ISS Hockey released ISS Top 31 for March, our rankings of top prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft, on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017. The following is a showcase of rising and falling prospects within March’s release:
Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane (WHL)
No question one of the most talented players in the WHL. Always around the puck and plays bigger than his size. Shows flashes of skill every shift. The only question is: can he play the same way and contribute the same way against NHL players? We would not put it past him that he can.
Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph (OHL)
Big, powerful winger. Played in all situations. Skates well with good mobility for a big guy. His combination of size and skills should translate to the pro level.
Alexandre Texier, Grenoble (FraE)
Attracting a lot of attention from NHL scouts despite playing in France for Grenoble Les Bruleurs de Loup. Displays good size and strength. Skates well, with a good stride and nice edge control. A guy with great upside and lots of development potential. It will be interesting to see where he will continue his career.
Jonah Gadjovick, Owen Sound (OHL)
Good, physical play. Hands are fine with very good shot; shoots for rebounds and drives the net. Skating is average – with slow first few steps – but has improved slightly.
Markus Phillips, Owen Sound (OHL)
Two-way defenseman who showed some good things in this game. Good vision, great first pass. Showed some reliability with the puck. Tools to be a 4th or 5th NHL defender with PP time.
Jake Leschyshyn, Regina (WHL)
The more I watch, the more I appreciate his work ethic and his motor. Thinks the game well and is capable of playing up and down the line up with anyone at this level.
Kevin Hancock, Owen Sound (OHL)
Very underrated two-way forward with top notch hockey IQ. Not flashy, but does all the little things to have success. Draft Sleeper!
Nikita Popugaev, Prince George (WHL)
Slowed down a lot – 3 goals in 21 games since the trade to Prince George. Can be a powerplay producer at the next level, but needs to work on defense and physical game.
Sasha Chmelevski, Ottawa (OHL)
Very good skater, but lacks breakaway speed. Goal scorer with pro release. Will need to improve his strength and consistency to be able to play at the next level.
Matthew Strome, Hamilton (OHL)
Good Hockey IQ. Sees the ice well. Knows where to be. Knows how to get into dead coverage in the offensive zone. His skating needs huge improvement; he’ll have an uphill battle to make it to the NHL due to his skating.
Mark Rubinchik, Saskatoon (WHL)
Plays the PP and PK. Plays hard and never takes a shift off. Aggressive to a fault as he gets himself out of position looking to engage physically.
Jonathan Smart, Regina (WHL)
7th defenseman again. Gave puck away when pressured and played sparingly. Made soft plays and was a non-factor.