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10-30-2012, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kirk- NEHJ View Post
In honor of Tyler Hill (Hotchkiss) getting rostered by the USHL's Chicago Steel last week and an interview today with WHL center Curtis Lazar, thought this could be the thread where we finally dedicate our discussion to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Sean Monahan headline the class, but in what is shaping up to be a deep, deep class (Craig Button likened it to 2003 on Twitter yesterday), there is plenty of quality to be had.

A quick around-the-world:

WHL: Once again, the Dub produces a bumper crop on 'D' but there are some high-end forwards too- Hunter Shinkaruk and Curtis Lazar are legit.

Seth Jones, D- Portland Son of former NBA player Popeye Jones and the only serious threat to Nathan MacKinnon for 1st overall in June. Late '94 who could have challenged Nail for top pick a year ago- he's that good as a potential No. 1 with size, skating, offense and defense- complete package. Should be a fun ride!

Ryan Pulock, D- Brandon Another late '94 who is 6-1 and already has an NHL shot. Good skater who could get better, but improving his defensive game.

Hunter Shinkaruk, LW- Medicine Hat Smallish forward can dangle and explosive and dynamic scorer who can make magic from the mundane on offense.

Curtis Lazar, C- Edmonton Not the biggest cat, or the most skilled (though he is fast and skilled)- but his compete levels are off the charts. His coach said "If he can't get around you, then he'll go through you, and love every minute of it." Liked what I saw on video at Memorial Cup and at Hlinka tourney, but think the world of this kid because he has the intangibles to go with the talent.

OHL: Longshot to produce another top overall selection, but once again OHL is talent rich and if there is a guy to grab top billing, it is Monahan.

Won't go into much detail here in OHL to let others weigh in... So this is a sparse account of what is, once again, a deep crop with Zadorov, Kujawinski, Rychel, Baptiste, Martin, Subban, Baptiste, Silk, etc. in the mix.

Sean Monahan, C- Ottawa Top-flight center is skilled and has great hockey sense. No major flaws in his game and his game is progressing by leaps and bounds. Like Jones is a late (Oct) '94 who is benefiting from OHL experience.

Max Domi and Bo Horvat, C- London It's rare to have two draft eligible centermen on the same team vying for top-15 consideration but that's what you essentially get with Horvat and Domi. Son of Tie is the polar opposite of his old man in terms of playing style, while Horvat is gritty, determined guy who plays his best when the game is on the line. One is skilled and flashy, the other more of a lunchpail type, but both proving indispensable for the Knights.

Darnell Nurse, D- Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds' top OHL pick is tall, rangy and has a ton of potential. At 6-4 is a stringbean but can skate and plays with an edge. He's not quite there, but if you look at where he could be in another 3-4 years and are willing to accept a little risk with your draft pick, payoff could be huge.

QMJHL: It's the Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin show in Halifax...and don't forget Zachary Fucale, who is only the best goalie in the draft, too. Can you say Memorial Cup?

Nathan MacKinnon, C- Halifax Best player to come out of the 'Q' since Sidney Crosby and has comparable skills and creativity. Don't like the whispers about ego and work ethic, but there is simply no denying that this kid is a major league talent who is ready to break out on the big stage.

Jonathan Drouin, LW- Halifax Game-breaker. Snipeshow. All of the above. When skating with MacKinnon, who can stop him? Answer: Not many.

Anthony Duclair, LW- Quebec Another top offensive talent coming out of the Q. Very fast, dynamic and dangerous. Consistency a bit of an issue with him and won't be very big at an average 6-ft or so.

Adam Erne, RW- Quebec Top-ranked New England native is from Connecticut. Bull in a china shop scored 4 goals the other night, so he has offensive upside to go with a power forward package. Needs to keep putting the points up, but looks to be on his way.

U.S. NCAA/jrs/HS/prep: Good, solid quality down the line between USHL, EJHL Mich/Minn/NY/NE high schools and prep schools.

Tyler Hill, RW- Hotchkiss At 6-6, 225 pounds manchild won't turn 18 until April and has skill to boot. Will split time in prep and in the USHL which could boost his draft stock. Will need to dominate at Hotchkiss, though. Not yet committed, but leaning towards the Ivy League with Harvard and Cornell rumored to lead the pack. From Ontario, but dual-citizen so eligible for Team USA as well.

