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Final Top 60 for 2004 Draft

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Old
05-02-2004, 02:28 AM
  #26
monster_bertuzzi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
the part that sucks is the flyers aren't getting any of these players
You got Zhamnov and Burke. , Live in the present man, not the future.

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05-02-2004, 03:13 PM
  #27
Vlad The Impaler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
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.
Cool list. Always enjoy your stuff.

I wouldn't make it "final" if I were you, though. Only a fool doesn't change his mind. Come back to us a few days prior to the draft and I bet you might have a few players change spots.

Even with the hockey season over, there's often some information that gets out near the draft on certain players.

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05-02-2004, 04:32 PM
  #28
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Great list, appreciate the effort you put in. I actually think of all the "mocks" and stuff I've seen your prospect ratings are more accurate. I agree with you on basically everything there except McGrath I think somebodies gonna take a chance with him...

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05-02-2004, 04:59 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Demon
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.
You can find goalies with very good skills in the 3rd and fourth rounds in this draft. David Brown from Notre Dame is a sleeper pick, that should warrant big results. There are a lot of very good goaltender prospects in this draft. Don't land one of the top 4....I wouldnt sweat.

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05-02-2004, 07:08 PM
  #30
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Great job! An NHL chief scout should hire you!

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05-02-2004, 07:20 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by paul99
Great job! An NHL chief scout should hire you!
Especially if you managed to see several hundred games with draft eligible players in them as you said because that would be more than any pro scout.

Not a bad list though

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05-02-2004, 07:25 PM
  #32
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Thanks for the list Steblick.

What would be a top-10 prospects based only on offensive potential? (I'm asking everybody, I don't get much occasions to see those kids).

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05-02-2004, 07:39 PM
  #33
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Steb will answer but since you are asking everyone. I can give you my top five offencive alone prospect list if you want. If not just ignore it but here goes.

1. Ovechkin
2. Schremp
3. Soderberg
4. Olesz
5. Malkin

If it is just scoring and nothing else, those are the players that I think if they were in the game with no defencive responsibilities or anything else, would score the most.

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05-02-2004, 10:20 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
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. Alexei Emelin- Talented and smart with nice upside. Needs muscle.
50. Bryan Bickell- Power forward? Skilled bug guy? Space filler? Still don?t know.
51. Roman Tomanek- Showed great offensive instincts at recent world U18s.
52. Ryan Garlock- Just keeps up steady, decent play. Safe bet.
53. Vaclav Meidl- The Euro version of Bickell. Must find game-type and develop consistency.
54. T.J. Hensick- You can?t ignore this level of skill for too long.
55. Sami Lepisto- Was his WJC performance an anomaly? Will size be a problem? Big upside and downside.
56. Andy Rogers- Still love that size/skating ratio. Due for offensive breakout next year.
57. Martins Karsums- Reminds me of Hensick. Fun to watch- great energy guy.
58. Juraj Gracik- Shows power forward potential.
59. Alex Pluschyev- Real up and down player who sleepwalks through some shifts but oozes talent.
60. 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.

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.
I respect your opinions so like I do others I will question some of your picks. I have beena huge Thelen booster since I seen him in November dominate at such a young age. I have him fairly high but Barker has speed and offensive instincts...something you can't teach.

I don't like Bolland that high at all, I think he held on to Schremps tail for the majority of the year. When they were seperated it was clear Bolland wasn't the same player. I have him early to mid 20's on my list.

I have a nasty biased towards North American defensmen but even still Smid has no right being top 20 let alone #14. He didn't do well at all under Canadian forechecking attack with big guys like Stewart and Burns on him. Not quick on the transition.

Probably personal likeings but I seem to like Ogorodnikov more then Voloshenko. Any Russian sniper that doesn't have speed really scares me alot. His larger weight allows him to dominate vs kids but not at the under 20 level or NHL.

Lisin is a risky pick much like Laine (devils prospect who didn't work). If his hands ever catch up to his speed he will be an NHL'er. I think he plays alot like Afinoganov, an average under 18 probably droped his stock.

