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SEPH's 2015 WHL Spring List

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03-27-2015, 11:08 PM
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S E P H
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SEPH's 2015 WHL Spring List

Hey guys, here is my midterm list for spring on the day when majority of all WHL playoff series start. A lot more player movements, with a lot of guys tumbling in that certain "pick range" for not only scouts, but for draft rankings as well. I decided to add a new feature for this list and it is the potential NHL draft placement (how they're looking currently in neutral rankings) and my own personal opinion concerning where I would draft them. Some of them are tiny differences, while others are in different rounds.

I hope you all enjoy this!

WHL 2015 Spring List
(#) = Winter List


01. Ivan Provorov, D [Brandon Wheat Kings] (04)
What Has Changed? Well, what I can say changed? Nothing really, he let his game do the talking and that with time has opened a lot of eyes throughout the prospect world. Provorov is a smooth skating defenseman that offers a ton of tools for the toolbox. He is superb passer, especially under pressure and through body parts/sticks, contains a high level of hockey IQ, ability to slow down the play to his level and around him is amazing, his shot selection is also extremely good, and his open ice checks remind me of Kronwall. He isn’t overly physical, but definitely a player you cannot push around (this might be better for longevity for pro career). One area I would like to see him improve is at times he gets into chasing the puck which leads him into “no man’s land”.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 5th to 9th
Draft Placement for Me: 7th to 11th

02. Mathew Barzal, C [Seattle Thunderbirds] (01)
What Has Changed? A player that hasn’t really changed his draft stock, Barzal missed a good chunk of the winter months due to a broken kneecap. He came back from a below-average start and has lit up the WHL and scouts who ever doubted him. Mathew Barzal is more on the finesse style for a hockey player, but his speed, creativity, and playmaking are top notch in the WHL. His work on the power play in particular reminds me of the effectiveness that Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek display in the pros. His puck and stick skills are also top notch, but I don’t think they are best in the Dub. One area I think he needs to improve on is his play on even strength, though he has the potential to do it.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 8th to 13th
Draft Placement for Me: 11th to 14th

03. Nick Merkley, C [Kelowna Rockets] (02)
What Has Changed? To me, he definitely closed the gap since the start of the season to Barzal, at one point of time he did surpass Barzal for me until Barzal came back in flying colours. Merkley to me probably possesses the best stick and puck skills from the WHL. His biggest strength to me, is his ability to make a play either passing or stickhandling at the very last second creating open space for teammates. Another strength is his one second instant passes that again, suckers in opposing players making more space. Alongside these attributes, he is a good skater with fantastic agility, high IQ, great vision, knowing where the open ice is, and good passing ability (not as good as Barzal IMO). He is a complete package for me offensively and will bring another level of danger once he puts more muscle to his frame. Dynamic is one word I keep repeating to describe his game.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 15th to 20th
Draft Placement for Me: 12th to 16th

04. Paul Bittner, LW [Portland Winterhawks] (07)
What Has Changed? A lot has changed; Bittner found his grove and is starting to use his strengths to his advantage; size, shot, and skating ability. My main problems in past is his inability to create offense for himself and even though he has drastically improved in this area, I still think he is a player who needs a good centre to be productive on nightly basis. Bittner is a big bodied forward with an NHL ready shot, underrated passing ability, underrated defensive game, and good skater for his size. One area I would like to see him improve is his intensity at a consistent level, sometimes he floats out there and others he looks like Andrew Ladd.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 17th to 24th
Draft Placement for Me: 19th to 26th

05. Jake DeBrusk, LW [Swift Current Broncos] (11)
What Has Changed? Like Provorov, DeBrusk just needed time to show scouts his ability and talent level, then he would be start to rise. DeBrusk has had one of the more consistent seasons offensively and deserves the rising in the rankings he’s got. DeBrusk isn’t Hercules out there, but his desire and passion to provide offense goes a long way. RS said in one of his past posts, he thinks around 75% of his goals are around the net and it really is the case. He uses his deceptive toughness with the puck and deadly accuracy to get the hard nose goals. An additional strength of him that I admire, is his buying time for teammates. I don’t think he is as good as Merkley is in this category, but he’s definitely close and will take him a long way as an all around offensive threat. The area I would like to see him improve is his ability away from the puck and perhaps a couple of power skating off-season’s, but there is a lot to like here.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 21st to 28th
Draft Placement for Me: 21st to 30th

06. Jansen Harkins, C [Prince George Cougars] (03)
What Has Changed? I think he has had a good overall season; it is not a failure for him by any means. BUT I don’t think he has the potential as other WHL followers, fans, or scouts think he has. Harkins is an above-average framed centre who possesses a strong two-way game, the strongest so far on this list (not including D’Men). His biggest attribute has to be his playmaking ability and know where to be out there on the ice. But I don’t think you’ll be getting an overly physical or tough centre here, including just overall strength with the puck in the pros. At the beginning of the season and first couple of months I had him as a Paul Stastny or Derek Stepan sort of player, definitely not as good, though still around that ability, but now, I think he’s closer to Derrick Brassard level (which isn’t a bad feat at any standard).
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 15th to 19th
Draft Placement for Me: 20th to 30th

