Last week I started off this column by writing about Jake Oettinger, but this time around I’m going to kick this week’s column off by talking about a different goalie.
Colton Point of the Colgate University Raiders has been simply stellar so far this season, posting some eye-popping numbers. The 19-year-old, 6’4” stopper has a record of 6-0-4 with a 1.16 G.A.A. and .962 save percentage so far this season.
He maintained his record of being unbeaten in regulation this past weekend, winning back-to-back games. Highlights of the second game can be found below:
Dallas’ 5th round, 128th-overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft is currently one of the best goalies in the NCAA. If this strong play keeps up, there is a chance that Point could get consideration from Hockey Canada for a roster spot in this year’s World Juniors. Definitely something to keep an eye on going forward.
North American Junior
University of North Dakota center Rhett Gardner picked up one goal in two games over the weekend. His offensive numbers will never fly off the page at the pro level, but Gardner plays a fierce, burly, two-way style of game similar to that of Radek Faksa. He could carve out a nice, reliable NHL career as a Bottom 6 forward.
Joe Cecconi picked up another assist for the U. of Michigan, bumping his totals to six points in 10 games, which is tied for most among defenders on his team.
Jason Robertson continues to rack up points at a consistent pace, adding a goal and two assists over two weekend games. Video highlights of a one-goal, one-assist performance on Friday can be found here.
Liam Hawel had a huge four-point weekend for the Guelph Storm, with one goal and three assists. The big center showed off some impressive wheels on Sunday on a beautiful breakaway goal, which can be seen below:
Czech defenseman Ondrej Vala had one goal and one assist in a game against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. He’s been chipping in points at a steady pace since the season started, but more importantly, he’s shored up his defensive game and his Kamloops Blazers team has started to win games.
Miro Heiskanen has no intention of slowing down his torrid goal-scoring pace any time soon. He has two goals in three games for Finland at the Karjala Cup, which is seen as an important pre-Olympic tournament. Speaking of the Olympics, Heiskanen is making a very, very strong case to represent Finland at the prestigious event in 2018. Sean Shapiro made an interesting note on Twitter about this:
Talked to two separate people today who have watched Miro Heiskanen live in past month. One said "he's the best defender in Europe" the other said "he'll be a breakout player at Olympics."— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 12, 2017
Fredrik Karlstrom has had a tough start to his season in the SHL, but he had a productive weekend with the Tre Kronor at the international U20 Four Nations tournament in Russia. I wasn’t able to find exact stats, but he scored at least three goals and had at least one assist. Here’s one of the goals:
Jakob Stenqvist had two points in two games for Bjorkloven, both of which were assists. Video highlights of them can be found here (note Stenqvist’s graceful footwork).
The Texas Stars played three games last week, registering two wins and one loss.
Goaltending prospect Landon Bow picked up both of the wins, stopping 13 of 15 shots in the first game and 33 of 34 in the second. He also got called in to replace starter Mike McKenna in the third (a 5-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins), stopping 12 of 13 in the final frame. He’s starting to get more opportunities in the Texas net, and he’s made the most of these chances so far.
It was, however, another quiet stretch of hockey for the team’s prospects at forward and on defense (including Julius Honka, who has been held pointless in six games for Texas). The team is being led offensively lately by veterans Travis Morin, Curtis McKenzie (can you call a 26-year-old a veteran?) and Brian Flynn. Roope Hintz has been getting power play time and picked up one helper in the three-game stint.
2018 NHL Draft Watch
Filip Hallander is a Swedish prospect that hasn’t been getting a lot of draft buzz, but that’s sure to change as the big day gets closer. He’s a fast, smart forward that possesses great hand-eye coordination and some nifty puck-moving abilities. The 17-year-old has 10 points in 15 games in Sweden’s Allsvenskan, which is tied for second on his team, behind only Jonathan Dahlen.
Video highlights of an impressive three-point outing in October can be found here.