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USHL: Carson Bantle, Madison Capitals (2020)

The Madison Capitols have long been a bottom feeder at the USHL level and only occasionally have legit NHL prospects on hand. This year they have several, none more intriguing than Carson Bantle, a very big power winger who has been lighting it up in the early going of his draft year, generally playing on a line with improved Hungarian pivot Kristof Papp. Through 16 games in the young season, he is only four points shy of his full offensive output from 2018-19.

He can disappear for stretches, which is likely a function of an outclassed team as much as anything else, but he tends to flash at least once or twice a game and when he does, the opponent will always have a hard time containing him. The Michigan Tech commit has quickly emerged as one of the better NHL products in a relatively down year in the USHL. With added consistency, he could develop into a top six winger at the highest level.

Carson Bantle 2020 NHL Draft Eligible
Position: LW, Shoots L H/W: 6-4", 201 lbs
Stats to date (GP-G-A-PTS-PIMS) Madison Capitols, USHL (14-7-9-16-12)
Carson Bantle. Photo by Hickling Images.
Carson Bantle. Photo by Hickling Images.


Skating: Bantle skates retty well for a player of his size. Expect his agility, stamina and speed to tick upwards as he continues to develop, in the mold of many larger players, who need more time to grow accustomed to their frames, but he is already at a reasonable place. His usual pace of play is generally moderate, but he can and will kick it up a notch when he needs to win a race. Grade: 55

Shot: In the offensive zone, Bantle features a very impressive snapshot, with a very quick release. He can also pot goals from in tight as he is the type of player to follow his rebounds to the net and has plus hand-eye coordination. Might not be a top goal scorer at the highest level, but he should have a strong enough shot to be a top six player at the collegiate level, and more than passable as a pro. Grade: 55

Skills: While he can be prone to telegraphing passes, Bantle is not without puck skills. His hands are very quick, and he is capable of occasionally surprising touch on his passes. Generally speaking, he plays a simpler, power game that is not heavily reliant on puck skill. Grade: 50

Smarts: Madison generally prefers to spare its first line forwards from heavy rotation on the penalty kill, but Bantle has shown that he can be trusted in shorthanded situations. More often than not, he shows an ability to read the game at a solid level. He can be very patient with the puck, waiting out defenses instead of forcing plays that aren’t there. Would like to see more grit in his own zone, but Madison tends to be moving in the right direction with Bantle on the ice more than they do when he is not. Grade: 55

Physicality: Here is where Bantle can shine. Yes, he could stand to be a bit more consistent with his physical play, but more often than not, he plays with tremendous bull strength and can be flat out dominant at the USHL level. He has the frame of an NHL power forward as well. He uses his size effectively to power through defenses, aided by his big reach. He is hard to contain or overcome in board battles.  Grade: 60

Overall Future Projection (OFP): 54.25