2009 Prospects Strengths and Weaknesses
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05-31-2009, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
What follows is a short description of the players likely to be taken in the 1st 4 rounds (31-60 in this post) of the 2009 NHL entry draft written in the 1st person. The purpose of doing this list is to show a little love for those players taken in the latter rounds as they do not get the exposure or the interest of the 1st rounders. Remember this is just another fan’s list so I wouldn’t get too excited if your favorite is not as high as you would like. I will post the remaining players in rounds 1 to 4 over the next few weeks.
31. Koskinen, Mikko - “Crossbar - G - Finland
6’5”, 187 lb, L, Espoo Blues, Finland, 18-Jul-88, 33-1-1.91-.931
In spite of what Eklund says, my ass does not touch the crossbar when I bend over. That said, I am
a very tall goalie
at 6’5” who comes from Finland, a country among the leaders in supplying top notch NHL goaltending over the last few years, including Miikka Kiprusoff, Pekka Rinne, Vesa Toskala, Keri Lehtonen, Antero Niittymaki, Karri Ramo and even the American, Tim Thomas. As a very tall goalie, my growth spurt was so pronounced that my coordination was left in the dust and I actually quit hockey for a while except for a little coaching on the side. Then one day, the Blues U20 team needed a goalie for practice and called me. And the rest as they say is history, my body was back to normal again and now I am not only the starting goalie for a strong team in the top Finnish League but I also finished
3rd in the league in save percentage @ .931
. Not too shabby for I guy who not to long ago had trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. Where do I go in the draft, the map is as tall as I am (mostly 2nd to 4th) but it only takes one club to make me go higher. As for my future, my hockey growth this year was as massive as my physical growth a while back. Sure, I still have issues but they will be dealt with.
32. de Haan, Calvin - “Vinny” - D - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’0”, 170 lb, L, Oshawa, OHL, 9-May-91, 68-8-55-63-40 +3
I like to model my game after Scott Niedermayer, smart, simple and make the most of ice time. My coach (Chris Dipiero) said, “Calvin is a smooth skating, smart, puck-handling defenseman who is composed in all areas of the ice. He is reliable and his calm demeanor is what makes him a good NHL prospect. His progress at the OHL level has been excellent and I am certain that it will continue on.” What sets me apart, is my calmness under pressure, my crisp passes and my ice vision. While I am currently undersized at 170 lb. I am still growing, my Dad is 6’0” and my mother’s brothers are around 6’4”. And 6
3 points for a defense man in his rookie year
- not so shabby and
lead pairing and a point a game plus a +6 at the U18’s
- not so shabby either.
33. Palmieri, Kyle - “Drury” - C - USA - Combine Invitee
5’10”, 191 lb, R, US NTDP, U18, 1-Feb-91, 33-15-15-30-51
Hockey was always a major part of our family like. I think Mom (Tammy) describes it best when she says, “Hockey is very time consuming with regard to the travel and the hours spent in the car. But all that time is well spent, whether it be early-morning lessons or on the road traveling to a tournament; it's quality time when the family is together. We have always discussed the possibility of taking a family vacation one summer, but hockey has become such a big part of our lives, vacation time just hasn't fit it. And family was important when I was dismissed from the US U18 Team for reasons that will be kept confidential. However as NHL’s Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee said on NHL.com, “It was disappointing to hear the news because he is the
top-ranked player on that team
and I was looking forward to seeing him at the World Championships but it's not like I had any reservation about his ability -- I didn't need to see him to feel comfortable about my opinion of him.” He also said, “I think Kyle's got a little bit of Chris Drury in him. I look at his passion, his natural skills and his tenaciousness, and that's what I saw in Chris. He's a lot of fun to watch because he has that vision along with a wicked shot. He very seldom passes up the opportunity to make the right play -- he's in position to shoot the puck and has that insight into whether to freeze and dish or just let it go.” Remember, I am the guy that doesn’t quit and I control the things I can control - with or without the puck - on or off the ice. And I used my time off to prepare for the Combine and came in “
34. Panik, Richard - “No Panic” - RW - Czech Republic
6’2”, 203 lb, R, Trinec, Czech Republic, 7-Feb-91, 15-1-1-2-4
Ok, I know the question everbody is asking. It is not where I am going to be drafted but if I am going to play for Windsor next year and help them win a 2nd straight Memorial Cup. You should know that I already have great memories of Windsor because it was there in 2004 that I won the Most Valuable Player at the Riverside Bantam Christmas Tournament playing against mainly older guys - 89, 90, 91 year guys. This year I kept a close on what has been happening in Windsor. I have been particularly following Andrei Loktionov as I seen him at the 2008 U18’s in Kanzan, Russia. So, I would feel grateful to start my getting used to North American brand of hockey in junior league especially in the Windsor team, because the hockey in the North America is harder, faster than in Europe.
