Happy Saturday, prospect enthusiast. Welcome back to another installment of The Journey.
If you can believe it, we are fast approaching the midway point of the season. With that, we should have good indications towards the prospects that we have respectively invested in – at least for the short term. Whether they are full-time members, rotating pieces, pure point producers, or role players, you likely have a basic idea by now.
Of course, it's those prolific point producers that often squeeze all of the love from us as writers. When in reality, more often than not, they are usually the rarest. With that in mind, I thought I would shed some light on a few of those prospects doing all the little things – the “peripheral beasts”. Coincidentally, many of those "beasts" also happen to be posting solid numbers, making them all the more sought after.
Here are your top-producing shot takers, hit makers, shot blockers, and penalty instigators.
Nils Hoglander, Canucks
If you happen to catch a Canucks game, you may be asking yourselves "who is this undersized waterbug running around the ice, providing constant pressure on puck carriers, while also displaying solid skill”? Oh, him? That's just Hoglander.
His stat sheet may not show it, which currently shows four goals and 10 points. However, the 20-year-old Swede has been one of the club’s best forwards and currently leads the way with respect to SOG among prospects. Over 27 games, he's now totaled a whopping 62 pucks on net, or an average of 2.3 per game, if that's more to your liking. In fact, he's only had two games all year in which he has failed to record a shot. The kid has one speed – go.
Oliver Wahlstrom, Islanders
Wahlstrom sits just outside of the top-10 among prospects in shots taken, but to be fair, the kid has played just 16 games. In a short timeframe, the 20-year-old has posted 36 shots and has become quite the staple on the Islanders secondary power-play unit. In fact, his point-per-game (four on the powerplay) over the past six games puts him right there as one of the hottest players in the league. This should come as no surprise. He was drafted for one reason – to shoot the puck. He is the perfect "buy low" prospect at the moment and should be picked up while the points are flowing.
Drake Batherson, Ottawa
Okay, if I'm being real, Batherson could be placed in almost all of these categories. His lucrative season is not just showing up on the scoresheets as point