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Prospects Unlimited 2021-22

Prospects Unlimited 2021-22

Our annual Prospects Unlimited issue returns, with full listings of every NHL team’s system, grades, and a profile on an intriguing youngster. Also, we count down the top 100 21-and-under players in the world.

NHL TEAM REPORTS

DALLAS STARS

YOU BETTER HAVE WHEELS yourself when you’re named after a legendary racing driver, and Ayrton Martino certainly qualifies. The Clarkson freshman left winger – named after Ayrton Senna – has already made noise in his young career and his penchant for breakaways has made him a valued part of several teams. Martino, 19, first came to prominence as the leading scorer on a Canada East team that made a surprising run to the gold-medal game of the 2019 World Jr. A Challenge before losing to Russia. Expectations weren’t high for that particular Canada East team, but that didn’t stop them. “It was the character on the team,” Martino said. “We all understood what our team was and we were a hardworking group. We showed that throughout the tournament. We had great…

TOP 100 21 AND UNDER

PROSPECTS: 45-54

45. JURAJ SLAFKOVSKY POS: LW | AGE: 17 TPS Turku (Fin.) | Draft: 2022 The Slovakian national has been developing his game in Finland and is now in the top league over there. The 2022 draft prospect was huge for Slovakia at the U-18 Hlinka-Gretzky summer tournament, leading to a surprise silver medal. Slafkovsky is a burgeoning power forward with talent, mobility and a nasty streak. 46. SHANE PINTO POS: C | AGE: 21 Ottawa Senators (NHL) | Draft: 32nd, 2019 (OTT) After an impressive college career, Pinto brought his cerebral game to the NHL and looked like he belonged. Colin White’s serious injury opened a spot to make the team for 2021-22. Pinto projects as more of a No. 2 center than an offensive dominator because of his strong shutdown skills and faceoff prowess. 47. ALEX NEWHOOK POS:…

TOP 100 21 AND UNDER

THE PHENOMS ARE COMING

SURE, WE GET EXCITED about NHL prospects every year, but in the coming drafts, we will witness the talents of a few players who legitimately project to be generational. Shane Wright, Connor Bedard and Matvei Michkov will be household names soon, but how do they stack up against the rest of the hockey world? The following is our top 100 players aged 21 and under, which means any player born in the year 2000 or later is eligible. With the help of scouts and assistance from our Future Watch rankings (although in some cases there are contradictions based on future projections), we’ve blended them based on long-term potential and the importance of their positions (centers are the most valuable).…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

MONTREAL CANADIENS

ASSISTANT GM TREVOR TIMMINS was pleasantly surprised that Riley Kidney was still available when the Montreal Canadiens had the 63rd overall pick in the second round of this summer’s NHL draft. The 5-foot-11, 173-pound center from Enfield, N.S., was ranked 49th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. “We were really high on him,” Timmins said. “We like his combination of grit, tenacity and hockey sense. He’s able to make plays and kill plays. He plays a 200-foot game.” Kidney had 13 goals and 38 points in 33 games last season with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan, but he really caught Timmins’ eye during the playoffs when he had two goals and 17 points in nine games. “It was obviously a big time for my team trying to make a statement,” said…