Prospect Impressions: McDavid heats up, three overtime game-winners, more highlights

By David Hahn
Joel Eriksson Ek - Farjestad Karlstad - Champions Hockey League

Photo: Farjestad BK forward and Minnesota Wild prospect Joel Eriksson Ek (#20) should be a prominent player for Sweden at the 2016 World Junior Championship (courtesy HC Dynamo Pardubice/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)



Connor McDavid came through for the Edmonton Oilers this weekend, and is centering one of the most interesting forward combinations so far this year. The Erie Otters miss him, but still boast a perfect record thanks to some tremendous passing. Lawson Crouse and Conor McGlynn helped Kingston to a pair of overtime victories, and Joel Eriksson Ek did the same for Farjestad BK. This and more in this week’s edition of Prospect Impressions.

The Edmonton Oilers are on a bit of a hot streak of late, and it’s no wonder why. First overall pick Connor McDavid led the way this weekend and awakened from an early-season slumber to electrify the Oilers’ faithful with his brand of playmaking. McDavid looks to be developing chemistry with Nail Yakupov, which could be a very dangerous thought for opponents to have to deal with. Add the skillset of Taylor Hall into the mix and the Oilers are going to be on the upswing soon enough.

With McDavid’s success in Edmonton, it’s fair to question how the Erie Otters would be doing in their first year post-McDavid. With Dylan Strome back in town, Alex DeBrincat is already proving that last year wasn’t an outlier as the Otters lead the OHL with a perfect nine-win regular season. DeBrincat leads the OHL in scoring with a staggering 13 goals and eight assists in just eight games, and that’s no slight on his other linemate, Taylor Raddysh, who sits sixth in league scoring with 14 points of his own. Take a look as this potent trio links up to contribute one of the best passing plays of the year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs clearly are taking the long road to success, and with not much expected from this season, the effort level is certainly raised from last year. Despite starting games with questionable goals against in recent action, Jonathan Bernier has settled into a groove and has given his team a chance to win. In a weekend matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the puck precariously found its way to the stick of Patric Hornqvist and the rest has to be seen to be believed.

Another goaltender taking advantage of the opportunity being given to him is the Waterloo Black Hawks’ Cale Morris. Strong through his first six games in USHL competition, Morris has come up with a few dandy saves, none better than this game-saving effort.

When Lawson Crouse was assigned back to the Kingston Frontenacs, the Florida Panthers were exercising extreme patience with their newest recruit. Likewise, the Frontenacs had to sit back and wait for Crouse to be eligible to play, as he still had games remaining on a suspension received during the 2014-15 season. In his first game back and the game on the line, Crouse sold-out and went for a make-or-break play.

Sticking with the weekend theme, Kingston’s Conor McGlynn ended a game in the shootout with a particularly quick move.

Kingston wasn’t the only team scoring ridiculous overtime goals, as Joel Eriksson Ek tallied an overtime winner of his own in SHL competition. Eriksson Ek, the Minnesota Wild’s first round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, finished off a patient play right on the doorstep. Through 11 games, Eriksson Ek has already matched his SHL point total from 2014-15 with three goals and three assists.

Hockey players come in many shapes and sizes, and for Kendall Coyne, she shows that it’s not just for the boys. Coyne scored her 100th career goal this weekend, and it was an absolute beauty. The Northeastern University captain was named as the WHEA Player of the Week thanks in part to this tremendous individual effort.

Last week’s Prospect Impressions highlights

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey