NHL prospects off to hot starts: Rising stock for young Capitals, Rangers and more

Capitals prospect Connor McMichael is off to a roaring start in the OHL this season. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

It's really an exciting time for NHL prospects at every level. The past few years have seen multiple exceptional seasons in terms of production, and high-end skill is so much more spread out among players. The game is getting better because of it.

Let's take a quick look around the globe at prospects who are off to hot starts to the 2019-20 season in various leagues.

1. Jack Dugan, RW, Vegas Golden Knights

Current team: Providence College (Hockey East)

Dugan is the top scorer in college hockey by quite a bit, with 33 points in his first 17 games. He entered last weekend with as many assists (27) as anyone else in the country has points. For reference, Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau had 31 points through his first 17 games of his 80-point Hobey Baker season with Boston College in 2013-14. Thus, Dugan is the clear Hobey front-runner at this stage of the season, as the catalyst for a Providence team that appears to be among the best in the country.

Dugan was the ninth player the Golden Knights took in their first draft (2017), selected in the fifth round at 142nd overall out of Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York. In the years since, he has looked more and more like a late-round steal, having starred in the USHL before making great gains in college. His vision and ability to read plays are excellent, he has good speed, and there's a good dose of skill in his 6-foot-2 frame. As good as he has been the past two years, and as much as I've liked him as a player, what he is doing this season is well beyond any reasonable expectation for him.

2. Connor McMichael, C, Washington Capitals

Current team: London Knights (OHL)