The Journey – Rising Prospect Defenders

Brad Phillips



Looking at the June rankings of Dobber’s Top 50 Fantasy Prospect Defensemen you’ll find a few big movers and shakers


Note: Sami Niku and Louie Belpedio were the biggest risers this month, however, I covered them recently here


Sebastien Aho – NYI, up to 30 from 40

“The other Sebastian Aho” as he is most commonly referred to, he’s endured quite a journey over the past few years. Passed over in his first two years of draft eligibility despite excellent production in the top league in Sweden, it wasn’t until 2016-17 that one team saw fit to use a pick on him, with the New York Islanders snatching him with their fifth round pick, 139th overall. His 16-17 campaign was too big to ignore as he finished third on Skellefteå AIK in scoring with 30 points and was one of the highest scoring defenders in the league. His 30 points were the third highest mark by all blueliners in the SHL and finished second among defensemen with 10 goals. Only a couple weeks after being drafted he was signed by the Islanders to his entry-level deal after he turned heads in the prospect camp and went on to make quite the impression in his first season in North America. Aho led the Bridgeport Sound Tigers d-men in scoring with nine goals and 20 assists despite playing just 40 games. His 29 points were fifth-most among rookie defenders but were top of the heap when it came to points-per-game where his mark of 0.73 was tops. Aho’s play saw him leap to the top of the D depth chart, helped out by an injury to Devon Toews, and made his NHL debut sooner than most people probably would have expected. The Swede suited up for 22 games with the Islanders, scoring once and adding three assists while averaging 16 minutes of ice time. He’s looking like a shrewd selection by Garth Snow in what became his final draft at the helm.



Philippe Myers – PHI, up to 38 from 48

By now everyone is pretty well aware of Philippe Myers’ story. An undrafted free agent signing by Philadelphia after posting just eight points in his draft year, he’s been steadily climbing the prospect ranks for the past few seasons. Some people were speculating that he was NHL ready following his final year of junior with Royn-Noranda, but alas that was not the case. Myers spent his rookie professional season in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and finished second among Phantoms blueliners in scoring; only trailing the AHL Bobby Orr T.J. Brennan. Myers found the back of the net five times and added 16 helpers for a total of 21 points, 16th most among rook