J.T. Compher, C- U.S. NTDP Well-rounded player can do it all. Average size, but high-end hockey sense, drive and good skills. Dedicated, two-way forward whose feet never stop moving. Character guy who will go ahead of a few players with better skill because of the heart and character.

Ryan Fitzgerald, C- Valley Jr. Warriors Tom's oldest son is a slick playmaker whose stock is rising after earning MVP honors at the All-American Prospects Game. Late '94 who led Malden Catholic to 2 consecutive D1 Super 8 titles with Brendan Collier. Not a blazing skater, but so smart and adept at creating scoring chances out of nothing. BC recruit.

Hudson Fasching, RW- U.S. NTDP The "Apple Valley Assassin" has size, skating, shot and sense- just needs the spirit (drive, consistency) in his game or else he'd be a top-15 guy right now. When on his game, he's a top power forward who can beat you a variety of ways, but the light doesn't always go on.

Ian McCoshen, D- Waterloo Offensive upside a question, but he's got size, can skate and should be a nice shutdown defender at highest level. Plays an effective, mistake-free game.

Europe: Another great year for Sweden, plus Finland, Russia have some impressive players too. 2013 WJC will be fun

Elias Lindholm, C- Brynas- You run out of superlatives pretty fast to describe this playmaking center who has everything you want: speed, skill, sense, passion, leadership. Only average-sized, but he's drawing comparisons already to top Swedish talents in history.

Rasmus Ristolainen, D- TPS Turku Speedy, aggressive offensive d-man has already played in the WJC and will be even better this time around. Sees the ice beautifully and runs the PP like a seasoned vet.

Aleksander 'Sasha' Barkov, C- Tampere Finnish son of former Russian who starred in SM-Liiga. 6-2 frame with soft hands makes him a dangerous scorer with high-end upside if he can maximize his natural gifts. At times, reminds me of Joel Armia and not in a good way, so will have to ramp up the intensity to stay in a potential top-5 draft position come June.

Jacob de la Rose, C- Leksand Big kid isn't the greatest skater in terms of explosiveness and top gear, but compensates with intelligence and effort/intensity. A natural leader who does all the little things, but lack of offensive upside may drop him as season goes on.

Pavel Buchnevich, RW- Cherepovets Skilled Russian plays the off-wing and fits the mold- dangerous with the puck with speed and dynamic element. Intensity also wavers from shift to shift, but when on, easily a top-15 talent. There's the usual risk involved with taking Russians early with this kid, but also the large reward. Detroit or Washington on draft day?

OK- that's it. Not meant to be a comprehensive list, but just to whet the appetite. Hope folks can add to the discussion and populate with more players as you see them and can provide analysis. Tougher for me to see the New England guys this year, but have a few scouting trips planned.

A few sleepers who aren't maybe tracking as well in the open discussion:

Eddie Ellis, C Phillips-Andover Love his creativity and attitude. Typical prep player who is going to need considerable development, but the Harvard-bound Ellis should be getting more love in the draft than he is.

Teemu Kivilhalme, D- Burnsville (Minn) H.S. Mobile defender stood out on video at the Hlinka. Very good skater with smooth footwork- makes it look easy. Crisp puck mover. Not flashy but solid and efficient.

Bogdan Yakimov, C- Novokuznetsk Late '94 is already 6-4, 225. Unfortunately, he skates like it too. But, he's got a big shot and puts forth the effort. Worth a look in the later rounds even with the risky Russian tag.

Mods- please sticky if you feel worthy...
Can`t speak to the ego part of Mackinnon Kirk, nor do I have access behind the scenes to witness potential work ethic issues, all I can say is, when the puck drops to begin a game, Mackinnon does nothing short of busting his arse all over the place.

Drouin has been as advertised and has quietly put himself firmly in the conversation of top draft picks. They play a bit of a different game, Mack is more willing to initiate physical play and Drouin prefers a more finesse approach with less physicality but is hardly afraid of going to the dirty areas on the ice.

Tell you one thing, to watch these two has been a treat, best one two punch I`ve seen live in 30 years of watching Junior hockey. Had the pleasure of seeing some great players in Ottawa as Dad was a longtime season tix holder, and have been a Moose season tix holder for a while now, these two are lightning together.

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