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NHL Network reveals top 50 prospects

Lists best 25-and-under players with fewer than 25 games of NHL experience

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Experts from NHL Network unveiled their list of promising young players on the "NHL Tonight: Top 50 Prospects" program, which premiered Friday. Players age 25 and under who have played fewer than 25 NHL games (regular season/Stanley Cup Playoffs) were eligible. Here is the list:

 

[RELATED: Complete Prospects coverage]

 

1. Rasmus Dahlin, D, BUF

How acquired: Selected with No. 1 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Frolunda (SHL): 41 GP, 7-13-20

Dahlin (6-foot-2, 181 pounds) could start the season on the No. 1 defense pair with Rasmus Ristolainen. The 18-year-old, who is a left-handed shot, set a Swedish Hockey League record for most points in a season by an under-18 defenseman. He was named the best defenseman at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship when he had six assists in seven games, and was the youngest player for Sweden at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: Rasmus Dahlin takes No. 1 on the list

 

2. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, CAR

How acquired: Selected with No. 2 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Barrie (OHL): 44 GP, 40-32-72

NHL Central Scouting ranked Svechnikov as the top North American skater available in the 2018 draft, and he was the clear-cut No. 2 pick behind Dahlin. 

The Hurricanes hope to get a boost offensively from Svechnikov after finishing 23rd in the NHL in scoring last season (2.74 goals per game). The 18-year-old has the size (6-2, 188) and strength to play in the NHL.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: Svechnikov signs rookie contract with Hurricanes

 

3. Elias Pettersson, C, VAN

How acquired: Selected with No. 5 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Vaxjo (SHL): 44 GP, 24-32-56

The 19-year-old is almost certain to start the season with the Canucks after a dominant rookie season in the SHL. Pettersson led the league in scoring, passing Kent Nilsson for the most points by a junior-aged player (under-20) in SHL history, was named the most valuable player in the regular season and playoffs, and helped Vaxjo win the SHL championship. The bigger question is whether Pettersson (6-2, 161) will play center or wing, where he spent most of last season.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning said the possibility of Pettersson being ready to play center slowed Vancouver's pursuit of a second-line center in free agency this offseason. 

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

4. Miro Heiskanen, D, DAL

How acquired: Selected with No. 3 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: HIFK (Liiga): 30 GP, 11-12-23

The two-way defenseman, who turned 19 on July 18, played the past two seasons in the top professional league in Finland. Last season, he more than doubled his point, goal and assist totals from 2016-17, when he had 10 points ( five goals, five assists), and won the Pekka Rautakallio Award as the best defenseman.

Heiskanen (6-foot, 170), who scored one goal in five games for Finland at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, will likely make his NHL debut this season on the second or third defense pair.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

5. Casey Mittelstadt, C, BUF

How acquired: Selected with No. 8 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Buffalo: 6 GP, 1-4-5; University of Minnesota (NCAA): 34 GP, 11-19-30

Mittelstadt is expected to have a big role in the Sabres' top six. The 19-year-old forward (6-1, 201) signed a three-year, entry-level contract March 26, had an assist in each of his first two NHL games and scored his first NHL goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 6.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: Mittelstadt and Johnsson lead 2018-19 rookie class

 

6. Filip Zadina, RW, DET

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Halifax (QMJHL): 57 GP, 44-38-82

The Red Wings had Zadina third on their draft board and were thrilled when he fell to them. The 18-year-old's 44 goals tied for third in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, and his seven goals for the Czech Republic tied for second in the 2018 WJC.

Zadina (6-0, 195) could make the Red Wings out of training camp or take a path similar to that of forward Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak. At 18, Pastrnak started the 2014-15 season with Providence in the American Hockey League and played for the Czech Republic at the 2015 WJC. He came up to the NHL afterward and flourished.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: Filip Zadina takes the No. 6 spot on the list

 

7. Eeli Tolvanen, RW, NSH

How acquired: Selected with No. 30 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Nashville: 3 GP, 0-0-0; Jokerit (KHL): 49 GP, 19-17-36

The 19-year-old will have an opportunity to make Nashville's roster out of training camp because of his offensive abilities. He set Kontinental Hockey League records for goals and points by a player 19 or younger, and played three games with the Predators after his KHL season ended.

