On this day, the plan was to have a podcast that included Brett Harrison and Ryan Mast. I was setting it up with the Oshawa Generals and the Sarnia Sting respectively. After setting it up with the two teams, all that needed to be confirmed was the time. And then COVID Protocol hit both teams, keeping everyone out of the office and not able to get in touch with them. For now, the plan is to reschedule it for a later date.
Quite possibly one of the least talked about prospects in the Boston Bruins system is Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs left wing Quinn Olson, the Bruins third round pick, 92nd overall at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Bruins drafted Olson out of the AJHL (Canadian Tier II hockey) while he was skating for the Okotoks Oilers after putting up 20 goals and 46 assists in 54 games during the 2018-2019 season. It was Olson’s second season with the Oilers after putting up very good numbers as a rookie – 14 goals, 39 assists in 59 games.
Where Olson really began to draw serious attention was at the CJHL Top Prospects game (similar format to the CHL Top Prospects game) where he was there as a substitute for an injured player. Scoring once and assisting on another helped, but it was his engine and never quit attitude that stood out the most. His tachometer red-lined every time he stepped over the boards.
After that game and with more eyes on him, Olson began rising on many scouting rankings while others dropped him completely (shows who is paying attention doesn’t it?). NHL Central Scouting had him at 154 on their mid-term ranking and moved him up 49 spots on their final ranking to 105.
Olson is an excellent skater with good speed, solid mechanics, shiftiness and with excellent edgework where he can turn or stop on a dime. More importantly, he has the hands and the hockey sense to make plays at top speed. There is no waiting for his hands and his head to catch up to his feet here.
Olson also has superb vision and anticipation. He sees the play developing in his mind before it happens and has the skills to make it happen. He is a superb playmaker and passer. He makes passes in a variety of different ways and it sometimes leaves you thinking “did he just make that pass?” And that will be his bread and butter at the next level – a playmaker from the wing.
There are two things I would like to see him improve on. First is his shot. I’m not sure what it is that he can do to improve on it. There isn’t much power behind it and his release point is predictable. Maybe it’s just the mechanics – which can be worked on – or maybe he will just never be able to get the strength behind it. The second thing is, while I love his energy and feistiness, he gets into penalty trouble and can sometimes take needless and unnecessary penalties. He’s going to need to find a balance there so that it doesn’t take the feistiness and pace out of his game.
Olson had a very good first season with the Bulldogs scoring 7 goals and adding 8 helpers in 31 games, just a hair short of .5 points per game and that is excellent production. Last season was the COVID season, so everything that happened I take with a grain of salt. Still, he put up 3 goals and 8 assists in 28 games.
This season he has 3 goals and 10 assists through 20 games, a very good start. He sits one point off the scoring lead with Minnesota-Duluth, and leads the team with his 10 helpers. The not-so-good about his stats? He leads the team in shots on goal with 55 but has the lowest shooting percentage of all forwards at just 5.5%. The other stat that worries me is his 29 penalty minutes, far and away the leader on his squad and he owns 14.5% of his team’s penalty minutes.
I’ll be honest here: At the time of the draft, I thought Olson was a fourth rounder at best when you consider he was going the college route and would be a minimum of 5 years before he is NHL ready – if he gets there. But I can’t nitpick. He was taken with the second to last pick in the third round, so he’s right there.
I am very intrigued to see how the rest of his season goes and another year in the NCAA. He will likely need at least one, maybe two seasons with Providence in the AHL. But right now? He projects to be a high end third line playmaking winger who could fill in on the second line when needed.
Providence Bruins Player Stats
Providence Bruins Goalie Stats
Maine Mariners Stats
Coming up this week:
We’re back to a full slate of games this week!
|CEHLARIK||Vs CSK||At AVT||At DIN||Vs VIT|
|BYCHKOV||Vs ADM||At AKB||At SPA||At SIB|
|ARNESSON||At LUL||Vs FRO|
|MANTYKIVI||Vs KAR||At ASS|
|JELLVIK||At VAS||At ORE|
|GASSEAU||At OMA||At SF||At SF|
|LANGENBRUNNER||At OMA||At SF||At SF|
|LOHREI||At WIS||At WIS|
|BECKER||At BU||At BU|
|SCHMALTZ||Vs COR||Vs COR|
|OLSON||At STC||At STC|
|MCFAUL||At CNS||At MER||At UNH|
|GALLAGHER||At ASU||At ASU|
|HARRISON||At NIA||Vs OTT||Vs SBY|
|MAST||Vs SAG||At SAG|
|LYSELL||At KEL||At KAM||Vs POR|
|SVEDEBACK||Vs USA||Vs USA|
AROUND THE GLOBE
Riley Duran has a modest 4-game point streak going on 2 goals and 4 assists. It’s the freshman’s longest such streak of the season that has seen him produce in back-to-back games just once. He’s in a groove right now and is playing with much more confidence. He’s on pace to easily surpass totals he put up in the USHL last season (47GP – 8G – 11A) which is pretty good for a freshman.
Mason Lohrei has a 3-game point streak going that includes a 3-assist effort against Long Island on New Year’s Day. Lohrei now has points in 5 of his last 6 games with 7 points, all assists. He sits second in scoring for the Buckeyes, just one point from the leader and third among all defencemen in the NCAA.
Andre Gasseau also has a modest three-game point streak going on 3 goals and 1 assist. Prior to this streak, he had yet to score in back-to-back games and has now scored in each of his last three and has 4 in his last 6 games. He’s playing with a lot more determination and confidence and it’s showing on the ice.
Gasseau’s teammate Mason Langenbrunner is getting more impressive as the season goes on. He has his first 2-game point streak on the season with a goal and an assist. He is getting some good PP time – 1 goal and 2 assists – and his all-around game is on a very steady climb. He leads his team with a plus-7, on a team that is minus-9.
Jacker Becker does everything in halves. In his fifth season in the NCAA, he has 17 points in 22 games played, which has him 4th in scoring for Arizona. Those 17 points all came in half his games played and he was pointless in the other half. Half the 11 games in which he recorded points were multi point games. (Well 5 of 11 isn’t exactly half).
I appreciate that he has more defensive responsibilities this season, nonetheless a 10-game pointless streak for John Beecher is troubling. He is not always going up against the oppositions best players and his skill set certainly says he should be able to put up points against the opposition’s “weaker” players. At some point, he needs to put something up on the scoresheet since it doesn’t get any easier when he moves up a level. I know I will feel the wrath of the Bruins prospect gurus out there, and of course, the excuse makers blaming it on “he’s returning from injury.” Yes, the same injury that saw him put up 4 points in his first 4 games after returning.
Fabian Lysell hasn’t played a hockey game since December 11. He missed Team Sweden’s first two games of the WJC with what the team called “an illness not related to COVID” before the tournament was cancelled. The Giants could sure use Lysell’s offence as the team has gone 2-6-0 in his absence. In the Giants’ previous 8 games with Lysell they were the opposite at 6-2-0. For now, Lysell is back home in Sweden, having left right after the WJC.
Philip Svedeback continues to be on the injured list with an LBI and has not played since December 4. Ryan Mast and the Sarnia Sting and Brett Harrison and the Oshawa Generals are in COVID protocol. I expect the Sting to come out of protocol and be ready to go for Friday’s matchup with Saginaw. No official word from the OHL on Oshawa’s scheduled game Thursday versus Niagara – that’s when they could come out of protocol.