NHL Draft 2013: 20 Most Impressive Prospect Highlight Videos on YouTube
If you're looking for the best highlight reels and compilations featuring players like Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Aleksander Barkov, then you've come to the right place. The 2013 NHL Draft is upon us, and as we approach June 30, most of us only have a few ways to get a feel for what these youngsters are capable of.
While our beloved hockey outlets will do their best to show us what these draftees are can do, there's still one invaluable resource for fans looking to dig just a tad bit deeper. That's right: YouTube.
The site is littered with compilations, clips and highlight reels, and we've sifted through countless hours of video to deliver the very best to you. Grab some bacon, pop the top off your beverage of choice, sit back and enjoy.
Nathan MacKinnon Nets a Hat Trick (against Seth Jones) Vol. 1
In case you were wondering why Nathan MacKinnon suddenly jumped ahead of Seth Jones in the ISS Rankings, look no further than this clip.
MacKinnon torches Jones on the second goal, using his Pavel Bure-like speed to blow around the best defender available in the draft before burying the puck short side—an all-world play by an all-world prospect.
Look for him to be creating highlights like this in the NHL next year.
Nathan MacKinnon Scores a Hat Trick (against Seth Jones) Vol. 2
Just in case anyone thought that Nathan MacKinnon's first hat trick against Seth Jones and the Portland Winterhawks was a fluke, he turned the trick again just eight days later. Only this time he did it in a championship game, ushering the Halifax Mooseheads to a Memorial Cup.
Showing an incredible ability to step up his game when it matters most, MacKinnon won the tournament MVP award after scoring 13 points in only four games.
Words Can't Describe This Shift by Jonathan Drouin
Seriously? That's just dirty, JD!
The wow factor on this sequence is through the roof. Jonathan Drouin is considered by many to be the second-best forward available, trailing only Halifax Mooseheads teammate Nathan MacKinnon.
Upon watching this video, it's easy to determine why.
The kid has velvet hands and can work his way through traffic with finesse moves—not always the easiest feat, especially when the opposition has you targeted as a must-contain player.
Jonathan Drouin Turns Defenders into Windmills
At least that's what they look like to me, swinging their sticks around as Jonathan Drouin cuts inside and outside at will, dragging the puck through seams and finding an open teammate in the process.
With plays like this, it's easy to see why Drouin averaged more than two points per game for the Halifax Mooseheads. While he may be mildly overshadowed by Nathan MacKinnon, Drouin is still an electric talent, capable of magic like this on a nightly basis.
All 20 of these videos could belong to Drouin and MacKinnon, but we'll break away... for now.
Aleksander Barkov Crushing the SM-Liiga as a 16 Year Old
While no one is going to confuse Finland's top professional hockey league with the NHL, Aleksander Barkov shredding adult competition as a 16-year-old is still impressive.
Those are grown men out there, and they're being taken to task by what amounts to a sophomore in high school. After breaking in his chops at the pro-level in 2012, Barkov emerged as a legitimate offensive threat a year later as a 17-year-old.
In 53 games with the Tappara Tampere, he notched 21 goals and 27 assists, cementing his reputation as the best Finnish prospect ever.
Aleksander Barkov with a Slick Shootout Goal
Much has been made about Aleksander Barkov's vision in the offensive zone, but what should really impress viewers is his general creativity with the puck. Whether he's threading the needle to open teammates or turning in sick shootout attempts like this, few players in the draft are as dangerous while facing down opposing goaltenders.
This poor goalie ends up biting on two separate fake backhanders before ending up flat on his stomach as the puck sails over his outstretched arms. Ouch.
Max Domi Made National News with This Disgusting Pass
Max Domi sets up fellow top prospect Bo Horvat with a sensational pass on the power play.
After bulldozing through traffic—at least as much as a 5'9'' guy can bulldoze—Domi runs out of room to make a pass to Horvat, who is streaking with him. Instead of curling back toward the blue line or cutting behind the net, Domi finds the puck in his feet, slips it between his legs and saucers a pass to Horvat.
Horvat then proceeds to roof the puck by swatting it out of mid-air.
Yeah. That's what happens when two top-end prospects hook up on a play.
Solid Mix of Offensive and Defensive Highlights for Seth Jones
We wonder if Fort Minor knew they were writing an anthem for fan-made sports trailers everywhere when they penned "Remember the Name."
Regardless, this video shows some outstanding examples of what Seth Jones can do on both ends of the ice. His shot is great, his passing is superb and he skates extremely well for a bigger guy.
While it's unclear if Jones will go to the Colorado Avalanche at No. 1, what is clear is that whichever team gets him will be landing a stellar blue-line prospect.
Ryan Pulock Has a Rocket, in Case You Didn't Know
A neutral-zone turnover leads to something that the opposing goalie probably didn't like seeing: Ryan Pulock with all kinds of time and space to line up his slapshot and deliver it cleanly from between the circles.
Just not fair for the masked man.
