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Halfway point, who do you draft?

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Old
01-30-2011, 01:33 PM
  #51
Sidney the Kidney
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Originally Posted by kasper11 View Post
And in 2 years when Jurcina, Eaton, Mottau, Martinek are gone? What if De Haan and Donovan don't develop as expected?

Never draft for need. Take Larrson, the best player available.
The other thing fans need to remember is Streit isn't exactly a youngster. He'll be turning 34 by the time next season is 2 months old. And while I'm not one to suggest you write players off simply due to their age, you also have to take into account these ages when forecasting what your team might look like in 4 or 5 years. Especially a rebuilding team like the Isles, who likely are at least two seasons away from contending.

This is why drafting based on what your roster might look like next year is beyond silly.

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01-30-2011, 05:42 PM
  #52
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depends where I'm drafting, if it's first I'm taking Larsson no questions asked, 2nd I'm taking Landeskog, love his toughness and compete level to go along with his skills and then if 3rd I'm going RNH. I really like RNH but I think the other two would be better for the team in the long run.

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01-30-2011, 06:09 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by BennyBST View Post
For some reason I'm not as big of Landeskog fan as many are here, he just reminds me too much of Bergenheim. No doubt he will be a better scorer than him. Isn't Landeskog hurt right now anyways? if so that's a major red flag for me, as I would stray away from guys who have had injuries (especially concussions, shoulders, knees and wrists).
I thought Landeskog's injury was just an ankle sprain? Has there been some new development on that? If it is just the sprain, it's not something I would worry about, personally.
Quote:
Trade up to get in first round.
1. Duncan Siemens: could go top 10, a more talented Dylan Mcilrath.
2. Matt Puempel, 2010 CHL rookie of the year, offensively gifted playing on a lousy team, pure goal scorer.
3. Scott Mayfield: A big and tough, but very offensive limited Defenseman
4. David Musil, would be a top 5 a yr ago, but still an interesting prospect.
Siemens I think will almost definitely be gone in the top 10, and I would be very surprised to see a team after the top 10 trade down with him on the board. Puempel and Musil I think will be gone by 15. But agree that I'd be very happy to see us move up and nab any of them, though I suspect it'd take a De Haan style package to land the pick. Don't know enough about Mayfield to say anything there, but your description does make him intriguing as a late 1st round pick.

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01-30-2011, 06:10 PM
  #54
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I just hope the Islanders draft based on BPA and not team need. In terms of team needs Larson and Landeskog would probably fit the bill but if Courtier is the BPA take him

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01-30-2011, 06:49 PM
  #55
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You've gotta draft Larsson if the Islanders have the #1 pick. It's another thing though if they have the 2nd or 3rd pick where I think Larsson would be gone.

The Islanders need a future top pairing Dman. Streit has 2 years left on his deal and is in his mid 30s. We won't know how he'll be when he comes back late in the season or for the 11-12 season...he might not regain his form. They have guys like MacDonald, Hamonic, de Haan who look like they're all 2nd pairing defensemen. Martinek is likely gone and Mark Eaton wasn't very sharp before he was hurt. Larsson would provide stability at the blue line for years to come being an offensive force that the Islanders have lacked there for years. Streit could also mentor Larsson to help sharpen his game.

If they don't get the #1 pick, then it's time to sure up center on the future of the 2nd line with Couturier or Nugent-Hopkins. Bailey really hasn't shown anything in his 2 1/2 years and while he's still in his early 20s, maybe pushing him down to the 3rd line or dealing him would be best. Couturier looks NHL ready and would step in right away next year barring a terrible training camp. I love the game of Nugent-Hopkins and would be happy if he came to the island. He could use a year to build strength if he doesn't in the offseason. He'd step in likely in 2012, but the Isles need help sooner than later.

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01-30-2011, 07:52 PM
  #56
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Nugent-Hopkins

One thing to note on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

If the Isles do wind up with him, there are two concerns I have:
  1. At a ridiculous 160 pounds, he NEEDS to put on weight/muscle, yet so much of his game is predicated on him being quick. Will doing so reduce is skills? No one can say for sure.
  2. RNH's game is so much like Bailey's in terms of "pass-first" that I'm concerned with not taking a more of a goal scorer since we already have Bailey.