So what type of player do you get, I will let Windsor Spitfires General Manager (Warren Rychel) explain, “
A prototypical power forward
. He's big and he's strong. We feel real good that he'll get a chance to develop in Windsor.” So what you get is a big body with skills that can score goals, lots of them. While this year was not much of a year in international tournaments for me, I played 4th line @ the U20’s and I was injured for the U18’s. However, last year (2008) I finished third in scoring at the U18’s with 10 points in just 5 games.
35. Leddy, Nick - “Mr. Hockey” - D - USA - Combine Invitee
5’11”, 179 lb, L, Eden Prairie, MN HS, 20-Mar-91, 25-8-29-37-22 +31
I will let coach (Lee Smith) say it:, “When people ask me who he is like, I think he is really close to Paul Martin. He can join the rush, but when the play goes the other way he's right back in his own zone doing what he needs to do defensively. He's the
l, and that's what I think the NHL guys are seeing in him. He can run a power play, he can penalty kill. Every situation, he's built for it." While I consider myself more of an offensive defenseman since my skating is definitely the best part of my game, I've kind of grown into that physical-type player because I realize I need to protect myself, as well. Last year I took a few cheap shots, so I've learned how to protect myself and have gotten a lot better at hitting. I wasn't as aggressive early in my career, but now I know when to be. During the off season, I underwent some rigorous training, added close to 15 pounds of muscle. Next year, the
2009 Mr. Hockey
(for Minnesota High Schools) i.e me gets to play with the 2008 Mr. Hockey, Aaron Ness, at the University of Minnesota. And not to be forgotten, yes, my team, Eden Prairie, won the
Minnesota state championship
36. Shore, Drew - “John Denver” - C - USA - Combine Invitee
6’3”, 190 lb, R, U18, US NTDP, 29-Jan-91, 62-17-32-49-46
As NHL scout, Jack Barzee said on NHL.com, “I think this kid, his upside
is so dangerous
. I think he always brings his best effort. I don't think he leaves anything in the dressing room. His drive and determination are as good as anyone's playing the game.” Yes, I am a determined and hard player not afraid of work along the boards or playing physical. And yes, I am very strong on the puck as well, you really have to want it to take it away from me. And I have decent speed and shooting along with a quick transition to “D” when needed. This season has been a full circle for me, coming over from the Honeybaked Midget Team in Detroit to the National Team and back home to Colorado in the fall where I will play for Denver University where both parents were DU law school graduates. My proudest moment was when we won that Gold Medal in North Dakota on home soil at the big one, the U18’s - priceless.
37. Erixon, Jan - “Steady Eddy” - D - Sweden
6’2”, 190 lb, L, Skelleftea, Swedish Elite, 24-Feb-91, 45-2-5-7-12 +5
So what have I done to merit a high draft position
- 2009 - U18’s - T
ournament all-star, most goals by a defenseman, most points by a defenseman
- 2008 - U20’s - Intergral part of defense for silver medal winning team 2007- Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament - Part of Gold Medal Team.
Who am I? I am the son of long time NHLer, Jan Erixon and was born in the USA. He has been one of the biggest influences and they tell me that we play similar styles, even though he was a forward.
What are my best skills? Skating, puck moving, hands, vision, playmaker
And what do my teammates say about me? Here is David Rundblad (expected to go in the 1st round) on NHL.com, “He is very good with the puck, great eyes, good on both offense and defense. The way he reads the play in the defensive zone, he never makes a mistake there”.
