As October closes, we opted to take a different format in summarizing the month. Along with our usual news and numbers on LA Kings prospects, MayorsManor is naming three stars of October. Some key points, first:
- Goaltender Lukáš Pařík (WHL) has not played since October 5, when he sustained a lower body injury. According to our sources, he should be back in action soon, i.e. early November.
- Center Alex Turcotte (NCAA) sat out both of Wisconsin’s games this past weekend. However, there’s no need to sound any alarm bells, it was apparently an upper respiratory issue that has plagued a chunk of the Badgers in recent weeks, including coach Tony Granato.
- Both Alexander Dergachyov (KHL) and Kim Nousiainen (SM-liiga) are riding scoreless streaks of 13 games and 14 games respectively, yet it’s a tale of two situations. While Nousiainen’s lack of productivity is understandable as an 18 year-old with only 6 games experience prior to this season, Dergachyov is 23 and playing in his fifth KHL season.
- As initially reported here, Bulat Shafigullin (KHL) returned to action on October 15 after getting wrist surgery.
- Jordan Spence (QMJHL) scored his first goal of the season this past week, breaking a goalless streak which stretched over 15 games.
- In some Kings-on-Kings crime this week out in the OHL, Akil Thomas scored in a bout against Arthur Kaliyev and the Hamilton Bulldogs. Thomas is now riding a six-game point scoring streak. The IceDogs shut the door and put Kaliyev in the pound, ending his nine-game streak. This only means Niagara took the early lead in the push for the 2019-20 K9 Cup.
Note from @AkilThomas2 on tonight's game – Two similar teams. Should be a good game. I've played him a lot, being we're in the same division The boys know not to let him shoot. This is more than just a regular game, we have the K9 Cup sitting in our locker room and it's a 4pt gm.— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) October 25, 2019
Note from @Arthur_Kaliyev on tonight's game – Akil is a good friend of mine. He’s a great player and an even better person. I’m really excited to play against him. It’s always fun to play against the top players.— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) October 25, 2019
Alexander Dergachyov: Forward, SKA St. Petersburg, KHL (3rd round pick in 2015)
Regular season: 0 goals, 2 assists, plus-0, 2 PIM in 16 games played
Braden Doyle: Defense, Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL (6th round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 1 goal, 2 assist, minus-2, 0 PIM in 7 games played
Aidan Dudas: Forward, Owen Sound Attack, OHL (4th round pick in 2018)
Regular season: 4 goal, 14 assists, plus-10, 4 PIM in 12 games played
Dávid Hrenák: Goalie, St. Cloud State University Huskies, NCHC (5th round pick in 2018)
Regular season: 1-1-2, 2.41 GAA, .920 SV%, 0 SO in 4 games played
Cole Hults: Defense, Penn State Nittany Lions, Big Ten (5th round pick in 2017)
Regular season: 4 goals, 1 assist, plus-7, 2 PIM in 5 games played
Jacob Ingham: Goalie, Kitchener Rangers, OHL (6th round pick in 2018)
Regular season: 6-2-3, 3.12 GAA, .916 SV%, 0 SO in 11 games played
Andre Lee: Forward, UMass-Lowell River Hawks, Hockey East (7th round pick in 2019)
Regular Season: 3 goals, 2 assists, plus-3, 4 PIM in 8 games played
Jacob Moverare: Defense, Frölunda HC, SHL (4th round pick in 2016)
Regular season: 3 goal, 3 assists, plus-8, 4 PIM in 13 games played
Kim Nousiainen: Defense, KalPa, Liiga (4th round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 1 goal, 1 assist, minus-6, 4 PIM in 17 games played
Lukáš Pařík: Goalie, Spokane Chiefs, WHL (3rd round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 2-1-0, 2.38 GAA, .908 SV%, 0 Shutouts in 3 games played
Bulat Shafigullin: Forward, Reaktor Nizhnekamsk, KHL (3rd round pick in 2018)
Regular season: 5 goals, 3 assists, plus-7, 8 PIM in 6 games played
Jordan Spence: Defense, Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL (4th round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 1 goals, 11 assists, plus-8, 10 PIM in 15 games played
Akil Thomas: Forward, Niagara IceDogs, OHL (2nd round pick in 2018)
Regular season: 5 goal, 15 assists, minus-4, 18 PIM in 12 games played
THREE STARS OF OCTOBER
Alex Turcotte: Forward, Wisconsin Badgers, Big Ten (1st round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 3 goals, 5 assists, minus-1, 4 PIM in 4 games played
Turcotte would have been a major candidate to receive even more recognition this month, but the small sample size of games hurts a bit. That said, scoring two points per game in the NCAA — as a freshman, no less — is a great feat (particularly as a complete, two-way player). While the recent news about Gabriel Vilardi has been encouraging, make no mistake; the leadership and raw skill of Turcotte has him spearheading this rebuild the Kings need.
