Checking in on the top prospects
October, 10, 2013
By Corey Pronman | ESPN Insider
Richard Wolowicz/Getty ImagesRed Wings prospect Anthony Mantha is off to a hot start this season in the QMJHL.The 2013-14 season is underway in the NHL and across many other leagues, and that means there are already several notable prospects turning heads.
With just a two-week sample, it's foolish to come to too many conclusions. However, there are some prospects performing unusually well, taking on a significant amount of responsibility or seeming to improve some portion of their game that was unexpected prior to the start of the campaign.
Here are some of the top prospects based on their play thus far this season, listed with their NHL team.
Andreas Johnson, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs (Frolunda-SHL):
"He's been the surprise of the SHL season so far," one scout said on Johnson, who was a seventh-round pick in 2013 for Toronto.
Johnson was not an invite to Sweden's World Junior Championships camp, but is the leader of all under-20 scorers in Sweden's top league, with nine points in 10 SHL games. He's second for Frolunda in scoring, and has four more points than Columbus first-rounder Alexander Wennberg.
He's small, and he won't blow you away with a dynamic skill set, but scouts note that he's an above-average skater and puck handler who can shoot the puck, plays with a ton of energy and understands the game. If Johnson can continue to show good tools, and even come close to continuing this type of production for the entire season, he may have quickly slotted himself as a top-10 prospect in a thin Leafs system.