chickenman92

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  1. top 75 for the 2012 Draft- Sept 11, 2011 By Ian Esplen ok here is my pre-season top 75 for the up coming draft. any questions or comments are appreciated 1- Nail Yakupov F 5”11 180 Sarnia Sting RUS Assets- pure scorer, great shot, skill and skating, willing to play physical, hard worker, great attitude, smart Flaws- sometimes forgets about his own end, D still needs work NHL Comparison- Steven Stamkos 2- Mikhail Grigorenko F 6”2 192 CSKA Moscow RUS Assets- Size, out of this world passing and skill, good skater, very smart player Flaws- compete level is a bit hit and miss at times, lacks fire in his belly, a bit soft, doesn’t play physical NHL Comparison- Evgeni Malkin 3- Griffin Reinhart D 6”4 202 Edmonton Oil Kings CAN Assets- Size, excellent mobility, great skater and passer, can skate the puck out of trouble, very poised, smart, never looks rattled, bomb of a shot Flaws- doesn’t hit enough, plays smaller then he is, needs to become harder to play against NHL Comparison- Nicklas Lidstrom/Jay Bouwmeester Cross 4- Ryan Murray D 6”0 182 Everett Silvertips CAN Assets- extremely smart, great passer, moves the puck very well, always in the right position, good skater, runs the PP, can play a ton, very smooth, doesn’t make mistakes Flaws- only average size, not physical, may struggle at the next level against bigger players NHL Comparison- smaller Nicklas Lidstrom 5- Jordan Schmaltz D 6”2 175 Sioux City Musketeers USA Assets- good size, mobile, good skater, very smart, always in position, mistake free, great stick checker, excellent passer, good shoot, excellent skill, can play a ton of minutes, can shut top players down Flaws- needs to get stronger, could play more physical, play a bit more nasty NHL Comparison- Nicklas Lidstrom 6- Mathew Dumba D 5”11 172 Red Deer Rebels CAN Assets- leadership, physical, hits, excellent shot, pure scoring D, excellent passer, hard worker, extremely competitive, strong character, excellent athlete, plays all out every shift Flaws- gambles a bit too much, has his moments in his own end, a bit small NHL Comparison- P.K. Subban 7- Andreas Athanasiou F 6”0 165 London Knights CAN Assets- excellent skater, can play in every situation, good in all 3 zones, great at takeaways, good shot, excellent skill, good passer, very good all around player, great hands, makes players around him better Flaws- needs to get stronger, could hit a bit more NHL Comparison- Henrik Zetterberg 8- Nick Ebert D 6”0 195 Windsor Spitfires USA Assets- physical, excellent shot, pure scoring D, excellent passer, hard worker, good skater, solid in his own end, mobile, strong Flaws- has his moments in his own end, a bit small, runs around a bit at times NHL Comparison- Dan Boyle 9- Filip Forsberg F 6”1 176 Leksand SWE Assets- very high compete level, good size, very complete player, hard worker, leadership, good skill level, can "will" plays to happen, willing to go to the dirty areas, makes the players around him better, excellent passer Flaws- skating is average, may top out as a second line player NHL Comparison- Mikko Koivu 10- Martin Frk F 5”11 190 Halifax Mooseheads CZE Assets- pure power forward, good skater, very physical, good hands, can score, score spectacular goals, great shot, will go around you or through you, hits, plays on the edge, nasty at times, hard to play against Flaws- may be a bit small to play as physical at the NHL level, takes bad penalties, positioning in his own end needs some work NHL Comparison- Bobby Clarke 11- Jacob Trouba D 6”1 183 USA NTDP USA Assets- good size, very physical, hits, solid in his own end, works hard, good 2-way D, can play in all situations, good skater, excellent puck mover, good passer, nasty Flaws- can run around a bit at times, takes himself out of position trying for the big hit, needs to bulk up NHL Comparison- James Wisniewski 12- Jesse Graham D 5”11 160 Niagara IceDogs CAN Assets- excellent skater(best in the draft), excellent speed, excellent mobility, play mistake free hockey, always in the right position, great passer, great skill, excellent poise, can skate or pass out of trouble, very smart, excellent PP QB Flaws- needs to bulk up and get stronger, struggles in the corners and in front of the net, has troubles with bigger players, could work on his shot, could play more physical NHL Comparison- Duncan Keith 13- Derrick Pouliot D 5”11 192 Portland Winterhawks CAN Assets- excellent speed, great mobility, play mistake free hockey, always in the right position, great passer, great skill, excellent poise, can skate or pass out of trouble, very smart, excellent PP QB, great puck rusher, very strong for his size, steady, solid leader, good shot Flaws- a bit small, can struggle to clear the front of the net, could be more physical NHL Comparison- Keith Yandle 14- Sebastian Collberg F 6”0 180 Frölunda SWE Assets- excellent speed(fastest in the draft), excellent athlete, high skill level, great shot, pure scorer, game breaker, hard worker, strong character Flaws- a little soft, not physical, needs work in his own end NHL Comparison- Marian Gaborik 15- Alex Galchenyuk F 6”0 185 Sarnia Sting USA/RUS Assets- smart, solid 2-way game, willing to hit, high skill level, excellent passer, very coachable Flaws- takes shifts off, plays a little soft at times, awkward skater, could be more physical NHL Comparison- Alex Tanguay 16- Michael Matheson D 6”1 175 Lac St. Louis Lions CAN Assets- good size, very mobile, hits, plays physical, great skater, great puck mover, mistake free, good in his own end, very poised player, excellent passer, excellent at reading the play, good leader, strong character Flaws- may top out as a second pairing D, doesn’t wow you, needs to get stronger NHL Comparison- Niklas Kronwall 17- Morgan Rielly D 6”0 190 Moose Jaw Warriors CAN Assets- excellent skater, excellent mobility, very high skill level, great puck rusher, great passer, good shot, future PP QB Flaws- needs to get stronger, could play more physical, struggles in the corners and in front of the net, needs to work on his play in his own end NHL Comparison- Erik Karlsson 18- Charles Hudon F 5”8 165 Chicoutimi Sagueneens CAN Assets- great skill level, feisty, has a motor that doesn’t stop, great passer, high compete level, willing to finish checks, plays his best on the big stage, great speed, great at finding holes, excellent passer, excellent shot, pure scorer, makes players around him better, willing to go to the net Flaws- size, needs to get stronger, needs to play better in his own end NHL Comparison- Danny Briere 19- Zemgus Girgensons F 6”1 182 Dubuque Fighting Saints LAT Assets- good skater, high skill level, excellent at protecting the puck, good 2-way player, finishes checks, very competitive, strong will to win, great work ethic, good passer, good shot Flaws- still leaning the North American game, may top out as a second line player, hasn’t played at a high level yet, can be inconsistent NHL Comparison- Andy McDonald 20- Henrik Samuelsson F 6”2 192 Modo USA/SWE Assets- Big, strong, athletic, plays physical, hits, has a nasty edge to his game, pure power forward, good skater, good puck protection skills, good in the corners and in front of the net, plays hard at both ends Flaws- offensive game needs some polish, still learning how to play in his own end NHL Comparison- Brenden Morrow 21- Olli Määttä D 6”1 198 London Knights FIN Assets- good size, moves the puck well, rock solid in his own end, finishes checks, mobile, good skater, good shot, steady, blocks shots, 2-way ability Flaws- makes a lot of good plays but nothing that stands out, may top out as a 3-4 D, could play more physical NHL Comparison- Roman Hamrlik 22- Alex Gudbranson D 6”2 204 Kingston Frontenacs CAN Assets- big, strong, good skater, moves the puck well, tough, delivers big hits, very good in the corners and in front of the net, physical, hard nosed D, hard shot, untapped offensive potential, great fighter, good leader, excellent character, blocks shots Flaws- first few steps need work, mobility could be better, is a bit slow at reading the play (getting better tough), tries to do too much at times NHL Comparison- Dan Hamhuis 23- Daniel Altshuller G 6”2 174 Oshawa Generals CAN Assets- big, athletic, good solid butterfly, excellent at covering the bottom of the net, can steal a game for his team, plays well on the big stage, calm, doesn’t get rattled Flaws- goes down a bit early, when he’s bad he’s really bad NHL Comparison- Marc-Andre Fleury 24- Stefan Matteau F 6”1 188 USA NTDP USA Assets- big, strong, good in the corners and in front of the net, finishes checks, decent fighter, good speed, passes the puck well, excellent 2-way player, leadership, goes to the dirty areas, good on the PP and PK, excellent work ethic Flaws- lack of high end skill, first few steps need work, mobility could be better, could play more physical NHL Comparison- RJ Umberger 25- Slater Koekkoek D 6”2 180 Peterborough Petes CAN Assets- mobile, athletic, very physical, hits, decent skill, good skater, plays rock solid D, good worker, can play the PP and PK, nasty edge, great shot Flaws- doesn’t wow