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The Annual Top 10 Prospect List

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12-25-2012, 06:37 AM
  #1
shureshot66
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The Annual Top 10 Prospect List

A Merry Christmas to all this morning. We'll eventually move this up into the prospect thread, but we'll give it a standalone for awhile for the benefit of those who don't frequent the official thread up top.

For those not familiar for some reason, Dave Molinari of the PG writes up the top 10 Pens prospects every Christmas based on feedback from the Pens' front office. It's generally the closest we get to seeing how the brass rates their own guys.

Quote:
The top half of the rankings, which stem from the observations of men who evaluate and develop young talent for a living, could have been arranged in any order, because there appears to be so little, at this stage, to distinguish the NHL potential of one player from another.

To keep the number of candidates for inclusion to a manageable number, the rankings are limited to unsigned draft choices and players on entry-level contracts. That eliminates prospects such as Eric Tangradi, Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Strait, among others, from consideration.
1. Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL)
2. Beau Bennett, RW, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)
3. Olli Maatta, D, London (OHL)
4. Joe Morrow, D, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)
5. Simon Despres, D, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)
6. Scott Harrington, D, London (OHL)
7. Brian Dumoulin, D, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)
8. Teddy Blueger, C, Minnesota State (WCHA)
9. Jayson Megna, C, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)
10. Matt Murray, G, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...defense-667744

Always an interesting read. Detailed quotes from Fitzgerald and Botterill on each prospect at that link.

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Old
12-25-2012, 07:08 AM
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UnrealMachine
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I wonder where Blueger or Megna would rank if they had a season like Hanowski did last season?

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12-25-2012, 07:26 AM
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Shocked (as much as one can be about a contrived prospect list) to see Morrow that low and Bennett that high.

You've got to think the Pens feel pretty damn good about their 2012 draft.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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12-25-2012, 08:04 AM
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They really are high on Pouliot that's for sure.

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Old
12-25-2012, 08:19 AM
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mpp9
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I think Maata is in our longterm plans. Ranking him ahead of Morrow, Despres, Harrington and Dumoulin. They must see him achieving his potential.

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12-25-2012, 09:00 AM
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I LOVE that Bennett is so high. And I'm not surprised in the least where Pouliot and Maatta are, they are both special players.

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12-25-2012, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Frasier Crane View Post
Shocked (as much as one can be about a contrived prospect list) to see Morrow that low and Bennett that high.

You've got to think the Pens feel pretty damn good about their 2012 draft.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Have you been following Bennett's AHL exploits? Beau's pro career is off to a really great start, leading his offensively challenged team in scoring, and among the AHL top 20 point leaders.

With a little more physicality in the corners, and continued improvement in his skating, this kid should be ready next season. Bennett is realizing his vast offensive potential, and looks destined to make Crosby or Malkin very happy indeed.

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12-25-2012, 10:06 AM
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Jacob
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This isn't actually the team's ranking, folks.

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12-25-2012, 10:10 AM
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mpp9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
This isn't actually the team's ranking, folks.
You can go by what Pens management is saying about each individual prospect. They seem very high on Pouliot, Bennett and Maata. We already knew how they felt about Morrow and Despres. They're progressing. Morrow needs to adapt to our system. And Despres will be fighting for an NHL spot.

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12-25-2012, 10:59 AM
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Jacob
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Well I'm glad the team that drafted Pouliot, Maatta and Bennett is very high on them.

What I'm taking away from this write up is that Jayson Megna has gone from prospect camp after-thought to capable NHL forward prospect in like 4 months, which is huge for us and a great find by the scouting staff.

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Old
12-25-2012, 11:30 AM
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mpp9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
Well I'm glad the team that drafted Pouliot, Maatta and Bennett is very high on them.

What I'm taking away from this write up is that Jayson Megna has gone from prospect camp after-thought to capable NHL forward prospect in like 4 months, which is huge for us and a great find by the scouting staff.
Cool

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Old
12-25-2012, 11:44 AM
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shureshot66
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Out of interest/boredom, here are the Christmas lists from the past three years:

2011
1. Morrow
2. Bennett
3. Despres
4. Harrington
5. Tangradi
6. Kuhnhackl
7. Strait
8. Bortuzzo
9. D'Agostino
10. Samuelsson

2010
1. Despres
2. Bennett
3. Tangradi
4. Jeffrey
5. Samuelsson
6. Kuhnhackl
7. Strait
8. Bortuzzo
9. Thiessen
10. D'Agostino

2009
1. Despres
2. Tangradi
3. Caputi
4. Samuelsson
5. Jeffrey
6. Bortuzzo
7. Strait
8. Thiessen
9. Hanowski
10. Velischek

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Old
12-25-2012, 12:00 PM
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That 2009 list is terribad.

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12-25-2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTG View Post
That 2009 list is terribad.
Just goes to show that any of these players can flop at any time.

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Old
12-25-2012, 01:22 PM
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True enough.

