: HF Article:
New and old alike shine in Los Angeles Kings Top 20 ranking
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08-17-2013, 05:10 PM
Enjoy the chaos
Join Date: Jul 2003
I ranked all players who are considered prospects by HF standards. Very brief commentary for each ranking.
1. Tyler Toffoli - NHL ready, great upside, young, and has a history of individual successes.
2. Tanner Pearson - Very smooth transition to the AHL then the NHL.
3. Linden Vey - Slower transition, but more complete game, good upside.
4. Nikolai Prokhorkin - Staying in Russia for two years is a huge concern, but he has the talent, body, and style to play well enough in a top 6 or bottom 6 role.
5. Kevin Gravel - Exponential growth recently, stalwart defensively, strong and calm with the puck.
6. Valentin Zykov - Exceptional transition to NA game, great upside, but definitely needs more time.
7. Nick Shore - Made the best of a less than ideal situation in Denver, has great individual skills and plays a cerebral game; overall game might suffer in a grinder's role.
8. Andy Andreoff - Looks NHL ready (or very close) to me, but suffers from upside issues.
9. Nicolas Deslauriers - Tools/toolbox, yada yada. You've heard it. To me, he plays a lot like Jack Johnson; you may not like him as a player, but he IS an NHL player, with a great collection of individual skills and grit.
10. Kurtis Macdermid - Great skater with a defensive game and physical edge. Upside suffers with lack of offense.
11. Michael Mersch - Potential to be a great scoring grinder. Great frame.
12. Alex Roach - Needs to prove last season wasn't an anomaly, but even so, he has size and he uses it. COULD be a two way threat on the blueline, or he could just be a bruiser.
13. Derek Forbort - Looking a lot more like Jeff Schultz, as he has size, but doesn't gravitate towards using it. Puck handling and skating still below par for his age range. But, he has good vision and there's still hope he puts it together.
14. Martin Jones - Needs to be more consistent to prove he's capable of being more than an NHL back-up.
15. Maxim Kitsyn - His elite stickhandling is useless in the open ice if he can't skate well, and if he plays more on the boards, his stickhandling will suffer. I think he needs to choose a style of game he wants to play, and fine tune his skills to follow that path, or he'll always struggle with consistency issues.
16. Hudson Fasching - Great potential to be a two way winger. I haven't seen him play live, though, so his rank is one of the more sketchy ones. Either way, he has a long way to go and develop.
17. Colin Miller - Good offensively, but I've never really seen him as effective at muscling players off the puck. I'm concerned that, in spite of his leadership intangibles, he may become a one-trick pony.
18. Patrik Bartosak - Need to see more to be comfortable ranking him higher; has a lot of upside, but fitness is an issue at the moment.
19. Nick Ebert - Very much boom or bust. I really liked what I saw of him at the most recent camp; his decisiveness was top of the line amongst all the prospects. Great skillset, as well. Just needs to do it all more consistently. I have a lot of hope for him though.
20. Jordan Weal - Great shifty skater, and plays a sneaky game where he flies under opponent's radars. Purposeful style of play. I just don't think he will find as much success in the next level, where opponents communicate with each other more and have a better sense of their surroundings.
21. Jonny Brodzinski - Long term project, but has great scoring upside.
22. Brandon Kozun - A spark plug with a great set of individual skills; the opposite of Weal. However, he sometimes plays more like a bull in a china shop and might work outside of the system from time to time, so the chances he'll get, deserving or not, might be limited.
23. Justin Auger - Has a lot of potential for his huge size, but he has one of the worst shots I've ever seen. Definitely needs to improve it. Great skater though; there's still a lot of hope for him.
24. Paul Ladue - Not very physical, but uses his stick well to break up plays defensively, and moves the puck well.
25. Nic Dowd - Put up good numbers as a junior, and his leadership is a plus. Can still be successful if he continues the simple game; one of the oldest prospects, however, and with his experience, size, and physical development, he should have a better showing against his peers, which he has not.
26. Zac Leslie - Young and a lot of potential for a good puck mover, but has a long way to go and needs to improve his overall play.
27. JF Berube - Hasn't been given a lot of opportunities at the next level, and while he's had good showings in the ECHL, still needs to do more to give himself a shot at the next level, before he has hope for the next level after that.
28. Dominik Kubalik - Haven't seen him play, but he has decent numbers for someone adjusting to the game. Needs to make the most of that adjustment now.
29. Brian O’Neill - Energy player in the AHL who plays with a huge motor and heart. However, his individual skills just don't look like they'll take him to the next level in the NHL.
30. Joel Lowry - Stagnated production as a sophomore isn't encouraging, and while his skating is great, it's always been great. Could be a good speedy energy player, like Tyler Kennedy or Brad Richardson, but is still a ways away.
31. Tomas Hyka - Decreased production as a 20 year-old in the league where there's higher scoring is a huge concern for me. Not really effective defensively from what I can see.
32. Robbie Czarnik - Such a great set of individual skills that have completely gone to waste; doesn't look like he's bulked up at all. Only put up 1/4th the points he put up in his rookie year.
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