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HF's Predator Top 20 Prospect Update

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02-10-2006, 04:15 PM
  #1
handtrick
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HF's Predator Top 20 Prospect Update

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...readed&order=0

Talks about Radulov being a center......I know he played center in the WJC's, but has he been playing center all year as well?

Talks about Rinne being a "standup" style...I thought he was more a "butterfly" style and his size even when he went down allowed him to cover so much of the net....

Surprised to see free agent signee John Vigilante ranked so high... great name anyway...

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02-10-2006, 06:12 PM
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A guy who could suprise is Cody Franson. He has pro size and a great work ethic, and his development curve has been very steep. He still has plenty to work on (in particular, he needs to me more assertive physically and continue to improve his mobility), but his rapid improvement over the last 3 years is encouraging. He will probably get a chance to try out for the Canadian WJ team at least in the summer camp, and although there aren't many spots up for grabs on the back end next year, he can compete for one with a good season next year. He will anchor the Giants defense next year for the Memorial Cup, hopefully drawing on experience he gains in a long playoff run this year.

In any case, every other team in the league is jealous of your defensive depth. It's not fair.

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02-10-2006, 06:15 PM
  #3
Glen Erickson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg7
A guy who could suprise is Cody Franson. He has pro size and a great work ethic, and his development curve has been very steep. He still has plenty to work on (in particular, he needs to me more assertive physically and continue to improve his mobility), but his rapid improvement over the last 3 years is encouraging. He will probably get a chance to try out for the Canadian WJ team at least in the summer camp, and although there aren't many spots up for grabs on the back end next year, he can compete for one with a good season next year. He will anchor the Giants defense next year for the Memorial Cup, hopefully drawing on experience he gains in a long playoff run this year.

In any case, every other team in the league is jealous of your defensive depth. It's not fair.
Franson can really shoot the puck...he's getting more opportunities to do this with Mikkelson (ANA) and Fistric (DAL) out of the Giants lineup.

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02-10-2006, 06:16 PM
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Franson looked good in camp, he was behind Weber and Klien but I remember him so he must have looked decent.

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02-10-2006, 06:23 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Erickson
Franson can really shoot the puck...he's getting more opportunities to do this with Mikkelson (ANA) and Fistric (DAL) out of the Giants lineup.
He actually hasn't responded as well as he could have to the added ice time he's getting because of the injuries, but Fistric should be back soon to take a load off the other guys. The thing I like about his shot is he tends to be very clever with it; knows when to blast it and knows when to shoot for tips and rebounds, knows when to use the wristshot, and has a great knack for getting it through on goal. His confidence with the puck has improved vastly as well, and he shows flashes of some pretty impressive puck skills from time to time. When he fills his frame out and if he learns to be a little more aggressive, and continues to improve his footspeed and gains some leg strength to use that long stride to his benefit, I think he has a pretty good chance to play. Probably several years away, but that isn't exactly a problem for this team.

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02-10-2006, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handtrick
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...readed&order=0

Talks about Radulov being a center......I know he played center in the WJC's, but has he been playing center all year as well?
As far as I know, he hasn't played center. When you look at his game to game face off totals, they are incredibly low. He hasn't taken a faceoff in a while. Esposito has been the center on that line.

I think it was one of the reasons Radulov played mediocre in the WJC's. It's not easy to take a winger and tell him to play center for a handful of games. The mindsets required to play each is different. I would like to have seen him on the wing with Malkin, but it didn't work out that way.

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02-10-2006, 08:44 PM
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I won't pretend that I've seen the bulk of our prospects play or that I'm an expert but it strikes me as suspect when Vigilante, Maki and Scott Todd make the Top 20 but Finley (ok,yes, I saw the nhl game-- he is still a prospect right?), Lassila, and Setzinger do not.

Libor Pivko is a borderline 3rd line nhl player today but not in the top 20? Is Kevin Schaeffer really a to 20 prospect while Janne Niskala isn't?

