When Devils fans think of the phrase “sixth round steal,” Jesper Bratt immediately pops into mind — and for good reason. Bratt has blossomed into one of the offensive drivers and young building blocks on this growing Devils team. If current trajectories continue; however, another 6th round gem may be joining the Devils a few years down the road — that in an 18 year-old winger named Josh Filmon.
As of Wednesday when this article was written, Filmon leads all Devils prospects this season in goals, points and points per game and while heavy caveats are warranted as the WHL, where Filmon plays, is a much higher scoring league than say the KHL or even the NCAA. it is still an impressive feat for an 18 year-old sixth round pick.
Caveats aside, even in the high-scoring WHL, Filmon is turning heads. On December 19, 2022, it was Filmon, not Connor Bedard, who scored a double hattrick for the first time since Tyler Ennis performed the feat in 2009. Had Filmon not been stoned on a late third period breakway, the young winger would have tied the league record of seven shared with five other players. It should be noted that Filmon also added an assist in the game, so he did tally seven points even if the extra goal eluded him. [Regina Leader-Post]
Here is a look at Filmon’s hockey touchdown:
A few things stand out. First, Filmon has a very fast and very hard shot. Second, while Filmon’s lanky frame is starting to fill out, he still has a ways to go on that end. Third, Filmon’s feat is even more impressive when one considers that he scored all six goals in only the first two periods.
Of course, one terrific game is all well and good. Let’s see how Filmon compares to other WHL forwards in his draft class this season.
As of Wednesday when this article was written, Josh Filmon sits fourth in the entire WHL with 25 goals, only six behind Connor Bedard and nine behind the league-leader. Filmon is tied for 43rd in the WHL in total points, but when you adjust the list to include only forwards in Filmon’s draft class a clearer picture of Filmon’s impressive season emerges. The following chart consists of the top forwards in total points in the WHL this season (as of last Wednesday when this cart was compiled), who along with Filmon were also drafted in 2022 and, like him, not overagers when they were selected.
As of Wednesday, Filmon leads all drafted players in his draft class in goals and is fifth in total points amongst 2022-drafted forwards, who were not overagers at the time. It should be noted that Alexander Suzdalev plays on the Regina Pats with Connor Bedard and Parker Bell was a late birthday giving both players somewhat of an edge over others on the list.
A CONCLUSION OF SORTS
Barring some major unforeseen setback, Josh Filmon is, at minimum, playing himself into a well-deserved professional contract. Per the NHL-CHL transfer agreement, Filmon will likely not make his professional hockey debut until the 2024-25 season as a jump straight to the NHL next year is unlikely, which gives the lanky winger plenty of time to keep packing on muscle, filling out his frame and filling the WHL nets with more goals.
Dobber currently gives Filmon a NHLe score of 58, projecting him as a potential Top 6 forward. [Dobber] As with anything prospects, many caveats are warranted as a lot can happen before Filmon is ready to compete for a NHL roster spot a few years down the line. Obtaining any value from a sixth round pick is rare. Getting another potential top six talent this late in a draft would be absolutely phenomenal. Filmon still has a long way to go to get there and he will likely need to fill out his lanky frame to play effectively at the higher levels, but his trajectory is encouraging. If Filmon continues to grow, the Devils may have another gem.
The subject of this week’s spotlight, Josh Filmon has improved upon his goal-scoring pace since last update. One concern with Filmon is how much his monstrous season is sustainable at a whopping 25% shooting rate, but so far, at least, the puck keeps going in for the young winger. Hopefully, that continues.
Chase Stillman has been pretty much status quo since last update still lingering a hair below a point per game pace. On the goalie front, Tyler Brennan continues to platoon with Ty Young on a middling Prince George team as neither goalie has really taken the reigns as of yet. As a team, Prince George gives up an average of 3.78 goals per game, so Brennan’s numbers should be taken with a lot of salt.
CHL PLAYER OF THE MONTH
This should probably just be called the Josh Filmon award by now. Stick tap.
AROUND THE POOL
- Before dropping two of their last three games this past weekend, the Utica Comets had been enjoying a 10-0-2-0 win streak that elevated them to second in the North Division.
- The Comets posted this player profile on Graeme Clarke, who, after a slow start, has broken out to lead the team with 31 points in 36 games.
- On Saturday night, Mason Geertsen earned first star honors in a 5-1 win for the Comets with a two goal performance. Geertsen now has three goals on the season for the Comets without the benefit of playing on Jack’s wing. Nemec was second star with a goal and an assist. Jack Dugan the third with two assists. Akira Schmid picked up the win.
Welcome to the Geertsen show pic.twitter.com/Ii3rfceC0b— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) January 15, 2023
- The spotlight of next week’s article, Arseni Gritsyuk has been on a heater of his own lately.
- Zakhar Bardakov scored this goal after returning from his second injury of the season:
- NHL.COM’s Peter Robinson interviewed Topias Vilen, who spoke about the World Juniors, his increased ice time for the Pelicans and his desire to play in the AHL after his season is over. [TheNHL.Com]
- After returning, but not playing, in the World Juniors, Seamus Casey played a game at center and had a good evening with two goals and an assist, while winning 64% of his face-offs. Don’t expect Casey to suit up at forward too often though. [Michigan Daily]
- Michigan Coach Brandon Naurato is willing to bet big that his star player Luke Hughes skates in the NHL this season. [NJ.COM]
- Congrats are in order to Nico Daws, who has been named to the AHL All-Star Game. [UticaComets.Com]
- Lastly, Alex Chauvancy wrote this piece for the Hockey Writers naming Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec as untouchable prospects and Arseni Gritsyuk and Alexander Holtz as near-untouchable. [TheHockeyWriters]
Now it is time to tell us what you think. Is Josh Filmon the next late round steal for the Devils? Will Chase Stillman improve on the offensive end? Are you glad the format is back to normal? Let us know in the comments below.
Next week the Prospect Update cycles back to the Devils European prospects with a spotlight on the red hot Arseni Gritsyuk.