ISS Top 30, Risers and Fallers, October 2010

By Int'l Scouting Services

Name Pos Birthdate S/C Ht. Wt. Team League

1 Couturier, Sean, C 12/7/92 L 6.04 191 Drummondville QMJHL
2 Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan, C 4/12/93 L 6.00.5 166 Red Deer WHL
3 Larsson, Adam, RD 11/12/92 R 6.02 209 Skelleftea SweE
4 Murphy, Ryan, RD 3/31/93 R 5.10.25 168 Kitchener OHL
5 Rask, Victor, C 3/1/93 L 6.01 194 Leksands SweAl
6 Landeskog, Gabriel, LW 11/23/92 L 6.00.25 205 Kitchener OHL
7 Saad, Brandon, LW 10/27/92 L 6.02.25 200 Saginaw OHL
8 Puempel, Matthew, LW 1/24/93 L 6.00.5 188 Peterborough OHL
9 Musil, David, LD 4/9/93 L 6.03.25 191 Vancouver WHL
10 Hamilton, Douglas, RD 6/17/93 R 6.04 190 Niagara OHL
11 Siemens, Duncan, LD 9/7/93 L 6.02.25 185 Saskatoon WHL
12 Ambroz, Seth, RW 4/3/93 R 6.01.75 205 Omaha USHL
13 Khokhlachev, Alexandr, F 9/9/93 L 5.11 172 Windsor OHL
14 Jurco, Tomas, RW 12/28/92 L 6.00 180 Saint John QMJHL
15 Armia, Joel, RW 5/31/93 R 6.02 165 Assat FinE
16 Klefbom, Oscar, LD 7/20/93 L 6.03 196 Farjestad Swe18
17 Clendening, Adam (Fr.), RD 10/26/92 R 5.11.25 190 Boston Univ H.E.
18 Shalunov, Maxim, F 1/31/93 L 6.03 185 Chelyabinsk Belye RusJr
19 McColgan, Shane, RW 1/1/93 R 5.08 165 Kelowna WHL
20 Jenner, Boone, C 6/15/93 L 6.00.75 195 Oshawa OHL
21 Namestnikov, Vladislav, F 11/22/92 L 5.11.75 156 London OHL
22 Nieto, Matthew (Fr.), LW 11/5/92 L 5.10.5 175 Boston Univ H.E.
23 Bell, Myles, RD 8/19/93 R 5.11.75 213 Regina WHL
24 Catenacci, Daniel, C 3/9/93 L 5.09.25 180 S.S. Marie OHL
25 Russo, Robbie, RD 2/15/93 R 5.11.5 189 USA Under-18 USHL
26 Nermark, Joachim, C 5/12/93 L 6.00.5 178 Linkoping SweJE
27 Murphy, Connor, RD 3/26/93 R 6.03 195 USA Under-18 USHL
28 Koudys, Patrick (Fr.), LD 11/15/92 L 6.02.25 195 Rensselaer ECAC
29 Jaskin, Dmitrij, RW 3/23/93 L 6.01 196 Slavia CzeJr
30 Grimaldi, Rocco, C 2/8/93 R 5.06 161 USA Under 18 USHL

Rising

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Red Deer Rebels
This ultra-skilled center has phenomenal offensive ability, and is blessed with exceptional acceleration. He uses his speed, vision, shiftiness, and creativity to his advantage all over the ice. Hopkins moving up ahead of Swedish d-men Adam Larsson in ISS Oct Rankings should be viewed more a case of Hopkins rising than Larsson falling. Truth is come draft day in June 2011, if the team selecting first overall is in need of an elite puck moving d-men, than Larsson is your man. However ISS Head Scout Ross MacLean just marvels at Nugent-Hopkins upside. Where Larsson matured early, Hopkins learning curve is still projecting upward, and the sky could be the limit with this kid. Nugent-Hopkins brings the complete package of qualities both on and off the ice. Excellent character and leadership qualities along with excellent puck-handling and playmaking ability


Dmitrij Jaskin, F, Slavia Praha HC

An early favorite for “the kid to keep an eye on” or “draft day sleeper”, Jaskin was an extremely potent weapon for the Czech Republic at this year’s Ivan Hlinka tournament. The 1st overall pick in this year’s KHL draft, Jaskin is a pure goal scorer and is ultra-competitive. He is strong and powerful and has no problem battling for space in any area of the ice. Jaskin should parlay his national team experience to better exposure to North American scouts this season and could prove to be a steal to any team who does their homework.

