2020 NHL Draft: 3 Stars of the Week
Each week I will be featuring the top three performers among first time eligible players for the 2020 NHL draft. Along with the occasional honourable mention for other noteworthy accomplishments. Here are my three stars for the period from Saturday, November 2nd through Friday, November 8th.
1. Alexander Pashin
Russian forward Alexander Pashin had an exceptional week, scoring five times in leading his MHL club Tolpar to three victories in four games. Pashin is third in team scoring with ten goals and 21 points in 21 games played. As a result of the three wins this week, Tolpar has moved to within one point of first place in the MHL Eastern Conference standings.
Pashin is currently ranked #89 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS and #24 by ISS HOCKEY for the 2020 NHL draft. His two-goal performance in August helped propel Russia to the 3-2 victory versus Canada in their gold-medal win at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Pashin finished the tournament with seven goals and an assist in five games. His seven goals were second only to the eight goals scored by Cole Perfetti of Canada.
2. Connor Zary
The Kamloops Blazers sit atop the B.C. Division of the Western Hockey League and forward Connor Zary is one of the main factors. Zary started the week off with a goal in a 3-2 loss to the Everett Silvertips. However, he would have back-to-back two-goal efforts in the two games that followed. Both of which were Blazers’ victories. Zary would be named the second star in the first of those games and the first star in the most recent contest.
Currently, Zary sits fourth in the WHL scoring race with 26 points. Scouts have varying opinions when it comes to the 2020 NHL draft rankings. He is ranked as high as #8 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY and as low as #50 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS, while other major scouting agencies have him placed in the twenties.
3. Zion Nybeck
At the U18 Five Nations tournament currently taking place in Sundsvall, Sweden, Team Sweden have won both games they’ve played. With Sweden trailing 1-0 to Switzerland late in the second period, Zion Nybeck gets in behind the defence and snaps home the game-tying goal.
Early in the third period, he would assist on the go-ahead goal as Sweden would go on to a 5-2 victory. In their next contest, a 4-1 triumph over their Finnish rival, Nybeck would assist on the first three goals. His five points in two games earned him my third star of the week.
There were many standout performances this week and one from last week that I failed to mention from first-time eligible players for the 2020 NHL draft.
Quinton Byfield contributed a pair of assists as Team OHL downed the Russians 4-1. Additionally, Byfield would add four points in two games this week for the Sudbury Wolves.
Dawson Mercer would add two goals and an assist in two games for Team QMJHL versus Team Russia in the CIBC Canada-Russia series. He would also add a helper for Drummondville in the lone contest that he played for them this week.
In the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Carter Savoie would score a hat-trick helping the Sherwood Park Crusaders to a 6-2 decision over the Spruce Grove Saints. Savoie scored the final goal into the empty net.
USA goaltender Drew Commesso would stop all 19 shots he faced in a 1-0 edging of the Czech Republic at the U18 Five Nations tournament.
Portland Winterhawks forward Seth Jarvis contributed five points in three contests this past week. However, it was not enough as the Winterhawks lost two of those games.
The performance that I missed from last week was an exceptional one and certainly needs mentioning. Muskegon Lumberjacks Russian forward Daniil Guschin scored all four goals in a 4-3 overtime victory versus the Waterloo Black Hawks. Additionally, Guschin would fire a game-high ten shots on goal.
Rick Warman is a Vancouver Canucks and prospects contributor for Overtime Heroics. Follow him @statman1956 on Twitter
Discuss this article and more in the Overtime Heroics Forums!