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2009 NHL Mock Draft

As the NHL Draft quickly comes upon us, I have put together a mock draft of what fans can expect when the picks are made. Know this though, there will be trades of picks and some selections that will make you scratch your head but here is my best guess.

#1 – New York Islanders – Victor Hedman – D – This may come as a shock to some but the Islanders can’t miss with this pick as they try to rebuild. Tavares has more questions to him than does Hedman. Hedman will be able to step right in and help anchor their defensive corp that needs help. A smart franchise builds their team from the goaltender out. With DiPietro in net, they have to start building a solid defense in front of him so they can quit picking in the lottery every year.

#2 – Tampa Bay Lightning – John Tavares – C – This would be a nightmare scenerio for the Lightning as they have their heart set on Hedman. This set up would put into motion possibly a couple things. One, would be trading Vinnie LeCavalier and building their defense through a trade, most likely with Montreal. The other would be trading the pick to Toronto where they could get some defenseman (possibly Luke Schenn) and then picking up a center at #7 which could be Brayden Schenn. Trying to figure out what the Lightning will do with this ownership group is almost impossible but to the best I can figure, this would be the avenue they would go.

#3 – Colorado Avalanche – Matt Duchene – C – Joe Sakic’s replacement falls right into the Avs laps. Duchene is a do it all type of player. Skates very well, great shot with a quick release, can play the roll of playmaker, defensively sound and loves to compete. Sounds like Sakic to me.

#4 – Atlanta Thrashers – Evander Kane – C – A dinamic player that is a scorer supreme. 48 goals and 96 points in 61 games this year with the Vancouver Giants. He is a strong player that is a magician with the puck on his stick. He will get to the net and also help set up his wingers. Defense might be a better way to go for the Thrashers but they can’t let this kid slip by.

#5 – Los Angeles Kings – Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi – LW – Kings are in the enviable position of picking the best player as they are loaded with young talent. Svensson-Paajarvi is a very fast and fluid skater that has been compared to other Swedes by the names of Forsberg, Sundin and Naslund. Also have seen him compared to Hossa. Most consider him closer to Naslund as offense is first on the young Swedes mind and defense suffers because of it. The Kings will be able to correct that as you can coach defense but you can’t coach speed.

#6 – Phoenix Coyotes – Jared Cowen – D – This huge defenseman is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Yotes. The 6’5″ beast will be a shut down defenseman in the coming years but Cowen will need some seasoning. This does a couple of things for the Desert Dogs, first is getting some help on the backend where they suffer. They have a lot of offensive talent but need help on the defensive zone. The other will be saving money! Either by letting him season somewhere else next year or playing him with an entry level contract. This money straped team will to save a dime any way they can that is unless Jim Basille’s group buys it and then all bets are off.

#7 – Toronto Maple Leafs – Brayden Schenn – C – If the Leafs can’t get Tavares, this is who they want. This would pair up the Schenn brothers of Luke and Brayden but don’t think for a second that their games are similar. Luke is a shutdown defenseman and Brayden is a center that loves to score. Brayden had 32 goals and 88 points on what might have been the most dynamic line in all of juniors. The line consisted of Schenn, Scott Glennie (who also will be a 1st round choice this year) and Blue Jackets draft choice from last year Matt Calvert. Don’t be shocked if both Schenn brothers would be on the opening night lineup for the Leafs if it plays out this way.

#8 – Dallas Stars – Zack Kassian – RW – a power forward with a ton of sand paper to his game. He is not the fastest skater in this draft by far but does a lot of the other parts of the game well. He tripled his scoring out put from the year previous with 24 goals and 63 points. Some have compared him to Brenden Morrow but with his willingness to fight, he may be a slightly more skilled Jared Boll.

#9 – Ottawa Senators – Oliver Ekman-Larrson – D – The Sens already have said they are looking at a Swede defenseman that they believe is better than Hedman. Most think they are talking about Ekman-Larrson. A pure puck moving defenseman, has great hockey sense, moves the puck well, very good skater and is very poised. The problem with him is that he is very slight and has problems playing physical.

#10 – Edmonton Oilers – Dmitry Kulikov – D – If I couldn’t get Hedman, this is the guy that I would want. The top rated Russian, played this year in Drummondville and certainly helped his drafted stock. 6’1″ and 195 pounds, he has enough size to play physical when needed but he is a puck moving defenseman that loves to score. Had 62 points in 57 games this year. Very good skater that understands that he has to play both ends of the ice. This would be a great pickup for the Oilers.

#11 – Nashville Predators – Carter Ashton – RW – This might be a little early for Ashton but when you think of the Preds and Barry Trotz type of player, it’s Ashton. The kid has a motor that won’t stop and he went and proved it at the combine. On the VO2 max test at the combine, Ashton was the only player to complete the 17 minute ordeal. Ashton isn’t a all motor no skill grinder. He scored 30 goals this year with Lethbridge. That’s not to say he won’t play physical and get to the dirty areas because he will. Ashton sure sounds like a Trotz type of player to me!

#12 – Minnesota Wild – Jordan Schroeder – C – I put Schroeder here but this is a player that has a very good chance to slide a long way down. He has plenty of skill and speed but he is very small at 5’8″ and 175 pounds. The biggest part that might make him slide is how he came across to GM’s at the combine. Reports are out that he didn’t impress many scouts during the interview sessions. The reason I have Schroeder going here is that it’s a new day with the Wild with the change over and Schroeder being a Minnesota Gopher has given them more time to get to know the kid. If he isn’t picked here, watch him slide like you saw with Angelo Esposito after Montreal passed on him at 12 also and he slid to 20 when the Penguins grabbed him. 

#13 – Buffalo Sabres – John Moore – D – It’s either Ellis or Moore here and the Sabres will go with possibly the best skater in the draft and also has size to help their blue line corp. At 6’2″ and 189 pounds, he can dish out the physical part but he is an offensive defenseman through and through. The way the Sabres love speed, this is the pick for them plus they like players that can score which Moore can do. He was the USHL’s defenseman of the year after he registering 14 goals and 39 points in 57 games.

#14 – Florida Panthers – Simon Despres – D – With the prospect of losing Jay Bouwmeester, Despres might be their poor man’s replacement. 6’4″ and 205 pounds, he has the frame to put on 25 more pounds and needs to put it in his upper body. He is a mobile defenseman but he will always be considered a shutdown defenseman. He likes to play physical but he is going to need a couple of years of seasoning to get him ready for the NHL.

