Thread: Prospect Info: 2009 Top 25 Prospects - Redux
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06-27-2010, 01:32 PM
  #57
Dice on Ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluechipbonzo View Post
Donovan's ceiling is as a 5 or 6 d-man...Ness is in limbo, and we'll see if he rebounds this year- tell me your reasoning for putting him ahead of any of my top ten- I love his skating, and offensive awareness to be sure. Even if he fills out, he may only become a slightly more skilled Freddie Meyer-

As I have admitted before, I don't know much about Gregoire, having ommitted him from my top ten lists- I am as much a fan as anyone here regarding our prospects, and the fact that he is not really even on my radar is basically all I have to say. Love to be wrong of course, and love it even more if he has NHL talent- which is what I base my list here on- potential.
With all due respect, your bias against American players is ridiculous.

Between Team USA and Denver, Donovan leapfrogged other more heralded players to the top pairing (that includes everyone's favorite risk-taking offensive defenseman who needs to get a clue in his own zone, the one and only John Carlson). As a freshman, he was right up there in the running for best overall NCAA defenseman this past season (with fellow Isles prospect Blake Kessel, yet Kessel is two years older than him). After all he accomplished this season, having guys like Lee (unbelievable year at a lower level and hasn't even entered college yet), Nelson (ditto), and Kabanov (highly skilled head case who only spent 30% of last year playing hockey) ahead of him is totally unfounded. And it's debatable as to whether Ullstrom (underwhelming year in the SEL), Koskinen (good player but spent the entire year hurt), and Poulin (coming off the strength of one year whereas Donovan put together back-to-back great seasons) should be ahead of him as well. After watching him 9-10 times this year myself, I am going on record: to say he has a ceiling as a bottom pairing defenseman is ludicrous. If the 2008 Draft happened again today, he'd be taken in the bottom third of the first round.

Ness is in a crap program at Minnesota, but you can't watch the guy and walk away saying he doesn't have high-end skills. Sure, he's small, like Dan Boyle and Brian Rafalski and Francis Bouillon and our own Jack Hillen. But he skates like the wind, he shows wonderful stick work, and his hockey sense is off the charts. Just because he probably shouldn't make the top ten in what is now an exceptionally deep organization is no reason to say he's worth writing off. There's a reason the Isles are desperately trying to pry him from that program and put him in Bridgeport.

As for Gregoire, he won't crack a top six if Tavares, Okposo, Bailey, Niederreiter, Petrov, and Kabanov all pan out, but he'll be a great bottom six complement to that scoring contingent. While his strengths won't pop your eyes out (hockey sense and stickhandling are his biggest), his game has zero weaknesses to it. He has the hands to score 20 NHL goals someday. Failing that, he can be a rich man's Richard Park on the wing (back when Park was still effective).

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