With former first rounders Joffrey Lupul and Mikael Holmqvist
graduating and other prospects emerging or regressing, this new edition of
Top 20 is quite a bit different from the previous incarnation.
1. Ryan Getzlaf, Calgary Hitmen
Getzlaf almost made the NHL team at training camp and has taken his mix
strength and offensive ability back to the NHL, where he is on pace for
career totals. He looks to be a second line center or better in the
2. Ilya Bryzgalov, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
The last time the Ducks had a goalie this hot in the AHL, his name was
Giguere. Bryzgalov has erased all doubts about his off year last year.
among the leaders in almost every goaltending statistic in the minors.
only thing holding him back is the impressive duo in Anaheim, but his
may force GM Bryan Murray to make a move.
3. Mark Popovic, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
According to GM Bryan Murray, Popovic could of made the Anaheim team as
seventh blueliner. The team would rather let him regularly in Cincinnati,
however. Anaheim, however, decided to acquire Todd Simpson in the
draft to fill in for an injured Keith Carney, and Popovic has been
unimpressive offensively so far in Cincy. A situation worth keeping an
4. Tim Brent, St. Michael’s Majors
Brent just keeps looking better and better. He’s playing extremely well
leading the St. Mike’s offense and also captained Team OHL to two wins
the Russian Selects in the RE/MAX Challenge. Brent could even be
to be part of Team Canada at the World Juniors. He still needs to be
to a contract.
5. Corey Perry, London Knights
One of the first players sent home from training camp this summer,
turned around to light the OHL on fire. Heading an impressive offensive
in London, Perry could be on Team Canada at the World Juniors. He’s
what some considered a questionable first round pick look like good
6. Chris Kunitz, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Despite a poor camp, Kunitz has picked it up in Cincy. The former Hobey
Baker finalist has no real flaws in his game and will also benefit from
being older then most prospects.
7. Joel Perreault, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Perreault was one of the early season leaders in scoring for
He’s slowed down since then, but this talented playmaker may compete
spot sooner then some expect.
8. Joel Stepp, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Stepp has gotten back on track after a wrist injury that bothered him
almost a year. He has provided strong two-way play for Cincy and looks
he could be an effective third-liner in the future for the Ducks.
9. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Parenteau had a strong camp, but was sent to Cincy to gain experience
work further on his game. The Ducks are taking it slow with this ninth
10. Tony Martensson, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Martensson is once again at the top of the Cincinnati scoring race. His
playmaking ability is once again serving him well.
11. Cory Pecker, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Pecker is once again starting slow, but he should pick it up like he
last year. He is helping the Baby Ducks in other ways, by playing his
role, which could eventually be his ticket to the NHL.
12. Igor Pohanka, San Diego Gulls
Unimpressive in Cincinnati, Pohanka was sent to San Diego of the ECHL.
was invisible there for a while, until recently when he had a 3 assist
13. Brandon Rogers, Michigan
Rogers continues to improve playing for Michigan. Now an alternate
he should continue his impressive development and join the Ducks
14. Juha Alen, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
So far unimpressive in Cincinnati, Alen will need to pick up his play
stick around. He has the talent, now all he needs to do is use
15. Brian Lee, Erie Otters
Lee could be the next solid stay-at-home blueliner for Anaheim. He had
game tryout with Cincinnati after the OHL season ended last year and
solid then. On pace for career offensive totals this year.
16. Shane Hynes, Cornell
Helping lead the Big Red offense in only his second year, Hynes has
forward potential. The sky is the limit and he should continue to
17. Vladimir Korsunov, Spartek Moscow
Once again, there was talk of bringing Korsunov over to North America
look and a possible contract, and once again, he remained in Russia.
Although it’s hard to say why Anaheim doesn’t appear to be interested
this hard-nosed blueliner, he needs to add offense to his game before
18. Nathan Saunders, Moncton Wildcats
A gritty defender and a leader in Moncton, Saunders was one of the most
impressive blue-line prospects at training camp. Started the season
on pace for career totals, he was named to Team QMJHL in the RE/MAX
19. Shane O’Brien, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Along with Saunders, O’Brien was the other eye-opener on defense for
Ducks at training camp. A solid, physical player, he missed part of the
season making sure a contract could be signed to play in Cincy this
20. Brian Gornick, Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
Although he has yet to play a game for Cincy this season, Gornick’s one
notable acheivement was when he was released to join the US National
team. Gornick helped the team win the 2003 Deutschland Cup.
Other impressive players are Francois Caron and Dirk
both off to good starts. Eddie Ferhi is having a little trouble
Cincinnati, and Bryzgalov is getting almost all the workload down
George Davis was sent back to the Halifax Mooseheads of the
after one exhibition game with San Diego of the ECHL.