If Tolvanen (5-10, 191) can prove he's ready to be a full-time NHL player, his potential role as a top-six forward could strengthen the Predators' depth and give them more options on the power play.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

8. Cale Makar, D, COL

How acquired: Selected with No. 4 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: University of Massachusetts Amherst (NCAA): 34 GP, 5-16-21

Makar, 19, is returning to UMass for his sophomore year after being named to the Hockey East all-rookie and third all-star teams as a freshman. 

Makar (5-11, 187), a smooth skater with plenty of offensive upside, had 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his final 22 games at UMass last season after helping Canada win the gold medal at the 2018 WJC with eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven games.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

9. Quintin Hughes, D, VAN

How acquired: Selected with No. 7 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Michigan (NCAA): 37 GP, 5-24-29 

Hughes, who turns 19 on Oct. 14, returned to the University of Michigan for his sophomore season despite skills that arguably would have already made him the most dynamic defenseman for the Canucks, who have struggled to generate offense from the position.

Hughes (5-10, 170) hopes to build off last season, when he set the record for most assists by a freshman defenseman as the youngest player in NCAA Division I men's ice hockey. He is expected to play for the United States at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and could turn pro this season, provided Michigan's season ends before the Canucks' does.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

10. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, MIN

How acquired: Selected with No. 135 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: CSKA (KHL): 46 GP, 15-25-40

Kaprizov tied for the CSKA scoring lead last season, his third in the KHL, and led Russia with six goals in eight games at the 2018 IIHF World Championship. The 21-year-old also won the gold medal with Olympic Athletes of Russia at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Kaprizov (5-9, 185) is signed in the KHL through next season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21

 

11. Martin Necas, C, CAR

How acquired: Selected with No. 12 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Carolina: 1 GP, 0-0-0; Brno (Czech Extraliga): 24 GP, 9-8-17

Necas made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes on Oct. 17, 2017, before returning to the Czech Extraliga. The 19-year-old also played for the Czech Republic at the 2018 WJC, and had 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in seven games (tying Mittelstadt for the tournament lead), and the 2018 World Championship, where he had five points (three goals, two assists) in seven games.

With the Hurricanes' need for centers, Necas (6-1, 167) will get a longer look in the NHL this season. 

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

12. Cody Glass, C, VGK

How acquired: Selected with No. 6 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Portland (WHL): 64 GP, 37-65-102

Glass, 19, has done what the Golden Knights hoped he would since becoming the first amateur draft pick in their history. He tied for sixth in scoring in the Western Hockey League, made the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team and added strength.

Vegas has a strong NHL roster, mostly intact after a run to the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season, and a philosophy of patience with development. That could mean Glass (6-2, 178) spends another season at Portland to keep learning under former NHL coach Mike Johnston and play for Canada in the 2019 WJC.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: Glass scores his first goal and puts Vegas ahead 2-0

 

13. Robert Thomas, C, STL

How acquired: Selected with No. 20 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: London (OHL): 27 GP, 20-26-46; Hamilton (OHL): 22 GP, 4-25-29

Thomas was acquired by Hamilton in a trade with London on Jan. 8 and helped it win the Ontario Hockey League championship with 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 21 playoff games. He also was the recipient of the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as playoff most valuable player. The 19-year-old had six points (one goal, five assists) in seven games to help Canada win the 2018 WJC.

Often compared to Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron, Thomas (6-0, 188) missed development camp in June with an ankle injury he sustained against Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL championship but is expected to compete for a spot in September.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

14. Gabriel Vilardi, C, LAK

How acquired: Selected with No. 11 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Kingston (OHL): 32 GP, 22-36-58

Vilardi (6-3, 201) should be ready for training camp after he was held out of the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase with a back issue. The 19-year-old could get a look at right wing on the third line with Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe. The question is if the Kings want to see more development in the OHL after Vilardi missed the first half of last season because of the injury.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

15. Ilya Samsonov, G, WSH

How acquired: Selected with No. 22 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL): 26 GP, 12-9-1, 2.31 GAA, .926 SV%

When the 21-year-old makes his NHL debut will depend mostly on how quickly he is able to adapt to the North American game after playing in the KHL the past three seasons.

