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[Article] Big Hype Prospects: Roy, Brzustewicz, Stankoven, Lindbom, Iginla

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Big Hype Prospects: Roy, Brzustewicz, Stankoven, Lindbom, Iginla


October 22nd, 2023 at 2:00pm CST • By Ethan Hetu


Welcome to PHR’s Big Hype Prospects series. Like the MLB Trade Rumors series of the same name, we’re taking a look at the performances of top prospects from across the hockey world. We’ll look at drafted prospects who are rising, others who are struggling, and prospects for the upcoming draft who are notable.


Five Big Hype Prospects


Joshua Roy, RW, Montreal Canadiens (Laval Rocket, AHL)
5GP 5G 6A 11pts


Perhaps the biggest test NHL prospects face, other than the jump to the NHL itself, is the jump from playing exclusively against one’s peers to playing against men.


The players who oftentimes have years of experience playing professional hockey under their belt present a steep challenge for those prospects who might have been accustomed to using purely physical, skating, or skill-based advantages to success without layering those skills together into a more comprehensive package.


Oftentimes, successful players at the major junior level, for example, will find the tactics that worked for them against their peers to be wholly ineffective against pros. They’ll find their habits need changing, their strategies in need of a tweak, and perhaps their entire identities as players need to be re-examined.


That doesn’t seem to be something Roy, a Canadiens prospect, will have to consider. The 150th overall pick at the 2021 draft, Roy has always been a player of tremendous upside. He was the first overall pick at the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft, but the struggles of his first two seasons in the QMJHL dramatically decreased his NHL draft stock.


After his fifth-round selection, Roy exploded to score 51 goals and 119 points the very next season. In his final season in the QMJHL, Roy’s production dipped slightly as the player focused his efforts on developing not only the defensive side of his game but also more pro-ready offensive habits.


Those efforts have paid off massively to start the 2023-24 season. As a rookie pro player, Roy currently leads the entire AHL in scoring with five goals and 11 points in just five games. He’s become the genuine offensive centerpiece of the Laval Rocket, and has begun to build chemistry with another top Canadiens forward prospect: Sean Farrell.


The recall of Joel Armia in the place of the injured Kirby Dach indicates that the Canadiens would prefer to keep Roy in the AHL and hopefully have him continue playing like a dominant offensive force.


But if he can keep up his scoring at this kind of level, one has to imagine that an NHL call-up isn’t too far off for the 20-year-old fifth-rounder.




Hunter Brzustewicz, RHD, Vancouver Canucks (Kitchener Rangers, OHL)
10GP 5G 15A 20pts


Looking to revamp their prospect pool at a position of need, the Canucks spent their top two draft choices, including the 11th overall selection, on right-shot defensemen last season. So far, while Tom Willander is certainly performing up to expectations at Boston University, it’s Brzustewicz who has impressed the most to start the season.


The 75th overall pick in the 2023 draft, Brzustewicz has become the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers’ true number-one defenseman. He’s responded to that important role with stellar production, and he currently leads the entire OHL in scoring with 20 points in 10 games.


Brzustewicz has helped the Rangers look like a true offensive powerhouse early this season, with the team currently averaging a whopping 5.1 goals per game.


Although Brzustewicz still has some work to do on the defensive side of things to truly place himself in consideration for an NHL job down the line, his early form this season makes clear that his offensive talent is undeniable.



Logan Stankoven, C/RW, Dallas Stars (Texas Stars, AHL)
4GP 4G 3A 7pts


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