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11-27-2011, 04:19 AM
  #130
matt trick
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My top 10 prospects (no goalies)

1. Justin Braun- 7.5B: Good two-way d-man with ability to get his point shot through. Good skating ability, good first pass, generally effective in the defensive zone. Can have a tendency to lose his man at the NHL level. Could provide significantly more physicality given his size. It is fair to say that is not Braun’s game, but he is capable of adding that to his repertoire. I expect him to vastly improve on the defensive zone, and become a critical part of the team’s offense on the backend. Career Potential: #3 d-man. NHL comparison: Sami Salo

2. Matthew Nieto- 7.5C: Speedy, shifty offensive threat. Nieto offers his team a wide arsenal of offensive ability. The most obvious asset Nieto offers his speed, and in particular his ability to handle the puck while shifting gears or while blazing down the outside. Kid has some impressive mitts and unlike typical shark prospects, he is dangerous on the dangle. He also displays quality vision on the ice and has proven to be a skilled playmaker. Nieto has been primarily seen as a playmaker, but has increased his goalscoring ratio this year. This may have be in part due to playing with former shark prospect Charlie Coyle, though internal growth improvement is also evident. Nieto typically doesn’t shy away from the corners, but may require improvement to see time at the NHL level. Luckily Nieto appears to have grown an inch or two since being drafted, leaving him at a barely undersized 5’11, though another inch or two wouldn’t hurt. Like many offensively skilled prospects, Nieto could stand to improve defensively. I’d say he is currently beyond Setoguchi’s level (when leaving junior), but well below the level of Couture or Pavelski. It is unlikely he will match their level even with excellent development. Career Potential: High quality 2nd line forward. NHL comparison: David Perron (he should avoid Joe at next year’s camp)


3. Michael Sgarbossa- 7.0 C: Speedy, gritty goal scorer. Sgarbossa is pretty much everything you could want in a forward prospect. He is an offensive threat with speed, dangle, and willingness to drive to the net, and he has immense heart and grit, with adequate defensive play. What once appeared to be a solid pick up for long term depth may become one of the Sharks biggest steals. Sgarbossa exploded offensively after trading to Sunbury, but also plays a fairly complete game that would fit on some of the league’s best third lines. Throughout his career he has been annoying to play against, and even if the offense doesn’t come, he should be able to carve out a Jed Ortmeyer type career. Career Potential: High end third liner that can fit on a second line. NHL comparison: Steve Ott but much less of a dick.

4. Nick Petrecki- 6.5B: Bone-rattling defensive d-man with leadership. Most hfsharks are familiar with Nick after nearly 5 years in the system. Solid defensively, leader, and punishing are three of the most common phrases to decribe the Boston College product. Petrecki’s skating is adequate, his size and physicality excellent. What remains to be seen is if he can build on these attributes while also developing a quality first pass, and more importantly an ability to hold NHL power forwards off the scoresheet. He’s learned to play within himself and has appeared to focus on playing within himself- rather than utilizing brute strength to pummel everyone- which is as easy at the AHL level (and certainly won’t be at the NHL level; see Lucic, Milan or Clowe, Ryane for further elaboration).

5. Taylor Doherty- 8.0 D- : Doherty is 6’8 and can skate. That’s a hell of a start. Unfortunately, being massive and mobile is not a one-way ticket to the NHL. Doherty has also shown he has some offensive potential by putting up some major numbers while on Kingston’s OHL squad. However, putting up points in juniors is very different than doing so in the NHL. In addition to continuing to develop his offensive game, Doherty must prove himself capable of being a solid defender. If he does this with huge reach and poke checks (like Hal Gill) that’s fine, if he does by bringing the pain (like a lesser Pronger) that’d be spectacular. At 6’8 220 he should be able to consistently wreck guys, but that is a choice he’ll must make himself. Doherty has a very long way to go, and is undeniably a project, but it’s a gamble that could really pay off, but the payoff is down the line. Doherty has both the highest potential among sharks prospects and IMO the greatest likelihood of disappointing sharks’ fans in a big way. Longshot potential: All around #2 d-man. Likely potential: #4-6 d-man or bust. NHL comparison: Braydon Coburn/better skating Hal Gill/less physical Boris Valabik.

6. Freddie Hamilton- I’ll write this one later.

7. Mike Connolly- 7.5 D- : Like Doherty Mike Connolly can skate. He is also nearly a foot and a half shorter. Connolly has excellent offensive instincts and would be behind only Nieto for most offensively skilled forward prospect. He is an excellent playmaker with a sneaky wrist shot and shows great craftiness when up a man. He has solid dangles, awesome vision, quick feet (and a brain to match), and a pretty dirty wrister. Unfortunately, he is fairly tiny and will have to prove that he can either take punishment or adequately avoid it to avoid becoming one more in a line of the NHLs too small. Career Potetial: Top 6/9 on a scoring line or bust. NHL comparison: Nathan Gerbe or Ryan Vesce.

8. Matt Irwin 6.5 B- All around d-man with some solid offensive instincts/surefire Norris winner. Ask Kitten Mittons for more detailed info/ every day Matt Irwin chants to incorporate into your life.

9. Marek Viedensky- 6.5 B- Excellent two-way third line center that can give opposing forwards fits. Offers some offensive ability and good defense, with the ideal body for a third line shutdown center. Will need to continue to improve defensively (he is already quite solid) and add speed to become a true defensive menace). Career potential: Two-way third line center/lock down center. NHL comparison: Martin Hanzal (please god)/Michael Handzus. Its no secret I am a big fan of this kid. His offensive game blossomed last year, but he can be a rock defensively when he wants to be.

10. Tommy Wingels- 6.0 B- Solid third liner who can offer some scoring. Wingels brings above average just about everything, but could stand to improve in all areas. His speed and shot are NHL caliber, while defense, hockey IQ, playmaking, and dangling are currently average or less. However, he is still fairly young and has a lot of area for growth. I could easily see him developing into a quality third liner, and his clutch college scoring presents a certain amount of intrigue, but Wingels needs to either become rock solid defensively or dramatically increase his scoring ability to earn NHL time. Becoming an exceptional penalty killer could b the single best thing he could to improve his chances. Career potential: Bottom 6 forward with offensive pop. NHL comparison: Pascal Dupuis.

HM: Konral Abeltshauser/Brandon Mashinter- quality depth players who could earn top 6/ top 4 time with development. Mashinter offers NHL size physicality and fighting, but the package is greater still. Can he make the jump to a 4th line that can also score.

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