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Predators’ Prospects Monthly Recap: January

Will one of these names be off this list next month???

Dante Fabbro - Boston University

We continue with our monthly recaps as part of our new coverage for On The Future! We will be providing short need-to-knows about everyone in the Preds’ system. Follow us on Twitter!

NCAA

Dante Fabbro, D, Boston University

Fabbro had a strong January in my eyes. In 6 games he posted 8 points - 3 of those points were a hat trick, however. It’s been a weird season to evaluate for him. By no means do I come anywhere near the panic button on this one. He’s having a similar sophomore season to Charlie McAvoy, too. His defensive game has been steady, but, I’m not sure, there just seems more to be desired. Overall, I won’t be devastated if he goes at the deadline. There are a couple players closer to the full-time roster, and the top-four isn’t opening up anytime soon.

David Farrance, D, Boston University

Farrance, as most know, has been struggling this year. At the end of January, he’d seen the ice in 19 games (not horrible for a freshman), but he’s been moved around the lineup and playing often on the wing. Here’s Corey Pronman’s take from The Athletic:

Patrick Harper, F, Boston University

Haper played very little in January (one game to be exact) and missed the entire Beanpot Tournament. Word is he’s out with an illness so nothing new to report.

Grant Mismash, F, University of North Dakota

Mismash continued his slow-paced but productive freshman season. He’s not tearing it up, but he’s playing well for his age. North Dakota still has plenty of hockey to play this year, but next season is a big one for Mismash. Also, it’s quite possible every Preds NCAA prospect makes the tourney and that’s pretty cool.

Tommy Novak, F, University of Minnesota

Novak only posted one point in January. I think he’s a decent player and a good centerman. But I can’t help but wonder how much his knee injury set him back, and I’m becoming more and more certain he won’t be getting a contract from the Preds down the line.

Rem Pitlick, F, University of Minnesota

Pitlick also had a quiet January only scoring one point. I still think he’s having an underrated season. Minnesota should be playing in March, so he’ll have an ample opportunity to pick up his scoring once more.

Adam Smith, D, Bowling Green State University

Smith posted his first three points of the season this past month. Bowling Green is chasing down a tournament bid for the first time in years and he’s an integral part of it. Plus, if they make it, then our readers might get some live coverage in March!

Juniors - CHL, USHL

Pavel Koltygin, F, Drummondville Voltigeurs [QMJHL]

Koltygin’s offensive production has remained fairly consistent this past month. He’s up to 35 points in 45 games. I expected his numbers to start dropping after the Voltigeurs acquired Joe Veleno, but this output is impressive given his mostly bottom-six minutes. I think Koltygin might get an entry-level contract this summer with the organization having high expectations next season.

Jacob Paquette, D, Kingston Frontenacs [OHL]

Paquette didn’t record a point in the month of January, but his defensive play has yet to regress this season. The Fronts are rolling in third place in the Eastern Conference and Paquett’e pairing has been an important foundation for this contending team.

Tomas Vomacka, G, Lincoln Stars [USHL]

It’s tough to give a fair analysis when a prospect’s team is bad, and that’s no different with Vomacka. The Stars are mediocre, and Vomacka has gone 1-4 since the last update. His numbers are ugly to look at, but he does face a high amount of shots indicative of the poor defense in front of him.

Europe

Taylor Aronson, D, Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers [DEL]

Aronson’s January was relatively slow compared to his start to this season. He’s up to 29 points in 47 games on the season. The Ice Tigers have dropped to second in the DEL behind EHC Red Bull Munchen but are still flying high.

Victor Ejdsell, F, HV71 [SHL]

Ejdsell had a big January. At the beginning of the month, he was sitting on 15 points in 30 games after two long scoring droughts. After the month, he added six goals and nine points in 8 games for HV71 as they fight for playoff positioning. There are inconsistencies with his game that still remain, but I’d hedge my bets he’ll be in Milwaukee next season.

In the meantime, check out some of his latest goals:

Stefan Elliott, D, HV71 [SHL]

Elliott has settled in really nicely with HV71 - something I didn't necessarily see coming. In 25 games he has 14 points but is now headed off to the Olympics to represent Team Canada.

Want to learn about another HV71 defenseman in the meantime? Check out my piece on some potential Swedish options for the Preds this summer.

Hardy Haman Aktell, D, Skelleftea AIK J20 [SuperElit]

Aktell has finally surfaced! After months of being sidelined with a hip injury, Aktell suited up for the first time this season on January 6th and has appeared in six more games since. Skelleftea’s schedule down the stretch is entirely against the top teams of the SuperElit, so he’ll have a tough go re-adjusting. Check out my most recent Prospects’ Report for more.

Eeli Tolvanen, F, Jokerit [KHL]

Tolvanen had a considerably slow January. After a frustrating World Junior Championships, Tolvanen has only added two points in almost ten games for Jokerit. The KHL is now on break for the Olympics, and Tolvanen will have every opportunity to impress as he’s practicing on Team Finland’s first line and first powerplay unit. Am I concerned about Tolvanen’s slow down? A bit but not much. It’s okay that he’s starting to even out.

Karel Vejmelka, G, HC Kometa Brno/ HK Dukla Jihlava [Czech]

Vejmelka also has not played much in the past month. After the World Junior Championships ended, he was returned to Kometa from Dukla. However, he’s only started five games this past month and a half - all for SK Horacka Slavia Trebic in the Czech second-tier league - and posted decent numbers. It’s tough when goalies keep bouncing around as such, so Milwaukee could be a good source of consistency next season.

Konstantin Volkov, G, SKA-1946/ SKA Neva [MHL/ VHL]

Volkov is a really interesting case. You’ve got to wonder that Poile & Co. would like to see him playing more this season, but the SKA organization is crowded in net. Between SKA Neva (VHL) and SKA-1946 (MHL), Volkov has seen minutes in only 20 games this season. Regardless, his numbers for SKA-1946 are impressive: 11-5, 1.92 GAA, and 0.921 SV%. If Volkov doesn’t find a full-time job in the VHL next season for Neva, it might be time to start worrying.

Milwaukee Admirals

The Admirals started off January on a strong note picking up solid divisional wins against Iowa, San Antonio, Rockford and Cleveland. Ultimately, however, as their inconsistencies persisted, the Admirals finished the month with a 5-6-0 record.

Bobby Butler and Emil Pettersson continue to impress offensively with 34 and 32 points in 46 and 43 games, respectively. Anthony Richard and Mark Zengerle (AHL contract) have started to pick up the pace, and Frederick Gaudreau being back somewhat permanently has brought better balance to the lineup. Yakov Trenin has returned from injury, and the Admirals shipped out Andrew O’Brien and Tyler Kelleher for Mark McNeill - read about it here.

Sitting at third to last in the Western Conference, this team isn’t making the playoffs barring a huge run down the stretch. Paul Fenton will have some important staff decisions to make this summer.

ECHL Notes

Nothing much to report here. Matt O’Connor is now playing for the Manchester Monarchs, and his season is...