Every year it seems like one or two players in the hockey world pull off a lacrosse-style goal that catches the attention of national media. Tomas Soustal joined the club this weekend, drawing the attention of hockey fans worldwide. Also in this week’s edition of Prospect Impressions, Leon Draisaitl and Teemu Pulkkinen score, plus more from junior hockey and one college play that has coaches taking notes.
If you look at the Kelowna Rockets roster and pass over Czech import Tomas Soustal, you wouldn’t be alone. The 6’3″, 200-pound forward played a complementary role for the Rockets last year as the team won the WHL championship. Soustal, one of the top scorers in the Czech junior league, didn’t quite pan out offensively last season and finished with only 18 points in 65 games. This weekend, Soustal pulled out the “Michigan move,” made famous by former University of Michigan forward Mike Legg, perhaps re-writing the script on his 2015-16 season.
Tomas Soustal scores lacrosse style goal in the WHL pic.twitter.com/peTPfm3Woa
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) November 23, 2015
Two goals from Tomas Soustal and three assists from Justin Kirkland lifting @Kelowna_Rockets to 6-1 win over Oil Kings. Shots 30-25 Edmonton
— Regan Bartel (@Reganrant) November 21, 2015
Leon Draisaitl, Soustal’s teammate last year on Kelowna, is off to a hot start and making the Edmonton Oilers a little more comfortable without Connor McDavid in the lineup. After a tumultuous season where Draisaitl was kept in Edmonton for half a season, then returned to juniors where he subsequently joined a new franchise, Draisaitl can settle into Edmonton long-term. With Taylor Hall on one side of the ice, the duo is climbing up the scoring charts and linking up all over the ice.
— NHL (@NHL) November 21, 2015
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 21, 2015
Draisaitl has 17 points in 10 games. Is now tied for 23rd in NHL scoring. Hall has 16 points in 10 games. Is 4th in scoring. #Oilers
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) November 21, 2015
Like Draisaitl, Teemu Pulkkinen got a little taste of the NHL last season. Splitting the season between Detroit and the team’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, Pulkkinen gained confidence and showed signs of being the next late-round gem to come out of the woodwork for the Red Wings. With back-to-back 30-goal seasons in the AHL, Pulkkinen demonstrated that he can score in bunches. Goaltenders in the NHL will need to keep an eye out for him if he keeps hammering the puck like this.
Pulkkinen OT winner pic.twitter.com/OGhQHTlm0B
— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 22, 2015
That Pulkkinen game winner though last night that was an absolute bomb
— Red Wing Diehards™ (@RedWingDiehards) November 22, 2015
Former University of Maine captain Devin Shore is off to a hot start in his first full season in the AHL. With 11 goals and six assists in 15 games, Shore is among the top 10 in scoring and has been doing it in a number of ways. Capable of scoring in many different fashions, Shore let one loose this week as a member of the Texas Stars.
— Texas Stars Hockey (@TexasStars) November 22, 2015
Dallas is really postioned to win now. NHL roster is great, and their AHL team is loaded with talent too. Texas Stars most goals in the AHL.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) November 22, 2015
Evgeny Svechnikov has been in the news lately as he is playing some of the best hockey of his career. Svechnikov is not only performing in the QMJHL for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, but he played well during the CHL Canada Russia Series while suiting up for his home country. Joining him in Cape Breton is Maxim Lazarev, a yet-to-be-drafted talent vying for NHL attention. Lazarev was the team’s third overall pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft who is hoping to join Svechnikov on the Russian World Junior squad. If they keep linking up for plays like this, that is certainly a possibility when the tournament kicks off next month.
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) November 21, 2015
Lazarev with a hat trick last night, Svechnikov a hat trick tonight. Pierre Luc Dubois has 7A in his last 5 periods. Best line in Q? CHL?
— Kris Abbott (@EastlinkKris) November 22, 2015
The London Knights have been rolling lately, featuring another top line in the CHL. With newcomer Matt Tkachuk on board, the Knights have loaded up their first line with Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitch Marner and Arizona Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak. The trio has combined for 122 points so far, and have proven to be a difficult line to contain. If they keep making spin passes like the gem Tkachuk and Dvorak pulled off, it’s going to be a long season for fellow Midwest Division rivals.
— Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) November 20, 2015
how many NHL lines are not as good as Dvorak-Marner-Tkachuk? I’d say a lot
— EarlyChristmas Jared (@JaredOfLondon) November 21, 2015
— Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) November 20, 2015
Four players, six passes, and one goal. Schmaltz-to-Boeser-to-Caggiula-to-Stecher-to-Boeser-to-Schmaltz, catch all that? Check out this play made by the University of North Dakota last week.
Unreal passing from the University of North Dakota leads to a beautiful goal https://t.co/EDHtYab1yo
— Chris Lerch (@chrislerch) November 17, 2015
Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey