Leaf Prospect Rankings 11-20
The age of the prospect is taken into account.
11. Miguel Delisle-RW: Almost an afterthought on day one of the 2000 draft, Delisle has come a long way from the temper tantrums that saw him fall out momentarily with 67’s Coach Brian Kilrea and got back with the program and made himself a player. Already NHL big at 6’1″ and 200 pounds, Delisle has very good wheels and his release has been compared to Mike Bossy’s in the past. He could be a bit more curmudgeony in his physical play, but that aside, the kid has a bright future.
12. Ivan Kolozvary-LW: Although he played the middle in the recent World Junior Championships, the Leafs probably see him as an outside burner ala Milan Hejduk, whom he resembles both physically and in the skating department. Although he’s adept with both passing and finishing at speed, whether he’ll ever approach the level of proficiency demonstrated by the Avs forward and whether he can withstand the rigours of the North American game remains to be seen.
13. Jaroslav Sklenar-RW: Possibly did himself a big disservice by checking out of the Ottawa 67’s earlier in the year for HC Kosice of the Slovakian League but is a tall, lanky 6’1″ 172 pound winger with a knack for getting his stick loose in tight spaces around the net. The is also little question about his skating which is quite good but his defense could use some improvement and he’ll need to fill out more. Then again, at 18 years old, he has plenty of time for both.
14. Regan Kelly-D: The player the Buds received from the Flyers for Chris MacAllister is playing in his sophomore year for Paul Pooley’s Friars at Providence and taking on a leadership role on the young blueline already. He’s a typical Leaf rearguard prospect: mobile, pucksmart, and positionally sound. While he doesn’t have a cannon from the point, his shot is tippable and very accurate and he knows how to slip his check in the offensive zone so as to give others a good target. Worth keeping an eye on.
15. Kyle Wellwood-C: Could Wellwood be another Brad Boyes in the making? It’s still a tough call to make. For one, no one really knows what Brad Boyes is going to be in a couple of years, so comparisons are hard. That said, many credited Wellwood’s huge year in 2000-2001 to his linemates and while it is true he is not on top of the leader board this season, it is also true he has lost some serious time with a shoulder injury. As it stands he’s averaging just under a point and a half a game playing without the big name wingers he had last season. This one looks like a climber.
16. Nicolas Corbeil-C: He was compared to Mike Peca by his former coach Jos Canale, but the Sherbrooke Castors forward might be closer to Darcy Tucker, both in demeanor and offensive output. With 23 goals in only 35 games, it looks like he’ll easily surpass his Q high of 33 which he attained last year in 68 tilts. At 5’11” and 172 pounds, he’s going to have to eat well to make the bigs, but he has the wheels, the vision, and the mean streak to stick, if he can remain disciplined and improve his defensive game.
17. Sebastien Centomo-G: This is probably the feel good story of the year as far as prospects go. Originally signed in 1999 as a free agent, Centomo wasn’t given much of a chance of doing anything with the club, especially after the drafting of Tellqvist and Jean-Francois Racine in the 3rd round of 2000. But thanks to an otherworldly start with the Memphis River Kings in the Central Hockey League, the 20 year old has found himself promoted to St. John’s in the AHL where he’s continuing to stand on his head.
18. Allan Rourke-D: Rourke came to The Rock last year as someone not expected to make much on an impact and ended up making one. However, now that the Augean Stables of career minor leaguers on the blueline has been cleaned out and the team has been counting on him to play a bigger role, he hasn’t taken the next step. Soon to be 22, there is still time for him to develop, but not as much as there is for others in the system.
19. Lubos Velebny-D: There is a lot to like about the young Slovak’s make-up. At 6’2″ and 196 pounds, it’s easy to envision the 18 year old stepping into the NHL one day as a 6’3″, 220 pound bruiser, especially seeing as he is never one to pass up the opportunity to plant someone. His skating is also not to be questioned and his shot, when it gets through, is a good one. However, if there is one thing that plagues him it is decision-making in pretty well every aspect of the game. From when to pinch in at the blueline to when to go for the big hit, he needs to learn the fine art of playing defense.
20. Christian Chartier-D: Like Allan Rourke, Chartier was an overage junior when he showed up at St. John’s with the reputation as a offensive defenseman who could skate well and possessed solid positioning in his own zone. So far though, despite the extra experience in the CHL, it’s been a pretty ho-hum campaign for the ex-WHLer. Again, like Rourke, he still has time to develop, but at the ages of 21/22 you’re looking for your blueliners to take some kind of step forward in their development, not stall in their tracks.