The World Juniors have come and gone, and once again scouts all across the league have started to adjust their rankings and projections. One such prognosticator, Corey Pronman of The Athletic, goes in depth on what he saw at the tournament and his main takeaways.
Pronman agrees with the rest of the writers who voted Casey Mittelstadt as tournament MVP, after the Buffalo Sabres prospect looked dangerous on every shift. Even with Buffalo struggling once again this season, there may be a light on the horizon in Mittelstadt. The eight-overall pick from 2017 has found immediate success at the University of Minnesota, and looks ready to turn pro after just one season in the NCAA. While he’s made no indication on whether he’ll be a one-and-done, the Sabres will undoubtedly make a pitch in the spring to bring him aboard.
- Speaking of World Junior prospects, the London Knights of the OHL have traded St. Louis Blues’ prospect Robert Thomas to the Hamilton Bulldogs for a package that includes five draft picks, stretching all the way to 2026. Thomas, selected 20th-overall in 2017, didn’t have an outstanding tournament for Team Canada but is still an intriguing prospect for the Blues. His defensive ability and versatility all while being an outstanding offensive producer makes it easy to envision him transitioning to the professional ranks with success. If he doesn’t crack the Blues out of camp next season he can still return to the junior ranks, and could be a returnee at the World Juniors next year as one of Canada’s top options up front.
- David Savard’s wallet is a little lighter this morning, after being fined $5,000 for slashing Vincent Trocheck last night. Savard wasn’t given a penalty on the play, but didn’t avoid the gaze of the Department of Player Safety. While this obviously isn’t a suspension, it will be taken into account on any further disciplinary action from the league.