International Scouting Services (ISS) presents their top ten 2005 NHL Draft prospects for the month of May 2005:
- Sidney Crosby, Center
- Benoit Pouliot, Left Wing
- Gilbert Brule, Center
- Jack Johnson, Defense
- Bobby Ryan, Right Wing
- Anze Kopitar, Center
- Marc Staal, Defense
- Ryan O’Marra, Center
- Marek Zagrapan, Center
- Luc Bourdon, Defense
Team: Rimouski (QMJHL), Height: 5-11, Weight: 180
Team: Sudbury (OHL), Height: 6-3, Weight: 183
Team: Vancouver (WHL), Height: 5-10, Weight: 187
Team: NTDP Under-18 (USA), Height: 6-1, Weight: 197
Team: Owen Sound (OHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 213
Team: Sodertalje (SWE), Height: 6-2, Weight: 200
Team: Sudbury (OHL), Height: 6-3, Weight: 197
Team: Erie (OHL), Height: 6-2, Weight: 182
Team: Chicoutimi (QMJHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 195
Team: Val d’Or (QMJHL), Height: 6-2, Weight: 205
Dan Bertram / Boston College
Position: Right Wing, Height: 5-11, Weight: 175
Dan Bertram secured his first round ranking by ISS with his strong performance at the World Under-18 Championships. He will drive through the clutching and chopping and is not deterred by physical play and traffic. Bertram has soft, quick hands and is good in tight spaces. He is extremely shifty and creative with the puck, though speed is his best attribute. In general, Bertram seems to make things happen when on the ice, playing bigger than his size. He needs to add more muscle in order to withstand the physical pounding on smaller ice surfaces, but has lots of heart and is willing to go through the wall. Bertram finished with four goals in six games and was second in shots on goal with 24.
Taylor Chorney / Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Position: Defense, Height: 5-11, Weight: 182
Taylor Chroney enjoyed a solid World Under-18 tournament. He is undersized for the defensive position, but makes up for it with tremendous hockey sense and puck-moving skills. Chorney is a terrific skater, and is usually a sound positional defender. He plays a very heady game and is mature beyond his 18 years of age. Chorney is not a physical defender but projects to be a top-four defenseman at the NHL level–mainly because of his sound hockey sense and ability to lead the transition game.
Jeff Frazee / USA U-18 Team
Position: Goal, Height: 6-0, Weight: 180
Jeff Frazee was a standout at the Under-18 WJC tournament. He was sensational in posting one shutout, a 1.33 goals-against average and .958 save percentage in 6 games, helping to lead his team to the Gold medal. Frazee outperformed other top ranked netminders Carey Price & Tuukka Rask. Frazee is very athletic with great flexibility. He never gives up on a play, and has the ability to make acrobatic saves. This clutch player sees the puck well through traffic, plays relaxed, and moves well from side-to-side on the pass. Frazee is quickly gaining a reputation for being a big-game goaltender who is capable of stealing a victory for his team. His confidence is at an all time high and his rebound control and ability to steal games have resulted in him moving up our rankings this month.
Martin Hanzal / Ceske Budejovice
Position: Center, Height: 6-4, Weight: 194
Martin Hanzal has all the tools for stardom: size, strength, skating ability, vision, soft hands, and a great feel for the game. He’s a completely different player now than he was seven months ago. Hanzal is a dominant power center who was easily one of the best players in the World Under-18 Championships, where he elevated his game to another level. The Czech pivot projects to be a first line NHL center, with both size and an impressive skill set. If you let him get up a head of steam through the neutral zone, it’s all over. Hanzal is a huge horse, and has the strength to hold off checkers and still get a hard shot away. He has a great drag move, quick release, and great patience around the net. Hanzal needs to fill out his 6-4 frame in order to maximize his ability to dominate the corners.
Adam Hobson / Spokane Chiefs
Position: Center, Height: 6-0, Weight: 200
Adam Hobson has been opening some eyes with his combination of size, skills and skating. He was dynamic in the Under-18 World Championships, despite being buried on the fourth line. Hobson quickly earned his way into increased ice time and a key role. He has good speed, soft hands and tenacity. Considering he went from not being among our top 100 to early third round, that puts him in ISS Rising list this month. Hobson may be limited to a third-line or checking-line center role in the NHL, but he is “team first” guy with a great work ethic who has been well coached.
Ondrej Pavelec / Kladno Jr.
Position: Goal, Height: 6-2, Weight: 165
Ondrej Pavelec was outstanding against the U.S. in the round robin of the Under-18 tournament, giving his team a chance to win. He was also the difference in the win against Russia, and against Canada Pavelec again kept the Czechs in the game. He has greatly improved his draft stock by proving capable of playing against top competition. Pavelec was outstanding in posting one shutout, a 2.05 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in seven games. He has tremendous upside and displays the ability to steal games for his team. Pavelec is very athletic, with quick legs.
David Kuchejda / Ceske Budejovice Jr.
Position: Left Wing, Height: 5-10, Weight: 189
Next (and for this one you’d better strap into your seats real tight, ’cause we’re about to get a little heated under the collar) is the case of talented winger David Kuchejda. As they used to say about Reggie Jackson, ‘There isn’t enough mustard in the world to cover this hot dog.’ His freakish sideshow of diving at the mere thought of being touched would cause scouts to believe they were at a soccer game. Kuchejda brings some offense to the table, however, he is a high-risk/high-reward player for the North American game, mainly because of his acting and diminutive stature.
Vitaly Anikeyenko / Yaroslavl Lokomotive-2
Position: Defense, Height: 6-3, Weight: 194
Vitaly Anikeyenko is another draft-day wild card, mainly because there isn’t a consensus among scouts with regards to his upside potential. At the World Under-18 tournament he played on the second power play & penalty-killing units. He struggled against some of the smaller, shiftier forwards and needs work on his lateral mobility. Anikeyenko must continue to improve his defensive-zone coverage and to refine his decision-making skills.
Iliya Zubov / Chelyabinsk Traktor
Position: Center, Height: 5-9, Weight: 165
Others love Iliya Zubov’s tools and potential, but we question his passive, uninvolved play. He shows no emotion or fire. He does have excellent skills and creativity, but we’d like to see him be more willing to commit to getting hit to gain the puck or make a play. Zubov has excellent hands and an accurate shot, and knows where to go in order to score goals. But he lacks size and can be easily intimidated, so Zubov may have trouble on smaller ice surfaces in North America.
Be sure to check out ISS’s preview of the QMJHL Draft. You can order yours by going to this link- ISS QMJHL Draft Guide.