you, can run around at times, tries to do too much, turns the puck over NHL Comparison- Kevin Bieksa 26- Matia Marcantuoni F 5”11 185 Kitchener Rangers CAN Assets- excellent skater, battles hard, good shot, good skill level, good passer, willing to go to the dirty areas, good leader, strong work ethic, excellent 2-way player, can play the PP and PK, hits, excellent speed, gritty Flaws- may top out as a 2-3 line centre, needs to get stronger, not sure if he’ll be as physical at the NHL level NHL Comparison- Ryan Kesler 27- Brady Skeji D 6”1 183 USA NTDP USA Assets- excellent skater, excellent mobility, moves the puck well, solid offensive upside, good size, good passer, good skill level, able to get his shot through traffic, good on the PP Flaws- prone to mistakes in his own end, could play more physical, tries to do too much, needs to get stronger NHL Comparison- Tobias Enstrom 28- Pontus Åberg F 5”11 183 Djurgården SWE Assets- Pure goal scorer, excellent skater, excellent speed, hard to knock off the puck, hard worker, finishes checks, great shot Flaws- doesn’t pass much, sometimes forgets about his own end NHL Comparison- Michael Grabner 29- Cody Ceci D 6”2 203 Ottawa 67's CAN Assets- big, strong, fairly mobile, hits, fights, reliable in his own end, steady, moves the puck out of the zone, hard shot, blocks shots, stay at home D, good in the corners and in front of the net Flaws- doesn’t wow you, may top out as a 3-4 D, won’t score a ton at the NHL level NHL Comparison- Braydon Coburn 30- Gianluca Curcuruto D 6”1 187 SSM Greyhounds CAN Assets- great skater, excellent passer, excellent puck mover, solid in his own end, good size, high skill level, good character, good leader, very mature, decent shot, excellent work ethic, great at reading the play Flaws- doesn’t play physical, needs to shoot more, shies away from physical play, needs to be better in the corners and in front of the net NHL Comparison- Tomas Kaberle 31- Brendan Gaunce F 6”2 205 Belleville Bulls CAN 32- Nicolas Kerdiles F 6”1 183 USA NTDP USA 33- Malcolm Subban G 6”0 178 Belleville Bulls CAN 34- Tom Wilson F 6”4 195 Plymouth Whalers CAN 35- Adam Pelech D 6”2 200 Erie Otters CAN 36- Matt Finn D 6”0 197 Guelph Storm CAN 37- Jaynen Rissling D 6”3 215 Calgary Hitmen CAN 38- Brendan Leipsic F 5”9 155 Portland Winterhawks CAN 39- Scott Laughton F 6”0 174 Oshawa Generals CAN 40- Troy Bourke F 5”10 150 Prince George Cougars CAN 41- Eric Locke F 5”9 171 Barrie Colts CAN 42- Kalle Torniainen F 5”10 172 Djurgården FIN 43- Mathew Campagna F 5”11 170 Sudbury Wolves CAN 44- Raphaël Bussières F 6”0 183 Baie-Comeau Drakkar CAN 45- Calle Andersson D 6”1 194 Malmö SWE 46- Ville Pokka D 6”0 187 Kärpät FIN 47- Patrik Machac F 5”9 165 Kladno CZE 48- Damon Severson D 6”1 188 Kelowna Rockets CAN 49- Jarrod Maidens F 6”2 170 Owen Sound Attack CAN 50- Ryan Olsen F 6”1 172 Saskatoon Blades CAN 51- Teuvo Teräväinen F 5”10 161 Jokerit FIN 52- Dylan Blujus D 6”3 184 Brampton Battalion USA 53- Jake McCabe D 6”0 195 USA NTDP USA 54- Luca Ciampini F 5”11 189 Halifax Mooseheads CAN 55- Cristoval Nieves F 6”2 175 Kent Prep School USA 56- Dominic Poulin D 6”1 185 Chicoutimi Sagueneens CAN 57- Colton Sissons F 6”0 173 Kelowna Rockets CAN 58- Nikolai Prokhorkin F 6”2 183 CSKA Moscow RUS 59- Miles Koules F 5”11 177 USA NTDP USA 60- Oscar Dansk G 6”2 183 Brynäs SWE 61- Emil Lundberg F 6”3 198 Södertälje SWE 62- Brandon Magee F 5”7 161 Victoria Royals CAN 63-Kristoff Kontos F 6”1 203 Sudbury Wolves CAN 64- Gustav Rydahl F 6”2 194 Färjestad SWE 65- Dalton Thrower D 6.00 195 Saskatoon Blades CAN 66- Jon Gillies G 6”5 202 Indiana Ice USA 67- Radek Faksa F 6”2 183 Trinec CZE 68- Brian Cooper D 5”9 176 Fargo Force USA 69- A.J. Michaelson F 6”0 180 Apple Valley Varsity USA 70- Chandler Stephenson F 5”10 170 Regina Pats CAN 71- Daulton Siwak F 6”0 196 Red Deer Rebels CAN 72- Marcus McIvor D 6”1 204 Brampton Battalion CAN 73- Dalton Sward F 6”0 165 Vancouver Giants CAN 74- Brady Vail F 6”1 190 Windsor Spitfires USA 75- Andrei Vasilevski G 6”3 200 Ufa RUS
  2. Mock draft- September 5 , 2011 by Ian Esplen Alright, hockey seasons just around the corner and here my first crack at a mock draft. I'm sure things will change completely between now and next june but for now enjoy. Any questions on comments are appreciated. Order based on odds to win the Stanley Cup as of August 28 1- NY ISLANDERS- Nail Yakupov F 5”11 180 Sarnia Sting 2- FLORIDA- Mikhail Grigorenko F 6”2 192 CSKA Moscow 3- COLUMBUS- Griffin Reinhart D 6”4 202 Edmonton Oil Kings 4- MINNESOTA- Ryan Murray D 6”0 182 Everett Silvertips 5- OTTAWA- Mathew Dumba D 5”11 172 Red Deer Rebels 6- EDMONTON- Nick Ebert D 6”0 195 Windsor Spitfires 7- WINNIPEG- Alex Galchenyuk F 6”0 185 Sarnia Sting 8- ST. LOUIS- Jordan Schmaltz D 6”2 175 Sioux City Musketeers 9- WASHINGTON (VIA COL)- Filip Forsberg F 6”1 176 Leksand SWE 10- CAROLINA- Andreas Athanasiou F 6”0 165 London Knights 11- TORONTO- Martin Frk F 5”11 190 Halifax Mooseheads 12- DALLAS- Jacob Trouba D 6”1 183 USA NTDP 13- PHOENIX- Henrik Samuelsson F 6”2 192 USA NTDP 14- NY RANGERS- Zemgus Girgensons F 6”1 182 Dubuque Fighting Saints 15-CALGARY- Morgan Rielly D 6”0 190 Moose Jaw Warriors 16- NEW JERSEY- Charles Hudon F 5”8 165 Chicoutimi Sagueneens 17- NASHVILLE- Derrick Pouliot D 5”11 192 Portland Winterhawks 18- MONTREAL- Matia Marcantuoni F 5”11 185 Kitchener Rangers 19- ANAHEIM- Brendan Gaunce F 6”2 205 Belleville Bulls 20-BUFFALO- Sebastian Collberg F 6”0 180 Frölunda 21- TAMPA BAY- Olli Määttä D 6”1 198 London Knights 22- SAN JOSE- Slater Koekkoek D 6”2 180 Peterborough Petes 23- LOS ANGELES- Michael Matheson D 6”1 175 Lac St. Louis Lions 24- DETROIT- Jesse Graham D 5”11 160 Niagara IceDogs 25- CHICAGO- Cody Ceci D 6”2 203 Ottawa 67's CAN 26- PHILADELPHIA- Daniel Altshuller G 6”2 174 Nepean (CCHL) 27- WASHINGTON- Stefan Matteau F 6”1 188 USA NTDP 28- BOSTON- Mathew Campagna F 5”11 170 Sudbury Wolves 29- PITTSBURGH- Nicolas Kerdiles F 6”1 183 USA NTDP 30- VANCOUVER- Alex Gudbranson D 6”2 204 Kingston Frontenacs
  3. Alexandre Grenier Selected by Vancouver Canucks round 3 #90 overall 2011 NHL Entry Draft By Ian Esplen Over the past few weeks I have exchanged emails with Canucks draft pick Alexandre Grenie. I am very happy Mike Gillis choose him in this years draft. I am very impressed with him as a hockey player, but more so impressed with him as a person. He is a quality person who has exceptional character and strong family values. I think he will be wearing a Canucks jersey a whole lot sooner then people think. After looking over his answers to the questions he seems to me that he may be a bigger version of Alex Burrows. Both players were late bloomers who had to work very hard to get into the QMJHL. Both players seem to have a very strong work ethic and a strong connection to their families. Here are the 41 questions he answered for me so Canucks fans could know a bit more about him Question- What was your favourite hockey team growing up? Answer- I lived in Quebec until the age of 5, so I grew up with Quebec Nordiques. Question- Who is your favourite player? Answer- Alex Kovalev Question- What has been your most embarrassing hockey moment so far? Answer- I haven’t had any embarrassing moments so far in hockey. Question- Besides being drafted, what has been the highlight of your hockey career? Answer- Making it to the LHJMQ at the age of 19. Question- What was the weirdest interview question you have been asked? How did you answer it? Answer- We lost a game in the shootout and someone asked me, “How did you feel missing the net on you're backhand”? I answered, “I'll get it next time”. Question- Finish this sentence. The best part of being drafted is…? Answer- Representing an NHL team. Question- Have you ever been to Vancouver? Answer- No Question- What is the #1 most played song on your iPod? Answer- “All the Above”, by Maino Question- What part of practice or training do you absolutely hate doing? Answer- I hate sitting on the bench. Question- If you could spend the day with 3 people who would they be? Answer- My family Question- What is one of your favourite quotes? Answer- It takes 5 minutes to destroy a reputation and 20 to build one. … If you knew that would happen, would you have done it differently? Question-What was it like growing up in your hometown? Answer- I was an Ordinary kid, growing up in an ordinary town. Question-How many languages can you speak? Answer- English and French Question- What is one thing all fans should know about you? Answer- I play ever shift for the fans. Question- What is your favourite movie? Answer- Remember the Titans Question-What is your favourite book? Answer- 5150 Rue des Ormes, by Patrick Senécal Question- What is your favourite website? Answer- Facebook haha Question-What is something you learned in the last week? Answer- I was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks. Question- What was the first car you owned? Answer- A green, 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Question- Do you like sushi? Answer- NO, haha Question- What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Answer- Having few memories of my grandfather. He died when I