WHL: 2003 Lethbridge Prospects

By Dustin Nielson

The Lethbridge Hurricanes may have missed the playoffs this season but that doesn’t mean the NHL scouts weren’t watching. Four Hurricane players were ranked in the Central Scouting Bureau mid season set and all four of them have a shot at being picked up by an NHL Club in the 2003 Draft.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook has slowly been moving up the lists of scouts around the hockey world. Seabrook started slow this season but when he got rolling everyone saw the capabilites this young man has. The 6’2″ 221 lb defender is solid as a rock on the Hurricanes blueline. His -14 doesn’t tell the whole story as he played on a weak Hurricanes squad. Seabrook performed extremely well as he stole the spotlight from fellow blueline propsects at the Under 18 World Championships last month. Seabrook had 3 goals, 3 helpers and put together an impressive +11. The Hurricanes captain was awarded a spot on the tourney all-star team along with the honours of top defenseman. The term ‘complete package’ desribes Seabrook well. Whether it be a point man for the power play, a puck rusher or a hard-hitting stay at home defenceman that you’re looking for Seabrook answers the call.

Seabrook’s mid-season ranking – 25th Skater NA

Andy Thompson accompanies Seabrook on the blueline for the Hurricanes. Thompson was eligible for last year’s draft but was never picked due to some personal troubles he had with the Kootenay Ice. This season he left the troubles behind him and put in a great season for the Hurricanes. Thompson will never be known as an offensive threat. He makes in money in front of his own net and in the corners. Thompson is the definition of a stay at home defenceman who constantly is working on his offensive game, which lead to 25 points this season for the Canes. If the bruising blueliner who loves to drop the gloves improves his skating he could develop into a 4th-6th defender in the NHL.

Thompson’s mid-season ranking – 161st Skater NA

Forward Martin Krupka who was one of two Euros in the Canes line-up this season. Krupka saw limited ice time during the first half of the season, but took a regular shift during the second half. He’s a shifty winger who likes to go into the corners and dictate the play. He has good size (6’2″) and does everything well but nothing exceptionally. A couple more years of development and he could become a decent pro hockey player.

Krupka’s mid-season ranking – 165th Skater NA

Nick Tarnasky came to the Hurricanes in a mid-season trade with the Kelowna Rockets. Tarnasky escaped from a jam-packed Rockets squad and found the ice time he wanted with the Hurricanes. He surpised many with Lethbridge as he stepped in and was a solid power forward to a team that was desperately searching for one. Tarnasky has great size already at 6’2″ 218 lbs and a beautiful set of hands. The hands created many scoring opportunities for Tarnasky but he just could not finish. The ability to finish will come with time and time is something he will certainly get with the Hurricanes next season. Tarnasky used the trade from Kelowna to Lethbridge to increase his draft stock which is something that should be noticable when the CSB Final Rankings are released.

Tarnasky’s mid-season ranking – 203rd Skater NA