We’re moving into our annual series after releasing the voting article last week, thanks to those who took the time to help rank the players. This year’s list promises a lot of major changes with only a few regular NHLers being under the age of 25, plus the recent departure of Matthew Tkachuk who would’ve been unquestionably in the top spot on the list.
Without further adieu, here are the players who just missed out on cracking the Top 25 this year.
#36 C Mitchell Mattson, 24 Years Old, Drafted in 2016 5th Round
Last Year: #44 (Up 8)
Team: Michigan State University (NCAA) - 23 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Pts
The Flames still retain his rights until August 15 2023, but it’s very clear that there are no plans for his future in the organization as Mattson did very little throughout his college career. He rises 8 spots by default of having less players on the list, but still comes in at the bottom.
#35 LW Lucas Feuk, 21 Years Old, Drafted in 2019 4th Round
Last Year: #36 (Up 1)
Team: Vasby IK (HockeyEttan) - 27 GP, 11 G, 14 A, 25 Pts
Feuk had a good year in his league but it is still the third tier of Swedish hockey and at this point in his development path, there would be hope that he could make it at least into the Hockeyallsvenskan or even SHL if there was NHL potential there. Calgary also owns his rights until next summer and a contract feels unlikely here too.
#34 C Cade Littler, 18 Years Old, Drafted in 2022 7th Round
Last Year: NA
Team: Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) - 50 GP, 20 G, 25 A, 45 Pts
There isn’t a ton to be said about Littler just yet and it’s not a surprise that he comes in at this spot in the list as recent late round picks normally end up here. He is committed already to Minnesota State Mankato and projects to be a long term project as most 7th rounders usually are. He does carry some good size at 6’3’’ and roughly 200lbs.
#33 LW Demetrious Koumontzis, 22 Years Old, Drafted in 2018 4th Round
Last Year: #31
Team: Arizona State University (NCAA) - 23 GP, 4 G, 7 A, 11 Pts
Since his strong freshman year with ASU back in 2018-19, Koumontzis hasn’t made any noticeable steps with the team and is also quite unlikely to get a contract when his rights expire next summer.
#32 LW Parker Bell, 18 Years Old, Drafted in 2022 5th Round
Last Year: NA
Team: Tri-City Americans (WHL) - 64 GP, 18 G, 31 A, 49 Pts
Bell begins his journey with the Flames at the #32 spot on this list but could make a jump if he can put together a strong 19 year old season with the Americans. He showed some flashes last year in scoring 18 goals on a bad Americans team and is viewed as a player with some power forward potential in the NHL. It will take some time for him to put it all together, but there are some pieces of his game that look promising.
#31 RW Adam Klapka, 21 Years Old, Signed as FA in May 2022
Last Year: NA
Team: Liberec Bili Tygri HC (Czech) - 44 GP, 6 G, 12 A, 18 Pts
While Klapka may not possess the ceiling of other young prospects, it’s likely not the skill that the Flames are most interested in. Klapka comes in at a whopping 6’8’’ and 245 lbs and if he can translate his size and play style to North American hockey, there is certainly a potential for him to be bottom six depth down the road. At the very least he will provide a strong presence for the AHL team and could be worth a watch at the Dome this year.
#30 C Cole Huckins, 19 Years Old, Drafted in 2021 3rd Round
Last Year: #37
Team: Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL) - 41 GP, 12 G, 14 A, 26 Pts
Huckins rises slightly in the rankings compared to last year but overall his season was a step back after he had 32 points in 33 games the previous year. This season also featured a long undisclosed absence for Huckins. He was traded then this offseason to the Sherbrook Phoenix where he will hope to have a stronger campaign.
#29 LW Lucas Ciona, 19 Years Old, Drafted in 2021 6th Round
Last Year: #39
Team: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) - 53 GP, 17 G, 18 A, 35 Pts
Ciona took a nice step forward last year with the T-Birds as he raised his points per game from .565 to .660 and set a career high with 17 goals. He put up an additional 9 goals and 14 points in the playoffs as Seattle made a run to the WHL Finals before bowing out to the stacked Edmonton Oil Kings. He was also voted as the Hardest Working Player at development camp this summer.
#28 C Josh Nodler, 21 Years Old, Drafted in 2019 5th Round
Last Year: #27
Team: Michigan State University (NCAA) - 36 GP, 7 G, 8 A, 15 Pts
At this point Nodler hasn’t really shown that he has what it takes to move beyond being an okay college player. He got off to a decent start last year but didn’t really move the needle. He will be playing this season at the University of Massachusetts Amhurst.
#27 D Cole Jordan, 19 Years Old, Drafted in 2021 5th Round
Last Year: #36
Team: Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) - 36 GP, 2 G, 9 A, 11 Pts
It was an injury plagued season for Jordan as he got into just 36 games with the Warriors and missed extended stretches over the season. He primarily found himself lower in the lineup on what was a strong Warriors blue line. Jordan will be looking for a much more consistent and healthy year with Moose Jaw in 2022-23.
#26 D Jake Boltmann, 20 Years Old, Drafted in 2020 3rd Round
Last Year: #35
Team: Notre Dame (NCAA) - 40 GP, 1 G, 12 A, 13 Pts
After no points in 19 games in 2020-21, Boltmann had 13 points in 40 games this year for Notre Dame. Other than that there isn’t a ton to add on him as he gets ready to head back for his third college season. It would be nice to see him take another step this year.
That’s it for the best of the rest. We will begin the Top 25 series later this week!