We’re several months into the first post-draft season for the 2018 class and already several names have established themselves as full-time NHL players. The likes of Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Brady Tkachuk will never really be considered prospects as they have already graduated to the highest level. The rest though were ranked today along with the rest of the NHL prospect landscape by various outlets including Corey Pronman at The Athletic (subscription required) and Craig Button at TSN.
Pronman is especially high on Vancouver draft pick Quinn Hughes, who will likely sign his entry-level contract after Michigan University’s season ends. There’s little doubt that Hughes will be an NHL player immediately, but his absolute ceiling is still yet to be determined. Button meanwhile has a much different view of Hughes, dropping the undersized defenseman to eighth on his board. A pair of Russian forwards lead the way as New York Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov and Florida Panthers pick Grigori Denisenko come in on top.
- Jimmy Howard’s name has been in the rumor mill for quite some time, with the Detroit Red Wings apparently asking for a first-round pick in exchange for the veteran goaltender. Speculation is likely to continue all the way up to the trade deadline, unless of course the team can come to an agreement in order to keep the pending free agent in town even longer. That’s what Howard is hoping for, as he told John Niyo of The Detroit News that it would be “an absolute honor” to finish his career with the Red Wings and that he feels like he and his family “belong” in Detroit.
- Elias Pettersson skated this morning and is now considered day-to-day, with Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green not ruling him out for Wednesday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Pettersson hasn’t played since getting tangled up with Kotkaniemi in a game against Montreal nearly two weeks ago, but is also supposed to attend the All-Star game at the end of the month. The dazzling forward has 42 points in 38 games and was running away with the Calder Trophy when he went down.