11) Tyler Steenbergen (NR, out of the top 20)
Another big riser in the system, he's had a very good season in the WHL after having an also very good year last year with 51 goals in 72 games. This year through 27 games he has 35 goals and 61 points which is very impressive even if his pace has slowed down from a huge first two months. He made it to team Canada for the WJC which is very cool although I'm not expecting a lot from him, hopefully he can keep progressing as an overager picked in the 5th round of the 2017 draft. Not sure what his actual upside might be but if he can make the NHL then that would be a sweet pickup as the 212th pick in the 2016 NEFHL draft. Hopefully with the way the NHL is going a smaller skilled guy like him with a great shot can find a way to the NHL.
12) Denis Gurianov (5)
A big faller from the last prospect list, Gurianov has yet to really impress in North America or really even his last season overseas. He still has the potential but at this point it's becoming harder to see him become a scoring line player like he was projected to be. Considering predraft he had all the hype of a big, fast goal scoring winger - he has shown none of that since. He's still young but I wouldn't be shocked to see Dallas in the NHL move him. He should probably be lower on this list but the tools he has still make you hesitate and wish he'll hit his earlier projections. Only 3 goals in 30 AHL games this year with 12 total points does not exactly predict great things for the 20 year old. Hopefully next year he can perform much better in the AHL if he doesn't bolt overseas.
13) Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (NR, trade)
JFK is having a good rookie season for the P-Bruins this year with 21 points in 30 games, including 10 goals which is surprising for a guy who doesn't really shoot that much. He's a responsible two way player who is only 21 and has the potential to at least become a Riley Nash type if the scoring doesn't transition to the NHL. Hopefully that doesn't happen as a better two-way 2nd line C would be extremely helpful but that does seem like a bit of a longshot with him. He has the playmaking but being a not big and not very skilled skater will likely hold his ultimate potential back. That being said So far he's produced at every stop so hopefully the NHL is no different. I'm very excited about his future and hope within the next two years he gets some good icetime in Boston to show his stuff, but he's got quite a few centers to earn playing time from - including other prospects.
14) Peter Cehlarik (18)
Cehlarik played a few games with Boston and didn't look totally out of place earlier this year, but between injuries and other young players really grabbing the playing time I have a hard time seeing him fitting much into Boston's plans at this point. He looks to be a good skilled player but might be a little too dime a dozen to really stick out. Hopefully he can become a journeyman type of guy who gets 10 goals a year playing for different teams but it wouldn't shock me if in a couple years he's back in Sweden. I like him a lot and hope he can make it work but hard to see how a somewhat limited type of contact winger who has average all around skills but nothing extraordinary. Next year he could be off the list or he could be up even higher, it's really hard to tell with Cehlarik right now. He's coming back from injury and might still see time with Boston so January of 2018 could be oneof the most important months of his young career.
15) Stelio Mattheos (NR, 2017 draft)
New to the team this year Mattheos was picked 68th by the Devils as a formerly very hyped prospect who fell down a lot of the rankings leading up to his draft. He has good size and wasn't awful last year with 61 points in 69 games but this year he's absolutely dominating with 55 points in 35 games while wearing an A for Brandon Wheat Kings. He's playing on a team with Ty Lewis and Kale Clague who are also both doing extremely well in the W so his stats might be a little inflated. But as a 3rd round pick I can't really complain at all about a guy having that good of a season after his draft. He didn't get onto team Canada for the WJC unfortunately but it's always a super comepetive team obviously. It would be fantastic if he can keep progressing and regain some of the hype he had when he was picked 1st overall in the 2014 WHL bantam draft. Having a forward like him coming from one of the recent drafts would be great to compliment some of the slightly older prospect/young players like Tuch/Connor etc.
16) Grant Mismash (NR, 2017 draft)
With the 41st pick the Devils took Mismash and despite falling to 61 in the NHL, so far I can't complain. He's having a solid 18 year old season at North Dakota with 14 points in 19 games which is good for 2nd on the team. He didn't get to play for USA in the WJC and was seen somewhat as a snub but hopefully he can keep improving and make the team next year. I have faith in the NHL Predators development system so getting a good gritty player who has shown good offense at every level could be a very nice place for him to go. If he can develop properly he could be a fun player to slot with PLD or Jenner or similiar players anywhere in the lineup. Same as JFK, I think he might make it but it could be in a much smaller role if things don't go his way, but I guess getting an energy guy who hits a lot is better than whiffing on a pick completely. So far I'm really happy with the pick and like Mattheos I look forward to them progressing over the next year
17) Jack Studnicka (NR, 2017 draft)
Another new guy on the list, Studnicka is having a solid but not crazy 1st season after being picked by the Devils. Wearing the C for Oshawa in the OHL he's leading his team in points and so far is on pace to break the 52 he had last season. Nothing spectacular but as a Bruins pick in the NHL, I'm even more interested to see how he develops. He's not small but he's pretty light so he definitely needs to bulk up if he is going to play the smart responsible two way game in the pros that he does in the OHL. He compared himself to Bozak of the Leafs before the draft, and as a former Devils player - the team would be happy to have grabbed another Bozak if he develops that direction in a few years. I think he could definitely be a riser on the list next season.
18) Ian McCoshen (15)
He is what he is based on what I said last year, a big hitting defensive d-man and not much has changed since. He could probably be higher on the list simply because he's played 27 games in the NHL this year, and at 22 that's pretty solid for a prospect. He has no assists and 3 goals to go with a -9 on the season though, so while his 49 hits is fun it remains to be seen exactly how useful he'll be in the NEFHL down the line. Right now he'll be useful enough next year to get some games is which is nice, but his projection is still that of a bottom pairing at best type of player. It's been awhile since I had another D-man on this list though, so even if he's not as flashy or dynamic as McAvoy or Girard, he might be able to be a Methot (best case scenario) type and compliment one of them.
19) Rob O'Gara (20.5)
Forgotten about last season (sorry dude!) he's much in the same way as McCoshen above him in that he's destined to be a bottom pair guy at best. He got in 8 games this year with Boston and has managed to throw a few hits and block a few shots but nothing that would really make him stand out. He's a big body who takes up a lot of space in the defensive zone and he might be able to really make it as a PK bottom pairing guy, but right now I could also see him just not being an NHLer. He's 24 and will be 25 next summer so this is kind of his make it or break it season in terms of NHL ability. He's been passed by other young players on Boston like Carlo and McAvoy (duh) as well as Grzelcyk, although the latter two play a much different game than him. It wouldn't shock me if he ended up playing a few seasons total before he hung them up but it won't be impactful enough anyway.
20) Colby Sissons (NR last time)
Just want to put him on the list somewhere, undrafted in 2016 and 2017 but he got signed by the NHL Devils in early October. He's playing on the dynamite Broncos team with Steenbergen and has an impressive looking 40 points in 36 games as a defenseman. Even if most of that is just grabbing onto the amazing seasons of Gawdin, Heponiemi and Steenbergen - it's still more impressive in terms of pure stats than most other prospects I could put here so why not. Originally used a 5th round pick on him in 2016 so it's not like I have a lot invested in him but it would be cool if an undrafted guy could make some waves after being passed over twice in the NHL draft. His first pro season will be very telling and he could very much be absolutely garbage, but will be fun to wait and see!
HM: Nicholas Aube-Kubel (HM last year), Dominik Masin (17 last year), Dylan Coghlan (NR last year), Jordan Schmaltz (7 last year - OUCH!)