Seth Jones, TSR’s #2 ranked prospect in September, has come largely (no pun intended) as advertised. The Winterhawk’s defenseman had a brief adjustment period but has found his form in recent games. Through 10 games, Jones registered 2 goals and 6 points and has started to show why he is viewed as a blue-chip NHL prospect. Jones is the total package with size, skating ability, and a presence that embodies a potential franchise defenseman.
Medicine Hat’s Hunter Shinkaruk cracked the Top 5 as TSR’s fifth rated prospect in September but has had a lukewarm start to the year. The third-year forward has 6 goals and 12 points through the first 12 games but has been a disappointing -7 thus far. Shinkaruk is a streaky player who has the ability to score in bunches but he’ll need to start showing more consistency as well as an improved two-way game as his lack of NHL size will also be a concern for NHL teams.
Brandon’s Ryan Pulock has had the biggest impact out of any of the WHL draftees thus far as he leads his team in points (15) and +/- (+11). Pulock is also tied for the team lead in goals with 7, and did we forget to mention he’s a defenseman? Ranked #7 in TSR’s Preliminary Rankings, Pulock is a leader on and off the ice and his NHL calibre shot is a potent weapon that only adds to his upside.
Like Shinkaruk, Edmonton’s sophomore centre Curtis Lazar has also been hot and cold thus far. Through 11 games, Lazar tallied 5 goals and 8 points and cooled down after a quick start out of the gates. Lazar is an interesting prospect as he doesn’t have the high-end offensive skill as some of his draft eligible peers, but his all-around game and ability to play important minutes in all situations is not to be under-estimated. Look for Lazar’s offensive game to round into form over the next couple of months as he should be a safe bet for 60+ points this season.
Josh Morrissey started the season at #18 and could be an early-season riser. The Prince Albert defenseman already has 2 goals and 9 points this season and the 17-year-old defenseman has been a huge component of his team’s surprise start this year that sees them at the top of the Eastern Division. Morrissey plays in all situations and displays effective puck movement and steady play. At this point you can look for Morrissey to be a darkhorse Top 10 pick.
Rounding out the list, TSR’s 27th ranked prospect is Tri-City goaltender Eric Comrie. Seeing the bulk of the action in goal this year, Comrie has already played in all 12 of the team’s game and has been outstanding with a 2.30 GAA and .926 SV%. Comrie looks poised in net and mature beyond his years, further exhibited by the number 2 appearing in the shutout column. In a draft that also features Spencer Martin and Zachary Fucale among others, Comrie is certainly making his case to hear his named called on Friday.