Prospect Impressions: Highlight reel goals from Miami forwards, other NHL prospect highlights

By David Hahn
Austin Czarnik - Miami University

Photo: Miami University senior forward and captain Austin Czarnik could be a highly-sought NCAA free agent once his team’s 2014-15 season is completed (courtesy of Tim Zechar/Icon Sportswire)


Two Miami University forwards helped the Redhawks win an NCHC title, thanks to two spectacular plays. One Erie Otters forward wins the OHL scoring title, and it’s probably not who you’re expecting. Meanwhile, other noteworthy highlights from the WHL, NHL, and the NCAA are featured in this week’s Prospect Impressions.

No. 6 Miami University Redhawks are a deep team, but one player in particular shrugged off all his teammates with one of the best individual efforts we’ve seen all season. The dimunitive Austin Czarnik leads the Redhawks in scoring, posting nine goals and 34 assists in 39 games so far. Take a look as Czarnik’s effort against Denver helped Miami advance to the NCHC championship game.

Not to be outdone by Czarnik, Blake Coleman only needed 35 minutes to complete a hat trick, helping the Miami Redhawks win their second conference tournament in team history. His first goal in the NCHC final was a remarkable effort to knock a puck two feet off the ice into the net. After recording his third goal, Coleman was excused from the game after a head contact major ended his night. That was his third such penalty of the season, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension. As a result, the New Jersey Devils prospect will miss the NCAA Tournament’s opening round game against Providence.

Marko Dano might be all the rage in Columbus, but the wait for Oliver Bjorkstrand could be worth it. The Blue Jackets prospect led the WHL in goals, points, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals and finished seventh in assists during a season to remember in Portland. On this play, Nic Petan (WPG) lures the defender in and sets up Bjorkstand in phenomenal fashion.

The Calgary Hitmen recently handed out their season ending awards, with Travis Sanheim coming away with the Defenseman of the Year award. Sanheim led all WHL defenseman in scoring, posting 15 goals and 50 assists over 67 games. The Philadelphia Flyers rejected local products Anthony DeAngelo (TBL) and Kasperi Kapanen (PIT) in favor of Sanheim, and with a contract in hand, Sanheim’s next move might be to the professional ranks.

Heading into the final regular season game, Erie Otters forward Dylan Strome needed four points in order to pass fellow draft-eligible Mitch Marner for the OHL scoring title. Not only did Strome surpass Marner, but he matched Conor Garland’s 129 points to move into tie for the CHL scoring title. With Connor McDavid scratched, Strome took the game over as the Otters rallied from multiple deficits to win an 8-7 thriller. Take a look at Strome’s fourth goal, just one example of many why he will be a top selection in June.

Perhaps inspired by fellow New York Rangers linemate Kevin Hayes‘ effort last week, Jesper Fast scored a spin-o-rama goal of his own this weekend. After going 22 games without a goal, he scored two on consecutive nights for the Rangers, with the first coming in spectacular fashion. Known as a hard working, bottom-six forward, Fast has displayed flashes of brilliance, showing that he is capable of breaking out offensively.

The Michigan Wolverines have been blessed over the years with solid goaltending. This season is no different, as junior Steve Racine and sophomore Zach Nagelvoort (EDM) split time in the cage. In the Big Ten tournament final against Minnesota, Racine did everything he could to keep the Wolverines within striking distance, including an astonishing glove save halfway through the game. Unfortunately for Michigan, Florida Panthers‘ prospect Zach Hyman‘s goal and assist were not enough as the Golden Gophers simply had more in the tank in a 4-2 win.

More Prospect Impressions coming your way next Monday!

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey