2023 NHL Draft top prospects 80-71: Aiden Fink, Emil Jarventie, Felix Nilsson, Andrew Gibson, Nico Myatovic, Joey Willis, Theo Lindstein, Alexander Rykov, Andrew Strathmann, and Matthew Mania
By Zach Laing3 months ago
Welcome to our series taking a look at the top 100 prospects for the 2023 NHL entry draft as ranked by Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis.
Today, we’re looking at the prospects ranked from number 80-71: Aiden Fink, Emil Jarventie, Felix Nilsson, Andrew Gibson, Nico Myatovic, Joey Willis, Theo Lindstein, Alexander Rykov, Andrew Strathmann, and Matthew Mania.
Standing at 5’9, 152 lbs., Fink spent last season with the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits, where he scored 41 goals and 97 points in 54 regular season games. In 15 playoff games, he added eight more goals and 13 points. He’s committed to Penn State University in 2023-24.
Scouting Report: “Brooks Bandits winger Aiden Fink is putting up big-time numbers in the AJHL as a first-time draft-eligible forward, but he’s hardly getting big-name recognition for the 2023 NHL Draft. That dynamic may or may not change in time for this June’s draft, but one this is for sure: Fink knows how to score. It’s not just luck, even if most of the sport’s most productive skaters try to put on a modest front and remain humble. There’s an art to it. It’s at the intersection of great skill and an even better work ethic. You have to put in the hours, and that’s true of the game’s very best goalscorers.” – Russ Cohen, Elite Prospects Rinkside
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Last year saw Jarventie split time between multiple leagues, but the majority of his time was with Ilves’ U20 team where he scored eight goals and 19 points in 21 games. The left-shot forward stands t 5’10, 168 lbs.
Scouting Report: “Jarventie is an offensive winger with a lethal shot. He has had a pretty eventful season playing for several different teams, which has definitely affected his level of play. As an offensive guy, being slotted in on the fourth line for a struggling SaiPa team is definitely not the optimum situation. He wasn’t really able to showcase most of his strengths during this game, although there were a few occasions where you could see some flashes of the puckhandling and confidence that has made him a decent prospect…” Rasmus Tornqvist, FC Hockey
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Nilsson spent time in Rogle BK’s system last year splitting time between the J20 team and the SHL club. In J20, he scored 19 goals and 41 points in 36 games, but had no points in 18 SHL games. Standing at 6’0, 179 lbs., Nilsson is a left-shot centre.
Scouting Report: “Nilsson has a lot of very valuable traits that NHL scouts covet; he is smart in all three zones, responsible defensively, reliable on the breakout and in transition, and has quick feet. He keeps his stick ready and his head on a swivel, reading his surroundings as he goes and adjusting his positioning to either stifle threats defensively, or identify pressure outlets offensively.” – Hadi Kalakeche, Dobber Prospects
Playing for the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds last year, Gibson, a right-shot defenceman, scored seven goals and 21 points in 45 games. He stands at 6’3, 198 lbs.
Scouting Report: “Firstly, Gibson shows terrific processing ability inside the offensive zone. He knows when to pinch. He’s poised, walking the line. He gets shots through. He reads the situation and will be aggressive to seek out opportunities. He generally keeps things simple.” –Brock Otten, McKeen’s Hockey
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Myatovic, a 6’3, 181 lb. left-shot forward, scored 30 goals and 60 points in 68 games last season. He chipped in another four goals and seven points in 19 playoff games with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.
Scouting Report: “Myatovic generates quite a few points off of rebounds and deflections and he does so by cementing space for himself in high danger. He usually looks to position himself in the slot when his teammates are running the cycle in low danger. When his teammates are against the corner boards and facing a lot of pressure, Myatovic looks to provide a passing option along the boards. But, if you are watching Myatovic mid-cycle, more often than not he will be at net front screening the goaltender. This season, Myatovic has had quite a bit of success with rebounds, deflections and tip-in goals and it can be largely credited to his positioning.” – Josh Tessler, Smaht Scouting
Willis scored 15 goals and 44 points in 68 games last year for the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit. He stands at 5’10, 165 lbs. and is a left-shot centre.
Scouting Report: “Willis shines defensively, which is partially why his offensive creation was a bit hit or miss for large stretches of the season. He’s more focused on ensuring that his teammates are supported defensively, through scanning, reads, backchecks, and retrievals. Rarely does he exit his own end until he’s sure his teammates have controlled possession on breakouts. Offensively, Willis flashes advanced playmaking ideas and has the ability to execute when he so chooses. He times arrivals to space and delays in the offensive zone at the right moments and has the ability to link plays with his teammates.” – Lauren Kelly, EP Rinkside
Lindstein, a 6’0, 181 lb. left-shot defenceman, spent the majority of last season with Brynas IF in the SHL. He appeared in 32 games scoring a goal and two points adding another two goals and seven points in 14 J20 games.
Scouting Report: “He is almost always the first player back in the defensive zone and has good footwork when he needs to transition in reverse. On defence, Lindstein could use a bit more muscle, but that doesn’t stop him from being aggressive.” – Alexa Potack, Dobber Prospects
Rykov scored four goals and 11 points in 20 games with Chelmet Chylabinsk of the VHL. He also spent some time in the MHL and KHL.
Scouting Report: “Rykov doesn’t just play well away from the puck when in pursuit or defending, he’s also a good off-puck player on offense. Rykov has a natural ability to find soft spots in defensive coverage and get open for centering passes. He does this both in the middle of the ice and down around the net, which puts him in good situations to act as the finisher on his line. His shot is just okay for now, and will require work if he’s going to play as a finisher vs. a creator or connector. Rykov’s skating is solid and doesn’t look too out of place when compared to his VHL peers. He does lack the required knee bend required, and isn’t the most creative skater, especially when he carries the puck.” – Jordan Harris, Dobber Prospects.
Strathman, a 5’11, 190 lb. left-shot defenceman, is committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2024-25 season. He scored three goals and 38 points in 56 games last year with the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms.
Scouting Report: “There aren’t a ton of elite defensemen in this draft class, but after my second viewing of Andrew Strathmann there’s no question he’ll be one of the better options available. He’s someone that plays in every situation, skates well, and impacts the game on both sides of the puck. It was evident early on he’s not afraid to take shots from the point — shots that hit the net as well. He moved the puck well while making the simple but smart play more often than not. Strathmann showed off his elusiveness with the puck, being able to escape oncoming attackers with his quick feet and change of direction. He’s got a set of puck skills to help him out in that area as well as making him an effective quarterback on the man advantage.” – Douglas Larson, FC Hockey
Standing at 6’0, 178 lbs, Mania, a right-shot defenceman, scored 10 goals and 38 points in 67 games for the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.
Scouting Report: “His mobility and handling allow him to solve problems in practical manners and to quickly change angles to access new passing lanes. His defensive game remains a work in progress, and he will likely never be the “shut-down” type, but there have been flashes of defensive progress in his game as the season’s progressed.”– Sebastian High, Dobber Prospects
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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