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01-30-2011, 08:04 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by periferal View Post
One thing to note on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

If the Isles do wind up with him, there are two concerns I have:
  1. At a ridiculous 160 pounds, he NEEDS to put on weight/muscle, yet so much of his game is predicated on him being quick. Will doing so reduce is skills? No one can say for sure.
  2. RNH's game is so much like Bailey's in terms of "pass-first" that I'm concerned with not taking a more of a goal scorer since we already have Bailey.
Perif

1.I wouldn't worry about his weight, he's 18 and has time to put on some muscle and gain man strength. Once he's on a eating/training regimen he'll be fine.
2. Pass first doesn't worry me, even if he only scores 20-25 goals a year but raises him teammates games and he brings heart and sandpaper which Bailey has none of he'll excel in the league.

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01-30-2011, 08:24 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by periferal View Post
One thing to note on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

If the Isles do wind up with him, there are two concerns I have:
  1. At a ridiculous 160 pounds, he NEEDS to put on weight/muscle, yet so much of his game is predicated on him being quick. Will doing so reduce is skills? No one can say for sure.
  2. RNH's game is so much like Bailey's in terms of "pass-first" that I'm concerned with not taking a more of a goal scorer since we already have Bailey.
Bailey's issue is that he doesn't score or pass well. He does virtually nothing out there. Adding a playmaker would be huge for this team.

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01-30-2011, 08:48 PM
  #59
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First choice is Larsson, if he is off the board Landeskog then Hopkins.
exactly

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01-30-2011, 09:02 PM
  #60
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Frankly? I wouldn't be opposed to trading the pick for proven young talent. Or just proven talent on the wing. We have to start winning at some point...right?

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01-31-2011, 01:51 AM
  #61
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Moulson Tavares Landeskog

Grabner Bailey Okposo

Comeau Nielsen Niederreiter

** Don't worry, I only have El Nino on third line till he gets a little experience.. I know he projects top 2 lines..

I know Bailey is playing horrible, but I still remember the chemistry him and Okposo showed two years ago... I think Bailey needs to play with better players (like Okposo) and next year can/will be a much better year.

or.........


Moulson Tavares Niederreiter

Bailey RNH Okposo

Comeau Nielsen Grabner

..... I think what the Isles think of Bailey is gonna come into play in their decision... I don't like Bailey on the wing... He's not tough enough and his playmaking opportunities are decreased...

I see Bailey either being a legitimate play making, two way, second line centerman, or a bust!! One or the other... He's not a winger..

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01-31-2011, 07:56 AM
  #62
Chapin Landvogt
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Originally Posted by BennyBST View Post
For some reason I'm not as big of Landeskog fan as many are here, he just reminds me too much of Bergenheim. No doubt he will be a better scorer than him. Isn't Landeskog hurt right now anyways? if so that's a major red flag for me, as I would stray away from guys who have had injuries (especially concussions, shoulders, knees and wrists).

Right now for me it's:

1.Nugent-Hopkins (stellar playmaking ability, which we don't have, however I would like to see more goal scoring from him)
2.Larsson (NHL ready Size and Strength, would be a great blueline addition to go along with AMac and Hammy)
3.Hamilton (Just feel like this kid is the complete package, has all the tools for the NHL)
4.Couturier (maybe a tad soft for his size, but other than that his offense is hard to ignore)
5. Landeskog (scrappy and tough, though offensive upside worries me)

Notable: Jonathan Huberdeau: I'm a skeptic of him, I look at his numbers as being "inflated" due to playing on a stacked Saint John team.

Trade up to get in first round.
1. Duncan Siemens: could go top 10, a more talented Dylan Mcilrath.
2. Matt Puempel, 2010 CHL rookie of the year, offensively gifted playing on a lousy team, pure goal scorer.
3. Scott Mayfield: A big and tough, but very offensive limited Defenseman
4. David Musil, would be a top 5 a yr ago, but still an interesting prospect.

