The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler has released his Top-50 NHL Prospects ranking (subscription required), listing the best drafted players under the age of 23. Wheeler’s list includes a short paragraph on every single one of the ranked players, and nearly 70 honorable mention players. There are some rankings that may surprise fans, but Wheeler explains that the biggest factor in his rankings is high-end skill, not necessarily proximity to the NHL or likelihood of getting there.
Number one on his list should come as no surprise, given that Rasmus Dahlin has been termed a “generational talent” by people all around the NHL over the past few months. While Wheeler isn’t comfortable handing out that exact term, he does rave about the Buffalo Sabres prospect and his potential to become the “best defenseman in the world.” That should bring a wave of smiles to Sabres fans, who have another prospect near the very top of the list as well.
- Dominic Moore is hoping to play again in 2018-19, but he doesn’t think it will be with the Toronto Maple Leafs. After suiting up for 50 games with Toronto last season, Moore was essentially replaced by Tomas Plekanec at the trade deadline and is still waiting for an opportunity around the league. He told TSN 1050 radio that he’s just being patient, given that he’s had long offseason waits before. Moore has played nearly 900 regular season games in his NHL career, and had 12 points last season for the Maple Leafs.
- Speaking of the Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews has begun talks with the team on a contract extension according to several reports including Luke Fox of Sportsnet. Matthews is heading into the final season of his entry-level contract and became eligible to sign an extension on July 1st. The star center is likely going to command a huge contract similar to the ones Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel have signed in past seasons, though the new Maple Leafs front office will have work to do making sure everything can fit into their salary cap. The team already handed out an $11MM cap hit to John Tavares and are still in negotiations with restricted free agent William Nylander on his next deal.