Rumors began to surface almost a week ago that Boston Bruins fourth round pick at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft Dans Locmelis would be heading to the USHL for the 2022-2023 season. When a little birdie told yours truly that USHL team was the Youngstown Phantoms, I reached out to Assistant General Manager Jeff Cox who said via email “unfortunately I am not able to confirm or comment on the situation.”
Late last night, Mark Divver reported it via Twitter.
Locmelis’ path is very similar to that taken by 2021 fifth round pick Oskar Jellvik. Locmelis (Latvian) and Jellvik (Swedish) were both drafted out of the J20 Nationell in Sweden. Jellvik chose to stay in the J20 Nationell for his draft plus one season while Locmelis is headed to the USHL. Jellvik will be heading to the NCAA following next season and the same is expected of Locmelis.
So, how do the two players that were chosen 30 picks apart, albeit it in different years and rounds compare?
Thanks to the fine work over at Elite Prospects, using their comparable tool makes it easy to compare players – but it does require a premium membership and is worth every penny. Before we take a look at how their “Age Seasons” compare to each other, lets first look at the players.
Now let’s look at how the two future Bruins compare to each other from their 15-year-old seasons through to their 18-year-old seasons. Take note that the J20 SuperElit is the same league as the J20 Nationell. Only the league name changed.
As you can see, their paths are very similar. If you’ve followed this blog over the last season, you know I’ve been a big fan and huge supporter of Jellvik. And as big as a fan I am, I will readily admit that Locmelis appears to be the superior offensive player at this point.
That said, the script is yet to be completed. There is a long road ahead before either makes it to the NHL, if at all. But there is something to get excited about here and some promise ahead. Doesn’t mean Locmelis is a top line player, but all indications are that he can have a very good career as a middle six player at the NHL level. But worth repeating: there is a long way to go.
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