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Atlantic Forecast, Vol. 5

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Forwards part two of two

Vancouver Canucks v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Folks, we made it: volume five of five. First and foremost, thank you to all the readers who have followed this series. Before you ask, “where is Drake Batherson?” follow this link for the first half of the forwards. Today we cover all the remaining forwards aged 23-and-under from the farm systems of the teams around the Atlantic Division. Much like goaltending and left defence, the Senators really shine in this volume compared to the competition. As always, all the numbers below come courtesy of capfriendly and eliteprospects. You should all know the drill by now so without further ado, let’s one last time start with the Senators. (Spoiler alert: this article gets pretty bland after Ottawa’s list and that’s a good thing.)

Ottawa Senators

With the likes of fan favourite Clarke MacArthur, Mikkel Boedker, and Matthew Peca (whomst?) coming off the books this year, and Marian Gaborik, and Artem Anisimov coming off the books next year, the Senators should have ample cap space even if they provide any of Anthony Duclair, Chris Tierney, or Nick Paul with modest raises. Fans will look predominantly at the Brady Tkachuk contract negotiations as the corner stone of Ottawa’s financial future up front. Brady has a lot of company, however, when it comes to talented young Senators forwards.

  • Vitaly Abramov 0.80 points per game in the AHL
  • Rudolfs Baclers 1.09 points per game in the AHL and 0.20 in the NHL
  • Logan Brown 1.12 points per game in the AHL and 0.35 in the NHL
  • Michael Carcone 0.46 points per game in the AHL
  • Filip Chlapik 0.59 points per game in the AHL and 0.19 in the NHL
  • Angus Crookshank 0.65 points per game in the NCAA
  • Alex Formenton 0.87 points per game in the AHL
  • Johnathan Gruden 1.12 points per game in the OHL
  • Parker Kelly 0.28 points per game in the AHL
  • Viktor Lodin 0.44 points per game in Allsvenskan and 0.18 in the SHL
  • Josh Norris 1.09 points per game in the AHL
  • Jakov Novak 0.86 points per game in the NCAA
  • Brady Tkachuk 0.62 points per game in the NHL

I told you Brady has a lot of company. Abramov has always been a boom-or-bust prospect and the type that Ottawa has historically shied away from. He had fantastic numbers in junior and has played solid, although not quite phenomenal, hockey in the AHL. At his age, now is the time to see if he can make the jump to the NHL. He’ll have to play against the best if Ottawa wants to see what Abramov’s ceiling looks like. Balcers has definitely aged out of the AHL and with so many other talented young forwards around him, he won’t face any undue pressure once he joins the big club. Due to injuries, Brown didn’t quite put up the numbers expected in the AHL at first. Now Brown, like Abramov and Balcers has outgrown the AHL and, based on his nerd stats in limited NHL minutes, looks ready to graduate into a full-time NHL role. While Chlapik doesn’t have the offensive ceiling that some other young Sens forwards have, his limited play in the NHL has showcased his two-way aptitude he long displayed in the AHL. I could see Chlapik developing into a important part of Ottawa’s penalty kill in the future. While Crookshank had an underwhelming year production-wise, he has the tools at his disposal and remains a dark horse in Ottawa’s system. Formenton had an exceptional rookie AHL season and continues to receive rave reviews around these parts. Gruden still hasn’t quite found that next gear and will have to fight tooth and nail to keep up with the pack. I don’t know what I need to tell you about Tkachuk and Norris except to get used to watching them terrorize the opposition.

Boston Bruins

Even with someone like Brad Marchand locked up for another five seasons, the Bruins have kept all of their contracts under $7.5M in terms of cap hit and they still have financial flexibility of the nest couple of years. The Bruins remain a team very much in their window, although with a few decent players coming down the pipeline.

  • John Beecher 0.52 NCAA
  • Anders Bjork 0.33 NHL
  • Jake DeBrusk 0.54 NHL
  • Trent Frederic 0.54 AHL
  • Cameron Hughes 0.36 AHL
  • Joona Koppanen 0.42 AHL
  • Jakub Lauko 0.41 AHL
  • Matias Mantykivi 0.15 Liiga
  • Quinn Olson 0.48 NCAA
  • Pavel Shen 0.26 AHL

None of the players in this group really stand out as future game-breakers to me. Boston has a few low-ceiling/high probability type forwards here. DeBrusk, who has already established himself in the NHL, probably stands out the most and I can see Frederic smoothly making the jump to the NHL when the organization feels the need. After that, Bjork and Lauko could become decent depth players. Although they still have plenty of time, Beecher and Olson haven’t set themselves apart from the pack in any way so far.

