FCHockey’s Spring rankings: 5 risers
With FCHockey releasing our Spring rankings for the 2021 NHL Draft, it’s time to pour over the changes.
Some prospects moved up in big ways in this edition, which means other prospects had to fall down the board in the top-100 – or possibly out of it altogether.
To take a closer look at some of the biggest changes, we’ve highlighted five players that have made sizable slides down FCHockey’s draft board.
Fyodor Svechkov, C, Ladia Togliatti (MHL)
Winter rank: 37
Spring rank: 18
There’s a top prospect from Russia in FCHockey’s Spring rankings: Fyodor Svechkov. The two-way centerman has continued to impress scouts this season, showing a non-stop competitive edge to get the puck back to his own team. After spending most of his season in Russia’s second-tier men’s league and looking strong, he’s earned the first-round nod.
While it seems like quite a jump going from the second round to the middle of the first, but the forward has left quite an impact on FCHockey’s scouts. In his 38 VHL games, he collected 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) and added another 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 15 MHL games. He’ll look to further boost his draft stock at next week’s IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship.
“Svechkov showed two things to me this season: that he is already capable of competing against older opponents at a professional level, and that he can be a difference-making focal point for his team when playing against his peers,” FCHockey scout Derek Neumeier said. “It is always hard to find centers who can leave a positive impact in all three zones, and Svechkov is one of the few players in this draft class who can do that.”
Zach Dean, C, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Winter rank: 49
Spring rank: 30
The conversation of who the top draft-eligible prospect out of the QMJHL has been a heated one for FCHockey’s scouts, with Zachary Bolduc, Zach L’Heureux, and Xavier Bourgault getting most of the attention. But Gatineau Olympiques centerman Zach Dean has impressed as the season has gone on, entering that conversation as well.
Matching Svechkov’s rise into the first round, Dean currently sits near the bottom, but has the potential to climb up before draft day. He has collected 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 23 games, really coming on as the season progressed, including a stretch of 10 points in five games.
“We previously had raised a few concerns with Dean’s ability to play and create for himself in high-danger areas, often leaning on perimeter play or simply following the action closely rather than opening himself into the middle lane,” FCHockey scout Andy Lehoux explained. “On second thought and with additional viewings, we’ve realized that, although he is not often pushing himself into those spots, he generates a ton of high-danger chances as a playmaker.
“By constantly gravitating around the disc, Dean bets on having more puck touches to empower his quick hands and feet to create for others through traffic. With undeniable creativity, incredible puck skills, an excellent vision and above average skating abilities, Dean is already a dynamic offensive weapon for Gatineau and one of the most exciting prospect available for the upcoming draft.”
Ayrton Martino, LW, Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Winter rank: 86
Spring rank: 37
Possibly the talk of the NHL Draft world in Ayrton Martino. The forward transferred from the BCHL to the USHL in January, joining the Omaha Lancers and making the league his showcase. The Clarkson University commit has shot up draft boards and is very much in the conversation for the first round of the draft.
Since joining the Lancers, Martino has accumulated 54 points (18 goals, 36 assists) in just 36 games. His 1.50 points points per game are third in the entire league. His ability in the offensive zone is among the best in the USHL this season, and could very well be among the best in this draft class.
“Martino has not only proved that he can handle the USHL competition, but he is also one of the most consistent and offensively producing players in the league,” FCHockey scout Dylan Krill said. “He has great energy and plays with his foot on the gas every shift, making it difficult on opponents to defend and shutdown. His ability to play at a high pace with high skill makes him intriguing, and adding speed, a great shot and high-end vision makes him a target for many teams looking to add offense.”
Olen Zellweger, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Winter rank: 100
Spring rank: 55
With the WHL finally getting rolling, scouts have been able to see how some prospects have used the past 14 months of development. Some have exceeded expectations, others not so much. For Olen Zellweger, he’s used his time well and impressed FCHockey’s scouts.
In his 11 games to start the shortened season, the defender has collected 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 11 games. He’s also been named to Team Canada in the upcoming World U18s, and could continue his strong push up draft boards.
“Zellweger was a breakout candidate due in part to the excellent platform skills he possesses and the dynamic base to his skating and skill-game,” FCHockey scout Justin Froese said. “He has the ability to multitask and reads ice proactively which has allowed him to show growth as an efficient defender and become a key play creator for the Tips.
“He shows adaptability and accountability, the growth is noticeable as he keeps getting more stacked on his plate.”
Logan Mailloux, D, SK Lejon (HockeyEttan)
Winter rank: 96
Spring rank: 64
With the OHL season delayed and then cancelled in 2020-21, many prospects looked overseas to find ice time. That’s exactly what London Knights defender Logan Mailloux did this season, and it’s seemed to work well for him. It doesn’t compare to the OHL season, where Mailloux would have shown off his skill in front of a larger audience.
He’s played 19 games in Sweden’s third-tier men’s league, the HockeyEttan, racking up 15 points (seven goals, eight assists). He’s extremely skilled in the offensive end, having the ability to pull off some highlight-reel plays, making things happen both with his feet and his hands.
“We already knew Mailloux was a fluid skater with a flair for the offensive,” FCHockey scout Dylan Galloway said. “But his consistency in these aspects has continued to shine through this season. There is still room to improve on the defensive side of the puck but we feel confident in his trajectory to keep moving him up our board.”
Other big risers:
- Jack Peart, D, Fargo Force (USHL) (98 to 51, +47)
- Dmitri Katalevsky, RW, Ibris Kazan (MHL) (Not ranked to 56, +44)
- Shai Buium, D, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) (Not ranked to 62, +38)
- Cole Jordan, D, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) (Not ranked to 66, +34)
- Trever Wong, C, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) (Not ranked to 67, +33)