2nd Round Talent I'm high on
1. Matt Nieto: on BU, doing very well as a Freshman, and producing on the 3rd line
2. Dillon Simpson: North Dakota, could be a solid 2 way NHL defenseman, playing college hockey at age 17, son of former NHL player Craig Simpson, would have 2 full years of CHL eligibility if he chose to leave N. Dakota.
3.Myles Bell: a WHL defenseman some scouts think could go in the 1st round


Late Round Sleepers worthy of a selection round 5-7
1.TJ Tynan: Anders Lee's 5'8" teammate, leading Notre Dame in scoring (38 pts in 29 games)
2. Garrett Noonan: 6'2 BU defenseman, 20 yrs old
3. Alex O'Neil, the agitator who attended Isles kiddie camp and participated in the rookie game vs. boston prospects.

I could go on and on.
Love this kind of talk and these types of posts.

Seeing Snow in recent years and knowing he once again possesses two 2nd rounders, it's fully conceivable that he'll again try to venture back into the first round, although I see him only being able to move into the 26-30 range, and personally I didn't care for the either of the trades used to garner de Haan and Nelson. Those players may turn out fine one day (keeping my fingers crossed), but in both of these drafts, there were plenty of interesting prospects with similar upside that could have been had by just staying put and taking several 2nd rounders, but I digress...

I think it's fairly safe to say that O'Neil can be had as an UFA next summer.

However, if the Isles want two picks within in the top 25 - to be considered seeing as how wide open the possibilities seem to be from picks 5-25 - then Snow may need to trade down with Boston for Boston's two picks. Don't know what he'd have to throw in with our first to do that. In addition, it would have to be the case that the Bruins are so hot for one of the top 4 (assuming we're picking there) that they'd make this move. They are of course in contention mode and have a fairly well-stocked system now, so they could conceivably be willing to do the 2-for-1 with their eyes on a bigger prize.

Siemens and Puempel are likely gone by 15 and Musil is probably higher on the lists of a lot of teams than has yet been indicated in the rankings to date.

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01-31-2011, 08:11 AM
  #63
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Perif

1.I wouldn't worry about his weight, he's 18 and has time to put on some muscle and gain man strength. Once he's on a eating/training regimen he'll be fine.
2. Pass first doesn't worry me, even if he only scores 20-25 goals a year but raises him teammates games and he brings heart and sandpaper which Bailey has none of he'll excel in the league.
I believe taking either Couturier or Nugent-Hopkins would, in actuality, put Bailey on the outside looking in.

I think this club still fully believes in him, but with Tavares and Nielsen definitely looking like long-term keepers, and kids like Ullstrom, Cizikas, and Lee coming up the ranks, Bailey is gonna have to start making it as a scoring winger or he's looking like a trade candidate.

In another thread, I mentioned that Snow possibly look for a deal like Nabokov, Bailey and Hillen to Detroit for Hudler, Ericsson, prospect Teemu Pulkinnen and a 2012 2nd rounder, which I believe would definitely get Detroit's attention, since Detroit is just the type of team that can get a kid like Bailey on track.

I figure some folks would think that is somewhat low value on a our behalf, but I don't think they're aware of the type of prospect Pulkinnen is becoming.

Anyhow, a deal of this nature could be in the cards if Bailey continues to be unspectacular.

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01-31-2011, 11:13 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by petrocelli View Post
Moulson Tavares Landeskog

Grabner Bailey Okposo

Comeau Nielsen Niederreiter

** Don't worry, I only have El Nino on third line till he gets a little experience.. I know he projects top 2 lines...
I just find that funny that you feel Niederreiter needs more experience, while a just drafted Landeskog can step in on the first line. As of today, Niederreiter has more NHL experience than Landeskog!

Not meant to pick on you, just pointing it out.

EDIT: If anything, who ever they wind up drafting they should sent back down. UNLESS they are outperforming a player currently on the roster. (Which given the makeup of the roster the past couple of seasons of this rebuild, is entirely possible). I think Snow took the right approach with Nino, as it has been said before, I wish he would've done the same with Bailey.

Now if we draft Larsson, could he be placed in Bridgeport? Due to the fact that he plays in the Elite League and not the CHL.

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01-31-2011, 11:20 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by Brunomics View Post
Perif

1.I wouldn't worry about his weight, he's 18 and has time to put on some muscle and gain man strength. Once he's on a eating/training regimen he'll be fine.
2. Pass first doesn't worry me, even if he only scores 20-25 goals a year but raises him teammates games and he brings heart and sandpaper which Bailey has none of he'll excel in the league.

