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In the System: November 2022 prospect update

The Columbus Blue Jackets may be off to a rough start, but there are positives happening elsewhere. JKinCLE keeps us up to date on the Cleveland Monsters in the Going North series, so here we will take a look at prospects playing elsewhere in North America and around the world.

The first thing that stands out about the prospects below is that they have all improved on their points per game over last season. That may change as the season moves on, but the hope is that they are all maturing and improving in the areas their parent club has them focusing on. The Blue Jackets will need several of these players to pan out as impactful NHL players sometime in the future.

Jordan Dumais RW – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
12-15-27 12GP
2022-23 PPG: 2.25
2021-22 PPG: 1.60

The 2022 third round pick is currently leading the QMJHL in points per game. If he continues his scorching pace, he will become the highest scoring player in the Q since Alexander Radulov and Sidney Crosby. Many people warn about putting too much stock in high scoring players coming from the Q, but Dumais’ performance is hard to ignore. He is looking like an absolute steal as a third round pick.

James Malatesta LW – Québec Remparts (QMJHL)
12-5-17 12GP
2022-23 PPG: 1.42
2021-22 PPG: 0.78

Another undersized player, Malatesta is a high motor forward that has continued improving his numbers year over year. His ceiling is hard to predict, but he’s worth keeping an eye on. He will likely be seen in a Monsters’ sweater next season.

Luca Del Bel Belluz C – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
8-6-14 11GP
2022-23 PPG: 1.27
2021-22 PPG: 1.12

LDBB’s points per game may only be slightly above last season so far, but his goals per game has jumped significantly to start this season. If he is truly a top prospect, you want to see him dominate the OHL as a soon to be 19 year old. Although he’s not up there with the league’s scoring leaders, he’s within striking distance and having a good season. The Columbus organization desperately needs center options, so Luca’s development is of upmost importance.

Stanislav Svozil LHD Regina Pats (WHL)
1-10-11 12GP
2022-23 PPG: 0.92
2021-22 PPG: 0.69

Svozil had a very good camp in Columbus. He stood out among the defensemen at times, which is an accomplishment when being compared to the likes of Mateychuk and Jiricek. In his second and last year in the WHL, he’s improved on his points per game. There’s no need to rush a player like Svozil, although he does fits the mold of what makes a successful defenseman looks like in the NHL these days. He’s a very good skater and a good puck mover — something the Blue Jackets need.

Denton Mateychuk LHD – Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
3-7-10 9GP
2022-23 PPG: 1.11
2021-22 PPG: 0.98

Another prospect that impressed at training camp was Mateychuk. The smooth skater stands out on the ice, even among NHLers. The Jackets will be looking for Mateychuk to work on the defensive side of the puck while continuing to put up points.

Corson Ceulemans RHD – Wisconsin (NCAA)
1-4-5 8GP
2022-23 PPG: 0.63
2021-22 PPG: 0.44

Ceulemans will likely attempt to go pro next season. The Badger has garnered national praise as a defensive prospect, so the expectations are high. He’s big, mobile, a right-hand shot, and has a balanced combination of offensive and defensive skills. That combination of traits is rare and coveted across the league. As Scott Wheeler of The Athletic put it in his feature of Ceulemans, “…in makeup and approach, there aren’t many defencemen like him.”

Kirill Dolzhenkov RW – Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
5-10-15 14GP
2022-23 PPG: 1.07
2021-22 PPG: 0.85

The Dolzhenkov pick by the Blue Jackets is a boom or bust type of pick. The (very) large Russian is a force to be reckoned with and makes playing in the MHL look like child’s play. He’s playing at over a point per game pace in Russia’s equivalent of major junior, but he did play five scoreless games in the KHL to start the season. He’s a long way out from considering North America, if he ever does, but he’s definitely someone to watch.

Which prospect will play in the NHL first?

Jordan Dumais 17
James Malatesta 1
Luca Del Bel Belluz 13
Stanislav Svozil 9
Denton Mateychuk 22
Corson Ceulemans 57
Kirill Dolzhenkov 1