ISS Hockey released ISS Top 31 for January, rankings of top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft, on Wednesday, January 4th, 2016. The following is a showcase of rising and falling prospects within January’s release:
Nico Hischier, Halifax (QMJHL)
Outstanding at WJC & led Swiss team in scoring – future #1 center with leadership ability. At times dominated play & closed the gap between himself & Nolan Patrick. Getting better and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, playing with a lot of confidence, skill and compete.
Cale Makar, Brooks (AJHL)
Easily best player during World Junior A Challenge. Dynamic offensive player who played with energy and passion. Tremendous shot that seems to surprise goalies and get on them very quickly. Wants the puck on his stick when game is in the balance. Great skater who has good balance and agility. Top end player with loads of upside.
Kole Lind, Kelowna (WHL)
Smart player with good hockey IQ, good positioning and plays top 2 line minutes. Not a great skater but gets there and has a very good stick. Creative with the puck and knows how to score. Quiet player that seems to get things done and shows up on the score sheet.
Alex Formenton, London (OHL)
Skilled player with good puck sense. Good job on F/C and is good at jumping into open space away from puck. Will get to dirty areas on the ice and battle for space. Like his compete level and hockey IQ. Uses his speed to create chances. Really like this kids upside, just needs to build up and add strength.
Joel Teasdale, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
Smart two-way winger with good hands; just of average size and average skating skill. Not big or physical but shows good strength winning puck battles. Skates bent over, stride is not fluid, just ‘ok’ straight away speed and not a lot of east-west mobility. His best attributes are his hockey sense and scoring touch. Looks like a bottom 6 two-way winger with improved skating.
Antoine Crete-Belzile, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
Injured again, with only 14 games played so far this year. Played 43 last year and looks to be injure prone?? He is a smart player and competes hard but missing physical strength to be able to win battles on the wall.
Baron Thompson, Brandon (WHL)
Huge defenceman that has some potential in a few years, but will be difficult to assume this as he doesn’t get much play time. No PP, little PK, but takes up space and fills the lanes well. Skating and quickness could be a issue as he is still learning the game but right now doesn’t impact the game very much.