#15 – Anaheim Ducks – Louis Leblanc – C – The Ducks like their forwards big, Leblanc is slight now at 6 foot and 178 pounds but has the frame to fill out and be another big center that the Ducks love. They also will love the way that Leblanc separates from his defenders and also the way he can control the puck.Leblanc’s scoring is also something that won’t break the Ducks’ heart as he put in 28 goals and 59 points in 60 games for the Omaha Lancers. He is also obviously smart as he is headed to Harvard to complete his seasoning. He won’t be there long if he continues to fill out and develop.   

#16
– Columbus Blue Jackets – Jacob Josefson – C – The Jackets could go after the defenseman Ellis here as he has slid but the lack of center prospects in the system and Ellis’s size made me go with a center. For me it came down to 2 centers; Kreider and Josefson. For me, when you have 2 prospects that close I will take the one that has been playing against men as Josefson has played on the Djurgarden’s senior elite team versus Kreider who is playing high school hockey. On the scouting reports you hear things that make Head Coach Ken Hitchcock excited. Excellent 2 way player with very good defensive responsibilities, strong on the puck, moves his feet well and isn’t afraid to play physical. He is more of a playmaker and sees the ice well to set up his teammates. 

#17 - St. Louis Blues – Ryan Ellis – D – A crazy gifted offensive defenseman as the 22 goals and 89 points for the Windsor Spitfires will attest. The big knock on Ellis is his size at 5’9″ and 173 pounds, he could struggle against bigger competition. He keeps proving his sceptics wrong though and that could continue. He has a very good right handed shot and has the ability to get it to the net from the point. His coach from the Spitfires says he already has a NHL quality one timer and slap shot. That wouldn’t disappoint the Blue at all!

#18 – Montreal Canadiens – Scott Glennie – RW – The Habs won’t be able to pass up on Glennie if he falls this far. Great skater and scorer and E.J. McGuire, from Central Scouting, says he has offensive ability similar to Jonathan Cheechoo and Jonathan Toews. He had 28 goals and 70 points in 55 regular season games, then backed it up with 18 points in 12 playoff games. Glennie is a pure scorer and loves nothing more than to tickle the twine.

#19 – New York Rangers – Nazem Kadri – C – If Kadri matures his game and physically, the Rangers could be selecting a dynamic scoring center. In the playoffs he had 21 points in 14 games. That’s how you want your players to step up and that’s when it counts the most. Kadri has good wheels and a great shot. He knows how to finish.

#20 - Calgary Flames – Chris Kreider – C – This will be a boom or bust pick. Plus your going to have to wait to find out. Kreider is only a junior in high school. He is a dominant player on that level but it’s hard to figure out how good he really is just due to the level of competition. The one thing that you do know is that he is a great skater with top level speed and exceleration. The part scouts and GM’s won’t know is how does his 33 goals and 56 points in only 26 games translate to much higher competition. The Flames with this pick will have to wait until at least 2010 to find out.

#21 – Philadelphia Flyers – Matthew Hackett – G – Flyers need to start grooming a goaltender. Hackett is where they can start. Hacket is the nephew of former NHL goaltender Jeff Hackett who is currently the goaltending coach for the Colorado Avalanche (don’t hold that against him). At 6’2″, he is a fairly big goalie with very good technique. Seems to be poised in the net and also has very good net coverage. Flyers have to start developing their own goaltending and you can’t expect a “Steve Mason” type arrivial. Most tenders take time. So there is no time like the present to get started.

#22 – Vancouver Canucks – Tim Erixon – D – Another prospect with NHL blood lines. Tim’s father was Jan Erixon who played with the Rangers for 10 seasons. The younger Erixon compares with his father as he is a defenseman that can handle the puck, lead the rush and also support it on the back side. He has brains and braun, Erixon is 6’2″ and 190 pounds and could easily add 30 pounds no problem but he uses his brains with that size also.

#23 – New Jersey Devils – David Rundblad – D – Another skilled defenseman that played with Erixon in Sweden this year. Rundblad loves to carry the puck end to end. He also has a very good shot from the point and being right handed comes in handy on the power play. He is a pretty smart player but seems to avoid physical play even though he is 6’2″ and 189 pounds. If the Devils get that part of his game worked out, they will have a pretty good 2 way defenseman.

#24 – Washington Capitals – Stefan Elliott – D – A good all around defenseman, some think that his offensive skill is underestimated and very close to being as good as Ellis. He is better though at making that good first pass out of the zone and supporting the rush versus going end to end with the puck. He can score though and had 55 points in 71 games this year. He is also considered a pretty good skater.

#25 – Boston Bruins – Landon Ferraro – C – More NHL bloodlines showing up in the first round. Landon is the son of Ray Ferraro who played for the Whalers, Islanders, Rangers, Kings, Thrashers and Blues. The “Little Ball of Hate” can score goals and did with a team with lesser talent on it with Red Deer. He had 37 goals but is best known for his defensive prowess. Even though he hasn’t played in a system that would allow him to show his scoring ability as much, he is well ahead of the curve on what has to be done defensively by centers in the NHL.

#26 – New York Islanders – Peter Holland – C – The Isle went safe with their first selection of Hedman but would be taking a big risk with Holland. His draft stock has been in free fall as he went from the #9 North American Skater mid-term with Central Scouting to #19. Now reports are out that he didn’t interview very well at the combine. Here is a quote from Chris Edwards of Central Scouting, “When he is competing, he is very noticeable and effective.” What jumped out at me was the “When he is competing…” Not the type of line that makes you want to jump and pick a player. He has all the physical skill though and could turn out to be very good but he also could turn out to be nothing more than an AHL player.

#27 – Carolina Hurricanes – Nick Leddy – D – Mr. Hockey from the state of Minnesota, this high school stand out is a fantastic skater that is on the same level as John Moore. Leddy has a pretty strong shot from the point and his coaches actually would like him to shoot more. Leddy is only 5’11” but added 15 pounds of muscle from his junior year to senior year. He still needs to become stronger and I am sure the Minnesota Gophers, where he will attend next year, strength coaches will make sure of that.

#28 – Chicago Blackhawks – Philippe Paradis – C – this left handed shooting center already has a NHL caliber slap shot as he showed in the CHL Top Prospects event where he whistled a shot at 95.7mph to win the event. Most think he has more scoring talent than what he has shown. He has good size at 6’1″ and 196 pounds and could round out to be a pretty good power forward. 