Buffalo Sabres

While Buffalo has some $35M+ coming off the books this summer, they still have five-plus years of Jeff Skinner at $9M to navigate and a lot of spots to fill on their roster. As we saw in previous volumes, Buffalo tends to lack in organizational depth and compensates by having one or two stud prospects at a given position.

  • Rasmus Asplund 0.58 AHL and 0.10 NHL
  • Brandon Biro 1.00 NCAA
  • Filip Cederqvist 0.31 Allsvenskan and 0.07 SHL
  • Marcus Davidsson 0.42 SHL
  • Vasili Glotov 0.52 VHL and 0.27 KHL
  • Casey Mittelstadt 0.69 AHL and 0.29 NHL
  • Brett Murray 0.44 AHL
  • Matej Pekar 1.24 OHL
  • Lukas Rousek 0.56 Czech Extraliga
  • Arttu Ruotsalainen 0.98 Liiga
  • Linus Weissbach 0.63 NCAA

Buffalo had hoped Mittelstadt would stand out as the crown jewel of this group, and while we can’t close the book on him just yet, it seems as though the Sabres may have set the young forward back a season or two by calling him up the the NHL prematurely. Asplund and Rousek present the Sabres with options for depth forwards who seem prepared for roles in the NHL while Murray likely needs another season in the AHL. Biro has plateaued in his development and we’ll see if he gets a chance in Rochester to get back into the mix. Weissbach had trended in the right direction up until this past, forgettable, season with the University of Wisconsin. The Sabres will need him to rebound as they don’t have a lot else cooking right now.

Detroit Red Wings

Like Buffalo, Detroit has some $35M coming off the books this year, although they still have players like Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielson, and Justin Abdelkader on the payroll. The Red Wings appear in no rush to get back into contention, though, and you can expect another paper thin team next season hunting a lottery pick. For the purpose of this exercise, the Red Wings and their ten zillion prospects remain the bane of my existence. Here we go again.

  • Jonatan Berggren 0.50 SHL
  • Mattias Elfstrom 0.69 Swedish Division 1
  • Albin Grewe 0.83 SuperElit and 0.05 SHL
  • Taro Hirose 0.77 AHL and 0.27 NHL
  • Otto Kivenmaki 0.40 Liiga
  • Dylan Larkin 0.75 NHL
  • Robert Matrisimone 0.50 NCAA
  • Chase Pearson 0.37 AHL
  • Michael Rasmussen 0.63 AHL
  • Givani Smith 0.51 AHL
  • Elmer Soderblom 1.53 SuperElit and 0 SHL
  • Evgeny Svechnikov 0.49 AHL
  • Dmytro Timashov 0.20 NHL
  • Kirill Tyutyayev 0.74 VHL
  • Joseph Veleno 0.43 AHL
  • Filip Zadina 0.76 AHL and 0.54 NHL

There are too damn many of them. Starting with the Swedes, Berggren, Grewe, and Soderblom still need time before crossing the Atlantic but I’m keeping all three on my radar based on what they’ve accomplished so far. Likewise, Tyutyavey intrigues me and I would monitor his progress in Russia. In the NCAA, Matrisimone hasn’t gotten off to a great start and will need to recover some stock next year. I don’t think Smith has much of an NHL future at this point and I won’t hold my breath on Svechnikov much longer. Rasmussen and Veleno will likely need another year or two in the AHL before graduating to modest NHL roles. Timashov hasn’t managed to find a groove in the NHL and could run out of runway. Zadina, as Sens fans know well, has a bright future (even if he’s no Brady Tkachuk). You know the book on Larkin. He’s the real deal.

Florida Panthers

Could this be their decade? Who knows. They still have Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau locked up for a few more years. After that, it’s the great unknown. Like the Sabres, the Panthers’ system bends more towards quality than quantity in the sense that they have a handful of home-run prospects and a lot of noise.