Adam Berti is way to low on the list. In a draft like this big players with loads of speed and a good shot will be picked up very quick. I actually thought he played a lot like Iginla and will be the steal of the draft if he can stay healthy. I know he is inconsistant but he did miss a full season.

I would have McGrath up there as well, high potential/high talent players will be picked early by a team like Washington or New York who have picks to spare. Centers seem to be weak in this draft also, which McGrath is.

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Old
05-02-2004, 11:01 PM
  #35
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Hi everyone. I just got back from a very busy (yes- hockey related) trip. I'll respond more thoroghly to various questions and comments a bit later.

In the meantime, Dr. Holliday I hope you are not doubting my word (not saying that you are but...). I am connected to International Hockey (and I am Canadian) but I'm afraid I can't really reveal more than that on this MB.

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Old
05-02-2004, 11:43 PM
  #36
Vlad The Impaler
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I had miss that part about several hundred games.

He's right, Steblick. That's an AWFUL lots of games. It is financially difficult as well as logistically also pretty difficult to pull off.

You claim to have ATTENDED "several hundred games and tournaments" to see those prospects all over the place.

The hockey season is roughly 200 days old right now.

Color me highly skeptical.

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Old
05-03-2004, 01:04 AM
  #37
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A whole bunch of replies-

Best Goalies- After the five I mentioned in my top 60 there is still Akerlund or Sweden, Greiss of Germany, Brown of Notre Dame, Ellis of Shawinigan...

Kyle Wharton- I thought he was a waste of space early in the year, tepid confused play. But in the late season and playoffs he really looked like a take charge 19 yr. old out there. And good 2nd halfs and playoffs make a good draft prospect.

Adam Berti- this guy is a mystery. I saw him 3 times (besides prospect game). In one he was a real factor. In another he was a pylon. In the third he was decent, no more no less. Talk with others (including someone connected to the Gens) seems to indicate that this is somewhat representative of Berti's season.

Mike Lundin- Smart, smooth player but physically not up to scratch (yet). When he tries to be physical it just doesn't work.

Voloshenko vs. Ogorodnikov- If Luc Robitaille comes from Russia, who cares? You take him. Ogorodnikov is an intriguing package of skill though- put him on Russia's big line and maybe...

Liam Reddox- Underrarted because he's small, not physical and a so-so skater (speed wise). But man, nice hands and head. Marc Savard and Yanic Perreault (both very late picks despite good stats) come to mind. And both made it. Very interesting 4th-5th round pick.

Dustin Boyd- Nice tools. Needs toolbox. Could be a breakout guy for MJ next year. 5-6th round.

Maunu- See what I wrote about Berti above and it reads true for my viewings of Maunu. Needs skating work too.

Kaspar and Fransson ARE on my list well ahead of Bickell and Meidl.

Ladislav Smid- Remember that he was a 17 yr old at the WJCs dealing with some Canada forwards that NOBODY could really contain. Among this age group he really stands out for poise, skill, smarts.

Top 10 scorers? Look at the forwards at the top of my list, drop a few who are there because of excellent all-around play and add a few Russians like Ogorodnikov, Pluscyev, Yunkov, Voloshenko, Tomanek from Slovakia, Hensick from NCAA- that should give you a pretty good idea.

How many games do I see? Well, at tournaments there are often two, and sometimes three games a day. I travel to Europe often and travel through most of Canada (not much U.S.)- all hockey related. I suppose if I do the math I've seen about 150-160 games this year, so OK bring my total down. But I'm related to hockey in a full-time capacity so...

OK. Sharkie lends me his tapes.

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Old
05-03-2004, 03:33 AM
  #38
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For every Luc Robitaille you get about 1000 other bums that don't make it. Small slow skaters should never be picked near the first round, especially when the player has yet to show dominance in stronger leagues.

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Old
05-03-2004, 11:37 AM
  #39
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Steblick,

I was wondering where you have the kids from the USNTDP-18 team. I heard Paukovich and Porter were close to the top 60 but for sure first day guys. Paukovich really didn't do much in Minsk but I heard that Porter really helped his stock with his play in Belarus. What about Kolarik? maybe early on the second day. Obviously Corey Schneider played out of his mind.

