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03-23-2012, 07:13 PM
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1. Dougie Hamilton - Defenseman, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)
Hamilton should make the transition to the NHL next year. The only thing that kept him off the squad this year was his weight - he needed to fill out into his increasing height. It also didn't hurt that he was under zero pressure to make a big impact for a team that had just won the Stanley Cup. How he fell to #9 last year in the draft is really surprising. He was the final draft pick acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel trade. He displays tremendous offensive skill from the backend
2. Jared Knight - Center / Right Wing, London Knights (OHL)
Knight was selected with the 2010 2nd round pick acquired in the Kessel trade with Toronto. He uses his size very well to attack the net in a bull rush style and has a nasty shot. How this kid wasn't invited to the combine is beyond me, because the video that he put out prior to the draft was quite impressive. He needs to work on his speed, however he has a very strong power stride. He possesses leadership skills and is being compared to a Ryan Callahan type of player. His bust level is low in that if he's not in the top 9, then he will surely be able to play a strong 4th line role. He was once again scratched off of the United States' Under-20 World Junior Championship team due to their questionable discrimination of not being too keen on displaying their best because of players choosing to go the CHL route.
3. Alexander Khokhlachev - Center / Left Wing, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Khoklachev, like all other Russian born players, has the KHL stigma attached to him and many have said that that is the
reason why his stock fell at the draft last year. Most scouting agencies / lists had him targeted between the middle to end of the 1st round. Being eligible for last years' draft by only days it could be argued that barring his freak lacerated kidney this season, he would almost assuredly be targeted as one of the premier players available in this year's (2012) draft. His offensive skill is undeniable, however he needs to work on his conditioning (appeared to be out of shape at last year's rookie camp). He has great hands, good playmaking ability, and a tremendous knack for the net. He played for Russia at this year's Under-20 World Junior Championships and finished with 5 points (4 goals, 1 assist) in 7 games.
4. Ryan Spooner - Center / Left Wing, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Spooner was selected in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft and appears to be another Boston 2nd round steal (see: Bergeron, Lucic, and Krejci). If he can improve his defensive game and add a few more pounds, he's going to make it very tough on the Bruins to send him to Providence next year. He has excellent vision and superb play-making ability. In the few rookie games against the Islanders over the past two years, he's dazzled and made it very clear that he was the best player on the ice. He was also one of the last forwards cut in camp coming out of his draft year. The sky is the limit for this kid.
5. Carl Söderberg - Center, Linköping HC (SEL)
The only reason Söderberg is at #5 on my list is because he's a long shot to make the jump over the pond. If he intends or intended on joining the North American pro-leagues, he'd be listed much higher. On the Bruins board, he's been compared to the Yeti, Bigfoot, and other folk lore legends.
6. Anton Khudobin - Goalie, Providence Bruins (AHL)
Khudobin was acquired last year in a trade with the Minnesota Wild due to their tremendous organizational depth at goalie. Although many would not consider him a prospect due to his age (25), he has only played in 6 NHL games (2-0, .860 GAA, .979 SV% and 4-0, 1.59 GAA, .942 SV%). He started the current AHL season off with some shaky performances, however as the season has worn on his play has improved (19-17-3, 2.60 GAA, .919 SV%). One could also argue that his mediocre play this season could be due to playing ‘tender for the underwhelming Providence Bruins (which is a whole different topic). Reports came in this past offseason that he would bolt to the KHL due to the goalie situation in Boston, however PC somehow convinced him to stay and inked him to a two year contract that is designed to end after Rask’s current contract and at the same time as the completion of Thomas’ contract. Recently, he suffered a wrist injury that has kept him out of play over the past few weeks, however he is scheduled to return sometime soon. With Rask down to injury and the Turco experiment failing miserably, it seems as if he will be given the chance to backup Thomas / give Thomas some rest in the stretch run of the regular season.
7. Maxim Chudinov - Defenseman, Cherepovets Severstal (KHL)
Chudinov turned out to be a surprise / steal (chosen in the 7th round in the 2010 draft) because I believe the Bruins selected him to encourage Alexandrov (who was just unloaded to the Islanders) to make the jump over to North America. While undersized, Chudinov plays a physical game that is unlike most Russians. He possesses some offensive skill that has really shown this current season (from all reports). While he was taken as a project pick, his certainty of playing in the NHL is unknown.
8. Carter Camper - Center / Right Wing, Providence Bruins (AHL)
An NCAA UFA acquisition last year out of Miami Ohio (whom he captained), Camper was 5th in the NCAA last year in points. Upon arriving in Providence last year, Camper played in the final 3 games, registering a point in 2 of them. Along with Khudobin and Warsofsky, Camper has been another bright spot during another underwhelming Providence Bruins season. Although he is another undersized player in the Bruins’ system (5’9), Camper uses his size and speed well to create scoring chances. In his cup of coffee in Boston this year (that was short lived due to the trade deadline acquisition of Brian Rolston), Camper registered his first career NHL goal. While Boston appears to be set in the top 6 for years to come, and top heavy in terms of offensive talent joining the organization from the OHL, Camper is my darkhorse winger to make the Bruins out of camp next year.
9. David Warsofsky - Defenseman, Providence Bruins (AHL)
Warsofsky is an undersized and speedy offensive defenseman who was acquired in the Sobotka trade with St. Louis. He played his collegiate years at BU and signed a contract with the Bruins organization after his NCAA season had come to an end last year. He's been a bright spot for the aforementioned underwhelming Providence Bruins team this year. He employs his good vision and shifty speed to enter the offensive zone quickly and could be used down the road as a powerplay specialist (Marc-Andre Bergeron lite). Though the Bruins appear to be set at defense for next season (Chara, Seidenberg, Ference, Boychuk, McQuaid, and most likely Hamilton), he could be called up should an injury occur ala Steven Kampfer (unless of course the Bruins decide to sign a veteran defenseman in the offseason).
10. Maxime Sauvé - Center, Providence Bruins (AHL)
Another 2nd round selection by the Bruins, Sauvé impressed last year down in Providence. However, that trend has not continued as he’s been slowed by injuries this season – limited to only 27 games. In those 27 games, he’s racked up 17 points. Along with Camper, Sauvé also had his first cup of coffee this year with the Bruins, in which he was injured (again). With the additions of Spooner, Knight, and the continuation of Camper, Sauvé should be able to put up dramatically better numbers in Providence next season. He has good speed, hands, and playmaking ability.
11. Tommy Cross – Defenseman, Boston College (NCAA)
Once again, Cross is another 2nd round selection by the Bruins (it’s become quite the trend - he was selected in 2007). Cross captained the Boston College Eagles this year to both the Hockey East Championship as well as the Beanpot Championship (championship between all the Boston area schools). As a senior, Cross is expected to join Providence after his NCAA season has come to an end (BC is in NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Tournament). All is good and well, however there are concerns over his knee injuries over the past few years. Until he joins the pro-game, it’s unknown how he will be able to adapt (being that quality NCAA defenseman are rare). Hopes are that he is able to join Providence and make a large impact on a mediocre backend that has seen its most promising incoming CHL defenseman be sent down to the ECHL (Ryan Button).
11. Lane MacDermid - Left Wing, Providence Bruins (AHL)
The reason for MacDermid making this list is simple: he appears ready to make the permanent jump to the big club in a fourth line role. Unlike the other players on this list, his game revolves around hitting, fighting, and more hitting – he simply hits everything and anyone out on the ice. In his first NHL shift (days ago), MacDermid chose to drop the gloves with Mike Rupp (yikes). If the agent of Dan Paille should get into Paille’s ear and tell him that he could demand 3rd line money this coming offseason, then MacDermid and his large frame (6’3, 205lbs) would slide nicely into the 4th line (replacing Paille).
12. Adam Morrison – Goalie, Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Signed to an ELC this week as an UFA, Morrison was originally drafted by Philadelphia yet never signed to an ELC. Morrison has split his 57 games played this year between Saskatoon (2 games) and Vancouver (55 games), and put up respectable numbers (36-17, 2.68 GAA, .891 SV%). The Bruins organization is severely lacking in terms of goaltending potential in the future (with the exception of Khudobin, who I claimed many would not consider a prospect due to his age) and thus this is the main reason for including him on my list (along with Volden and Gothberg).
13. Lars Volden - Goalie, Espoo Blues (SM-liiga)
Volden was Mr. Irrelevant of the Boston Bruins’ organization in last year’s draft (he was chosen in the 6th round last year – Boston had traded their 7th round pick to Chicago in exchange for their 7th round pick in 2010. While Volden has had limited playing time for the Espoo Blues this season (he's jumped around their organization this season playing on their main team, their junior Under-20 team, being loaned out to Jokipojat of the Norway2 league, and playing for Norway's Under-20 team), reports of scouts who have seen him play seem to think he could be an NHL goalie someday in the future. Like Morrison and Gothberg (who I rank at #12 and #14 in the prospect rankings), Volden is on this list simply out of the lack of organizational depth in-between the pipes for the Bruins.
14. Zane Gothberg – Goalie, University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux (NCAA)
Gothberg is another project prospect in the Bruins organization. After playing for the Fargo Force of the USHL, Gothberg committed to the UND Fighting Sioux, where he hasn’t appeared in a game yet in his Freshman season. The reason for him making this list is simple: the lack of quality goaltenders in the Bruins organization. It’s going to be a long road for Gothberg to make the NHL, however he chose a great school in UND to help him develop his game that the Bruins seem to think he could flourish someday in the future.
Last edited by DJENTLEMAN: 03-23-2012 at
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