ISS Top 30, Risers and Fallers, April 2010

By Int'l Scouting Services

Name Position Birthdate Shoots Ht Wt Team

1 Hall, Taylor, LW 11/14/1991 L *6.00.5 185 Windsor OHL
2 Seguin, Tyler, C 1/31/1992 R *6.01 172 Plymouth OHL
3 Gormley, Brandon, D 2/18/1992 L *6.02 185 Moncton QMJHL
4 Tarasenko, Vladimir, RW 12/13/1991 L 5.11 202 Novosibirsk KHL
5 Fowler, Cam, D 12/5/1991 L *6.01.25 190 Windsor OHL
6 Niederreiter, Nino, LW 9/8/1992 L *6.01.5 201 Portland WHL
7 Gudbranson, Erik, D 1/7/1992 R *6.03.75 195 Kingston OHL
8 Johansen, Ryan, C 7/31/1992 R *6.02 192 Portland WHL
9 Skinner, Jeffrey, C 5/16/1992 L *5.10 187 Kitchener OHL
10 Forbort, Derek, D 3/4/1992 L *6.04.5 198 Under 18 USHL
11 Merrill, Jonathan, D 2/3/1992 L *6.03.25 198 Under 18 USHL
12 Watson, Austin, RW 1/13/1992 R *6.03.25 185 Peterborough OHL
13 Connolly, Brett, LW 5/2/1992 R 6.02 181 Prince George WHL
14 Burmistrov, Alexander, C 10/21/1991 L *5.11.25 157 Barrie OHL
15 Howden, Quinton, LW 1/12/1992 L *6.02 182 Moose Jaw WHL
16 Pysyk, Mark, D 1/11/1992 R *6.01.25 174 Edmonton WHL
17 Granlund, Mikael, C 2/26/1992 L 5.10 180 HIFK Helsinki FinE
18 Etem, Emerson, C 6/16/1992 L *6.00.25 190 Medicine Hat WHL
19 Kuznetsov, Evgeny, C 5/19/1992 L 6.00 172 Chelyabinsk Traktor KHL
20 Pitlick, Tyler, C 11/1/1991 R 6.01.5 194 Mankato WCHA
21 Bjugstad, Nick, C 7/17/1992 R *6.03.75 188 Blaine MN-HS
22 Sheahan, Riley, C 12/7/1991 L 6.01.5 202 Notre Dame CCHA
23 Schwartz, Jaden, C 6/25/1992 L *5.10 180 Tri-City USHL
24 Galiev, Stanislav, C 1/17/1992 R *6.00.75 178 Saint John QMJHL
25 Tinordi, Jarred, D 2/20/1992 L *6.05.5 205 Under 18 USHL
26 Nelson, Brock, C 10/15/1991 L *6.02.5 205 Warroad MN-HS
27 Rensfeldt, Ludvig, LW 1/29/1992 L *6.02.75 192 Brynas SJ18A
28 Coyle, Charlie, RW 3/2/1992 R *6.01.5 202 South Shore EJHL
29 Larsson, Johan, LW 7/25/1992 L *5.10 200 Brynas SJ18A
30 Zucker, Jason, LW 1/16/1992 L *5.10.5 174 Under 18 USHL

RISING

Ryan Johansen, C — Portland Winterhawks
Always consistent game in and game out during the regular season and has been outstanding during the playoff for the Winterhawks. Impressed ISS scouts by taking on a leadership role with the young talented squad. His growth and maturity as a hockey player have certainly been impressive this season.

Johan Larsson, LW — Brynas IF J18A

His dominating performance at the U18 World Championships in Minsk was unexpected to say the least. Known as a very strong two-way player who has the ability to chip in offensively here and there, Larsson was easily one of, if not the most, explosive scoring threat in the entire tournament. Larsson has seen exponential development this season and has shown no signs of slowing down. Several NHL clubs are now looking at Larsson as their potential first-round pick in this summer’s draft. Larsson is a great team player who can do everything in every situation and will certainly reap the rewards of his performance in Minsk come draft day.

Ludvig Rensfeldt, LW — Brynas IF J18A
The big Swede has been steadily rising all season but being able to showcase his abilities in front of so many scouts was not something he had really had the opportunity to do as of yet. Rensfeldt has a terrific shot that can really cause trouble for goaltenders, especially when he fires it off the rush through screens. His big, strong body allows him to fend off checks and maintain possession down low and he is always a threat from every area in the offensive zone. Rensfeldt has pushed his way up the charts and now looks to be a late first-round to early second-round prospect come draft day.

Jon Merrill, LD — USA Under 18

Regarded as one of the best defenseman prospects coming out of the US this year, Merrill looks to have leapfrogged his competition and could be debated as being one of the top three best defensive prospects in the entire draft. Merrill was simply dominant in Belarus and his ability to play in all situations, including running the power play, certainly makes him all the more valuable. Merrill is explosive, gets the puck on net and creates lanes all over the ice. He is effective and reliable defensively and proves to be very difficult to win space against. Scouts are salivating at the chance to add Merrill to their rosters, as he is already a dominant player but still has a lot of room for improvement. This kid is for real.

Casey Thrush, LW — Maryland U18

This 17-year-old budding power forward has caught the attention of ISS Eastern USA scouts for all the right reasons.

Jeff Skinner, C — Kitchener Rangers

Tremendous playoff performance. He has great hands and can be considered a pure scorer with a fantastic quick release. He is smart away from the puck and is always finding lanes to get open and receive passes. A pure shooter, he knows how to find the net with the puck and can do so with a lightning-quick release.

