Round 3 is where good teams find players with reasonable consistency. If you’re an NHL squad that wants consistent sustained success, you have to find guys in this round that can be middle of your roster players with the occasional top end guy mixed in. You’re counting on your scouting department to find guys here that other teams missed in the first and second rounds. This is where scouts make their money and GMs keep their jobs.
Nathan Legare – Right Wing (Right-Handed)
1/11/01 – St-Eustache, Quebec, Canada
Current Team: Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
It depends on whom you talk to whether or not Legare is a 2nd round talent or 3rd round talent. I’ve seen more than a few of these solid shooting wings in the QMJHL hang around longer than they should because of who they played for. I expect Legare to not be an exception. Baie-Comeau has been one of the “weaker sisters” of the QMJHL in recent years. This year though, they got it together, and Nathan Legare is a big part of that. He’s near the top of the QMJHL in goals currently, with 39 in 56 games. Where Legare excels, is that he plays all aspects of the game. He’s been used in all situations in his time with the Drakkar, but he has also shown a willingness to engage in the greasier aspects of the game. There’s video footage of him throwing some big hits for a 6’0, 197 pound wing, and then answering the bell when challenged. Legare is the real deal and will be an NHL player eventually, any team who gets him will be very happy with him.
Harrison Blaisdell – Center (Left-Handed)
3/18/01 – Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Current Team: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
Harrison Blaisdell would be at WORST a top 40 pick if he were on a CHL(WHL, OHL, QMJHL) squad. He’s not. He plays for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the oft overlooked BCHL. Blaisdell scores goals, creates offense and leads his team on the ice. He’s 5’11, 180 pounds with good speed and nice edgework. He can score from anywhere in the offensive zone and that threat allows him to make room for his teammates. He’s capable of taking it himself or setting up someone else. He’ll go to the dirty areas and win the puck battles. He’s got 33 goals in 31 games and averages over a point per game played this season. He’s also committed to North Dakota for the 2020-2021 season. A team that draft Blaisdell will have his rights for a while if he does indeed attend college and they’ll get to watch him mature in one of the best collegiate hockey programs in the world. You might not see him for 3-4 years after you draft him, but when he comes out of the NCAA, you’ll be glad you took him.
Nikita Alexandrov – Center (Left-handed)
9/16/00 – Burgwedel, Germany
Current Team: Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)
Charlottetown is still in the hunt this year and a lot of that is owed to The Russian/German center, Nikita Alexandrov. He’s the basic 6’0, 180 pound center that does everything you expect from an NHL prospect. Good wheels, good vision, good shot, across the board he has everything you want to see and would just be a good name to have in somebody’s prospect cabinet. TSN’s Bob McKenzie has him ranked at #75 and honestly that sounds about right.
Jeremi Gerber – Right Wing (Left-Handed)
3/1/00 – Langnau im Emmental, Switzerland
Current Team: SC Bern (NLA)
I said, last year, that Jeremi Gerber might be the best Swiss prospect available in the 2018 draft. The few people I talked to dismissed that in favor of Nando Eggenberger (who also ended up undrafted). I’m not 100% sure why I’m bringing that up, but I suppose my point here is: Jeremi Gerber was good enough to get drafted last year, he didn’t, and I personally don’t know why. He’s a speedy Right Wing, who’s defensively accountable and plays well in all situations. He’s been a points machine in Swiss juniors. He didn’t notch any points at World Juniors this year, but he played very well. 3rd round is about the earliest you want to be looking at overaged kids, but I think Gerber is one of the best available.
Nikita Okhotyuk – Defender (Left-handed)
12/4/00 – Chelyabinsk, Russia
Current Team: Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Okhotyuk chose the right time to make a name for himself. The CHL/NHL Top Prospect game is the right time to have the game of your life. He started that game off delivering punishing body checks and scored a really nice goal for himself off of a solid zone-keep-in play. He has spent the rest of the season as a mainstay in the backend of one of the top teams in the OHL. He plays every game surrounded by NHL draft picks, current and future. He’s got good size at 6’1, 194 pounds and he’s very mobile on his skates. When you watch him shoot, you get the feeling that there’s untapped offensive potential waiting to be unearthed in him, but on the surface he’s a smart, reliable, 2 way defender who can be counted on to make the smart play.