Joachim Nermark, C, Linkoping SweJE
Nermark’s offensive explosion at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial took many people by surprise. His 11 points in five games were tops in the tournament and five more points than his countryman Victor Rask, who many regard as the best offensive Swedish prospect since Magnus Pajaarvi. Nermark has a history of showing up offensively on the international stage but is more renowned for his ability to play roles with his club teams. Nermark is consistent and reliable and always brings a steady work ethic to each game. Nermark should be considered this year’s version of Johan Larsson and will garner serious first round consideration if he can continue to light the lamp as he did during the Ivan Hlinka, but either way will continue to be regarded as one of the safest most reliable picks available come draft day.


Connor Murphy, D, USA Under-18

Murphy has rocketed up the charts after showing off his stuff with USA at the Ivan Hlinka on top of several favorable viewings last season. Although Robbie Russo is still likely the better player at this point, Murphy has been able to show off tremendous improvements in many facets of his game. Scouts continually marvel at his vision and ability to create lanes with the puck. Murphy’s pro potential and draft stock seem to be directly correlated at this point and if his technical abilities continue to improve so will his chances of remaining in the Rising category!


Oscar Klefbom, D, Farjestad Swe18

Klefbom has taken advantage of Adam Larsson’s late birthdate and become the anchor of the Swedish national team’s blueline. Another tall and mobile defender in what is become an increasingly impressive list of such players, Klefbom is extremely intelligent with the puck and also has a tremendously hard shot. Klefbom has the capabilities and gets himself the opportunities to outscore most forwards and is particularly potent on the powerplay. His seven points in five games during the Ivan Hlinka were best of all defenders and were actually tied for second most in the entire tournament. Klefbom will now have to follow up on what was a very strong coming out party over the summer into another effective season and then there will be little need for debate or justification over his jump in the rankings, something ISS feels he is more than capable of.

Myles Bell, D, Regina Pats
Bell is a player that ISS has kept tabs on for some time now and has continually shown improvement. Bell had a huge U18 selection camp and took over both sides of the ice with his physical strength game in and game out. Bell shows flashes of offensive brilliance at times, but is most valued form his hard hitting gritty energy laced style in his own end. He is phenomenal at separating opponents from the puck and leading the transition, whether it’s on his own or with a first pass. Watching him push some of the most elite Canadian players off the puck consistently it is plain to see that this is a kid who is determined to win and determined to get better. Keep your eyes on Myles Bell.

Doug Hamilton, D, Niagara IceDogs
Hamilton has shot up ISS draft rankings in large part due to his play at this year’s U18 summer selection camp in Calgary and his steady play on Canada’s blue line at the Ivan Hlinka. Hamilton is an explosive skater for a big guy, has tons of room to build on his frame and for the most part displays a still very raw skill set. He would be an exciting addition for any NHL team and is the kind of player development coaches’ dream of getting to work with. Hamilton has strong instincts at both ends of the rink, plays physical and wins a lot of battles in his own end. It is easy to see the potential for Hamilton and it’s scary to think just how good he is going to be, so don’t be excited to see Hamilton’s name on this list again.

Rocco Grimaldi, C, USA Under 18
Another southern California prospect, Grimaldi just continues to impress in every possible way. The diminutive forward seems to have enough against him in questions about his size to push him off the draft radar. But that has not been the case. Grimaldi was a standout once again during the USHL Showcase event and is leading the USHL in scoring. He has ultra-quick skills with the puck, has elite vision and intelligence and is extremely dangerous around the net. It’s hard to shake the concepts that his size will hold him back as you watch him play, because he plays like a much bigger player. His quickness is likely the best in this draft class and matches much of the best players in the world in that regard. With all that being said it should be known that size is the only reason Grimaldi isn’t considered a top five pick for this year’s NHL draft.