1. Odds are RNH gaining weight won't affect his play, but none of us can say for sure right now. Hell...We don't even know if he can execute his level of play in the NHL period.

2. RNH scored 24 goals last year for Red Deer. This year he's on pace for about the same amount. I don't think he gets 25 goals in the NHL. I think he's more of a 15-20 goal guy, but with 50-60 assists.

And I'm not too sure about "sandpaper" in his game. I see a great playmaker who will create offense.

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01-31-2011, 11:24 AM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
I believe taking either Couturier or Nugent-Hopkins would, in actuality, put Bailey on the outside looking in.

I think this club still fully believes in him, but with Tavares and Nielsen definitely looking like long-term keepers, and kids like Ullstrom, Cizikas, and Lee coming up the ranks, Bailey is gonna have to start making it as a scoring winger or he's looking like a trade candidate.


I agree that Bailey is close to becoming "on the outside," but not because we have too many centers. In fact there's a good chance that Nugent-Hopkins moves to wing in the NHL.

Plus who knows what we really have in other "centers" like Cizikas, Nelson, and Lee. Again, just keep adding the best talent.

The best thing we can do with Bailey is give him everything he needs to reach his potential here. He can still be a top-6 forward and if we deal him we certainly won't get his full value.

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01-31-2011, 12:11 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by periferal View Post
One thing to note on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

If the Isles do wind up with him, there are two concerns I have:
  1. At a ridiculous 160 pounds, he NEEDS to put on weight/muscle, yet so much of his game is predicated on him being quick. Will doing so reduce is skills? No one can say for sure.
  2. RNH's game is so much like Bailey's in terms of "pass-first" that I'm concerned with not taking a more of a goal scorer since we already have Bailey.
The fact he is 160 is if anything more intriguing. He's playing and producing at a high level with no muscle mass at all. His upside increases exponentially as he inevitably adds muscle mass. His pass first game is also not a problem. I envision him as a winger and for us specifically his stickhandling and passing would look good with Moulson and Tavares.

Bailey is irrelevant to who we pick.

All that said I'm open to a trade of the pick. I'd prefer some immediate help. Perhaps the Blues move EJ in his down year.

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02-02-2011, 12:05 PM
  #68
Chapin Landvogt
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For those interested

A Redline look at things on the Eastern European front with respect to draft eligibles.

Young Czech Dmitri Jaskin (yep, named looks a wee bit familiar) seems like a very interesting kid to keep an eye on.

>>>
Red Line Report scout Radim Jelinek interview:
2011 Eastern Europe draft prospects midseason report Pt. 1

As promised, here is part 1 of the interview I just conducted with Radim Jelinek, Czech/Slovak scout for Red Line Report in his 9th season with the independent draft review. In his own words:

Iīm based on the east of Czech republic covering all action in Czech republic and Slovakia. I scout professional and junior (U-20, U-18) leagues in both countries and take all international actions held in both countries. Plus if there is any interesting event/prospect in neighboring countries(Germany, Austria, Poland) than I even go there to cover it.

As mentioned in the previous post, Radim has a very good reputation in the business and has a nice eye for talent. I'll let him do the rest of the talking.

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: How would you characterize the 2011 NHL Draft class from Eastern Europe based on what you have seen so far? How does it compare to past classes in terms of depth?

Radim Jelinek: Itīs poor year for Russia unless there are some hidden gems deep in Russia, prospects who havenīt appeared on international stage yet. Itīs necessary to say that this yearīs crop would be much better with all Russians already playing in CHL ((Vladislav) Namestnikov, (Andrey) Pedan, (Alexander) Khokhlachev, (Anton) Zlobin, Kuvaev, (Andrei) Makarov). Still even with all those mentioned names, Russia would lack depth. Russian hockey is still able to produce a few top NHL prospects every year but they donīt produce by far as many NHL prospects as in the past, (and they) especially stopped producing good defencemen.

As far as Czech and Slovaks, it is concerning; itīs slightly better than in previous two or three years in terms of depth, there are more prospects who are worth of scouting then in previous years but barring Dmitri Jaskin they are mostly sleepers and long-term projects who wonīt be more than later round picks and I actually donīt expect many of them being picked up in June. Speaking about top prospects however, itīs as bad as in several previous seasons, Jaskin is alone this year as well as Martin Marincin a year before. And two years before there were only Panik and Tatar. I have to remark again that things would look differently with (David) Musil, (Tomas) Jurco, (Marek) Tvrdon, (David) Honzik (all having left Europe and playing in the CHL) and some other less heralded kids(Stransky, Galansky, Matej Machovsky, Hrbas, Uher).