07. Brandon Carlo, D [Tri-City Americans] (09)
What Has Changed? Carlo gets a tiny bump up from the winter list and has really shined his defensive game aspects in the WHL. Carlo is a great sized defenseman for the pros who brings a lot fine qualities to the table. He is VERY physical in front of his net, decent skater for size, and takes this nastiness into the defensive corners. I think he is calm with the puck defensively and is good at breakout passing, but currently doesn’t have the puck skills anywhere else. The effort is there to get into plays and contribute on the offensive side, but just doesn’t have the offensive instincts or puck skills to get better offensive numbers. There is a chance it is hidden and with more experience and refining his game this offseason, he can improve, but now, I see him as a shutdown defensive defenseman than a two-way. With all this said, I still believe he is worth the gamble, even if the offense never develops.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 17th to 25th
Draft Placement for Me: 25th to 30th

08. Noah Juulsen, D [Everett Silvertips] (12)
What Has Changed? Oh, a lot has changed. Having one of the most second half influential seasons in WHL, Juulsen is just playing with confidence that it almost reeks. Noah is a great skating two-way defenseman that anticipates the play well and has a fantastic transition game. He’s also able to play in almost every situation showing his durability and looking fairly decent at it. He’s not the most physical player out there, but isn’t weak physicality when carrying the puck up the ice or in defensively in the corners. His strongest asset to me is his brain and has the ability to improve even more once his puck and stick skills develop. One area that I disagree with other WHL followers in is his shot. It is not a weakness per say, but I think it is “just” average.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 45th to 55th
Draft Placement for Me: 36th to 43th

09. Ryan Pilon, D [Brandon Wheat Kings] (05)
What Has Changed? Nothing has really changed for Pilon, I think he has had one of the more consistent forms throughout the season. Other players have just step up their game, biggest reason why he dropped to 9th. He is a two-way defenseman that exhibits very few weaknesses. He might not have the same talent level of Provorov, but provides a lot of support for Ivan, picture a Karl Alzner type of game. He is a good puck mover, passer, great shot, and in my opinion still the better of the two defensively (to Provorov). He has his limitation, but doesn’t really play out of them which make’s that consistent style of game. Still a solid player and worthy of a 2nd round pick to me IMO.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 40th to 50th
Draft Placement for Me: 38th to 50th

10. Adam Musil, C [Red Deer Rebels] (10)
What Has Changed? I think he’s getting a bit underrated throughout the prospect world. Everyone probably watched him around one time, plays a good game in front of them, gets a talked about a bit and then sort of fades back into that “ good, but uninteresting 2nd rounders” group. Musil has just kept playing and trying to refine his game as sure top 60 player. He is a typical powerforward that uses his size to his advantage, but also plays a complete two-way game which brings an extra element to his style. He can score, make room for teammates in the corners, and make plays. Still needs to work on his skating for the future, but pretty close to NHL ready IMO. Jamie McGinn type of players are real unsung heroes for clubs and don’t realize how good they are until they are gone, I expect Musil to have the same type of description.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 45th to 60th
Draft Placement for Me: 45th to 60th

11. Parker Wotherspoon, D [Tri-City Americans] (14)
What Has Changed? Would be an understatement. I used to be somewhat reluctant when I first saw Wotherspoon earlier this year, couple of my first viewings of him I thought he played a very junior style game, especially offensively. But I have practically done a full 360 on him; I have to be one of his biggest fans now. Parker is a very smooth skating, walking the blueline two-way defenseman. His game, in particular from west to east (lateral) both offensively and defensively is probably the best out of the WHL, even over Provorov and Juulsen IMO. He also reads the play very well, especially on the powerplay and contains a good attribute of stick skills. Even though he doesn’t shy away from physicality, most notably in the scrums and has an edge, he could be better overall if he decided to be more physical during the play. Other problems I have are his shot isn’t very powerful and I don’t know if he possesses a large talent base, but there is a lot to like here. Could be the second biggest darkhorse for the WHL in this draft after Guhle.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 50th to 60th
Draft Placement for Me: 55th to 66th

12. Brendan Guhle, D [Prince Albert Raiders] (NR)
What Has Changed? From a very strong showing at the CHL Top Prospects game, Guhle’s confidence has grown in almost each and every game afterwards. I am probably Guhle’s biggest fan, more so than some of his family members . Brendan is a good sized defenseman that skates like the wind. He probably won’t wow you with his shot, an area he needs to work on, but his passing is a work of art. He is fantastic at moving the puck out of the zone in all different kinds of ways including skating it out, long stretch pass, breakout passes, over the top flips, you name it. Best quality of his game has to be his first pass and how consistent of a passer he is on a nightly basis. I don’t think he has the most talent out there currently and there are a lot of areas to his game he needs to work on, but if he puts everything together, I think he could he top 4 defenseman easily (biggest darkhorse IMO).
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 70th to 86th
Draft Placement for Me: 60th to 70th