was 5. Question- When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Answer- I usually play games on my cell phone or listen to music. Question-If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Answer- Optimus Prime Question-What are you more likely to do, score the winning goal, setup the winning goal, fight for a teammate, or stop the winning goal form going in? Answer- I would be one the ice for the winning goal either scoring it or setting it up. Question-Who is your favourite superhero? Answer- Oprimus prime and Bumblebee Question- If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Answer- I would Give money to my parents. Question- What are 3 things you would take to a desert island Answer- I would take water, food, and an iphone to call someone to get me off the island. Question-Do you have a nickname? Answer- Le grand , Grenier , and Greener Question- What is the best piece of advice anyone has given to you? Answer- Never give up. Question- If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Answer- My Dad. Question- If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? Answer- Getting to see Maurice Richard play live. Question- If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Answer- Would like to learn to fly. Question- Who is your farourite actor and actress? Answer- Adam Sandler Question- What other sports have you played in your life? Answer- I used to play soccer. Now I golf for fun in my free time. Question- If you have already moved away from home, what was the hardest part? Answer- Leaving my dog behind at home. Question- What would you rather have, 100 million dollars or a Stanley Cup ring? Answer- WIN the Stanley Cup! You can buy a ring, but to win one, I’d take that over anything. Question- What did the Canucks get when they drafted you? Answer- The Canucks got a talented forward with offensive skills. Question- What is you favourite restaurant? Answer- Don’t have one. I’ll take my mom’s food over anything that’s out there Question- What is your favourite junk food? Answer- Como’s Pizza Question- Do you collect anything? Answer- Nothing Question- What was your first job? Answer- My first job was as a soccer referee. I hope this Blog has helped fans know a bit more about one of the newest Canucks. I would also like to thank Alexandre Grenier again, for taking the time to share some information about himself with me and other Canucks Fans.
  4. 3rd and 4th rd- 91 and 121 OA By Ian Esplen A brief look at the pros, cons, and comparisons of some of the players the Canucks may draft and what rounds those players may go( if the Canucks were to select them). 3rd round(91 OA) Robbie Russo, Defenseman USA U-18 Pros- high skill, great passer, poised, controls the game from the backend, solid on both the PK and PP, good skater, works hark Cons- needs to get stronger, not so good in the corners or in front of the net, inconsistent in his own end NHL Comparison- Tomas Kaberle Reece Scarlett, Defenseman Swift Current Pros- good skater, makes a nice first pass, steady 2-way D Cons- needs to get stronger, not so good in the corners or in front of the net, gets intimidated easy, soft NHL Comparison - Andrew Ference Olivier Archambault, Left Wing Val d'Or Pros- great speed, one of the best skaters in the draft, great shot, high end skill, great 1 on 1 player, dynamic, pure scorer, finishes checks but not a big hitter, very coachable, smart Cons- a bit under sized, gets intimidated from time to time, doesn't back check, forgets about his end of the ice NHL Comparison- Claude Giroux Nick Cousins, Center Sault Ste. Marie Pros- great vision, excellent character, good skater, good skill, works hard, good kid, smart Cons- needs to get stronger, may top out as a 3rd line player NHL Comparison- Ray Whitney Tobias Rieder, Center Kitchener Pros- excellent skater with an explosive first step, great stick handler, plays a good 2-way game, strong leadership skills, good shot, good vision, hard to hit, smart Cons- has only had 2 year of playing against good players, still learning, a bit small, could play more physical NHL Comparison- Andy McDonald Patrick Koudys, Defenseman Rensselaer Pros- size, good skating, good skill level, physical, good 2-way D, smart, good character, good athlete Cons- very raw still, lack of playing time this year, needs to get stronger NHL Comparison- Brent Seabrook (poor man’s) Magnus Hellberg, Goalie Almtuna Pros- size, great athlete, solid butterfly goalie, ready to play in the AHL now, calm Cons- can challenge the shooter too much sometimes which puts him out of position, limited playing time before this year NHL Comparison- Pekka Rinne Mattias Backman, Defenseman Linkoping Jr Pros- great skater, very mobile, great in his own end, can shut players down, finishes his checks, good size, moves the puck well, good passer, good shot, good skill Cons- may be limited to being a 4-6, needs to get stronger, limited offensive upside NHL Comparison- Toni Lydman Jean-Francois Leblanc, Center Val d'Or QMJHL Pros- size, skates ok for his size, good on face offs, decent skill, good 2-way player, Physical, tons of upside Cons- limited offensive upside, may top out as a 3/4 line player, takes shifts off, needs a quicker first step NHL Comparison- Jarret Stoll Nikita Kucherov, Wing CSKA 2 Pros- excellent 1 on 1 skill, great stick handler, good skater, good shot, plays well in big games, pure scorer Cons- Russian factor, limited viewing, soft, needs to get better in his own end NHL Comparison- Nikolai Kulemin Logan Shaw, Right Wing Cape Breton Pros- size, good skater, good shot, never quits, excellent work ethic, great in the corners and in front of the net, solid 2-way game Cons- needs to hit more, would like to see him take over games more and dominate NHL Comparison- Shane Doan (less physical) Ryan Tesink, Center Saint John Pros- solid 2 way game, good skater, smart, very well rounded, good skill level, will to win, mature Cons- lack of playing time, needs to get stronger, be more consistent NHL Comparison- Antoine Vermette Andrew Fritsch, Right Wing Owen Sound Pros- Great skater, great shot, natural goal scorer, tons of offensive upside, explosive first step, finishes his checks, bit of a pest, scores dirty goals, can handle the puck at high speeds, solid compete level Cons- still learning how to play in his end, had a few injuries, may not be able to hit as much in the NHL NHL Comparison- Teemu Selanne 4th round Michael Mersch, Left Wing U. of Wisconsin Pros- size, good skater, play physical, strong on the puck, scores dirty goals, works hard Cons- limited offensive upside, so/so skill level NHL Comparison- Troy Brouwer Michael Paliotta, Defenseman USA U-18 Pros- very mobile, good defensivly, decent puck mover, good kid, works hard, smart kid Cons- needs to get stronger, could play move physical, may top out as a 5/6 D NHL Comparison- Rob Scuderi Destry Straight, Center Coquitlam Pros- decent size, good skater, plays well in traffic, great passer, good skill, good leader, excellent hockey sense, goes to the net, makes other players better Cons- needs to get stronger, be more consistent, plays at a lower level, could play more physical NHL Comparison- Brendan Morrison Brennan Serville, Defenseman Stouffville Pros- great passer, moves the puck well, very good skater, plays a sound 2-way game, good hockey sense, plays his best in big games, good size Cons- needs to get stronger, plays at a lower level, could play more physical NHL Comparison- Cody Franson Dylan Demelo, Defenseman Mississauga St. Michael's Pros- gets under players skin, good 2-way game, tons of offensive upside, fights, physical, good skater, moves the puck well, good shot Cons- needs to get stronger, forces passes at times, turnovers, tries to do too much, might be a bit small to play as physical as he does in the NHL NHL Comparison- Kevin Bieksa David Broll, Left Wing Sault Ste. Marie Pros- big, strong, throws some of the biggest hits in the draft, is fast once he is moving, great in front and on the boards, scores dirty goals infront, great screen infront, good fighter, toughness Cons- skating needs work (turns and 1st step), bad penalties, sometimes forgets about his own end NHL Comparison- Shawn Thornton Frans Tuohimaa, Goalie Jokerit Jr. Pros- big, athletic, solid positioning, ready for the AHL Cons- still a project, played at a low level of competion, plays on a real good team, so/so playoffs NHL Comparison- Antti Niemi Johan Mattsson Goalie Sodertalje Jr. Pros- big, freakish athletic talent, plays deep in his net, ready for the AHL(maybe 1 more year), great at stopping the puck, solid butterfly, plays angles well Cons- rebound control can be so/so at times, terrible playoffs, still a project, gets rattled, lack of games played NHL Comparison- Kari Lehtonen