Samsonov (6-3, 200) is expected to begin the season with Hershey of the AHL, and Capitals coach Todd Reirden said he expects Pheonix Copley to open the season as Washington's backup behind Braden Holtby, replacing Philipp Grubauer, who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on June 23. Reirden also said Samsonov will have a chance to compete for the backup job in training camp. 

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

16. Filip Chytil, C, NYR

How acquired: Selected with No. 21 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: New York: 9 GP, 1-2-3; Hartford (AHL): 46 GP, 11-20-31

Chytil, who turns 19 on Sept. 5, will challenge to be one of the top four centers for the Rangers this season. He made the roster out of training camp last season and played two games in the NHL before being sent to Hartford. Chytl (6-2, 202) was recalled March 25 and scored his first NHL goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 30.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: TBL@NYR: Chytil nets first NHL goal from the doorstep

 

17. Brady Tkachuk, LW, OTT

How acquired: Selected with No. 4 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Boston University (NCAA): 40 GP, 8-23-31

Tkachuk (6-3, 196), who turns 19 on Sept. 16, opted to forego the remainder of his college eligibility when he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Senators on Aug. 13. He can play nine NHL regular-season games to determine if he is NHL-ready; if he plays more than nine games, the first year of his contract goes into effect and he can become a restricted free agent July 1, 2021. The Senators could send Tkachuk to Belleville of the AHL or London of the OHL prior to his 10th NHL game. 

Tkachuk led Boston University in assists and shots on goal (131) last season, when he played top-line minutes as a freshman. He had nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games to help the United States win the bronze medal at the 2018 WJC.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

18. Kristian Vesalainen, LW, WPG

How acquired: Selected with No. 24 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: HPK (Liiga): 44 GP, 19-20-39; Karpat (Liiga): 5 GP, 3-1-4

Vesalainen (6-3, 207) made major strides playing in the top Finnish league. He was traded late in the season from HPK to Karpat and helped it win the Liiga championship with eight points (four goals, four assists) in 18 postseason games.

The Jets agreed to terms with the 19-year-old on a three-year, entry-level contract on Aug. 26, and he could find opportunity on the third or fourth line in his first season in North America.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

19. Evan Bouchard, D, EDM

How acquired: Selected with No. 10 pick in 2018 NHL Draft 

Last season: London (OHL): 67 GP, 25-62-87

The 18-year-old was the top offensive defenseman in the OHL last season and finished tied for seventh in scoring. He was the first defenseman in the top 10 in OHL scoring since Ryan Ellis (Nashville Predators) tied for fourth with 101 points (24 goals, 77 points) for Windsor in 2010-11.

The Oilers believe Bouchard (6-2, 193) can develop into a high-end offensive defenseman in the NHL, but they are not expected to rush him. He will get a long look at training camp to see how his offensive skills translate in the NHL but likely will return for a fourth season with London. 

Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21 season

Video: Evan Bouchard comes in at No. 19 on the list

 

20. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, NYI

How acquired: Selected with No. 11 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: U.S. Under-18 national team: 54 GP, 40-43-83

The 18-year-old forward already has NHL size (6-1, 205) but will play for Boston College this season. It's also likely he will represent the United States at the 2019 WJC. Wahlstrom said his play without the puck needs to improve before he can make an impact in the NHL.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

21. Noah Dobson, D, NYI

How acquired: Selected with No. 12 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL): 67 GP, 17-52-69

A right-handed shot who models his game after St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, the 18-year-old helped Acadie-Bathurst win the Memorial Cup last season with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 20 playoff games.

Dobson (6-3, 180) agreed to a three-year contract with the Islanders on Aug. 13. He will return to Acadie-Bathurst for a third season if he does not make the Islanders out of training camp.

Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21 season

 

22. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, MTL

How acquired: Selected with No. 3 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Assat (Liiga): 57 GP, 10-19-29

Kotkaniemi (6-2, 188) projects as the Canadiens' best hope of developing a bona fide No. 1 center. He will take part in training camp, and general manager Marc Bergevin hasn't ruled out him starting the season in Montreal.

The 18-year-old is more likely to return to Finland for his second Liiga season with Assat, where he is coached by his father, Mikael. Laval of the AHL is another possible destination, and he is expected to be a key player for Finland at the 2019 WJC.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

23. Henrik Borgstrom, C, FLA

How acquired: Selected with No. 23 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Florida: 4 GP, 1-0-1; University of Denver (NCAA): 40 GP, 23-29-52

Borgstrom, who turned 21 on Aug. 6, will compete in training camp to earn the third center spot behind Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract and made his NHL debut March 29 after Denver was eliminated from the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament. He scored his first NHL goal April 8 in the Panthers' final regular-season game. Borgstrom (6-3, 185) was one of the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award last season and has excellent puck-handling and playmaking abilities. 

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

24. Carter Hart, G, PHI

How acquired: Selected with No. 48 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Everett (WHL): 41 GP, 31-6-3, 1.60 GAA, .947 SV%

Hart, 20, was named the best goaltender in the WHL and the Canadian Hockey League last season, and helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2018 WJC. Hart (6-1, 180) likely will start the season with Lehigh Valley of the AHL, but the Flyers did not rule out Hart being in the NHL sooner rather than later.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: Flyers prospect Carter Hart on preparing for camp

 

25. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR

How acquired: Selected with No. 118 pick in 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: SKA St. Petersburg (KHL): 28 GP; 20-4-4, 1.69 GAA, .933 SV%

The 22-year-old is New York's goaltender of the future. Shesterkin (6-1, 187) set a Russian/Soviet record for consecutive shutout minutes in a single World Championship this year (140:00). He went 47-8-10 with 15 shutouts for SKA St. Petersburg the past two seasons and is signed in the KHL for one more season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21 season

 

26. Jordan Kyrou, C, STL

How acquired: Selected with No. 35 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Sarnia (OHL): 56 GP, 39-70-109

Kyrou has shown he can be a playmaker at the OHL level. He won the Red Tillson Trophy as league MVP last season after he had 109 points (39 goals, 70 assists). The 20-year-old led Canada with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in seven games to help it win the 2018 WJC.

Kyrou (6-0, 175) was close to making the Blues roster out of training camp last season and has the speed and offensive skill to play in the NHL. However, with St. Louis crowded at forward, he probably will spend some time with San Antonio of the AHL but could get a look during the season.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

27. Morgan Frost, C, PHI

How acquired: Selected with No. 27 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 67 GP, 42-70-112

The Flyers want Frost (5-11, 170) to get stronger to handle the rigors of professional hockey. They also are looking to see how the 19-year-old approaches another season of junior hockey, where his goal, assist and point totals have increased each of the past two seasons. Frost likely is a few years away from his NHL debut.

Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21 season

 

28. Ryan Donato, LW, BOS

How acquired: Selected with No. 56 pick in 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: Boston: 12 GP, 5-4-9; Harvard (NCAA): 29 GP, 26-17-43

Donato burst onto the scene with a goal and two assists in his NHL debut, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 19. He played well for the Bruins down the stretch, with nine points (five goals, four assists) in 12 games, but had no points in three games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That has the 22-year-old motivated for the upcoming season, when he'll be a candidate for an open top-six right wing spot. 

With the experience Donato (6-0, 181) got in the NHL -- in addition to the 2018 Olympics with the United States -- he believes he's ready to make an impact with the Bruins this season.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: BOS@FLA: Donato buries rebound in front for PPG

 

29. Adam Boqvist, D, CHI

How acquired: Selected with No. 8 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Brynas (SuperElit): 25 GP, 14-10-24; Brynas (SHL): 15 GP, 0-1-1

Boqvist (5-11, 168) has plenty of upside, especially on offense. The defensive part of his game will be a work in progress, but the 18-year-old won't be rushed to the NHL and will play for London of the OHL this season. 

