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McKeen's top 12 prospects

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Old
12-19-2006, 01:59 PM
  #1
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McKeen's top 12 prospects

http://mckeenshockey.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=621152

What originally looked like a bumper crop of first-round talent from the WHL is being tempered somewhat by disappointing performances.

No better example can be found than in Colton Gillies. Entering this season the hulking Saskatoon Blades' center was a top-ten prospect on virtually everyone's list, but he has been so unproductive through the first half of the season that he's now a longshot to ever return to the top ten.

"He can't score," said one scout who is not a big fan. "He was a star at the under 18's, but he has (five goals after half a season). A great skater, a big kid, but if you don't score in junior, what are you going to do in the NHL? There's a lack of hockey sense."

Seattle defenceman Thomas Hickey and Vancouver right winger Michal Repik are other former top 15 prospects from the WHL who have dropped out of the first round, while Zach Hamill, who was ranked 11th overall in early November, is barely clinging to a spot in the first round following a disappointing first half of the season. Although he's been producing offensively, more has been expected from the fourth-year Everett Silvertips winger in terms of his willingness to compete physically.

Strong performances at the World Junior A Challenge in Yorkton, Saskatchewan this past November helped vault Sergei Korostin and Kyle Turris into McKeen's top ten, and solid performances in recent competitions put Alexei Cherepanov on the radar screen as a top 20 prospect on the rise. Others climbing the rankings include Everett defenceman Eric Doyle, Prince George winger Dana Tyrell, USNDTP blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk and Swiss center Luca Cunti after his sterling performance at the Four Nations Cup last month.

While Quebec Remparts' center Angelo Esposito boasts the number one position in the rankings for now, it's a tenuous hold at best. Some scouts don't even consider Esposito to be the top prospect in the QMJHL, bestowing that honour to Halifax Mooseheads' winger Jakub Voracek. The only consensus on the top ten is that there is no consensus. Prospects ranked tenth or lower still have a legitimate chance of being ranked first overall by season's end.

"There's no clear cut top five," noted one eastern conference head scout recently, who also conceded that this year's top ten isn't looking as strong as last year's group. "Everyone's got question marks."

One of the players with few liabilites is Karl Alzner, a 6-2, 210 defenceman with the Calgary Hitmen who is impressing scouts with his steady defensive play. Alzner, who recently made Canada's WJC team, is ranked second overall by McKeen's.

"He's a solid stay-at-home defenceman," noted one scout. "He's a safe pick. He knows how to play away from the puck, he's a strong positional defenceman with a good point shot."

Here are the top 30 for December 2006:

1 Angelo Esposito
2 Karl Alzner
3 Jakub Voracek
4 Patrick Kane
5 Sam Gagner
6 Keaton Ellerby
7 Sergei Korostin
8 Kyle Turris
9 Logan Couture
10 James van Riemsdyk
11 Jonathon Blum
12 Mark Katic

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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12-19-2006, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnbuckle View Post
Here are the top 30 for December 2006:

1 Angelo Esposito
2 Karl Alzner
3 Jakub Voracek
4 Patrick Kane
5 Sam Gagner
6 Keaton Ellerby
7 Sergei Korostin
8 Kyle Turris
9 Logan Couture
10 James van Riemsdyk
11 Jonathon Blum
12 Mark Katic
really?

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Old
12-19-2006, 02:08 PM
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I heard good thing about Couture... Its weird to see him 9th. And I dont see how Esposito can be ahead of Voracek. If Gagner is doing good in WJC he'll fall in the top 3.

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12-19-2006, 02:13 PM
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I think Couture will probably get higher if he keeps his pace up. I liked Colton Gillies before, maybe he would drop down to when the Habs pick...but if he doesn't produce I don't know if I'd risk it. He's that big centreman that the Habs have been looking for though. He used to challenge Esposito for the #1 spot in early projections. He is only 17, turning 18 in Feb. Last year his totals were 12pts in 63gp, this year it's 15pts in 28gp, sure he isn't dominating but he is developing.

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12-19-2006, 02:16 PM
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Who's Sergei Korostin??

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12-19-2006, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by thief50 View Post
really?
Thanks for contributing.

You really act like a know-it-all sometimes

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12-19-2006, 02:22 PM
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Who's Sergei Korostin??
Top Russian prospect. His skill level is off the charts; may end up going first overall when it's all said and done, thought that's the case for lots of players.

Couture has big skating issues, other than that scouts like his game a lot. Still; skating issues can be disguised at the junior level, not so much in the NHL.

Unless his skating improves over the next couple of months I'd be surprised to see him in the top five, even though I'm from the Ottawa area and a lifelong 67's fan.

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12-19-2006, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks for contributing.

You really act like a know-it-all sometimes
I think he meant that....
you post 12 names but you say "here are the top 30".

Probably something I would have put forward if he hadnt before me.

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12-19-2006, 02:30 PM
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Seeing the kind of year Kane and Gagner have, you would also think that top 5 for both of them is pretty normal.

But why, in some other lists don't we see Kane's name that much?

An other thing, seems that the most talk about guys on the rise are Turris and Van Riemsdyk. Any chance they'll finish top 5? Are they on the rise from McKeen's standpoint?

Thanks.

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12-19-2006, 02:32 PM
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I'd still rather pick the russian twins.

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12-19-2006, 02:39 PM
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I'd still rather pick the russian twins.
We went the Bashkirov's way once, not sure I want to try this again.....

Though if I would've said this for Higgins, we would not have picked Chris....

But mostly the Bashkirov's are too similar to what we have now and for years to come.

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12-19-2006, 02:40 PM
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Interesting read. I haven't seen much of Hamill, for instance, but the little I did left me unimpressed, at least in terms of how he was talked about as a top draft prospect.

But I think that drafts like this, where there is no consensus, ultimately favours teams that draft late (or at least could). It's the classic case of player X being no. 10 on Montreal's list, but anywhere from 20th to 45th on every team's list drafting before them.

It's also the case like last year, which IIRC was a real crapshoot after the top 8 or so, where Montreal was able to trade down, and then up and walk away with 4 players that they really liked for their top two rounds.

It should be interesting as we get closer because there's a lot of names that seem to be slipping. It could be the sort of Latendresse factor, where almost everyone sours on him to the point of underrating him because of too much early scrutiny (and a nagging injury). In particular, I wonder if that might prove to be the case with Backlund, who everyone was raving about last year.

Anyway, turnbuckle, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Sutter. Actually, I was wondering if you could make a rough list of big, physical skating C who will probaby be slotted in the 15-30 range, and which of them could either be a steal or an unquestionable safe pick (like, is Gillies closer to Chipchura or a diamond in the rough?).

As always, thanks for the insights.

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12-19-2006, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedave View Post
Interesting read. I haven't seen much of Hamill, for instance, but the little I did left me unimpressed, at least in terms of how he was talked about as a top draft prospect.

But I think that drafts like this, where there is no consensus, ultimately favours teams that draft late (or at least could). It's the classic case of player X being no. 10 on Montreal's list, but anywhere from 20th to 45th on every team's list drafting before them.

It's also the case like last year, which If I recall correctly was a real crapshoot after the top 8 or so, where Montreal was able to trade down, and then up and walk away with 4 players that they really liked for their top two rounds.

It should be interesting as we get closer because there's a lot of names that seem to be slipping. It could be the sort of Latendresse factor, where almost everyone sours on him to the point of underrating him because of too much early scrutiny (and a nagging injury). In particular, I wonder if that might prove to be the case with Backlund, who everyone was raving about last year.

Anyway, turnbuckle, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Sutter. Actually, I was wondering if you could make a rough list of big, physical skating C who will probaby be slotted in the 15-30 range, and which of them could either be a steal or an unquestionable safe pick (like, is Gillies closer to Chipchura or a diamond in the rough?).

As always, thanks for the insights.
I have seen Gillies play a number of times. He is more like a young John Leclaire growing into his frame. I saw him score a beaut of a goal on a breakaway when he undressed the goalie. Big, good wheels a trifle clumsy not the puck distributor that Chip is.

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12-19-2006, 02:45 PM
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At this point I would be more curious to know who will be available later in the draft, and will there be a big drop in talent after the top 10?

My concern is if we continue like we are now, would it be a bad idea to include a 1 round pick to try and land a solid player in return? (I'm not trying to create any trade rumours. I'm simply curious to know if there would be a huge difference in talent between 23-28 pick overall to the 32-37 over all pick)

If we could still land a guy we wanted in the second round (If we maintained our position on the standings, we would know we would have a late pick) do you think this would be a viable option?

And again, I'm not looking for proposals, I just want to know if we could use this to help with a trade.

Edit: Thanks for the information by the way. Good read.

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12-19-2006, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedave View Post
Interesting read. I haven't seen much of Hamill, for instance, but the little I did left me unimpressed, at least in terms of how he was talked about as a top draft prospect.

