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Final Top 60 for 2004 Draft

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Old
05-05-2004, 03:23 PM
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
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.
I agree about Hensick. One thing I will say is that (and I'm sure I'll get some static for saying this) IMO there's too much emphasis on size. In some people's minds, size seems to supercede talent and/or skills. I'm guessing that's why Zach Parise slipped as far as he did in last summer's draft. Parise possesses incredible skills yet lacks size.

Thanks for the reply and posting your rankings. It's really helpful.

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Old
05-05-2004, 05:16 PM
  #52
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Thanks steblick. I'm hoping for at least one, preferably as many as possible of Paul Statsny, Lauri Korpikoski, Petteri Nokelainen, and Blake Wheeler as Pens second/third round picks. They seem to be a group of players with some very good potential, as in possible top 6 players, something Pittsburgh is in need of.

Have you seen any of Wheeler (last question from me ) by chance?

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05-05-2004, 08:33 PM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
Have you seen any of Wheeler (last question from me ) by chance?
No. The US is my weak point- sorry. I wish Wheeler had joined the U18s in Minsk, just so scouts could compare him to more known quantities. Word is that he's a bit like Jessiman was last year- big, raw, talented but relatively unproven. Jessiman had only a so-so year after his dtraaft year so Wheeler is a real wild card at this point. He could be a Keith Tkaczuk, he could be a Rob Woodward (anybody remember him?).

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05-05-2004, 09:19 PM
  #54
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Ok, thanks anyways. Korpikoski is my first choice for #31, today anyways.

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05-06-2004, 01:49 AM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick

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.
Yeah, Smid may have only been 17, but Getzlaf, Stewart, Burns, Richards, Dawes and Carter, to only name a few were just 18 and oh yeah, a kid named Crosby was just 16.

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Old
05-06-2004, 04:25 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HabLover
Yeah, Smid may have only been 17, but Getzlaf, Stewart, Burns, Richards, Dawes and Carter, to only name a few were just 18 and oh yeah, a kid named Crosby was just 16.
I'm not sure what your point is. No one is denying that Getzlaf, Carter, Burns, Stewart etc. are excellent prospects who gave opposing DF at the WJCs trouble.

But the fact that they are good prospects is no reflection on Smid's status as an excellent prospect for this draft. My argument is that these excellent Canadian forwards gave EVERY defenseman trouble (except perhaps USA's Stuart) which, I believe, mitigates criticism of Smid.

Moreover, a 1 year difference at the WJC's certainly IS a very big deal. Any scout or coach would tell you so. In short,the fact that Smid played as well as many older, highly-rated defenseman at the WJCs while being the youngest blueliner there speaks volumes.

The fact that Canada had some dominating 18 yr old forwards and one 16 yr old phenomenon is quite beside the point.

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05-06-2004, 09:42 AM
  #57
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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.
.......
.....
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.
What do you think about some solid Czech prospect as defensemen Polak, Vomela and Jaroslav Mrazek and forwards Bahensky, Hromas, Psurny twins, Balan, Krejci?

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Old
05-06-2004, 02:57 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czechhockeyfan
What do you think about some solid Czech prospect as defensemen Polak, Vomela and Jaroslav Mrazek and forwards Bahensky, Hromas, Psurny twins, Balan, Krejci?
Regarding rankings, is there a particular publication that anyone would suggest that helps with rankings? Red-line report or something else? I am curious about later picks. Since the Flyers have no top picks, I wanted to look at possible players in the 60 - 150 range.