And what do scouts think are my flaws? They see me more of a Steady Eddy kind of guy (or a steady Jan like my Dad), a Chevrolet, and they want a Corvette
38. Elliott, Stefan - “Franchise” - D - Canada
6’1”, 180 lb, R, Saskatoon, WHL, 30-Jan-91, 71-16-39-55-26 +20
As my coach (Lorne Molleken) said,” Certainly he's one of the
most offensive-minded defencemen in our league
and a lot of people tend to look solely at that but he's probably
the best one-on-one guy that I've seen
in our league. He's a real solid all-around player that has lots of offensive upside. He's not an overly physical player but he puts players in bad situations where they're forced to do something they don't want to do with the puck. One of the biggest things in my mind that's very noticeable is the way he uses his stick and that's one of the things that as a defenceman in the National Hockey League level is real, real important." I ended up sixth in the league in points for a defenceman and +20. In addition to my work on the ice, I was also WHL
Scholastic Player of the Year with a 93.3% average
. To improve, I need to increase my upper body strength so that I can win more battles.
39. Doherty, Taylor - “Monster” - D - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’8”, 218 lb, R, Kingston, OHL, 2-Mar-91, 68-2-18-20-140 -14
Three things you need to know about me, 1. I am
”, 2. I can
with the best of them, 3. I
play the body hard
. I am currently and probably always will be a stay at home shutdown defender. Yes, I have my weaknesses and you probably seen them on display at the U-18 - lateral and back ward mobility, and my defensive zone coverage. However, look at Tyler Myers (6’6”) in his draft year (2008) and this year or even Zdeno Chara (6’9”) in his first year in the Dub till now and you will notice huge improvements - improvements that usually come later for extremely tall people like myself. However, the basics are there and when I add to and improve upon my repertoire, the club that drafts me will eventually end up with a monster on their hands, a monster who is prepared to handle or create disturbances that change the nature of a hockey game as well as provide good “D”.
40. Orlov, Dmitri - “Orly” - D - Russia - Combine Invitee
6’0”, 197 lb, L, Novokuznetsk, OHL, 27-Jul-91, 16-1-0-1-4
Yes, I know the number question at the combine will be, “When will you come over here and play”? Well, the answer is, next year, I want to play in the ”K” and make the big team, “Metallurg” and to make the Russian national junior team. After that, we will see. No, I am not the biggest guy out there but I am Andre Markov size and he seems to be doing OK. That said, I am
an offensive defenceman with a high level of skills and mobility and am not afraid to take the risks
that goes with hitting home runs or scoring goals. My skating and hockey vision are high-end and I have that ability to move the puck that few have.
41. O’Reilly, Ryan - “Snook” - C - Canada
6’0”, 200 lb, L, Erie, OHL, 7-Feb-91, 68-16-50-66-26 +1
So, Captain and Gold Medal winner for Team Ontario at the U17’s, a Gold Medal for Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and
Team Captain for Canada at the U18’s
. I feel my upbringing where we had a lot of foster children at our home has allowed me to be more understanding of other people. I think it’s really helped me. Sometimes you have to room with guys you just meet and growing up it was the same thing. Guys were coming into the house and living with us. You just have to learn how to deal with them, communicate with them and get along. That’s huge for a team. It’s definitely benefited me and it’s been an advantage and I’m thankful my parents did that. That is probably why you see the “C” so often on my sweater. But most of all I am a hockey player, I am not afraid to take a hit or to block shots or to kill penalties. On the team, I am known as
, one who has excellent hockey vision and uses it to make his teammates and his team better. To take my name to the next level, I plan to improve my skating so I can drive to the net with more authority and to shoot more to keep the other side guessing as to what I might do next.
42. Roy, Olivier - “Caps” - G - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’0”, 165 lb, L, Cape Breton, QMJHL, 12-Jul-90, 54-3-2.80-9.06
As my teammate and team captain Chris Culligan says, “I pick on him all the time. If he lets in a weak or soft goal in practice or in a game, the guys will give it to him and he'll come back and make a save and rub it in their faces. He's the kind of guy that you can pick on and he's
going to come right back at you because he can take it and he knows that he can do the job when he's in net
." NHL scout and former goalie Al Jensen said this about me on NHL.com, “I could see where he thinks that he's a hybrid goalie, but I think he's still more of a butterfly guy personally from what I saw. But he does have those instincts to realize that he doesn't have to go down on every shot. He knows when he has to go down on a shot and when he doesn't because of his terrific sense of being able to read the play. He's not a big goalie, which is why he doesn't always go down on the first shot." Bottom line, I am prepared to accept the challenges and make the sacrifices needed to become a 1st string NHL goaltender in the not too distant future.
43. Roussel, Charles-Olivier - “Bebe” - D - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’1”, 196 lb, R, Shawinigan, QMJHL, 13-Sep-91, 68-11-33-44-77 +31
With a September 13 birthday, I am practically the
baby of the draft
. However, my opponents will tell you that I am no baby on the ice. I can do in our end - as the
who can move guys out of the crease with a bit of nasty from time to time - or in their end - I have a heavy point shot with a quick release or in between - I make a good outlet pass and have a smooth skating style to move it myself. As evidence of my success, I had the 2nd most points on defense on my team during the regular season and as evidence of my improvement I had
the points of the next highest defenceman on my team during the playoffs
. Someone is going to look good picking me because as the baby, I have time to get a whole lot better than most of my fellow draftees.
44. Brown, Chris - “Tex” - RW - USA - Combine Invitee
6’2”, 191 lb, L, US NTDP, U18, 3-Feb-91, 62-20-18-38-120
This Texan started hockey at 3 when his dad bought him first set of skates in the land where football and baseball rule. Then at 5, I saw those University of Michigan uniforms for the 1st time and I was hooked. So it should come as no surprise that I elected to eventually come to Michigan and play for Detroit Honeybaked which is close to Yost Arena, the home of the Michigan Wolverines. And Honeybaked was also not that far from the USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan so this year I was fortunate enough to join another great hockey progam - the National Team Development Program for U18s. And fortunate enough again to represent Team USA on the world stage at the U18’s and win a gold medal - priceless. And next year, I will finally get to live my dream since 5 of playing for the University of Michigan Wolverines. As to the NHL draft, what kind of player do you get - they tell me I am slightly faster and more rugged version of long-time NHLer Eric Nystrom. Yes, I am prepared to grind it out in the corners as well as go to the net. I have a good hard shot and I can get it away fast as well. All in all, I have the l the
right combination of talent and worth ethic
to be successful in today’s NHL.
45. Johansson, Marcus - “Mr. Responsible” - C - Sweden
5’11”, 189 lb, L, Farjestad, Swedish Elite, 6-Oct-90, 45-5-5-10-10
Yes, there is a lot of hockey talk in my family. My older brother (Martin) plays in the elite league and my uncle (Gunnar) played 10 years there as well. I am
a solid two way forward
who is good in almost all facets of the game. I have the skills - skating, hands, vision, passing, face-off and I do not hesitate to play the body. I got to play @ the U20’s and scored 2 goals and would have been better but I had the flu. However, I was luckier with my league team (Farjestad) as we won the league title.
46. Rodin, Anton - “Picasso” - C - Sweden
5’11”, 174 lb, L, Byrnas Jr, Swedish Jr, 21-Nov-90, 37-26-29-55-34
My name is Rodin, but some people say I am like Picasso with the puck. Woodlief (Redline Report) had this to say about me, “A real sleeper who has quietly slipped into our top three rounds. Strong second half was topped off by a great stretch in playoffs.” I am the real deal,
absolutely 1st round offensive skill
, I score the type of goals found in the highlight reels on a regular basis. My only real downside is my size but I think you can be assured that I will grow and fill out enough to allow my talent to shine through. I was going to play in Canada next year but felt that Brynäs was best for me as I recently signed a contract with the big team.
47. Caron, Jordan - “The Sayabec Kid” - RW - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’2”, 202 lb, L, Rimouski, 2-Nov-90, 56-36-31-67-66 +14
As Central Scouting's Chris Bordeleau said on NHL.com, “He's been consistent and a hard worker. He's not a flashy-type guy, but very consistent and dependable player. Right now, I would say he would be between a third-line and second-line guy. We figure that's where he's going to be, that type of player. He's very aware of defensive responsibilities and handles them very well." For me, the best part of my game is
but I am not afraid to stand my ground in front of the net or to go into the corners and come up with the pack. But I am equally adept in the defensive zone as well and on the penalty kill. I have the size and determination to be
an NHL power forward
48. Bobkov, Igor - “The Name Changer” - G - Russia
6’4”, 192 lb, L, Magnitogorsk 2, Russia 3, 2-Jan-91, 6-1-3.33-.927 @ U18’s
Well for most of the year I was Igor Who. But then some strange things happened. First, Who was the
Top Goaltender at the Five Nations tournament
. Then, Who was the
Best Goalie at the U18’s
helping to bring his Team Russia a silver medal in an off-year for Russian Prospects (with a .927 save %). At the same time there was this Russian rookie upstart, Simeon Varlamov, who was doing some amazing work in the NHL playoffs. Suddenly, everyone wanted a big goalie; everyone wanted a big goalie with amazing agility; everyone wanted a big goalie who had been the best when he had faced the best and everyone wanted a big Russian goaltender. So they said, who is available? And I said, yes, indeed he is. But now that everyone knows who I am, I have had to change my name to Igor When. Now, they say, Igor, when are you available or Igor, when are you coming over. And I fear that I will have to change my name again when I come over to Igor Now. Igor, now that you here, you should try this style; Igor, now that you are here, you need to practice this. So remember, the next time we talk, my name is likely to be Igor Now.
49. Nattinen, Jonas - “Jonah” - C - Finland - Combine Invitee
6’2”, 183 lb, R, Blues Jr., Finland Jr., 3-Jan-91, 30-9-29-38-6
OK, I have the size and I have the frame that NHL scouts are looking for. I use that size and that frame to provide my team with
a solid two-way centre
, one who is solid on the puck in the defensive zone or one the cycle and can be counted to give a solid plus minus at the end of the year. The problem scouts have with me is not whether I will make it to the NHL or not - but whether I will become a top 6 forward who can score or a bottom 6 player who has a large size and is solid defensively. I concur with those on the top 6 side.
50. D’Amigo, Jerry - “Magic Man” - RW- USA - Combine Invitee
5’11”, 196 lb, L, U18, NTDP, 19-Feb-91, 53-23-33-56-61
My Dad (Pete) explains it best, “Anything he does, he feels, with hard work, he can do his magic.” And that gold at the U18’s for Team USA was magic and getting named to the all-star team - as Kevin Lynch would say - priceless. I will let my coach for next year (Seth Appert of RPI) describe me, “What Jerry did playing the schedule he did, he put a point a game playing mostly Division I teams, and that’s extremely impressive. I went out and watched him in the under-18 tournament in Fargo, and he was outstanding. In my estimation, he was the best forward on their team, maybe the best player on their team. He’s got
an opportunity to be a spec¬ial player
.” So speed, drive, anticipation, success - that is what I hope to bring next year to RPI.
51. Gelinas, Eric - “M. Blog” - D - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’4”, 185 lb, L, Lewiston, QMJHL, 8-May-91, 67-10-29-39-80 -9
Yes, I am a Maineiac and yes this season has been a little crazy. Changing coaches, rumors of changing team location, my draft year etc. And I have a confession to make, I am a blogger. This is part of my blog on The Hockey News web site, “People have been asking me what I thought of my year. I think it went great and I don’t have any regrets. I worked very hard on my consistency, defensive play and all-around awareness. One thing in particular I learned this year was how to stay focused on my play. We had a lot of distractions through the season, but had to stay focused if we wanted to win any games. You know what they say, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
The upcoming NHL draft has been another challenge on my concentration. Since my appearance in the Top Prospects Game in January, I have been in contact with many NHL scouts. I have been dreaming about becoming an NHL player one day and the draft is an important step in the pursuit of that dream”. One thing you should know, I am still growing (my Dad is like 6’9’) so a player of my height generally takes a longer time to grow into his body. Scouts refer to me as a
now but they ain’t seen nothing yet.