13. Jesse Gabrielle, LW [Regina Pats] (08)
What Has Changed? His drop hasn’t really been due to him, but like Pilon, just other players have taken the call and stepped up their game in the last couple of months. Gabrielle still plays that style you know and love, bull shark intensity. He’s built like an Ox and doesn’t take no for an answer; he drives to the net, has a good scoring touch, and can stand up for teammates if need be. I think every including me kind of a bit overrated his talent level, but if you’re looking for a 3rd liner who opposing teams/fans LOVES to hate, Gabrielle would be your top 3 for the 2015 draft. One area I would like to see him improve is his skating.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 60th to 74th
Draft Placement for Me: 61st to 74th

14. Brandon Morrison, C [Prince George Cougars] (14)
What Has Changed? He’s like Kid Flash out there, always using his speed to create everything including havoc. Morrison is still on the smaller size, but that doesn’t stop him for his passion for the game of hockey. His elusiveness is close to Brayden Point’s level, and is able to beat slower physically stronger defensemen by this ability to not catch him…picture Datsyuk’s ability to not get checked, only difference is that Morrison is by quickness while Datsyuk is by vision. But what makes him so valuable, is his willingness to go to the net. Very intriguing player and once he puts more frame to his body to go alongside his offensive talent, he will start turning heads.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 130th to 150th
Draft Placement for Me: 80th to 90th

15. Austin Wagner, LW [Regina Pats] (NR)
What Has Changed? Practically a player that has come out of nowhere, a lot like Brad Morrison did earlier this season. What Wagner is, is a decent sized player who has a goal scoring touch and physicality to make him dangerous on the forecheck. Been playing with some outstanding confidence the last couple of months of the season and could be even a bigger riser if he continues like has into the playoffs.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 50th to 60th
Draft Placement for Me: 75th to 90th



16. Glenn Gawdin, C [Swift Current Broncos] Talented, but raw forward which screams boom or bust to me for the next level of his hockey career.

17. Pavel Karnaukhov, C [Calgary Hitmen] Russian import with good size, NHL heavy shot, and great puck rusher up the ice. Problems with inconsistency and effort.

18. Chaz Reddekopp, D [Victoria Royals] Good size and skating defensive-defenseman. Anticipates the play well defensively and has good defensively stick. Also a good hitter.

19. Giorgio Estephan, C [Lethbridge Hurricans] It is pretty miraculous the numbers he’s able to put up on the quality of team he is on for a limited time frame. Started off the season horribly, but looking like a solid later round project. He is a good two-way player with good vision and passing. Best projection as a utility secondary scorer able to play powerplay, penalty kill, and last minute of games on both ends.

20. Ryan Gropp, LW [Seattle Thunderbirds] Really decent talented forward with good size, though is weak physically. Sees the open ice very well and has a good shot with underrated stickhandling to make him a good aquarium tank. Sadly that aquarium tank has some perhaps unstoppable looking leaks to it.

21. Keegan Kolesar, RW [Seattle Thunderbirds] REALLY RAW powerforward that has good vision and goes to the net. Plays a typical North to South game, but shows some decent playmaking offensively for lateral. Good defensive game as well, but won’t blow you away. His first few strides are VERY bad.

22. Matthew Bradley, C/LW [Medicine Hate Tigers] Versatile forward that has a fantastic ability to read the play. Sluggish straight line speed and skating, but his hockey IQ makes up for as he’s always in good position.

23. Tate Olson, D [Prince George Courgars] Underrated two-way defenseman that brings a good physical and puck moving game. Ability to get better and looking forward to him in the playoffs.

24. Zak Zborosky, RW [Kootenay Ice] Another underrated player, Zborosky has decent offensive skill in all categories and plays with some grit.

25. Deven Sideroff, RW [Kamloops Blazers] Plays a good north to south game, while having a high worth ethic. Has a good talent level for the offensive side of things and shows off some above-average flashes. Could be a good pick up for the later rounds.

26. Devente Stephens, D [Kelowna Rockets] Playing sheltered minutes, but looks very solid out there, looks like a pure 20 year old veteran. Likes to rub people into the boards and has developed a nasty streak as his season progressed. Doesn’t really have an offensive game in his present form, but fantastic skater and decent passer. There is still a lot to like here once he puts more frame on.

27. Tyler Soy, C [Victoria Royals] If there is a player who gives you most shocking stats line I’ve seen the last couple of drafts, it has to be Soy. He is also very interesting player in terms of his strengths and weaknesses. He is very good at the little details in games and possesses a solid defensive game as well. He anticipates the play well at both ends of the ice and is a good stickhandler. But for a player who focuses on the little details, his weaknesses are just simply basic hockey plays. He also lacks some serious intensity as well, and not really a type of player I would want to draft, even if he has good talent level IMO. One of those players who is invisible for 99% of the game, but if you give him one chance, he usually buries it.

