The future stars of the NHL play in the Canadian Hockey League this season. Each week, NHL.com will feature some of the top NHL-affiliated prospects in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League.
Josh Filmon said he hadn’t changed his pre-game dinner choice or taped his stick differently before playing for Swift Current against Edmonton on Dec. 16.
“The pucks were finding me and I was ready to shoot,” said the New Jersey Devils forward.
Filmon certainly was, and the result was a remarkable six goals.
His first came 39 seconds into the game when he scored on a rebound, then scored on the power play 4:02 into the first.
“At that point, it was like, ‘Oh, I’m trying to do the hat trick,'” Filmon said. “Scoring goals is not easy, and after that I literally surprised myself. The pucks kept finding me.”
They found him four times in the second. He capped his hat trick with a shorthanded goal on an Edmonton turnover at 4:05 and the No. 4 came on a rebound at 8:02.
His fifth came after serving a penalty for hooking, jumping out of the box and into a breakaway at 12:41.
“What are the odds of me taking a bad-stick penalty and you stepping out of the box and the puck being right on your stick for a breakaway?” he said.
The sixth goal came on a one-timer from the slot at 16:19. With nearly 24 minutes remaining in the game, Filmon was looking for one more to tie the Western Hockey League single-game record.
“It was on my mind, and I think it was with my team,” he said. “I had pretty much every opportunity to try and score in that third period. … I got a late breakaway, with about three minutes left in the third. It was actually shorthanded, and as soon as there was a loose puck, I was pretty much looking for a chip for a breakaway and ended up with it, but the goaltender made a really good save. »
Filmon had to settle for being the first WHL player to score six goals in a game since Medicine Hat’s Tyler Ennis in 2009. But the good news was his parents and girlfriend were in the stands that night , as is Devils development coach Mark Voakes.
A sixth-round pick (166th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft, Filmon said the Devils have been fun to work with this season and development staff are happy with the growth of his game beyond his six-goal night.
With 20 goals in 26 games on Friday, he is close to matching the 23 he scored in 67 games last season. Filmon (6-foot-1, 158) said his goal is to continue producing offensively while adding strength and making quicker decisions with the puck.
“I’m a thinner guy, I’m not huge, I don’t have a huge physical presence on the ice,” he said. “The most important thing for me is to be strong and win battles along the wall and then use my skills to the best of my ability. Trying to work to get my head back up before I even have the puck and scan plays faster. Just to hopefully once I make that transition to professional hockey, I can process things faster.”
OTHERS TO WATCH
Matthew MajorRW, Windsor (New York Islanders): Maggio extended his scoring streak to nine games (12 goals, six assists) and his scoring streak to five when he scored against Guelph on Wednesday in Windsor’s first game after the holiday break. It was Maggio’s 25th goal of the OHL season, including a five-goal game against Erie on Dec. 15. That night, he had a hat trick in the first period and scored two shorthanded goals in the second. The Islanders selected the 20-year-old in the fifth round (No. 142) of the 2022 NHL Draft.
Jacob MelansonRW, Acadie-Bathurst (Seattle Kraken): Melanson had a QMJHL single-game record six points (three goals, three assists) in Acadie-Bathurst’s 7-4 win over Moncton on Dec. 17. 1 with a goal to make it 4-3, then got the main assist on the equalizing and winning goals. He closed the scoring with two goals in the third period. The 19-year-old, selected by the Kraken in the fifth round (No. 131) of the 2021 NHL Draft, is tied for fourth in the QMJHL with 25 goals in 27 games entering Friday
Fraser MintC, Kamloops (Toronto Maple Leafs): It took three WHL seasons for Minten to get his first hat trick and it took him 24 hours to get his second. The 18-year-old scored three times and had an assist in a 6-4 win over Kelowna on December 27, and a night later scored three goals again against Kelowna, with one of the goals each evening the winner of the match. Selected by the Maple Leafs in the second round (38th) of the 2022 draft, Minten had 12 points (nine goals, three assists) during a five-game streak with one goal and one point coming in Friday, and 35 points ( 19 goals, 16 assists) in 24 games this season. His average of 1.46 points per game is sixth among WHL players with at least 20 games.
Photo: Andy Devlin