Pulock's slapper has been clocked at over 100 mph at skills competitions, and he likely possess the hardest shot in the draft.
Adam Erne Lowers the Boom
This is a classic "keep your head up" moment.
Olivier Archambault of the Drummondville Voltigeurs receives what could be called a suicide pass from his defenseman. The puck ends up in his feet as he's crossing the red line and Adam Erne knocks him all the way back to the midget league.
In case you were worried that the players in this draft were all fluff and no brawn, go ahead and watch that clip again. Erne is an interesting option for teams digging for a power-forward in the first round of the draft.
Rasmus Ristolainen, Also Lowering the Boom
What is this, the Mighty Ducks?
You don't see players getting dumped over the boards from the ice that often (sadly), but Rasmus Ristolainen annihilates Tomi Maki in this clip.
While his offensive instincts are underrated heading into the draft, Ristolainen is a known commodity when it comes to physical play. The guy loves to hit, and he loves to hit hard. Once he lands in the NHL, don't be surprised to see him lay a few pros out just like this.
Darnell Nurse and Curtis Lazar Fight During What Amounts to an All-Star Game
The CHL Top Prospects game is typically a chance for players to show off their skills in a mild All-Star game format.
Curtis Lazar and Darnell Nurse are both first-round locks, and their compete level overflows after Nurse takes the body to Lazar as he drives the net. The forward in this equation (Lazar) isn't known for his fighting, but he is an ultra-competitive individual that doesn't appreciate being pushed around.
That's exactly the kind of physical game that Nurse plays, and while the scrap isn't the best, it's awesome to see two top prospects go toe-to-toe in an environment like the CHL Top Prospects Game.
Valeri Nichushkin Shows Us What All the Fuss Is About
You've likely seen a few mock drafts where Valeri Nichushkin has dethroned Jonathan Drouin as the consensus No. 3 selection for the Tampa Bay Lightning. While no one doubts the capabilities of the somewhat diminutive Drouin, Nichushkin may just turn out to be the better player.
Scouts are typically reluctant to compare players to established NHL stars, but they all seem to agree that Nichushkin possesses an Evgeni Malkin level of skill.
Even if he doesn't ever win a Hart Trophy, Nichushkin has enough skills to make videos like these very fun to watch.
"Are You Watching This, Scouts?"
See how scouts are reminded of Evgeni Malkin when they watch Valeri Nichushkin?
On his first goal in this clip he drops the arm on a KHL defenseman, drives to the net and buries a playoff goal for the Traktor Chelyabinsk. We would hate to spoil his gem of a second goal, so you'll have to hit the clip to see that one for yourself.
While it may take him some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface of NHL rinks, Nichushkin plays a north-south power game and will likely be right at home after adjusting to the more physical North American game.
Anthony Mantha Scores a Lot of Goals
You came here looking for impressive montages? You got it.
Here's more than 20 minutes worth of top prospect Anthony Mantha scoring goals—something that he did frequently in the QMJHL. He led the league in goal scoring in 2013 and is one of the best pure goal scorers available in the draft.
(The video is a lot easier to take in if you skip the goal celebrations.)
Zach Fucale Showing Why He's the Best Goalie Available in the Draft
Widely regarded at the top netminder available in this draft, Zach Fucale has the reputation of a battler. He's an outstandingly athletic goalie, but tries to rely more on his squareness to the puck and positioning to make saves.
Like with all young goaltenders, it's very difficult to project a ceiling, but Fucale's upside is high. If all goes well for the youngster, he could be a starter in the NHL at some juncture.
Kerby Rychel Is Not a Fun Person to Play Against—or Fight
There are a lot of flashy players available in this draft, but Kerby Rychel isn't one of them. He's a power forward that likes to drive the puck to the net and play a physical game. While he's an excellent goal scorer, Rychel is also a great fighter.
Teams looking to toughen up their top nine a bit later on in the first round would be remiss to pass on this kid.
You Won't See This in a Game, But...
Cell-phone quality, but you get the idea. In this video, Hunter Shinkaruk shows off a creative shootout move during the Medicine Hat Tigers' 2013 skills competition.
While this has zero actual in-game relevance, the hand-eye coordination displayed here is stellar. Didn't Alex Ovechkin try a move like this once and fail?
Next Time You Think Your Job Is Tough, Watch This Clip
The mythical bike test makes an appearance in this clip, and the next time you think you're having a rough day at the office, just come on back here.
A fine short video, this is The Fourth Period's behind-the-scenes look at the NHL Draft Combine.
Jonathan Drouin with a Playstation-Esque End-to-End Rush
We lied. Just one more Jonathan Drouin clip for the road.
How could we leave a play like this off?
After Drouin finds the puck on his stick in the defensive zone, he rounds up the horses and blows through four out of five players on the ice for the Shawinigan Cataractes. One forward got lucky and was on the opposite side of the neutral zone as Drouin was trucking through.
The goaltender, on the other hand, wasn't so fortunate.
No more videos from the Halifax Mooseheads now. We promise.