Cole Caufield is the second best NHL prospect according to The Athletic

Published August 17, 2021 at 9:16

As he does every year, analyst Scott Wheeler of The Athletic has released his list of the top 50 NHL prospects. To be eligible for this list, the players in question must already be affiliated with an NHL organization (via the Entry Draft for example) and must still be considered rookies in the Bettman circuit.

Los Angeles Kings center Quinton Byfield was awarded the top spot this year. Drafted second overall (after Alexis Lafreniere) in 2020, Byfield played the majority of the 2020-21 season with the AHL's Ontario Reign.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound forward had 20 points, including eight goals, in 32 games, and had one assist in six games when he was recalled by the Kings late in the season.

Now in second place is Montreal Canadiens phenom Cole Caufield. Despite being part of the Habs' tremendous playoff run, Goal Caufield will still be considered a rookie in the NHL next year, as the only player in the Canadiens organization to crack Scott Wheeler's top 50.

After a 30-goal, 52-point season in 31 NCAA games, Caufield joined the Red,White and Blue late in the season, playing in 10 games and recording five points (four goals). However, it was during the spring dance that Caufield stood out the most. The 20-year-old American did develop a great chemistry with Nick Suzuki, resulting in 12 points, including four goals, in 20 playoff games.

Finally, the first overall pick in the last draft, Owen Power, rounds out the podium. This giant defenseman made a name for himself in the NCAA last year, scoring three goals and 16 points in 26 games with the University of Michigan. At just 18 years of age, Power was also a member of Team Canada at the last IIHF World Championship, where he added three assists to his record.

Center Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks) and Cole Perfetti (Winnipeg Jets) are ranked fourth and fifth in Wheeler's rankings, while the only Quebec representative on the list is forward Jakob Pelletier of the Calgary Flames, who is ranked 46th.
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