May as well start discussing some prospects available for next year. Sure, it's early..but not for prospect junkies.
In no specific order, here are some prospects to keep an eye out for:
Adam Larsson – One of the top prospects for the
2011 NHL entry draft, Larsson showed why in Minsk,
taking home awards as one of the top 3 players for
Sweden, a media all star team nod and the top
defenseman of the tournament billing from the
directorate. Larsson is one of the most interesting
prospects to come along in 10 years. Interesting in
the sense that he makes things look effortless.
It is extremely rare to find the level of maturity and
poise that Larsson possess, at any level of the game.
His panic threshold is the best of any young player out
there and rivals that of wily veterans of the position.
Larsson can look like a man playing against boys at
times and already looks ready to step into the NHL,
but with his late birth date, it will require one more
year at least.
Martin Frk – One of the top prospects for the 2012
draft, Frk was hands down the Czechs best offensive
threat for the entire tournament and was rewarded by
being selected as one of the 3 top players by his
coaches. He has great hands and can be considered a
pure scorer with a fantastic quick release. Frk is very
smart away from the puck and is always finding lanes
to get open and receive passes. He especially likes to
sneak in back door on the PP. Frk is also very strong
on skates. He can drop players who try to hit him with
the puck and still maintain possession as well as throw
some very strong hits of his own on the forecheck at
times. He excels with the puck down low and
possesses strong playmaking instincts. A dynamic and
effective offensive weapon, the Czechs did whatever
they could to get him in shooting positions. Keep your
eye on this guy; he is going to be a special player.
Ryan Murray – The youngest member of the
Canadian team, Murray certainly gained some valuable
experience playing with Gudbranson in every major
situation. The Gudbranson/Murray pairing logged a lot
of minutes for Guy Carbonneau’s team and although
they struggled at times on the PK to contain pressure
around the net, they were strong puck movers and
quarterbacks of the PP. Murray is a late 93 and will
have to wait until 2012 to hear his name called by an
NHL club but should see more time with Canada’s
national team program in the future.
Brandon Saad – Saad is an excellent offensive
weapon who competes extremely hard in every
situation. He has good puck protection skills and a
strong powerful skating stance that allows him to
explode in any direction. He has a great shot with an
excellent release and can score off the rush and in
tight. A late 92, Saad isn’t eligible for the NHL draft
until next season and will likely go very high
considering his talent level and skill set.
Nikita Kardashev – A late 92 born player, Kardashev
had a couple of impressive performances and could be
a diamond in the rough next season. A good skater
with good reactions around the puck, he has good size
and doesn’t take too many risks around the puck. He
often gets it deep or moves it quickly when pressured.
Kardashev was easily the top Belarussian defender and
was relied on to QB the PP, shutdown top lines from
opponents and manage the PK. Kardashev is a player
to keep an eye on and monitor his development, he
just could surprise.
Zemgus Girgensons – An impressive player who
could still play at the U18 level for another 2
tournaments, Girgensons looks to be a legitimate
prospect for the Latvians. Although his skating still
needs work and can't fight off stick checks well just
yet, he always seems to be in the play when on ice. He
has good size and power considering his age. He tallied
a goal and an assist during the tournament but also
managed to throw one of the biggest hits of the event
in Latvia’s game against Slovakia. If his skating and
acceleration can improve, he is going to be a very
strong prospect 2 years from now.
Julius Nyqvist – A late 92 born player, Nyqvist is an
impressively poised and intelligent defenseman who
can run the play from both ends. Nyqvist makes a
great first pass and can lead the rush or jump up ice in
an instant when he notices a lane to do so. The
general feeling is that he was under-used in this
tournament and wasn’t put in the situations to truly
expose his skill level. With that being said he still had
a very impressive showing and has drawn comparisons
to Sami Vatanen at this point.