So far, the biggest disappointment the Kings should have with Turcotte is they haven’t been able to see him play enough. Fox Sports West is even picking up several Wisconsin games so local fans can get a glimpse of the future.
All three of his goals have been on the powerplay, and his scoring rate of two points/game leads the Badgers. He gets minimal use on the penalty kill, for now, which shouldn’t take away from his defensive play – this is still Turcotte’s first full season in college, even if he has experience playing against teams while he was a member of the USA U-18 team.
He’s undoubtedly expected to play for Team USA at the end of the year at the prestigious World Junior Championship. If he chooses to go professional after this season, the Kings won’t hesitate to sign him and get him professional experience. All of that is a ways down the road, so just enjoy the season for now.
With the Badgers holding a two-man advantage, Alex Turcotte finds Linus Weissbach atop the crease. It's a PP tally for Wisconsin and a 2-2 game. #Badgers #Sabres50 #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/MjmIvmbOLb— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) October 19, 2019
Samuel Fagemo: Forward, Frölunda HC, SHL (2nd round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 4 goals, 2 assists, plus-3, 0 PIM in 10 games played
You may take a look at the numbers and wonder how Fagemo, who has fewer points in more games than Turcotte could earn this honor. Long story short, there are select European countries who participate in what is called the Champions Hockey League. Fagemo (and his team, Frölunda) is essentially playing in two leagues. In the CHL, the quick-skating winger has notched seven goals and an assist in four matches.
Granted, a lot of his offense was generated by abusing Cardiff, a team from Great Britain, with a four-goal performance.
Long term, Fagemo adds an element of speed and skill the LA organization is trying to infuse further internally. He’s playing on the defending champions of the SHL. Between the competition in both leagues and representing Sweden in the WJC, the 50th overall pick of 2019 will get a healthy dose of battling varying degrees of talent as well as likely going far into the SHL playoffs. Don’t expect to see him in the AHL this year, but Kings management will have to weigh their options over the summer.
Arthur Kaliyev: Forward, Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL (2nd round pick in 2019)
Regular season: 15 goals, 13 assists, plus-0, 6 PIM in 15 games played
Some may argue players like Dudas, Thomas, and even Ingham put up good enough performances this past month to contend for the top three. All would be worthy debates. Even so, there is no denying — nor little surprise — that Kaliyev was the undisputed top Kings prospect this past month. Just to recap his season so far:
- The sniper has 15 goals in 15 games.
- As of this writing, the 28 points racked up is good for second overall in league scoring.
- 82 shots on goal leads the entire league.
- The shorthanded goal scored on October 27 shows utilization in all situations.
- Only a small portion of the production comes from the powerplay (4 G, 6 A with the man advantage).
- The Bulldogs have only scored 51 goals total, meaning Kaliyev has a hand in 55% of the team scoring.
- The aforementioned nine-game point streak in our intro featured Kaliyev scoring 12 goals and eight helpers in that span.
- He has only been blanked in two of the 15 matches.
- Perhaps most impressive out of it all is the variety in which he gets on the scoreboard. He’s been tagged as a sniper and argued the second-best shooter of the 2019 draft class after Cole Caufield, but he doesn’t depend on scoring in just one way.
The future options for Kaliyev are rather limited. He is ineligible to play in the AHL until his season in the OHL is concluded (and the Kings sign him). While Hamilton may sneak into the playoffs, they may opt to trade their star player in an effort to rebuild. Thus, his availability for the Reign late this season is in question.
Next season doesn’t open things up any further for him either. Due to his age, he still will not eligible to play a full season in Ontario. The path remains the same as this year: either play in the NHL or back to the OHL, and when his junior team’s season ends, he can join a minor league affiliate. Depending on how he grows, Rob Blake and company may have very difficult decisions about what would be in the best interest in the 33rd overall pick’s development.
Keep in mind, this weekly tracker only covers prospects not playing professional hockey in North America. In essence, the report serves to provide updates on all players in the pipeline — signed or unsigned — excluding those in the NHL, AHL, and ECHL.
NOTE: Author David Hofreiter can be found on Twitter @Davidenkness if you’re interested in talking more hockey with him or asking further questions about these players.
PHOTO: Barry Gray , Hamilton Spectator