It looks to me like the list maker went to dinner after the top 10 or so.

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02-10-2006, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braindead
I won't pretend that I've seen the bulk of our prospects play or that I'm an expert but it strikes me as suspect when Vigilante, Maki and Scott Todd make the Top 20 but Finley (ok,yes, I saw the nhl game-- he is still a prospect right?), Lassila, and Setzinger do not.

Libor Pivko is a borderline 3rd line nhl player today but not in the top 20? Is Kevin Schaeffer really a to 20 prospect while Janne Niskala isn't?

It looks to me like the list maker went to dinner after the top 10 or so.
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/whatmakesaprospect.php

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02-11-2006, 10:29 AM
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That only takes care of Finley.......

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02-11-2006, 10:33 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braindead
I won't pretend that I've seen the bulk of our prospects play or that I'm an expert but it strikes me as suspect when Vigilante, Maki and Scott Todd make the Top 20 but Finley (ok,yes, I saw the nhl game-- he is still a prospect right?), Lassila, and Setzinger do not.

Libor Pivko is a borderline 3rd line nhl player today but not in the top 20? Is Kevin Schaeffer really a to 20 prospect while Janne Niskala isn't?

It looks to me like the list maker went to dinner after the top 10 or so.

Niskala looks like a one season wonder. Schaeffer's been one of the more solid d-men in the NCAA over the past seasons. I don't have a problem with that. Omitting Setzinger and Lassila is the only thing I wonder about.

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02-11-2006, 03:03 PM
  #11
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I will have to agree with Smokey here.

I dont think Roy played Center at all this season. Radu is ALWAYS on the wing.

when he had to take faceoff because espo was chased, he pretty much gets owned*.

I was disapointed that Russia made radu center the 2nd line instead of playing top with Malkin!!

but radu LOVES to be on the wing, specially on the board on the PP.

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02-12-2006, 12:03 PM
  #12
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I acutally knocked the Preds for picking up Franson in the draft, I wasn't impressed with him at all last year. I was watching him last night and his game has gotten alot better. Last year he played like a Euro, no physical play at all. This year he has picked it up and with a plus 15 has good numbers. 46 points in 57 games is very good numbers also.

On the down side he was knocked out of the game last night with either a cuncussion or neck injury and went to Kelowna General Hospital. Haven't heard anything else about it?

Regular Season Stats
Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2002-03 WHL Season Vancouver Giants 3 0 0 0 0 2
2003-2004 WHL Season Vancouver Giants 2 0 0 0 0 0
2004-05 WHL Season Vancouver Giants 64 2 11 13 -10 44
2005-06 WHL Season Vancouver Giants 57 14 32 46 15 47

http://whl.ca/en/stats/player.php?id=23801

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02-12-2006, 12:12 PM
  #13
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Even though Lauris has 26 points in 30 games, he is capable of so much more. He is a sniper that hasn't put up the numbers yet, can he? Darzins is defensively responsible, but when will the offensive numbers come? Will the Preds sign him or give up on him?


Player Stats
Regular Season Stats
Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2004-05 WHL Season Kelowna Rockets 53 19 15 34 5 38
2005-06 WHL Season Kelowna Rockets 30 10 16 26 9 12

Playoff Stats
Season Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2005 WHL Playoffs Kelowna Rockets 24 7 7 14 10 10


http://whl.ca/stats/player.php?id=24157

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Old
02-18-2006, 07:03 AM
  #14
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No Lassila

I was surprised too that Lassila didn't crack top 20 was it only a mistake or has he felt out of flavour

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Old
02-23-2006, 01:04 AM
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Damn you Preds' have such beautiful prospects!!

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02-23-2006, 11:11 AM
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Glen Erickson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyClause
As far as I know, he hasn't played center. When you look at his game to game face off totals, they are incredibly low. He hasn't taken a faceoff in a while. Esposito has been the center on that line.

