Prospect Impressions: McCool’s spin-o-rama, Watson and Dal Colle lift Frontenacs, plus more top plays

By David Hahn
Max Jones - London Knights

Photo: London Knights forward and 2016 prospect Max Jones has scored at a point-per-game pace in his first OHL season, posting 17 goals and 33 points in 32 games (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

 

Two spin-o-rama’s by Hayden McCool and Max Jones kick off a great week on Prospect Impressions. The Kingston Frontenacs are in the news after a big trade, and their new acquisition immediately makes an impact. Plenty of highlights await, including a couple of unreal saves and an unfortunate but hilarious mishap.

Hayden McCool channeled his inner Serge Savard this weekend, mimicking a famous spin-o-rama goal while playing for the Windsor Spitfires. McCool, who was acquired in the blockbuster Josh Ho-Sang trade last year, hasn’t been scoring as often, but has managed a trio of highlight-reel goals.

With a number of players away at the World Junior Championship, the London Knights turned to Max Jones for offense, and he has not disappointed. One of the top draft-eligble players available this summer, Jones was clutch this week, winning back-to-back games for his club in overtime with a pair of ridiculous individual efforts.

One of the most underrated players in the OHL is Kingston Frontenacs fourth-year forward Spencer Watson. He recently competed in his 200th OHL game, and has been a consistent point-producer throughout his career. Watson, a seventh round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, has tremendous hands and put them on display this weekend.

Sticking with the Frontenacs, the team recently completed a blockbuster trade and acquired a new linemate for Watson. Kingston cemented their intentions to win a championship this year by acquiring Michael Dal Colle, the fifth overall pick of the New York Islanders in 2014, from the Oshawa Generals. Dal Colle will immediately add a dynamic offensive element to a well-coached franchise, making them a dangerous team in the East. His acquisition immediately paid dividends, as Dal Colle wasted no time acclimating to his new surroundings.

Speaking of players who have good reason to have a drop in their production, Drake Caggiula is doing just fine without linemates Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz. The University of North Dakota has been rolling along lately, thanks in part to Caggiula’s penchant for scoring flashy goals. The trio has been one of the most dominant lines in college hockey, but with Boeser and Schmaltz participating with Team USA at the WJC’s, Caggiula can clearly handle things on his own.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native Jake Hildebrand is midway through his senior season at Michigan State and is trying to rekindle some of his past success playing behind a much younger team this year. Well behind his career numbers, Hildebrand recently missed time due to injury, but returned and is doing everything he can to give the Spartans a chance to win. No matter the odds, Hildebrand never gives up on a play and it shows with this diving stop.

Anton Forsberg made a bit of history by becoming the first goaltender to earn his first win after entering the game after regulation. It was a crazy story anyway, as Forsberg joined the Columbus Blue Jackets on an emergency basis after Sergei Bobrovsky re-aggravated a groin injury. With the score tied at four, Forsberg entered the game and stopped all six shots in overtime and only allowed a T.J. Oshie goal in the shootout to pick up his first win. It nearly didn’t happen, as Forsberg slipped while preparing to enter the game, but alas, his first win is under his belt and it appears as if the Columbus net is his at least in the interim.

While Forsberg’s fortunes were positive in a tough situation, David Zablotny might want this one back. One of the top goaltenders in Poland’s top tier of hockey, Zablotny misread where the net was and put one home for the opponents. Don’t you just feel for the poor guy?

 


Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey