International Scouting Services’s preliminary list of the top draft eligible prospects for the NHL’s 2005 Entry Draft in Ottawa next June 25-26.
- Sidney Crosby, Center
- Jack Johnson, Defenseman
- Gilbert Brule, Center
- Marek Zagrapan, Center
- Ryan O’Marra, Center
- Guillame Latendresse, Left Wing
- Nicklas Bergfors, Right Wing
- Jakub Kindl, Defenseman
- Benoit Pouliot, Left Wing
- Alex Bourret, Center
Team: Rimouski (QMJHL), Height: 5-10.5, Weight: 180
Team: USA Under-18 (USNTDP), Height: 6-0, Weight: 197
Team: Vancouver (WHL), Height: 5-10, Weight: 175
Team: Chicoutimi (QMJHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 183
Team: Erie (OHL), Height: 6-1.5, Weight: 182
Team: Drummondville (QMJHL), Height: 6-2, Weight: 214
Team: Sodertalje (SWE), Height: 5-10, Weight: 189
Team: Kitchener (OHL), Height: 6-3, Weight: 191
Team: Sudbury (OHL), Height: 6-3, Weight: 185
Team: Lewiston (QMJHL), Height: 5-10, Weight: 210
Benoit Pouliot / Sudbury (OHL)
For the second straight month this young, rising star finds his way into our Rising list. This year’s version of Andrew Ladd, Pouliot is a classic late bloomer. With 26 points in 26 games, Pouliot is quickly establishing himself as an offensive threat throughout the OHL.
Matt D’Agostini / Guelph (OHL)
D’Agostini is starting to make believers out of ISS scouts. After making the club as a rookie walk on, he’s been Guelph’s best forward on most nights. D’Agostini is not a flashy guy, but is always on the puck and plays well in all three zones. He is a good skater who is able to create room for his line both off the rush and in the offensive zone. ISS likes his work ethic and his ability to make things happen. He has a great sense for the puck, and a nice set of hands that allow him to make plays in traffic. He does a good job at drawing the check and then moving the puck to open ice.
Brian Foster / New Hampshire (EJHL)
NHL teams entering the upcoming draft with a need to add to their organization’s depth chart at the goaltending position might well want to consider Brian Foster. Foster plays with ice water in his veins and never gets rattled, has been consistent game in and game out and has given his team a chance to win most nights. He currently has a .937 save percentage and a miniscule 2.07 GAA.
Brendan Mikkelson / Portland (WHL)
After his coming-out-party at the 2004 World U-18 Junior Cup, expectations will be high for this gifted offensive defenseman. Mikkelson will be a steady, reliable defensemen in the NHL. While he is proficient in many areas, the outlook for his NHL career will brighten if he accelerates the development of one facet of his game to a superior level.
Marc-Andre Gragnani / PEI Rockets (QMJHL)
Gragnani is starting to get the attention of scouts. He is a smooth skater who likes to jump up into the play. Gragnani has gotten bigger and seems to be playing with both more confidence and a bit of an edge. At this stage, he’s solid offensively but needs to get stronger defensively. Gragnani has the potential to challenge at the next level.
Jack Skille / USA Under-18 (USNTDP)
Skille is off to a great start, and leads the U-18 NTDP in scoring with 25 points. Skille’s most notable asset is his Midas touch around the net. He is one of the best pure snipers in his draft class. Skille possesses an unbelievable set of hands, and is deadly accurate from the slot. Scouts will be looking for a more consistent effort from Skille night in and night out, though.
Luc Bourdon / Val d’Or (QMJHL)
Bourdon is one of the safest picks in this upcoming draft. He’ll be the third or fourth defenseman on an NHL team for 15 years. He showed promise in the defensive zone last season and may be ready to increase production from the back end. Bourdon is a bruising defender and is one of the QMJHL’s brightest young prospects. He is a tough, physical defender who can be nasty at times.
Adam Hobson / Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Hobson is a well-rounded player, but is an average skater that lacks the 5th-gear speed. His acceleration will need to improve. He is able to play the body well and is willing to battle in the corners to win possession of the puck. He is able to score when a chance presents itself. His two-way play will help his stock as a potential professional.
Andrew Andricopoulos / Quebec (QMJHL)
To say Andricopoulos is struggling would be an understatement. His offensive skills are obvious. But he has to get out of this slump, produce some points, and regain his coach’s confidence. Andricopoulos’s lack of size, coupled with his suspect defensive play, may be enough to scare off NHL clubs come June.
Jason Lynch / Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Lynch is a big physical player. He has several deficiencies, the most important being skating. He is an average skater but definitely needs work on his agility. Luckily Lynch is big enough that he is able to eliminate players along the boards, but he has difficulty with speedy opponents that move with speed through the neutral zone. Overall, Lynch has a long way to go before making the next step.