With most leagues being either at or near their midseason marks, it’s a good time to look back at our preseason prospect rankings. Some players have seen their stocks rise while others have dropped considerably.
(Preseason rankings in parentheses.)
Simon Bourque (24) – He was already placed higher than most sixth round picks usually are after being drafted it appears we didn’t place him high enough to start. Bourque has sustained and even improved upon his offensive jump from last year while he has moved into a top pairing role with little issue. He looked like a steal when he was picked and still does today.
Daniel Carr (12) – Nearly half our writers had him in the top-10 when we voted in September but if the ballot went out now, it would probably be close to unanimous that he’d be there. He played quite well with the IceCaps and since being recalled to the Habs, Carr has done nothing but impress and is really making a case to stick around for the long haul.
Morgan Ellis (33) – Ellis was ranked with the rest of little-to-no-chance players on the list. After three mediocre at best seasons, I was surprised he was even qualified in the offseason. Montreal’s patience is being somewhat rewarded though as Ellis has been one of St. John’s better blueliners. He’s still not back in the discussion as a legitimate NHL prospect but he’s not a complete write-off either which is where he was slotted in the rankings.
Jake Evans (31) – He had a nice rookie season with Notre Dame last year but I generally don’t like to jump seventh round picks up the rankings too quickly after one good year. Evans has followed up that year with an even better one so far as he is among the top scorers on the team. If his second half is like his first, he will be poised for a sizable jump in the rankings next year.
Tim Bozon (14) – His first pro season has been underwhelming so far to say the least. A preseason injury cost him a good chunk of time and since his return, he has been a frequent scratch in St. John’s and hasn’t fared all that well when he has played – whether it’s with the IceCaps or the Beast (ECHL). It’s not time to write him off just yet but he’s now halfway into his entry level deal with very little to show for it. I’d like to see him sent to Brampton for a little while to get into a bit of a rhythm offensively.
Mac Bennett (20) – With all of the departures from Hamilton’s left defence from last season (Drewiske, Allen, and Tinordi), a top four spot in St. John’s was his to take. Instead, he has spent much of the year in the #6 role while being a healthy scratch quite a few times as well. If that keeps up in the second half, the focus will change from trying to get an NHL spot down the road to simply hoping to get a qualifying offer in June.
Dalton Thrower (22) – The good news is that he hasn’t been hit with the injury bug like the last couple of years. The bad news is that he’s still not playing a whole lot. Thrower has been scratched for most of the season, seeing only a few games as ‘conditioning stints’ with Brampton and only seven contests with St. John’s with some of those coming as a seventh defenceman. Like Bozon, Thrower is at the midway point of his entry level pact and has accomplished little thus far.
Jarred Tinordi (7) – He was far from a unanimous top-10 selection in the offseason and simply by virtue of hardly playing at all this year, his stock is going in the wrong direction. I presume NHL teams know that too and are trying to wait out Marc Bergevin to get the Montreal GM to take a lesser return for him. If he happens to get into the lineup for the Habs, he could turn this around but it just doesn’t seem like he’s going to get enough playing time for that to happen.