ISS Top 30, Risers and Fallers, May 2011

By Int'l Scouting Services
Photo: Ryan  Nugent-Hopkins has been the top ranked prospect by ISS for four months in a row. (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. Couturier, Sean, C 12/7/92 L 6.04 195 Drummondville QMJHL
4. Landeskog, Gabriel, LW 11/23/92 L 6.00.25 205 Kitchener OHL
5. Hamilton, Douglas, RD 6/17/93 R 6.04 190 Niagara OHL
6. Zibanejad, Mika, C 4/18/93 R 6.01.5 191 Djurgarden SweJE
7. Huberdeau, Jonathan C/L 6/4/93 L 6’1.25 168 Saint John QMJHL
8. Murphy, Ryan, RD 3/31/93 R 5.10.25 168 Kitchener OHL
9. Strome, Ryan, C 7/11/93 R 6.00.25 183 Niagara OHL
10. Klefbom, Oscar, LD 7/20/93 L 6.03 196 Farjestad Swe18
11. Bartschi, Sven, LW 10/5/92 L 5.10.5 175 Portland WHL
12. Siemens, Duncan, LD 9/7/93 L 6.03 197 Saskatoon WHL
13. Armia, Joel, RW 5/31/93 R 6.03 191 Assat FinE
14. Beaulieu, Nathan, LD, 12/5/92 L 6.02 185 Saint John QMJHL
15. Grimaldi, Rocco, C 2/8/93 R 5.06 163 USA Under-18 USHL
16. Miller, JT, LW 3/14/93 L 6.01.25 198 USA Under-18 USHL
17. Scheifele, Mark, C 3/15/93 R 6.01.5 177 Barrie OHL
18. Murphy, Connor, RD 3/26/93 R 6.03 195 USA Under-18 USHL
19. Brodin, Jonas, LD 7/12/93 L 6.01 165 Farjestad SweE
20. McNeill, Mark, C 2/22/93 R 6.01 204 Prince Albert WHL
21. Oleksiak, Jamie (Fr.) *, LD 12/21/92 L 6.07 244 Northeastern H.E.
22. Jensen, Nicklas, F 3/6/93 L 6.02.25 188 Oshawa OHL
23. Khokhlachev, Alexandr F 9/9/93 L 5.10 188 Windsor OHL
24. Saad, Brandon, LW 10/27/92 L 6.01.25 208 Saginaw OHL
25. Rask, Victor, C 3/1/93 L 6.01.5 194 Leksands SweAl
26. Musil, David, LD 4/9/93 L 6.03.5 200 Vancouver WHL
27. Rattie, Ty, LW 2/5/93 R 5.11 170 Portland WHL
28. Puempel, Matthew, LW 1/24/93 L 6.00 198 Peterborough OHL
29. Phillips, Zack, C 10/28/92 R 6.01 181 Saint John QMJHL
30. Ritchie, Brett, RW 7/1/93 R 6.03 210 Sarnia OHL

Rising

Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie Colts
Scheifele really took advantage of his extra exposure in Germany after a rough season in Barrie. He was simply Canada’s best forward and displayed excellent commitment and desire to do what it took to get the job done. He was everywhere when he needed to be and when the games got tough, Scheifele seemed to bring out a new gear that other players just did not have. Scheifele’s performance should allow him to leapfrog several spots including some occupied by some of his Canadian teammates.

Sebastien Uvira, F, Landshut Cannibals
With so many scouts coming to glimpses of Rieder and a couple of the other German prospects, Uvira came out of nowhere and really stole the show for the Germans during the U18s on his home soil. His ultra-competitive, no quit, take no prisoners style allowed him to really stand out and although it was expected that he would slow down as the tournament went, he only got better when the big guns for the Germans fell to injuries.

Nikita Kucherov, F, CSKA Moscow
His record breaking scoring performance at the U18s is certain to improve his draft stock. Kucherov was able to really amplify his skill set playing with the phenomenal playmaking skills of 2012 top prospect Mikhail Grigorenko. His opportunism and ability to raise his game to match such skill is impressive, but Kucherov has been steadily impressing all year long at every level he has played.

Steffen Soberg, G, Manglerud
His performance at the U18s was simply astounding. The numbers were incredible, especially considering the number of shots he faced, but the most impressive thing about Soberg was how easy he made it look. Playing in an area that doesn’t see a lot of scouting exposure, Soberg used his opportunity perfectly. Few U18 goaltenders have ever shown the poise displayed by Soberg during this tournament and with the other top goaltending prospects faltering a bit, the excitement around Soberg could go a long way come draft day.

Oscar Klefbom, D, Farjestad Swe18
Big, mobile and versatile, Klefbom is like a dream come true for any team looking for a diverse and dynamic defender that will be able to play soon. The Swedish captain is a rock and could very well end up wearing a C for an NHL club in the future. He is capable of doing anything necessary in the game to help his team win and his decision making comes without hesitation. Having seen the Swedish team without him, it’s impossible to ignore the dynamic that he adds to a team. Without him, this particular Swedish group would not have come close to reaching the heights that they did.

Reid Boucher, F, USA Under-18
Boucher seems to get lost in the awe that surrounds Rocco Grimaldi, but Boucher is a very impressive player in his own regard. Boucher’s shot is deceptively hard and accurate and those skills were utilized in team USA’s schemes throughout the U18 World Championship tournament. Likely resigned to be one of the most underrated players in the draft, Boucher is going to be a diamond in the rough for the team that selects him.

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

A skilled and mobile defenseman who plays an effective game in both ends of the rink, contributing both offensively and defensively to his teams success. Percy has been standout for the St.Michael’s Majors defensive corps during the playoffs. He possesses good feet, while displaying overall good puck skills. He reads the play quite well and is deceivingly good with the puck. He makes simple yet very effective choices. Percy has earned an expanded role in key situations, along with a steady rise up ISS rankings.

Sven Bartschi, LW, Portland Winterhawks

Bartschi has seen exponential development this season and has shown no signs of slowing down. Was selected CHL Player of the Week for the week ending May 8 and is currently tied for second in WHL playoff scoring with 25 points in 18 games. 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.

Phillip Danault, LW, Victoriaville Tigres

Always consistent game in and game out during the regular season and was outstanding during the playoff for the Tigers. Danault plays a very active game – he is always involved in the play, and he won’t go many shifts without catching your eye in some positive manner. 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.

Zac Larraza, F, USA Under-18

Larraza is a smart, two-way forward that plays a prominent role in his teams success. While displaying the ability to produce offensively, he plays an overall responsible game. He isn’t the flashiest or most dynamic player, but at the end of the day he just seems to get the job done. He has also improved many aspects of his game since the start of the season and he seems to be the type of player that is progressing, developing and moving in the right direction. He is showing a lot more quickness and speed and has always shown a real understanding of the game.

Travis Ewanyk, C, Edmonton Oil Kings
Ewanyk comes into the draft as player who had gained a ton of momentum lately as an NHL prospect. He is fearsome in the corners and never gives up on a battle. He is an extremely versatile two-way player who can really frustrate opponents with his constant battling and drives to the net.

William Karlsson, C, Vasteras
A very impressive two-way performance during the U18s was just icing on the cake, Karlsson has consistently impressed ISS scouts during the season and often in a different manner each game. He has a very well rounded skill set that allows him to fit any mould required of him. His faceoff skills and defensive presence were integral in Sweden‘s run for the Gold during the U18 tournament. Karlsson is heart and soul and will be a draft day steal.

Tom Nilsson, D, Mora
Sometimes overlooked when thrown in with Sweden’s other impressive defenders, Nilsson can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon they have. Nilsson can flat out hit and he loves to do it. His physical play during the U18 tournament was impressive to say the least and changed the momentum in his team’s favor on several occasions. A part from his deceivingly good physical play, Nilsson is fairly well rounded and can be counted on to do what is asked of him. His skating can still improve but overall Nilsson is a player who really thrust himself into the draft discussion with his end of year play.

Connor Murphy, D, USA Under-18
ISS had Murphy in the first round discussion early in the season but he failed to impress for most of the season and slipped or landed in our falling discussions frequently. Murphy emphatically erased much of that doubt with his performance during the World U18 Championships and sealed the deal by ending the tournament in dramatic fashion by netting the OT winner in the gold medal game. The son of former NHLer Gord Murphy, Connor is versatile, mobile and at times mean and seems to thrive when push comes to shove.

JT Miller, F, USA Under-18
Miller plays the style that many of us expect of an American prospect. He makes the Leclairs, Tkachuks and Guerins proud. He is a driven forward who will do whatever it takes to get the puck into the net. He finds himself in scoring situations on almost every shift. And when he’s not trying to score, he’s trying to get the puck and his tenacious and physical style can really take a toll on opponents. Miller is an easy player to like and definitely the kind of player you want on your team instead of lining up against it.

Joe Morrow, D, Portland Winterhawks
Morrow has slid under the radar of ISS Western scouts most of the season that is until now! He is a very effective, calm and poised defender who is effective in all three zones of the rink. He has good size, he skates well while displaying good mobility and he also has above average puck skills. Morrow has pushed his way up the charts and now looks to be a late 1st round to early 2nd round prospect come draft day.

Falling

Daniel Catenacci, C, S.S. Marie Greyhounds
ISS has loved Catenacci’s style for some time now and there was a lot riding on his performance during the U18s, but Catenacci did not deliver. The super quick and speedy forward failed to create much offense and most of his shifts were spent in the perimeter trying and failing to drive the middle. He started out the tournament with the top line but found himself mostly substituting on the second and third lines as the tournament wore on. Still a prospect to get excited about but he likely cemented himself as at most a 2nd round pick with his subpar performance.

Dmitri Jaskin, F, Slavia Praha HC
One of the most mysterious and enigmatic players this draft has to offer, Jaskin was the player that most scouts were the most eager to take notes on. He started the tournament out strong but really faded after that. At times he looked disinterested and lethargic, which are the exact opposite adjectives that have been used to describe him for most of the season. Jaskin has allowed many players of a similar style and mould to leap past him and his status as a 1st round pick is now in serious jeopardy.

Samu Perhonen, G, JYP Jyvaskyla

Perhonen has all the tools to be a dominant goaltender and the Finns were poised to really challenge for a medal during the U18 tournament but the goaltending really let them down and they were forced to play for 5th place. Perhonen is still very raw and ISS still believes that he projects to be one of the best goaltenders from this draft, but the time necessary for him to develop keeps going up and the once sure bet has created more doubt than optimism.

Tyler Biggs, RW, USA Under-18

In February’s U18 event Biggs was a monster and was the most noticeable player on the ice whenever he touched it. During the U18 World Championships, Biggs was almost an afterthought. The intense and aggressive power forward was unable to create much in terms of offense and even saw his physical advantage taken away by some surprising sources. Biggs has really created a lot of questions around his development and whether he can play the style that makes him so appealing at the higher levels. Although invisible for a lot of the tournament, Biggs still provided the tournament with two of its most memorable moments, scoring the OT winner against Canada in the semi final and launching a German player into the bench with easily the biggest hit of the tournament during their round robin meeting.

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