28. Ethan Bear, D [Seattle Thunderbirds] Good two-way defenseman that is currently playing with a lot of confidence. Fantastic shot, but also showing he has more tools than just that.

29. Dmitry Osipov, D [Vancouver Giants] Actually I am a pretty big fan of him, showing a lot more offensive spark while playing a shutdown role with Mason Geertsen. Could be another darkhorse. Plays a Jan Hejda no nonsense type of game.

30. Troy Murray, D [Kootney Ice] More on the raw side, Murray brings some valuable defensive aspects to his game to be considered a decent prospect. Probably will never have the offensive potential, but could be a good depth defensive defenseman.



Honourable Mention
Alec Baer, C [Vancouver Giants] I made the mistake of having him too high, but do not think I have given up on him. I don’t think he’s done enough to get drafted, but he still possesses a fantastic talent that just cannot be shown with the Giants.

Alexander True, C [Seattle Thunderbirds] A fairly raw big body forward from Denmark that has decent two way game and shot.

Cameron Hebig, C [Saskatoon Blades] Good two-way forward with great compete level. Brings it all every shift.

Grayson Pawlenchuk, LW [Red Deer Rebels] A forward that is good at everything, but not great at anything. Good player, but might have a limitation in talent.

Joe Gatenby, D [Kelowna Rockets] Good skating defenseman that plays a very intelligent brand of hockey. Probably has zero offensive potential when he gets the higher leagues, but for a safe defenseman that has some puck moving ability, he is your man.

Keoni Texeira, D [Portland Winterhawks] Great puck rushing defenseman that has some underrated offensive talent. Isn’t a pushover defensively, but there are a couple holes here. With more minutes next season, he could be a surprise and get drafted as an overage if he doesn't this season.

Kevin Davis, D [Everett Silvertips] Good offensive defenseman that moves the puck extremely well and has good puck skills. Gets overwhelm physically.

Terrell Draude, C [Calgary Hitmen] Has all tools to be a noticeable bottom 6 forward in the NHL, all he needs to do is put them together through experience.

Tomas Soustal, C [Kelowna Rockets] Decent player, has a good skill set and plays a full 200 foot game. Probably doesn’t have a huge talent level, but has the potential to have a Marcel Goc type of game when going to the higher leagues.

Ty Comrie, C [Tri-City Americans] Brother of Eric Comrie, Ty is a small centre with good pace and decent shot. Doesn’t have the best defensive game, but reminds me of Dominic Turgeon. Needs to pack more muscle, another player to watch for next season if he doesn't get drafted this year.

Overagers to look out for
Austin Lotz, G [Everett Slivertips]
Brandon Magee, RW/C [Victoria Royals]
Dryden Hunt, C [Medicine Hat Tigers]
Ivan Nikolishen, C/LW [Everett Silvertips]
Logan Aasman, RW [Everett Silvertips]
Lucas Nickles, RW [Tri-City Americans]
Luke Philip, C [Kootenay Ice]
Markus Eisenschmid, C [Medicine Hat Tigers]
Michael Fora, D [Kamloops Blazers]
Reid Gardiner, C [Prince Albert Raiders]
Remi Laurencelle, C [Everett Silvertips]
Rihards Bukarts, LW [Brandon Wheat Kings]
Tim McGauley, C [Brandon Wheat Kings]
Travis Brown, D [Victoria Royals]
Tyson Baillie, C [Kelowna Rockets]
Zane Jones, LW [Vancouver Giants]


Last edited by S E P H: 03-29-2015 at 12:30 PM.
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03-28-2015, 12:48 AM
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Great report , very detailed and insightful. Greatly appreciated.

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03-28-2015, 12:53 AM
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The Ultimate Warrior
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Enjoyed the read, S E P H!

Wotherspoon has really grown on me a lot this year. I've enjoyed watching him grow and mature his game. Lots of tools/potential.

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03-28-2015, 01:17 AM
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meh! its alright

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03-28-2015, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by dudeoverhere View Post
meh! its alright
43 posts in a little over 3 years...and you offer a 3 word critique when the guy has obviously put in a ton of work to compile this? You are either the managing editor at Random House or out to lunch.

Obviously like any list there are things that stand out but it's always nice to get opinions from people who actually put time in to watch these guys. I've got the same top 5 as you but in a slightly different order.

Care to elaborate on Soy? You say he struggles with basic plays - are you talking chips and dump-ins/receiving breakout passes on the halfwall, those sorts of things? It would seem that I like him much more than you but I've only seen him twice this year...

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03-28-2015, 07:40 AM
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Great list.....

I like the Provorov jump. Real good player and I will be curious if its him or Barzal that is first drafted out of the WHL. My darkhorse team to draft Provorov high is Edmonton Oilers.

FYI its Brad Morrisson, not Brandon. I feel you have him ranked too high. There are others that I would definitely have higher. Also I would have Bittner a tiny bit lower.

I have a feeling a team may go off the board and possibly take Kolesar in the 2nd round. He is an absolute beast that skates real well. You say his first few strides are VERY bad, but I really disagree, he skates extremely well for a 220 lbs kid that is built like a football player on ice. I feel his skating and his hands are his best attribute and he just needs to work on his power game on a consistent basis. Some games he thinks hes a goal scorer/playermaker and some games he realizes his power and strength and dominates. Gotta be more consistent

Those are my only comments!


Last edited by Skinnyjimmy08: 03-28-2015 at 07:45 AM.
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03-28-2015, 07:54 AM
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Good stuff! Giorgio Estephan is a guy I wouldn't mind the Oilers taking a flyer on in the 5th round or so. Local kid with pedigree surging back. Could have a big season next year. I also quite like Devante Stephens. Buried on the depth chart in Kelowna but with bigger minutes next year I think he could really blossom. Would take him with a 7th if he's still there.

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03-28-2015, 09:25 AM
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Really like what I'm hearing about Juulsen. Style comparison to any NHLers or other prospects? Description reminds me a bit of Percy or Bigras- Smart, mobile, perfect #3 who can play 5-on-5 and 2nd unit pp or 2nd unit pk. Does that sound right?

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03-28-2015, 10:17 AM
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Thank you for doing all this work and sharing it with us. It's people like you who make HFBoards a good place to visit. I appreciate draft observers who don't get their blinders on and either love or hate a prospect to the point where they can't even discuss them intelligently. You have a nice balanced, judicious way of discussing prospects. Good job!

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03-28-2015, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxygen View Post
43 posts in a little over 3 years...and you offer a 3 word critique when the guy has obviously put in a ton of work to compile this? You are either the managing editor at Random House or out to lunch.

Obviously like any list there are things that stand out but it's always nice to get opinions from people who actually put time in to watch these guys. I've got the same top 5 as you but in a slightly different order.

Care to elaborate on Soy? You say he struggles with basic plays - are you talking chips and dump-ins/receiving breakout passes on the halfwall, those sorts of things? It would seem that I like him much more than you but I've only seen him twice this year...
It's so hard to say, because his gamestyle and talent developed like the total opposite of other players. Everyone would have the basics under their pedigree without the attention to details, while he has the attention to detail, but not really the basics. You can say that the most common hockey plays that happen in a game, he has a weakness to. Picture (as you said it) dump and chases, corner battles, toughness with the puck, or just normal plays that someone like Dwight King or even Pirri are successful at.

Soy is still a decent talented player who will probably go in the top 3-4 rounds, but he's just that type of player that I wouldn't want to draft personally. He reminds me of John McFarland of the Florida Panthers, not really playing styles, but likely outcome once he hits the higher leagues. I think the best sentence I described him as, "invisible for 99% of the game, but has one open chance, he will bury it or make a play". One area I think he desperately needs to work on is his intensity, needs to show that next level to get more noticable for scouts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinnyjimmy08 View Post
Great list.....

I like the Provorov jump. Real good player and I will be curious if its him or Barzal that is first drafted out of the WHL. My darkhorse team to draft Provorov high is Edmonton Oilers.
That would be crazy, but I wouldn't be surprised since McT prefers WHLers over others. Personally as an Avs fan, I hope one of the top 3 defensemen are available at our pick, I could careless which defenseman it is, just want one of them there!

Quote:
FYI its Brad Morrisson, not Brandon. I feel you have him ranked too high. There are others that I would definitely have higher. Also I would have Bittner a tiny bit lower.
Mr. Jimmy, what are your complaints on Morrison? Would love to know your opinion!

Quote:
I have a feeling a team may go off the board and possibly take Kolesar in the 2nd round. He is an absolute beast that skates real well. You say his first few strides are VERY bad, but I really disagree, he skates extremely well for a 220 lbs kid that is built like a football player on ice. I feel his skating and his hands are his best attribute and he just needs to work on his power game on a consistent basis. Some games he thinks hes a goal scorer/playermaker and some games he realizes his power and strength and dominates. Gotta be more consistent

Those are my only comments!
I actually agree with you that his skating as a whole isn't bad. He has long powerful strides like Jack Eichel when he's at full speed, but I still think his first few steps are bad, some of the worst I've seen for a draft eligible player from the Dub. I also agree that he will go probably higher than what I have him currently, but the main reason I have him that low has to be because of his rawness. I do like his "trying-ness" out there, especially in the defensive zone. Yes he needs to work to be more consistent, but like Soy, I would like to see more intensity from him. I think, personally, Iverson was the better player in their draft years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaddy Zads View Post
Good stuff! Giorgio Estephan is a guy I wouldn't mind the Oilers taking a flyer on in the 5th round or so. Local kid with pedigree surging back. Could have a big season next year. I also quite like Devante Stephens. Buried on the depth chart in Kelowna but with bigger minutes next year I think he could really blossom. Would take him with a 7th if he's still there.
If Stephens is able to replicate the success he has had in the last couple of months, in the playoffs, I think he could very well rise to maybe even a early 5th rounder.

