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Prospect Need to Know: Katchouk is the lead Greyhound

Sault Ste. Marie is still hot in the OHL, while the world under-18s have been surprising. We've got all the latest on prospects in our weekly wrap

Expect the unexpected, right? The world under-18s are on right now in Russia and the results have been surprising to say the least. Team USA, which usually lords over the tournament, has struggled mightily, losing to Canada and Sweden and almost losing to Switzerland, which will play for relegation itself. Meanwhile, Slovakia has proven to be pluckier than expected and Canada is flying thanks in part to underagers such as Alexis Lafreniere and Raphael Lavoie. The medal round is still to come, so things can still change - but it’s been wild. With notes from that tourney and other high-stakes games going on right now, here’s the prospect beat.

Elias Pettersson, C, Vaxjo Lakers (SHL): This will be one of the last times to celebrate Pettersson on this list before he’s in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks, so I had to do it. The superb center wrapped up his SHL season with a championship as well as playoff MVP honors. He’s the all-time junior-aged scoring champ in Sweden for both the regular season and playoffs and yes, we are all excited (maybe not the goalies). NHL arrival: 2018-19

Boris Katchouk, LW, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL): With a great combination of skill and hockey sense, Katchouk is in the midst of a banner year that includes world junior gold with Canada. Right now, the Tampa Bay pick is the leading scorer in the OHL playoffs with 23 points in 14 games and he is playing in all situations. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Luke Henman, C, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL): While the Armada have some fantastic veterans leading the charge, Henman has been a real nice player for the team in the playoffs. The 2018 draft prospect just had his post-season points streak end at eight games and he’s been great on faceoffs. The kid still needs to put some weight on his frame, but Henman has smarts and skill. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Niklas Nordgren, RW, HIFK (Fin.): Playing on Finland’s top line at the under-18s, Nordgren has been impressive so far, leading the squad with six goals and eight points through four games. A 2018 draft prospect, Nordgren is a smaller player who still goes to the tough areas and has a nose for the net. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Maxim Cajkovic, RW, Malmo Redhawks (Swe.): The surprise of the under-18s so far, Cajkovic isn’t eligible for the draft until 2019, but he is making a statement already. The talented Slovakian kid leads the tournament in points with 10 in three games, while also helping Slovakia upset the rival Czechs in the round robin. NHL arrival: 2020-21

Olivier Rodrigue, G, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL): A late arrival to Team Canada, Rodrigue posted a shutout in his first action at the under-18s and should get a lot of work from here on out. Though the 2018 draft prospect is not blessed with size, he has strong technical abilities and holds his posts well. NHL arrival: 2022-23

Patrick Bajkov, RW, Everett Silvertips (WHL): I bet the Florida Panthers are pretty happy they signed Bajkov as a free agent last month. The right winger had a hat trick in Game 3 to put Everett up 2-1 against Tri-City in the WHL semifinal, using great anticipation and hands to make the Americans pay. Bajkov now has 11 goals and 19 points in 13 playoff games. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Kaden Fulcher, G, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL): The Bulldogs have blown their way past Kingston in the first three games of the Eastern Conference final, with Fulcher allowing just four goals in the series so far. After getting passed over in the draft, Fulcher signed with the Detroit Red Wings and the big netminder has cut a lot of the noise out of his game, particularly in the playoffs. NHL arrival: 2021-22

Dominik Masin, D, Syracuse Crunch (AHL): The Crunch are one win away from dispatching Rochester in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs and Masin has been solid so far. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect has two points in two games, while also using his sturdy two-way game to keep Syracuse on the right side of the puck. NHL arrival: 2019-20

Samuel Bucek, RW, Chicago Steel (USHL): It will be interesting to see if an NHL team grabs Bucek in his final year of draft eligibility. The big Slovakian kid has shown big upside at the world juniors and now leads the USHL in playoff scoring with seven points in three games. Compete level was a question in the past, has he answered it? NHL arrival: 2020-21



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