The Journey: December Forward Risers

by Brad Phillips on December 16, 2017

This week’s I’ll turn to Dobber’s Top 200 Forward Prospect List and take a look at the biggest risers in the December edition.

Jaret Anderson-Dolan – Los Angeles Kings - up to 125 from NR

Making his debut on Dobber’s top-200 prospect list is the LA Kings’ second-round pick. Drafted after his second season with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, Anderson-Dolan eclipsed the point-per-game mark with 76 points in 72 games, finishing second on the team in both goals (39) and points behind fellow 2017 draftee Kailer Yamamoto. The Kings liked what they saw from their shiny new toy in development camp and training camp, inking Anderson-Dolan to an entry-level deal in September. However he didn’t crack the roster and was sent back to Spokane where he’s shown more of what got him drafted.

A total of 29 games into the 2017-18 campaign, JAD again finds himself occupying the second spot on the Spokane scoring charts with 12 goals and 19 helpers while averaging better than three shots per game. Not only is Anderson-Dolan a capable offensive threat, he shows proficient on the defensive side of the game as well. Likely due for another year in junior he’s still a few years away from relevance but he projects as a middle-six forward at the next level and potential future captain material.

Tanner Laczynski – Philadelphia Flyers - up to 173 from 288

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a whole Journey column on a few Philadelphia Flyers prospects having great seasons. Not only have the Flyers hit on the majority of their high picks, they are finding seemingly great value in the mid to late rounds. In addition to the players I profiled in that previous column, one played I left off the list was Tanner Laczynski. After being passed over in his first year of eligibility, all Laczynski did was go out and have a dynamite season” Playing in the USHL, he finished fourth in league scoring with 63 points and was third in assists. The Flyers took notice and snagged him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft and in the subsequent years has rewarded them big time.

Playing for The Ohio State University, Laczynski put together a stellar freshman campaign with 32 points in 34 games, finishing fifth on the Buckeyes in scoring and posting a team-best plus-20. In the process he caught the eye of Team USA management and was named to the 2017 contingent for the WJHC, earning a gold medal for his efforts. The Shorewood, IL native has taken his game to a whole new level in his sophomore campaign. Through 18 games he sits with eight goals and 15 assists and is atop the scoring list for the Buckeyes. He’s tied for eighth in the NCAA in scoring, giving the Flyers three prospects in the top-10, with Wade Allison and Cooper Marody being the other two. Again he is leading the way in the plus-minus column with a plus-12, the only player on his team in double digits.

Trent Frederic – Boston Bruins - up to 177 from 291

For as much flack as Boston management has taken for their performance in the past few drafts, one player that they appear to have hit on is Trent Frederic. Some in the industry didn’t feel he was worth a first-round pick, viewing him more as a second or third rounder. But he’s quickly put that skepticism to rest. Frederic is an imposing physical specimen with a 6’3” frame and tipping the scales at 216 pounds. He has an eye opening freshman year for the Wisconsin Badgers putting up 15 goals and 18 assists and finished tied for 10th in freshman scoring, but was fifth based on points per game.

The numbers have regressed a little bit this year, some of which can be attributed to Wisconsin being an inferior team this year, but are still respectable. He currently sits with eight goals and as many helpers in 21 games sitting second on the Badgers in scoring. Recently invited to the World Junior selection camp for Team USA, he should play a featured role in the offense for the defending gold medal champs. It’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll go pro at the end of his sophomore season.

David Pope – Detroit Red Wings - up to 180 from 429

Not gonna lie, as big a prospect writer as I am, I was unfamiliar with David Pope until I perused this month’s list. So the big question is who is David Pope? He was drafted by Detroit in 2013 in the fourth round out of the BCHL where he played for three seasons. His offensive numbers improved steadily going from 25 points in his first year to 39 and then to 50 over his final two years with the West Kelowna Warriors. He’s spent the past four years skating for the University of Nebraska-Omaha for the Mavericks. (Sidebar: They have an awesome players of the game recognition system: The player of the game wins the Maverick Award and to the unsung hero of the game goes the Goose Award. Their prize? Naval pilot helmets a la the 80’s classic ‘Top Gun’.)

He was just okay as a 20-year old freshman, posting eight goals and half a dozen assists in 33 games. His numbers took a tumble in his sophomore year with a stat line of just four goals and four assists in 31 games. But Pope rebounded and managed to get things on track in a big way in his junior season potting 13 goals and 18 assists for the Mavericks finishing third on the team in scoring. He’s on track to blow away his junior totals in his senior campaign as he’s scored 10 times and added nine assists through 16 games this season. His numbers have been aided greatly by some stellar power-play production where he has six goals and five assists putting him in a tie for fourth in the NCAA in PP points.

It hasn’t all been rosy for Pope though. His minus-11 is the third lowest mark on the Mavericks and has been on the ice for 21 goals against which is tied for the fourth highest mark in the country among forwards. He’s already matched last year’s total, but this is also a product of increased ice time, so take that with a grain of salt. Pope’s greatest asset is his NHL calibre shot, so it’s an encouraging sign to see his goal totals steadily rising over the past couple years. He’s firing the puck at a high rate with 3.94 shots/game, placing him in the top-10 in the NCAA. An older prospect, he’ll be 24 when the next NHL season commences, it remains to be seen whether or not he signs with the Red Wings. But he’s put himself on the map as a potential free agent signing should they pass.

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @BradHPhillips. Enjoy the weekend action, especially the NHL 100 Classic. I’ll be enjoying it from the warm confines of my house!


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