Estephan's would be a good look, definitely for the Oilers who are looking like they will be set in the centre position with RNH, Draisaitl, and maybe McDavid/Eichel/Strome. Or would Oiler fans want Hanifin/Provorov?

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Originally Posted by Dr Quincy View Post
Really like what I'm hearing about Juulsen. Style comparison to any NHLers or other prospects? Description reminds me a bit of Percy or Bigras- Smart, mobile, perfect #3 who can play 5-on-5 and 2nd unit pp or 2nd unit pk. Does that sound right?
A more offensive minded Bigras is perfect example, though I don't think Juulsen has the same intelligence Bigras has for the defensive game. Other comparisons that he reminds me of is around Duncan Keith, Alec Martinez, Roman Josi, and perhaps James Wisniewski as well.

E: One area I really like from Juulsen is his body position defensively. He's normally and always consistently facing his back towards the goal when the puck is around the outside. This ability gets him rarely beat on either the outside or inside by faster more agile players in 1v1 situations.

In my final rankings, I will probably have a comparison chart for every player.

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Originally Posted by timlap View Post
Thank you for doing all this work and sharing it with us. It's people like you who make HFBoards a good place to visit. I appreciate draft observers who don't get their blinders on and either love or hate a prospect to the point where they can't even discuss them intelligently. You have a nice balanced, judicious way of discussing prospects. Good job!
For everyone that I didn't quote who expressed kind words, thanks a lot. Trust me, it means a lot.


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03-28-2015, 01:07 PM
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i like Kolesar a lot, but what i don't like about him is I always see him tilting his head down, idk if thats just the way he wears his helmet but he looks like he's always staring at the ice. but thats only one thing, i like his strength and goal scoring touch and also not afraid of going into the corners. your list is alright, top 5 are good Barzal, Provorov, Merkley, Harkins Bittner...Debrusk Gropp and Pilon are all older they should be ahead of everyone else they have late birthdays...good thing about the WHL is there defenseman, Juulsen Wotherspoon Guhle Bear Olson Reddekopp all have a good chance besides the already mentioned. Musil and Murray will get drafted higher purely out of there last name but they are good players also...Gawdin Soy Kolesar Gropp Estephan Morrison Gabrielle are good forwards, Gabrielle is a good agitator. Now lets see how these players play in Playoffs, couple nights of action already are down by this time. i'll be watching the Winterhawks/Thunderbirds game tonight.


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03-28-2015, 03:18 PM
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Solid list.

I like Reddekopp a lot more than most people and Musil a lot less. And have Soy ahead of Morrison.

Your overagers list seems to be a mix of 'draft overagers' who can be selected this year and 'junior overagers' who are 1994-born and can't. Either way, it should include Adin Hill, who will probably be the first (only?) WHL goalie selected this year.

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03-28-2015, 05:25 PM
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Great job with the list. It's pretty spot on IMO. Disagree with skinny about morrisons skating. That's his best attribute. He's definatly one of the top skaters in the the draft.

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03-29-2015, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by S E P H View Post

04. Paul Bittner, LW [Portland Winterhawks] (07)
What Has Changed? A lot has changed; Bittner found his grove and is starting to use his strengths to his advantage; size, shot, and skating ability. My main problems in past is his inability to create offense for himself and even though he has drastically improved in this area, I still think he is a player who needs a good centre to be productive on nightly basis. Bittner is a big bodied forward with an NHL ready shot, underrated passing ability, underrated defensive game, and good skater for his size. One area I would like to see him improve is his intensity at a consistent level, sometimes he floats out there and others he looks like Andrew Ladd.
Potential NHL Draft Placement: 17th to 24th
Draft Placement for Me: 19th to 26th
This sounds like a good skill-set for when you need to employ a left-wing lock. Good defence, good skating and a good shot for the trailing forward entering the offensive zone. The weaknesses you describe about needing a center to create offence are also better dealt with in this scheme.

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03-29-2015, 12:10 PM
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I would say that Harkins plays with his head down more than Kolesar.

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Solid list.

I like Reddekopp a lot more than most people and Musil a lot less. And have Soy ahead of Morrison.

Your overagers list seems to be a mix of 'draft overagers' who can be selected this year and 'junior overagers' who are 1994-born and can't. Either way, it should include Adin Hill, who will probably be the first (only?) WHL goalie selected this year.
Good shout for Adin Hill, there is always going to be overagers out there for everyone to miss. Each team probably has a good one.

How much do you like Reddekopp more? Top 15 from the WHL? 3rd rounder?

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This sounds like a good skill-set for when you need to employ a left-wing lock. Good defence, good skating and a good shot for the trailing forward entering the offensive zone. The weaknesses you describe about needing a center to create offence are also better dealt with in this scheme.
Good idea there for Bittner. Even though I said his defencive game is on the underrated side, don't think he's going to be Andrew Ladd or Pavel Datusyk out there. It's underrated for sure, and I think he's pretty decent at it, but definitely can get better.