How about Canadians that improved there stock in Belarus? I really can't see McGrath going in the second round, there maybe something there but he struggled all season and played sparingly in Belarus. I heard Lammers, Redox and Cabanna all played well. I really can't see Lammers going in the mid-second round, I like him but that seems early.

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05-03-2004, 08:35 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonDrop_27
Steblick,

I was wondering where you have the kids from the USNTDP-18 team. I heard Paukovich and Porter were close to the top 60 but for sure first day guys. Paukovich really didn't do much in Minsk but I heard that Porter really helped his stock with his play in Belarus. What about Kolarik? maybe early on the second day. Obviously Corey Schneider played out of his mind.

How about Canadians that improved there stock in Belarus? I really can't see McGrath going in the second round, there maybe something there but he struggled all season and played sparingly in Belarus. I heard Lammers, Redox and Cabanna all played well. I really can't see Lammers going in the mid-second round, I like him but that seems early.
It was my first viewing for some of the US guys. Porter was a dynamo, creative, positive, always a threat. Kolarik had moments of inspiration (good physical play) but seemed more intent on winning by playing a solid two-way game (no problem with that). Paukovich looked a bit lost with speed and space. Auffrey was also hyped but seemed to be a bit behind the play although he was getting on the scoresheet consistently- the fact that these guys play together all year can make them look better than their individual talents warrant so they are difficult reads. I wish I had seen them more in order to get a better projection for the draft. Having said that though, I'd take Porter between 60 and 70, Kolarik and Auffrey early third based on the 4 games I saw (I got there late after thinking I wouldn't be able to go at all).

The U.S's best guys are the 87s- Johnson, Skille and, of course, Kessel- an early choice for top 3 in 2006 I'd say.

I commented on Reddox above. Cabana is a mid-round type, he's not particularly creative but he drives to the net well, seems to win loose pucks-a possibility for 4th round. I like the fact that he picked it up in the Q in the 2nd half- always a good sign. He was one of Halifax's better forwards towards the end.

I'm a Lammers fan. He's just so smooth, skilled and smart. I think he's the type who plays better at higher levels because his head and hands are thinking ahead of both teammates and opposition. His offensive hockey sense is top 15- but he could stand to use a little more finishing. Watch him breakout offensively next year.

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05-03-2004, 09:01 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
It was my first viewing for some of the US guys. Porter was a dynamo, creative, positive, always a threat. Kolarik had moments of inspiration (good physical play) but seemed more intent on winning by playing a solid two-way game (no problem with that). Paukovich looked a bit lost with speed and space. Auffrey was also hyped but seemed to be a bit behind the play although he was getting on the scoresheet consistently- the fact that these guys play together all year can make them look better than their individual talents warrant so they are difficult reads. I wish I had seen them more in order to get a better projection for the draft. Having said that though, I'd take Porter between 60 and 70, Kolarik and Auffrey early third based on the 4 games I saw (I got there late after thinking I wouldn't be able to go at all).

The U.S's best guys are the 87s- Johnson, Skille and, of course, Kessel- an early choice for top 3 in 2006 I'd say.

I commented on Reddox above. Cabana is a mid-round type, he's not particularly creative but he drives to the net well, seems to win loose pucks-a possibility for 4th round. I like the fact that he picked it up in the Q in the 2nd half- always a good sign. He was one of Halifax's better forwards towards the end.

I'm a Lammers fan. He's just so smooth, skilled and smart. I think he's the type who plays better at higher levels because his head and hands are thinking ahead of both teammates and opposition. His offensive hockey sense is top 15- but he could stand to use a little more finishing. Watch him breakout offensively next year.
So you don't mind that he quit on his team?
Lammers I mean

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05-03-2004, 11:01 PM
  #42
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I am surprised to hear that Kolarik played a solid two way game. I have watched him play over the past couple of years, and his defensive game was always lacking. He is regarded by many to have the most offensive talents of any 1986-born American not named Schremp. Good to see that his defensive game has picked up since arriving in Ann Arbor. Add that to his pure offensive ability and I think that he may be a good 3rd to 4th round sleeper.