  • Karch Bachman 0.91 NCAA
  • Henrik Borgstrom 0.47 AHL
  • Aleksi Heponiemi 0.29 AHL
  • Eetu Luostarian 0.51 AHL
  • Aleksi Saarela 0.67 AHL and 0.44 NHL
  • Justin Schutz 0.29 DEL
  • Matthew Wedman 0.98 WHL

As I wrote in a previous article, Borgstrom was recently still considered a prospect of intrigue up until this sub-par season in Springfield and other teams should be circling like vultures if Florida decides to part with the young forward. Heponiemi also had a rough season in Springfield but has plenty of time to recoup any prestige he may have lost this year. Overseas, Schutz still probably needs another season in Germany before making the trip across. All three Europeans could still provide value for the Cats while Luostarian and Saarela have likely topped out as depth players at the professional level.

Montreal Canadiens

While not quite monstrosity that we saw with Detroit, Montreal has maybe five zillion affiliated prospects and again it takes some effort to filter out the noise. Right now they have an affordable collection of cast-offs like Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar, and Max Domi up front holding things together while the team figures out just what direction it’s heading in.

  • Cole Fonstad 1.09 WHL
  • Jack Gorniak 0.25 NCAA
  • Rafael Harvey-Pinard 1.26 QMJHL
  • Samuel Houde 1.18 QMJHL
  • Arsen Khisamutdinov 0.93 VHL and 0.10 KHL
  • Jesperi Kotkaniemi 1.00 AHL and 0.22 NHL
  • Aaron Luchuk 1.09 ECHL
  • Jacob Olofsson 0.38 SHL
  • Michael Pezzetta 0.13 AHL
  • Rhett Pitlick 0.93 USHL
  • Ryan Poehling 0.36 AHL and 0.07 NHL
  • Joel Teasdale NA
  • Hayden Verbeek 0.90 ECHL

Look at all those made-up players! I haven’t heard of any of them. I exaggerate but barely. The big names here, Kotkaniemi and Poehling, both came into the league with plenty of hype only to hit walls in their development. Montreal would be best served to let both regain their confidence in the AHL before rushing them back into the big leagues again. Among the lesser-known commodities here, I would keep an eye on Olofsson over in Sweden. Pitlick will play his freshman season at the University of Minnesota when the NCAA resumes their activities while Gorniack will look to rebound after a poor season with the University of Wisconsin.

Tampa Bay Lightning

With big money tied up in stars like Nikita Kucherov and depth players like Yanni Gourde and Alex Killorn, what you see is what you get in Tampa. They don’t have any big money coming off the books for the first half of the decade and they still have to find a way to get their talented young NHLers under contract. I guess it bodes well (?) for the Lightning that they don’t have too much going on down on the farm.

  • Alex Barre-Boulet 0.93 AHL
  • Anthony Cirelli 0.65 NHL
  • Ross Colton 0.68 AHL
  • Gabriel Fortier 0.98 QMJHL
  • Jimmy Huntington 0.67 ECHL and 0.09 AHL
  • Mathieu Joseph 0.72 AHL and 0.19 NHL
  • Boris Katchouk 0.53 AHL
  • Cole Koepke 0.97 NCAA
  • Alexey Lipanov 0.43 ECHL
  • Ryan Lohin 0.33 ECHL
  • Mikhail Shalagin 0.24 ECHL
  • Otto Somppi 0.40 AHL
  • Alex Volkov 0.65 AHL
  • Dennis Yan 0.36 AHL

The Lightning have a reputation for swinging for the fences at the draft and making thirty other general managers look bad so I full accept that I will miss the mark on most of these players and they’ll probably all win Selke trophies. Cirelli you should already know as he has developed into a solid two-way NHLer. I don’t know that Barre-Boulet will become the next Martin St. Louis but I get the impression that he’ll become one of those undrafted skaters who finds a way to stick in the NHL. He just continues to put up big numbers at every level. Katchouk, contrarily looks to have a future primarily in the AHL while Yan could make it as a fringe NHL forward on a deep team like the Lightning. By their standards, Fortier and Joseph are coming off poor seasons at their respective levels but still have a shot while players like Koepke and Volkov likely won’t get a shot in the NHL given their performances thus far.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Much like the first four volumes, you can skip this part (or any part really (I’m not your boss)). The leafs suck and I hate them and I hope all of these prospects quit hockey to pursue studies in medicine or something. It’s not like Toronto will be able to sign any of them anyways as they have to pay John Tavares, Andreas Johnsson, and something called an Alexander Kerfoot for the next half decade or more.