#29 – Pittsburgh Penguins – Kyle Palmieri – RW – The Pens are in desperate need of wingers to compliment there ridiculous skill at center. Palmieri could help them as he is a very passionate player that also has a lethal shot. Jack Barzee from Central Scouting compares him to Chris Drury. Pens would take a Drury beside Crosby or Malkin and especially at pick #29.  

#30 – Detroit Red Wings – Carl Klingberg – LW – If the auto industry continues to struggle, don’t be surprised if the Red Wings relocate to Stockholm. They have a “Sweden Pipeline” that is the envy of every team in the league. They know how to find them and then develop them. Should be no different with Klingberg. At 6’3″ and 205, Klingberg can skate like the wind with a good work ethic and very good attitude. Now if he will sign a long term contract for half price, he would sound exactly like a Red Wing player.

Here are my picks. I will tell you that from 8 to about 40, it’s almost totally on teams personnel choice. A lot of the prospects are lumped together. 1 through 7 are more clearly defined but even then, there is debate over the first choice. 

Let me know what you think and I look forward to seeing your comments.

Fire The Cannon!

Eric Smith
JacketsBuzz@yahoo.com

2 Comments

  1. CHUNKBOX

    June 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    KILLER WORK ! and thanks alot for all the info … i for one cant wait for this off season to get kicked into high gear… and to see who my blue jackets land to help us push deeper into the playoffs

  2. Bill Placzek

    June 11, 2009 at 2:09 am

    They may not go to in these slots to these teams, as the recent two drafts have shown us the kids usually go around where they should, with some NHL clubs making a case if they think there is a need and last minute elevators never go to the top, but they do crack the top ten. With further do-do (ah,adieu) I present,

    The Wizards 2009 NHLMock Draft
    by Bill Placzek

    1. New York Islanders – John Tavares, forward 6 foot, 1/4 187 lbs.
    The recent past suggests the Isles willingness to trade out to secure more picks (as they did in the 2008 trade downs) because picks are now Cap number stabilizers, if you do get a player capable of helping out anywhere on your roster. I don’t think last year is any indication of their venturing out of the top three slots this year picking first. They might send try to misinform Tampa and Colorado on who they really want, hoping to snooker an extra pick to take the player the Isles really want and let the trading partner get the player they want. Even if John Tavares is a one zone, average speed skater, you cannot teach goal scoring skills, so you take him here, unless the offer is so good you have to be tempted to move out.

    2. Tampa Bay Lightning – Victor Hedman, left defense 6 Foot six, 220 lbs.
    I don’t see them going anywhere else if JT is gone at #1. Matt Duchene is a great player but far too similar to Steven Stamkos. Which begs the question: Can an NHL team grow two #1 centremen? Look to Pittsburgh for your answer. Hedman is a man mountain and the ones that skate like deer as few and far between. Pure unbelievable mix of skill skate and size. He is what every team HOPES Tyler Myers can become. Very mobile,with fluid, long stride, turns and edges really, really well. Always has his head up with excellent vision, solid decisions. A strong passer who leads the rush up ice. Exceptional hockey sense in all three zones, huge shot, never looks rushed. If you wanted to find fault, you might say he doesn’t use his massive body to play physical very much, as he counts on his long reach, anticipation,and strong positioning. But he may be Godzilla when a Cup win is in the balance. While he doesn’t have forward/goal scoring wow factor, he fills a huge need.

    3. Colorado Avalanche – Matt Duchene, left centre 5-foot eleven, 198 lbs.
    If any slot is in play it might here. Colorado is in trouble with organizational needs all over and with only one solid prospect that they know can come in and make the roster, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Do you trade out when Matt Duchene does answer an impending need at centre? Only if you can drop a little and get a lot. They need some now help, because the fan base is proving itself fair weather when the team isn’t a dominant one. The management already tried to hire a former popular player, Patrick Roy, and tried to get him to do two jobs at once in a time when you need two men at work 24 hours to do them well. Common sense says keep the pick, but when needs are aplenty, gambles are taken. In a draft as strong as this one, they can get a player later. But do you get one like THIS one? A quality person who always displays great effort and work commitment all over the ice. He simply makes things happen. Displays outstanding moves, stick-handling, and speed.

    4. Atlanta Thrashers – Evander Kane, left centre-forward 6 foot one, 1/4 176 lbs.
    Another NHL franchise that is teetering on the brink of extinction with gate problems and little success at improving to a play-off team. You would have to think this spot is in play too, except for the prospect that is slotted here. Evander Kane seems a perfect match for increasing fan interest and maybe giving Kovalchuck a player who can help offensively immediately or at worst a few down the road. Kane is solid and looks to grow even bigger and handles the puck so well and scored consistently, to the tune of 48 goals and 48 assists, fourth in the Western junior league. If Kane isn’t picked here, I guarantee someone will later wish they would have chosen him.

    5. Los Angeles Kings – Karl Magnus Svensson Pääjärvi, left forward, 6 foot one, 201 lbs.
    With numerous young NHL defenseman and prospects already in the system, this pick comes down to whether you adhere to the best player available tenet when both next best guys may have reasons to possibly be down graded. Jared Cowen, a huge defenseman was slotted even higher that this spot before he injured his knee in February. In the 2006 draft L.A. opted for the under six foot Thomas Hickey over the 6′ 2″ Karl Alzner. Cowen is three inches more than Alzner and pretty quick footed. Do you pass on a guy this big when they don’t coming along all the time?
    Granted L.A. has had success drafting Euros Anze Kopitar and Oscar Moller recently. There have also been the drafts of Lauri Tukonen and Denis Grebeshkov who didn’t work out. The Kings are basically a North American roster. Svensson Pääjärvi would have made this pick no discussion if he has shown scoring process in the World Junior Tourney along his size and speed were on display. Exceptional skater, powerful stride, quick burst of speed, tough to knock off stride. Super soft hands, quick stick, great puck control at speed and excellent hands in tight. Need more? Excellent finishing touch, finishes his chances although the World Junior reversal may give reservations. Beats defensemen constantly in a variety of ways, like off the rush, using uncontainable effortlessly, and can power straight into the crease. Strong on the puck,good puck shielder,battles in the corners. High energy on forecheck, plays with passion, with strong hockey sense. A creative good-visioned forward with a HUGE upside! He was the best player on the ice in the Eight Nations tourney in August 2007,and didn’t disappoint in any international tourneys after that the his World Junior drought. If he becomes a finisher this is a big piece in the King revival because they get a cocky impact rocket.