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Old
05-06-2004, 07:01 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czechhockeyfan
What do you think about some solid Czech prospect as defensemen Polak, Vomela and Jaroslav Mrazek and forwards Bahensky, Hromas, Psurny twins, Balan, Krejci?
On Defense I quite like Polak. He's the best skater after Smid and has good balance and poise in his own zone. He's not reallt flashy with the puck but he makes fewer mistakes than most with it. Vomela was a bit of a disappointment this year- his mental game hasn't really improved. I'd go with Polak early in the 3rd round, Vomela in the 4th. Of the forwards you mention I like Balan- he's silky smooth but a little like Sindel in that he has to bulk up and fight through checks a bit more. But he looks like someone who could put on another 20 pounds easily. Krejci reminds me a little of Petr Kanko- battling everywhere, cocky, intense, exciting to watch but maybe a little undisciplined and certainly small. Finally, as for the Psurny twins, I'm not sure how well their games will translate to N. America. They are both not just thin but rather light on their feet too. Having said that though, roman is the better of the two as he seems to have better balance and a stronger frame- but I was disappointed by their overall game in Minsk.

As for the poster who asked about publications on the draft- your best sources are Redline (jaded and expensive, but juicy), McKeen's or ISS. CSB's final list should be coming out soon too.

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Old
05-06-2004, 07:04 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czechhockeyfan
What do you think about some solid Czech prospect as defensemen Polak, Vomela and Jaroslav Mrazek and forwards Bahensky, Hromas, Psurny twins, Balan, Krejci?
I just noticed that I had left Hromas out of my top 60. I think he should have been in there, in the mid 50s perhaps. He's a muscle and guts guy with good wheels. He's not exactly creative but his work habits and willingness to play in the corners and in traffic allows other players to be creative. 3rd line NHLer and clutch (& grab?) guy.

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Old
05-07-2004, 11:15 AM
  #61
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Steblick,

Rob Woodward, huge guy out of Michigan State, right?? never did anything

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Old
05-08-2004, 12:56 AM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonDrop_27
Steblick,

Rob Woodward, huge guy out of Michigan State, right?? never did anything
Yup. That's right.

By the way- for what it's worth- I've made a few slight adjustments to the oroginal Top 60 post.

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Old
05-08-2004, 03:26 AM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steblick
By the way- for what it's worth- I've made a few slight adjustments to the oroginal Top 60 post.
Suggestion: don't edit it. Add another list to the thread instead. It's more fun when people can see who goes up and down. Don't forget what you write is like an archive.

I wouldn't like it if RedLine just scratched their former top 10. I like to see who makes an appearance, who gets kicked out of the list. Much more exciting and also more informative.

Also, my bet is you will continue to want to make adjustments until draft day. I know that's what I always do

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Old
05-09-2004, 07:27 AM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seachd
Ah, ok. I hadn't heard about him leaving. Going to the Q might be a good idea.
hes talked to the rangers, blackhawks, panthers, and islanders and several others in the works.

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Old
05-12-2004, 09:32 PM
  #65
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It's pretty interesting to note that Ladislav Smid has been ranked 4th European prospect by the CSB in their latest ranking. Steblick (or anyone else who did see him live), can you tell me more about him? What kind of defenseman does he project to be? What are his strenghts and weaknesses? Is he a sure fire for the top 10 in this year's draft?

Thanks!

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05-12-2004, 09:50 PM
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiggsFan
It's pretty interesting to note that Ladislav Smid has been ranked 4th European prospect by the CSB in their latest ranking. Steblick (or anyone else who did see him live), can you tell me more about him? What kind of defenseman does he project to be? What are his strenghts and weaknesses? Is he a sure fire for the top 10 in this year's draft?

Thanks!
He's not "sure fire top 10" but he is extremely polished and poised for his age- possibly the most mature-looking dfman in this draft (although Barker and Thelen have more upside IMO). He's a very smooth skater, makes excellent puck movement/positioning decisions and can play physically- although many wonder if he can handle big oppositon forwards (but how many 17 yr. olds can?).

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Old
05-13-2004, 11:25 AM
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceLady80
hes talked to the rangers, blackhawks, panthers, and islanders and several others in the works.
Explain this to me please Icelady... he's been talking to those teams who might possibly draft him? How do U know this? Just askin'.....

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Old
06-17-2004, 04:01 AM
  #68
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Whatever happened to Pohl?

