Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports
NHL Prospect Report

Reviewing the performance of Western Conference top prospects in the 2021-22 NHL pre-season

The pre-season is mostly meaningless. It's a lot of players with job security and nothing on the line mixed with professional tryouts who are mostly there to help teams reach the veteran minimum. The only real intrigue comes in the form of prospects looking to make the opening night roster.

So, my curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to see how some of those prospects were performing.

Pre-season hockey is not the ideal theatre to evaluate prospects. The game is much looser. Veterans aren't checking as hard and lineups are closer to AHL calibre than NHL. But it remains a highly competitive environment with a lot of external and on-ice pressure and one can't help but wonder how some of the top prospects are doing in this setting as they fight for a home in the opening night lineup.

The hype has already grown around many of them. For some, it's probably warranted, and for others, maybe less so.

So, to determine which is which, and to get a better picture of some of the development of many of the league's top young players, I took the time to sit down and watch many of the broadcasted pre-season contests.

Here is a review of the play of a number of top prospects, continuing with the Western Conference.

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NHL Prospect Report Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings San Jose Jr. Sharks Vancouver Canucks Vancouver Canucks Winnipeg Jets NHL Philip Broberg Quinton Byfield William Eklund Ville Heinola Arthur Kaliyev Danila Klimovich Rasmus Kupari Ryan Merkley Cole Perfetti Vasili Podkolzin Jack Rathbone
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