    6. Phoenix Coyotes – Jared Cowen, right defense, 6 Foot five 1/4 . 218 lbs.
    The Bettman good ole boy network will be the one paying this guy’s salary because they fear that the Blackberry guy will be let in their little clique without kissing up or sharing their business network ties. Cowen will need time to develop but this is a need position for the ‘yotes. At 6′ 5″ he has possibilities to be the big defenseman teams look for. Although there are three other defenseman you could easily see fitting in as more dynamic “offenseman”,anywhere near the stature of this kid. He has all the tools to be dominant. Combining good decision making tremendous size, skill and puck ability, he can show an aggressive aspect too. He still has to hone his raw shooting skills and offensive talent. I think that Cowen’s potential to build his offensive game makes him the best long term conservative pick, in a time when the team picking needs very little new controversy.

    7. Toronto Maple Leafs – Brayden Schenn, left centre, 6 foot, 198 lbs.
    If unable to make the move up that Brian Burke has talked up, he may be able to get the next best publicity bump if brother Brayden is still on the board. Although there was no place on the Canadian Junior team for him this December, L.A. Kings may take him off the board before thus pick, or even Atlanta at four, because he exudes winning attitude and team leadership far beyond his years. Already runs the cycle like he is in the NHL. Persistent forechecker who finished checks with reckless abandon. He is as close to a complete player as you could ask for, except for maybe wanting him to have one more skating gear. He had a really strong play-off run with production and gritty play that defined what kind of NHL he is bound to become.

    8. Dallas Stars – Dmitri Kulikov, left defense, 6 foot 1/4, 183 lbs.
    This looks like a really good fit. Why? He has played and been viewed while developing at Drummondville in the Quebec league and not overseas. He has shown he is mostly a play defense first defender, is big and strong on his skates. He is good at jumping up into the play, is well balanced enough to take hit while attacking and defending to finish the play. Has a good point shot and his rushing capabilities will establish him in the NHL maybe sooner than all other defensemen but Hedman.

    9 Ottawa Senators – Louis Leblanc, RH centre, 6 foot, 178 lbs.
    My first thought here was Ottawa trying to fortify their defense, but it makes sense that a fiery forward with Quebec roots might uproot other prospects earlier on than expected. The rookie of the year in the USHL rocketed up my list with a high tempo (and highlight goal vid) play-off performance where his edge at both ends of the ice was so noticeable that Ottawa has no choice but make him their pick here. He started the preseason with an impressive showing in the Ivan Hlinka Tourney and had the best plus/minus in the USHL. Think centre as in bigger than Doug Gilmour, able to work with little time and in small space, deke like Pat Kane, cut with blazing speed and separation and let it fly, comes back deep on dee, and impacts in all phases with “take no prisoners” attitude. Teams must project how much upside he has. I know one thing: he won’t get past Montreal if doesn’t get picked here.

    10. Edmonton Oilers – Scott Glennie, RH left wing-Centre, 6 foot one,1/4 176 lbs.
    Many drafts have had linemates chosen as first rounders, in part to their work of feeding off each other. He is a fast skating player who has good hands and plays well at top speed. When not playing off-wing on Brayden Schenn’s line, he has the mobility to move to centre himself. When in the offensive zone, he displays a deadly one-timer, becomes a grinder in the corners, and creates whether Schenn is on the ice or not. Some might quibble and say he has to have a better defensive commitment, works tirelessly in both ends and his quick feet already has him seeing the ice on the PK for the Wheat Kings. Pretty high reach to have the fourth leading scorer in Brandon be off the board in the top ten picks? Maybe, but he only played 55 games, and his point per game percentage and PP goals lead the team.

    11. Nashville Predators – Jordan Schroeder, right wing-centre, 5 foot 8 3/4 174 lbs.
    Did Pat Kane pave the way to the NHL for Schroeder? Maybe in some ways, but don’t confuse their similar heights with their weights. Schroeder more than makes up for this deficiency with his outstanding hockey sense and intelligence, poise, pucks skills and blazing speed. He is the ultimate team player, has excellent creativity and is not intimidated by the physical play despite his size. He is described as more of a playmaker, but the shot he exhibited at the WJC was just as lethal as his passing. Like Pat Kane, he thinks the game well and sets up shop from the half boards and wants the puck in crucial game situations. Similarly, they both need to improve their commitments to the defensive zone. Schroeder can also play centre.

    12. Minnesota Wild – David Rundblad, RH defense, 6 foot 2, 188 lbs.
    The good-sized Swedish d-man is a beautiful skater, adept at making “coast-to-coast” plays on the ice. He has a strong power-play presence, with soft hands, and a booming shot. When he takes off like an unbridled stallion into the attacking zone, he dangles as well as a forward and has puck control to work in tight and passes well from both sides of the stick. Much of last year’s scouting on him was filled with reports of him wandering around the defensive zone, chasing puck carriers, not reading well, and playing the puck and not the man. He has shown considerable improvement understanding his positioning and actions in his zone. It is still his weak point, but playing in the Swedish elite every game and it is helping to further develop a defenseman’s mindset, strength, and toolbox. He is first and foremost a puck-moving blue liner, but given time to develop a more efficient defensive side to his game, should be become a well-rounded two-way defenseman. (Note: If this pick wasn’t this low I could see the new management there trading it to re-acquire the missing two and three picks they traded away.)

    13. Buffalo Sabres – Nazen Kadri, left forward 5-foot eleven 1/2, 167 lbs.
    Kadri’s mix of size, skill and willingness to play in traffic A fast, creative, versatile forward, Kadri is an offensive spark-plug. His lanky frame was hampered in getting filled in while his cracked jaw healed in November, so added bulk and strength are part of his future prescription.
    He displays very good vision on the ice as well and this bodes well for his puck possession style of play. Another forward who can play anywhere up front and doesn’t need much room to create, and is just shifty no matter what forward position he plays. His great foot speed is why changes directions on a dime to deke defenders. His defensive game is a work in progress, and more commitment will be necessary as he turns pro. When he plays with passion, his blazing speed and one on one can be dominating. He might end up at wing, because he is still learning to use linemates effectively. Why doesn’t he? I think he knows he is the sniper and has confidence that he can be elusive, so why give the puck up?

