Metropolitan Edition

Ages as per BRHL site***


1 - NEW JERSEY - Tim Stutzle, Jake Neighbours, Dylan Guenther, Lane Hutson.  Any of our top few teams in the Metro could probably be interchanged. Just like any of the bottom couple could be too.  I did give Ken the nod here at number 1 due to the ample NHL production that the 1st three players have shown so far.  Stutzle, Neighbours, and Guenther are all not only full-time NHLers now but are difference-makers for their teams.  Hutson is one of the top defenceman prospects in the game, especially on the offensive side of things. 


2 - PITTSBURGH - Luke Hughes, Quentin Byfield, Cole Perfetti, Rutger McGroarty.  Toby is stacked in this department. He's been toiling near the bottom of the barrel for a few years now, and at least has something nice to show for it.  Luke Hughes looks to be on his way towards being a perennial Norris contender.  Byfield, as larger players are often prone to do, has taken time to develop, but is on his way to becoming a premier NHL power forward.  I'm left wanting a little bit more from Perfetti at times, but he did only just turn 22.  And McGroarty torched college last season, so the jump to the NHL is the next logical step for him.  Although whether that's with the Jets or elsewhere, may determine whether Toby holds on to his BRHL rights or not. 


3 - RANGERS - Jaroslav Slafkovsky, Marco Rossi, Jesper Wallstedt, Maverick Bourque.  Boy, did the 2022 NHL 1st overall pick really stick it to the haters last season.  Slaf exploded for 20 goals and 50 points in his sophomore season, giving Habs fans and PJ reason to cheer.  Rossi finally put together a full and healthy NHL season and contributed nicely with 21 goals.  Wallstedt remains one of the top goaltending prospects in the game, despite only appearing in 3 career NHL contests.  Look for him to get much longer looks in 2024-25.  And Bourque seems to be the latest Jim Nill gem as he has nothing left to prove at the AHL level, and may likely be a big-time contributor to the Dallas Stars this fall. 


4 - WASHINGTON - Seth Jarvis, Drew Commesso, Trevor Zegras, Nils Lundkvist.  While the stock of Trevor Zegras has certainly fallen in recent times, Larry's other young depth has risen to the occasion.  Jarvis has become a 2-way, top-line menace for one of the NHL's best teams.  Man, I'd love to not have traded this guy away. Commesso is clearly ready for an NHL audition in Chicago.  Zegras did unfortunately take a step back this season, and may never be a sim darling, but still has plenty of potential and  incredible skill in the offensive end of the rink.  And finally, Lundkvist has shown glimpses of some razzle-dazzle to his game, despite not being trusted yet in all situations. 


5 - COLUMBUS - Tyson Foerster, Connor McMichael, Kaapo Kakko, Marat Khusnutdinov.  Despite not having some of the high-end star power that a couple of the teams near the top of our list possess, Jesse has assembled a massive amount of young depth throughout his roster.  The 1st three players on this list are now regularly contributing NHL regulars.  Kakko did surprisingly take a step back this last season, which is definitely concerning for Jesse and New York.  Marat Khusnutdinow is the interesting name on this list.  He is poised to become a big-league regular this fall, and Wild fans are rightfully excited to see what he will bring to the table. 


6 - PHILADELPHIA - Mo Seider, Mattias Maccelli, Ville Heinola, Santeri Hatakka.  Anthony's list isn't the most spectacular one that we've seen, but it's still a pretty solid one to say the least.  It's only a matter of time before Seider gets Norris Trophy consideration.  He does everything right and is making the Red Wings scouting brass look like geniuses.  Maccelli is one of the quietest up-and-coming stars in the game, but that's okay with Tony and company because the rates will always be there.  Well over a half assist per game has been his production over his age 22 and 23 seasons.   This year is a massive one for Heinola, as he's toiled much too long in the minors and must now show that he can hack it with the big boys.  Hatakka is a much lesser known name than the ones preceding him on this list, but is probably NHL ready.  A trade from the Devils organization might be what's best for him. 


7 - ISLANDERS - Jonatan Berggren, Will Cuylle, Eduard Sale, Isaac Howard.  There is some sneaky decent potential with Joe's under 24er's.  Just nothing that makes you go wow.  Berggren has been brought along slowly in true Red Wing's fashion, but looks like he could have a decent NHL career ahead of him.  Just needs to really find his niche.  Cuylle is still very young, and being a larger player, has tons of time before he probably even scratches the surface of what he should be capable of.  Sale and Howard are still projects in the making, but both have offensive upside and are in good spots without a ton of talent ahead of them on their team's respective depth charts. 


8 - CAROLINA - Alexander Nikishin, Adam Boqvist, Nikita Nesterenko, Louis Crevier.  Uncle Rich's Core Four under 24 may be ranked 8th, but would be at least a couple of spots higher in other divisions.  The Canes are chomping at the bit to get Nikishin into their lineup.  He is clearly one of the top hockey players in the world not currently playing in North America.  Boqvist definitely had his struggles last season, but so do most young defencemen, and I'm betting on a bounceback. Despite being a 6th round pick, Nesterenko has already had cups of coffee at the pro level in back to back seasons.  Crevier is a name most aren't familiar with, but managed to get into 24 games with Chicago last season at age 22, and is an impressive 6 foot 8. 

Thanks for the nod Dan. I’d also bank on Bobby Brink having a good year; just have to beg Torts for ice time . 🤞🏻
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