Prospect Impressions: McDavid returns, Gaunce ties AHL record, more highlights from around the globe

By David Hahn
Connor McDavid - Edmonton Oilers

Photo: In his first four games after returning from an injury layoff, Edmonton Oilers rookie forward Connor McDavid collected two goal and four assists (courtesy of Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)



The hockey world held its collective breath when Connor McDavid crashed into the end boards in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers three months ago. Since then, Dylan Larkin and Artemi Panarin took the lead in the race for the Calder Trophy, but Connor McDavid may still sneak back into the discussion if he keeps up his current scoring pace. Also in this weeks Prospect Impressions, two creative goals from the NCAA, Utica Comets forward Brendan Gaunce ties an AHL record, and plenty more highlights from around the globe including a heartwarming story out of Connecticut.

Connor McDavid doesn’t need to convince anyone that he is the real deal, but after a three-month layoff due to injury, McDavid is back in a big way. In the span of five seconds, McDavid deked through three Columbus Blue Jackets defenders, spinning one of the them out of his way, and finally tucked the puck home past Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. It’s unfair at times, but for Edmonton Oilers fans, they simply call it “hope.”

Yale hasn’t been a scoring machine this season, but their second-highest goal output of the 2015-16 campaign propelled them past Dartmouth this week by a 5-1 final score. Reigning ECAC Rookie of the Month Joe Snively stayed hot, scoring once and adding two assists during the game. He ranks second on the team in scoring with eight goals and 11 assists, and with efforts like this, Snively could easily be one of the most underrated players in the ECAC.

With bragging rights on the line in the annual Beanpot Tournament, Boston University’s Robbie Baillargeon scored a fantastic goal against Northeastern University to help send his team to the finals. Baillargeon has struggled to regain his point-scoring prowess from his rookie year, but he has been a consistent and capable scoring threat for BU, who would go on to drop the Beanpot final in the first 1-0 overtime game in tournament history.

Interstellar comets are generally accepted as the fastest traveling items in our universe, but Utica Comets forward Brendan Gaunce (VAN) tied a long-standing AHL record for fastest overtime goal to defeat the St. John’s IceCaps.  When the puck was dropped to start overtime, Gaunce won the faceoff forward and did the rest himself to give the Comets the extra point in overtime.

Back in North America after a successful tour through Europe, Rob Schremp is in the AHL once again and performing up to standards. Schremp, one of the most skilled forwards in AHL history, hasn’t been able to put things together consistently since a stint with the New York Islanders, but he still has plenty to offer. During the AHL All-Star Skills Competition, Schremp busted out a lacrosse-style breakaway attempt, getting fans out of their seats and showing why Schremp is still a must-see attraction.

One player gaining traction heading into the 2016 NHL Draft is Lucas Carlsson, a defenseman playing for Brynas IF in the SHL. Carlsson is a 6’0″, 190-pound defenseman who has displayed tremendous one-on-one skills for the breakout, but has a few end-to-end rushes under his belt. Carlsson was the team’s MVP at the J18 level, and now that he is playing against older competition, it is a great sign for his development that he is continuing to put up points.

Sometimes the game simply trancends itself, and such is the case for Doug Caliendo, a high school player for Notre Dame West-Haven in Connecticut. Just hours after his father passed away, Caliendo scored the overtime game-winning goal against Northwest Catholic, overcoming a 2-0 deficit.


Last week’s Prospect Impressions feature

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