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SEPH 2016 WHL Spring List

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03-31-2016, 10:09 PM
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S E P H
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SEPH 2016 WHL Spring List

Sorry for the delay, but been quite busy late. Normally have this done at the beginning of last week, but I finished some reports today. For the record some of these player articles were written two to three weeks in the past, so if it seems outdated, I apologize. As for this draft class from the league, it's quite weak. The depth is there for 2nd to 3rd rounders, but for me, not a true run away prospect like Provorov, Jones, and the two forwards of 2014. Some really like Bean as that top prospect like Button, but I am not in that crowd, to me Stransky is the best prospect as of now from the WHL. Furthermore for this draft, it contains a lot of smaller forwards, or good physically developed defenders. Whatever you prefer, I do think the whole 2016 draft (not just the WHL) has the same qualities of good physically safe NHL players, but players who don't have a lot or high smarts for the game of hockey. I hope you guys enjoy this!

WHL 2016 Spring List
(#) = Winter List


Preliminary List
01. Simon Stransky, LW [Prince Albert Raiders] (05)
What Has Changed? I was always a big Stransky fan, but in reality, he hasnít done a lot to boost up to first overall in my spring rankings. More like this WHL crop isnít as strong as previous yearís accompanying not a true #1 prospect leading the way. But what he has done though throughout the year is stay consistent with 62 points in 62 games and a fairly good WJC showing as well. A playmaker by nature, Simon is a superb stickhandler who possesses a good level of hockey IQ, passing ability, and deceptiveness for a good offensive package. Still needs to work on skating, but definitely one of my more favourite players leading the way for the WHL.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 28th to 45th
Draft Placement for Me: 20th to 29th

02. Libor Hajek, D [Saskatoon Blades] (07)
What Has Changed? Hajek has made himself more known to the prospect world while also playing an impressive style of hockey at both ends of the ice. He is still a defensive first player that contains a lot of good qualities to prevent the puck in the back of the net. In particular, his hockey IQ, calmness, and gap control are all at really good levels to be a solid top 60 prospect. Now though, his confidence has been shining through and with his steady skating ability, heís been jumping into the play much more than earlier in the season. His point totals are still down, but I am starting to really believe that he hasnít shown all his offensive capability yet.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 40th to 55th
Draft Placement for Me: 25th to 33rd

03. Dillon Dube, C [Kelowna Rockets] (04)
What Has Changed? As with Stransky, Dube has been able to remain consistent for the 2016 campaign. He doesnít do anything fantastic, but does everything well with a good attention for details. Heís a good skater able to take advantage of slower and bigger players; one of the best traits is getting into shooting areas. With his good skating ability, he reads and positions himself from nowhere quickly into a deadly shooting space. Alongside this, I still believe he has an underrated scoring touch, but heís more known as a player able to retain possession of the puck and dish it off due to a good skill stick.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 25th to 32nd
Draft Placement for Me: 27th to 35th

04. Sam Steel, C [Regina Pats] (02)
What Has Changed? As it has been so far, nothing too much for Steel has changed. Heís still that dynamic skater with high hockey IQ and playmaking ability. What makes him fall a tad here is just that he seems too one dimensional at his current state out there. Heís one of those players who needs the puck on his stick to be effective. Another aspect is that he is not physical whatsoever; heís a bit too much of a perimeter player to rise more in my rankings. But donít get me wrong, heís still a solid player who could be one of those picks who raises his game next year when he puts on more muscle. One questionable aspect of him is he had 47 assists this year, but 22 of them came on the power play. Itís not half way, but there could be warning signs that he needs the extra man to produce a big chuck of his points.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 26th to 40th
Draft Placement for Me: 30th to 40th

05. Jake Bean, D [Calgary Hitmen] (08)
What Has Changed? I think Bean has silenced his critics in terms of his offensive production was a result by playing with Travis Sanheim. But he still has some serious questions to be asked, in particular his defensive play and his physicality. Heís a player whoís still quite passive, a player that doesnít play a very good defensive game, and a player that is pointless if he doesnít have the puck on his stick. I might seem like anti-Bean, though in reality I am not, I like him, but I am concerned where draft rankings have him considering how much work needs.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 11th to 17th
Draft Placement for Me: 25th to 37th