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05-04-2004, 03:49 AM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5HOLE
I am surprised to hear that Kolarik played a solid two way game. I have watched him play over the past couple of years, and his defensive game was always lacking. He is regarded by many to have the most offensive talents of any 1986-born American not named Schremp. Good to see that his defensive game has picked up since arriving in Ann Arbor. Add that to his pure offensive ability and I think that he may be a good 3rd to 4th round sleeper.
If what you said about Kolarik is true- good. His coach seemed to have him playing disciplined hockey, shadowing the Radulov line in the final game. At least it shows that he CAN do the two-way thing.

Regarding Lammers- I understand that things were worked out amicably although I don't know all the details. I don't think it can be reduced to a "he quit on his team" scenario. He has no history (that I'm aware of) as a problem player.

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05-04-2004, 04:03 PM
  #44
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Steblick,

Thanks for the info, you do a real nice job!! Keep it up. Also when is the NHL combine workout in Toronto? Isn't it put on by the CSB? Who gets invited? When will the players know?

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05-04-2004, 04:53 PM
  #45
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Have you seen Korpikoski and Stastny at all steblick? Any thoughts on those guys?

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05-04-2004, 07:15 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
Have you seen Korpikoski and Stastny at all steblick? Any thoughts on those guys?
I've seen Stastny only on video once (I just don't get to USHL games unfortunately). Word is he's slick, creative playmaker who really came on over the course of the year. A few people in the know (and whose opinions I respect) see him as a sleeper late 1st round pick.

Korpikoski has come out of nowhere. His improvement rate this year has been exponential. He has a bit of everything- he's an extremely polished skater (he has that extra gear), can stckhandle at speed, he works hard for the puck and can play a physical game although he's not that big yet. His shot and shot selection need some work tthough. But what I really like about him is his head for the game- he simply reads the game (both ways) better than his peers. He could also slip into the 1st round.

Both these guys could surprise on draft day.

As for the Combine Workout- I believe it on the weekend of June 11-13th but I'll have to re-check that. That's not something I'll be attending though.

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05-04-2004, 07:19 PM
  #47
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Can anyone explain to me why Korpikoski might be rated higher than Nokelainen?

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05-04-2004, 08:02 PM
  #48
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Why is Hensick ranked so low? This kid had a phenomenal year at Michigan. He co-led the nation's rookies in points (46) and finished second among rookies in Points Per Game (1.07). Furthermore, he led the Wolverines in scoring, and won CCHA Rookie of the Year.
He's immensely skilled and possesses some real hockey smarts to boot.

Also, you're quite high on David Brown. While I thought Brown was very impressive earlier in the season, he started to look rather average later in the season. He posted just one win in the month of March (CCHA playoffs, game #3 vs. WMU) and he didn't even play in the FF Midwest Regional (Morgan Cey did). Brown was however impressive vs. OSU (CCHA Super Six) even if he did get sacked with the loss.

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05-04-2004, 08:38 PM
  #49
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Hensick

Hensick was also tied for second in the nation in assists...as an underage freshman, no less.

As talented as he is, the big knock on Hensick is his size. He's listed as 5'9 or 5'10, depending where you look. To me it's not an issue when you consider how skilled he is. Some NHL team will be in for a gem if he somehow slips into the 3rd round or so (Mike Comrie, another ex-Michigan player, slipped to the 3rd round, so you never know).

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05-05-2004, 05:30 AM
  #50
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I agree with what you wrote on David Brown above. He started off very well but was less productive towards the end of the season. That's why I have him lower than some scouting services.

As for Korpikoski and Nokelainen- Korpikoski is the sprinter with hands, the sexy player- while Nokalainen is the banger and crasher, but I like the fact that his finishing skill package is starting to show up. If you talk to a bunch of scouts they come out about even in the rankings (late 1st, early 2nd).

As another poster said, Hensick's weakness is size but he may well be one of those who proves everybody wrong with his big time skills.

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