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03-29-2015, 12:15 PM
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Saw Victoria play PG last night. Morrison stood out for PG. He is fast and shifty. Quite impressive. Harkins has been quiet this series but had two nice power play assists in the third. He can pass, no doubt about it. Morrison was more dynamic but Harkins is intriguing as well.

Of the three big hyped WHL centers I have seen play I would rank Barzal first, Harkins second, Merkley third. I think Barzal is the clear cut number 1 guy and Merkley is wildly overrated.

The whole PG team works very hard and never quit, gave the Royals all they could handle.

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03-29-2015, 05:14 PM
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Appreciate the work, even if I don't agree with bits and pieces:

- I think you're under-selling Harkins, but that's fine. Not every person likes every player.

- If I were drafting for a team, Pilon wouldn't touch my second round...especially early in that round.

- Still don't see what everyone else does in Guhle. Appreciate the skills but the sense just isn't there often enough for me to rank him as highly as you do.

- Gabrielle is way high compared to my list. He's really fallen off for me the more I've seen him. Even this weekend I was in Regina...he wasn't very impressive.

- I like both Gropp and Kolesar far more than you do. Not sure how you see Gropp as being weak physically, either.

- Tate Olson is coming on strong.

- I'm not sure I have either Murray or Osipov inside my top 50 at the moment.

- Guys who are noticeably absent for me include Hobbs, Nielsen, Helewka, Hill, McBride, Fora.

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03-29-2015, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by S E P H View Post
How much do you like Reddekopp more? Top 15 from the WHL? 3rd rounder?
I have him in the 10-15 range for the WHL. So yeah, 3rd round range.

Easy to look at his size/production and consider him a low-IQ banger, but I really think he has an excellent hockey brain and will be one of the few defence-first guys to successfully move up levels. Reminds me a lot of Willie Mitchell. Showed substantial growth in his puck play through the season, started making intelligent outs of pressure situations rather than just making straight-ahead 'safe' plays. Tripled his offensive production in the 2nd half. And his physical play is probably the best of any draft-eligible WHL defender - hits hard, but also picks his spots very well and rarely takes penalties. Skating looks a little clunky going forward but his gap control and lateral mobility is very sound.

I also tend to rate guys higher who are on winning, excellent programs, and Reddekopp and Soy are in a terrific spot with great coaching in Victoria. Great developmental situation, doubly so playing a lot with a partner as good as Hicketts in Reddekopp's case.

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03-29-2015, 10:13 PM
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Great list, really well detailed. Question though, it appears that drafting services/scouting services have kolesar/Gropp/bear rated higher than you do. What are you seeing that perhaps those other services are not?

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03-30-2015, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R S View Post
Appreciate the work, even if I don't agree with bits and pieces:

- I think you're under-selling Harkins, but that's fine. Not every person likes every player.

- If I were drafting for a team, Pilon wouldn't touch my second round...especially early in that round.

- Still don't see what everyone else does in Guhle. Appreciate the skills but the sense just isn't there often enough for me to rank him as highly as you do.

- Gabrielle is way high compared to my list. He's really fallen off for me the more I've seen him. Even this weekend I was in Regina...he wasn't very impressive.

- I like both Gropp and Kolesar far more than you do. Not sure how you see Gropp as being weak physically, either.

- Tate Olson is coming on strong.

- I'm not sure I have either Murray or Osipov inside my top 50 at the moment.

- Guys who are noticeably absent for me include Hobbs, Nielsen, Helewka, Hill, McBride, Fora.
How bad or good would you say Harkins skating is? Is it likely he can improve it to be above average?

Besides the skating questions , I think he ticks off a lot of the areas that the Jets prioritize.

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03-30-2015, 02:03 AM
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Really nice list. Nice breakdowns and descriptions. Pretty much mirrors how i'd have most of these guys ranked, among the guys i've seen a decent amount of at least.

Only thing that really jumps out to me as hugely different from my own impressions is Gropp being so low. I think that's a bit harsh on him, though i can see why someone might not like his game. Like you said, it's got some holes in it. Just not such that i'd knock a 30g scorer with good size and tools out of the top-3 rounds.

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03-30-2015, 10:55 AM
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tony d
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Solid list here. Some good prospects in the WHL this year.

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03-30-2015, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jetkarma View Post
How bad or good would you say Harkins skating is? Is it likely he can improve it to be above average?

Besides the skating questions , I think he ticks off a lot of the areas that the Jets prioritize.
I think his mechanics overall aren't too bad. He's just a little clumsy out of the game more than anything. Footwork overall could be sharpened up, which would greatly help an already solid defensive game.

And I agree with him and the Jets. Having names like Scheifele-Petan-Harkins-Lowry down the middle would be pretty solid.

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03-30-2015, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R S View Post
Appreciate the work, even if I don't agree with bits and pieces:

- I think you're under-selling Harkins, but that's fine. Not every person likes every player.

- If I were drafting for a team, Pilon wouldn't touch my second round...especially early in that round.