Falling

Michael St. Croix, C, Edmonton Oil Kings
Perhaps the biggest shocker on this list is Michael St. Croix. The very talented offensive centre for the Edmonton Oil Kings has been considered as one of 2011’s can’t miss prospects. Long regarded as one of the best players in Western Canada, St. Croix has been a reason to cheer on a team that has not had much to cheer about. Unfortunately St. Croix is failing to live up to his hype at this point. Many may argue that this is because he is not surrounded by much of a supporting cast, but ISS scouts are quick to point out that it’s when he is surrounded by a supporting cast that he has been the most disappointing. St. Croix was invisible during Canada’s summer U18 orientation camp and failed to assert himself as a top prospect while surrounded by his peers. This fact alone drops his NHL value and unless he can pick up his game and set the WHL on fire (as many expect him to do) he will remain outside of the top 30 come draft day.

Ty Rattie, RW, Portland Winterhawks
Rattie is likely one of, if not, the purest goal scorer available for the 2011 draft. How does a player like that end up teetering on bubble of the first round? Rattie has proven inconsistent in viewings and has also been noted to be a liability in his own end. His great shot and abilities with the puck are as elite as they come, but his ability to gain space and penetrate the middle have come into question. Although he may be the best player for a shootout, his physical ability during the game have proven to be a fairly evident flaw. He has plenty of time to develop and with witnessed efforts towards improving those flaws could easily find himself back among the elite prospects come draft day.

Jesper Kokkonen, LW, Ilves
Regarded as a power forward in the making, Kokkonen has failed to live up to his hype. He was shut out during the Ivan Hlinka tournament and has proven to be more than trouble than he worth at times. Questions about discipline and consistency circle around the young Finn now and his inability to produce for long periods of time have many scouts writing him off already. There may still be hope for Kokkonen yet. A strong season coupled with the fact that many scouts will be following countryman Joel Armia’s rise as a power forward, just may open some people’s eyes to Kokkonen along the way. He has been a mainstay with their national program and that doesn’t look as if it’s going to change, so Kokkonen will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself moving forward.

Peter Kosterman, D, Calgary Hitmen
The big Hitmen blueliner drew a lot of attention just getting into game action with the Hitmen’s stacked blueline over the past couple of seasons. His development has been eagerly anticipated, but he seems to have stalled and is seeing other young defenders leapfrog him. The 19th overall selection in the 2008 bantam draft has been eclipsed as the prized defensive prospect by both Jayden Rissling and rookie Keaton Lubin. This may not be as much of a knock against Kosterman as it is a plug for two young players who have improved leaps and bounds, but the fact that Kosterman remains very much the same player he was last year is not something that entices scouts to push for him to jump up the rankings.

Shane McColgan, RW, Kelowna Rockets
The easy explanation for McColgan’s drop would be to attribute it to his size, but this isn’t the case with the exceptionally skilled Kelowna forward. The fact is the deck is consistently stacked against him and he always somehow seems to shine through. With that being said, there are some worrisome trends in his game that are becoming an issue as he heads down the path to draft day. The biggest of which is his risky defensive play. McColgan’s offense is going to turn heads in every arena he visits, but his passive commitment in his own end is going to see him continually slide unless he can prove he is capable of adapting.

Seth Ambroz, F, Omaha Lancers
There is no denying Ambroz’s skill level, but the biggest knock on him at this point is his lack of significant improvement. Being considered a top prospect brings its fair share of scrutiny and at this point Ambroz is falling victim to it. He had a strong Ivan Hlinka tournament putting up two goals and two assists in five games, but left a lot of scouts feeling like he should have done more. Ambroz was fairly disappointing during the USHL showcase as well but still has tremendous upside. The powerful forward can put up great numbers and can really take control of space well with and without the puck. If he can continue to do this and display some consistency and commitment to developing, he could find himself rising just as quickly.

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