Puck Stuff Official Prospect Rankings

  1. Nico Hischier
  2. Nolan Patrick
  3. Miro Heiskanen
  4. Cody Glass
  5. Elias Pettersson
  6. Gabe Vilardi
  7. Owen Tippett
  8. Nick Suzuki
  9. Erik Brannstrom
  10. Lias Andersson
  11. Cale Makar
  12. Juuso Valimaki
  13. Timothy Liljegren
  14. Eeli Tolvanen
  15. Casey Mittlestadt
  16. Kailer Yamamoto
  17. Martin Necas
  18. Robin Salo
  19. Kole Lind
  20. Kristian Vesalainen
  21. Jason Robertson
  22. Nic Hague
  23. Jaret Anderson-Dolan
  24. Robert Thomas
  25. Conor Timmins
  26. Cal Foote
  27. Klim Kostin
  28. Michael Rasmussen
  29. Mason Shaw
  30. Jonah Gadjovich
  31. Nikita Popugaev

Mid-Season Prospect Power Rankings

  1. Nolan Patrick (WHL)

Yes, he has only played 6 games this year. Nonetheless, he is still our top ranked for good reason. Last year he posted 132 points in 93 games (regular season and playoffs) which is tremendous for a kid who was not even draft eligible. Playing at the desired centre position he has a versatile skill set to go with his large frame. His long reach and strength makes it extremely hard for players to knock the puck off him. He has great vision and seems to always find open teammates which results in lots of scoring chances for them. He has a quick release that fools goalies. Still developing in his own end, but can play some defence when he puts in the effort. Comparable-Jeff Carter

2. Nico Hischier (QMJHL)

Hischier was able to put his high-end skill on full display at this year’s World Junior Championship. A smooth, shifty skater that creates scoring chances every time he touches the puck. He has slick hands that can make even the best defenders (Charlie McAvoy wink wink) look silly. A dynamic shot that finds the back of the net more times than not. Not the biggest in size, but battles hard against anyone. Has great vision and playmaking skills, which makes his line mates better as a whole. As a rookie in the Q, the production is evident with 54 points in 33 games. Comparable-Nikita Kucherov

3. Timothy Liljegren (SHL)

An offensive defensemen that sees the ice entirely well and a great mover of the puck. He is an efficient skater with a long stride and is quite mobile. He will run the power play and has a great shot especially off the rush. Comparable-Kevin Shattenkirk

4. Eeli Tolvanen (USHL)

A Finnish sniper first and foremost. An elite shot with a devastating release that allows him to score every way imaginable. He is producing highly in the USHL with a creative, crafty offensive game. Comparable-Rickard Rakell

5. Gabriel Vilardi (OHL)

Another guy who has been hit hard with the injury bug. Vilardi utilizes his quick, heavy shot to create many scoring opportunities. He is a very clever player and sees the ice tremendously. He has a long reach and can shield the puck with ease. Comparable-Tage Thompson

6. Juuso Valimaki (WHL)

Valimaki has produced unbelievably as a defensemen in the WHL on a very good Tri-City team. Defensively, won’t amaze you with physicality, but is the best stick checker in the draft. Has a calm, patient nature that doesn’t rush plays, but develops them. Is an incredibly smart player and can transition the puck out of his end with ease. Comparable-Jake Gardiner

7. Lias Andersson (SHL)

Solid two-way forward that checks hard, but hasn’t flashed a high-end skill set yet. Possesses a quick, deceiving shot that can beat goalies. Above-average skater that uses it to play lockdown defence. Comparable-Travis Konecny

8. Kailer Yamamoto (WHL)

He may be small, but probably has the most amount of pure skill behind Hischier. Is very crafty with the puck and generates tons of offence. Comparable-Cam Atkinson

9. Nicolas Hague (OHL)

A giant kid that is tough to play against. Equipped with enough skill to stand point on a power play. Not overly skilled, but has a good shot and can jump into the rush. His skating is improving, but is still awkward of sorts. Comparable-Travis Hamonic

10. Elias Pettersson(SHL)

Another Swede with a good two-way game. Sometimes his vision and crafty hands dominate matches, other times he seems invisible throughout games. Not very strong as he is very lean, so he will need to continue to grow physically and mentally. A very shifty skater that anticipates plays well. Comparable-Jason Zucker


