Many of the exceptionally talented prospects available for the 2020 NHL draft had remarkable performances this week. These are the ones that stood out:
1. Zion Nybeck
A tremendous work ethic with blazing speed best characterizes the style of play for which Zion Nybeck is known. Both those attributes were on full display this past week. Nybeck recorded seven points in two games for HV71 in J20 SuperElit Top 10 action. With the regular season completed, the top five teams from both the North Division and South Division enter into a round of games to determine the seeding for the J20 playoffs. This stage is known as the J20 SuperElit Top 10. HV71 are currently in the fourth spot in this stage.
In the first match, HV71 were down 3-0 before Nybeck set up Eddie Levin to get his team on the board. Nybeck once again set up Levin in the second period, before scoring one himself on the powerplay to tie the game 4-4. However, HV71 surrendered three more in the third period and fell to Orebro 7-4.
In the second contest, Nybeck was exceptional. He added a primary assist on the game’s opening marker before tallying an unassisted goal to put HV71 up 2-0 versus Linkopings. Then with the game tied 3-3 in the middle frame, Nybeck once again earned the primary assist on the go-ahead goal. He later notched the game-winning goal in a 6-5 victory.
Nybeck is ranked #27 by Future Considerations and #23 by Elite Prospects. With his phenomenal showing this week, the shifty forward has 17 points in eight games to lead all scorers in the J20 SuperElit Top 10.
2. Carter Savoie
After being held off the scoresheet in a 2-1 loss to the Brooks Bandits, the former team of Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, Carter Savoie, exploded in his next two contests. Savoie posted back-to-back four-point efforts, scoring twice and adding two assists in both games.
In the first of those two performances, a 5-4 victory versus the Calgary Canucks, the Sherwood Park Crusaders were trailing 2-0 before Savoie set up a powerplay tally to get the Crusaders on the board. He followed that with a strike of his own to even the game 2-2 late in the opening period.
Savoie added his second primary helper of the night, giving the Crusaders their first lead of the night. However, the Canucks added a pair of goals to take a 4-3 lead after forty minutes. Savoie once again found the back of the net tying the game midway through the third period. The Crusaders scored again five minutes later for the 5-4 win.
In the next encounter, Savoie scored two quick goals, the first coming just 34 seconds into the game and the second at 3:45. That goal proved to be the game-winner in a 4-1 triumph over the Grande Prairie Storm. Savoie added a pair of assists on the other two goals as well. Savoie currently leads all goal scorers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with 46 goals in 44 games.
3. Quinton Byfield
Sudbury Wolves star forward Quinton Byfield dominated games this past week in the Ontario Hockey League. His impressive performances showed why he is the consensus #2 ranked prospect for the 2020 NHL draft.
Byfield recorded a natural hat-trick in a 5-2 victory over the Soo Greyhounds, scoring the game’s first three goals. On the first tally, he pulled away from his check, then received a pass from linemate David Levin, walked in alone and snapped one home. His second goal was very similar. Byfield used his powerful stride to pull away from the defender after taking a pass from Levin, and then rifled a deadly accurate shot. His final goal, once again set up by Levin, came on a two-on-one with Byfield trailing in the slot. He wasted no time in getting the shot away, putting the Wolves up 3-0.
Byfield followed that effort by scoring the game-tying and overtime game-winning goals in a 3-2 triumph over the Barrie Colts. With the Wolves trailing 2-1 in the third period, he stole the puck just outside the Barrie blueline, went in alone and buried one behind Colts’ goaltender Arturs Silovs. In overtime, Byfield displayed terrific edge-work when he cut to the middle off the rush and fired the puck low to the glove side.
Byfield was held off the scoresheet in the Wolves’ final game of the week, a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Guelph Storm.
Oskar Magnusson recorded back-to-back three-point games for Malmo in J20 SuperElit Top 10 action.
In the OHL, Ottawa 67’s teammates Jack Quinn and Marco Rossi, along with Evan Vierling of the Barrie Colts, all turned in seven points in four games this week. Meanwhile, Tyson Foerster, also of the Colts, added four goals and two assists. Luke Evangelista of the London Knights chipped in with four points in a 7-4 victory over the Windsor Spitfires.
Rick Warman is a Vancouver Canucks and prospects contributor for Overtime Heroics. Follow him @statman1956 on Twitter
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