  • Mikhail Abramov 1.21 QMJHL
  • Nick Abruzzesse 1.42 NCAA
  • Vladimir Bobylev 0.54 VHL
  • Nikolai Chebykin 0.41 VHL
  • Pierre Engvall 1.07 AHL and 0.31 NHL
  • Pontus Holmberg 0.31 SHL
  • Vladislav Kara 0.84 VHL and 0.30 KHL
  • Semyon Kizimov 0.27 VHL
  • Yegor Korshkov 0.57 AHL
  • Auston Matthews 1.14 NHL
  • Nick Robertson 1.87 OHL
  • Riley Stotts 1.06 WHL

First and foremost, Matthews needs to keep his pants on. At the pro level, Engvall and Korshkov represent the type of affordable depth Toronto needs to round out their NHL roster. In the NCAA, Abruzzese had some kind of season and because of his affiliation, I hope it was an aberration and he regresses to mediocrity. Robertson, lamentably, looks like a really, really good prospect and it pains me to type that. On a more positive note, Stotts and Toronto’s Abramov look pretty average so thumbs up!

Stats

Name Affiliation Drafted Age League Games Points Contract Cap Hit
Name Affiliation Drafted Age League Games Points Contract Cap Hit
Abramov, Vitaly Senators 65 22 AHL 51 41 RFA 2021 0.731
Asplund, Rasmus Sabres 33 22 AHL 33 19 RFA 2021 0.845
Balcers, Rudolfs Senators 142 23 AHL 33 36 RFA 2020 0.759
Barre-Boulet, Alex Lightning NA 22 AHL 60 56 RFA 2021 0.759
Borgstrom, Henrik Panthers 23 22 AHL 49 23 RFA 2020 0.925
Brown, Logan Senators 11 22 AHL 25 28 RFA 2021 0.863
Carcone, Michael Senators NA 23 AHL 59 27 RFA 2021 0.700
Chlapik, Filip Senators 48 22 AHL 37 22 RFA 2020 0.729
Colton, Ross Lightning 118 23 AHL 62 42 RFA 2020 0.768
Engvall, Pierre Leafs 188 23 AHL 15 16 RFA 2020 0.925
Formenton, Alex Senators 47 20 AHL 61 53 RFA 2022 0.748
Frederic, Trent Bruins 29 22 AHL 59 32 RFA 2021 0.925
Heponiemi, Aleksi Panthers 40 21 AHL 49 14 RFA 2022 0.925
Hirose, Taro Red Wings NA 23 AHL 35 27 RFA 2020 0.925
Hughes, Cameron Bruins 165 23 AHL 44 16 RFA 2021 0.793
Huntington, Jimmy Lightning NA 21 AHL 33 3 RFA 2022 0.809
Joseph, Mathieu Lightning 120 23 AHL 29 21 RFA 2020 0.728
Katchouk, Boris Lightning 44 21 AHL 60 32 RFA 2021 0.833
Kelly, Parker Senators NA 20 AHL 57 16 RFA 2022 0.727
Koppanen, Joona Bruins 135 22 AHL 43 18 RFA 2021 0.753
Korshkov, Yegor Leafs 31 23 AHL 44 25 RFA 2021 0.925
Kotkaniemi, Jesperi Canadiens 3 19 AHL 13 13 RFA 2021 0.925
Lauko, Jakub Bruins 77 20 AHL 22 9 RFA 2022 0.787
Luostarian, Eetu Panthers 42 21 AHL 49 25 RFA 2022 0.898
Mittelstadt, Casey Sabres 8 21 AHL 36 25 RFA 2020 0.925
Murray, Brett Sabres 99 21 AHL 55 24 ELC 2020 NA
