This is the second installment in our annual list of the top 100 NHL prospects, covering spots 91-95 on our list.
The previous installment, covering 96-100 can be found here.
95. Josh Wilkins, Right Wing, Providence(2017 NHL Draft Eligible)
Despite not drawing much attention at the junior level, Wilkins has found immediate success at the college level playing on Providence’s top line playing with two players that will also rank on this list in Brian Pinho and Erik Foley.
Wilkins, a Raleigh, NC native, has the flashiest skill set of the three with good hands and stick skills. He's in his third season of draft eligibility.
"Josh Wilkins is having an outstanding freshman year. He has more points as a college player this year than he did in the USHL last year. He has a very good stick and he’s very smart. He’s really learned to be willing to get to the tough areas of the ice so his production has gone up," Leaman said.
"He’s very skilled and is fast. He plays with pace. He can take guys wide. He can make incredible moves. He has a great shot. You can find him anywhere and he can get it off quick," Pinho added of Wilkins.
94. Cooper Marody, Center, Michigan(Philadelphia Flyers)
Cooper Marody’s biggest challenge since coming to Michigan had just been staying on the ice. After struggling through a bout of mononucleosis during his freshman season, he was forced to miss the first half of this season due to academic ineligibility.
But once he returned to the ice in the second half of the season, Marody has shown some growth. He’s made the move from wing to center, where he is able to show off his excellent skating ability and improved defensive play. He’s also scoring at a decent clip with 12 points in 15 games this season, which is the best scoring average on the Wolverines this season(although that is shockingly dim praise this year, thanks to Michigan’s dismal offense).
He’ll likely need to show off what he can do for a full season before he’s ready for the Flyers to sign him, but it appears he’s made decent progress from his rookie year to his sophomore season.
93. Jack Sadek, Defenseman, Minnesota(Minnesota Wild)
Sadek has bounced up and down this ranking list throughout the year, thanks to maddening inconsistency. At his best, Sadek is a good-sized, very athletic, mobile defenseman that can move the puck very well. But there are still many nights when he looks incredibly raw and mistake prone.
He’s shown improvement from last season when he was a true 18-year-old freshman straight out of high school hockey, which is promising for his future development. But it will likely be a year or two before he develops the consistency to be an effective player more regularly.
92. Dylan Sikura, Left Wing, Northeastern(Chicago Blackhawks)
Sikura is a skilled offensive forward with great puck-handling ability. Listed at just 160 lbs., he has always had an extremely lean frame. But after working to get stronger and improve his shot, he’s become a more consistent scoring threat in his junior season.
Northeastern’s Dylan Sikura scored just five goals and two assists as a freshman. He increased his scoring production to 28 points as a sophomore. Now, in his junior campaign, the Aurora, Ontario native has already surpassed his combined freshman and sophomore total of points.
Sikura has 17 goals and 29 assists for 46 points. The 2014 sixth round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks ranks second and third nationally in points per game and assists per game, respectively.
He comes into Monday’s game on a six-game point streak in which he’s tallied five goals and added 10 assists. He’s largely slid under the radar while teammates Adam Gaudette and Zach Aston-Reese have received much of the media attention, but he’s provided some of the best highlight reel plays of the college hockey season. His speed, creativity and hands are what fans can expect to notice on Monday night.
91. Justin Kloos, Center, Minnesota(Free Agent)
Kloos has put together four excellent seasons at the University of Minnesota, including serving as team captain for the past two years. Kloos has above-average speed and good offensive skill. He has the patience and vision to make the extra pass in the offensive zone, and good finishing ability. He’s a strong character player that works hard and frequently comes up big in big moments. There’s a lot to like about him, and impossible to argue with what he’s accomplished at the college level.
The problem is that Kloos has always been a bit of a tweener as an NHL prospect. He’s probably not quite skilled enough to play a top-six scoring role at the NHL level, and not quite big enough to play a physical checking line role. That said, someone with his track record will likely get an opportunity with an NHL contract with somebody, and it seems like it would be a mistake to bet against him contributing somehow in the NHL.