Teemu Pulkkinen, LW — Jokerit Helsinki
Pulkkinen needed a strong performance at the U18s and came up with just that. Questions about his size and ability to play the North American game are still there, and it didn’t help matters when he wasn’t able to crack through the US defense during their semifinal match-up, but few players from any nation were able to do that during the tournament. Pulkkinen’s passion and love of scoring will take him far, and one thing is for certain, he changed a lot of NHL clubs’ opinions about him. Although he likely hasn’t regained his top prospect billing and will likely slip out of the first round, the interest for Pulkkinen is higher and he will likely be a steal in the second round.

Dylan McIlrath, RD — Moose Jaw Warriors

McIlrath has continued to show improvement in all aspects of his game. He battles and competes well. There is more upside here than first thought. Like his passion. Excellent character type. Loves to fight and stand up for teammates. Bruising stay-at-home defenseman.

Curtis Hamilton, LW — Saskatoon Blades

Finally starting to get scouts attention after an injury-plagued season. Although smooth on his skates Hamilton has to add bulk on his 6’2 frame. Has the size and skill that NHL scouts look for.

Craig Cunningham, LW — Vancouver Giants
Cunningham has slid under the radar of ISS Western scouts most of the season — that is until now. He enjoyed a terrific season, pulling up great offensive numbers at a more than point-per-game pace. With his quick shot and smart play with the puck he has continued to show strong finish and consistency around the net, capitalizing on his chances. His size isn’t a concern and his heart/passion is a bonus.

Jonathan Iilahti, G — Espoo Blues B

The unexpected starter for the Finns at the U18s after Sami Aittokallio was hurt, Iilahti took the ball and ran with it. An athletic and quick goaltender, he has the ability to steal games if he needs to. His rebound control has steadily improved and his overall play has been so good that he’s been shooting up the goaltenders rankings. He is not on many people’s radars, but a strong performance at the World U18 Championship changed all of that.

Brooks Macek, C — Tri-City Americans
He found himself in and out of the doghouse moving from the second to fourth line. Despite that, he put up great numbers with 21 goals and 73 points and did not miss a single game. He is also a big reason why the Tri-City Americans are in the Western Conference Finals as he is tied for the lead in points with four goals, nine assists. He is demonstrating his explosive speed. After three strides he is at top speed and uses it very well. He has earned an expanded role in key situations, along with a steady rise up ISS rankings.

Jason Zucker, LW — USA Under 18
Consistent, aggressive and energetic, Zucker is a warrior and is willing to do the little things it takes to win. Compete level around the net is excellent. Fished puck out of scramble behind net and quickly centered it to set up 1-0 goal in 1st at the U18s. Has easily been one of the best forwards for any team in this tournament.

Louis Domingue, G – Quebec

NHL teams entering the upcoming draft with a need to add depth at the goaltending position might well want to consider.

FALLING


Joel Vermin, C — Bern Future Elite

Vermin might have actually been a player who really benefited from his lack of exposure. He’s put up great numbers in national team events, and had the opportunity to truly strut his stuff in Belarus, but failed to really impress. Still a valuable asset to his Swiss team, Vermin has a good skill set but failed to blow scouts away. This will likely see him drop to the late rounds and possibly even out of the draft. A good shooter, Vermin isn’t able to create the necessary space on his own against the bigger more physical teams, and that above anything else concerns NHL clubs.

Petteri Halinen, C — Espoo Blues Jr.

A versatile and rangy two-way forward, Halinen was relegated to role player for Finland during the U18 tournament and as valuable as he was to the team was not able to gain the exposure he could have used to vault himself into being an NHL draft pick. Halinen now looks poised to be a player who can continue to develop in Europe and possibly gain entry to the North American pro ranks by the road less traveled. With that being said, his value and potential did not go completely unnoticed and he could still find himself as a late-round pick for an ambitious NHL team.

John McFarland, LW — Sudbury Wolves

After a very impressive tournament last year in Fargo, McFarland failed to carry the team offensively this year in Belarus. His inconsistent offensive outbursts seemed to only occur against the weaker opponents and this certainly inflates the questions surrounding his pro potential. Once touted as perhaps the best Canadian prospect, McFarland has really struggled to maintain the expectations. There is no denying his skill, but concerns about his commitment level and character were raised, making him a dangerous gamble in the early going of the NHL draft. Falling lower could actually be a better situation for McFarland as those expectations that have weighed him down for so long may start to ease off and he can concentrate on just playing his game.

Steven Shipley, C — Owen Sound Attack
Possession game needs to get better. He’s a big, strong player who very rarely shields the puck to the outside instead pushing it up or chipping it away. Lethargic shifts. Acceleration isn’t great. Too soft on puck for size.

Kirill Kabanov, LW – Moncton Wildcats
His stock plummeted after leaving his Wildcats teammates mid-game and in the playoffs to return to Russia, where he was initially expected to play for Russia in the Under-18 Championships, but the Russians sent him home.

Daniel Krejci, LD — Slavia Praha Jr.
This big rearguard is a raw talent who still makes far too many mistakes in the defensive zone. Has definitely struggled — he wasn’t used in any critical situations like earlier in the season. He has to get out of his bad slump and regain his coach’s confidence. Was left off Czech U18 team for World Under 18 Championship.

Denis Kindl, C — Gatineau Olympiques

Kindl’s offensive play dropped off after a great start, finishing the year with 17 goals and 20 assists in 65 regular-season games. He is an average skater for size; feet look OK, but he lacks a strong technical stride. Skates bent over with deep knee bend. While most of his peers have progressed in many aspects of their respective games, Kindl has failed to demonstrate his ability to improve and grow as a player. Was major disappointment for Czech team at World Under 18 Championship.

Jani Hakanpaa, RD –- K-Vantaa-T
Huge but slow and isn’t always aware of coverage assignments around the net. Not impressed with his ability to box out or clear lanes. Is not as effective as he should be at clearing the front of the net or containing players in slot area. Skating is a concern.