    14. Florida Panthers – Zack Kassian, right wing 6 foot 3 204 lbs.
    Whether one of the OHL’s toughest players will climb up or drop down in the slotting depends much upon how many of the teams drafting in the teens are looking first for speedy puck carriers or creative playmaking forwards. He has a heavy shot, strength, a mean streak, and good hands. Some think there are times his game lacks full time intensity, but you wonder if that is the knock so many big men are stereotyped with, because a lot of what they do is off-puck, or not on the scorecard. In my humble opinion, he is a better skater than Milan Lucic was with his Boston arrival. He has scored a coast to coast goal carrying in from his teams goal line. He will fight anyone. He was counted on as a key component to the Canadian contingent in the recent April IIHF World U-18 Championship which Canada making it to the semis, and losing the Bronze medal in overtime. He had 5 points (2 – 3) in the six games and a plus 2, and was 7th in scoring on that squad, not quite the help they needed. Where he excels is along the wall, where he seems to have the puck glued to his stick on the cycle. He is big and balanced enough to lean the opposition out and off him and is able to keep his movement in the cycle. That translates very well to the pro game. Out of his 63 points, 24 goals were goals with the last one coming in the third week of February. He did average just over a point per game on a losing club. He has character and will never be a fast skater on the ice, but moves fluidly and patiently into attack zone looking for the trailer forwards to get the puck to. He gets his entire body behind his big slapper. Fearless standing in front of the goal, if you make him mad, he leads with his left hand, and don’t let he use his right hand to latch on to your right arm because that spells curtains for you! The entire package as you hope he gets to be a better scorer as he develops. You have to wonder how many teams would be willing to move up and pluck him a little earlier than this slot.

    15. Anaheim Ducks – Oliver Ekman Larsson, left defense, 6 foot one 1/2, 175 lbs.
    This IS the wild card of this draft. If he lasts THIS long this pick’s value goes up and up with other GMs. One of the best skaters, and although not the finished product at his present size, displays the abilities to be as dynamic a player as ANY defenseman in this draft. Every team is looking for an ice dancing rover who can thread the needle on the stretch if his rushing lane closes. Super creative, poised, and has really good vision. He is already growing into his frame. His point shot is developing and he already can get the puck to anybody on the ice. Displays a long stick and breaks up developing plays. Has had problems in the past with larger forwards who attack with power but he will add size and weight and nullify much of that. Some will say that even though his upside may be equal to Hedman, he may be a little bit riskier pick with bust written on him. Others are convinced he is already a better prospect than Ottawa’s recently signed Erik Karlsson, and bigger and better defensively. I think there will be more than a few NHL interested in moving up to the middle of the draft if he lasts this long.

    16. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ryan Ellis, right defense, 5 foot nine 1/4, 174lbs.
    Columbus would seem like an odd place for him to drop, but they know that he brings them a huge upgrade in a small package, that will quickly improve their PP. Besides won’t it be fun to see him next standing to goaltender Mason on the ice? You draft him to be your PP anchor, because he has a blazer from the point and ability to get open to use in all game situations. How does he play defense? He has excellent hockey acumen, and lateral agility. He isn’t afraid to throw his body around in the fray either. I think the World Junior Tourney showed how very smart he is at this game. This former OHL’s scholastic player of the year seems to have figured out how to compensate for his lack of size. Of course, if you have concerns about his size and back petal, you have to have a partner who balances him out in the airing.

    17. St. Louis Blues – Jeremy Morin, RH left wing-Centre 6 foot 1/2, 188 lbs.
    Might be the best pure shooter in this draft after Tavares, a great PP presence whose all-around game comes with coachable aspects. He is wicked one-timer and can be deadly around the net. Skating is a concern with many scouts, but he seems to have a feel where to get open in the offensive zone and use his lightning fast hands in a Brett Hull clone fashion. He was the best forward prospect at the Four nations tournament. Not afraid of high traffic areas, or getting hit, he relies on his anticipation to make up for his lack of a top gear. Unselfish player whose passes are pinpoint if his opening closes. He is committed to working on his defensive game.

    18. Montreal Canadiens – Charles-Olivier Roussel, right defense, 6 foot 1/2, 196 lbs.
    How fitting is it that the league’s oldest franchise chooses a francophone who is one of the youngest players available? He is amazingly mature and is a leader on veteran Shawinigan team and a poised all-around defensive player. He has very good defensive zone awareness around his net and always willing to use his size to clear the front because he likes contact and can be down right mean in front of his crease. He always makes the safe outlet, and his well balanced skating and smarts bodes well for him to be part of the attack. Other veteran Cataractes defensemen carry the mail maybe because Roussel is more Phanuef-like than Campbell-ish.

    19. New York Rangers – Simon Despres, LH defense, 6 foot 3 1/2, 205 lbs.
    He looks like he has all the tools necessary to be an all-around defenseman with hockey smarts puck skills, footwork, great size and strength. So far he hasn’t had enough confidence to let loose and start developing his offense pass the safe components of just making the safe outlets passes. He has a hard point shot that he doesn’t fire enough. He carries the puck well,and has a good work ethic, but still is apprehensive. He is a good decision maker. Can be a beast to play against but didn’t really show commitment to being a player who plays big to his size. If he had shown intensity and commitment, I am pretty sure that he would be picked in the higher slots where so many draft prognosticator place him.

    20. Phoenix or Calgary Flames (option) – Carter Ashton, LH right wing, 6 foot two 1/2, 206 lbs.
    I actually think that Calgary will chose to keep this pick due to the fact it brings a little ray of sunshine after the months of Cup gloom. That and the fact there are just such a strong bunch of good developmental guys sitting here to pluck. They could go rushing dee, but Ashton is pretty darn quick and already shows he can score with a 30 goal season. He oozes leadership qualities and Calgary figures he can round out and be a future power guy with more 1-2 line capability than their present cache of forward prospects.

    21. Philadelphia Flyers – John Moore , left defense 6 foot two, 189 lbs.
    Suburban Chicago prospect doesn’t last to reach the Blackhawks, and even sticks around longer than many draft experts thought. Teams are seduced by his skating abilities. Far from the finished product, he plays a physical game and also is a puck rusher. He is already 6′ 2″, 180 and his point shot is developing to go along with his elite level skating and skill set. Someone will take him in the middle part of the first knowing there is a couple years of development tied to already present parts. Many suggest that as a late bloomer on the scene, he may jump into the teens, based on his newly found status as an untapped potential pick. He admits to needing more defensive zone schooling and work on gap control. He will continue to learn all facets of the game without the pressure of being rushed.

