We were scheduled to get rolling with #25 today, but I forgot one critical step to this process. That step was the close-but-not-quite-there prospects.
These five prospects just missed this year’s Top 25. Some have seen the top 25 and have taken a step back. For others, this is their first crack at the list. Either way, here are the five players who just missed out on this year’s Top 25.
- #30: Tim Söderlund. A forward who can play both centre and wing, Söderlund was acquired in the deal that sent Caleb Jones and a conditional third round pick to Chicago for Duncan Keith. Söderlund split last year with Rockland (AHL) where he put up five points in 23 games (0-5-5) and Almtuna of Allsvensken, a tier-2 league in Sweden. A fourth round selection in the 2017 draft, the 23-year-old Söderlund is absolutely a long shot to have any NHL career having scored just one career AHL goal. Hope springs eternal, as he’s got one year remaining on his current deal.
- #29: Jake Chiasson. Chiasson was selected in the fourth round of this year’s entry draft by the Oilers. A right-shot centre who finished his third year in Brandon (WHL), Chiasson put up 9-11-20 in 23 games. He ranked fifth among Wheat King forwards. Chiasson was Edmonton’s first selection from the WHL in four years. A two-way forward, he’s a player that will go to the net and look for a greasy goal whenever he can. He’ll look for a big season in Brandon next year.
- #28: Ostap Safin: Safin found himself at number 25 the last time we did the Top 25, but has fallen off a bit. There’s a lot to like with Safin - he’s a 205 lb winger, he’s 6’5”, he’s a good skater and he’s got a decent shot. What’s not to love? Injuries. I said in 2020 that his stock would shoot higher if he could get a full season under his belt. Safin played in just 22 games and scored six points with Bakersfield last season. He’s got one more year on his deal.
- #27: Aapeli Räsänen: A centre from Finland, Räsänen was taken in by the Oilers in the sixth round way back in the 2016 draft. Räsänen scored 23 points last season with Kalpa (Liiga), putting him fifth among forwards, he had spent the three previous years with Boston College (NCAA) The Oilers have one more year before deciding whether or not they want to sign the six-foot right shot forward, else they will end up relinquishing his rights in August of 2022.
- #26: Luca Münzenberger: Münzenberger was taken by the Oilers in the third round of this year’s entry draft at #90 overall. Münzenberger was not listed on any major draft reports within the top-300, so this pick is somewhat of a gamble, even in the third round. A 6’2” defenceman from Germany, you will most likely recall Münzenberger from his performance in the World Juniors. Münzenberger is committed to the University of Vermont, a solid season will no doubt push him high up this Top 25.
The Top 25 begins tomorrow when we reveal the first pick. See you then.