NHL Prospects Roundup, 9/22/14

By Ken McKenna
Anton Forsberg - Columbus Blue Jackets

Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets goaltending prospect Anton Forsberg is expected to battle for the starting job with the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate in Springfield in the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)


Being that Hockey’s Future is a website devoted to the coverage of NHL prospects, we’ve decided to add a bit of prospect coverage that is a bit more immediate in nature than much of the content that we provide. This particular feature, the NHL Prospect Roundup, will focus on the more noteworthy recent performances of prospects from the 30 NHL teams.

Given that the 2014 NHL preseason slate is now underway, this seems like as good a time as any to launch this feature. For now, we’ll be focusing on the prospects competing in NHL preseason games and training camps. Once the preseason is completed, this feature will then be opened up to the NHL prospects competing at all levels of hockey, from the AHL right on down to juniors. Maybe a catchier name than “NHL Prospects Roundup” can be whipped up for this feature, but for now that moniker will work just fine.

So, without further delay, let’s look at some notable performances from last night’s opening games of the NHL preseason.

Burakovsky snipe only goal in Capitals win

Washington Capitals‘ forward prospect Andre Burkovsky, ranked second among the Capitals’ prospects by HF, provided the only goal needed in a 1-0 shutout win over the Buffalo Sabres. Burakovsky took a pass from Jason Chimera, spun and beat Sabres goaltender Nathan Lieuwen with a nice shot over Lieuwen’s left shoulder. You can view that goal below.

Despite being victimized on that goal,  Lieuwen turned in a solid performance in net for the Sabres, stopping 24 of 25 shots from a more veteran-laden Capitals squad than the one the Sabres iced.

 Heathington nets OT winner for Blue Jackets

Although not known for his offensive abilities, Columbus Blue Jackets‘ defensive prospect Dillon Heatherington was the offensive hero for Columbus in their 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues in what was the second of two games the Blue Jackets’ played in a split squad format to open the preseason. Heatherington, ranked eighth among the Blue Jackets’ prospects by HF, blasted a shot from the point that beat Blues goaltender, Mark Climie. Heatherington’s goal can be perused below.

Top Blue Jackets prospects Alexander Wennberg and Kerby Rychel also netted goals in the win, while Blues defenseman Tommy Vannelli notched a pair of assists in the loss.

Forsberg solid in win over Hurricanes

In the other Columbus contest on the preseason’s opening day, the Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3. Goaltender Anton Forsberg stopped 29 of 32 shots for Columbus to get the win. Forsberg was the busier goaltender in this game as the Hurricanes tandem of Cam Ward and Alex Nedeljkovic faced just 19 shots.

Draisaitl notches first point in game action

The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames played their own split squad games against one another on Day 1 of the NHL preseason. The player that was most likely the main focus for Oilers Nation was 2014 top pick, Leon Draisaitl. For his part, Draisaitl didn’t disappoint, picking up an assist on a goal by Marco Roy that got the Oilers started on their 3-1 win over the Flames. The player ranked as the Oilers top prospect by HF, Darnell Nurse, also contributed an assist in the win.


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