  5. 2nd round(61st OA) By Ian Esplen A brief look at the pros, cons, and comparisons of some of the players the Canucks may draft and what rounds those players may go( if the Canucks were to select them). Vincent Trocheck, Center Saginaw Pros- Great leader, strong character, good at both ends, great shot, good skill, works hard every shift, strong will to win Cons- a bit small, average skater, may top out as a 3rd line player NHL Comparison- Joe Pavelski Matthew Nieto, Left Wing Boston University Pros- high end skill, 2-way game, plays the PK and PP well, great vision, great passer, makes the players around him better Cons- a bit small, shies away from contact a bit, skating is average NHL Comparison- Alex Tanguay Lucas Lessio, Left Wing Oshawa OHL Pros- great skater, good skill, can beat guys 1 on 1, good size Cons- struggles at times in his own end, inconsistent NHL Comparison- Justin Williams Stuart Percy, Defenseman Mississauga St. Michael's Pros- mistake free, moves the puck well, finishes checks, good in his own end, strong character, blocks shots Cons- limited offensive upside, may top out as a 5/6 pairing D NHL Comparison- Greg Zanon Nicholas Shore, Center U. of Denver Pros- good speed, decent skill, plays well in all 3 zones, good hockey sense Cons- may top out as a 3rd line player NHL Comparison- Matt Cullen Miikka Salomaki, Right Wing Karpat Pros- plays with a motor that doesn't stop, very physical, all heart, decent skill, good speed, strong, good in the corners, excellent 2-way player, hard to play against Cons- may top out as a 3rd line player, limited offensive upside NHL Comparison- Cal Clutterbuck Joachim Nermark, Center Linkoping Jr. Pros- loves responsibility, plays well at both ends, good skill, good vision, makes the players around him better, good skater, decent size Cons- needs to shoot more, inconsistent, could play more physical NHL Comparison- David Krejci Markus Granlund, Center HIFK JR. Pros- High skill, plays a solid 2 way game, good hands, solid on face offs Cons- needs to get stronger, average skater, may end up being an AHLer, limited upside, a bit small NHL Comparison- Kyle Wellwood Rasmus Bengtsson, Defenseman Rogle Pros- good size, good skater, decent skill, moves the puck well, physical, strong, smart, good work ethic Cons- limited upside, may be a 5/6 pairing D NHL Comparison - Johnny Oduya Michael St. Croix, Center Edmonton Pros- elite skill, great 1 on 1, dynamic offensive upside, good skater Cons- inconsistent, seems to rack up his points against bad team, shies away from hits, gets intimidated easy, soft NHL Comparison - Rob Schremp Xavier Ouellet, Defenseman Montreal Pros- great passer, solid in his own end, good skill, can run a PP, good skater Cons- gets out worked on the boards and in front of the net, so/so compete level at times NHL Comparison- John-Michael Liles Colin Jacobs, Center Seattle WHL Pros- Big, Strong, Physical, like to hit, strong on the boards and in front of the net, decent hands, solid work ethic, willing to fight when needed Cons- skating is average, needs to back check better, inconsistent NHL Comparison- Mike Knuble Zachary Yuen, Defenseman Tri-City WHL Pros- maybe the smartest player in the draft both on and off the ice, excellent skater, great speed, can turn as good as anyone, willing to hit, strong on his skates, carries to puck well, great passer, poised, does not back down from anyone, good fighter when needed, strong character and family values, great at shutting guys down, local kid Cons- may top out as 4-6 D, could play more physical NHL Comparison- Duncan Keith (poor man's) Jeremy Boyce, Left Wing Timra Pros- good speed, good skill, competes hard, good work ethic, willing to hit, strong on his skates, solid 2-way player, good character Cons- limited upside, may be a 2nd/3rd liner but also may just be a SEL player NHL Comparison- Ville Leino William Karlsson, Center Vasteras Jr. SWE-JR. Pros- great skill, pure scorer, good shot, good skater, good speed, very smart, makes the players around him better Cons- not physical, could be better in his own end NHL Comparison- Brad Richards Victor Berglind, Defenseman Brynas Jr. Pros- excellent skill, rushes the puck well, good 1 on 1 moves, excellent shot, good skater, very good PP player, pure scorer from the back end, very talented Cons- is an adventure in his own end, plays like a 4th forward at times, tries to do too much, a bit undersized NHL Comparison- Mike Green Troy Vance, Defenseman Victoriaville Pros- size (6"6 205), great skater, very mobile, maybe the hardest hitter in the draft, lots of offensive upside, moves the puck well, good shot, unreal athlete, good fighter, smart, huge upside Cons- still raw, hasn't played much at a high level NHL Comparison- Tyler Myers
  6. Draft Snapshots By Ian Esplen A brief look at the pros, cons, and comparisons of some of the players the Canucks may draft and what rounds those players may go( if the Canucks were to select them). 1st round- 30th OA Scott Mayfield, Defenseman Youngstown Pros- Excellent conditioning, very good skater, can play a ton of minutes, big, strong, great shot, good character, natural leader, plays physical Cons-limited offensive upside, may top out as a 4/5 D NHL Comparison- Braydon Coburn Connor Murphy, Defenseman USA U-18 Pros- size, good skater, leadership, decent skill, makes a hood first pass, smart, great in his own end, mature, good stick check, decent shut down game Cons- injury problems (30ish games in the last 2 years because of a bad back), not physical NHL Comparison- Toni Lydman Shane Prince, Center Ottawa Pros- high end passer, good skill, makes the players around him better, decent scorer Cons- skating is average, takes a lot of big hits, takes the odd shift off NHL Comparison- Jason Pominville Phillip Danault, Left Wing Victoriaville Pros- Great speed, great skater, decent hands and skill, natural leader, plays well at both ends, finishes checks, plays in all situations, hard to play against, great work ethic Cons- may top out as a 3rd liner, needs other stars to make him a star NHL Comparison – Alex Burrows Matt Puempel, Left Wing Peterborough Pros- great shot (maybe the best in the draft), pure offensive scorer, high end skill, only needs on chance to make you notice him and get his points, knows how to get open and score Cons- tends to disappear for parts of the game, so/so in his own end, skating is average, coming off hip surgery NHL Comparison- Phil Kessel Alexander Khokhlachev, Left Wing/Center Windsor Pros- high-end skill, great one on one player, great skater, Great speed, smart, game breaker, pure scorer, dynamic, good shot, not afraid to go to the net Cons- so/so in his own end, takes shifts off, not very physical NHL Comparison- Patrik Elias Rickard Rakell, Right Wing Plymouth Pros- physical, hits hard, great along the boards, good skater, strong character, great work ethic, decent skill, good at both ends, hard to play against Cons- may top out as a 3rd liner, uncertain how much he will score at the NHL level NHL Comparison- Darren Helm Seth Ambroz, Right Wing Omaha Pros- size, skill, physical, good hands, prototypical power forward, extremely tallented Cons- inconsistent, skating needs work, doesn’t back check much, takes shifts off, doesn’t always use hi size NHL Comparison- Dustin Penner Rocco Grimaldi, Center USA U-18 Pros- good skater, excellent skill, makes everyone around him better, competes hard, plays in all situations, smart, good kid, pure scorer, dominates games Cons- size, size and more size NHL Comparison- Doug Gilmour Brett Ritchie, Right Wing Sarnia Pros- size, good skater, good hands, can bang and crash, good in front of the net, plays a solid 2-way game Cons- limited offence, take shifts off, lacks confidence NHL Comparison- Jamie Benn Daniel Catenacci, Center Sault Ste. Marie Pros- elite speed, fiercely competitive, unreal work ethic, natural leader, good skill, excellent 2-way player, best skater in the draft, good hockey sense, will do anything to win, good on face offs, hard to play against, strong on his skates, fearless, nasty, tough to play against Cons- a little small, tries to do to much at times, takes a few bad penalties, may top out as a 3rd line centre NHL Comparison- Derek Roy (but nastier) David Musil, Defenseman Vancouver Pros- size, good skater, a safe pick, smart, seems to make the right play all the time, shut down potential, hits, fights a bit, ok puck mover, good shot blocker, good PK guy Cons- limited skill, limited upside, may top out as a 4/5 D NHL Comparison- Dennis Seidenberg Adam Clendening, Defenseman Boston University Pros- excellent skill, great passer, great PP guy, good skater, smart, good leader, poised Cons- size, never going to be a great shut down guy NHL Comparison- Tobias Enstrom Ryan Sproul, Defenseman Sault Ste. Marie Pros- size, good skater, fast learner, good worth ethic, great shot, great at running a PP, high skill level Cons- inconsistent, needs to be better in his own end, skinny, needs to get stronger, could play more physical NHL Comparison- Brent Burns Jonas Brodin, Defenseman Farjestad Pros- smart, excellent 1st pass, good puck mover, solid in his own end, works hard, good skater, poised, controls the game Cons- skinny, may top out as a 4/5, shies away from contact a bit, shot needs work, needs to get stronger NHL Comparison- Kimmo Timonen Joel Armia, Right Wing Assat Pros- size, already playing against men, good skating, good hands, good skill, pure scorer Cons- doesn’t speak English very well, lazy on the back check, needs to get stronger, inconsistent NHL Comparison- Bobby Ryan Oscar Klefbom, Defenseman Farjestad Pros- size, leadership, solid in his own end, safe pick, stay at home type D, physical Cons- limited upside, skating is pretty average, could top out as a 5/6 D NHL Comparison- Douglas Murray Victor Rask, Center Leksand Pros- size, skill, good on face offs, dives the net well, hard shot, 2-way centre Cons- inconsistent, average skater NHL Comparison- Fredrick Modin Max Friberg, Left Wing Skovde Pros- great speed, very competitive, love the physical play, good skill, plays well at both ends, hits, blocks shots, always trying to improve, good PK and PP guy, hard to play against, great work ethic Cons- may top out as a 3rd liner, a bit small NHL Comparison- Ryan Callahan round 2-7 coming soon
  7. Max Friberg, LW, 5’11, 185, Skövde IK 34 Games, 13 Goals, 27Assists, 40 Points, 6 Pim Currently playing in Swedish Division 1 with Skövde IK By Ian Esplen If you could pick one word to describe Max Friberg, that word would be “hustle”. If you wanted to use two words, those words would be “work ethic”. He lists his father as his biggest influence in his hockey career, and the reason behind these two characteristics, “He taught me all about hard work, and that even if you’re not scoring and putting up points, you could always work hard.” It is because of these two characteristics, that Max Friberg is rising up scout’s lists, and may even find himself in the first round on draft day. For most of the past three seasons, Friberg has been a regular for Skövde IK in Sweden’s First division. Playing against men, Friberg has not looked out of place and has developed into one of the teams best players. In his first year as a 16 year old, he was promoted to the men’s club after scoring 52 points in 27 games against u-18 and u-20 competition. Once on the big club he struggled to get ice time because of his age. Despite his lack of playing time, Friberg remained one of the teams' hardest workers. In Friberg's second season with Skövde IK he would play a larger role. Despite being only 17, he would play his way into more ice time, and a spot on the team's top two lines. The physical edge he plays with made him an ideal penalty killer, and his high skill allowed him to play the power play. He finished the season with 30 points in 36 games, which was tops in the league for any player under 18. This season, despite being Skövde IK youngest player, Friberg has been even better. He finished second in team scoring and was one of their most reliable players. Friberg scored 40 points in 34 games for Skövde IK. Max's penalty totals might be the most impressive stat for his season. Friberg only took three minor penalties in 34 games, while being one of the teams' most physical players. Max Friberg has also represented Sweden very well over the past two years. He suited up for them at the World Under 18 Championships and scored 5 points in 6 games. Overall, he tallied 10 points in 15 games for Sweden's U-18 team, while being a solid 2-way player and providing a physical presence. A strong season last year, vaulted him into the picture for Sweden's world jr team this season. Friberg entered the season as a long shot for the team, but made it impossible to keep him off, with his strong play for Skövde IK, his relentless work ethic, and the edge that he plays with. While Friberg didn't see a ton of playing time in Buffalo, he did score one of the most impressive goals of the tournament, when he batted the puck in out of mid air against Canada. He also gave Sweden a physical presence by finishing every check and being extremely good in the corners. Friberg would finish the tournament with 2 goals in 6 games. Future Considerations had this report on Max Friberg, "One of the biggest surprises of the tournament. Not much was known about Friberg before his strong international showings of late as he was subject to very limited viewing before 10-11 but he has really jumped out especially with his performance in Buffalo. Coming from a division 1 team, Skovde IK, one thing is for sure; he has SEL skills. He is a quick darting winger with loads of energy, good hands and strong puck control at top speed. Despite being smallish, he weighs in at 180-pounds so he is not really tiny, he plays a feisty game where he is always involved and consistently generating chances. His quick feet, lightning fast release and willingness to engage physically with anyone are his best assets. His draft stock is sure to skyrocket after the performance he put forth in Buffalo." As good as Friberg has been on the ice this season, it is his attitude off the ice that will likely win over a few GM's at the NHL combine. When Max was asked a few questions in a recent interview, here is how he responded. "You are a skilled guy that is very aware at both ends of the ice, what do you see being your best attributes as a hockey player"? "My skating, hard work, and the way I shoot the puck, and make plays in the offensive zone. I also think I’m quite good at sacrificing my body for the team, like blocking shots". "Is there an NHLer you mold your game after"? "Not really, but I like players that not only score and not only hit, I like the ones which can do them both". "If you could pick the NHL team that selects you who would you choose"? "If there is a team that likes me, and picks me, I would love that team so it doesn't matter". "If you could have dinner with any 3 people you wanted, who would you pick"? "Wayne Gretzky, my dad, and Jessica Biel would get a seat as well". "What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod"? "Maybe the soundtrack from Miracle, some people think that makes me kind of a hockey geek". All these answers are sure to win over GM's, they show that he loves the game, and will do whatever it takes for his team to be successful. Overall, some may see Max Friberg as being a bit on the small side, but with his combination of heart, work ethic, and passion for the game, he should be able to overcome that. Max plays a simple game that involves him getting in hard on the forcheck, finishing his checks, getting pucks to the net and going to the net, which will make any coach happy. Friberg should one day be able to slot in on the second line and put up 50-65 points in the NHL and 200 plus hits. His assets are his passion, skill, work ethic, leadership, speed, shot blocking, and character. His only flaws are he doesn't look to have that superstar talent, and he may be a bit small to play a physical game at the NHL level. Max Friberg will be a steal for some GM at the draft in June. NHL Comparison- Ryan Callahan Works Cited http://dansallows.com/interview-max-friberg/ http://www.hockeywilderness.com/2011/1/12/1930538/on-the-rise-nhl-mock-draft-wild-select-max-friberg http://futureconsiderationsdotca.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/draft-eligibles-put-forth-mixed-performance-in-buffalo/
  8. Daniel Catenacci, C, 5’9, 180, Sault St. Marie Drafted 1st overall in the 2009 OHL Draft 65 games, 26 goals, 45 assists 71 points, -3 +/-, 113 pim By Ian Esplen Some will say Daniel Catenacci has been a disappointment so far in his OHL career. That is what happens when you go 1st overall in the draft, and fail to live up to the standards that Stamkos and Tavares have set for going 1st. Catenacci is a different type of player then those two, and should not be labeled a disappointment, in any sense of the word. His will to win at all cost, might be higher then anyone in this draft class. He is likely the best skater in the draft, an outstanding leader both on and off the ice, and he might be the best all around player in the draft. Catenacci spent the first few years of his life growing up in Italy, where his Father played Pro hockey. "It was funny to see him skate at 2, when he could hardly walk," says Maurice Catenacci. "I would bring him on the ice. He would fall, cry and wouldn't let me pick him up. He just wanted to skate." It was that will to succeed, that turned Daniel into the elite skater he is, and helped him dominate minor hockey with the York Simcoe Express, scoring 87 points in 39 games, while racking up over 100 penalty minutes. While playing with the York Simcoe Express, he would be voted most valuable forward at the all-Ontario AAA bantam championships, and awarded the most valuable player honour at a tournament in the Czech Republic. All the hard work paid off for Catenacci and he went number one overall in the OHL draft in 2009, to the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds. When asked how he felt about going to Sault St. Marie, a city that has had players demand trades after being drafted (Lindros, Mayer). Catenacci had this to say, “Choosing where you’re drafted isn’t right, wherever you’re selected, you’re selected. You’ve got to go somewhere to get to the next level. It doesn’t matter if it’s five minutes from home, you have to play hockey somewhere.” Catenacci’s first year with the Greyhounds was a little up and down. He managed only 30 points in 65 games. Despite his lack of offence, he was very strong in his own end and on faceoffs. From time to time he even