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Predators’ Prospects Monthly Recap: February

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My prediction came true. Someone did leave the list.

Canada v Finland - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

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

I’m sure many of you were relieved to not see Fabbro go at the deadline (bye, bye Victor Ejdsell). Regardless, he scored 6 points in 8 games for the Terriers in February who face UConn this weekend in the HockeyEast Tournmanent. David Poile hinted at signing Fabbro to his ELC this summer which makes the Murphy trade more logical, but, remember, it takes two to tango.

David Farrance, D, Boston University

Farrance seems to have moved to the wing full-time for the Terriers this season. In February, he posted his first collegiate goal and 2 assists in 6 games. Check out the goal below:

Patrick Harper, F, Boston University

Harper remains out for the rest of the year with an undisclosed illness.

Grant Mismash, F, University of North Dakota

Mismash posted an impressive 6 points in 8 games in February for North Dakota. He’s had a quiet but productive freshman season. UND still has a lot of hockey to play, as well, with the NCHC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. He was also named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team:

Tommy Novak, F, University of Minnesota

Novak added 7 points (all assists) in 8 games for the Golden Gophers in February. He’s been playing most of his minutes centering their top line this season.

Rem Pitlick, F, University of Minnesota

Pitlick had 9 points in 8 games for the Golden Gophers last month - an impressive showing for the sophomore who has moved up and down the lineup. He also had a fantastic showing this past weekend as Penn State swept the Golden Gophers out of the Big Ten Tournament. As they await their NCAA fate, check out this sweet goal:

Adam Smith, D, Bowling Green State University

Adam Smith’s Falcons are flying high as they swept Ferris State in the first round of the WCHA Tournament. Smith added 1 assist in 7 games for Bowling Green this past month.

Juniors - CHL, USHL

Pavel Koltygin, F, Drummondville Voltigeurs [QMJHL]

Koltygin had another quiet month only posting 5 points in 13 games for the Voltigeurs. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him sign an ELC this summer despite not playing as many minutes as necessarily anticipated, though.

Jacob Paquette, D, Kingston Frontenacs [OHL]

Paquette is up to 12 points in 57 games for the Frontenacs. I was supposed to go see him play this past weekend but was hemmed in by a snowstorm - apologies everyone. In the meantime, below is his signature shot that gets cleaned up for a nice goal:

Tomas Vomacka, G, Lincoln Stars [USHL]

Vomacka had an impressive month that saw his numbers start coming back to decent: 2.92 GAA and .900 SV%. He was just named the USHL Goaltender of the Week for a 2-0, 58-save performance. He’s won his last five games. Personally, I’m very excited to watch him at UConn next season.

Europe

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

Aronson added one assist in five games in February for the Ice Tigers from Nuremberg to finish the season with 30 points in 52 games. The Ice Tigers (3) face off against Kolner Haie - featuring Preds alum Ryan Jones - in the DEL Quarterfinals starting March 14th.

Stefan Elliott, D, HV71 [SHL]

After suiting up for two games for Canada at the Winter Olympics, Elliott returned to HV71 and scored a remarkable 7 points in 7 games. HV71 has two regular season games left as they chase down a spot in the top-6 to avoid a play-in round.

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

Aktell is up to 12 games played in his shortened 2017-18 season. In February, he collected one goal and one assist in five games. Aktell is my dark horse pick to get a contract from the organization this summer.

Eeli Tolvanen, F, Jokerit [KHL]

Tolvanen had a busy February as most of you are likely aware. In 5 games representing Finland at the Winter Olympics, he recorded 3 goals and 6 assists. He finished his first regular season in the KHL with 19 goals and 36 points in 49 games giving him the all-time U19 league record in both categories. He’s now 3 games into the playoffs against HC Sochi and has 2 goals including this beauty:

Karel Vejmelka, G, HC Kometa Brno/ HK Dukla Jihlava [Czech]/ SK Horacka [Czech 2]

Vejmelka had a busy February with 7 starts for SK Horacka Slavia Trebic. His numbers inflated this past month from a sub-2.00 GAA to a 2.32 and a .908 SV%. SK Horacka did not make the playoffs, so we’ll see if he gets any minutes in the top Czech league with HC Kometa Brno.

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

In February, Volkov started 8 games for SKA-1946 and 1 game for SKA-Varyagi im. Morozova of the NMHL (the second tier junior league in Russia). His numbers in the MHL sit at a stunning 1.59 GAA and a .935 SV%. This season has been an interesting one considering some thought before the season he would see a few KHL call-ups (he suited up as their backup on Feb. 27th but did not play). The SKA organization has a logjam in net, but Volkov should hopefully stay with Neva in the VHL next season and see some KHL action.

Milwaukee Admirals

The Admirals month of February was once again inconsistent. They enjoyed a four-game winning streak early in the month but ultimately finished with a 5-6-1 record. The trade deadline saw the Admirals roster receive a decent makeover - you can read about that here.

Pettersson, Butler, and Zolnierczyk continue to lead the way offensively, but Frederick Gaudreau and Anthony Richard have picked it up lately.

It’s clear the organization is going to start leaning on Jack Dougherty, Frederic Allard, Alexandre Carrier and Joonas Lyytinen more now that Trevor Murphy is gone and Petter Granberg is a soon to be UFA. The name to watch of that group: Lyytinen. He isn’t super close, but he might be the favorite.

I don’t think the Admirals will make the playoffs, but two three-game sweeps in the past month doesn’t hurt their chances. Below is the latest Calder Cup Primer as of yesterday:

Calder Cup Primer, 3/5/18
theahl.com

ECHL Notes

Matt O’Connor remains in the ECHL - now with the Wichita Thunder. It’s safe to say that signing didn’t work out. Rick Pinkston (D) and Jake Paterson (G) are both there as well, but they are on AHL contracts only.