4. Jamieson Rees
No prospect on this list had a better improvement from one year to the next than OHL forward Jamieson Rees. The 19-year-old was taken in the Second-Round (No. 44 overall) in 2019 after posting 32 points in 37 games for the Sarnia Sting. There is nothing wrong with those numbers, but they certainly weren’t good enough to have him be considered as the team’s fourth best prospect.
The 2019-20 season was Rees’ true coming out party, as he put up 18 goals and 61 points in just 38 games. Many thought he had deserved to be on Team Canada’s roster for the 2021 World Junior Tournament that just took place, but unfortunately for him he was one of the last players they decided to cut. It shouldn’t concern anyone however, as Team Canada had a stacked lineup this year. Rees is a fantastic player, and has a chance to become a very good NHLer in a few years.
3. Jake Bean
The best prospect the Carolina Hurricanes have on the backend is Jake Bean. It has taken the 22-year-old defenseman longer than some had hoped to make it to the NHL, but a big reason for that is simply due to the talent this team already possesses on their blueline. Regardless, it appears that Bean is now with the Hurricanes for good. Unfortunately for him, he won’t be on the main roster to start the 2020-21 season as it was announced he is part of their Taxi Squad, but given Rod Brind’Amour’s comments on how impressive he has been at camp, it is likely he will find his way into game action sooner than later.
Bean’s offensive skill has Canes fans very excited about what the future holds. Last season, his second in the AHL, he put up a team leading 48 points, 10 of which were goals, in 59 games. This was a big uptick on his already impressive rookie season in which he had 44 points in 70 games. The main concern with Bean since he has been drafted is his somewhat questionable play in the defensive zone. Still, there is no denying his raw talent, and it should only be a matter of time before he is putting up big numbers at the NHL level.