 
Old
06-17-2004, 06:50 AM
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestonedkoala
Whatever happened to Pohl?
Didn't take it to the next level, took nights off too. The games I saw, I thought he was ok. Was pretty shifty at times. There were glimpses where he would use his low center of gravity, be pretty shifty and battle for the puck the way Forsberg does. Except he has trouble doing it because he does not have that strength. he still manages but in the NHL he will be toast unless he plays smarter.

Also, I did not like that he would pull pretty moves but then go completely dumb, like the Afinogenovs, Tanabes and Jillsons of this world. He'd do something nice, win the puck, deke... but then nothing happened. He'd wonder around brainlessly and the play turns out to be a non-factor. In big raw guys, I think scouts forgive this kind of stuff but smaller guys, you want to see more effectiveness out of them right away. Petr gave a little taste of it but was inconsistent.

About what happened to him, to go back to your question: Mostly, I think it's not what happened to him, it's what happens every year: many North American are hyped at first but as the year goes on, the talks shift to Europeans that people discover.

Having said all that, I don't think scouts are giving up on him at all. He's exactly the kind of guy I suspect is rated all over the place. I'm sure some people see a lot of potential and others have him low on their lists. Not having seen a lot of prospects this year, I can't pronounce myself much except to say he is not that far off from Bruce Graham for me and some people I know (and respect) actually much prefer him to Bruce.

I prefer Graham for the upside, and mostly because Pohl just didn't show me enough with his hockey sense. I think he has some but he needs to use it more consistently. In hockey, you're always better off utilizing all the ice and your teammates. But if you don't, you better be either very powerful or have elite (and I mean elite-NHL) skills.

Simply put, Pohl was not powerful, and while he is skilled it was not at an elite level. And unfortunately, he did not use his hockey sense on a to palliate this on a consistent basis, from what I saw.

Still a very good prospect and plenty of time to develop.

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Old
06-17-2004, 09:26 AM
  #70
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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. 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.
Great post.. i like your positive attitude towards the players. no bashing

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Old
06-18-2004, 01:18 AM
  #71
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I heard Paukovich and Porter were strong at the 5 nations tuornament in Finland.... I was wondering where you see the four NTDP guys projecting out ( Porter, Auffrey,Kolarik,and Paukovich) not only on draft day but as far as futures in the NHL as well...

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06-18-2004, 01:27 AM
  #72
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Originally Posted by Usahockeyfan12
I heard Paukovich and Porter were strong at the 5 nations tuornament in Finland.... I was wondering where you see the four NTDP guys projecting out ( Porter, Auffrey,Kolarik,and Paukovich) not only on draft day but as far as futures in the NHL as well...
Actually, the best USA players were the '87s plus Corey Schneider and smallish DF Jones. Porter was the best of the ones you listed because of his speed. But it would really help if he had some finish. Paukovich seemed out of it- mentally slow, behind the play leading to clutch and grab stuff. Kolarik shows some fancy stick work but he is thin and less effective in traffic or along the walls. I like Auffrey but he doesn't yet have one great strength in his game to elevate him into the top 2 rds in my opinion. He could stand to get an extra skating gear but beyond that he's a pretty complete player who MIGHT blossom in the NCAA next year.

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06-18-2004, 01:46 AM
  #73
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Steblik-Nice list. I've heard that Jakub Sindel has a ton of upside if he can pull together some things; even heard that he has Havlat type talent at the same age and the same concerns that scouts had with Havlat when he was drafted. How do you see it?

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06-18-2004, 02:09 AM
  #74
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Sindel obviously has talent but I'm not a big backer- although he showed some good character/leadership skills at the U18's. He's still too much of a perimeter player, can't fight through checks, when his (admittedly talented) playmaking or stickhandling doesn't produce immediate dividends he kind of gives up on it. He will get bigger and stronger but I don't yet see a guy who will be able to withstand NHL pounding.

I hope he proves me wrong though because he has a lot of offensive, puck-moving savvy and skill.

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06-18-2004, 02:35 AM
  #75
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Thanks for the quick response on Sindel.

Last question from me - how close do you personally rate Ovechkin and Malkin? I know it's been done over and over but I'd like your opinion.

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