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Final Top 60 for 2004 Draft

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05-01-2004, 08:34 AM
  #1
Hiishawk
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Final Top 60 for 2004 Draft

This is my final top 60 for the 2004 Entry Draft now that everything of note for the 2004 draft class (except for the last few CHL teams) has wrapped up. I have attended several hundred games and tournaments (all over the place) with prospects in them this year plus have chatted and corresponded with scouts, coaches, other hockey people and have read just about everything of import that has been written about these players.
Note: This is NOT a mock draft but a ranking.

1. Alex Ovechkin- Gee! What a surprise!
2. Evegeny Malkin- Duh!
3. Rostislav Olesz- The concussion doesn’t seem to have been a problem. I see Michalek with slightly better hands here so he stays at #3 for me.
4. A.J. Thelen- Better upside than Barker. REALLY impressed against older competition.
5. Laurie Tukonen- Was a man among boys at U18s. Excellent all-around sure-fire pro type.
6. Cam Barker- Has fairly obvious holes in his game but can also be a game-breaking big time talent.
7. Alex Radulov- Dynamic, catalyst, wants the puck and wants to win type. Exciting.
8. Andrew Ladd- Everyone who sees him seems to come away as a believer. Me too.
9. Marek Schwarz- Still ranks clearly as the best goalie for 2004.
10. Rob Schremp- This much talent gets you just about everywhere. I don’t buy the attitude problem stuff.
11. Wojtek Wolski- Still quite hasn’t put it all together but if/when he does…
12. Alex Picard- He just keeps scoring. I like his hunger and enthusiasm.
13. Drew Stafford- Solid 2nd line NHLer. Good 2 way guy.
14. Ladislav Smid- A lot of people poo-poo him because of Pierre McGuire’s comments based on one play in one WJC game. Nah- this guy could be a stud defenseman.
15. Dave Bolland- Love his drive, instincts and energy but seemed to run out of steam in the end.
16. Alvaro Montoya- Seems to be the consensus no.2 goalie this year.
17. Kyle Chipchura- Forget the stats- this guy really seems to have ALL the intangibles. Very well-rounded hockey player.
18. Wes O’Neill- Was up and down all year but size/skating ratio still makes him a prized pick.
19. Mike Green- Very solid can’t miss pick at this position.
20. Andrej Meszaros- Somewhat like Barker, love his positive puck movement and vision but has holes.
21. David Schantz- Outstanding playoff performance puts him into top 20 range.
22. Bruce Graham- Eric Daze but with even better playmaking potential.
23. Cory Schneider- Made a believer out of many at recent U18s.
24. Roman Voloshenko- Opportunistic sniper is on the rise. Needs to improve foot speed.
25. Boris Valabik- Meanest and biggest of he early picks.
26. Oscar Hedman- Excellent performance at U18s lands him 1st round status.
27. Johan Fransson- Proved his worth at high levels of play all year.
28. Lukas Kaspar- Can SHOOT and drive to the net like few others in this draft.
29. Blake Wheeler- Dominant HSer is rising with a bullet.
30. Lauri Korpikoski- Has come out of nowhere and improved almost every game. Real sleeper.
31. Jakub Sindel- Great hands but is his physical game suited to the NHL? I worry…
32. Enver Lisin- Great feet, but is the rest of his game suited to the NHL? I worry…
33. Petteri Nokelainen- Rough and tumble guy starting to show off high skill package too.
34. Adam Pineault- Draft position could be affected by choice of team for next season. Big upside and downside here.
35. Johannes Salmonsson- Will he even opt-in? Injury worries…
36. Carl Soderburg- Plays well-rounded pro-style game.
37. Devan Dubnyk- Had hot-and-cold year. Still needs to prove himself.
38. Travis Zajac- Just going on others’ comments here.
39. Roman Tesliuk- Due for big breakout next year. Very smart- excellent skater. Could turn out to be very underrated at this position.
40. David Booth- Pro-style two-way player with some skill but needs more mobility.
41. Kiril Lyamin- Best Russian U18 DF but lacks anything dynamic in his game.
42. Paul Stastny- Smart, skilled and who can argue with the name?
43. Mikhail Yunkov- Classic skilled, fast Russian forward.
44. Kyle Wharton- Really came on in 2nd half to show dominating potential.
45. Sergei Ogorodnikov- Poor man’s Radulov. Could surprise.
46. John Lammers- Fun to watch. Very nice skill package- due for scoring breakout next season.
47. Adam Berti- Can blow hot or cold. A poor man’s Wolski?
48. Justin Peters- Clearly best goalie pick for mid 2nd round.
49. Karel Hromas- Banger plays physical, traffic game well.
50. Alexei Emelin- Talented and smart with nice upside. Needs muscle.
51. Bryan Bickell- Power forward? Skilled bug guy? Space filler? Still don’t know.
52. Roman Tomanek- Showed great offensive instincts at recent world U18s.
53. Ryan Garlock- Just keeps up steady, decent play. Safe bet.
54. Vaclav Meidl- The Euro version of Bickell. Must find game-type and develop consistency.
55. T.J. Hensick- You can’t ignore this level of skill for too long.
56. Sami Lepisto- Was his WJC performance an anomaly? Will size be a problem? Big upside and downside.
57. Andy Rogers- Still love that size/skating ratio. Due for offensive breakout next year.
58. Martins Karsums- Reminds me of Hensick. Fun to watch- great energy guy.
59. Juraj Gracik- Shows power forward potential.
60. Alex Pluschyev- Real up and down player who sleepwalks through some shifts but oozes talent.
61. Evan McGrath- Only here because of the hidden talent in there SOMEWHERE. Really did not impress me (or many people) this year. Be very wary.
62. Jeff Schultz- Big project. Must improve footwork, faded late in season.