    22. Vancouver Canucks- Tim Erixon, left defense, 6 foot two, 190 lbs.
    A two way defenseman who is strong offensively. His father Jan was a Ranger. He is further away in his development than defenders taken in the top half of the draft, so you patiently wait for his game to round out, but you get good value. He is already big and thick, and despite the early on “stay at home” tag, Erixon showed he has some skills with his strong U-18 Tourney. He has terrific vision and sense and skate. He loves rushing the puck, although he’s not as strong doing so as the Swedish defenseman above him. At the Four Nations U-18 in October, he played more physical than two Swedish defensemen (Ekman-Larsson & Rundblad) rated higher than him. He will need to get bigger and improve in his defensive zone coverage, but he is on the way. A safe pick who will be ready a little quicker than most defensemen in this draft.

    23. New Jersey Devils – Peter Holland LH Center-forward, 6 foot two,186 lbs.
    So far, he has just started showing he has the makings of future power forward if not a NHL centremen. He is tall,long-armed, and lanky built, scored at every level he has advanced through. Coaching from Barb Underhill helped re-invent his stride, but he knows he needs to get faster and stronger to be an NHL mainstay. He is another guy who needs just a tiny bit space to get his shot way, and possesses a good one. I think some would like to see more intensity from him shift to shift. Although he is no slouch in defensive zone coverage. he needs to improve on his play when he doesn’t have the puck. Even though he is effective in the face-off circle, he may be useful as a wing in the pros. He is still growing into his body and further development may unearth a gem.

    24. Washington Capitals – Kyle Palmieri, RH forward, 5 foot ten,192 lbs.
    Red flags went up when he was taken off the U.S. NTDP U-18 team for an undisclosed issue that some are calling refusing to rat out a fellow teammate. Clearly a top US team forward who played better than anybody in the Five Nations last August, and has to be considered one of the developmental teams top best forwards, no matter how his dismissal shakes out. This New Jersey native is by no means small. He is “Bobby Hull short” with a bubble butt bottom that contributes to his bulling his way around the attack zone, causing problems and turnovers deep. Palmieri is a tone setting, unselfish, smart decision maker who, besides skating with explosion with and without the puck, has good vision and hands on the attack. He may not as yet be a finisher,but he had 30 points in 33 games with the U-18 team this season, and competes just as hard in the defensive zone. Can the Devils really pass on him and let him drop to the Caps, where he can thrive?

    25. Boston Bruins – Chris Kreider, LH Center-forward, 6 foot two, 188 lbs.
    A dominating player,who dangles in tight spaces at high speed, cuts hard to the net, and is arguably one of the top skaters in this draft at any position. He is so strong on the puck that if the opposition doesn’t stop him in that neutral zone, they are gonna have bigger problems when Chris gets the pistons at top churn. One stride to top speed. His downside? It is being from a New England Prep school, Phillips Andover, where the competition is far less a measuring stick than players in Junior A and he is still a year away from going to college. It is a given the team that does finally draft him will try and get him in a more competitive league to advance his development. Do the Bruins decide to stay locally or will the still available rushing defensemen be too tempting?

    26. New York Islanders (SJ) – Calvin DeHaan, left defense, 5 foot eleven 3/4 172 lbs. Another one of the pure puck movers in this draft. An effortless skater,long fluid stride, with great vision and pinpoint stretch passing abilities, to go along with his PP quarterback abilities. He usually dished on the PP, and is not the prime point shooter. He only has Duncan Keith-like size, but that doesn’t stop him from avoiding contact. He is a take charge defenseman. He has to add more grit to defensive game and can hardly be called a solid defender. He needs to get stronger, but his escapability and puck smarts/patience are not in question

    27. Carolina Hurricane – Dylan Olsen, RH Right defense, 6 foot two 1/4, 206 lbs.
    Big strong mobile with a heavy point shot. Effectively moves the puck, wins physical battles, and plays a mistake free game. So far, he shows balance, good backward skating, but not quickness,or speed. Plays with an edge but not the point that he undermines team discipline. It must be considered that he is a Junior A player (Camrose, Alberta) just recently playing against high leveled players when he was paired with DeHaan in the Under 18 and was the stay at home part of the pairing. That doesn’t exclude him from coming into a more active offensive role as he develops and projects as a two way guy down the pike, because he does make good decision in key situations, and has good touch with his passes. He has soft hands, handles the puck well, and is a good decision maker, but he will need work at refining both his defensive game which is adequate, his physicality, and refining his puck carrying.

    28. Chicago Blackhawks – Jacob Josefson, Left centre 5 foot eleven 1/2, 174 lbs.
    High tempo solid smart centre with soft hands who plays high tempo and passes very well, creative on the PP. He likes take it to the net, but uses outside moves and flip passes to open teammates. Great on the PP and can finish off plays. He is not afraid to hang out front for rebounds/deflections. He is a top speed player who keeps the legs going and forechecks strongly. Smart and poised but I think what might hurt him was the way he didn’t stand out in the World Junior tourney. He did re-coup in his next international showing, but disappeared again in the U-18 Worlds. While being a player that does everything well who goes unnoticed while his line flourishes,that lack of notice might not have been enough to keep him in the first round category. (Was linemate to Calgary’s Mikael Backlund in the Under-20 Four Nations)

    29. Detroit Red Wings – Carl Klingberg ,RH left wing/right wing, 6 foot three,197 lbs.
    Klingberg has the size and skill teams covet, and the skating and agility to be a truly special selfless player. Tough workman-like tireless winger who is a persistent forechecker, and the guy who stands in front for the tip in. in. He skates with his arms and legs in an awkward fashion, but always gets there. Always involved where the high traffic is,and wins most puck battles like fellow countryman Tomas Holmstrom. Will never be a big scorer,due to still hands, but plays every shift, never quitting, never getting separated from the puck. Doesn’t look like a top six forward but more of a guy getting goals off tip-ins, and acting as a screen on rebounds.

    30. Pittsburgh Penquins – Nick Leddy, LH defense, 5 foot eleven,179 lbs.
    The recently crowned “Mr. Hockey”, as the best high-school player in Minnesota high school, is a tad on the small side, but boy is he fast! He is a very poised player and an uncanny ability to make plays at high speeds. He posses very good vision and thus makes intelligent decisions on both sides of the rink. The Pens have no one similar to him in their farm and have the time to let him come along with little pressure to fill a spot quickly.