found regular ice-time on the Greyhounds power play and penalty kill His strong play during his first Ontario Hockey League season, earned him a spot on team Ontario, for the 2010 World under 17 challenge. At the tournament, Daniel played the fearless brand on hockey he is rapidly becoming known for. He finished every hit he had a chance, and despite being one of the smaller players he had some of the biggest hits in the tournament. He ended up posting 5 points in 6 games in helping team Ontario to a silver medal. His strong play for Team Ontario earned him an invite to Team Canada’s Under 18 Summer camp. At that camp, Catenacci earned a spot on the team by showing he had all the little things coaches look for. He was the best skater in camp, using his speed to create all kinds of turnovers. Again, despite his size, he hit everyone he could and showed no fear of players he was giving up 30-40 pounds on, not only knocking them off the puck but off their skates. He was also the best face off player at camp, and displayed a ton of character and work ethic. At the Hlinka tournament, Catenacci played with the edge he is becoming known for, and finished second on the team in penalty minutes, and tied for 4th in points. This season started with Catenacci trying to improve on last year. “I put a lot of pressure on myself last year to perform well,” Catenacci said, “and I think it messed up my head a bit mentally. I let the pressure get to me.” So far this year the pleasure has not gotten to him. He has been one of the most complete players for the Greyhounds. He often leads the teams forwards in minutes played, and is key to their power play and penalty kill. His strong play lead to an invite to the Home Hardware Prospects game, where he won the fastest skater completion, and scored a great shorthanded goal on a breakaway. Daniel Catenacci has all the tools to be a very good NHL hockey player. Whether he ends up as a first line centre, or a second line centre will depend on the supporting cast he has around him, but he should be a good one. His assets are his fierce competitiveness, all world skating, skill, vision, athletic ability, faceoff skill, 2-way play, and smarts. His only flaws are his size, and he takes some very undisciplined penalties sometimes because of the passion he plays with. NHL Comparison- Faster Derek Roy, with more of an edge Works Cited http://www.thestar.com/article/article/561450 http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/full_story.asp?StoryNumber=39108 http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/36083-The-Hot-List-Calming-Catenacci.html
  9. Ty Rattie, LW, 5’11, 170, Portland Drafted 2nd overall in the WHL Bantam Draft 52 games, 22 goals, 43 assists 65 points, +18 +/-, 41 pim By Ian Esplen When you watch the Winterhawks play, Ty Rattie may not stand out at first. He's not that big (5'11, 170). He's not that fast either. However, he will likely be in the right place at the right time most of the night. Some scouts will tell you that Rattie may be a step to slow, but his coach thinks not. "I remember when the Sedins (Henrik and Daniel) came into the (NHL) and they weren’t the greatest skaters, but their vision allowed them to make plays that others couldn’t. I think Ty’s a little bit like that. He has the capabilities of making plays that other people don’t,” said former Canucks associate coach Mike Johnston (Mitchell). Rattie grew up just north of Calgary, in Airdrie Alberta. He came up, in the Airdrie minor hockey program as one of the best scorers the province has ever seen. In his last year of Bantam hockey, he would break the provincial Bantam scoring record, by scoring 75 goals and 132 points. A very impressive accomplishment, considering the talent Alberta has produced over the years. After dominating Bantam, he would play one season of midget hockey, scoring 54 points (29 goals) in 34 games for the UFA Bisons AAA midget club. The following season, Rattie would suit up full time for the Portland Winterhawks, the team that selected him 2nd overall, in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft. Rattie started out a bit slow because of a hand injury in the preseason, but by the end of the year he was one of the Winterhawks top forwards. He finished the season with 37 points, in 61 games, while he learned how to be better in his own zone, and play better without the puck. His plus ten ranking was very good for a rookie on a young team. This season Rattie is playing even better, and is arguably the top forward a Winterhawks team that includes two top 5 pick. His play in his own end seems to get better by the game, and he no longer shies away from the physical side of the game. Rattie is even tops on his team in scoring, with 65 points in 52 games. Rattie has also suited up for Canada internationally. He stared for team Pacific at the u-17 Hockey Challenge, scoring 9 points, in 5 games. Rattie was in on an amazing 45% of his team’s goals for the tournament, as well as, playing solid in all three zones. This past August he was invited to try out for Canada’s u-18 team, but he was one of the last cuts, despite having a decent camp. TSR had this to say about Rattie, a player who they have at number 20 for their mid-season rankings, “since his huge October, he has seen his point per game total dip after posting 23 points in 12 October games. There is no question that Rattie has the potential to be a top 6 forward in the NHL one day. Rattie is an above average skater who sees the play extremely well and is very skilled at creating quality chances in the offensive zone. He also has the scoring touch to finish off those opportunities (TSR). While scouts differ in their opinions of Rattie’s skating, most of them will agree, that he has a lot of skill. He’s also a very smart player, who finds himself in the right spot to score, and will usually convert it. His assets are his great work ethic, hockey smarts, high-end skill, good shot, and his willingness to battle. His flaws are his skating is good but not great, he still forgets about the defensive zone from time to time, and he may not be able to play as physical as he does in junior at the NHL level. Overall Rattie should be able to play in the NHL for a long time, and have a few 30 goal/65 point’s seasons along the way. NHL Comparison-Milan Hejduk Works Cited http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/11763/beyond_tomorrow_ty_rattie/ http://www.thescoutingreport.org/tsrs-2011-midterm-top-60-skaters-130/
  10. Victor Rask, C, 6’1, 195, Leksand, 35 Games, 5 Goals, 6 Assists, 11 Points, 8 pim Currently playing in the Allsvenskan with Leksand By Ian Esplen Victor Rask is having a yo-yo season. A player that was top 10 on most draft list when the season started, dropped to middle of the second round, and is now clawing his way back into the first round. Rask as everything you would look for in an NHL centre. He’s big, fast, smart, and skilled. For some reason, he had a slow start to the season, and looked like a shadow of the player he was last year. Rask grew up in the small Swedish town of Leksand (5,100 people). He learnt the game of hockey in Leksand, and moved up through the ranks fast. It was not unusual for him to play against older kids and hold his own with them. He was playing in J-18 games as young as 15 (almost 16). Despite being one of the younger players in the league he would score 15 points in 26 games. The next season, he would move up and play most of the year for Lesand’s J-20 team. Again being fairly young for that level of hockey, he would succeed, scoring 41 points in 39 games, against mostly older players. His strong play at the J-20 level, earned him a promotion to the men’s team where he would suit up for 8 games in the Allsvenskan. Even thought he didn’t score, Rask played very solid against men. This season Rask started out slow, having a disappointing Ivan Hlinka tournament, and playing on Lesand’s forth line. The struggles served as a wake call for Rask, who realized he had to step it up if he wanted more ice time. The last two months Rask has responded to all the criticism by stepping up his game. He now play’s regularly on Lesand’s team, and gets ice time on Leksand’s second power play unit. Even with his ups and downs, this season, Rask has played a solid game in all three zones and learned from his mistakes. He has scored 11 points in 35 games and is up to fifth in league scoring for junior players. Rask has also played for Sweden internationally the past few seasons. He would get his first taste playing at the U-16 level. There he would play solid again, but in a minimal role for Sweden, scoring 5 points in 11 games. His next tournament putting on the Tre Kronor, he would play a bigger roll. Playing against player his own age, Rask, would score 8 points in 6 games, and help Sweden to a bronze medal. Next he would play for Sweden again at the U-18 World championships. There, despite being a year younger then most of the players, he would score 5 points in 6 games, helping Sweden win the silver medal. Matias Strozyk has this to say about Rask “He’s a forward with excellent puck handling and