I think it was one of the reasons Radulov played mediocre in the WJC's. It's not easy to take a winger and tell him to play center for a handful of games. The mindsets required to play each is different. I would like to have seen him on the wing with Malkin, but it didn't work out that way.
Thanks for the heads up...it was simply a typo at my end. Radulov should be listed at RW. During the WJC, he moved back and forth between C and RW, but really looked out of place when playing center. Regardless of position and as I have stated before, he had a pretty mediocre WJC.

A request to correct the positional error was sent on Feb. 12 and it's been taken care of.

Thanks for your help!

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02-23-2006, 11:24 AM
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Decent list. I would have a couple minor adjustments...I like Lassila a little more than Glen, and like Parent a little higher.

One thing I like is the good mark that he gave Teemu Laakso. Does anyone else besides me remember him being touted as a top 10 pick a year or so before the draft.....another sharp steal by guys that sure know how to draft blueliners.

All in all, good work.

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02-23-2006, 11:25 AM
  #18
Glen Erickson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
Niskala looks like a one season wonder. Schaeffer's been one of the more solid d-men in the NCAA over the past seasons. I don't have a problem with that. Omitting Setzinger and Lassila is the only thing I wonder about.
Thanks for your comments...

Teemu Lasilla is playing with Djurgarden this season and is handling the bulk of the workload...he'll likely play over 40 games. It appears backup Mattias Andersson is pushing Lassila with a higher Save Percentage, lower GAA and a shutout. But, he's only played nine games.

During preparation of the Preds Top 20, it was our opinion Lasilla needed some AHL minutes to better assess his long-term potential. We hope he commits to North America next season.

Pekka Rinne has answered the bell, so to speak, by establishing himself as an AHL all-star.

I guess the beauty of all this is that it is subject to debate.

(FYI...Patric Hornqvist is also playing with Djurgarden)

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02-23-2006, 11:51 AM
  #19
Glen Erickson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
Niskala looks like a one season wonder. Schaeffer's been one of the more solid d-men in the NCAA over the past seasons. I don't have a problem with that. Omitting Setzinger and Lassila is the only thing I wonder about.
Setzinger is listed this season by Vienna at 'RW'. Last season, prior to my arrival here, he was ranked by HF as a 'C'. Alas, I'm comfortable the HF powers that be were correct in rating him as a center.

With the Vienna Capitals, he's a top five scorer in the league. To date, 31g, 35a in 43 games and +17. Can't argue with the numbers.

We continue to wonder why Setzinger, who will be 23 in July, is not playing in North America. And remember, he's lighting it up in a league that boasts former NHLers like Todd Elik, Dave Chyzowski and Mike Craig. Craig also plays with Vienna, which sits in fifth place among seven teams.

We have been vilified somewhat for including Libor Pivko and Greg Zanon in the Top 20...because of their age. Yet, they have developed as reliable leaders at the AHL level. We think Setzinger has to "leave the nest" and produce in North America. And really, where do the Preds appear to require organizational depth? Down the middle, eh?

If Setzinger does arrive next season, HF will still have to raise questions about his age, according to our rating criteria.

Another tough call here...we wish Setzinger was here, playing against the best possible competition. Ultimately, it might be a shame if this ship has sailed...

Again, please keep the comments coming. Thank you...


Last edited by Glen Erickson: 02-23-2006 at 04:01 PM.
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02-23-2006, 12:11 PM
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I realize that Kevin Schaffer was discussed earlier in this thread, but I'm also interested in our other Hockey East blueliner...Craig Switzer from UNH.

The times that I've watched UNH on NESN, I've been impressed with Switzer, yet I still haven't really heard anything about his future. I know he is in his sophomore year, so he has two more years potentially in college, but if anyone can give me an update on him, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!

Geez, thinking of our crop of defensemen in the organization...Hamhuis, Suter, Weber, Klein, Parent, Zanon, Laakso, Sulzer, Schaeffer, Franson, Todd, Switzer, the list goes on and on.

