International Scouting Services (ISS) presents the December edition of their rankings of the top 15 prospects for the 2006 NHL Draft:
- Phil Kessel, Center
- Michael Frolik, Right Wing
- Jonathan Toews, Forward
- Peter Mueller, Center
- James Sheppard, Left Wing
- Jordan Staal, Center
- Erik Johnson, Defense
- Bryan Little, Center
- Nicklas Backstrom, Center
- Bob Sanguinetti, Defense
- Jesse Joensuu, Right Wing
- David Ruzicka, Defense
- Alexander Vasyunov, Left Wing
- John DeGray, Defense
- Jiri Tlusty, Left Wing
Height: 6-0, Weight: 189, Current Team: University of Minnesota (WCHA)
Height: 6-1, Weight: 187, Current Team: Kladno (CZE)
Height: 6-1, Weight: 195, Current Team: University of North Dakota
Height: 6-2, Weight: 200, Current Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Height: 6-2, Weight: 201, Current Team: Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Height: 6-4, Weight: 209, Current Team: Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Height: 6-4, Weight: 222, Current Team: USNTDP (USA)
Height: 5-10, Weight: 194, Current Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Height: 6-0, Weight: 183, Current Team: Brynas (SWE)
Height: 6-2, Weight: 182, Current Team: Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Height: 6-4, Weight: 202, Current Team: Assat (FIN)
Height: 6-3, Weight: 178, Current Team: Kladno (CZE Jr.)
Height: 6-0, Weight: 187, Current Team: Yaroslavl (RUS)
Height: 6-4, Weight: 202, Current Team: Brampton Battalion (OHL)
Height: 6-1, Weight: 198, Current Team: Kladno (CZE)
Chris Stewart / Kingston (OHL)
Position: Right Wing, Height: 6-2, Weight: 227
The younger brother of Florida’s first rounder in 2002, Chris Stewart may ultimately turn into the better NHL player. He has been a late bloomer, but his combination of size, skill, strength and skating have transformed him into a legitimate first round pick in the 2006 Draft. Blessed with the same size and strength as his brother, he has demonstrated a tremendous passion throughout the year and has combined that with discipline to create a one man wrecking crew. As well, he possesses a heavy and accurate shot and the new rules make him very difficult to contain off the rush as well as driving to the net.
Tony Lagerstrom / Sodertalje SK Jr.
Position: Center, Height: 6-1, Weight: 187
Lagerstrom had periods during the recent 4 Nations Cup where he dominated and controlled the play. His physical tools are very impressive and, although we would like to see him display these traits on a more consistent basis, we feel that his overall skills will warrant a high pick in the next draft.
Bobby Hughes / Kingston (OHL)
Position: Center, Height: 5-11, Weight: 186
At ISS, we were slower than most to include Hughes as a solid prospect because we were never sure what his role would be at the next level. But we are now believers. He has excellent offensive instincts despite being below the 6-foot line. Hughes is very strong, which makes him a load to handle in front of the net.
Eric Gryba / Green Bay (USHL)
Position: Defense, Height: 6-4, Weight: 215
Eric Gryba isn’t spectacular in any one aspect of his game. But the big defenseman continues to impress with his complete game and his excellent foot speed. He is extremely mobile and looks almost unchallenged in the USHL with his overall talent. He has great size and he certainly isn’t fun to play against with his physique, strength and occasionally nasty disposition.
Stefan Ridderwall / Sweden
Position: Goaltender, Height: 6-1, Weight: 183
Ridderwall impressed ISS scouts with his stellar performance at the recent 4 Nation Cup tournament in Kuortane, Finland. He had an absolutely fantastic game against Team USA. In this game, Ridderwall made timely saves, big saves, with Finland having no reason to win this game other than his performance.
Ty Wishart / Prince George (WHL)
Position: Defense, Height: 6-5, Weight: 215
This behemoth has continued to get better with every viewing this year by combining great size, solid feet, a booming shot and his bone crushing hits. Other aspects of Wishart’s game that we love are his willingness to jump into the rush, his decision-making with the puck, and his crisp, flat outlet passes.
Oskar Osala / Mississauga (OHL)
Position: Center, Height: 6-4, Weight: 217
We believed that Osala would improve his draft stock by coming to North America to play for the Mississauga Icedogs because his overall game seemed to be suited to the OHL. Unfortunately, his early returns haven’t been impressive. The most disconcerting aspect is his spotty effort in games and, at times, his seeming disinterest. When he chooses to play hard, Osala has been very effective. But those moments are few and far between and, quite frankly, his team is suffering because of it. We at ISS have a ton of respect for Greg Gilbert and we are very concerned about Osala’s future if a bench boss with the pedigree of Gilbert can’t get the effort out of this big horse.