06. Carter Hart, G [Everett Silvertips] (06)
What Has Changed? I think we saw at the top prospect game and later on in the WHL, that teams started to expose his lack of footwork laterally. But even with that said, and the work he still needs to do, there is a lot to like here. He is still no questions the best draft eligible goaler here and one of the best in all of the CHL this season. His still best quality is reading the play and anticipating before the puck carrier even performs the shot or pass.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 33rd to 45th
Draft Placement for Me: 31st to 37th

07. Brett Howden, C [Moose Jaw Warriors] (09)
What Has Changed? Howden finished the season playing the same consistent game that he displayed from the start to the end. He not only never takes a shift off, but he plays a heavy game you like to see from a player his size. His area of expertise is in the neutral zone where heís able to angle off through his good anticipation and body size. That anticipation also carries over into the offensive zone where he exhibits this and has a very good shot release. Brett is also one of the most trusted Warriors where heís asked to take a lot of important draws and situations. That might sound not like a lot, but for a draft eligible player on a pretty good team, thatís quite impressive.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 40th to 50th
Draft Placement for Me: 40th to 50th

08. Tyler Benson, LW [Vancouver Giants] (01)
What Has Changed? A lot has changed for Benson, but sadly more for the downside. Coming off a successful rookie campaign, this year has been a disappointment. Heís played quite average even though heís two points off point-per-game status. Then he got a severe groin injury where Giants front office decided to shut him down for the rest of the season. Though, when Tyler was playing, he does all the right things, but never really was involved in the play. I am not saying that he needs to go out there and become flashy, but some swagger would not hurt. Heís that type of player you donít know heís playing until that random shift where you see his numbers. Thatís Bensonís biggest fault to me, and a reason why he fell in my spring rankings.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 17th to 30th
Draft Placement for Me: 35th to 48th

09. Lucas Johansen, D [Kelowna Rockets] (10)
What Has Changed? Well, Ryan Johansenís brother, Lucas finished off the season with a very productive year. A lot like Hajek, Johansen is a defensive first player whoís shown a more comfortable and confident style jumping up in the play as the season has gone on. Though unlike Hajek, majority of Johansenís points have come on the powerplay. Itís actually pretty remarkable how much of his points heís gotten with the extra man. Out of his 39 assists, 25 came on the man advantage, which is a 0.64%. Additionally of his 10 goals, 4 came from the powerplay leading to a percentage of 0.40%. Those are fairly high numbers in both regards that you can say he probably wonít come close to those type of numbers when he gets to the higher leagues. I still consider him a defensive-defenseman more than a two-way or a powerplay specialist. With all that said, heís still a fairly good prospect who can help the depth issues of any defensive core. He can play physical, has fairly solid IQ, good passer, and good skating ability.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 30th to 40th
Draft Placement for Me: 45th to 51st

10. Noah Gregor, C [Moose Jaw Warriors] (12)
What Has Changed? Good things have changed with Gregor, heís coming off a fabulous draft eligible season. He gained a ton of confidence over the season knowing he can play in this league being on more of the smaller side. In particular, I loved watching him rush the puck, with his attention to details, great skating ability, and vision, he really became a very dangerous one-on-one player. Perhaps he didnít score on a lot of them, but he had to be one of the leaders for Moose Jaw in terms of offensive zone entrances. Though as with Johansen, his numbers might seem better than what his actual offensive potency is. The main subject I would like to bring on this is his powerplay goal total, out of his 28 goals this season, 15 of them were on the powerplay. That is tied for 3rd in the league, currently I think would classify him as a powerplay specialist. Which isnít entirely bad, heís able to toy away with defensive players and penalty killers when heís got the puck. One area heís especially good in is his shot accuracy; I would say it is extremely good. Itís kind of like in basketball where if you give a good three-point shooter enough time, he will nail that shot 9 out 10 times. Gregor is similar in a way when it comes to 5v4 and if you give him too much time. He will definitely make it count with both Noahís shot and passing accuracy.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 51st to 62nd
Draft Placement for Me: 54th to 64th

11. Kale Clague, D [Brandon Wheat Kings] (03)
What Has Changed? Clague is coming off an impressive second of the season where he finished strong with 43 points in 73 games. Clague started using his strengths to his advantage which are his skating, puck moving ability, and controlling the play down to his desire. Heís still a legitimate top 60 prospect, but I donít think he has the talent or ceiling which was praised earlier as a top 11 prospect. Even with all his strengths, heís still quite passive and wonít ever be physically intimating. If you know the player youíre going to get, youíll be happy with him, just donít expect the next John Carlson.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 28th to 40th
Draft Placement for Me: 50th to 56th

12. Zach Sawchenko, G [Moose Jaw Warriors] (11)
What Has Changed? Sawchenko has been steady and consistent from the second half of the season, which you like to see in young goaltender of his calibre. Even though he plays on a solid team, his save percentage of 0.916% is quite good showing that he is no slouch either. What makes Zach better than Hart in one regard, is his athleticism and footwork. Even though Hart has better anticipation and hockey sense for a goaltender, Sawchenko has him beat in these two characteristics. Traits that might make him the better potential goaltender for the future when he starts to develop with his drafted team. One other area which I appreciate when scouting goalers, is if they have the ability to make big saves, for Sawchenko he does have this ability.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 60th to 69th
Draft Placement for Me: 64th to 73rd

13. Ty Ronning, RW [Vancouver Giants] (HM)
What Has Changed? Ty has been one of the few who has changed a lot over the course of the season. He was always a pretty impressive player to watch even as rookie, but with time his skills have really stood out of the best. Heís a very patience player with the puck, a lot like Mikkel Boedker, Ronning also possesses some very good stick handling with a deceptive shot beating goalers who are cheating. Furthermore, he owns good vision and has a great active stick which he uses a ton on the forecheck. All in all, heís a solid offensive player who can beat you both by a pass or a shot. Yes heís on the smaller side and wonít ever be this physically tough player, but heís definitely on the good side in terms of rising up.
Potential NHL Draft Placement 67th to 80th
Draft Placement for Me: 57th to 65th

14. Max Lajoie, D [Swift Current Broncos] (15)
What Has Changed? The first half of the season, Swift Current was a bad team, like really bad. To go alongside with this, the points just werenít coming for Lajoie, but after a couple of trades, the team still lacked talent, but the effort rose and they werenít an easy two points anymore. Additionally with this shift towards being a better team, Lajoieís game also boosted up. I would say heís one of those players you just canít stat watch and base your opinion on just that. Heís actually quite decent defensively, he already knows where to be on the ice positionally (has good gap control), and contains a very good defensive stick. What I mean by good defensive stick is he has above-average management when it comes to pokechecks, blocking the passing lanes, and having it to harass forward opponents. He also has some good offensive tools, especially an underrated wrist shot where heís good at getting it through traffic. One area he needs to improve is that heís quite underdeveloped physically.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 75th to 85th
Draft Placement for Me: 68th to 78th

15. David Quenneville, D [Medicine Hat Tigers] (HM)
What Has Changed? For Quenneville it was always to see how good he could be over the course of a very physical junior league. Because when it comes to talent, he already has it, only thing that will hold him back is his smaller stature out there. Quenneville is a pure offensive defenseman that has superb hockey IQ and puck rushing vision. One of his best qualities is that he finds the open ice with ease making him hard to control on the rush, while not having the physical traits (IE Tyson Barrie). With this ability, he likes to play a quick speed and transition game perhaps in the counterattacking capacity. Along with this, he also has great quarterbacking elements where Iíve seen him control powerplays by himself. Not only mention this, but a substantial amount of plays goes through Davidís stick, either leading to a goal or a pass. Heís not really good defensively, but if you draft him for strictly what his strengths are, you wonít have a problem, good player.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 85th to 95th
Draft Placement for Me: 80th to 90th

16. Matthew Phillips, C [Victoria Royals] Phillips is a diminutive forward who is a good skater, has good offensive skills, and is surprisingly physically tough for size. But he tends to over stickhandle or tries to do too much losing possession quite a bit.
17. Garrett Pilon, C [Kamloops Blazers] (13) A forward that has great work ethic and IQ; he reads the play and anticipates leading to offensive chances. Didnít have a bad season by any regards, but offensive game might have been overestimated a bit.
18. Hudson Elynuik, LW/C [Spokane Chiefs] A big forward who loves to play the physical game, what makes him interesting is that he can play what you ask of him. Anything from a bottom 6 to a powerforward on the first line, he has the skills to accomplish it. Still needs to work on skating for a good portion of the offseason.
19. Jordy Stallard, C [Calgary Hitmen] A forward with good size and skating ability, Stallard possesses a good overall game with the technique to beat you with either a shot or pass to go alongside a good work ethic.
20. Patrick Bajkov [Everett Silvertips] Bajkov is a shifty forward that contains good offensive talent, especially when it comes to passing and playmaking. Whenever I see him play, heís always moving, always surveying even though he doesnít have the greatest skating yet. His offensive numbers didnít drastically improve that much, but his overall game has and has been more of a complete player.
21. Max Gerlach, C [Medicine Hat Tigers] You can say that Gerlach is the forward version of David Quenneville in terms of playing style and attributes. Max like David is on the smaller side of the spectrum relying on deceptive speed, high temp offensive game. More tools include good puck skills, vision, and a very good shot awarding him 30 goals as a rookie in the WHL.
22. Carsen Twarynski, LW [Calgary Hitmen] Like his teammate in Stallard, Twarynski brings some of those same qualities where a strong work ethic and taking no for an answer brings out talent. Additionally, Carsen plays a full complete game and loves driving the puck to the net for those dirty goals.
23. Davis Koch, RW [Edmonton Oil Kings] Very calm forward that is able to make plays under pressure, take hits to make a play, and sucker in defenders to create opening for teammates. Koch is also a very good passer and likes to go to the tough areas. He also reads the play well, but what makes him a good prospect is that heís always very aware of his surroundings. Physically weak and skating isnít anything special, but a player rising for me.
24. Vojtech Budik, D [Prince Albert Raiders] Bulik is that type of player you like or hate, in a sense he reminds me a lot of the situation concerning Brendan Guhle in 2015. Here you have a defenseman that almost has all the physical tools, but might not have the hockey sense to keep up. Vojtech is a good skater, has a good shot, good first pass, but either over thinks, is late to react, or is still adjusting to the North American game. Whatever is the case, I think heís worth a gamble somewhere in the middle rounds.
25. Evan Sarthou, G [Tri-City Americans] (14) I still havenít completely given up on Sarthou, but I was disappointed that he didnít quite rebound and have a better middle or finishing end to the season. He definitely plays on one of the more talent challenged clubs, so he does get some excuse, but not enough to say he should be up there with Hart. Nonetheless, if Sarthou is able to put everything together, youíll get a very good athletic goaler thatís capable of making big highlight reel saves. Still needs work, more when it comes to technique and angling, but those can be taught while the athletic ability canít.
26. Josh Anderson, D [Prince George Cougars] Anderson is your run in the mill defensive defensemen. But heís not only that, he plays a physical brand of hockey that is getting him noticed throughout the league and most importantly scouts. Wonít ever come close to being a two-way defenseman, but heís probably the toughest draft eligible player since Dylan McIlrath coming from the Dub. Needs to work on skating, but all the tools are there to be a good middle pairing to bottom with a serious nasty streak.
27. Jake Kryski, LW/C [Kamloops Blazers] Kryski didnít have a bad season by any means, but I kind of was hoping for more out of him when I saw him. Heís still a good player with good puck movement and passing ability as backed up by his stat sheet of 12 goals and 27 assists. Of those 12 goals, majority of them came by going to the dirty areas and slamming in rebounds or loose pucks. I appreciate his work ethic and good two-way game, but I donít know if all his offense can translate into the higher leagues.
28. Dawson Davidson, D [Kamloops Blazers] A player that has came from practically the abyss, Davidson is like others Iíve mentioned, a sleek skating offensive defenseman that loves to join the rush. Offensive defensemen like this normally come out of nowhere when they gain more confidence and know they can play in this lead. His type of game as an OFD is dangerous as joining the rush can really punish you on the counterattack. In Dawsonís case, heís still learning, but some of the tools are shining through to go along with his skating, like his passing ability. His passes are normally always on point and very accurate causing Blazers play more offense than stay majority of the period in the defensive zone when heís on the ice.
29. Ondrej Vala, D [Kamloops Blazers] Vala, like Kryski is a player you are expecting some more from him based on the hype you had before. Vala as well didnít have a bad season per se, but doesnít do enough in his game to be noticeable except for his size (heís one of the bigger ones out there). Ondrej is similar like Bulik where both have a lot of physical attributes, but not a ton of hockey sense or swagger you want to see. Either way, like Bulik, I think heís another acceptable gamble to see if heís able to put everything together with more development time in the WHL.
30. Sahvan Khaira, D [Swift Current Broncos] Khaira is another towering shutdown defender like Anderson whose job is to give opposing stars a living nightmare out there on the ice. Though not as physically intimating as Josh is, I think Sahvan brings out better traits to his game, most noticeably his defensive stick and surveying the situation around. He doesnít get suckered in by puck watching, but he also has things to work on as well. He doesnít have a very good set of hands and something he needs to get better in if he wants to get to the higher leagues.

Honourable Mentions
Bartek Bison, LW [Prince George Cougars]
Beck Malenstyn, C [Calgary Hitmen]
Brandon Hagel, LW [Red Deer Rebels]
Colby Sissons, D [Swift Current Broncos]
Dante Hannoun, C [Victoria Royals]
Dylan Coghlan, D [Tri-City Americans]
Jeff de Wit, C [Red Deer Rebels]
Joshua Mahura, D [Red Deer Rebels] (LV)
Kody McDonald, RW [Prince George Cougars]
Luke Coleman, LW [Prince Albert Raiders]
Matt Barberis, D [Vancouver Giants]
Nolan Volcan, LW [Seattle Thunderbirds]
Quinn Benjafield, RW [Kamloops Blazers]
Skyler McKenzie, C [Portland Winterhawks]
Tanner Kaspick, C/LW [Brandon Wheat Kings]
Tyler Steenbergen, C [Swift Current Broncos]

Overagers to Look Out for
Adam Brooks, C [Regina Pats]
Alexander True, C [Seattle Thunderbirds]
Brayden Burke, C/LW [Lethbridge Hurricanes]
Brennan Menell, D [Vancouver Giants]
Brogan OíBrien, C [Prince George Cougars]
Calvin Thurkauf, C/LW [Kelowna Rockets]
Cameron Hebig, C [Saskatoon Blades]
Connor Ingram, G [Kamloops Blazers]
Dario Meyer, RW [Edmonton Oil Kings]
Grayson Pawlenchuk, LW [Red Deer Rebels]
Ivan Nikolishin, C/LW [Red Deer Rebels]
Jack Walker, LW [Victoria Royals]
Jakob Stukel, LW [Calgary Hitmen]
Jesse Zaharichuk, RW [Kootenay Ice]
Joe Gatenby, D [Kelowna Rockets]
Jordan Topping, LW [Tri-City Americans]
Keoni Texeira, D [Portland Winterhawks]
Reid Gardiner, C [Prince Albert Raiders]
Rihards Bukarts, LW [Portland Winterhawks]
Rodrigo Abols, C [Portland Winterhawks]
Tomas Soustal, C [Kelowna Rockets]
Tyler Coulter, LW [Brandon Wheat Kings]
Tyler Soy, C [Victoria Royals] I donít normally create write ups for overagers except if I am asked, but I had to do one for Soy. Tyler has just astronomically improved that I was truly surprised this was the same player from last year. Not only does he desire the puck more, heís been making the right decision and anticipating the play much better now. But heís still physically weak and might have Carl Hagelin syndrome, does 99% of everything except finish. Well, whatever happens, in my opinion, he has improved enough to be considered a legitimate later round prospect to look for (or training camp invite).
Yegor Babenko, RW [Lethbridge Hurricanes]
Zak Zborosky, RW [Kootenay Ice]

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03-31-2016, 10:17 PM
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Chris Cutter
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Good work as usual.

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04-01-2016, 12:52 AM
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This is one of the worst crops to come out of the Dub in a while....

However I cannot get on board with what you are saying about Benson, battling through considerable pain all year in the games he played he was the heartbeat of his team whenever he was on the ice, he competed his ass off all over the ice and played like a leader for his team that was completely devoid of talent.

To me he could potentially challenge for the best player of this Dub class. Goes without saying but I also think Bean can't not be top two. There is a guy in the NHL named Mike Green that is pretty soft defensively but pretty elite in the offensive zone and good on the PP, he is not going to be winning the Norris any time soon but a lot of teams could use him.

Just my opinion but kudos for taking the time to put this together.

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04-01-2016, 01:28 AM
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Nice work putting all the effort in. The Dub looks good from picks 20-50 but as you've noted there's some serious lack of top end talent.

Having watched both a lot this season, I'd take Howden over Stransky. I've been a big fan of Simon all year but until he learns to play as a quicker pace and works on his skating I'm hesitant to put him anywhere near the 1st round. I don't think there is anyone in the class better than Stransky with the puck. But at the next level, he's going to need to be able to get the puck for himself and I haven't seen that ability yet. Gardiner does that for him currently. I also think if we're to compare him (Stransky) to Bean, Bean blows him out of the water with his pro passing, hockey IQ and much more fluid skating.

Is Steel a riser for you? He's been better down the stretch and he's looked good in 2 of the games I've seen vs Lethbridge. It would be interesting to see if he can work his way into the top 30 come June.

Also I agree with the guy above me. I've seen a good handful of Giants games this year and I feel Benson is still top 3 in the draft class. He's battled through injuries, coaching has never been stable, and until they brought in Cox and Lang, he didn't have much to work with. He just wasn't able to get into a good rhythm this year. I saw a very good set of tools though, from his laser release and heavy shot, to his powerful and long stride, and of course his good vision.

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04-01-2016, 05:28 AM
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I love the work as usual, SEPH. Always a fan. Even when I don't agree with everything 100%, it's a fantastic list.

I'm starting to be a bit more of a Stransky believer like you, and love the balls of putting him at number 1. I don't see the high hockey IQ and his skating isn't strong (like you mentioned). If I'm picking from this group I'm going with high IQ, skating, and offense, and that's all Bean. You can teach defense to a smart kid. A good example of that is Michael Brodzinski with the Sharks. He was an absolute mess on defense and played the game like a rover. Under a good system and coach he became a really strong 2-way player over the course of his college career.

The only other big argument I have (and it's probably more in the minority) is Carter Hart that high. I know the guys at McKeen's are high on him, but I continually just see an good goalie in a great defensive system. His size will keep him out of the 1st round, but for me it's more about his speed going from side to side, and some of his shortcomings on the blocker side. For sure he's the top WHL goalie off the board, but for me at least I'd pick a few more skaters in front of him (like Benson). That being said it's really nitpicky, because this was a great list. Well done man. I should try and update my stuff (I haven't added anything since like November, but I have STACKS of reports) so you can bash my list haha.

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04-01-2016, 10:17 AM
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Great stuff. Thanks for posting!

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04-01-2016, 11:16 AM
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Good stuff, thanks for sharing this.

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04-01-2016, 03:22 PM
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Interesting list. Don't agree with a lot of the order but it's a weird year that way in the WHL from what I've seen.

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04-01-2016, 04:20 PM
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Nalyd Psycho
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Am I crazy or does Stransky remind anyone else of Martin Rucinsky?

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04-01-2016, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
Am I crazy or does Stransky remind anyone else of Martin Rucinsky?
Reminds me of a selective player that will end up back in Europe within 8 years!

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04-01-2016, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cutter View Post
Good work as usual.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puckfan13 View Post
This is one of the worst crops to come out of the Dub in a while....

However I cannot get on board with what you are saying about Benson, battling through considerable pain all year in the games he played he was the heartbeat of his team whenever he was on the ice, he competed his ass off all over the ice and played like a leader for his team that was completely devoid of talent.

To me he could potentially challenge for the best player of this Dub class. Goes without saying but I also think Bean can't not be top two. There is a guy in the NHL named Mike Green that is pretty soft defensively but pretty elite in the offensive zone and good on the PP, he is not going to be winning the Norris any time soon but a lot of teams could use him.

Just my opinion but kudos for taking the time to put this together.
I will counter your Mike Green argument and raise you a Stefan Elliott. A back to back defenceman of the year for the WHL and he got nowhere. Bean has a better work ethic than Elliott, but it's not by much. Actually I would say that Elliott was a more dynamic defender and IMO better of the two. Because of that, I am not really buying the Bean hype, especially for his current hype as a top 15 player.

Gotta disagree about Benson, I never complained about his work ethic, just that he's mostly invisible for a lot of games. He still got a lot of points by playing under the radar which is probably a good sign, but I see no swagger like MacKinnon has. Now I am not saying Benson would come close to Nathan in terms of talent, but you want to see more out of him. Grateful for the words even if we disagree.

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Originally Posted by BIitz View Post
Nice work putting all the effort in. The Dub looks good from picks 20-50 but as you've noted there's some serious lack of top end talent.

Having watched both a lot this season, I'd take Howden over Stransky. I've been a big fan of Simon all year but until he learns to play as a quicker pace and works on his skating I'm hesitant to put him anywhere near the 1st round. I don't think there is anyone in the class better than Stransky with the puck. But at the next level, he's going to need to be able to get the puck for himself and I haven't seen that ability yet. Gardiner does that for him currently. I also think if we're to compare him (Stransky) to Bean, Bean blows him out of the water with his pro passing, hockey IQ and much more fluid skating.

Is Steel a riser for you? He's been better down the stretch and he's looked good in 2 of the games I've seen vs Lethbridge. It would be interesting to see if he can work his way into the top 30 come June.

Also I agree with the guy above me. I've seen a good handful of Giants games this year and I feel Benson is still top 3 in the draft class. He's battled through injuries, coaching has never been stable, and until they brought in Cox and Lang, he didn't have much to work with. He just wasn't able to get into a good rhythm this year. I saw a very good set of tools though, from his laser release and heavy shot, to his powerful and long stride, and of course his good vision.
Thanks!!! I'll be honest and say that I think Howden has probably been the better of the two players. Howden really hasn't had any major costly mistakes in the games I've watched, but what seperates him from Simon is potential. I don't see the strengths in Howden's game that would make me think he could be a legitmate top 6 player in the higher leagues. Howden probably comes off as a good 3rd line centre who can be a good secondary scorer. I think he doesn't have a very high ceiling, but his floor is quite high compared to the other WHL prospects. Now in terms of Stransky, he definitely is the risker player, but the tools he has as strength looks as better and more potential to me in the higher leagues. His stickhandling, playmaking, and overall offensive ability is that who could be a solid second liner. Because of that, he is my number one prospect and don't really think any differently!

Benson has always been a jack of all trades player. I don't think I doubt his talent or tools, but I have questions about involvement. Again as I wrote in my report, he just disappeared too often than I would like for a potential 1st rounder.


Last edited by S E P H: 04-02-2016 at 12:02 AM.
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Originally Posted by Craig Fischer View Post
I love the work as usual, SEPH. Always a fan. Even when I don't agree with everything 100%, it's a fantastic list.

I'm starting to be a bit more of a Stransky believer like you, and love the balls of putting him at number 1. I don't see the high hockey IQ and his skating isn't strong (like you mentioned). If I'm picking from this group I'm going with high IQ, skating, and offense, and that's all Bean. You can teach defense to a smart kid. A good example of that is Michael Brodzinski with the Sharks. He was an absolute mess on defense and played the game like a rover. Under a good system and coach he became a really strong 2-way player over the course of his college career.

The only other big argument I have (and it's probably more in the minority) is Carter Hart that high. I know the guys at McKeen's are high on him, but I continually just see an good goalie in a great defensive system. His size will keep him out of the 1st round, but for me it's more about his speed going from side to side, and some of his shortcomings on the blocker side. For sure he's the top WHL goalie off the board, but for me at least I'd pick a few more skaters in front of him (like Benson). That being said it's really nitpicky, because this was a great list. Well done man. I should try and update my stuff (I haven't added anything since like November, but I have STACKS of reports) so you can bash my list haha.
Yeah, as I've mentioned to the other Dub follows here, I just can't buy the Bean hype as of now. That can still change right now in the playoffs, but too much work for his game where he WILL get exposed in the higher leagues IMO. Not saying Bean is the worst, but when someone is that bad on the other side, there is just so much he can develop. He will never be a two-way game IMO, he probably will become better, but as I've seen with Tyson Barrie coming from an Avs fan, his defensive game still isn't even average level. The problem though is that I have serious doubts he can even come close to Barrie or Theodore's level. This is not a bash comment towards him, more that I don't value the whole 2016 draft class that highly.

I don't know, I was kind of the opposite on Hart. Last year, I thought he was quite overrated considering he was just 5'10", but he grew quite a bit over the offseason and is just a bit below-average on the target height for goalers. Whatever the case is, I think he's kind of like a Pickard-lite where height won't matter when your hockey IQ is that high. Not only when it comes to anticipating, but how far to come out on breakaways, challenging the shooter, and certain situations like penalty kills or 2-on-1s. I think Hart has those abilities, even if he doesn't have the best technique or maneuverability of the 2016 draft eligible goalers. Not a WHL player, but I am actually quite the fan of Antoine Samuel from the Drakkar. Similar goaltender, but better rebound control and footwork. In the long run, he could become the better goaltender, but as of now I think I still like Hart.

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Originally Posted by timlap View Post
Great stuff. Thanks for posting!
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Originally Posted by tony d View Post
Good stuff, thanks for sharing this.
Thanks guys to the both of you for enjoying it!

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Originally Posted by puckfan13 View Post
Reminds me of a selective player that will end up back in Europe within 8 years!
I don't think that is a fair assessment, Benson is just as likely to bust as Stransky is.

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