    Round Two 31 through 38 :

    31. New York Islanders – Eric Gelinas, LH defense 6 foot three 1/5, 185 lbs.
    Another player who can be called an anomaly based on the possible size his big frame can attain. (His father is six foot eight.) Similar to Hedman in that he has the agility and skating deftness of a smaller player, he eats up huge minutes, and was a forward for most of his minor hockey career. That accounts for his defensive game coming slowly. he has much to learn and is very coachable. You want to start to foster tempered aggression into his game, along with more physicality as he learns to make smart reads, Here is what you already have: an explosive skater,with outstanding stickhandling and rushing capabilities, Although there are times he doesn’t look to be physical in front of his crease, and in his end, there is time for him to get better there. Remember he spent the season in one of the weaker stocked QMHL teams. If the Islanders, due to first round movement, goes defense with #1, this might be a forward.

    32. Tampa Bay Lightning – Marcus Johansson Left centre, 5 foot eleven,185 lbs.
    Swedish prospect whose game can be described as good at every phase, not dominant at one specific area. Excellent, smart 2 way centre who is instinctive and plays bigger than he is. He is a good face off guy. A shifty skater with a nice good acceleration who opens lanes for teammates. Intelligent when carrying the puck in all three zones. Good decision maker, unafraid high traffic areas, finishes his checks with regularity and punch. Is a great pressure forechecker Effective PK who is always hustling and cutting off passing lanes. Quick feet, good wheels, nice burst, crisp passer with soft touch, always hustling, controlling the puck and play. Has touch around the net. Has been injured limiting his time in Farjestad. Already paying pro hockey in Sweden, so his ready for prime time sooner than most. If Tampa due to first round movement, goes forward, this might be a defenseman.

    33. Colorado Avalanche – Joonas Nättinen RH centre, 6 foot two, 183 lbs.
    Raw skill-wise, but a solid skater, face-off man, penalty killer, and PP QB. Listed at 6′ 2″ he plays like a strong man, and has soft hands and distributes really well. A guy full of determination who uses his talents to get the most out of them and does the little things needed to win. Has a powerful skating stride, speed and balance, and has puck handling skills and fair hands but limited offensive creativity at this point. His strength to an NHL team at this juncture is in his three zone smarts interrupting passes and plays, making takeaways, owning the wall, dropping back to cover for his defensemen, and standing up for teammates. Not as much offensive upside but he does lots all teams need.

    34. Atlanta Thrashers – Ethan Werek, LH Centre Forward, 6 foot 2 3/4, 185 lbs.
    Although still a pretty raw player at centre, he scored 64 points in 66 games in his OHL rookie season. He displays a combination of offense and grit and there is upside. He has room on his frame to build up and fill out. His skating must improve, but there is every indication it will as he improves his leg strength. He has a heavy shot. He utilizes his good hands strength and reach in close, scoring most of his goals in the “dirty” areas, but displays an increasing skill level as his 4 goal, 6 point, plus 4 showing in six games in the April IIHF World U-18 showed. He also had the best shooting percentage on the team while basically playing in a checking not offensive role. He scores clutch goals and is highly intelligent off the ice. This kid graduated HS a year early and was talking to (and committing to) attend BU. He decided to play for Kingston and he enrolled in Queens University which is compared to a Ivy League school in the US. His racked OHL rookie totals were 64 points (32g+32a) in 66 games with 79 PIM with a upward developing curve.

    35. Los Angeles Kings – Landon Ferraro, C/LW 5 foot eleven 1/4, 165 lbs.
    NHL bloodlines are never eliminated in draft slotting considerations. The fact that a son of NHL player has been so intimately close to all the components that are necessary to become a committed pro must be considered. That also put the evaluator in a position where you better see actually follow through on the gifts an experience you were bestowed. Everything point to this kid really not playing up to the billing. He is easily knocked off the puck, far from the complete package, and although he can play gritty he lacks strength and conviction. At times in big games, he just disappeared on the ice. The good? He thinks the game very well, has decent speed and he has raw ability with nice stop/start quickness,ability to score from anywhere. So far, skill + character + work ethic don’t = first round consideration in my humble opinion.

    36. Phoenix Coyotes – Stefan Elliot – RH Defense, 6 foot one 3/4 184 lbs.
    Rusher who loves skating the puck. Good hands, and good balance are his strengths but his weakness is he isn’t a fast skater with little acceleration. How does he do it? He sort of weaves and flows through the opponents methodically He had good hockey sense and that aids him to position himself well in the defensive zone. He lacks strength to win wall battles and his lack of quickness also reduces his defensive zone effectiveness. His bread & butter at this point is as an offensive zone shooter and PP guy who is not a hitter, and plays it simple as a one safe outlet pass out of his defensive zone player.

    37. New York Islanders (via Toronto) – Zack Budish C 6 foot two 1/4, 229 lbs.
    A high schooler whose size/skill/strength package had him looking like a first rounder. His knee injury probably knocked him out of first round contention, and although he has decent straight line speed, his feet are heavy which might make him more of wing candidate. Generates chances from brute strength and effort, is tough to separate from the puck when he is willing to battle. He digs, pounds,grinds, and scores from the result taking pucks away all over the attack zone.. He displays good hands, puck control, and scoring touch while at his top speed. Prior to his injury, there were occasions he took shifts off, but was pretty responsible in his end.

    38. Dallas Stars – Drew Shore, RH forward 6 foot two 1/5, 190 lbs.
    Lanky kid who needs to fill out, he projects as a power wing who bangs and uses his body effectively on the wall, and an ability to find shooting lanes for his hard accurate shot. He skates very well, and has outside speed. Projects as either a power wing or a centre. Really a work in progress and at times this season in tournaments he looked like he was taking steps backward.

    39. Ottawa Senators – Jordan Caron – LH right wing 6 foot two 1/4, 202 lbs.
    There is a lot of projecting to do involving because you might have seen entirely different stats if he had played the last three seasons in the Q with gifted centremen like the NHL teams have. This large wing has instinctive offensive instincts, and an aggressive side, and will stand in front. The real knock is he is an average skater, with a quick snap shot coupled good wall game and it seems to have handcuffed his decent offensive abilities.

    40. Edmonton Oilers – Ryan O’Reilly LH centre, 6 foot, 199 lbs.
    Not fast, just very strong on the puck, by using his strength and aggressiveness to own it or take it away. Plays more a shutdown role and has been quietly efficient two way player. Good on the face-off. Too bad Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t have a little better rifle because I like the way he moves at the skating pace that he does. Another guy with bubble butt who lacks explosiveness , but works the wall so well, and gives every shift, has soft hands, so far has shown he may has limited offensive skills.