B2011DW: In the January issue of Red Line Report, Dmitri Jaskin is 35th overall. Does that have more to do with the fact that he's been injured while other players on the list have been able to perform?

RJ: Absolutely. And actually, no way there is 34 better prospects than Jaskin. I believe he would be top 20 right now if he had not hurt his knee in November. Iīm big fan of guys like (Tobias) Rieder or (Sven) Bärtschi but if I could judge them by last season(which could be misguided) and compare them with Jaskin, then I would definitely prefer Jaskin over the mentioned pair. Right now I rate Jaskin higher than Joel Armia, another big European winger.

B2011DW: For those not familiar with Jaskin, can you talk a little bit about what kind of player he is and how he projects in the NHL in your opinion?

RJ: Jaskin is a complete package; skating is a certain drawback, as he lacks smooth stride and looks awkward at times but has deceptive speed, is strong on his skates and is able to get where he needs to be. He is strong on the puck, tough to separate off the puck down low. Goes through checks and tough to handle physically, shields the puck well. Excellent puck puck control in tight space and very good hands in close to the net. Very creative with the puck, anticipates well, has vision and soft hands, passes are crisp. Drives the net, very instinctive player around the net with scoring touch, looks for tips and rebounds close to the net. Quick release of his wrist shot. Finishes all checks causing (defenders) to throw the puck away, creating turnovers plus absorbs checks well, tough to knock him down.Very solid defensively, responsible in own zone and make good decision with puck in own zone showing poise and hockey sense, smart and poised with puck around own blue line, does even the small things well. Has enthusiasm for the game, always plays hard, strong competitor, plays with heart and character.

B2011DW: After Jaskin, who are the players from the Czech Republic you're keeping an eye on for the 2011 draft? Where do you think they stand a chance of being picked in the draft?

RJ: After Jaskin, there is bunch of prospects who I regard as sleepers; guys with long-term potential/upside however alll having serious flaw. Here belongs: Jaroslav Pavelka, athletic, flexible goalie with quick gloves, strong reflexes and excellent legs. Needs to work on technique and improve reading and anticipation. Already 6-1 with potential to add another inch or two.

Then there is the revelation of this season, tall and lanky scoring winger Daniel Pribyl. Has quick and soft hands, beats D regularly 1 on 1 with nifty moves and dekes off the rush and creates separation in tight with strong puck control and finesse stick skills. Smart and quick release of wrist shot. Not developed physically yet and doesnīt use his size enough, okay in puck pursuit and not afraid to play in traffic but rarely finishes checks and doesnīt win many battles for puck. Next, undersized winger Tomas Hyka who is smart, skilled, instinctive but physically very weak, and doesnīt like to take hit/avoids contact at times. Soft touch on his passes, quick soft hands, slick with puck, anticipates very well. Very good wheels, quick burst of speed and first steps, agile. Smooth handling the puck in top speed, has vision finishing touch , makes creative sets-up through traffic.

My personal ultimate sleeper is for the second season in row 92īborn playmaking center Tomas Nosek who has skills, size, smartness, vision, skating, creativity to be NHL player. The question is if he has enough determination and heart to make it. Long term project who will need time to develop but has all the tools to be player in about five years, plus has made nice improvement since injury-plagued last season.

And there are some other players who could hear their name pronounced in June in at the draft table like center Lukas Sedlak(biggest disappointment of the season), enigmatic winger Vaclav Tomek, hardworking, character defenceman Tomas Pavelka, soon (to be) 20-year-old puck moving D Jakub Jerabek or pair of older goalies Marek Mazanec(despite of subpar World juniors) – Roman Will. However unless they really dazzle at international stage in remainder of the season, no one will be more than later-round pick.

My personal opinion is that while 10 years ago Czech prospects were slightly overrated as Czech reigned the world of hockey, now they are on the contrary slightly underrated and underscouted as a result of a big crisis of Czech hockey. Undoubtedly some of the mentioned guys would have better chance to get drafted if they were Swedes and not Czechs.

We'll have Part 2-- a look at Slovakia and some options for 2012 and beyond on Monday.

Red Line Report scout Radim Jelinek interview: 2011 Eastern Europe draft prospects midseason report Pt. 2
We're back with the second part of the interview with Red Line Report Czech/Slovak scout Radim Jelinek.

Be sure to check out Part 1 if you haven't seen it yet.

This is a pretty lean year for Czech and Slovak players in the NHL draft who aren't already over in North America this season, playing major junior hockey and in Czech forward Petr Placek's case, prep hockey in New England for Damon White's Hotchkiss club.

Radim will now detail the Slovak and Russian crops and we'll look ahead to 2012 and beyond, with a taste of things to come in the future out of Eastern Europe.


Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: With Slovak forwards Tomas Jurco and Marek Tvrdon (among others) in North America this season (and Tvrdon injured for the rest of the year), is defenseman Peter Ceresnak someone to keep an eye on as a draft option from Slovakia who is still playing in Europe this season?

Radim Jelinek: I wonīt be surprised if Ceresnak is first and the only one Slovak still playing in Europe selected in June in Minnesota. However Iīm not a big fan of him and Iīm personally much more interested in 6-4 tall D from Kosice Martin Gernat who also belongs into the group of sleepers I mentioned in previous answer. Gernat is a smooth skater with fluid stride and decent footwork for his size. Has very good vision and hands, moves the puck well, handles the puck with confidence making solid decision with puck. Likes to join the rush regularly and shows good instinct in sliding from the point into scoring positions. Just started developing physical play in his game, still very inconsistent using his body, needs to play aggressive, physical game all the time. When he uses it then he is tough to beat 1 on 1, angles forwards to the outside, tights forward up at the boards, hits hard. Lacks strength right now and still growing but has frame to fill it out. D-zone coverage is still very average, needs to read the play better defensively, improve positional play and play much tighter game. Very raw but I like his progress throughout the season and see some similar things in his game as in Martin Marincinīs. He is far from him as Marincin was first rounder in my eyes while Gernat is later-round pick but upside is there.

On the other hand, Ceresnak is already well built physically, strong on skates. Feet are a bit slow and heavy, passes are firm and can make good outlet but not smart or creative with puck. Defensively he is strong in battles and is tough to beat in 1 on 1 situations. However doesnīt read the play in own zone, when opposing forwards start cycling, collide each other, shift spots then he is not able to read those situations properly, picks up wrong player consistently, gets out of position, wanders around own zone without his player.


B2011DW: How does the crop of Russian players look to you this season? Maxim Shalunov and Zakhar Arzamastsev are the highest-ranked players who stayed in Russia-- can you talk about those two and what chances they have to be drafted in June?

RJ: As I already said before, I personally consider Russian crop without all CHL-ers as extremely weak. I donīt see many NHL prospects behind Shalunov and Arzamastsev, at least those who are first year eligible. Both mentioned guys are the best Russians, at least for now.

Shalunov has first round tools but no toolbox, classical Russian enigmatic player. Februaryīs Five nation tournament and then World U-18 champs could have great impact on where he is selected in June. He is a big, powerful winger built like a tank, when he plays with passion he goes through checks, finishes checks and drives the net hard. Soft hands, can beat D with variety of moves off the rush and cuts to the net from wide. Hard wrist shot with quick release. Deceptive skater, first steps are very short and stride is wide and a bit short but has actually good speed and strong on skates. Problem is that he lacks intensity, invisible for longer periods with zero effort off the puck. Lazy on backcheck and plays very selfishly trying low percentage 1 on 1 flashy moves all the time.

Arzamastsev is more of offensive D who runs the PP well, sees the ice well and can make good first pass out of zone. Handles the puck well and good thought process with puck. Okay skater, doesnīt initiate contact much but not afraid of physical play. From mid to later-round prospect. Last guy I should mention is winger Nikita Kucherov. Not big but doesnīt stop trying to make something offensively, good skills. Has good hands and quick and shifty skater, creates separation and moves his feet. Not more then potential late-rounder though.


B2011DW: With high-end Russians like Alexander Khokhlachev and Vladislav Namestnikov in North America this season, have you heard talk of more Russian and Eastern European players like G David Honzik leaving their clubs to play in the CHL to try and improve their chances of being picked high in the NHL?

RJ: I havenīt heard anything particular yet, no specific names but I donīt doubt that tendency from several previous seasons will continue and some of the top Czechs and Russians(and also some other who should better stay home) will come over next summer. One of the reason for so many Russians coming over to play in CHL nowadays could be the fact the if they leave as 17 year old and spend three years there, then they become free agent in KHL.

By the way, annual exodus of majority of top Czech/Slovakian NHL prospect to CHL before their draft year became big problem(along with outdated system of players development and inability to bring up new generation of good players) for future of many Czechoslovakian NHL scouts. I counted 8 local scouts losing their job mostly because of that in last couple of years. Scouts understand reasons why very young players tend to leave so early and mostly approve of that step but in the end they get into very bad situation (partially) because of that.

B2011: Kosice defenseman Tomas Tkac is 144th on the Red Line rankings this month; a 6-5, 180-pounder is interesting. What can you tell people about his game and possible upside?

RJ: Uff, I was probably too ecstatic after first two viewing before Christmas. Tall guy who came absolutely out of nowhere, just converted into defenceman… Early on he impressed me with solid thought process with the puck, decent mobility for huge D, steady puck movement, willingness to get involved physically in battles. However when I have seen him this month, he looked very awkward, lacking coordination, choppy handling the puck, having no idea how to play defence in own zone. I still think that he is worth of keeping an eyes on him next year if there is any progress in his game but right now Icanīt imagine him as legitimate draft prospect.

B2011DW: Looking ahead to 2012 and beyond, Martin Frk is certainly one player attracting attention, but are there players still over in your area of expertise in Europe who are worth noting and keeping an eye on 18 months from now?

RJ: There are certainly prospects worth of keeping an eye for 2012 but I havenīt seen another Dmitri Jaskin yet. Actually 94ībirthyear is considered as weaker in Czech. Tomas Hertl(late 93ī) is probably the best but needs to stay healthy. He is big and strong creative playmaker with soft hands, excellent stick skills, vision, smartness. Smooth skater with speed, agility, balance. Slick with puck in tight, tough to separate off the puck, shields the puck very well.

I also like natural tools of tall goalie Marek Langhammer, puck skills and offensive upside of tall D Ronald Knot, Michal Plutnar and Karel Plasil. Among forwards I could mention names like Radek Faksa, Dominik Volek(David Volekīs son) or Patrik Machac but I donīt see another Michal Frolik, Jakub Voracek or David Krejci. I should also note that outside of Frk, several other promising 2012 eligible already play in USHL: Zehnal twins or Adam Chlapik.

It looks like very poor year for Slovaks next season conversely to 2013 which could be strong year for Slovakian forwards(but many things could happen in next 30 months) with names like Marko Dano, Matej Paulovic, Tomas Torok, Martin Reway, Patrik Koys.

Special thanks once again to Radim for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide such detailed answers on players that most of us have little to no access to.
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02-02-2011, 12:18 PM
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blitzkriegs
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With the Isles having a limited scouting presence, I would suggest that the chances of NYI picking an eastern european player will be minimal.

Beyond the Top 10 rated players, I doubt they spend a lot of money in that area.

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02-02-2011, 01:51 PM
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Thanks for those Chapin!

Although they have no dedicated Eastern Europe scout I guess the Isles still have a reasonable good idea about various prospects from there. They drafted Klementyev out of nowhere, so maybe they have a few bird-dogs around the rinks of Eastern Europe...

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02-02-2011, 02:53 PM
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Nice read Chapin

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02-02-2011, 05:17 PM
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in this order:

Larsson
Couturier
Landeskog
Nugent-Hopkins

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02-02-2011, 09:16 PM
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RNH.

But the other 3 would be a nice consolation prize.

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02-04-2011, 03:28 AM
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de Haan has looked awesome in training camp both years and he was close to making it this year. He's going to be very solid. That's my two cents on him but it would be nice to see this post a couple years from now and say how I called it, lol. He's in our top six next year at the very least!

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02-04-2011, 07:34 AM
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I know full well you draft BPA, but I'm going to be honest; I'll be disappointed if we don't walk away from the draft with a top tier defenseman prospect.

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