Prospects News & Rumors: Zegras, McMichael & Sillinger

The Anaheim Ducks have recalled top prospect Trevor Zegras from the San Diego Gulls, and he is primed to make his NHL debut on Monday night. Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael recorded his first professional hat trick for the Hershey Bears. A top prospect heading into the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Cole Sillinger, is off to an impressive start in the United States Hockey League.

Ducks Call Up Zegras From AHL

The time has finally come; the Ducks called up top prospect Trevor Zegras from the American Hockey League. He played eight games for the Gulls recording four goals and five assists, and he’s tied for the league-lead in scoring with Seth Jarvis and Tom Novak.

Zegras is only a few months removed from winning a gold medal with Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championship and being named tournament MVP. He led the WJC with a ridiculous seven goals and 11 assists in seven games played. He spent the 2019-20 season in the NCAA with Boston University, where he recorded 11 goals and 36 points in 33 games played.

In the Ducks’ press release, Zegras had this to say about the prospect of making his NHL debut:

I’m very excited, very very excited. Since I put on skates, I’ve been waiting for this. I thought I played well and obviously we had a lot of team success. I did everything I could to help the team, and obviously we got off to a great start. I’m ready to go from here. It’s every kid’s dream to play in the NHL and something I’ve looked forward to for a long time. It’s something my family has been looking forward to, so I think it’s going to be a special day when it happens.

The Ducks have the worst offense in the league with a goals-per-game average of 1.83. Their power play is ranked 30th with a success rateof 7.5%. Zegras’ offensive ability won’t remedy the Ducks’ problems completely, but he will provide a spark that might be enough to kickstart Anaheim’s season. In his first practice with the team, he was on the left wing beside Sam Steel and Jakob Silfverberg, and he is primed to make his NHL debut on Monday night against the Arizona Coyotes.

McMichael Records AHL Hat Trick

Three games after recording his first career AHL goal, Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael registered his first professional hat trick in Hershey’s 3-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The feat brings his season total to four goals in five games, and he is tied for the Bears’ lead in scoring and leads the team in goals. It’s been a whirlwind of a season, as he also made his NHL debut for the Capitals earlier this month and before that won a silver medal with Canada at the 2021 WJC amassing four goals and four assists in seven games played.

Drafted 25th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season in the Ontario Hockey League with the London Knights amassing 47 goals and 102 points in 52 games played. He led the Knights in scoring by 26 points and finished third in the league behind Marco Rossi and Cole Perfetti. He also won a gold medal with Canada at the 2020 WJC.

Sillinger Impressive in the USHL

A top prospect in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Cole Sillinger, has taken the USHL by storm after joining the Sioux Falls Stampede on loan due to the delayed Western Hockey League season. He has 12 goals and 10 assists in 14 games played. Although he ranks outside the top 20 in point totals, he is ranked fourth in points-per-game average with 1.57.

Former THW writer Josh Bell had this to say about Sillinger’s skillset in his ‘5 WHL Players to Watch’ article from earlier this year:

Sillinger drives the offense for his line. He’s always looking to create plays and does so often, one of the simple yet crucial aspects of a hockey player at any level. He drives the puck towards the back of the net every play, whether he passes it off or takes it home himself. There’s no worry about Sillinger not being able to drive to the middle at all. At 6-foot, 187-pounds, Sillinger battles hard at all times. He’ll fight with you along the boards (usually winning) or meet you in open ice to knock you off the puck. He gets off a quick, deceptive shot, he can create space for himself and his teammates and reads the play so well.

When the 2020-21 WHL season begins, Sillinger will likely return to the Medicine Hat Tigers. He spent the 2019-20 season with the team amassing 22 goals and 53 points in 48 games played. He ranked fourth in team scoring and second among 2003-born players in league scoring. He is a projected first-round selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, and his play in the USHL will only help raise his draft stock.

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