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

30. Sam Steel, C, ANA

How acquired: Selected with No. 30 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Regina (WHL): 54 GP, 33-50-83

Steel led the WHL in scoring two seasons ago (131 points; 50 goals, 81 assists) and has 338 points (123 goals, 215 assists) in 258 WHL games. He helped Canada win the 2018 WJC, scoring nine points (four goals, five assists) in seven games, and was named Memorial Cup MVP in May after leading those playoffs with 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in five games.

The 20-year-old is an undersized center (5-11, 185) but has speed, which the Ducks need down the middle. General manager Bob Murray said he was opposed to bringing up a top forward prospect to play on the fourth line at the end of last season, so Steel's debut may have to wait until one of Anaheim's veteran centers is unable to play.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

31. Lias Andersson, C, NYR

How acquired: Selected with No. 7 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: New York: 7 GP, 1-1-2; Hartford (AHL): 25 GP, 5-9-14; Frolunda (SHL): 22 GP, 7-7-14

Andersson, who turns 20 on Oct. 13, is expected to push to be a top-four center in New York after coming to North America last season and spending most of the offseason training in Connecticut.

Andersson (6-0, 200) began last season with Frolunda of the SHL and was captain for Sweden at the 2018 WJC. Though he had a shoulder injury, he had seven points (six goals, one assist) in seven games and helped Sweden win the silver medal. Andersson joined Hartford on Jan. 19 and established himself as a top-six forward for New York's AHL affiliate before the Rangers recalled him March 25 to play the final seven games of the regular season.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: WSH@NYR: Andersson scores first goal in NHL debut

 

32. Juuso Valimaki, D, CGY

How acquired: Selected with No. 16 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Tri-City (WHL): 43 GP, 14-31-45

The 19-year-old could push for a spot in Calgary's lineup after completing his junior career with Tri-City. Valimaki, who was Finland's captain at the 2018 WJC, had 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 12 playoff games for Tri-City last season. 

Valimaki (6-2, 204) had 138 points (40 goals, 98 assists) in 159 WHL games and was twice made the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

33. Olli Juolevi, D, VAN

How acquired: Selected with No. 5 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: TPS (Liiga): 38 GP, 7-12-19 

The 20-year-old left London of the OHL to play professionally in his native Finland last season. He led defensemen in Finland's top league with seven points (two goals, five assists) in 11 playoff games.

Back surgery in June and four one-way contracts on the left side of the Canucks defenseman depth chart likely will force Juolevi (6-2, 182) to begin the season with Utica of the AHL, but there's a good chance he will make his NHL debut this season. 

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

34. Barrett Hayton, C, ARI

How acquired: Selected with No. 5 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 63 GP, 21-39-60

Hayton is a 200-foot center with high character, a high IQ (he won the Bobby Smith Trophy as the 2018 OHL Scholastic Player of the Year) and leadership ability. The 18-year-old said he tries to pattern his game after Bergeron and Toews because of their two-way play and leadership.

The Coyotes didn't rule out Hayton (6-1, 190) making the NHL this season. If he doesn't, or if he does and is eventually returned to his junior team, Sault Ste. Marie projects him to score 90-100 points.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

35. Vitali Kravtsov, RW, NYR

How acquired: Selected with No. 9 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL): 35 GP, 4-3-7

The 18-year-old became the Rangers' target in the 2018 draft in part because of his strong showing in the KHL playoffs last season. Kravtsov (6-2, 170) had 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 16 games to set the record for most points by a junior-aged player in the KHL playoffs. The previous record was nine, held by Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dallas Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin.

Kravtsov won the Alexei Cherepanov Award as the KHL rookie of the year and will begin this season in Russia, with the intention to sign with New York when his KHL season ends. 

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

36. Erik Brannstrom, D, VGK

How acquired: Selected with No. 15 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: HV71 (SHL): 44 GP, 2-13-15

Brannstrom (5-10, 173), who turns 19 on Sept. 2, might be the Vegas prospect most ready to play in the NHL. He played against men in the SHL last season and was an important member of Sweden's silver-medal world junior team. The Golden Knights love his skill, instincts, skating and enthusiasm.