Other possible/likely 2nd rounders who I've missed (since compensation picks will be added) are U.S., U.S.-going or U.S. based players who I didn't see much or at all: Steve Birnstill, Casey Borer, Darrin Olver, Grant Lewis, Mike Lundin, Keith Yandle, Kyle Kluberanz, Matt Auffrey, Kevin Porter, Chad Kolarik, Geoff Paukovich, Paul Baier, Kris Chucko, Ray Sawada, Victor Orestovich, Jon Sigalet...

If you want to ask where I rate other players please feel free to do so. I must admit to being less knowledgeable (1st hand) about USHS and USHL players though.


Last edited by Hiishawk: 05-07-2004 at 10:07 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old
05-01-2004, 09:07 AM
  #2
Dr_Gonz0
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A prospct that missed your list that will most likely go in the 1st round: 6'6" Calgary Defensemen Jeff Schultz, who is ranked 11th in N. American prospects mid season.

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05-01-2004, 09:12 AM
  #3
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Steblick,
There is no reason for Salmonsson not to opt in. It was decided already in November that he must have a surgery but he felt no pain and could still play with his shoulder. So Djurgården (his team) decided to postpone the surgery until after the season. He had the surgery in early april (thus missing the U18 WJC) so that he wouldn't behind with Djurgården's summer training. He has had a strong season IMO and I recently asked someone very close to Johannes and he said there was no talk about not opting in

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05-01-2004, 09:19 AM
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Outstanding read. Thanks for putting in the effort.

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05-01-2004, 09:52 AM
  #5
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Is Ovechkin really at the top? You're kidding! I thought Martins Karsums would be at the top...

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05-01-2004, 10:15 AM
  #6
Hiishawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Gonz0
A prospct that missed your list that will most likely go in the 1st round: 6'6" Calgary Defensemen Jeff Schultz, who is ranked 11th in N. American prospects mid season.
I know Schultz well but neither I nor most prognosticators see him as a real 1st round prospect despite CSB's optomistic mid-term ranking. He's decent with the puck and his size is great but his skating is pretty raw. I have him at about #65-67. I prefer Andy Rogers.

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05-01-2004, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
34. Adam Pineault - Draft position could be affected by choice of team for next season. Big upside and downside here.
I'm not sure what this means. What are Pineault's choice for teams next season.

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05-01-2004, 10:31 AM
  #8
Hiishawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seachd
I'm not sure what this means. What are Pineault's choice for teams next season.
Latest word is that he left college. He may well head to Moncton of the QMJHL, who own his rights but nothing is for certain yet. Playing in the CHL could raise his profile (ICE TIME!!!). On the other hand, playing NCAA allows players to develop longer before forcing a signing which can make them more draft attractive..

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05-01-2004, 10:37 AM
  #9
Seachd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
Latest word is that he left college. He may well head to Moncton of the QMJHL, who own his rights but nothing is for certain yet. Playing in the CHL could raise his profile (ICE TIME!!!). On the other hand, playing NCAA allows players to develop longer before forcing a signing which can make them more draft attractive..
Ah, ok. I hadn't heard about him leaving. Going to the Q might be a good idea.

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05-01-2004, 10:49 AM
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Exceptional. Thankyou very much.

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05-01-2004, 11:19 AM
  #11
Aaron Vickers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
I know Schultz well but neither I nor most prognosticators see him as a real 1st round prospect despite CSB's optomistic mid-term ranking. He's decent with the puck and his size is great but his skating is pretty raw. I have him at about #65-67. I prefer Andy Rogers.
Four months ago he was a sure-fire first round selection.

Amazing how much stock can drop in four months.

Schultz was named Hitmen defenseman of the year over the likes of Rogers and Carson (not to mention Tampa 2nd rounder in 2003 Mike Egener), but you could clearly tell that his play had dropped significantly in the latter part of the season.

I still see Schultz as a top 60, and cannot see him falling to the third round, but it'd catch me off guard if he was selected top thirty now.

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05-01-2004, 01:24 PM
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Steblick, always enjoy your draft thoughts. One guy I could see being near the top 60 is Kyle Kubertanz. I would love it if he fell to the late 3rd round though as his size and playing in the USHL could go against him.