Anyway, turnbuckle, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Sutter. Actually, I was wondering if you could make a rough list of big, physical skating C who will probaby be slotted in the 15-30 range, and which of them could either be a steal or an unquestionable safe pick (like, is Gillies closer to Chipchura or a diamond in the rough?).

As always, thanks for the insights.
You read my mind (or I kept saying this over and over again....) I want my big centerman (like somebody who can make me forget about Getzlaf....) and Sutter is definately on my mind. Have the idea that he will rise come draft time but we never know. Veilleux from the Q is also another towering big centerman, not sure he has the quickest feet but showed promising things as far as hockey sense is concerned and didn't see him a lot but didn't seem extremely physical but doesn't shy away from the physical aspect of it.

As far as Hamill, hope somebody who know more could help me here, but can we say he has tons of talent but is inconsistant and questionnable work ethic? But if he puts it together, shouldn't he be a great guess to take?

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Old
12-19-2006, 03:01 PM
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Im surprise Esposito is till no1, he wasen't exactly stellar this year.

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12-19-2006, 03:08 PM
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Sutter is ranked 15th on our latest list.

Here are the centers rated between 15 and 30.


15 Brandon Sutter
C
Red Deer (WHL)
6-2/175
2-14-1989


16 James O'Brien
C
Minnesota (WCHA)
6-2/185
1-29-1989


17 Mikael Backlund
C
Vasteras (Swe)
6-0/195
3-17-1989


21 Colton Gillies
C
Saskatoon (WHL)
6-4/195
1-12-1989


22 Luca Cunti
C
GCK Zurich Lions (Sui)
6-0/185
7-4-1989

25 Keven Veilleux
C
Victoriaville (QMJHL)
6-4/195
6-27-1989

Sutter doens't get very involved physically at this time - main problem is his strength, but a very smart player with some offensive upside. May develop into decent second line center, but don't expect a rough-tough Sutter.

O'Brien is similar; needs to gain strength. Might be a guy we target though.

Backlund - not overly big..and Swedish.. ...plays a gritty style though, and of course is good defensively (aren't all Swedes?) Has soem offensive upside...been following down the charts because of a poor year - was a top ten pick, but he was sick apparently. Might be a consideration forthe Habs if he's around in the 20's; doubt he'll be there.

Gillies - not going to fill a top-two line role - we have enough Chipchura types coming up.

Cunti - not overly large, but has really good skillset.. climbing the charts as fast as anyone.

Veilleux - 6-5...decent skater for his size, great hands...but not willing to compete physically.


I'd be happy with Sutter, O'Brien or Backlund, but if we draf ti the 20s i don't beleive any of them will be available.

We might be better served to look defence and grab Doyle, Brendan Smith or Kevin Shattenkirk if we draft in the 20s.

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Old
12-19-2006, 05:07 PM
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I have seen Gillies play a number of times. He is more like a young John Leclaire growing into his frame. I saw him score a beaut of a goal on a breakaway when he undressed the goalie. Big, good wheels a trifle clumsy not the puck distributor that Chip is.
That could be Jani Rita all over again.The merest flicker of some O skill is enough to have the scouts projecting farther out than the coupon repayments on the James Bay Hydro project.

If a top grinder slips down the rankings list, there's no comfort in thinking his selection will be a bargain.Think of Matt Higgins, or Jason Ward.

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12-19-2006, 05:34 PM
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Hey, turnbuckle, where is this american Dman (sorry I don't remember his name) who was ranked in every top 5 or 10 at the begining of the year?
Did he drop because he didn't show enough offensive potential?

Thanks

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12-19-2006, 05:42 PM
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Hey, turnbuckle, where is this american Dman (sorry I don't remember his name) who was ranked in every top 5 or 10 at the begining of the year?

Did he drop because he didn't show enough offensive potential?
Nick Petrecki.

I'd also be curious to know what other defensemen are projected in the top 30.

I doubt Backlund falls to Montreal. Even with his ongoing injury problems, I'm hoping that Washington once again picks a Swede in the first round.

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12-19-2006, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-2 Schneider View Post
That could be Jani Rita all over again.The merest flicker of some O skill is enough to have the scouts projecting farther out than the coupon repayments on the James Bay Hydro project.

If a top grinder slips down the rankings list, there's no comfort in thinking his selection will be a bargain.Think of Matt Higgins, or Jason Ward.
Matt Higgins a grinder??? Gillies skates much better than Jason Ward. Those are poor comparisons. A young John Leclair makes more sense. The Habs will hopefully have a low pick so Gillies is the type of projection that has to be made at that position. A mobile 6'4" centerman is hard to find. A acquaintance of mine who knows the blades coach claims that Gillies has been hampered by injuries this year. I cant verify the veracity of this however.


Last edited by toshiro: 12-19-2006 at 05:58 PM.
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12-19-2006, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnbuckle View Post
Sutter is ranked 15th on our latest list.

Here are the centers rated between 15 and 30.


15 Brandon Sutter
C
Red Deer (WHL)
6-2/175
2-14-1989


16 James O'Brien
C
Minnesota (WCHA)
6-2/185
1-29-1989


17 Mikael Backlund
C
Vasteras (Swe)
6-0/195
3-17-1989


21 Colton Gillies
C
Saskatoon (WHL)
6-4/195
1-12-1989


22 Luca Cunti
C
GCK Zurich Lions (Sui)
6-0/185
7-4-1989

25 Keven Veilleux
C
Victoriaville (QMJHL)
6-4/195
6-27-1989

Sutter doens't get very involved physically at this time - main problem is his strength, but a very smart player with some offensive upside. May develop into decent second line center, but don't expect a rough-tough Sutter.

O'Brien is similar; needs to gain strength. Might be a guy we target though.

Backlund - not overly big..and Swedish.. ...plays a gritty style though, and of course is good defensively (aren't all Swedes?) Has soem offensive upside...been following down the charts because of a poor year - was a top ten pick, but he was sick apparently. Might be a consideration forthe Habs if he's around in the 20's; doubt he'll be there.

Gillies - not going to fill a top-two line role - we have enough Chipchura types coming up.

Cunti - not overly large, but has really good skillset.. climbing the charts as fast as anyone.

Veilleux - 6-5...decent skater for his size, great hands...but not willing to compete physically.


I'd be happy with Sutter, O'Brien or Backlund, but if we draf ti the 20s i don't beleive any of them will be available.

We might be better served to look defence and grab Doyle, Brendan Smith or Kevin Shattenkirk if we draft in the 20s.
Backlund, Sutter, and O'Brien all have two things in common, they're unable to produce offensively in their respective leagues, and they're all falling down the charts. Same pattern as Gillies. So why would their selection make you happy and not Gillies ?

Also, from what I read, Cunti did not make the cut for the WJC Swiss team. If he is in fact a first round talent, wouldn't a team like the swiss want him desperatly in their lineup ?

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12-19-2006, 06:57 PM
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Let's draft Sergei Korostin.. just so everyone doesn't know who the hell we're talking about when we talk about Sergei Kotstitsyn and Korostin.

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12-19-2006, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by The CUBE View Post
At this point I would be more curious to know who will be available later in the draft, and will there be a big drop in talent after the top 10?

My concern is if we continue like we are now, would it be a bad idea to include a 1 round pick to try and land a solid player in return? (I'm not trying to create any trade rumours. I'm simply curious to know if there would be a huge difference in talent between 23-28 pick overall to the 32-37 over all pick)

If we could still land a guy we wanted in the second round (If we maintained our position on the standings, we would know we would have a late pick) do you think this would be a viable option?

And again, I'm not looking for proposals, I just want to know if we could use this to help with a trade.

Edit: Thanks for the information by the way. Good read.
Does anyone have insight on this or should I post it elsewhere?

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12-19-2006, 07:07 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tervin View Post
Backlund, Sutter, and O'Brien all have two things in common, they're unable to produce offensively in their respective leagues, and they're all falling down the charts. Same pattern as Gillies. So why would their selection make you happy and not Gillies ?

Also, from what I read, Cunti did not make the cut for the WJC Swiss team. If he is in fact a first round talent, wouldn't a team like the swiss want him desperatly in their lineup ?
To be fair, O'Brien is 17 and playing in the NCAA, it's very rare to see 17 year olds in the NCAA, as more freshman at entering the league at 19 so that they are physically ready since the age group is more in the 18-23 range. I've seen O'Brien a lot, I personally hope we don't go for him in the 1st. I also like teammate Brain Schack, a big stay at home type, he's often paired with David Fischer, although I have no clue where he will end up being ranked as he's listed as a limited viewing by CSB.

Also of interest is another teammate of a prospect in TJ Galiardi from Dartmouth. Liked what I've seen from him so far, although he'll need to bulk up a little, he's having a good start so far.

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