But he hasn't played a game in North America, and the plan is for him to make the adjustment this season. The question is where. If he doesn't play for Vegas, he could play for Chicago of the AHL or Brandon of the WHL.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

37. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI

How acquired: Selected with No. 78 pick in 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: CSKA Moscow (KHL): 37 GP, 25-8-4, 1.59 GAA, .931 SV%

Sorokin (6-2, 167) has two years remaining on his contract to play in the KHL, but the Islanders remain confident they can get the 23-year-old to New York at some point. He had 67 wins and 23 shutouts over the past three seasons with CSKA Moscow. 

Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21 season

 

38. Logan Brown, C, OTT

How acquired: Selected with No. 11 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Ottawa: 4 GP, 0-1-1; Windsor (OHL): 15 GP, 13-11-24; Kitchener (OHL): 17 GP, 9-15-24

Brown (6-6, 220) earned a spot on the Senators roster last season but was returned to Windsor on Oct. 25, 2017. He had 27 points (five goals, 22 assists) in 19 OHL playoff games for Kitchener, which acquired him in a trade Jan. 7. The 20-year-old was limited to three games for the U.S. at the 2018 WJC because of a lower-body injury but has a chance make an impact with the Senators after having 205 points (74 goals, 131 assists) in 182 OHL games.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: MTL@OTT: Brown tips in his second goal of the game

 

39. Timothy Liljegren, D, TOR

How acquired: Selected with No. 17 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Toronto (AHL); 44 GP, 1-16-17

Liljegren (6-0, 190) at one time was projected as high as the No. 2 prospect for the 2017 draft, but a bout with mononucleosis during his draft year caused him to fall. The 19-year-old was among the youngest players in the AHL last season and learned to take advantage of his stick-handling skills as the season progressed. Another year of development would appear to be the logical career path for him, though a strong training camp might change some opinions.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

40. Alexander Nylander, RW, BUF

How acquired: Selected with No. 8 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Buffalo: 3 GP, 1-0-1; Rochester (AHL): 51 GP, 8-19-27

The 20-year-old, who scored his first NHL goal April 6, will have the opportunity to start the season in the NHL after a solid second season in the AHL. Nylander (6-1, 192) averaged 0.53 points per game and was plus-3 last season, up from 0.43 and minus-24 in 2016-17.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: Alexander Nylander takes No. 40 on the list

 

41. Callan Foote, D, TBL

How acquired: Selected with No. 14 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Kelowna (WHL): 60 GP, 19-51-70; Syracuse (AHL): 6 GP, 1-0-1

Foote will play full time for Syracuse this season after having his best numbers with Kelowna last season. The 19-year-old scored on his first shot on his first shift in his AHL debut last season.

The son of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote, Callan has exceptional awareness on the ice and an understanding of how to use his size (6-4, 212) on defense. If he plays well with Syracuse, Foote should be a candidate to compete for one of Tampa Bay's open spots at defenseman next season.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

42. Ty Smith, D, NJD

How acquired: Selected with No. 17 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Last season: Spokane (WHL): 69 GP, 14-59-73

Smith had the most points by a first-year, draft-eligible WHL defenseman since Ian White (79) in 2001-02. The 18-year-old has excellent mobility and hockey sense and is productive at 5-on-5, on the power play and penalty kill.

Smith (5-11, 175), who represented Canada at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, British Columbia, this summer, will join the Devils at the four-team Buffalo prospects challenge in September.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

43. Conor Timmins, D, COL

How acquired: Selected with No. 32 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 36 GP, 8-33-41

Timmins, 19, signed a three-year, entry-level contract in March and could push for a spot on a crowded defense but probably will begin this season with Colorado of the AHL. He is expected to be ready for training camp after being held out of on-ice drills at development camp in June, when he was recovering from an ankle injury and concussion he sustained during the OHL season.