52. Hanowski, Ben - “Coach” - RW - USA - Combine Invitee
6’2”, 198 lb, R, Little Falls, MN HS, 18-Oct-90, 25-57-53-110-16
Yes, this year I set
career record for goals and points by a Minnesota high school
player. That was great as almost a quarter of the town turned out to see me play on my record setting night. However, other things are important too. I will let my coach (Tony Couture) explain, “He decided his friends were very important to him and that Little Falls hockey was very important to him. And I think he has a great supporting cast, that if it wasn't there, he might have changed his mind and went (to the USHL). But it means a lot to our youth hockey program, to see somebody like that. Just the success of our program. We joke about him being ”Coach Hanowski”, In the first period of a game, in the first couple of shifts, I'll ask the kids what's going on out there, and he's always the first to say something. He'll pick up strategy sometimes before the coaches do." NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee had a more far away look on NHL.com, “If he was a selfish kid, he would have scored twice as many goals. This kid has a good shot and while he may not be as good a skater as Danny Mattson (a senior at Holy Angels in Minnesota), he is more like Jeremy Morin (of the United States National Team Development Program). When he gets the puck and gets moving, he's deceptive. But he's offensively gifted. He's
built like a power forward
, but has great hands and sees the entire ice.” See you next year @ St. Cloud State.
53. Lynch, Kevin - “Kevy” - C - USA
6’1”, 190 lb, L, U18, NTDP, 23-Apr-91, 63-24-24-48-54
The ending of the hockey season was as good as it gets - a gold medal for Team USA at the U18’s (awesome) and to top it off by being picked as one of USA’s top 3 players (priceless). As Red Line Report chief scout Kyle Woodlief blogged (in video) on YouTube, “He (Lynch) probably elevated his draft stock more than any other player in the draft at Fargo. He played a really steady, strong two-way game. Took all the key faceoffs, banged, crashed, created some havoc among the defensemen. Also did some damage at the offensive end, which is what we all wanted to see.” He also said that I could rise to a mid-second round draft pick.
So what do you get for your 2nd round pick - a really hard-nosed, two-way player to start. Or maybe I will let University of Michigan Assistant Coach, Mel Pearson, tell it better. “Kevin Lynch is a
really hard-nosed, two-way player
. He’s the kind of guy you’d like to have on your team. He’ll play the same whether you’re playing at home or on the road. You know what to expect out of him every game, which is important. He has really good hands too. I don’t think he’s scored as well as maybe he could have at the program. They have him in a little bit different role. He has excellent hands. As he gets closer to the net he’s got better hands. I think he’s a guy who can finish as well as give you a good two-way game”. And next year, you can see me at the University of Michigan.
54. Clark, Matthew - “Kent” - D - USA - Combine Invitee
6’3”, 205 lb, R, Brampton, OHL, 17-Oct-90, 66-3-20-23-91 +21
I am a big guy (6’3”) who can skate like the little guys and make a good outlet pass out of the zone. And I am also not afraid to use my imposing size to take charge in the defensive zone. I've been working on my offence, but it's not too hard to get points with some of the guys on our team. However, for now, I can be categorized as a
solid stay at home defenseman
- as evidenced by my
for the year. Defencemen are in my family as my uncle, Ab DeMarco, played 10 years in the NHL and WHA. Next year, I hope to continue to improve on my defense and start to add some offense.
55. Savard, David - “Mr. Cash” - D - Canada
6’1”, 200 lb, R, Moncton QMJHL, 22-Oct-90, 68-9-35-44-33 +29
Well, I am ranked 104th for North America according to Central Scouting. However, my coach (Danny Flynn) has a different take, “His game took off as the season unfolded, particularly after Christmas, and I thought he was tremendous in the playoffs. It comes as no surprise to me that he's moving up steadily on most draft ranking lists. Anyone who watched our team down the stretch and in the playoffs saw how David Savard
elevated his game
and really played his best hockey of the season. I think he's going to be a second- or third-round NHL draft pick and if he keeps working on his game he has a chance to be
a very solid pro
." On defense, I play a solid positional game, I am not afraid to block shots or use my body. On offense, I am known for doing my Johnny Cash impression (walking the line), hitting the sweet (the right line to the net) and then immediately unleashing a low, powerful shot designed to create chaos at the net - stick tippable or net fillable. I am proud of being part of a Moncton Wildcat team that set a new QMJHL record with a 2.16 team goals against average. And for the record, I also was a team leading +29.
