The top plays of the year continues with ridiculous efforts from Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov in the shootout, a young Swedish defenseman, and a goal that united a country. The second-best save of the season is also featured, and it might be a bit unconventional, but that’s okay with us!
15. Aleksander Barkov
Continuing right where he left off, Aleksander Barkov really came into his own this season with the Florida Panthers. Of course, having Johnathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr on your wings more often tha not helps, but Barkov stepped up his game to a whole other level. Playing with confidence, Barkov channeled the ‘Petr Forsberg move’ to score on the New York Islanders.
— #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) November 28, 2015
Aleksander Barkov and Brandon Pirri are tied for the NHL-lead in shootout goals this season with 5 apiece. #FlaPanthers
— David Dwork (@DavidDwork) December 29, 2015
14. Lucas Carlsson
If you are interested in the upcoming draft, you may want to keep Lucas Carlsson’s name in the back of your mind. The Gavle, Sweden native split this season between Brynas IF’s junior and SHL team, and put up points at both levels. In early February, Carlsson went coast-to-coast against Orebro and turned a defender inside-out. The best part about this play? Carlsson is a defenseman.
17-year old defenseman Lucas Carlsson scored a beauty in the SHL today… pic.twitter.com/DtfGehvLsB
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) February 6, 2016
— Alexander Appleyard (@avappleyard) March 8, 2016
13. Jake Hildebrand
Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand made three appearances this season in Prospect Impressions, and this was clearly his best. Showing his commitment to making the save, Hildebrand ditched his stick in favor of the double-glove diving save technique. I’m not sure if goalie coaches would teach this move, but it sure looks awesome.
— Jashvina Shah (@icehockeystick) December 29, 2015
— Big Ten Hockey (@B1GHockey) March 18, 2016
Congrats to Jake Hildebrand – All-Big Ten Honorable Mention pic.twitter.com/NCCxtJBmEe
— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) March 14, 2016
12. Joe Blandisi
There are a number of different ways of looking at this between-the-legs goal by Joe Blandisi. He’ll tell you that he made the play by necessity, the Philadelphia Flyers think he did it to showboat, but can we all just agree that this was incredible? It was Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season in his 17th game, perhaps a good look at why this late-bloomer could be a key prospect in the New Jersey Devils pipeline.
***Between-the-legs goal alert***https://t.co/fo4HcQitHZ
— #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) February 13, 2016
Joe Blandisi led the Ontario Hockey League in goals (52) last season and was fourth in points behind Strome, Marner & McDavid. Kid can play
— Pat Pickens (@Pat_Pickens) February 13, 2016
11. Kasperi Kapanen
The 2016 World Junior Championship was one of the best in recent memory, thanks to a few goals and dueling top prospects clamoring for attention. Finland’s top line of Sebastian Aho (CAR) and 2016 draft-eligibles Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi drew a lot of attention, but it was Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Kasperi Kapanen that scored the golden goal that reinvigorated Finland as a hockey hotbed.
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) January 5, 2016
Kasperi Kapanen was the 22nd overall pick in 2014 by Pens. Acquired in Kessel trade. Scored golden goal for Finland at latest WJC.
— NHL debuts (@nhldebuts) March 1, 2016
— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) January 15, 2016
Stay tuned for next week’s Prospect Impressions as we dip into the Top 10 plays of the year!