Timmins (6-2, 184) had five points (one goal, four assists) in seven games for Canada at the 2018 WJC.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

44. Philippe Myers, D, PHI

How acquired: Signed as free agent Sept. 21, 2015

Last season: Lehigh Valley (AHL): 50 GP, 5-16-21

Injuries have been an issue for Myers (6-5, 210) during his development. Last season, he was out between Thanksgiving and Christmas because of a groin injury, and a broken foot sidelined him for the final eight games. But the 21-year-old, who was not drafted, was healthy and productive during the AHL playoffs with seven points (three goals, four assists) in 13 games.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

45. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, EDM

How acquired: Selected with No. 22 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Edmonton: 9 GP, 0-3-3; Spokane (WHL): 40 GP, 21-43-64

Yamamoto (5-8, 154), who turns 20 on Sept. 29, impressed in training camp last season and stayed with the Oilers for nine games before returning to the WHL. He is expected to push for a roster spot and could begin the season in a top-six role alongside Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

Video: EDM@WPG: Yamamoto notches empty-net goal to seal game

 

46. Michael Rasmussen, C, DET

How acquired: Selected with No. 9 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

Last season: Tri-City (WHL): 47 GP, 31-28-59

Rasmussen ranked second in the WHL playoffs last season with 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 14 games, behind Brad Morrison of Lethbridge, after recovering from wrist surgery during the regular season. A big center (6-6, 221), he's a load down low.

The 19-year-old likely will make the team out of training camp and break into the NHL on the left wing, as Dylan Larkin did for the Red Wings in 2015-16, to take away some responsibility, ease some pressure and play to his strengths beneath the top of the circles.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

47. Sami Niku, D, WPG

How acquired: Selected with No. 198 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Winnipeg: 1 GP, 1-0-1; Manitoba (AHL): 76 GP, 16-38-54

Expectations have soared after a breakout first season in North America. The 21-year-old is not an imposing physical presence (6-1, 176), but his awareness and ability to move the puck and to create offense led to his selection as AHL defenseman of the year last season.

Niku scored in his NHL debut April 3.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

48. Adam Fox, D, CAR

How acquired: Trade from Calgary Flames on June 23, 2018

Last season: Harvard (NCAA): 29 GP, 6-22-28

The main question about Fox is whether the skilled puck-mover will sign with the Hurricanes. The 20-year-old will return to Harvard for his junior year, but general manager Don Waddell said he hopes to sign him after the season. Otherwise Fox could play out his college eligibility and become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

A two-time first-team CCM/American Hockey Coaches Association All-American, Fox (5-11, 181) led NCAA defensemen with 40 points (six goals, 34 assists) as a freshman last season.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

 

49. Vitaly Abramov, RW, CBJ

How acquired: Selected with No. 65 pick in 2016 NHL Draft

Last season: Gatineau (QMJHL): 16 GP, 12-14-26; Victoriaville (QMJHL): 40 GP, 33-45-78

The anticipation has continued to build for the 20-year-old, who finished second in the QMJHL last season with 104 points (45 goals, 59 assists). Along the way, Abramov (5-9, 171) moved from wing to center.

Abramov, who was MVP of the QMJHL in 2016-17, when he had 104 points (46 goals, 58 assists) for Gatineau, will either play for the Blue Jackets or Cleveland in the AHL.

Projected NHL arrival: This season

 

50. Adam Gaudette, C, VAN

How acquired: Selected with No. 149 pick in 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Vancouver (NHL): 5 GP, 0-0-0; Northeastern University (NCAA): 38 GP, 30-30-60

Gaudette, who turns 22 on Oct. 3, led NCAA Division I in scoring and won the Hobey Baker Award as its best player last season before playing five games with the Canucks near the end of the season.

Though he did look increasingly comfortable the more he played, three free agent additions (Jay Beagle, Tim Schaller and Antoine Roussel) to Vancouver's bottom-six forwards leave little roster room outside a possible second-line spot with Pettersson, so don't be surprised if Gaudette (6-1, 170) begins his first full professional season in the AHL.

Projected NHL arrival: Next season

Video: How the Top 50 Prospects stack up by team

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