Vladislav Namestnikov – A nice skater with good
offensive pop, Namestnikov always seems to be in the
right place at the right time, and although he isn’t as
consistent at finishing as he is at getting into position,
he is very quick and can improvise very well. He is not
big and can get knocked off stride fairly easily or be
pushed around a bit but has the ability to spin off and
gain a step towards the net very quickly. He is good at
taking advantage of open space in the offensive end
with the puck. If his scoring consistency can improve,
he will prove to be a very difficult player to ignore.
Maxim Shalunov – A good puck handler who finds
ways to get the puck on net well off the rush, Shalunov
was a pleasant surprise for Russia and for scouts. An
underage player, he provided good secondary scoring
for the Russian team with his good shot and ability to
lead the rush. He is great at rushing to the outside and
cutting in and firing off quick shots that really bother
goaltenders. He has a short stride and his agility and
mobility could be better as could his commitment to
defence. With that being said, Shalunov did block
several shots in PK situations during the tournament.
Andrei Vasilevski – You don’t often see double under
aged players in this tournament, it’s even more rare to
see a double under aged goalie, but a double under
aged starting goalie – that is about as rare as it gets in
this tournament. Vasilevski proved his worth more
than once in this tournament. A raw and athletic
talent, Vasilevski played all the crucial games for
Russia and put up very respectable numbers. He has
great reflexes and reacts quickly to changes in
directions. He can control his rebounds well and shows
very good poise for such a young kid. Vasilevski is
definitely a player to watch for the future.
Bruno Mraz – One of the youngest members of the
Slovakian team, Mraz had a very good performance in
the tournament and his name now likely sits on a lot of
team’s identification lists. He proved to be a committed
and reliable two way player who works just as hard on
the backcheck as he does on the forecheck. His skill
set is slightly above average at this point and he looks
to have a lot of tools that can be improved upon. Mraz
is a 93 born prospect and will be able to improve upon
his goal and assist effort in 6 games this year, as
Slovakia avoided relegation for next year.
Victor Rask – Rask is an electrifying and exciting
offensive marvel with elite level puck skills and scoring
ability. He is strong and powerful and protects the
puck very well but can also be shifty and agile and
slither his way into open spaces with the puck. He is
extremely creative and brings a good work ethic. The
scariest part about Rask is that he can still improve a
lot of his technical abilities. He had a strong showing in
Minsk and will likely be considered one of the best
offensive players available for next year’s NHL draft.
Sven Bartschi – Named one of the top 3 Swiss
players by his coaching staff, Bartschi had an
impressive tournament and showed off some very
good skills. He can rush down the outside very well
and is good at freezing defenders with fakes before
jumping into the open lanes to get shots offs. He has
a good shot but misses high often. He competes hard
and saw time on the PP and PK during the tournament.
Bartschi is a late 92 and is a player to keep an eye on
for next year’s NHL draft.
Rocco Grimaldi – Grimaldi is small but sure doesn’t
play like it. He consistently wins races for pucks and
quickly makes something happen whenever he has the
puck. An explosive and exciting offensive talent,
Grimaldi also possesses very smart defensive instincts
and works his tail off in both directions on every shift.
An underage player for this tournament, Grimaldi
finished the event tied for the team lead in points with
Mark McNeill – An incredibly intelligent rookie for the
Raiders, McNeil is a pleasure to watch. A solid and
well rounded player, McNeil has a great skating stride
and is very good at protecting the puck and avoiding
hits. McNeil has great hand eye coordination and is
always moving away from the puck, looking for
openings and lanes. With the puck McNeil is well on
his way to becoming a master of time and space, he
shields the puck very well with his body and never
tries to do too much always finding openings or open
teammates quickly. Although not an overly physical
player, McNeil is a great forechecker and his puck
pursuits often result in him causing a turnover. He has
a strong release and has been getting better every
game. A player to keep an eye on in 2011, McNeil will
be climbing the draft boards for every NHL club if he
can continue to improve at the rate in which he has
been. NHL Draft Eligible 2011
Alex Galchenyuk - Possible 1st round pick in OHL
Bantam draft. Player exhibited skills that are far above
the Midget AAA Minor U16 level. The player that we
think is comparable is Stanislav Galiev currently
playing with St. Johns in QMJHL. Player creates allot of
problems for opposing teams when he has the puck in
the "O" zone. Dynamite shot capabilities w/very quick
& hard shot. Nice shot release. Has excellent hands
and on-ice vision. Creative with the puck. Some
exceptional passing was displayed. One of the best
94’s with respects Puck Control (puck in possession)
we have seen this season and pretty much the last 3
seasons. Player is a 1st look target of his team-mates
[go to guy]. Down-side - Like Galiev (at U16 level) not
keen in sticking his nose in the play especially along
the boards [no heavy work]. NHL Draft Eligible 2012
Nicklas Jensen - One of the brightest rising stars in
Europe. We were impressed by this player at IIHF
World U18 Championship DIV I Group A, were he was
selected Best Forward. Jensen scored 5 goals in the
first game of the U18 tournament. He was just as
impressive at recent World U20 D1A division in France.
