Featured Prospect - Akil Thomas
Akil Thomas is on a tear.
The 19-year-old forward, who the Kings selected in the second-round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, is riding not only a six-game point streak but a six-game multi-point streak. Thomas has collected two or more points in each of his last six games, dating back to November 10.
The six-foot centerman has tallied a three-point game and a four-point game in that stretch, with 15 points (4-11-15) in total, along with a +9 rating, over the six games.
Thomas' Niagara IceDogs have gone 4-1-1 over the six-game stretch, vaulting them into third in their division after winning just 5 of their first 19 games played.
Thomas is currently tied for fifth in the Ontario Hockey League with 27 assists and is tied for sixth with 38 points. The IceDogs captain also ranks tied for second leaguewide with 12 power-play assists and leads Niagara in all three categories.
Forward Arthur Kaliyev's scoring prowess continues to light up the OHL. The 18-year-old winger is currently on a 13-game scoring streak, which has now spanned three prospect reports.
At over a goal-per-game pace, and nearly a two-points-per-game pace, Kaliyev leads all OHL players in goals (27) this season and is tied for the league lead in points (51). The 6-2 winger has collected multiple points in three of his last four games, with five goals in total over that stretch.
Overall during the 2019-20 campaign, Kaliyev has a point in 24 of his 26 games played and has 26 points (13-13-26) on his current 13-game scoring streak. His 13-game streak is tied for the fifth longest streak in the league this season, and he is the only player with at least two separate streaks of nine-or-more games this year.
Ontario Reign defenseman Sean Durzi hit a pair of milestones over the past two weeks.
On November 15 against San Diego, Durzi scored his first career professional goal, a third-period tally at home against the San Diego Gulls.
Eight days later, Durzi collected both the first assist of his professional career, and his first multi-point game, in a two-point effort (0-2-2) against the Tucson Roadrunners.
Durzi, acquired by the Kings from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization in January, has collected three points (1-2-3) from ten games played with the Reign this season. After he suffered an upper-body injury on Opening Night, Durzi returned to the Ontario blueline earlier this month.
Forward Samuel Fagemo posted a pair of multi-point games recently, one in the SHL and one in the Champions Hockey League. Fagemo tallied a goal and an assist in his most recent league game, his third multi-point game of the SHL season, in a 4-1 win over Linkopings HC on November 23.
Fagemo also collected two assists as Frolunda advanced into the quarterfinals of the Champions Hockey League earlier this month. With his team trailing 6-3 on aggregate from a loss in Game 1 against Farjestad BK, Fagemo assisted on two of Frolunda's two goals in an 8-2 rout in Game 2, helping his team advance to the last eight of the tournament.
Overall, Fagemo has tallied nine points (5-4-9) from 16 games played in the SHL and ten points (7-3-10) from six games played in the Champions Hockey League. Fagemo is tied for second amongst "junior" players in the SHL in points on the season.
Defenseman Cole Hults continues to have a strong collegiate season with Penn State, as he recorded his fourth multi-point game of the season (0-2-2) on Friday versus Ohio State. Hults has collected seven points (0-7-7) in eight games thus far this season in Big 10 Conference play. Hults' seven helpers rank second on the Nittany Lions in conference play.
Overall, Hults leads all Penn State defensemen in goals (4), assists (8), points (12) and plus/minus rating (+9) on the season.
Hults also has Penn State's lone shorthanded goal this season, which came in October versus Sacred Heart. The Nittany Lions are ranked seventh in both the USCHO and USA Today NCAA Division 1 hockey polls, as of November 24.
Goaltender Matthew Villalta made his first career AHL start on Saturday evening in Tucson.
The 20-year-old goaltender made 35 saves on 38 shots in a narrow 3-2 defeat against the Pacific Division leading Roadrunners. Villalta's Head Coach, Mike Stothers, called the young netminder's performance "outstanding", noting that Villalta deserved at least a point from what amounted to a regulation loss.
Prior to making the start with Ontario, Villalta skated in eight games with the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets and posted a 4-3-1 record. Vilallta previously made his AHL debut in early-October against Tucson at home, as he played 20 minutes in relief of starting netminder Cal Petersen.
Goaltender Lukas Parik won both games he started last weekend (versus Saskatoon and Winnipeg), as he made 62 saves on 66 shots against in the pair of victories. The 18-year-old netminder, a third-round selection by the Kings in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, has now won five consecutive decisions, dating back to November 9.
Across the WHL, Parik is tied for the league lead in wins amongst rookie goaltenders, while ranking fourth amongst first-year netminders in both goals against average (2.44) and save percentage (.916).
Parik also ranks tenth in the WHL overall in both goals against average and save percentage, amongst all qualified goaltenders.