NHL Prospect Roundup: Can anyone stop future Toronto Maple Leaf Ty Voit?

The teams that really excel in the prospect development front are the ones that can find value at any round.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are a perfect example. They selected Ondrej Palat with the fourth-last pick of the 2011 draft, and he went on to record three 50-plus point seasons and become a huge part of the team’s two Stanley Cup runs in 2020 and 2021. This year, they’ve turned 2017 sixth-round pick Nick Perbix into a crucial piece of the team’s back end just months after he finished his NCAA tenure.

So you’ll notice today that many prospects featured were taken in the third round or later. Everyone expects a first-rounder to succeed, but when someone you landed in the fifth round can elevate his game to a point nobody projected, that’s absolutely massive for long-term success.

And the fifth round is exactly where we’re going to start today:

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OHL

– From the beginning, Ty Voit has been an unstoppable force for Sarnia this season. He’s up to 36 points in 21 games, capped off by a four-assist effort in a 6-5 win over Oshawa on Sunday. He doesn’t score a ton, with his last goal coming 13 games ago on Oct. 21, but his assist count has given him a five-point advantage in the scoring race. The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Voit in the fifth round in 2021, with the 5-foot-9 forward’s development being halted due to COVID-19. But ever since going back to normal in 2021-22, Voit’s 84 assists are good for first in the OHL, and his 116 points are eight points behind New York Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann for the overall lead.

– With Shane Wright up with the Seattle Kraken, the Kingston Frontenacs needed someone to help fill the lost offense. Dallas Stars prospect Francesco Arcuri has managed to keep things steady with 25 points in his first 22 games, including two three-point efforts this weekend. He had seven points in four games total this past week, with his 18 goals leading the league. Arcuri already looks like a solid value add after going 175th overall to the Stars in 2021, currently on pace for his second 70-point season.

AHL

William Eklund needed a solid bounce-back week to get himself out of a slump and the San Jose Sharks prospect did just that. He had a solid week with the Barracuda, scoring twice and recording five points in three games to give him nine in 15 games. He had been in a bit of a slump with four scoreless contests, but he looked more comfortable over the past few games. He’s not shooting a lot right now, so that’s something that could definitely improve, but he’s still young at 20 and the Barracuda are an average squad. He’s tied with fellow top prospect Thomas Bordeleau for second in team scoring, among others, so the Sharks have to be happy with both of them.

– A deeper dive on Calgary Flames goaltending prospect Dustin Wolf is probably needed because all this man does is win. The 21-year-old leads the league with eight victories, boasts a .922 save percentage and has just two losses to his credit this season for the Wranglers. He started two games this weekend, allowing three goals on 56 shots for a .946 save percentage. Wolf is the reigning winner of the AHL’s top goaltender award, and that comes after winning the same honor in the WHL in back-to-back seasons. He’s trending towards winning it again this season, which is quite remarkable for a 21-year-old.

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– At 24, Brandon Bussey is still trying to find his way in the Boston Bruins development system. They signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Western Michigan in March and he has split the season between the AHL and ECHL, with quite a bit of success. He has a 4-0-2 record with a shutout and a .949 save percentage in five AHL games and was fantastic in a 43-save effort against Lehigh Valley on Saturday. Kyle Keyser has also been impressive, but Bussi deserves some praise for the way he came in and performed when needed this season.

QMJHL

Montreal Canadiens prospects have featured quite frequently on this list, which is expected of a team sitting near the bottom of the NHL standings. Joshua Roy, taken in the fifth round in 2021, has continued his scoring dominance in the Q with 12 goals and 32 points in 19 games – good for eighth in league scoring. Roy’s skating is nothing special, which takes his game down a bit, but he showed he could hang with talented teammates at the summer World Junior Championship tournament. He should be back with Canada this winter.

– I didn’t want to include someone as a repeat this early, but I can’t ignore just how incredible Jordan Dumais is playing. The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect has 48 points in 21 games – 11 clear of anyone else as a driving force of the Halifax Mooseheads. He’s on pace for 156 points, with Sidney Crosby (168 in 2004-05) being the last forward to hit or surpass that total in the QMJHL. The biggest knock against Dumais’ game is his 5-foot-9 frame, but after recording 109 points a year ago, this man clearly means business.

– A fifth-round selection by the St. Louis Blues last year Marc-Andre Gaudet has quietly had himself quite the season with Chicoutimi. He’s up to 18 points in 21 games, highlighted by a five-point run over the weekend. Gaudet is on pace for a nice 20-point bump in his first season since moving away from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and could break the 20-goal marker, too. He’s an offensive defender with good size and he isn’t afraid to use it from time to time.

WHL

– The results keep coming for Kevin Korchinskiwho has thrived since getting taken seventh overall by the Chicago Blackhawks last year. Korchinski has 21 points in 15 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds, putting him on pace for around 90 this season. That’ll be interrupted by an expected trip to Canada’s World Junior Championship camp, but few NHL-drafted defensive prospects have been as impressive as Korchinski at this point in the season.

DEL

– The Carolina Hurricanes still have forward Dominik Bokk under contract until the end of the season, despite being loaned out to Frankfurt in the DEL. He’s been incredible this season with 24 points in 20 games, putting him on pace for 67 – by far the best output of his pro career. Bokk had a two-year stint in the AHL, including last year with Chicago, but consistency was a real issue. Now that he’s challenging for the German league’s scoring title, you have to wonder if a team will inquire about his rights over the summer.

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