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Top of the lottery prospects: Adam Fantilli still lighting up the NCAA

He’s done nothing to hurt his draft stock since our last update.

Syndication: Notre Dame Insider John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

Adam Fantilli has only played in three games since the last update, but he continued his prolific production in those games with seven points (2 G, 5 A). This pushed his points-per-game rate up to 1.88, distancing himself further from Jack Eichel’s 1.78 pace during his Hobey Baker-winning season at Boston as the best player in college hockey.

He also extended his point streak to nine games — with seven goals and 13 assists in that span — since returning from the World Juniors.

The first five of those seven points came in back-to-back victories against Wisconsin, and Fantilli contributed to nearly 40 percent of the 13 goals scored by Michigan. Only his linemate, Gavin Brindley, had as many points in those two games, with the two trading assists on each other’s goals.

Fantill also showed off his transition ability throughout the two games, including an almost Patrick Kane-like zone entry and pass to a trailing player combination on this goal:

In his most recent game, against Michigan State, Fantilli got attention for more than just his production: he received his first ejection for fighting. Unfortunately, he also ended up receiving a game disqualification which resulted in an automatic one-game suspension. After being nearly top-20 in the USHL in penalty minutes (93) last season, discipline was an area of concern for Fantilli, but this is the first major altercation for him this season.

In addition to the fight above, Fantilli picked up an assist and goal during the MSU game, completing the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

Michigan coach Brandon Naurato, who recently spoke to The Athletic’s Corey Masisak, had some high praise for Fantilli as a player:

“He is special. He can fly. He can rip it. He’s nasty. I bet he can fight. He can hit. He’s physical. He’s really hard defensively. He’s created a ton off the forecheck for us. He plays hard defensively. You look at these top guys who are ultra skilled, when they come into their own and hit their prime and really learn how to check, guys like (Sidney) Crosby and (Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk — those guys brought it all. They weren’t just point guys. I think that’s going to be Adam’s best attribute.”

For more commentary from Naurato and Fantilli about the latter, check out the full article here.

Although Michigan beat Michigan State without Fantilli, the top-line center was obviously missed and it was a closer game than usual, with the Wolverines needing overtime to secure the 4-3 win. It was also noted that Fantill was seen with a brace on his wrist while sitting out for his suspension — hopefully a precautionary measure that won’t impact his current momentum.

One final note: Fantilli was named the National Player of the Month for January. As mentioned before, it’s almost impossible that anyone will ever touch Paul Kariya’s historical 2.56 PPG pace as a freshmen back in the 1992-93 season, but Fantilli’s production is still very impressive.