International Scouting Services 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
- Jakub Kindl, Defenseman
- Ryan O’Marra, Center
- Bobby Ryan, Right Wing
- Benoit Pouliot, Left Wing
- Nicklas Bergfors, Right Wing
- Alex Bourret, Center
Team: Rimouski (QMJHL), Height: 5-11, Weight: 180
Team: USA Under-18 (USNTDP), Height: 6-1, Weight: 197
Team: Vancouver (WHL), Height: 5-10, Weight: 175
Team: Chicoutimi (QMJHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 183
Team: Kitchener (OHL), Height: 6-3, Weight: 191
Team: Erie (OHL), Height: 6-2, Weight: 182
Team: Owen Sound (OHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 206
Team: Sudbury (OHL), Height: 6-3, Weight: 185
Team: Sodertalje (SWE), Height: 5-11, Weight: 189
Team: Lewiston (QMJHL), Height: 5-10, Weight: 210
Newcomer’s to ISS December Top 10
If Ryan’s early season performance is any indication, his hard work over the summer has paid off substantially in helping him get prepared for the upcoming season. It is evident that he has the capability to score but his greatest challenge will be his ability to play well on a consistent basis. Ryan is a natural goal scorer blessed with a great set of hands and quick wrist shot. He is strong on his skates, and has improved his foot speed. Ryan is a real character / team leader. He sees the ice well, has good anticipation, and can be hard to handle in the corners and in front of the net. Has the potential to be a power forward with the hands of a sniper.
Bourret may only be 5-10, however at 210 lbs. he is built like a tank, and hits like a truck. Perhaps the most “feared hitter” in the QMJHL, Bourret currently is leading the Lewiston MAINEiacs in scoring with 44 points, good for fourth place in the QMJHL scoring race. He’s third in assists with 27. We like 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. Bourret goes into the tough areas of the ice willingly and takes an aggressive approach to any one-on-one situation.
Johnson moves up the draft ladder!
Jack Johnson / USA Under 18
Johnson was without a doubt the single most dominating player at the recent Four Nations tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Johnson’s most notable asset is his unique combination of skill and toughness. He has a gritty, take-no-prisoners style and demonstrates these qualities on a consistent basis. He can control the play. When needed, he can jump into the play with his good offensive instincts. On occasion, Johnson has a tendency to try to accomplish too much. Remaining poised and consistent are the ingredients that will make him an excellent professional.
Jeff May / Prince Albert Raiders
May was a late bantam draft that has been a pleasant surprise for the Raiders. He has good size and mobility for a big player. He has progressed very quickly since his first year in the WHL. He could be a sleeper at the draft. May has demonstrated a willingness to jump into the play and has been able to put some offensive points on the board. He will be counted on this year to help out the offense. May is a smooth skater who can make the first pass. In general, he has shown he has good potential. May is another player whose draft placement will be determined by his play over the remainder of the season. If he continues his current pace look for him to jump up in the upcoming rankings. ISS currently ranks May 69th overall.
Teemu Laakso / Finland WJC
Laakso is a very competitive player. He’s involved in the play in all 3 zones. Laakso skates a little bent over, but this does not hamper his outstanding mobility. He likes to pinch, and chooses his spots well. Laakso gaps-up, transitions well, contains opposing forwards with his feet, and plays angles well. He is physical in close quarters, and has good balance and strength. With the puck, he has a low panic factor. Laakso makes good decisions with the puck, and carries it well at the right times. He has a good one-timer on the power play and a bomb of a slapshot when he has time. He is currently ranked 21st overall by ISS. Look for Laakso to run the power play for Finland at this month’s WJC in Grand Forks, ND.
Blair Jones / Red Deer (WHL)
Jones has jumped out of the gate this year with a great start. He looks primed to have a breakout year as he has improved his speed and quickness. Jones sees the ice well and contributes defensively. His two-way play will help his stock as a potential professional.
Philipp Gogulla / Krefelder
The newest member of ISS top 100. Gogulla had an eye opening performance at the recent Four Nations tournament. Every year in the scouting industry there are a few players that come out of nowhere and exceed all expectations, with one such player being Philip Gogulla. The solid two-way power forward type, Gogulla was Germany’s best player at last month’s Four Nations Tournament in Prievidza, Slovakia.
Miika Lahti / JYP Jyvaskyla
At the recent Four Nations tournament in Ann Arbor Lahti was mostly invisible. Last season he looked to be one of the top ‘87 prospects in Europe. Less than a year later, however, it would appear we overrated his abilities. What happens between a player’s underage and draft year? It seems 16-year-old players play with no inhibitions, and then, as they reach their draft year, they play less instinctively and as a result they do not perform anywhere near their potential.
Patrick McNeil / Saginaw (OHL)
McNeil sported a combined -9 in 2 recent games. To say that he is struggling would be an understatement. McNeil’s offensive skills are obvious, but he has to get out of this slump, start producing and regain his coach’s confidence.
Michael Iafrate / Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Iafrate isn’t very big at 5’9, and will need to get some games in to see how he handles challenges. His goaltending style is 75% butterfly, 25% reaction. He has good lateral movement, and recovers quickly when he goes down. With teammate Ryan Munce seeing most of the action, it may just be a learning year for Iafrate.