For the past few months, Prospect Impressions has taken a look at the top plays of the week, with numerous players contributing to the series. Now that most teams have completed their seasons, over the next four weeks I’ll count down the top 20 plays of the year from NHL prospects. From big hits to timely saves and the best goals, Prospect Impressions will come to a conclusion with a fine list of tremendous talent.
20. Antoine Bibeau – Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Playing behind Christopher Gibson for the Toronto Marlies, Antoine Bibeau recently concluded his first professional season. He finished the regular season with a 15-10-5 record, posting a 2.69 goals-against average with a .913 save percentage. Of Bibeau’s 15 wins, five of them came via shutout, thanks in part to his ability to make split-second reaction saves. One example of that of that came when the Marlies faced off against the Grand Rapids Griffins, and Bibeau stuck his paddle out to make a great save.
— AHL (@TheAHL) May 3, 2015
Antoine Bibeau now tied with Ben Scrivens and Justin Pogge with most shutouts in one season with the Marlies at four.
— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) January 12, 2015
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) May 4, 2015
19. Kurtis MacDermid – Erie Otters (OHL)
With all due respect to Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ryan Hartman, who enjoyed his first career NHL action, the title of “Hit of the Year” belongs to Erie Otters defenseman, Kurtis MacDermid. He has been on the wrong end of numerous suspensions throughout his OHL career, some of them coming because MacDermid simply towers over most opponents. That wasn’t the case in the 2015 OHL finals, where he initiated one of the best open-ice hip checks in recent memory.
Big Rig down: http://t.co/WSMgt7Yf8A
— Petes Updates (@Petes_Updates) May 12, 2015
— Gare Joyce (@GareJoyceNHL) May 12, 2015
18. Dylan Larkin – University of Michigan (Big Ten)
One prospect who hs enjoyed an ascension to the top of most prospect rankings is Detroit Red Wings prospect, Dylan Larkin. He has shown off a high level of skill this season, not only in the NCAA, but also on the international stage at the 2015 World Junior Championship and, more recently, at the 2015 IIHF World Championship. Larkin is a gifted playmaker who already possesses many talents that the Red Wings can’t wait to tap into. In fact, Detroit signed Larkin to his entry-level contract where he will likely compete for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL in the Calder Cup playoffs. Good news for the Griffins, as Larkin can single-handedly take over a game, as was the case with this goal in March.
— Jashvina Shah (@icehockeystick) March 20, 2015
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 21, 2015
17. Mathew Barzal – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) and Thomas Chabot – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
One of the most electric playmakers in the upcoming NHL Draft, Mathew Barzal is going to be a treat to watch next season. He has great vision on the ice, usually driving wide to find his teammate coming in late. It’s a tendency that not only benefited the Seattle Thunderbirds, but also Canada’s U18 team. Barzal teamed up with teammate Thomas Chabot with Canada to create a magical goal showing exactly why both players won’t have to wait long to hear their names called in Sunrise, Florida. Chabot’s puck skills are off the charts, as referenced by this play where Chabot toe-drags around a defender to give Barzal a clear scoring opportunity.
Thomas Chabot with a nice deke and feed to Mathew Barzal for Canada’s 1st goal of the game. https://t.co/5DEyk2nQMW
— Cody Nickolet (@DubFromAbove) April 21, 2015
2015 draft eligible Matthew Barzal with 3A tonight (39PTS in 31 games – #Canucks GM Jim Benning has scouted him few times recently.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) February 22, 2015
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) May 20, 2015
16. Radel Fazleev – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
The Philadelphia Flyers raised a few eyebrows when they took a sixth round flyer on Calgary Hitmen forward Radel Fazleev. He only put up 25 points last year, but doubled that total this season while showing off why the Flyers drafted him. Fazleev possesses a unique ability to create something out of nothing, and has a great touch around the net. In the WHL playoffs, he took a big step forward and became a major piece of the puzzle for Calgary, scoring four times and assisting on 10 others. Take a look as he dekes around a defenseman and fools a sprawling goaltender with a great play.
— Cody Nickolet (@DubFromAbove) April 4, 2015
It’s way early, but Radel Fazleev is making his case for the #WHLPlayoffs MVP award. 2 goals tonight and he’s been phenomenal in the series.
— Andrew Schopp (@AZSchopp) April 4, 2015
Stay tuned, next week we’ll feature plays 15 through 11!
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