FOUR Prospects Who Have Impressed This Season: Fraser Minten, Dmitri Buchelnikov, Jani Nyman, Jean-Luc Foudy (TOR, PHI, SET, COL)

Drafting and developing are two key characteristics that are needed within each and every NHL organization, in order to achieve their goal of winning a Stanley Cup. Confidence is one of the most important aspects in a young hockey players game, here are four players that have impressed so far this season:

Fraser Minten, Kamloops Blazers (Toronto Maple Leafs)

There is no doubt in mind that Leafs' prospect Fraser Minten is one confident man. Minten has so far been one of the most impactful players on his stacked Kamloops' team. The Blazers sit third in the Western Conference, although are guaranteed a spot at the upcoming Memorial Cup, as they set to host the event in 2023.

The Leafs first-pick during the 2022 NHL Entry Draft has gotten off to a terrific start in his third season of junior hockey. Previously, the Leafs' used the 38th overall selection to take Minten, who put up a very solid 20 goals and 35 assists last season.

This is a player who has constantly improved throughout his junior career. Minten was a formerly a fourth-round pick by the Blazers during the 2019 WHL Draft. As noted prior the NHL Draft, Minten is a player that likes to use his speed to beat defenders. He uses his edge work to an advantage, he scores most of his goals on the rush or by potting in rebounds.
So far this season, the Vancouver native is sixth on his team in points. Minten has produced nine goals and 13 assists in 16 games so-far this season.

Dmitri Buchelnikov, SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (Detroit Red Wings)

Standing at just 5-foot-9 and only weighing 150 pounds, it is quite definite that size isn't a problem for the Wings' draft pick. Buchelnikov is a part a reputable hockey family from Russia, as his father Vladimir, played multiple seasons as a netminder and is currently the goaltending coach for SKA-Varyagi St. Petersburg.

Buchelnikov is a player that has a tremendous amount of offensive skills and weapons. He is no stranger to putting up high point totals, as shown last year playing in the Russian Junior League. The 52nd overall selection from the past draft put up a dynamic 41 goals and 34 assists, to lead his team in scoring.

The Wings' prospect is a clear goal-scorer, he is flashy and has a great shot. His offensive instincts are fantastic and their is no-doubt that his scoring will translate to the North American game. Although, a wide concern within the Russian's game would be his size, and lack of defensive responsibility.

This season, Buchelnikov has split time playing in the MHL, VHL (second-tier league), and the KHL. Most recently, the prospect spent time in the VHL playing for SKA-Neva St. Petersburg. In 14 games so far, the offensive talent is not a question, as the winger put up 18 points in 14 games. Buchelnikov has also suited up for ten KHL games, playing a minimal role.

Jani Nyman, Ilves Tampere (Seattle Kraken)

Nyman is one of very few teenage forwards to have produced a very solid point total to start the season in a professional hockey league. The Kraken second-round pick from the past draft has been among the top players since the age of 15.

The Finnish player has a tremendous amount of upside. He has a tremendous shot, and offensive talent, he has a shoot-first mentality. Nyman is also a player that can use his size to an advantage, standing at 6-foot-3, he plays with a bit of physicality.

Last season, Nyman spent the majority of the year with Koove of the second-tier Finnish league. The Finnish youngster was quite impressive playing in his first season against men. Nyman topped off the year with a team high 35 points in 34 games. The 49th overall selection also has a high pedigree representing his native country. The Kraken prospect suited up for 21 international games, while bringing home a bronze medal from the U18's. 

This season, Nyman successfully took the jump to play at in the Liiga (the top Finnish pro league), after a brief stint playing with the junior squad. There is no doubt in mind that the youngster is ready, as shown by his six points in two junior games early in the year. So far, the 19-year-old has fared well among the most elite, as he currently has ten points in 20 games. Furthermore, it is expected that Nyman will represent Finland at the upcoming World Juniors.

Jean-Luc Foudy, Colorado Eagles (Colorado Avalanche)

Jean-Luc, the younger brother of Blue Jackets' first-round pick Liam, has had an impressive development curve over the past few seasons. The Avs' third-round pick in 2020 has driven up the teams depth chart and even earned himself his NHL debut earlier this year.

As of today, Foudy is currently listed as day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury. The Toronto native, has played in three NHL games, including six shots on goal and six penalty minutes. 

The 75th overall selection had a tremendous AHL campaign prior to his call-up to the NHL level. Foudy was among the leaders on a stacked Eagles team as the youngster recorded 14 points in 18 games.