AJ's relative weakness is his defensive zone play at the moment; it isn't much to write home about. But as I've mentioned to Speeds before, that can definitely be taught. I would love to get him but I have no doubts he's in the top 10. I think he's the second best dman in the draft next to Barker.
Don't count out Slovak Andrej Meszaros or Czech Ladislav Smid. They will both be gone by 20, and 1 could even slip into the top 10, with PHO, NYR, ANA, COL, CAR, FLA, and ATL all needing Defense prospects.
Edit: My dark hosre selection for top 15 also is Boris Valabik. Someone will not be able to pass up his size and mean streak. BUF and NYI will probaly both look long and hard at him with their respective 13th and 16th overall selections.
Not counting out those 2 at all. I just like Thelen better is all... Andrej is 3rd in my defensive rankings and Smid ranks just a tad below at 4th. And in my mock draft they all fall within the top 16.
I'm more than a little wary concerning Valabik. Sure, he's big but he's a very clumsy skater and there have been questions concerning his hockey sense. Let's just say as an Oiler fan, I'll be glad that we won't have to worry about him being in our organization - whether he turns into Chara or not.
Yes, true- he may not be I guess. But according to Bob McKenzie he is -and Bob, although he doesn't offer what he did in the past, IMO is a great draft/type guy for picking up the who's who and where they're headed.