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02-23-2006, 02:26 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake
...but I'm also interested in our other Hockey East blueliner...Craig Switzer from UNH.
If you haven't already read the feature,, please have a look at the piece I wrote back in September. You can find it on the Preds page at Hockey's Future.

What I can tell you is that Switzer was born in Calgary and grew up in Peachland, British Columbia in the Okanagan Valley. He returns to the area when he can and is a contributor to minor hockey alumni events. The folks in the region have a tremendous amount of respect for Craig, his maturity and his commitment. From a 'character' point of view, this bodes well for the Preds.

I am looking into some more current information for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake
Geez, thinking of our crop of defensemen in the organization...Hamhuis, Suter, Weber, Klein, Parent, Zanon, Laakso, Sulzer, Schaeffer, Franson, Todd, Switzer, the list goes on and on.
Tremendous depth, eh? Perhaps the deepest in the NHL. Makes me wonder how many of these guys might eventually be traded in an effort to strengthen other areas within the organization. Future looks great!

Thanks for your comments and questions...

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02-23-2006, 02:36 PM
  #22
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Decent list. I would have a couple minor adjustments...I like Lassila a little more than Glen, and like Parent a little higher.

One thing I like is the good mark that he gave Teemu Laakso. Does anyone else besides me remember him being touted as a top 10 pick a year or so before the draft.....another sharp steal by guys that sure know how to draft blueliners.

All in all, good work.
Thanks for weighing in!

If we had to, we'd probably have Lassila at #21, and his stock will likely rise. Mr. Vokoun's play in Italy may precipitate this. Hopefully for the Preds, Vokoun will further elevate his play when the NHL gets rolling next week. Would be nice to see a deep playoff run, which would really give us all an opportunity to guage exactly where the current NHL roster is at.

Thanks for your thoughts on Laakso. I do not recall the suggestion about him as a top 10 draft pick, but I wonder if this may have been around the time he suffered the ankle injury? If this is the case, it might have scared some NHL teams. Appears to have worked out very well for Preds brass...

You're right, Ryan Parent is an amazing prospect...'nuff said.

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02-23-2006, 04:02 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Erickson
Thanks for weighing in!

If we had to, we'd probably have Lassila at #21, and his stock will likely rise. Mr. Vokoun's play in Italy may precipitate this. Hopefully for the Preds, Vokoun will further elevate his play when the NHL gets rolling next week. Would be nice to see a deep playoff run, which would really give us all an opportunity to guage exactly where the current NHL roster is at.

Thanks for your thoughts on Laakso. I do not recall the suggestion about him as a top 10 draft pick, but I wonder if this may have been around the time he suffered the ankle injury? If this is the case, it might have scared some NHL teams. Appears to have worked out very well for Preds brass...

You're right, Ryan Parent is an amazing prospect...'nuff said.
Laakso was a top 20 prospect for quite awhile heading into his draft year, but injuries/inconsistency seemed to cost him that year....similar to what happened to Evan McGrath of the Wings.

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Old
02-23-2006, 04:13 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by Enoch
Laakso was a top 20 prospect for quite awhile heading into his draft year, but injuries/inconsistency seemed to cost him that year....similar to what happened to Evan McGrath of the Wings.
Yep...another guy that shot up after the draft. He wasn't injured, he just had a slow 2nd half.

He actually went to the draft figuring being picked first day. Spent the 2nd day of the draft at the gym working out when he got the call Detroit grabbed him.

It seems funny though...guys you and I see going early get drafted late and the team looks like geniuses...when we would have drafted them where they should have been in the first place.

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02-27-2006, 06:27 PM
  #25
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Setzinger and Shafigulin should definitely be on our top 20, probably even the top 10.

Lassila should be in the top 20 as well.

A dark horse is Widing, who Poile tried to sign last summer.

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