This week’s prospects include Sami Moilanen (Seattle Thunderbirds), Adam Thilander (North Bay Battalion) & Zachary Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies).
Sami Moilanen, RW, Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL
Weight: 182 lbs.
Born: January 21, 1999 – Sippo, Finland
Draft: 2016 CHL Import Draft – Round #1 (49th overall) by the Seattle Thunderbirds
Secondary scoring has been a key to the success of the T-Birds and import Sami Moilanen has provided just that. The short and stocky Finnish import has eyes on the back of his head and plays a patient game with the puck on his stick. He is deceiving in the offensive zone meaning defenders don't have a clue whether he is looking for a pass or will take it to the net. He keeps the puck long enough for his linemates to get into position and will then saucer a beauty pass right on the tape. Pass-first player who is small but shows tremendous vision on the ice. Had a slow start to the season and was playing a little shy but has stepped it up and is adding that secondary scoring depth in Seattle.
DID YOU KNOW? Prior to coming to the WHL, Moilanen played 38 games in 2015-16 with the Jokerit U-20 team in Finland, scoring 21 goals and 35 points. He was also a member of the Gold Medal winning Finnish team at the U-18 World championships in Grand Forks. He finished his rookie season in Seattle with 21 goals and 43 points in 70 games.
Adam Thilander, D, North Bay Battalion, OHL
Weight: 187 lbs.
Born: September 18, 1998 – Skovde, Sweden
Draft: 2016 CHL Import Draft – Round #1 (36th overall) by the North Bay Battalion
Smart playmaking defenceman with no panic in his game. Makes smart decisions and doesn't rush with the puck. Can play a physical game when he wants but prefers to stay away from rugged play away from the puck. Has good vision and finds open lanes to send crisp passes through all three zones. Keeps his feet moving at all times and has a heavy point shot from the blue line. He likes to shoot on the power play and usually gets it on net. Strong skater with good footwork but really needs to work on shutting down chances in his own end. His defensive positioning needs improvement and sometimes allows his opponents a clear look at the net and good scoring chance. Physically strong and can keep his net clear.
DID YOU KNOW? Before joining North Bay, Thilander appeared in 38 games for Skelleftea AIK 20-year-olds, scoring three goals and 15 points during the 2015-16 season. Played for Sweden in the U18 Championships, earning a silver medal while Finland won the Gold. He also had two assists in the 2015 Ivan Hlinka tournament in a second place finish behind Canada.
Zachary Lauzon, D, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, QMJHL
Weight: 188 lbs.
Born: October 10, 1998 – Val-d'Or, Quebec
Draft: 2014 QMJHL Draft – Round #2 (25th overall) by Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Smart defender who likes the rough stuff and get involved physically. He will use any necessary means to clear his net. Has the ability to skate the puck out of the defensive zone and join the rush on occasion. Will get himself into a good position to shoot and look for a lane to get the puck to the net. A more defensive defenceman than most give him credit for. He logged a ton of ice time in key situations in many games and was a valuable asset defending against top lines of opponents. Found himself playing a lot of five on five this season with his brother Jeremy and Philippe Myers away at World Juniors and injuries on the blue line.
DID YOU KNOW? Has key postseason experience by playing in the 2016 Memorial Cup as a rookie and was named to the QMJHL Rookie All-Star team in 2015-16 that saw him record 1 goal and 12 points with 70 penalty minutes in 61 games. His brother Jeremy is a 2015 Boston Bruins draft pick (2nd round , 52nd overall) and was a member of the Silver Medal winning Canadian World Junior Team this past winter.
1) Prospect Profiles: Alexander Alexeyev, Hunter Holmes & Xavier Bouchard
2) Ask a Coach: University of Vermont Associate Coach Kyle Wallach: Academics, Recruiting & Preparation
3) 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year: November Shortlists
4) Cornered Coach: The Peanut Gallery
5) The Search Begins for the 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year