This week’s prospects include Artyom Minulin (Swift Current Broncos), Robert Thomas (London Knights) & D'Artagnan Joly (Baie-Comeau Drakkar).
Artyom Minulin, D, Swift Current Broncos, WHL
Weight: 202 lbs.
Born: October 1, 1998 - Tyumen, Russia
Draft: 2015 CHL Import Draft – Round #1 (29th overall) by Swift Current Broncos
Artyom Minulin is a solid puck moving defenceman with offensive upside. There are many defencemen with more skill in the draft, but Minulin understands the game very well and has top-notch awareness and vision from the blue line. He has a strong upper body and is good at moving opposing skaters off the puck. Calm in his own end and always has his head on a swivel looking to make the right play. Minulin has above average skating ability but only picks up the tempo when he feels he needs to, which can get him into trouble. He often looks lost in a fast-paced game and struggles to keep up. He takes longer to make a decision with the puck when he is pressured deep in his own zone. Has a real heavy shot that he is using more this season compared to his rookie season in 2015-16.
DID YOU KNOW? Minulin played in all 72 games with the Broncos as a rookie, totaling 5 goals and 33 points. Prior to joining the Broncos, Minulin had 27 points in 25 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk U17 in Russia.
Robert Thomas, C, London Knights, OHL
Weight: 184 lbs.
Born: July 2, 1999 – Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Draft – 2015 OHL Draft – Round #2 (26th overall) by London Knights
Robert Thomas is another name to remember coming out of the Knights program. He is a smooth playmaking Centre who has good speed and a real soft touch with the puck. Always thinking pass first and has tripled his point production from last season. Plays a key role on the power play and penalty kill, earning that extra time by never giving up on plays. He has real slick hands and can stickhandle through defenders keeping his head up while still making a pass going at top speed. Has a real deceptive shot that he should start using more. Has worked on his two-way game and has been effective in the face off circle. A future captain who plays with passion and leaves it all on the ice
DID YOU KNOW? Thomas was drafted out of the York-Simcoe Express Minor Midget Program where has was Assistant Captain in the 2014-15 season and tallied 18 goals and 45 points leading the Express to the OMHA Finals where they settled for a Silver Medal. Thomas was one of eight players from the Express drafted in the 2015 OHL Draft in the spring following their success of the 2014-15 season.
D'Artagnan Joly, RW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL
Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: April 7, 1999 – Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Draft – 2015 QMJHL Draft – Round #2 (35th overall) by Gatineau Olympiques
Joly has a tall, athletic build that gives him the ability to be mobile with the puck, and very tough to knock off the puck with his good skating ability and long hard stride. Plays with a chip on his shoulder and likes to initiate contact and finish his checks hard. He will carry the puck deep into the offensive zone but often forgets he has four other teammates on the ice with him and he ends up turning the puck over trying to do it all by himself. He handles the puck well and likes to take two defenders with him in the corners and battle it out. Needs to make smarter decisions away from the puck and remember to back check. Will play a little power play but is a key contributor on the penalty kill.
DID YOU KNOW? Joly was drafted by his hometown Gatineau Olympiques but was traded away in December 2015 to Baie-Comeau in a package deal for Nicolas Meloche who was a second round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2015. Joly only dressed in three games for Gatineau in 2015-16 and registered no points while he scored one goal and eight points in 35 games with Baie-Comeau.
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