In the second edition of the “Top 5” series, we will look at the top left wing prospects heading into the NHL Draft. These rankings can change as we get closer to draft time, however, the current top prospect is left winger Matthew Boldy.
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Matthew Boldy plays for the USNTDP Juniors team of the USHL and the U.S. National U18 Team. In 88 games he has recorded 49 goals and 72 assists. He is a Massachusetts native and is committed to play college hockey at Boston College.
Boldy is a powerful skater and can fight through checks and knows how to get to the front of the net. His best asset is his shot which he can use to beat opposing goalies in a variety of ways. This season Boldy has taken steps forward and has started to become a playmaker. He has good stick handling skills and is good at protecting the puck.
In the defensive zone Boldy has shown real improvement. He works hard in all three zones and brings a physical game on the backcheck. His long stick allows him to clog up passing lanes and create turnovers. He has been used on the NTDP penalty kill this season and has done a great job.
Expected Draft Range: 7th pick-11th pick
Peyton Krebs is a guy who can play both center and left wing. He has spent the last three seasons with the Kootenay Ice in the WHL. This season Krebs registered 68 points in 64 games. The Ice did not make the WHL playoffs.
Krebs offensive game revolves around his style to be a playmaker. He can make the tape-to-tape passes in tight areas and he is good at passing on his backhand. His hockey IQ is very high, which allows him to read plays and anticipate the moves of his linemates. While he may not use his shot often, his wrist shot is quick and accurate.
Krebs is a hard worker in the defensive zone. His smarts help him defend by cutting down passing lanes and anticipating plays. He is very effective on the penalty kill, and he can create turnovers with his active stick. Krebs will need to add some muscle to his 5-foot-11 frame. Krebs may be one of the hardest working players in this draft class.
Expected Draft Range: 7th pick-11th pick
Arthur Kaliyev finished his second season in the OHL this season with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Over the course of two seasons Kaliyev racked up 82 goals and 68 assists in 135 games. Of those points, 102 of them came this season.
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Kaliyev is a pure sniper. His wrist shot is tremendous. He has a quick release and can pick his spots. Kaliyev has a knack for finding himself in open ice. This season he has really worked on his playmaking ability. He picked up a helper just as many times as he put one in the back of the net this season. He has shown patience, and has the vision to find open linemates.
On the defensive side of the puck Kaliyev could stand to work on it. He shies away from contact on the backcheck. In addition he has a small habit of not moving his feet and puck watching. In order for Kaliyev to have a successful career this is something he will need to adress.
Expected Draft Range: 13th pick-18th pick
Jakob Pelletier has spent the last two seasons with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. This season he scored 39 goals and racked up 50 assists in 65 games. The Quebec native stands 5-foot-9 and can play both center and wing.
Pelletier is an undersized playmakers with tremendous speed. His speed allows him to get past defenders and drive to the net. He has an excellent hockey IQ as he usually knows where his linemates are most of the time. He can make those tape-to-tape passes and make the passes in tight areas.
Defensively Pelletier is above average. He has spent time on the penalty kill this season and is a relentless forechecker. He has a committed two way game and while he projects more as a center, he can play either wing position.
Expected Draft Range: Late first round pick
Pavel Dorofeyev is an 18-year-old from Russia. He has played for Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk in the MHL and the Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL. In 42 games across both levels Dorofeyev has 18 goals and 15 assists.
Dorofeyev is not the fastest skater, but he is a strong skater. A smart playmaker and shooter. He can make those tape-to-tape passes or he can roof one past opposing goaltenders. He makes good decisions with and without the puck and just has raw talent, but he will just need to get stronger. Dorofeyev stands 6-foot-0 weighing 165 lbs.
He is relentless in all three zones. He is aggressive on the forecheck and just overall a hard worker. Not afraid to throw the body around. He is also good at using his stick to create turnovers.
Expected Draft Range: Late first round pick-Early second round pick
Honorable Mentions: Nils Hoglander (Rogle, SHL), Samuel Poulin (Sherbrooke, QMJHL), Nolan Foote (Kelowna, WHL), Patrik Puistola (Tappara, SM-Liiga), Dillon Hamaliuk (Seattle, WHL)
Chris Bugajsky covers the Dallas Stars, the NHL, and the NHL Draft for Full Press Coverage. Follow Chris on twitter @CBugajsky14.
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