Norris, Josh Senators 19 21 AHL 56 61 RFA 2022 0.925
Pearson, Chase Red Wings 140 22 AHL 59 22 RFA 2021 0.859
Pezzetta, Michael Canadiens 160 22 AHL 32 4 RFA 2021 0.743
Poehling, Ryan Canadiens 25 21 AHL 36 13 RFA 2021 0.925
Rasmussen, Michael Red Wings 9 21 AHL 35 22 RFA 2021 0.894
Saarela, Aleksi Panthers 89 23 AHL 48 32 RFA 2020 0.753
Shen, Pavel Bruins 212 20 AHL 35 9 RFA 2022 0.809
Smith, Givani Red Wings 46 22 AHL 37 19 RFA 2021 0.714
Somppi, Otto Lightning 206 22 AHL 45 18 RFA 2021 0.763
Svechnikov, Evgeny Red Wings 19 23 AHL 51 25 RFA 2020 0.863
Teasdale, Joel Canadiens NA 21 AHL NA NA RFA 2022 0.763
Veleno, Joseph Red Wings 30 20 AHL 54 23 RFA 2022 0.925
Volkov, Alex Lightning 48 22 AHL 46 30 RFA 2020 0.864
Yan, Dennis Lightning 64 23 AHL 50 18 RFA 2020 0.728
Zadina, Filip Red Wings 6 20 AHL 21 16 RFA 2022 0.894
Cederqvist, Filip Sabres 143 19 Allsvenskan 13 4 ELC 2023 NA
Lodin, Viktor Senators 94 20 Allsvenskan 18 8 ELC 2021 NA
Rousek, Lukas Sabres 160 21 Czech Extraliga 52 29 ELC 2021 NA
Schutz, Justin Panthers 170 19 DEL 42 12 ELC 2022 NA
Elfstrom, Mattias Red Wings 197 23 Division 1 35 24 ELC 2020 NA
Huntington, Jimmy Lightning NA 21 ECHL 12 8 RFA 2022 0.809
Lipanov. Alexey Lightning 76 20 ECHL 37 16 RFA 2022 0.748
Lohin, Ryan Lightning 208 23 ECHL 15 5 RFA 2021 0.793
Luchuk, Aaron Canadiens NA 23 ECHL 46 50 RFA 2020 0.759
Shalagin, Mikhail Lightning 198 20 ECHL 41 10 ELC 2021 NA
Verbeek, Hayden Canadiens NA 22 ECHL 21 19 RFA 2021 0.753
Glotov, Vasili Sabres 190 22 KHL 11 3 NA NA
Kara, Vladislav Leafs 124 22 KHL 27 8 NA NA
Khisamutdinov, Arsen Canadiens 170 22 KHL 31 3 RFA 2022 0.795
Kivenmaki, Otto Red Wings 191 20 Liiga 53 21 ELC 2022 NA
Mantykivi, Matias Bruins 185 18 Liiga 41 6 ELC 2023 NA
Ruotsalainen, Arttu Sabres NA 22 Liiga 44 43 RFA 2022 0.925
Abruzzese, Nick Leafs 124 20 NCAA 31 44 ELC 2023 NA
Bachman, Karch Panthers 132 23 NCAA 34 31 ELC 2020 NA
Beecher, John Bruins 30 19 NCAA 31 16 ELC 2023 NA
Biro, Brandon Sabres NA 22 NCAA 25 25 RFA 2022 0.925
Crookshank, Angus Senators 126 20 NCAA 34 22 ELC 2022 NA
Gorniak, Jack Canadiens 123 20 NCAA 28 7 ELC 2022 NA
Koepke, Cole Lightning 183 22 NCAA 34 33 ELC 2022 NA
Mastrosimone, Robert Red Wings 54 19 NCAA 34 17 ELC 2023 NA
Novak, Jakov Senators 188 21 NCAA 35 30 ELC 2022 NA
Olson, Quinn Bruins 92 19 NCAA 31 15 ELC 2023 NA
Weissbach, Linus Sabres 192 22 NCAA 35 22 ELC 2021 NA
Asplund, Rasmus Sabres 33 22 NHL 29 3 RFA 2021 0.845
Balcers, Rudolfs Senators 142 23 NHL 15 3 RFA 2020 0.759
