Prospect Impressions: The countdown of NHL prospect highlights from 2014-15 continues with plays 11-15

By David Hahn
Kevin Hayes - New York Rangers

Photo: New York Rangers rookie forward Kevin Hayes (#13) turned in a solid first NHL season, posting 17 goals and 45 points in 70 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Last week, we kicked off the countdown of the top 20 NHL prospect Plays of the Year with numbers 20-16. This week, Hockey’s Future brings you the next five plays. This group features a potential top 10 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, two ridiculous plays from the NHL, one player with a flair for baseball skills, and a KHL talent familiar to New Englanders.

15. Pavel Zacha – Sarnia Sting (OHL)

Opinions seem to be all over the place with regards to where Pavel Zacha will be taken at the 2015 NHL Draft. Looking at this play, however, it’s hard to put him outside of the top 10. He can impact a game physically, as referenced by his suspension history, but it’s creative and dynamic offensive talents that often influence a game. Zacha stepped up his game on the international level, as referenced by this play, which shows just why the talented Czech will be off the board quickly.

14. Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)

If this is your first time viewing the work of Andrei Vasilevskiy, you should know that the young Russian has been doing this for years coming up through the junior ranks and even on the big stage of the KHL. With that said, his early returns in the NHL appear fruitful, as the athletic and lanky goaltener already has put together a few highlight reel saves in his short time behind Ben Bishop. The best of the bunch is this effort to stop Mike Ribiero, just one of a number of impactful saves made by one of the brightest young goaltenders in the league.

13. Kevin Hayes – New York Rangers (NHL)

At just 23 years of age, Kevin Hayes already has an NCAA Championship, a Hobey Baker Award nomination, and he now can claim a deep run in the NHL playoffs. Before the Rangers made that run, they turned to Hayes to shirk defenders en route to a 17-goal, 28-assist season. Of those 17 goals, none were prettier than this incredible spin-o-rama effort.

12. Blake Coleman – Miami Redhawks (NCHC)

The New Jersey Devils have been patient with Blake Coleman, allowing him to finish all four years of his collegiate career with the Miami University. Coleman has been a consistent, solid forward for the Redhawks, often engaging physically and getting goals from the difficult areas of the ice. Coleman finished the year with 20 goals, 17 assists, and a +16 rating, all career highs. Three of those goals came in one game, against St. Cloud University, the first coming in spectacular fashion where Coleman did his best baseball impersonation, displaying incredible hand-eye coordination.

11. Steve Moses – Jokerit (KHL)

Pushing the boundaries of prospect designation, 25-year-old Steve Moses is set to make his return trip to North America with the Nashville Predators next year. The Predators pulled the trigger to bring Moses back, who spent the last three years abroad with Jokerit. The Leominster, MA native developed as a goal-scorer with the University of New Hampshire, and rounded into form in the KHL, enough so to lead the league in scoring this year with 36 goals. In the spirit of coming back home, Moses participated with the United States during the 2015 IIHF World Championship, scoring one of the best goals in the tournament.

Stay tuned for next week’s Prospect Impressions, where we dip into the Top 10 Plays of the 2014-15!

20 – 16 | 15 – 11 | 10 – 6 | 5 – 1

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey