ISS Top 30, Risers and Fallers, March 2011

By Int'l Scouting Services

Photo: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins remains the top ranked prospect for ISS in the month of March. (Photo courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

1. Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan, F 4/12/93 L 6.00.5 170 Red Deer WHL
2. Larsson, Adam, RD 11/12/92 R 6.03 209 Skelleftea SweE
3. Landeskog, Gabriel, LW 11/23/92 L 6.00.25 205 Kitchener OHL
4. Couturier, Sean, C 12/7/92 L 6.04 195 Drummondville QMJHL
5. Murphy, Ryan, RD 3/31/93 R 5.10.25 168 Kitchener OHL
6. Strome, Ryan, C 7/11/93 R 6.00.25 183 Niagara OHL
7. Hamilton, Douglas, RD 6/17/93 R 6.04 190 Niagara OHL
8. Biggs, Tyler, RW 4/30/93 R 6.02 210 USA Under-18 USHL
9. Huberdeau, Jonathan C/L 6/4/93 L 6’1.25 168 Saint John QMJHL
10. Siemens, Duncan, LD 9/7/93 L 6.03 197 Saskatoon WHL
11. Jensen, Nicklas, F 3/6/93 L 6.02.25 188 Oshawa OHL
12. Saad, Brandon, LW 10/27/92 L 6.01.25 208 Saginaw OHL
13. Armia, Joel, RW 5/31/93 R 6.03 191 Assat FinE
14. Zibanejad, Mika, C 4/18/93 R 6.01.5 191 Djurgarden SweJE
15. McNeill, Mark, C 2/22/93 R 6.01 204 Prince Albert WHL
16. Khokhlachev, Alexandr F 9/9/93 L 5.10 188 Windsor OHL
17. Musil, David, LD 4/9/93 L 6.03.5 200 Vancouver WHL
18. Grimaldi, Rocco, C 2/8/93 R 5.06 163 USA Under-18 USHL
19. Oleksiak, Jamie (Fr.) , LD 12/21/92 L 6.07 244 Northeastern H.E.
20. Catenacci, Daniel, C 3/9/93 L 5.09.25 180 S.S. Marie OHL
21. Bartschi, Sven, LW 10/5/92 L 5.10.5 175 Portland WHL
22. Rattie, Ty, LW 2/5/93 R 5.11 170 Portland WHL
23. Beaulieu, Nathan, LD, 12/5/92 L 6.02 185 Saint John QMJHL
24. Jaskin, Dmitri, RW 3/23/93 L 6.01 196 Slavia CzeJr
25. Bell, Myles, RD 8/19/93 R 6.00 209 Regina WHL
26. Jacobs, Colin, F 1/20/93 R 6.01 205 Seattle WHL
27. Mayfield, Scott, RD 10/14/92 R 6.03.5 197 Youngstown USHL
28. Rask, Victor, C 3/1/93 L 6.01.5 194 Leksands SweAl
29. Nermark, Joachim, C 5/12/93 L 6.01 187 Linkoping SweJE
30. Puempel, Matthew, LW 1/24/93 L 6.00 198 Peterborough OHL

Rising

Chase Balisy, F, Western Michigan
The Newest addition to ISS top 100 Balisy, a native of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., finished the season tied for eighth in the CCHA in conference play with 26 points on 12 goals and 14 assists. Good character kid who looks to have his career back on path after suffering though "family issues" during the past year or so, that obviously effected his on-ice performance. This season with Western Michigan Balisy saw time in every situation and in every crucial moment of the games. He finished third in the league in freshman scoring and led the team in points in conference play. Balisy was also named CCHA Rookie of the Month for January, amassing 12 pts on five goals and seven assists. Was recently named to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie team.

Mika Zibanejad, F, Djurgarden
A very promising player with power forward potential, plays the game hard and since joining the Elitserien squad from the junior program at the start of Dec, he has 4 goals and 8 pts in 25 games. He had 11 goals and 20 pts in 26 games with Djurgarden’s junior team prior to his promotion. He has above average offensive intelligence and good instincts around the net. He has a deceptively hard and accurate shot with a good release and is a dangerous shooter off the rush from both the middle and the outside lanes.


Keegan Lowe, D, Edmonton Oil Kings

Lowe has been a model of consistency for the Edmonton Oil Kings since the first of Jan. Lowe is a solid two-way defender with good size that thinks the games well at both ends of the ice. He has good vision and is able to make the first pass. He will be a key contributor to the Oil Kings’ defense corps for the next few seasons and does have the ability and skill set to take it to the next level.


Destry Straight, F, Coquitlam Express

Boston College recruit enjoyed a terrific rookie season in the BCHL where he finished 2nd in team scoring with 67 pts in 59 games. His offensive instincts are top notch & is deadly with the puck when he has a scoring chance. Was voted BCHL rookie of the year. He has consistently shown his ability to be a top flight playmaker and could be a hidden gem in the mid rounds of this year’s draft.

Artem Sergeev, D, Val d’Or Foreurs
Sergeev has greatly improved his overall game since the start of the season. Smart mobile stay at home defensemen has impressed ISS scouts with each viewing. He has good smooth puck handling skills, but rarely tries to do much, relying more on safe and reliable plays to move the puck to teammates or out of harm’s way. He makes very good supportive positioning decisions on the breakout and is always an option for his partner. He’s generally matched up against the most teams’ top line, logging upwards of 25 minutes per game. Val d’Or’s 2nd Rnd. Pick, 72nd Overall in 2010 CHL Import draft.


Henri Auvinen, D, JYP

A good sized, active all around defender, Auvinen turned some heads with his recent play and had a lot of scouts wondering just where this kid came from and who exactly he was. Auvinen could find himself becoming a draft day sleeper and it’s a safe bet to say his role won’t change much in Germany when the U18 World Championships start in mid April.


Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint John Sea Dogs

Over the past couple of months has done a better job of picking his spots when looking to jump into the rush and play an offensive style. He has good vision and is able to make the first pass.

He will be a key contributor to the Sea Dogs’ defense corps for the next few seasons and does have the ability and skill set to take it to the next level.


Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, Gatineau Olympiques

Pageau is one of Gatineau’s best players and consistent scoring threat every night. Not overly big but plays with smarts and is very crafty. Pageau’s offensive skills can be explosive. His puck skills make him a very dangerous team player, when he’s left uncovered in the offensive zone. He is an exceptional skater with slick mobility and tight control of his edges. Has terrific vision on the ice-Buy some stock in this kid!


Sven Bartschi, LW, Portland Winterhawks

There isn’t another draft eligible prospect in any league this season that has been as consistent as Bartschi. Bartschi has only failed to register a point in 10 games this season. Only two games into March and he has already put up 8 points and with Portland primed to gain extra exposure in the playoffs, Bartschi is heating up at just the right time. Couple this with the trust that is associated with Portland bench boss Mike Johnston’s ability to develop offensive prospects and Bartschi is likely showing up rather large on every NHL team’s draft radars.


Jamie Oleksiak, D, Northeastern University

The hype around the hulking 6’7" 240lb defender just continues to grow and Oleksiak is quickly becoming one of the most interesting potential first round prospects for this year’s NHL draft. ISS scouts love his mobility for his size and the fact that it continues to improve. Oleksiak has gone from a very awkward looking teen trying to make it in the USHL to an increasingly smooth and well rounded young man playing in the NCAA. Oleksiak has good two-way ability, instincts and awareness and has drawn a lot of comparisons to Buffalo’s Tyler Myers. His physical potential could possibly even eclipse that of Myers and that fact alone has NHL clubs drooling over the prospect of adding him to their respective stables.


Albert Yarullin, D, Bars Kazaan

Started season slowly but over the last 2 months has shown improvement in overall game and appears to be playing with much greater level of confidence than earlier this season. Was best d-men for Russia during 5 Nations tournament. Yarullin has a bullet from the point.


Adam Clendening, D, Boston University

Clendening is an offensive minded defender who continues to adjust seamlessly to higher levels. The NTDP product now mans the blueline for Boston University and has continued to display his ability to adapt and fit in with some of the best programs in hockey. He has put up 23 pts in 36 games in first season of NCAA hockey, ranking him at the top of all first year draft eligible collegiate scorers. His consistent ability to be an impact player at various levels over the past few seasons and his progressive development this season has him poised to be a potential late-1st round steal.


Ryan Strome, C, Niagara IceDogs

Strome just continues to electrify the OHL this year and has been winning over even the harshest and most pessimistic critics as the season wears on. He is an ultra-intelligent and opportunistic playmaker who calculates his options extremely quickly and reacts even faster. Scouts and GMs love a player who can bounce back after disappointment and prove the doubters wrong and Strome continues to answer every and all questions about his abilities.


Stuart Percy, D, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors

A very underrated and consistent defender, Percy has been excellent this year for Mississauga. With the puck, Percy is cool, calm and collected and very rarely tries to do too much. He is assertive in every zone and on both sides of the puck. He has yet to really demonstrate that he is an elite offensive defender, but there is some limited upside to go with his reliable two-way play. Expect Percy to show some of this off in the playoffs and Memorial Cup tournament. The increased exposure will likely push his stock even higher.


Justin Sefton, D, Sudbury Wolves

Hard Rock d-men has been a bright spot on the struggling Sudbury Wolves. Started season slowly but over the last 2 months has shown improvement in overall game and appears to be playing with much greater level of confidence than earlier this season. He has added 10 lbs to his frame and appears to have improved his foot speed and looks quicker than earlier viewings. Has quickly made a name for himself as a "tough guy" willing & able to defend teammates. Jump on this kid’s bandwagon, it will get full in a hurry.


Falling

Brent Benson, C, Saskatoon Blades
As of March 6th Benson had gone 12 straight games without a goal and had only bulged the twine once in his last 19 games. Benson has been extremely enigmatic this year and has impressed in some ISS viewings but then disappeared the next night. Benson needs to improve his consistency and demonstrate some evolved versatility down the stretch and through a long playoff run if he is going to undo the damage done by his lengthy drought. A highly touted bantam pick, the sky is falling a bit around Benson and although he is still likely to be selected in this June’s NHL draft, his stock is dropping drastically.


Alan Quine, C, Peterborough Petes

Quine came to the Petes with very high expectations and has had a tough time delivering.

An ISS favorite most of the year, however as the season progressed we observed that he hasn’t been quite what we thought.


Shane Prince, LW, Ottawa 67s

Prince hasn’t enjoyed a lot of the same hype that fellow OHLer Ryan Strome has even while eclipsing him in the scoring column for most of the season. The reason for this is that many believe Princes stronger supporting cast is amplifying his skill set and that without this he doesn’t project as well. Well those theories seem to be winning out as the season continues on and ISS scouts have not been impressed by Prince’s production or impact away from his star teammate Tyler Toffoli.


Alex Kuvaev, RW, Lethbridge Hurricanes

The Russian winger turned a lot of heads earlier in the season when he seemed to adapt perfectly to the WHL game and way of life. But his production grinded to a near halt in Dec. and has not been able to shake out of the funk. He has managed to tally three pts since the new calendar year and is in danger of dropping off the draft board all together.

Kale Kessy, C, Medicine Hat Tigres
The budding power forward has had a very up and down year. Kessy has a lot of tools in his shed but has not been able to consistently display an effective combination of his skill and grit on regular bases. He can shoot, can fight and he has shown a willingness to play unsung roles during the season. But his long stretches of inconsistent play will turn off a lot of NHL clubs. Currently gone 16 games without a goal.


Nikita Kucherov, F, CSKA Moscow

A slick Russian speedster, Kucherov has tremendous hands and very explosive offensive abilities however his lack of defensive responsibility and at times effort will likely dampen his appeal for NHL teams.


Maximilien Le Sieur, LW, Shawinigan Cataractes

Big thick kid, Lack of any skating improvement has him falling off most draft lists. He seems to spend more time watching the play than actually being a part of it. Up and down winger… still not sold on skating for next level.

Tomas Hyka, F, Mlado Boleslav BK
Highly ranked at the start of the season Hyka has had trouble living up to those expectations. His skill level is evident and he shows above average abilities with the puck but he isn’t able to translate them into offensive production.


Maxim Shalunov, F, Chelyabinsk Traktor

Shalunov has proven to be a very Jekyll and Hyde type of player all year long. Away from the puck and in his own end he can seem as lazy and as disinterested as a player could be which is a major concern when gauging his potential for the next level. He still shows frustration when his teammates don’t complete a play and displays other cancerous traits and at this point his skill comes with a serious asterisk, so teams need to be aware of what they sign up for if they want this dangerous offensive weapon in their arsenal.

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