Nate Danielson's elite playmaking ability continues to be on full display

Nate Danielson recorded three assists in Portland's playoff victory over Prince George.
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One of the Detroit Red Wings' top forward prospects, Nate Danielson, continues to turn heads during the WHL playoffs. Portland Winterhawks forward Marcus Nguyen, who scored a hat trick in a 4-1 victory in Game Three over the Prince George Cougars, joked that he had Connor McDavid (referring to Nate Danielson) over here. Danielson, who had been sitting to Nguyen's left recorded three assists in the contest.

Danielson's offensive production exploded this season after his trade from the Brandon Wheat Kings to Portland. Last season, the Brandon captain totaled 33 goals and 78 points over 68 regular-season games. He began this year strong as well, recording 12 goals and 26 points in 26 games with the Wheat Kings but exploded upon being dealt to Portland.

Danielson totaled 12 goals and 41 points over 28 games during the regular season. Although plenty of scoring upside remains in Danielson's game, he was always considered to flourish as a playmaker type, which has been on display over the second half of the season. He's notched three goals and 16 points through 11 playoff games so far.

The exceptional vision and impressive playmaking skills of Detroit Red Wings prospect Nate Danielson were on full display.

Following the game, Danielson described what he saw on two of his three assists. "I think on the two plays on Mar's goal, I kind of came in wide both plays and I think they kind of got a little puck-focused," Danielson described of his first two assists. "And Mar did a good job finding ice and I was able to find him on both. I don't know if that's something that they're trying to do or not, but I just think it's worked out good."

Danielson also played well primarily on the third line for Team Canada at the World Juniors this past Winter, recording one goal and two assists in five games. When push came to shove, Team Canada began to lean on that Danielson line down the stretch. Although it didn't work out for Canada, it was nice to see how quickly the Red Wings prospect gained the coaching staff's confidence in such a short period.

Down the road, Danielson, combined with Marco Kasper, may be just what the doctor ordered for the Detroit Red Wings in the middle of their lineup behind Dylan Larkin. Detroit's top two forward prospects are centermen, and according to general manager Steve Yzerman, both will have a chance to earn a roster spot with the Red Wings during training camp and the preseason this summer.

"Nate Danielson (we) drafted a year ago and Marco Kasper the year previous to that," Yzerman said on April 19. "We think they’re good young prospects, really happy with how they’re coming. They’re not ready to play yet. I’m not ruling anything out for next year, but I think in time, we’re gonna be really solid down the middle."