Just missed the cut: Maxime Comtois, Klim Klostin, Owen Tippett

“The Big Fish”

Every year it seems as if there are a select few free agents that are leaps and mounds above the rest. This year, the far and away best free agent available is Steven Stamkos. The fact that an elite player like Stamkos is a free agent at 26, now that is something that is unseen. The next few days teams will be clawing at the chance to talk to Stammer and convince him to suit up for their club next year. The first question I would ask is what do you really get if you lock Stamkos up with a mega deal? What does he bring to the table?

Story 1-2

First off, Stamkos is an offensive dynamo that scores at an unreal rate. You can easily count on him for 40 goals if healthy. His production is above and beyond what an average first liner contributes. Obviously, Steven is not your average player. That is why he will have buckets of cash thrown at him the first chance any team gets. I want to be clear about something, you’re not paying him to help you out defensively. Guys like him and Ovechkin aren’t there to keep the puck out of his own net, Stamkos’ job is to fill the opposing teams net. He can add firepower to any team as he makes others around him better in the offensive zone. When Steven is on the ice more times than not, his team controls the tempo and possession. If your team is the one to land him, I can promise you he is making them a lot better by his lonesome.


So what teams will and should be interested in him?

Tampa Bay Lightningtbl logo

Why leave a great thing? Its already proven that Tampa is an elite team that has surrounded Stamkos with plenty of talent. He might have to take less than he would get on the free agent market, but if he wants a cup, and one soon he would be wise to stay. Stamkos brings Tampa a consistent level of scoring throughout the roster and they need him more than they may think.

Toronto Maple Leafstmllogo

Man has Toronto ever turned a new page in their franchise. The front office is loaded with competent, smart people and have one of the best coaches in the game in place. Toronto has a ton of promising youngsters from Marner, Matthews, Rielly, Nylander, and many more. This could be the piece that fully reboots the rebuild and puts the team on the right path. Toronto doesn’t have a big-time sniper in the fold and why not add one without having to give up anything, even if it comes with a hefty price tag.


Buffalo SabresBuffalo_Sabres_Logo

With Terry Pegula and co. taking over this mediocre franchise, Tim Murray has the reigns to spend what he needs to make this team a contender. Having said that, they will offer Stammer upwards of 12 million, they must be looked as a real possibility. Adding Stammer would allow Buffalo to roll three legit scoring lines next season. This is what it takes to win a cup nowadays in this copycat league.


Detroit Red Wings Detroit_Red_Wings_logo

Ken Holland does it again! How he pulled off trading Datsyuk’s contract with no repercussions was a brilliant move, which allows them the opportunity to even go after Stamkos. The feeling that their playoff streak is in jeopardy is a big deal to this team. They take pride in making it to the playoffs every year and should. They need an impact player desperately, to add some scoring to this team in Stamkos would take care of a very apparent need. The roster is aging and crusty, Stamkos can be the spark that allows this team to remain in the playoff hunt.

New York Rangers nyrlogo

It seems like it’s now or never for this squad. The Rangers couldn’t keep up with the speed and playmakers teams like the Capitals and Penguins are equipped with. The defence is falling apart, King Henrik looks to be on the back 9 of his career, and the offence couldn’t  get it down at a consistent level. The Rangers would be ecstatic to add Stamkos’ pedigree for being able to put the puck in the net. They need to make some big moves, what would be bigger than the addition of Stamkos?

Other teams that could be making serious offers to Stamkos are Vancouver, Montreal, New York Islanders or Philadelphia.


Personally I believe its in Steven’s best interest to take a little pay cut and stay with Tampa. Do I think that will happen, not a chance. He wants to be paid like the Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews types because it’s a sign of respect. He believes he’s worth the 11 or 12 million that teams will offer and he would be stupid to not consider taking a deal in that range. On July 1st, I think you will see Steven Stamkos taking his talents to the “6” and becoming the next member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The contract in my opinion will be 7 years, 77 million dollars, which averages out to 11 million dollars a year. Who knows, in five years this could be the reason Stamkos is wearing that elusive ring that he covets so very much.