Prospect Impressions: A pair of goalies set records, Johnson’s big night, and other highlights

By David Hahn
Connor McDavid - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otter forward and 2015 prospect Connor McDavid recently topped the 100-point mark in the 2014-15 season, doing so in just 38 games (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

This past week has been full of creative and jaw-dropping NHL prospect highlights. One QMJHL goaltender sets an unusual new standard in goal scoring, while another has yet to lose since making his NHL debut. A hometown hero breaks hearts by scoring with the “Forsberg move” in a clutch situation, and the future first overall pick displays why he deserves that accolade yet again. Two European forwards showcase their elite skill, and a former prospect scored one of the best goals that didn’t make the scoresheet in this week’s Prospect Impressions.

Gatineau Olympiques goaltender Francois Brassard now has a claim to fame and a spot in QMJHL history. Most goalies who manage to score a goal remember it as a one-time feat. For Brassard, his second empty net goal of the season marks the first time in QMJHL history that a goaltender has scored twice in a season. Brassard  began the season with a rebuilding Cape Breton squad before a midseason trade moved him back home to Gatineau. There, he has gone 8-4 with his new team with a 2.67 goals-against average and a respectable .899 save percentage. He was a 2012 sixth round pick of the Ottawa Senators and was not signed to an entry-level contract before being invited to the Buffalo Sabres training camp last summer.

Affectionately referred to as the “Hamburglar,” Andrew Hammond‘s unlikely success has become the most talked-about story in the NHL. Sporting a pristine 5-0-0 record, 1.31 goals-against average, and a .957 save percentage, Hammond has led a surprising turnaround for the Ottawa Senators. His 35-save shutout over the Los Angeles Kings earned first star honors. One of those saves kept the shutout intact – take a look as Hammond robs Kings forward Tyler Toffoli on the doorstep.

Former USHL Forward of the Year Jake Randolph led 8th-ranked Nebraska-Omaha into Minnesota to play No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth in a pair of games. Both games ended in a 1-1 draw, but Saturday’s contest ended with a remarkable shootout goal by the Duluth native. Randolph has four goals and 18 assists in 32 games in his freshman season.

Frolunda Indians forward Andreas Johnson is enjoying a breakout campaign in the SHL this season. In a game against Leksands, his 22nd goal came in dramatic fashion to tie this weekend’s contest with just four seconds remaining in regulation. Johnson scored the only goal in the shootout as well, leading Frolunda to a 5-4 win. Johnson, who sits third in SHL goal scoring, also has 12 assists on the season. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect will be free to head to Toronto following his SHL campaign.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Teuvo Teravainen is making it difficult on Blackhawks management to return him to the Rockford IceHogs. Fighting to earn a regular roster spot, Teravainen has impressed in his short stints in Chicago. With three goals and two assists in 16 games, the former Liiga Rookie of the Year is showing why the Blackhawks chose him 18th overall in 2012. Teravainen’s third goal of the season held up as the game-winner in a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers last week.

There are not many accomplishments that Connor McDavid has yet to achieve in the OHL, but one of the elusive elements McDavid’s resume was missing was a hat-trick. Last Wednesday, McDavid took it to the Guelph Storm and came away with four goals and two assists to earn another first star for the playoff-bound Erie Otters. McDavid recently passed the 100-point threshold, cementing his place as the future first overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Having graduated prospect status, Corey Tropp is not known for his goal-scoring prowess. But you have to respect a guy with a creative mind for the game, especially one who only has six goals over 133 NHL games. In a recent game against Montreal, the Columbus Blue Jackets forward attempted to score from his back in an effort that was reviewed and denied. While the goal didn’t stand, it’s a must see-to-believe opportunity.

More Prospect Impressions coming your way next Monday!

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey