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Edge: Five for '05 from NA

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01-22-2005, 02:37 PM
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Edge: Five for '05 from NA

I've been getting more than a few IM's about this and promised some people I'd give a little blurb about some of the 2005 draft picks that have caught my attention.

Obviously no list would be complete without starting with Sidney Crosby. The kid is naturally talented and just see's the ice better than any prospect since Super Mario. That is not to say he is on that high of a level, but his "vision" of the ice is right up there.

The one thing I do worry about is Crosby getting oversold at this point. Make no mistake, he is a franchise player, but he isn't quite on that Next One level. Size is a concern but Sidney has proven to be quite adept at slipping through defenses thus far in Juniors.

I don't see this kid developing monster-like size, but I don't see it becoming an issue either. Based on sheer natural talent, Crosby is the best player available in this draft or any draft this century thus far.

Gilbert Brule gets the slight nod for being the second best North American prospect this year. Though not as naturally talented as Crosby, Brule is perhaps the hardest working player in this years crop of draft eligible players. Undersized but fearless, Brule represents everything you want a franchise player to bring to the table. If he were 2 inches taller he'd be the consensus number two pick, but as it stands right now size IS a concern. He will need to add at least another 20 pounds of muscle to even attempt to play his current style at the NHL level. However Brule has shown a tremendous desire to succeed and has the work ethic to overcome his dimunituve size.

Jack Johnson checks in at number 3, falling a micropoint short of Brule in the rankings. Possesing decent size and a frame with the ability to grow, Johnson is far and away the best North American defenseman in this draft. Capable of moving the puck extremely well, Jack hasn't quite put up the numbers I expected of him. However his two way play has improved noticeably from this time last season and he's played with a strong sense of purpose out there.

Johnson has the potential to be a cornerstone defenseman, though he's not quite a game breaking elite player. He fits comfortably into the mold of a strong two way defender in the Wade Redden or Ryan Suter mold and could be a guy who plays 15 years at a high level.

Bobby Ryan checks in at number four after a strong first half showing for Owen Sound in the OHL. Blessed with good size and a solid frame, Ryan has simply taken his team upon his back and carried them. Ryan knows how to score and isn't afraid to move people to get himself in a position to score. He's probably made the biggest gains of any player from last season to this season and his success is a direct result of focusing on being the best player possible.

The one knock on Ryan comes from his "lack of jam" as it were. Bobby doesn't flatten people the way you'd think he could and he's not a guy who's going to go out there and earn some space by snapping. If he could play with a little more grit and a little more force out there he could become an exceptionally dangerous player.

Kenndal McArdle rounds out the top five in the midst of a strong sophmore performance for Moose Jaw. McArdle is a personal favorite with his relentless, hard working style. Though not blessed with tremendous size, Kenndal is a thick, stocky player who goes out there EVERY single night and gives 110%. He's a kid who doesn't have the natural talent of the four players ahead of him, but has shown himself to be a player who could fit in with just about any system.

McArdle isn't a franchise player but is a player who could make that guy look even better. His ability to set the tone for him team is second to none and if he continues to progress he could be the type of player that every team looks to add to their roster.

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01-22-2005, 02:54 PM
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One correction, Edge...

you may want to make that six of '06. It may be more appropriate given the circumstances.

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01-22-2005, 06:00 PM
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Also, (if you do not mind)

Where does Jack Johnsons' teamate, Jack Skiile fall in your predictions? Personally I like the kid and think that he is a top 10 pick. Him and Kindl are 2 the Rangers can look at between #6-10.

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01-22-2005, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Blue
Where does Jack Johnsons' teamate, Jack Skiile fall in your predictions? Personally I like the kid and think that he is a top 10 pick. Him and Kindl are 2 the Rangers can look at between #6-10.

Right now NA I have him at 8, while i have fellow US product Ryan Stoa at 10.

6-10 right now for me is:

6. Pouliot
7. Bourdon
8. Skille
9. Lashoff
10. Stoa

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01-22-2005, 09:32 PM
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Good stuff Edge, glad to see someone's keeping up.

If you are the Rangers and we were at #2 in the draft, do you take Brule or Johnson?

Also, this Mcardle sounds an awful lot like Dubinsky no?

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01-22-2005, 10:43 PM
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Have you heard anything about how a potential draft would be done? Could be pick 2-3? Croscy would be great, but a shot at Brule or Johnson would be enough for me in a perfect world!! Also, how do you feel about Bourett? Good article.. thanks

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01-23-2005, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenote13
Good stuff Edge, glad to see someone's keeping up.

If you are the Rangers and we were at #2 in the draft, do you take Brule or Johnson?

Also, this Mcardle sounds an awful lot like Dubinsky no?
Right now Brule by a nose hair but ask me at the end of the year.

McArdle isn't that small and is much more of a power forward than Dubinsky {who is a lot more pest}. He reminds me more of a Morrow type.

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01-23-2005, 01:34 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnaby
Have you heard anything about how a potential draft would be done? Could be pick 2-3? Croscy would be great, but a shot at Brule or Johnson would be enough for me in a perfect world!! Also, how do you feel about Bourett? Good article.. thanks
More than likely you're looking at a super draft in 2005.

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01-23-2005, 01:48 AM
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From your rankings it looks like you've seen a good bit of the US U18 team this year. I'm curious, how do you think Phil Kessel and Peter Mueller compare to each other? Also, how would you say they compare to some of the other top '06 eligible players you've seen? Thanks.

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01-23-2005, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
More than likely you're looking at a super draft in 2005.
You mean 06'? If the regular draft was held it would be 05.. So you see a double 06' draft?... Talk about make or break for NYR...

What do you think of Alex Bourret 05' (sp?) and Peter Mueller of 06'?

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01-23-2005, 08:07 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney
From your rankings it looks like you've seen a good bit of the US U18 team this year. I'm curious, how do you think Phil Kessel and Peter Mueller compare to each other? Also, how would you say they compare to some of the other top '06 eligible players you've seen? Thanks.

Yeah I'll admit that I am much more familiar with the U.S. prospects than in year's past.

I couldn't answer any questions on the europeans this year though. I simply have not seen them.

Kessel and Mueller to me represent a dream for the U.S. program, the opportunity to produce elite level scorers.

Kessel right now is probably the better of the two, but Mueller is already a big kid with a nice frame.

It's way too early to project beyond that. A few years ago Umberger looked like a potential cornerstone player as well.

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01-23-2005, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnaby
You mean 06'? If the regular draft was held it would be 05.. So you see a double 06' draft?... Talk about make or break for NYR...

What do you think of Alex Bourret 05' (sp?) and Peter Mueller of 06'?
Bourret is a nice player but there were just guys I'd like more if I were picking in the top 5.

He's a good prospect, but the gap between Johnson and every other north american defenseman is pretty clear cut. IMO right now if you're picking in the top 5 for this draft you go with a forward.

As for '06 Mueller is on pace to be a top ten pick if he keeps going. The real key though will be how he fares in college.

If they do indeed have a super draft in '06 {don't know why i said '05}, than you're looking at a potentially STACKED top 15. You'll also see a lot of guys slide as they get exposed for some of their weaknesses.

Though it might not make a difference if there isn't a season next year because the NHL would just use it as a chance to A. Raise the draft age and B. Shorten the draft.

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