Through the second half of the 2014-15 season, Prospect Impressions has brought you the top NHL prospect game highlights of the week. Now that the season in winding down, so too is this series. We’ve been counting down the top plays of the year, which finally culminates with the top five incredible plays made by some top-flight NHL prospects.
5. Jesper Fast – New York Rangers (NHL)
The New York Rangers didn’t see enough out of Jesper Fast to give him a full time roster spot straight out of training camp. That lasted all of one month, as Fast was recalled and became an integral part of the Rangers attack. Known as a tenacious and gritty forechecker, Fast introduced himself to the Ranger faithful by becoming a trustworthy bottom-six option. He’s not devoid of offensive talent, however, as he produced this incredible individual effort during a regular season game in March.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 22, 2015
Jesper Fast: “It’s the best time of my career so far. I’m really enjoying it and making the most of it.”
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) May 16, 2015
4. Steve Racine – University of Michigan (Big Ten)
It’s okay if you don’t immediately recognize Steve Racine, who has been a pedestrian performer for the University of Michigan through his junior season. This year, he split duties alongside of Edmonton Oilers draft pick Zach Nagelvoort, but still put together a respectable season. Racine was chosen as Michigan’s starter through the Big Ten tournament, to which the team eventually fell short against Minnesota. In that game, however, Racine did everything he could to keep his team in it, including what many are calling the NCAA Save of the Year.
Michigan’s Steve Racine save of the year candidate with this glove save https://t.co/LKvQQLWMOD
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) March 22, 2015
Here’s an overhead look at Steve Racine’s crazy glove save last nigh (My lens isn’t that powerful): pic.twitter.com/6UYJ9t5mV0
— Jashvina Shah (@icehockeystick) March 23, 2015
3. Jake Virtanen – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
It’s hard to look at this upcoming highlight and figure that Jake Virtanen had a down year. As the first overall selection in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2011, Virtanen knows all about living up to expectations. Virtanen finished with 21 goals and 31 assists in 50 WHL games this season, and one of those 21 goals was an absolute gem to be remembered.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) April 13, 2015
Benning on Virtanen: “Jake Virtanen could earn a spot with a good camp.”
— Canucks Central (@CanucksNow) June 12, 2015
2. Connor McDavid – Erie Otters (OHL)
Certainly deserving of his own highlight reel, Connor McDavid has been an absolute treat to watch thoughout his young career. Despite losing a significant portion of their offensive attack last year, McDavid guided the Erie Otters to the OHL Championship series. The team fell short, but McDavid has a bright career ahead of him. Before he goes off to the NHL, take a look at one play that encompasses what the future superstar is all about.
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) April 27, 2015
— CCM Hockey (@CCMHockey) May 16, 2015
1. Max Domi – London Knights (OHL)
No one can argue the fact that Max Domi is a special player, one who can impact the game in the blink of an eye all by himself. Those skills have gotten him in trouble at times, but its his individual ability that makes him a talent that the Arizona Coyotes are eager to tap into. Domi was the recipient of the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy, awarded to the player that best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice. If leadership is taking the puck coast-to-coast, chipping it over the goalie, then guiding an airborne puck into the net, then Domi is also deserving of the Prospect Impressions’ NHL Prospect Play of the Year.
— Stacey Midge (@revstacey) March 22, 2015
The London Knights named both Mitch Marner and Max Domi team MVP, but only Domi was the team’s nominee for the Red Tilson ballot.
— Ryan Pyette (@RyanatLFPress) April 16, 2015
Thank you for following along with Prospect Impressions this season, see you in the fall!
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