As 93 birthdate Jensen more than held his own against
players 2 years older, finishing with 5 points in 5
games and led his team with 19 shot on goal. Most
likely the top Dane in this draft class and is already
playing with the Danish U20 national team at the
moment. He already possesses a physical frame that is
rarely seen among 16 year olds. He is on the first year
of a 3-year deal with Blue Fox and the question is
whether he will stay for two more season in Herning or
decide to play in the CHL. ISS have heard Jensen
plans to come over to NA, watch for him to be selected
in the top 5 for CHL Import draft next month.
I think we got a 2nd this year for not signing Fisher (part of the trade up to pick Tinordi).
I'm pretty sure the pick traded to grab the 22nd pick was the original habs pick (27th in the second round). The pick we would get for not signing Fischer would be the 50th next year since Fischer was picked 20th.
I really think we will tank next year. Depends on what it's going to happen this summer. Who are going to take to replace the K brothers and who's gonna step up during Markov's absence. If we do, hopefully we tank big time for Sean Couturier. Even then, it's gonna be a huge year for USHL once again with guys like Saad, Ambroz, Grimaldi, etc. I bet Timmins is going to be so happy to draft one of those guys. On the other hand, guys from the Q are going to be huge too; especially if guys like Jonathan Huberdeau break out next season, he's going to be a huge pick if we can get him. Listed at 6'1 and exploded for the Dogs during the playoffs. He's more of a finisher, near the net. But, I personally feel that next year's draft is better than this year. Couturier better break the 100 pts if he wants to be consider 1st overall.
Can it get stickied? Not sure I'll post in it that soon....need to take a break from the drafts....I'm exhausted....I feel as if I'd made one...
But it could be interesting for the ones who want to talk about it.
Quick question.....could 2011 finally be a little better than expected?
I think the talent in the first round seems to be better. I don't think it could be fair to compare Couturier to Hall and Seguin, but it I think the talent from Couturier to 15th ranked player could be really strong. A guy like Jurco is not even considered in the top 5 or 10 in 2011.(Base on people's thread) And Huberdeau seems to be a late 1st round...but he's 6'1 and exploded out of nowhere in the playoffs. It's gonna be interesting how well the Q sophomores perform. If Huberdeau, Beaulieu, Jurco, Philips, Danault and even Archambault, finished with big numbers, it might be the year for the Q. Furthermore, in this year's draft, the USTDP U18 produced great players at defense and goalie (Campbell, Fowler, Forbort, Tinordi, Merrill, Faulk, Johns, etc) but next year, be ready to see a new crop of talented fowards or if we can say powerforwards with Ambroz, Saad, Nieto, Grimaldi(not PWF) and Shore. Seriously, it might be a strong 1st round next year..as for the whole draft class.. I'm not that well informed.
BTW, I've read somewhere on these threads that the scouts once said that the 2011 draft is weaked than the other...but on a class perspective. Otherwise, 1st round seems much better than this year.
Here's a link to the thread where the guy posted his to 150 2011 prospects. It's really nice.