolevi saw his draft stock rise to the point he was selected as the first blueliner in the 2016 NHL Draft in June. At fifth overall, he was drafted one pick ahead of Calgary Flames prospect Matthew Tkachuk. Juolevi’s resume backs up the selection. As a rookie, he had 33 assists and 42 points with the London Knights of the OHL, and along with his gold medal from the World Juniors as a member of Team Finland, he also helped London to the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions, and the Memorial Cup as CHL champions.
Though he was passed over in each of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 NHL Drafts, Troy Stecher shows plenty of promise. The late-blooming defenceman from the University of North Dakota had had eight goals and 29 points in 43 games, and served as an assistant captain as a junior. He finished since in the NCAA among defencemen in scoring, and helped North Dakota to a National title before signing a two-year entry-level contract with the Canucks in April.
Selected with the first of two draft picks in 2015 acquired in the trade that sent goaltender Eddie Lack to the Carolina Hurricanes, Guillaume Brisebois is a highly regarded defenceman with promising two-way upside. Brisebois, who has served as captain of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the past two seasons, had 10 goals and 26 points in 52 games in 2015-16. He also has an impressive international resume, helping Canada to gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial in 2014, and bronze at the 2015 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Though he went undrafted, Michael Garteig used a strong senior season at Quinnipiac University to land himself a contract with the Canucks in April. Garteig, 24, went 32-4-7 with 1.91 GAA and .924 save percentage. He was a finalist for the Mike Richter Award, and helped Quinnipiac to an ECAC title. He was also named the BCHL’s top goaltender in 2011 and 2012.