a very good finisher, who protects the puck well. He has a lot of strength and moves well. Rask is a very creative player with good work ethic” (Eliteprospects). This report on Rask is from Bruins Draft Watch, “ A Superb passer and playmaker has the size, skating and creativity to be a point’s machine in the NHL someday. Plays with some jam and goes hard to the net; more of a setup man than a finisher, but has a hard, heavy shot and isn't afraid to let it rip. Rask is an excellent stickhandler who can take the puck into traffic and come out with it. He thinks the offensive side of the game real well and has that instinctiveness you want in a top-six centerman. …"I like Rask a lot," an NHL scout said. "He's got very quick hands and the ability to set up plays because he's creative and knows how to find his teammates ” (BDW). Victor Rask should develop into a very good NHL player one day. All he needs to do is play more consistent. His assets are his size, skating, on ice intelligence, and skill. He is also a very strong faceoff man. His flaws are his inconsistent play and his first few strides when skating. One thing that does bowed well for Rask is he seems to play his best hockey in the spring. So, he has the makings of being a clutch playoff performer, one day. If Rask can play more consistent, he should be able to be a number two centre in the NHL, or a 1A option for some teams. NHL Comparison- Mikko Koivu Works Cited http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=15747〈=en http://bruins2011draftwatch.blogspot.com/2010/09/b2011dws-official-european-2010-11.html
  11. Jean-François Leblanc, C, 6’4, 192, Val-d’Or 43 games, 15 goals, 23 assists, 38 points, -17 +/- 24 pim Drafted 4th overall in the 2009 QMJHL draft By Ian Esplen Jean-François Leblanc is an interesting player to NHL scouts and General Managers. He is 6’4 192 pounds and skates very well. He is a solid player in all three zones and he thinks the games extremely well. He has soft hand and a fairly high skill level. What makes his interesting is that for some reason he has yet to become a star in the QMJHL when he possesses all the tools to do so. Jean-François Leblanc grew up staring in the St-Hyacinthe Minor Hockey Association. At the age of 15 he would be one of only 28 Quebec hockey players to receive a $1000 scholarship from the Montreal Canadiens. The scholarships are selected based on their on-ice performances, and academic achievements at the high school or collegiate levels. He was then drafted 4th overall by the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the 2009 Quebec League draft, and would start playing for them the following season. In his first year, the big centre would not get a lot if ice time for the Foreurs. Even with his lack of playing time, he was a solid two-way player for the team, recording 16 points (7 goals) in 61 games. His play that season was good enough to earn an invite to play for Team Quebec at the World Under 17 Challenge. Despite a 6th place finish for team Quebec, Leblanc, would score 6 points in the 5 games. It was because of this strong tournament, that Leblanc would get an invite to Canada’s Summer U-18 camp. Despite a strong camp he would not make the team. Not making Team Canada must have lite a fire in Leblanc, as he has been terrific this season for the Foreurs. He has secured a spot in their top 6 forwards, and is playing very well in both the offensive and defensive zones. He has also been an above average face off man for them. His 38 points rank second on the team, and have been a pleasant surprise as most people figured him as more of a defensive player. Jean-François Leblanc has all the tools to be a solid 3rd line centre, which can occasionally play in the top 6. He’s a big player who would make a great “net presence” on the power play. His assets are size, good skater (for his size), face offs, intelligence and skill. His flaws are he could play more physical; he needs to work on his quickness and his first step. If Leblanc works hard over the next few season he should have a solid NHL career. NHL comparison- Jarret Stoll
  12. Patrick Koudys, D, 6’4, 200, Rensselaer Drafted in the 7th round, 124th overall by the Oshawa Generals 20 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, 6 pim, -3 +/- By Ian Esplen Patrick Koudys might be one of the rawest talents available in this years’ draft. The 6’4, 210 pound defenseman has the size, skating, and skill that NHL general managers look for. Unfortunately for Koudys, general managers have not seen much of him this year because he is seeing very limited ice time as Rensselaer’s sixth defenseman. Koudys grew up in Stony Creek Ontario, where he played in the Stoney Creek Minor Hockey Association. While his achievement’s on the ice are impressive, his achievement’s off the ice, are maybe more impressive. He attended St. Martin of Tours School in 2006, where he was awarded Highest Male Academic standing award (93% avg), the Leadership award, Male Athlete of the Year, the Christian Fellowship Award and the Historica Regional Advancement award. If all that wasn’t enough, he was also the captain of basketball, baseball, cross-country, track and field, volleyball, and soccer teams. He would then move on to Attended Blessed Trinity Secondary School for three years, where he would be their Defensive MVP all three years, and an Honor Roll student. Koudys was drafted 124th overall, by the Oshawa Generals, in the 2009 OHL draft, but chose to follow the same route as his father’s cousin and go to Rensselaer. Before he would go to Rensselaer, he would spend one season with the Burlington Cougars. During that year, he would be one of the Cougars best players, scoring 5 goals and 33 points. He was also the Cougars most reliable defenseman, being named the teams Most Promising Player, Top Defenseman, and Rookie of the Year. Koudys was also named the Ontario Hockey Association Top Prospect, that season. This past summer, Koudys, was invited to attend the NHL’s research and development camp. Here is what he had to say about his experience there. “It was unbelievable for me just to be on the same ice with those players. Being there really made me realize that I have a shot to do well and that if I work hard, I could possibly be able to play in the NHL, which has always been a dream for me. It was almost surreal” (Lennie). When asked about his coaches, Koudys said this “Hitchcock and King are obviously known in the NHL and all around the hockey world. It was unbelievable just to be able to learn from these great minds in the game. It was a really good learning experience for me” (Lennie). Overall, Patrick Koudys is still very raw, and needs to play more in order to develop to his full potential. His assets are his size, skill, skating, great athletic ability and Intelligence. His flaws are he is still learning to play the game, he needs to play more physical, and will need some time to develop. If Rensselaer gives him more playing time and allows him to go through his growing pains Koudys should become a top 4 defenseman one day, but he needs to find more playing time somewhere for this to happen. NHL comparison- Dennis Seidenberg Work Cited http://www.stoneycreeknews.com/news/article/217848
  13. Vladislav Namestnikov, C, 6’0, 160, London Selected 20th overall in the 2010 CHL import draft 40 games, 18 goals, 23 assists, 41 points, +15+/-, 20 pim By Ian Esplen Vladislav Namestnikov was born in Russia, but spent a lot of his early childhood years in North America. He traveled from city to city, while his father (Evgeny Namestnikov) tried to make it to the National hockey league, like his uncle Vyacheslav Kozlov. Growing up in North America did have its perks for Namestnikov. He would learn to speak flawless English at a young age, which would make his transition to the OHL an easy one. At about the age of eight, Namestnikov, returned home to Russia to play the game there. It was there, that Namestnikov would start making a name for him self as one of the best 1992 born Russians in the country. He would move on from minor hockey to play internationally for Russia, and in their senior leagues against men at a young age. At the world under 17 challenge, despite a disappointing 2-3 record for Russia, he would score 10 points in 5 games (8 of them goals) and finish tied for third in points. His highlight of the tournament coming in a game against team Atlantic, where he would score four goals. Namestnikov would suit up for Russia again at the World Under 18 Championships. While his team did better finishing forth, it was still short of their expectations of winning gold. Namestnikov would finish with 7 points in 7 games, good for a 12th place tie in scoring for the tournament. Before coming to London, Namestnikov was playing against men in Russia’s 2nd division. While playing with Khimik Voskresensk, he would score 17 points in 26 games (11 of them goals). Once is London, Namestnikov would establish himself as one of their top 6 forwards. His 41 points show that he is very dangerous at the offensive end, but what cannot go over looked is his solid play in his own end as well. While he may not be the biggest player, he is extremely smart and uses his positioning and speed to cause turnovers. "Vladislav has all the skills and talent to be a great player," says E.J. McGuire, the NHL's director of central scouting. "He has a high understanding of the game and an ability to make things happen. And he compensates for a lack of size with straight-ahead speed"(Curtis). Namestnikov is a very skilled forward, who can play centre or wing. His assets are his effortless skating, high skill, and smarts. Namestnikov is also very solid in all 3 zones and works hard on the back check. His only real flaw is his strength, and he can be knocked off the puck easy. This should improve over time as he becomes stronger. He has been compared to Igor Larionov, which is pretty accurate, but he should be more of a goal scorer. NHL comparison- Igor Larionov (with more goals) Works Cited http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/blog?name=nhl_draft&id=5579711&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnhl%2fblog%3fname%3dnhl_draft%26id%3d5579711