- Still don't see what everyone else does in Guhle. Appreciate the skills but the sense just isn't there often enough for me to rank him as highly as you do.

- Gabrielle is way high compared to my list. He's really fallen off for me the more I've seen him. Even this weekend I was in Regina...he wasn't very impressive.

- I like both Gropp and Kolesar far more than you do. Not sure how you see Gropp as being weak physically, either.

- Tate Olson is coming on strong.

- I'm not sure I have either Murray or Osipov inside my top 50 at the moment.

- Guys who are noticeably absent for me include Hobbs, Nielsen, Helewka, Hill, McBride, Fora.
Thanks RS, means a lot.

- Connor Hobbs, haven't see him enough to make an expert opinion. The games I watched of Medicine Hat, he was traded to Regina and the games I have watched of the Pats, he was still on Medicine Hat. Haven't seen him enough to put him on my list. Plus didn't he play a couple games in the SJHL?

- Andrew Nielsen, good player with fantastic size, but doesn't really crack my top 30 currently. Might change in my final list.

- Can't add every overager, each team probably has a couple noticeable ones that are good, but 95% never get draft. Michael Fora? I do have him in my overager list.

- You think I am underselling Harkins, while I think you're underselling Pilon. Like you said, not everyone sees the same player the same way.

- I am surprised you don't see Gropp as physically weak. He's improve since last year, but I still don't see it for a player who is 6'2", 183 lbs, and is noticeably a couple inches taller from everyone else out there. I think he's still really lanky out there and IMO I prefer Kirkland as he's safer of the two, can't deny that I believe Gropp has a better talent level. I prefer Wagner's game over Gropp currently.

- Yeah, Olsen has been a complete beast to start the playoffs. Definitely is rising in my books.

- Actually I would like to know your opinion about Osipov, I might be the only guy here ranking him that high, but I think he's played really well lately to finish the season strong from an underachieving Giants team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
I have him in the 10-15 range for the WHL. So yeah, 3rd round range.

Easy to look at his size/production and consider him a low-IQ banger, but I really think he has an excellent hockey brain and will be one of the few defence-first guys to successfully move up levels. Reminds me a lot of Willie Mitchell. Showed substantial growth in his puck play through the season, started making intelligent outs of pressure situations rather than just making straight-ahead 'safe' plays. Tripled his offensive production in the 2nd half. And his physical play is probably the best of any draft-eligible WHL defender - hits hard, but also picks his spots very well and rarely takes penalties. Skating looks a little clunky going forward but his gap control and lateral mobility is very sound.

I also tend to rate guys higher who are on winning, excellent programs, and Reddekopp and Soy are in a terrific spot with great coaching in Victoria. Great developmental situation, doubly so playing a lot with a partner as good as Hicketts in Reddekopp's case.
Woah, that is pretty high (and I thought I had him high ), but you make a strong case for him. Actually I do see a lot of Willie Mitchell in his game, but I don't think he has a huge talent level to be as effective as Mitchell was during his prime, which is why I have him at 18th.

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Originally Posted by superdeluxe View Post
Great list, really well detailed. Question though, it appears that drafting services/scouting services have kolesar/Gropp/bear rated higher than you do. What are you seeing that perhaps those other services are not?
My biggest issue with Kolesar is his lack of intensity for a consistent nightly basis, and being as raw as he is.

Gropp, as I explained above to RS, his issues are more in shying away from contact and not really getting too physically involved in the game. He has the size and the talent level to be a powerforward, but the mentality of someone who is 5'8" (actually 5'8" players need to play with an edge to get the scouts' attentions). I've seen it way too much in the past with Ryan Stoa, Hugh Jessiman, Jason Bonsignore, Kyle Beach (should be a familiar name), Brett Connolly, and Scott Glennie for the ones I can name on the top of my head. But Gropp at 20th is the highest I have ever had him, so I am starting to open up a bit to his game. I still do believe anyone who's drafting him in the top 60 is a mistake, I think he should be a high 3rd round project to me for the best case scenario.

Bear, in the last three to four months, I had him from a dime a dozen WHL defenseman to one who I think is a legitimate NHL drafted prospect. I don't think he has the best talent level per say, but he's showing me a lot more than just his shot. He's more of a riser in my book.

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Originally Posted by tony d View Post
Solid list here. Some good prospects in the WHL this year.
Thanks for the post. I don't know, I consider 2015 to be a better draft year overall in a world view, but I am looking much more towards 2016 for the Dub than 2015. After the first three players for my list, I think the talent level drops considerably for the WHL. Some good 2nd and 3rd round players, but the depth is going to be great and better next year IMO, even though 2016 won't be as strong as 2015 as a world draft class.


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03-30-2015, 04:07 PM
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I think his mechanics overall aren't too bad. He's just a little clumsy out of the game more than anything. Footwork overall could be sharpened up, which would greatly help an already solid defensive game.

And I agree with him and the Jets. Having names like Scheifele-Petan-Harkins-Lowry down the middle would be pretty solid.
AND Andrew Copp

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