Here's a rundown on which prospects have gotten out of the playoff scoring gate quickly.
In one of the most exciting NCAA tournaments in recent history, Boston University eked out a 4-3 overtime win over the University of Miami at Ohio. Boston made it into overtime by scoring two extra-man goals in the final minute of regulation.
Anaheim's recent acquisition, Nick Bonino, led Boston with two goals and six points in the NCAA tourney. Nashville first rounder Colin Wilson scored twice and added three assists to tie newly crowned Hobey Baker Trophy winner Matt Gilroy for second in team scoring. Gilroy, a slick, puck-moving defenceman, notched a tournament-leading five assists capping off a dream season where he emerged from relative obscurity to sign a multi-year deal with the New York
Rangers April 17th.
Sixteenth seed, Bemidji State, led by pint-sized senior, Tyler Scofield, became the first bottom-ranked team to reach the Final Four. Scofield, a 5'8,
160-pound centre, managed four goals and three assists in three games before Bemidji's dream run came to an end against Miami in the Final Four.
Pittsburgh's Eric Tangradi leads the OHL Playoffs in scoring with eight goals and 21 points in only 13 games. Tangradi led Belleville past both Sudbury and Niagara, although Brampton is proving to be a more formidable challenge. Brampton leads Belleville two games to none behind the scoring of Vancouver 2008 first rounder Cody Hodgson and NY Ranger 2008 third rounder Evgeny Grachev. Hodgson and Grachev have combined for 15 goals and 40 points in 12 games.
The high-scoring London Knights have cruised past both Erie and Saginaw but have run into the powerhouse Windsor Spitfires. Surprisingly, London's leading scorer is defenceman Mike Del Zotto. Del Zotto, the New York Ranger's first round pick in 2008, has two goals and 18 assists in 11 games.
Kelowna's Jamie Benn is not slowing down. Dallas' 5th round pick in 2007, "Big" Benn, has rocketed (pun intended) to stardom this season. Benn scored 46 goals in 56 games in the regular season and looks more and more like a legitimate NHL power forward. Benn's performance in the playoffs has only enhanced his value as he leads the Western Hockey League in playoff scoring with seven goals and 23 points in 10 games. Both Buffalo's Tyler Ennis and Tampa's Mitch Fadden had great playoffs but were unable to take their WHL teams into the third round. Ennis has eight goals and 19 points in 11 games while Fadden had three goals and 16 points in 10 games. Like Benn, California-born surfing fanatic, Jonathan Blum led his Vancouver Giants into the third round of the WHL playoffs. Blum, a defenceman and Nashville's first pick in 2007, has five goals and 15 points in 11 games, good enough for fourth in WHL playoff points.
The top four scorers in the QMJHL playoffs have a lot in common. All four are over 20, all are very low picks and all play for Drummondville. Actually, only second leading scorer, Chris DiDomenico was drafted. The other three, Vincent Riendeau, Dany Masse and Mike Hoffman are recently signed free agents. Despite their age and lack of a draft pedigree, the four have produced at an amazing clip. Riendeau, Bruins' property, has 15 goals and 31 points in only nine games. DiDomenico, a Toronto 6th rounder in 2007, has four goals and 27 points in 9 games. Drummondville's main setup man, DiDomenico leads the "Q" in playoff assists by a wide margin. Montreal property Masse and Atlanta's Hoffman have 26 and 23 points in nine games respectively.
Claude Giroux is the only fantasy prospect making an impact in the NHL Playoffs. Averaging 15 minutes of ice time in two games, the Flyers clearly have confidence in the young forward. Giroux was a disastrous minus-3 in his first game, but recovered with an assist and plus-1 in his second. Giroux won't be considered a prospect much longer if he keeps getting playoff ice-time.
It's still very early in the American Hockey League playoffs, however, Vancouver 2006 first rounder; Michael Grabner has three points in Manitoba's two-game split with Toronto. Nashville pick Cal O'Reilly scored two goals and one assist in Milwaukee's 3-1 win over Rockford.