He also commented on recently acquired Kings prospect Tyler Madden, who at the time of Wheeler’s prospect pool rankings being published was the third-highest ranked Vancouver Canucks prospect before being part of the package the Kings received in exchange for forward Tyler Toffoli. Most, prior to the season, had expected him to return to his native Sweden. It’s a bright future for sure. Madden, the son of three-time Stanley Cup champion and 2001 Selke Trophy winner John Madden, was drafted 68th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. You can find the complete ranking and more information on the criteria here, as we count down daily from No. Vilardi’s journey from being selected 11th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft to making his NHL debut earlier this year was longer than expected due to some injury setback. Internationally, he represented Team USA on three separate occasions, playing in the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship twice (2018 – silver, 2019 – bronze) as well as the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2020. ©2020 The Athletic Media Company. Potentially in three to four years from now as he’s establishing himself in the NHL, if you don’t take him second overall, you could be regretting it.”. But the wait proved to be worth it. “LA was just one of those teams that kept picking players that I loved… I thought Arthur Kaliyev in the second round was a brilliant selection. Most Kings fans will remember this past February when Wheeler’s prospect rankings ultimately ended with the Kings having the first overall prospect pool in the league. The Athletic's Scott Wheeler joined On Air with Israel Fehr and Alex Blair to talk about the NHL Draft coming up and his top 100 list. Alexis Lafreniere is going to be brilliant but I don’t believe he’s going to be of that quality… Tim [Stützle] is an unbelievable skater. Most other teams in the division have caught up to San Jose this season, and based on the prospect pool rankings, they're well situated to shoot right on past the Sharks in the near future. In three seasons with the Bulldogs, Kaliyev compiled 248 points (126-122=248) in 192 games, setting the record for most points in team history on Feb. 1, 2020. With the playoffs all but out of the picture, San Jose has every reason to see what it can get in return for anyone who could provide more value to the organization elsewhere than if they remained with it. 1. He’s going to be a dynamic transition skater at the NHL level. [RELATED: Sharks' Burns advises Ferraro how to better protect himself]. He’s going to be able to turn defenders around and create breakaways for himself… My concern with Tim is hasn’t proven to be a great finisher. Must read content, player grades, stuff you can't get anywhere else. Our organization understands the importance of LAKI to you and remain committed to evolving the platform and providing even more content once we resume usual operations. Rasmus Kupari, C, 19 (Ontario Reign). 5. After registering 25 points (9-16=25) in 32 games with the Ontario Reign – and ranking third on the Reign in points-per-game (0.78%) – Vilardi made his memorable NHL debut on Feb. 20. “It became very hard early on for me to evaluate him as a top prospect and then he got to Northeastern. Do not type in all caps. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted. The Los Angeles Kings were ranked No. Of the 31 teams in the league, Wheeler ranked San Jose's prospect pool No. On June 3, the Kings announced three-year entry-level contracts for both Kaliyev and defensean Jordan Spence. 25 overall. Though his stay with the Kings was brief, and he ultimately carved out a prominent, reliable spot on the blue line in Ontario, his brief appearance at the NHL level left a positive impression on two-time Stanley Cup Champion and Norris Trophy winner, Drew Doughty. Just create an account, no credit card required! Respectful disagreement is encouraged. 15 and No. Madden, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Kings on March 30, is a player Kings fans are still getting to know after he was a part of the package the Kings received in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for Tyler Toffoli. 1 overall, while the Anaheim Ducks (No. "The Kings were always going to be No. 1, with the ability to play higher in the lineup and make more of an impact offensively than any other prospect in the organization. They’re angry when they lose a faceoff or lose a battle in the corner that leads to a goal against. With the second overall pick, three second round picks, two third and two fourth round picks and a pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds, the Kings will have 11 draft selections in the 2020 NHL Draft to add more depth to their already deep pool of prospects. We agree with Wheeler. Didn’t get the notoriety that comes with being a player who maybe doesn’t put up 40 points in a season. You don’t have a Connor McDavid or a Sidney Crosby or even an Auston Matthews level talent at the top. Or will the Kings, who already have a German hockey legend in Marco Sturm on its coaching staff, take the highly-skilled German forward in Tim Stutzle? Northeastern has a way of figuring it out with those guys… He’s another one of those players where you don’t know whether he’s going to be able to make that game work at the NHL level but the skill set is definitely there. Throughout his interview on the Reigny Day Podcast, Wheeler shared his insight on the Kings prospect pool, the Kings’ highly-touted 2019 NHL Draft class as a whole, and his thoughts on who the Kings might select with the number two pick in this year’s NHL Draft. He gets it, he moves (the puck), he knows where he’s going with it. When Kaliyev was selected in the second round (33rd overall) at last year’s NHL Draft, it was instantly considered a steal. Subscribe now to get full access to the new sports page. 2. 