2017 has truly been a banner year so far for minor league hockey. From the American Hockey League to the East Coast Hockey League, minor league ice hockey associations are seeing record crowds and a renewed interest in the sport. In fact, there are several minor league prospects working their way to – or back – to the NHL. With the 2017-2018 NHL season starting in October, here are some minor leaguers that are hoping to debut or return to the NHL soon!
It’s hard to believe that Clayton Keller is currently not skating in the NHL. After all, this amazing center from Boston University recently topped the Top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects list on TSN. While Keller was picked up by the Arizona Coyotes last season — and made his NHL debut in March 2016 — he is currently involved with development training and even participated in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships back in January.
Rasmus Dahlin is definitely NHL material and someone to keep an eye on for the 2017-2018 season. Dahlin currently plays for Frolunda of Sweden’s top ice-hockey league, the SHL. He is regarded as a high-quality two-way player who can pass or carry the puck as well. Dahlin is also known for his graceful skating with elusive moves and eye-catching maneuvers. While Dahlin is set to play in the SHL this fall, this solid player is a surefire lock for the upcoming NHL season.
David Levin is yet another minor leaguer with major league skills and accomplishments. As a member of the Sudbury Wolves, Levin is a great small forward with impressive speed, passing and stick-handling skills. In fact, his 18 goals and 35 assists last season propelled him into the spotlight for the 2018 NHL Draft. While Levin is older than most eligible players for the Draft, his great experience makes him a forerunner for the NHL Draft, and a veteran that can add true value to any major league ice hockey team.
Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm is another OHL player with splendid puck movements and defense. As a creative player, he is considered one of the top-ranked players in the upcoming NHL Draft. While Merkley is set to play with the Storm again this fall, this is sure to change. In fact, many NHL scouts are currently touting Merkley for his skills and puck-handling skills. With this in mind, he is sure to be picked up by an NHL squad this fall.
These are some of the top prospects that are sure to make a big hit in the NHL this fall! We will cover more prospects in the weeks leading to the new NHL season. Stay tuned.