Despite the shutting down of all hockey seasons, a number of prospects really stood out and helped surpass previous expectations over the course of the incomplete season.
We take a look at one prospect from each organization who broke out, performing at a high enough level to build some capital within their organizations, improve their projections and make more believers in their potential. Who really rose on each team's pipeline rankings? Here are the top breakout prospects from all 31 franchises, led by our Breakout Prospect of the Year, Adam Beckman.
Breakout Prospect of the Year
Adam Beckman, LW, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
If there is a team littered with breakouts all over the organization, it's the Wild. Several of their prospects put up spectacular seasons, far surpassing what was expected. From former college free-agent signing Sam Anas leading the AHL in scoring to Alexander Khovanov absolutely going off in the QMJHL and at the World Junior Championship, there has been no shortage of quality performances.
But one prospect really took off. Beckman, selected 75th overall in the 2019 draft, stood out offensively for Spokane. In 63 games, the 18-year-old winger led the WHL with 48 goals and 107 points -- nine more than the next closest player. Perhaps Beckman's most staggering statistic was his 316 shots on goal (139 more than he took over 68 games in the previous season).
I'm not afraid to admit when I miss on a prospect, and I completely whiffed on Beckman heading into last year's draft. He had 62 points for Spokane in 2018-19 and I had enough questions about his skating that he did not make my top 100 draft rankings. One area I underestimated was just how smart he is on the ice, which makes up for the lack of higher-end feet (though I do think his skating improved this season). Beckman navigates the offensive zone well, finding quiet areas and using his solid frame to get to the middle of the ice with relative ease. His shot is particularly strong and his ability to get into good spots to use it is a big reason his counting stats went up this season.
I don't want to tell Wild fans they have an absolute superstar here. I think it's still a bit early, and in all likelihood, Beckman has another year in the WHL before he can take the next step. But there's clear pro upside.
And now the other 30 teams' biggest breakouts...
Lukas Dostal, G, Ilves (Liiga)
Dostal bounced around the various levels in Czech hockey before landing in Finland where he was able to get big minutes. In 2019-20, he appeared in 43 games for Ilves, posting a .928 save percentage, best among primary starters in Liiga play.
Jan Jenik, LW, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Jenik was always a tougher prospect for me to get a read on because he clearly had tools and some skill, but it never materialized on a consistent basis. But this season, he couldn't be stopped until a knee injury derailed his season at the World Juniors. In 27 games with Hamilton, he averaged more than two points per game.