8) Vancouver Canucks. In case you missed it, the Reigny Day Podcast at the start of this week featured Cameron Close and Zach Dooley interviewing The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler. The series, which includes evaluations and commentary from coaches and staff on more than 500 prospects, runs from Jan. 13 to Feb. 11. He’s going to be one of the better skaters in the world. Gabe Vilardi, C, 20 (Ontario Reign) As a freshman, the 19-year-old forward posted 26 points (9-17=26) in 29 games with the Badgers to rank third on the team in points (26) while also tying for third in both goals (9) and assists (17). Before agreeing to terms on a three-year entry-level contract with the Kings on March 12, Turcotte skated the 2019-20 season at the University of Wisconsin (NCAA) under the tutelage of former Kings forward Tony Granato. The players who, maybe a decade ago, didn’t get to have that kind of a role. There are also those out there who say Canadian defensemen Jamie Drysdale or Swedish forward Lucas Raymond must not be overlooked. For a refresher, here are Wheeler’s top five Kings prospects when ranking the Kings prospect pool as the best in the league. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives. Samuel Fagemo, LW/RW, 19 (Frolunda HC) ", Tier 4: Nicolas Meloche, Jayden Halbgewachs, Vladislav Kotkov, Karlis Cukste, Timur Ibragimov and Dillon Hamaliuk, "A final group of prospects that all have intriguing NHL qualities and an outside chance.". Sharks' Burns advises Ferraro how to better protect himself, Be younger than 23 years old (for goalies, under 24), Not currently in the NHL (with rare exceptions), Either signed to an NHL contract or selected in the entry draft, without the expiration of either of those rights. Scott Wheeler had a lot of hard decisions to make as he put together the rankings of the NHL Prospect Pools, but one decision was particularly easy. 25 overall. ", Tier 2: Joachim Blichfeld, Jonathan Dahlen, Sash Chmelevski, Artemi Knyazev and Noah Gregor, "A really strong group of five prospects who I think have a chance at being middle six contributors. At the time of the NHL season’s pause and eventual end, Vilardi had tallied seven points (3-4=7) in his first 10 NHL games, marking the most points by an LA Kings rookie since Anze Kopitar recorded 11 points in his first 10 NHL games in 2006-07. - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted. Already have the app? Wheeler has been unveiling his 2020 NHL prospect pool rankings over the last month, and while he is generally higher on the Sharks' prospects than most other evaluators, that assessment is relative. ", Tier 3: Alexander True, Lean Bergmann, Jeremy Roy, Ivan Chekhovich, Yegor Spiridonov and John Leonard, "Another group of six players with legitimate NHL hopes. San Jose was split into four, with a description of each: "On talent and upside alone, Merkley is the clear No. Wheeler is impressed by the depth in San Jose's system, but admits he's "not in love with many of the guys near the top. Wheeler's rankings are based on both volume and quality, but projected skill level is paramount. Ontario ReignProspectsProspects and ScoutingReigny Day PodcastThe Athletic, Robitaille, Berman continue to grow the game of hockey in Southern California, Kings extend Imama, Strand on one-year contracts, Classic Kings games to return to Fox Sports West, A look at Bjornfot’s play this season in the AHL, from Ontario Reign Insider, Catching up with former Kings goalie Mario Lessard, Reign add Jack Sadek, plus Nick and Jack Poehling on AHL deals, New head coach Wroblewski the right man for up-and-coming Reign, Kings hire John Wroblewski as Ontario Reign Head Coach, AHL announces 2020-21 season to begin “no sooner than December 4, 2020”, Kings sign Byfield to three-year, entry-level contract. That’s allowed his game and his projection to reach that new level. He problem solves when he’s on the ice and he’s also produced in line with players who are a lot flashier than him. The 18-year-old finished fifth in the OHL in points, tied for sixth in goals and third in power-play points (41). Wheeler has been unveiling his 2020 NHL prospect pool rankings over the last month, and while he is generally higher on the Sharks' prospects than most other evaluators, that assessment is relative. In addition to the fact that San Jose has an aging roster, it doesn't have many obvious solutions waiting on deck. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator. He led the Hamilton Bulldogs with 44 goals and 54 assists for 98 points in just 57 games. - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. They didn’t get to play 20-plus minutes a night at the NHL level. Open Article in App. 31 to No. 29 Washington Capitals. There’s a difference between slowing the game down and being slow. He’s a little bit of a wild card for me. The two helped the U.S. reach the gold-medal game where they fell to Finland — and a fellow Kings prospect — in Rasmus Kupari.
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