But I have a question about some Euro's Fredrick Naslund, Anton Belov, and some NCAAer Mike Lundin, Steve Birstill, Grant Lewis and Josh Soares, and in the Q Jan Steber. Any thoughts on where they will be drafted or opinions on them. Thanks

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05-01-2004, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for the great read Steblick, it's appreciated. I'll be thrilled if the Pens can pick up Wheeler, Nokelainen, or Korpikoski at 31. I'm crossing my fingers for Korpikoski.

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05-01-2004, 02:41 PM
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IKNAA, I think Johan Fransson and Lukas Kaspar sound intriguing as well.

Anyone else know anything about these guys?

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05-01-2004, 02:42 PM
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nice work steblick

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05-01-2004, 04:29 PM
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the part that sucks is the flyers aren't getting any of these players

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05-01-2004, 04:54 PM
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DJ Spinoza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVpens
IKNAA, I think Johan Fransson and Lukas Kaspar sound intriguing as well.

Anyone else know anything about these guys?
Hey? Who is IKNAA?!?!

I don't know much about either one. I'm holding out for Korpikoski at 31.

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05-01-2004, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal
Steblick, always enjoy your draft thoughts. One guy I could see being near the top 60 is Kyle Kubertanz. I would love it if he fell to the late 3rd round though as his size and playing in the USHL could go against him.

But I have a question about some Euro's Fredrick Naslund, Anton Belov, and some NCAAer Mike Lundin, Steve Birstill, Grant Lewis and Josh Soares, and in the Q Jan Steber. Any thoughts on where they will be drafted or opinions on them. Thanks
I haven't seen Kluberanz but word of mouth would put him close to the top 60. Lewis is VERY close, I like his simple, smart game and consistency. Birnstill is a touch behind hm IMO but still very close (about #65-70). Lundin is smart and skilled but is quite small. Naslund has been very inconsistent- unnoticable in some games I saw except for his size- he has to bring more to the table. Belov is behind ther Russian defensemen such as Vorobiev and Karetin- he has raw skills but can make boneheaded plays, lacks hockey sense and/or discipline.

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05-01-2004, 05:50 PM
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steblick, this drft is often talked about as being deep in goalies.

Who do you see as the top 10 or so goalies, and how many would you expect to be taken in the first 3 rounds this year?

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05-01-2004, 06:56 PM
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You know, thats a pretty damn good list, in terms with how I'm thinking.

Just a few things that I personally would change (obviously personal opinion and maybe OHL bias because Im closer).

I'd have Schremp and Valabik higher in the first round. Schremp is still in my top 5. And Valabik in my top 20.

And I'd definitely have Kyle Wharton a lot lower. For me, he's a late third round/early 4th round pick. I just have never seen anything special from him. Just seems like your ordinary OHL defenseman. Maybe I'm missing something.

Also I'd still have Michael Funk in my top 60, even with his late seasons struggles.

But for the most part, we are definitely on the same page, especially with guys like Schantz, Voloshenko, etc.

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05-01-2004, 07:13 PM
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I bet SJ selects Lukas Kaspar if he's available when they pick. He's a big guy with a heavy shot and the Sharks need a big forward in their system.

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05-01-2004, 07:49 PM
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Great job Steblick. Everyone's list will be different, but i like alot of the rankings here. I agree with the poster who brought up Kaspar & Fransson. Those two should be in there, at least ahead of Meidl & Bickell

I like Rogers over Schultz as well.

Great to be seeing Thelen so high on lists. I watched him play two games early in the season and i was a believer from the get go. I was being hammered for having him in my top ten back in January. Believe me, its not just end of the year hype, that kid can play.

Btw, you say Mike Lundin is small....do you mean thin? That i'd agree with, but he is 6'2.

Again, great job.

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05-01-2004, 08:08 PM
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Im curiouse as to where you rate Dustin Boyd and Liam Redock sp. I know Liam had an outstanding U18 for Canada. I was wondering how this might affect his ranking.

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05-01-2004, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
Latest word is that he left college. He may well head to Moncton of the QMJHL, who own his rights but nothing is for certain yet. Playing in the CHL could raise his profile (ICE TIME!!!). On the other hand, playing NCAA allows players to develop longer before forcing a signing which can make them more draft attractive..
Pineault will be 18 next month. he would still have a few years left in the Q if he choses to go to Canada. If he remained at BC he would only have 3 years left to play and be 20. What is the cut-off age in major jr.? Thought it was 20.

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05-02-2004, 01:16 AM
  #25
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Nice list. Interesting read.

From what I've read it sounds like a bit of a drop off after the top 5 goaltenders (Schwarz, Montoya, Shantz, Dubnyk, Schneider). As well a lot of fans are saying their team doesn't need a top goalie prospect, but a mid-round depth guy. This has me believing that around the 3rd round there will be a run of teams all wanting these "depth" goalies. I think after Peters gets picked, the teams that were waiting to pick one will start to think hard about taking a goaltender.

What are your thoughts on the goalies outside the top 5? Do you think the 3rd and 4th might be like that?

As well, how do you rate Mitch Maunu? The avatar is only a joke. I like him, and think he will probably get picked somewhere around late 3rd, but I hope he falls to the early 4th so my favourite team (Flames) can pick him.

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