56. Tatar, Tomas - “TKO” - C - Slovakia - Combine Invitee
5’11”, 176 lb, L, Zvolen, Slovakia, 1-Dec-90, 41-4-7-11-12
OK, I had a
knockout performance for Team Slovakia at the U20’s worlds
in Dec-08 but I am not a one-shot wonder as I continued that kind of play right into the league playoffs. I usually play center but I am comfortable in all forward roles. I am known for getting things rolling in what ever position I play - I play with
, I play with ability, I play with skills (hands and shot) and I play to win. Depending on high that I go in the draft, I could be playing in North America as early as next fall.
57. Varone, Phil - “Mr. Playoff” - C - Canada
5’10”, 187 lb, L, London, OHL, 4-Dec-90, 59-19-33-452-32 +13
I had a variety of injuries this year, but I’m finally getting healthy. I’m also driven to prove that even though I am not the biggest guy, I belong. This is my draft year and I want to go in the second or third round and want to prove that I can do it. When I put my mind to it, no one's going to take it away from me. That's a big part of (the drive). Also, I think it a newfound confidence. I was never supposed to fill the net in these playoffs - especially with John Tavares (ranked No 1 NA by Central Scouting) and Nazem Kadri (No 15 NA) in front of me at the center position but I did -
10 goals in 14 games plus a team leading +17, +6 better than the 2nd best - John Carlson
. As John Tavares said: “Phil does the things people don't see. A backcheck to break up the rush, he takes away their transition game. So to see him get rewarded it's great for him, the whole team.” To sum up, I play a great 2-way game, kill penalties, block shots and score the big goals by any means possible. Next year, you will see me among the OHL’s scoring leaders.
58. McNabb, Brayden - “Will” - D - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’4”, 200 lb, R, Kootenay, WHL, 21-Jan-91, 67-10-26-36-140 -4
I am the big guy (6’4” & 200 lb.),
the shutdown guy, the PK guy, the guy that the other guys don’t want to play against
- the Don Cherry guy that people want to play with. I can move the puck out of the zone and shoot it well from the point. But it is my will to win that sets me apart from the pack and it is that will that will make me an NHL player one day. Not that I don’t have my shortcomings, I was severely criticized at the U18’s for my lateral mobility. I view that as an opportunity for improvement next year which will make me that much more valuable to my team and more successful in the future.
59. Paradis, Philippe - “Slappy” - LW - Canada - combine Invitee
6’2”, 197 lb, L, Shawinigan, QMJHL, 2-Jan-91, 66-19-31-50-74 +20
So, how about
a 95.7 mph slapshot
that was the
hardest shot at the Top Prospects Skills Competition
or how about my bone jarring hits or how about my success in the faceoff circle or how about my ability to blow by the guys on the other side. Yes, my numbers are not spectacular but my role on one of the Q’s strongest teams is to provide a strong two way presence and let the opposition know that they have to pay if they want to do well against my team. This is what Sportsnet posted from the Top Prospects game, “Paradis displayed terrific hockey sense and an understanding of his positional assignments in all three zones. He was hard on the puck and displayed a knack for maintaining control during physical confrontation along the boards. He finished his checks and was unafraid of taking a hit to make a play. His positioning is strong and he brings a solid work ethic.”
60. Pasquale, Edward - “Bro” - G - Canada - Combine Invitee
6’2”, 218 lb, L, Saginaw, OHL, 20-Nov-90, 61-0-3.02-9.11
So how do you become a goalie; that’s an easy question - just be the younger brother. My brother (Matthew) used to play hockey and he always had a shootout zone in the driveway for road hockey, so he would just throw me into net. I got pushed into that role by him and my older cousin. So from the driveway to being named
Player of the Game for Team Cherry at the Top Prospects Game
. And from the Top Prospects game to the Playoffs where the opposition coach (Guelph coach Jason Brooks) said, “Brandon has played fine but Pasquale has been the better goaltender. That is not a criticism of Brandon but Pasquale has been the difference maker so far. When they've needed a big save, he's made it.
Central Scouting's Al Jensen told NHL.com, "He's
got the look of an NHL goalie
down the road. I like his foot speed, he's got an excellent butterfly, and when he goes down he covers the net well. He moves well with excellent net coverage. Or as John Tavares put it, “As a player you always try to find holes and weaknesses on goalies and he's a guy, it's definitely not easy." In summary, you will find me as a big strong workhorse goaltender, who plays big in the net, challenges the shooters, has good rebound control and does what he has to stop the puck from going into the net.
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