We could very well be saying the same thing about the 2012 list in a few years.

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Old
12-25-2012, 05:34 PM
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This kid is going to shine for the Pens. He is the next coming of Adam Oates.

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Old
12-25-2012, 05:48 PM
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cassius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Frasier Crane View Post
Shocked (as much as one can be about a contrived prospect list) to see Morrow that low and Bennett that high.

You've got to think the Pens feel pretty damn good about their 2012 draft.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
Same. It's a little bit ridiculous to rank Poulliot above Depres/Morrow when the guy hasn't played a single game in the pros..


You can tell that PG definitely took the "political" approach by ranking the prospects in that order.

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Old
12-25-2012, 06:18 PM
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shureshot66
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I know that in past years, the main criteria was potential to make an impact in the NHL. So yeah, it definitely trends more toward boom-bust prospects over anything.

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Old
12-25-2012, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigd View Post
Just goes to show that any of these players can flop at any time.
No it just goes to show you how much Shero has done over the last couple years. A guy like Caputi wouldn't have been on any list if we would have had top end talent we have now. Guys may still bust but I have a hard time believing Morrow, Bennett, Maata, Tangradi, Poulit, Despres will all bust. Even if half them bust we still have a lot of good young talent. That's why you stalk pile. I'm willing to bet at least a 1/3 of those players turn out to be impact players. Yes that means 2/3 may bust but that's still three or four pro players.

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12-25-2012, 07:55 PM
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jmelm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
This isn't actually the team's ranking, folks.

Well, we don't know that it is, or that it isn't, because they don't really disclose that -- so we just don't know how close it is to the Penguins' own internal rankings. One thing we do know, however, is that the guys who are listed in the top 7 or 8 are constants, in one order or another.


And yes, there's no doubt that there is some emphasis placed on NHL readiness, because of the absence of guys like Agostino or Archibald on that list. Those are two guys, along with Kuhnhackl, are players who could make a serious move up and be in that conversation of Top-10 as things go forward.


The biggest "surprise" to me on that list is how comparatively low Harrington is rated. Even though there's very little separation (yet) because of how young these guys are, if pushed to rank them, he's got to be in our top 3 or 4 easy right now.

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12-25-2012, 09:42 PM
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steelcityassault
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTG View Post
That 2009 list is terribad.
Are those the ones we all voted on? Thiessen made it TWICE.

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Old
12-26-2012, 09:00 AM
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JTG
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I think those are the past ones from the player development staff.

Theissen was sort of worthy being on that list at the time, as he was putting up pretty good numbers in WBS. He faced a very similar decline to Curry. Once both of those guys got a few games in the NHL and got torched, their declines were steep. It's almost as if they came to realize that they will never be NHL goaltenders, and they gave up.

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Old
12-26-2012, 09:17 AM
  #23
IHWR
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Here's my top 10 list. Hasn't changed too much since the summer:

1. Morrow
2. Despres
3. Maatta
4. Pouliot
5. Bennett
6. Harrington
7. Dumoulin
8. Bortuzzo
9. Hanowski
10. Strait

It still bugs me how many defensemen are in my top 10 because I know that most of them will never amount to anything more than career AHLers.

I'm glad the 2009 list got posted. It just goes to show that top 10 list aren't a guarantee to produce anything. For my money, if 3 guys in your top 10 become NHLers...then you did well. That's why I have the 3 guys I'm most confident about panning out (Morrow, Despres and Maatta) in my top 3.

I really wanted to somehow squeeze another forward like Kuhnhackl or Blueger into my top 10 but it's just impossible to justify it. Those two guys in particular aren't that far off a guy like though, there's just so many god damn defensemen. Matt Murray is also just on the outside of my top 10.

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Old
12-26-2012, 09:32 AM
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UnrealMachine
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Difficult to compare lists between the years as you'll notice how many 1st/2nd round picks comprise this year's list. 1-5 are 1st round picks and 6-8 are 2nd round picks. You would expect a much higher success rate from that group.

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Old
12-26-2012, 01:07 PM
  #25
Darth Vitale
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I love how the caption of Maatta says he was drafted in 2010. How do you **** that up as a hockey journalist, exactly? It was just a few months ago. Wonder if these a-holes even proof their own stories. God knows there's SO MUCH going on in hockey right now, they probably didn't have time.

Also I'm inclined to think the order of those top 5 or 6 doesn't mean anything. Going by the comments my takeaway is they are expecting big things from DP and Dangles, when they're ready to make the jump. They see a major role for those two guys vs just being "a good fit". Based on people's comments from watching WBS I was surprised Dumoulin was that low. OTOH I would expect any cagey personnel people to not rank their diamonds in the rough near the top of the list. Another way you can read this is people near the top of the list might be considered as the most valuable trade bait by the organization, to get an already-established talent. Maybe Maatta, Morrow, Elmer.


Last edited by Darth Vitale: 12-26-2012 at 01:22 PM.
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