    My favorites if a genie gave me three wished for players that were not top slotted, I would wish for Oliver Ekman Larsson, Chris Kreider,Ethan Werek, and Joonas Nättinen with hopes they all go from developmentals to impact players. I am pretty confident the Blackhawks are not trading picks to move up in the first, but I am sure they are hoping they can get a shot at the RH Centre for the US NTDP U-18, 6 foot one, 190 lb. Kevin Lynch who takes key face-off and shows all the makings of NHL centreman.

    Also you probably noticed there were no Goalie prospects in this top forty, mostly because they are no stand-outs, but that don’t preclude some team reaching in the first or early second to get one of the following:

    The thing about goalies is you better have extensive tests done on their middles, because unless they have hips and body’s that can fluidly move to the motions their position now requires even the best young guy might be presently aggravating his “middle” body, and no matter how his reflexes and glove hand improve, he ends up with a career long malady that can put his out of the picture, 1, 2, 3.

    Also you probably noticed there were no Goalie prospects in this top forty, mostly because they are no stand-outs, but that don’t preclude some team reaching in the first or early second to get one of the following and mediocrity may be making size the biggest decinig factor here.

    Igor Bobkov ,6 foot four, 192, Magnitogorsk 2 Russia 3 level may be the biggest riser up the slottings, since the Five Nations and April IIHF World U-18s where his athleticism showed in the tourney and he was only limited scouted until then.
    Jean-Francois Berube 6 foot one, 166 lbs.
    Olivier Roy ,Cape Breton 5 foot eleven 1/2, 165lbs.,catches L. He was the early Quebec League flavor of choice but extensive scouting has people worrying at the early ice flopping doesn’t translate well in the pro game. Solid glove and balance, thinks the game, acrobatic, quick legs.
    Robin Lehner ,Frolunda Jr.Sweden Jr. league 6 foot three, 220 lbs.catches L lbs. Is said to play small, but is agile and quick, when he plays aggressively, and challenges the shooters.. He is tall enough to cover top corners when on his knees.
    Nathan Lieuwen, 6 foot five, 180 lbs.,catches L Has a concussion, and maybe that prospects game bombardment has people doubting him too. So big not much net left to shoot at. Surprisingly quick and agile. Plays the angles well and position himself and battles out front.
    Edward Pasquale, Saginaw 6 foot two, 218 lbs.catches L This guy is thick and could get wider and played like a big goalie too. He is working on improving his athleticism and absorbs pucks with his soft pads. A workhorse who almost plays every game.
    Jaroslav Janus, 6 foot, 183lbs., catches L Slovak World Junior starter and was eligible last year for the draft I recall.
    Steven Racine, 6 foot two,177 lbs. Tait High School,Con. catches L – A steady controlled goaler, and a vocal on ice general. Quick lateral movement.
    Matthew Hackett, Plymouth 6 foot two,170 lbs.,catches L May be Central Scoutings #1 but I really think it is the case that Jeff Hackett’s nephew has as many detractors as fans. Wasn’t he also was eligible last year for the draft I recall.

    Mike Lee , 6 foot one, 185 lbs.catches L IIHF World U-18s had a double header he got some exposure for the Fargo Force USHL in that game.
    Peter DiSalvo, 5 foot eleven, 165 lbs. Moves well but must gain rebound control. Plays bigger than his size.
    Adam Murray, 6 foot, two, 191 lbs.catches L Has the footwork and technique down, but loses sight of long shots. No good with handling the puck.

    Am I incorrect or are there eleven sons of NHL players or more? Help?
    Carter Ashton, son of Brent Ashton
    Jean-Francois berube Montreal
    Landon Ferraro, son of Ray Ferraro
    Tim Erixon, son of Jan Erixon
    Tyson Barrie, son of Len Barrie
    Ryan Bourque, son of Ray Bourque
    Marcus Foligno, son of Mike Foligno
    Philip Samuelsson, son of Ulf Samuelsson
    Alex Velischek, son of Randy Velischek
    John Ramage, son of Rob Ramage
    Bjorn Krupp, son of Uke Krupp

    Don’t Panik! Rajala has the Tatar sauce

    It is tough to get a read on many International players whose leagues are viewed as inferior, and the only leveling factor, International Tourney, play pits these high rankers playing against strong contingents from Canada, Sweden, the U.S. and Russia in the tourneys. So, we are left trying to balance their skills along side less skilled teammates matched against squads whose rosters are strong and deep with size skill and experience.
    So I am the last person to tell you where to take any one of these three.
    I will tell you that after Richard Panik, Lh right wing, 6 foot one 198 has slipped out of the first round and maybe also the second. He had an off-ice broken collarbone and missed the April Under 18s, and then ballooned in weight that stinks of no weight room at all during the injury. The fact that he did very little coupled scoring & effort-wise in the World Junior tourney earlier at Christmas has scouts directing their sights elsewhere. He was inconsistent in his team’s playoff run and close to invisible.

    Countryman Tomas Tatar, a 5 foot nine 3/4, 176 lbs. Lh Centre may have passed him based on his taking up the slack in the World juniors. After returning to his Zvolen team, he continued giving solid contributions despite his slack of PP time to the veterans on the club. He has been playing out of position at wing in Slovakia, but probably doesn’t project as a wing playing anywhere. Toughness may be an issue with him, but has touch, instincts, controls the puck well, but is more quick than fast. Not a puck pursuit guy or a guys who wins on the wall, but does set up teammates with first step quickness.

    Also ahead is an even tinier Finn Toni Rajala, who at 5 nine, 162 lbs. Centre/wing who has pogo sticked in the ranking all year, based on play where he seems indifferent uninvolved when he doesn’t have the puck to At the April U-18 showed his hands with multiple goal games on slick moves, one timers, and unteachable instincts. May still be viewed as a perimeter player, because he doesn’t like contact much. You certainly won’t see him initiating any of it. He has great offensive instincts but will never get very big and isn’t a dynamic skater either! In the five Nations tourney he was part of the most dominant line in the event with Mikael Granlund and Teemu Pulkkinen, both 2010 guys. He has one aspect and one alone: he is pinpoint accurate natural sniper, who will never ever be involved in battles in traffic areas, but is super dangerous with the puck down by the circles and net.

    This post is the intellectual property of Bill Placzek and cannot be used or duplicated in anyway without expressed written consent. Any use of this document without the expressed written consent of Bill Placzek will result in public exposure and legal prosecution.

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