  14. Tomas Jurco, RW 6"2 190 Saint John Sea Dogs Drafted 4th overall in the 2009 CHL import draft 34 games, 18 goals, 15 assists, 33points, 8 pim, +26 +/- By Ian Esplen Tomas Jurco came to Saint John last year with one dream, the dream of making it to the NHL one day. After a season in a half, he appears to be well on his way to making that dream a reality, in the near future. Since bursting into the QMJHL last season, he has electrified crowds with his stick handling and shoot out moves. He is one players in this draft class to watch at all times, as he will likely make you say "wow" at least once a game. Growing up in Kosice Slovakia, Jurco would learn the game at his local rink. He would work on his skills every day in hopes of making it to the NHL, like his hero's Crosby, Hossa and Gaborik. His hard work paid off, as he became a YouTube sensation, in a video that shows just how much skill he has. Jurco is not a player that is all flash and no substance. At the age of 16 he would lead the Slovakian under 20 league in scoring with 54 points in 51 games. As a result of his strong play, Jurco was chosen to represent Slovakia at the 2009 world under 17 challenge. He would go on to dominate the tournament, and be his team’s best player. He posted 7 points in 5 games, while not looking the least bit intimidated by the more physical North American game. He would again represent Slovakia that spring, at the World Under 18 Championships. Again playing against some of the best 18-year-old players in the world, he played well, scoring 5 points in 6 games. This past Christmas Jurco played again for Slovakia at the World Jr. Championships. While he didn't see a ton of playing time, he did manage to play mistake free hockey on their 4th line and chip in a goal in his 6 games. For the past season and a half, Jurco has been playing with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec League. In that time he has learnt to speak very good English and play on the small ice surface. In his first season in the league, he scored 51 points in 64 regular season games. Jurco took his game to another level in the playoffs, scoring 17 points in 21 games, being one of the teams best players, and helping them get to the league final. This season Jurco has been even better. He's playing very well at both ends of the rink, and is amongst the league leaders in plus/minus, with a plus 26 rating. He is also scoring some big goals for his team and is averaging almost a point a game. To paraphrase, Mike Kelly, Director of hockey operations for the Saint John Sea Dogs “Tomas was not used to the North American game when he came over, but he has learnt fast. He already had great puck skills, but he has really learnt how to play on the boards very well, also. Out of all our players, he has had one of the sharpest learning curves, and that's not including the fact he came over from another country, and the differences he's experienced there. I think he's going to be a top 6 forward in the NHL, but he's also going to be a real character guy who will pay the price to score. Now that he speaks English, he is a lot of fun to be around. He’s one of the guys on the team who is extremely hungry to get better. He's always asking for advice and wanting videos of the games to take home. Always working on his game and extremely focused"(Kelly). One scout had this report on Jurco. " A big body who can put the puck in the net…skates well with good straight line speed but lacks that separation gear…has good lateral quickness, balance and handles the puck extremely well…has a nice shot with very good velocity…lacks a little in offensive creativity but is a strong finishing compliment to a play making centre…not overly physical by nature but does not back down from physical battles for the puck"(Stewart). Overall, the flashy Slovakian, should become an NHL regular, and be bringing crowds to their feet real soon. Jurco assets are his great work ethic, drive, stick handling (maybe the best in the draft), skill and shot. His flaws are he needs to get stronger, become a bit better in his own end, and work on becoming more explosive. Jurco should be able to develop into a 30-goal scorer that plays hard for his team. NHL comparison- Alexei Kovalev (with out the drama) Works Cited http://futureconsiderationsdotca.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/2468/
  15. Tyler Biggs, Right Wing, 6"2 200, USDP Committed to University of Miami Ohio 39th overall in bantam draft by Oshawa 31 games, 10 goals, 8 assists, 18 points, 88 pim By Ian Esplen Growing up in Cincinnati, the son of a local hockey legend, Tyler Biggs has always had big shoes to fill. Lucky for Biggs, he's used to big things. Big things, like being on the big stage, and playing for the United States at the U-17 tournament. Big goals, like the one he scored to win the United States the gold medal. Big hits and fights, like the ones he’s been involved in this season for the United States Under 18 team, while sticking up for teammates. Big pressure, that comes with wearing the "C" for the United States. Biggs has taken all these things in stride which is why he should be drafted at this June’s Draft. Biggs grew up in Cincinnati, where his dad, a Minnesota North Stars draft pick, would star for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the IHL. Don Biggs, would go on to set 30 team records while playing and have his #22 retired by the Cyclones. While Don was leading the Cyclones, Tyler was learning his skills in the Cincinnati minor hockey association. After dominating all the local kids, Tyler needed a new challenge. Biggs moved on to star with the famed Toronto Jr. Canadiens, of the Toronto Minor hockey Association. There, Biggs would go on to put up 40 goals and 86 points in 72 games during the 08/09 season. He was then drafted 39th overall by the Oshawa Generals in the Bantam draft. Tyler decided to pass on the OHL and joined the United States development program for the 2009/10 season. In his first year playing against older players Biggs did not look out of place at all. He put up 11 points in 24 games that season. After his first season, Biggs had minor hip surgery to fix his aching hip. In his second year with the USDP, Biggs was named captain. As captain, Biggs is having another solid year, recording 18 points in 31 games. He has also been involved in plenty of fights, while sticking up for teammates. Red line report scout, Max Giese, had this to say about Biggs. "He's right up there (at the top of the USHL list) and could be the best choice of this bunch to be a good pro," Giese told B2011DW. "He's a fast, mean, physical in-your-face guy with some leadership qualities. If there's a knock on him it's that he doesn't have the real skills or finesse to his game, and he doesn't always bring that competitiveness on every shift. The consistency is not always there"(Bruins DW). NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee also gave his opinions on Biggs. “Biggs is another young player who has taken on the job as leader of his team, and does most of their fighting when they have to fight, if not all of it,” Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee told NHL.com. “I think the responsibility for standing up for teammates has taken a little away from his offensive finish … wearing that ‘C’ and doing those things. My gut feeling is that he’s on an uphill path”(Peters). Biggs should make some GM very happy on draft day and turn out to be a quality NHL player. His assets are his character, grit, toughness, leadership, size, skating and skill. His flaws are he maybe limited to being one of those character 2nd/3rd liner and he can disappear for parts of a game. Overall Biggs should be able to develop into a character player that teammates love while scoring 20-30 goals. NHL comparison- David Backes Works cited http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2011/01/10/top-americans-in-nhl-central-scouting-mid-term-rankings/ http://bruins2011draftwatch.blogspot.com/2010/11/central-scouting-preliminary-rankings_27.html