Bjork, Anders Bruins 146 23 NHL 58 19 RFA 2020 0.925
Brown, Logan Senators 11 22 NHL 23 8 RFA 2021 0.863
Chlapik, Filip Senators 48 22 NHL 31 6 RFA 2020 0.729
Cirelli, Anthony Lightning 72 22 NHL 68 44 RFA 2020 0.728
DeBrusk, Jake Bruins 14 23 NHL 65 35 RFA 2020 0.863
Engvall, Pierre Leafs 188 23 NHL 48 15 RFA 2020 0.925
Hirose, Taro Red Wings NA 23 NHL 26 7 RFA 2020 0.925
Joseph, Mathieu Lightning 120 23 NHL 37 7 RFA 2020 0.728
Kotkaniemi, Jesperi Canadiens 3 19 NHL 36 8 RFA 2021 0.925
Larkin, Dylan Red Wings 15 23 NHL 71 53 UFA 2023 6.100
Matthews, Auston Leafs 1 22 NHL 70 80 UFA 2024 11.634
Mittelstadt, Casey Sabres 8 21 NHL 31 9 RFA 2020 0.925
Poehling, Ryan Canadiens 25 21 NHL 27 2 RFA 2021 0.925
Saarela, Aleksi Panthers 89 23 NHL 9 4 RFA 2020 0.753
Smith, Givani Red Wings 46 22 NHL 21 3 RFA 2021 0.714
Timashov, Dmytro Red Wings 125 23 NHL 44 9 RFA 2020 0.694
Tkachuk, Brady Senators 4 20 NHL 71 44 RFA 2021 0.925
Zadina, Filip Red Wings 6 20 NHL 28 15 RFA 2022 0.894
Gruden, Jonathan Senators 95 20 OHL 59 66 RFA 2022 0.816
Pekar, Matej Sabres 94 20 OHL 51 63 RFA 2022 0.779
Robertson, Nick Leafs 53 18 OHL 46 86 RFA 2022 0.850
Abramov, Mikhail Leafs 115 19 QMJHL 63 76 RFA 2023 0.810
Fortier, Gabriel Lightning 59 20 QMJHL 64 63 RFA 2022 0.806
Harvey-Pinard, Rafael Canadiens 201 21 QMJHL 62 78 ELC 2021 NA
Houde, Samuel Canadiens 133 20 QMJHL 44 52 ELC 2020 NA
Berggren, Jonatan Red Wings 33 19 SHL 24 12 ELC 2022 NA
Cederqvist, Filip Sabres 143 19 SHL 30 2 ELC 2023 NA
Davidsson, Marcus Sabres 37 21 SHL 31 13 ELC 2021 NA
Grewe, Albin Red Wings 66 19 SHL 19 1 ELC 2023 NA
Holmberg, Pontus Leafs 156 21 SHL 51 16 ELC 2022 NA
Lodin, Viktor Senators 94 20 SHL 22 4 ELC 2021 NA
Olofsson, Jacob Canadiens 56 20 SHL 24 9 ELC 2022 NA
Soderblom, Elmer Red Wings 159 18 SHL 10 0 ELC 2023 NA
Grewe, Albin Red Wings 66 19 SuperElit 23 19 ELC 2023 NA
Soderblom, Elmer Red Wings 159 18 SuperElit 36 55 ELC 2023 NA
Pitlick, Rhett Canadiens 131 19 USHL 45 42 ELC 2024 NA
Bobylev, Vladimir Leafs 122 23 VHL 39 21 NA NA
Chebykin, Nikolai Leafs 182 22 VHL 44 18 NA NA
Glotov, Vasili Sabres 190 22 VHL 33 17 NA NA
Kara, Vladislav Leafs 124 22 VHL 25 21 NA NA
Khisamutdinov, Arsen Canadiens 170 22 VHL 14 13 RFA 2022 0.795
Kizimov, Semyon Leafs 211 20 VHL 45 12 NA NA
Tyutyayev, Kirill Red Wings 190 19 VHL 27 20 NA NA
Fonstad, Cole Canadiens 128 20 WHL 64 70 ELC 2020 NA
Stotts, Riley Leafs 83 20 WHL 64 68 ELC 2020 NA
Wedman, Matthew Panthers 199 20 WHL 54 53 ELC 2021 NA