Michael Dupont / Baie-Comeau
Position: Goaltender, Height: 6-0, Weight: 175
Dupont doesn’t look like the same goaltender we viewed last year. He seems to let in at least one questionable goal every game. Overall, he appears to have lost confidence, as well as his ability to read the game. Dupont’s inconsistency has caused us to re-think our assessment of him, thus dropping him in our rankings.
ISS Preliminary rankings 2007 NHL Entry Draft
- Angelo Esposito, Center
- Nick Petrecki, Defense
- Mark Katic, Defense
- Colton Gillies, Center
- Sam Gagner, Right Wing
Height: 6-1, Weight: 170, Current Team: Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Height: 6-3, Weight: 205, Current Team: Omaha Lancers (USHL)
Height: 5-10, Weight: 179, Current Team: Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Height: 6-3, Weight: 182, Current Team: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Height: 5-10, Weight: 182, Current Team: Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
ISS – World Under-17 Hockey Challenge—Player Watch
Esposito is the cream of the crop among ‘89 forwards in North America. It is worth the price of admission just watching him skate, a combination of grace and power. A potential superstar.
Gagner’s great offensive skills and work ethic, combined with his strong leadership qualities, will make him one of the offensive leaders for Team Ontario. Captain material. Gagner competes hard and is an extremely smart hockey player. He is the son of former NHL forward Dave Gagner.
Luke has quietly entered into the upper class of young defensemen in the WHL. He has the rare combination of brains and brawn. Look for him to be a defensive stalwart back on the blueline for team Western.
Sonne will be the leader of a talented core of forwards bent on avenging last year’s loss to Team Western in the gold-medal game. Sonne may be one of the most complete players in this age group.
Maruna impressed scouts with his goal scoring ability at the recent Five Nations Cup in Huttwil, Switzerland. Maruna finished tied with teammate Ondrej Roman for the scoring lead, registering eight points in four games, including five goals. He is very dangerous on power play.
The best pure goal scorer in his age group. Doyle is a good skater with size and skill. His greatest asset is his shot; a pure sniper, with a shot recorded at 85 mph. He will push Patrice Cormier for the first overall selection in the 2006 QMJHL Midget Draft.
Van Riemsdyk, James
Van Riemsdyk is an offensive player who distributes the puck well and makes great decisions on the power play. He has a beautiful, long stride, excellent patience, a quick release, sweet hands and is strong on his skates.
Vartovnik is a smooth-skating forward, possessing good offensive skills. This highly talented forward will be counted on to be one of the offensive leaders for Team Slovak.
Ruderer was one of Team Germany’s best players in the 2005 Five Nations Cup in Huttwil, Switzerland. He led his team in scoring with four points in four games. Ruderer will be relied on heavily for his ability to contribute offensively and play in key situations. He is a dangerous finisher who drives hard to the net.
Martikainen is a small, creative playmaker. He possesses soft hands, a quick shot, and good vision of the ice. In order to improve on last year’s 6th place finish, Team Finland will be counting on him to be their offensive catslyst.
ISS Tournament Reports
Vitaly Karamnov / Center
Height: 6-1, Weight: 177
Team captain, impressed ISS scouts with his strong performance at the recent Four Nations ‘89 Tournament held in Prievidza, Slovakia. Karamnov has an excellent combination of grit and skill. He is an exceptional player who can be used in any game situation, as evidenced by his being a member of both first power play and penalty killing units. His speed and work ethic created scoring opportunities for his linemates throughout the tournament. Karamnov finishes his fore-checking with hard and accurate hits and also threw a couple open ice hits in the neutral zone. He is a natural sniper, and does a great job creating space for himself. Karamnov doesn’t need much time or space to get his shot away, and he is very much a quick strike opportunist around the opponent’s net.
Whitby Silver Stick Minor Midget AAA Tournament
Steven Stamkos / Center
Birthdate: 2/4/90, Height: 5-11, Weight: 166
Stamkos had a phenomenal tournament, having the look of a potential professional superstar. He reminds us of a young Joe Nieuwendyk. Stamkos is a finisher, and protects the puck well. He Has good vision, is smart with the puck, and reads the play very well. A top-end offensive prospect.
Monctonian Midget AAA Challenge
Luke Adams / Center
Height: 6-1, Weight: 198
Adams played well in the Prospect game, but really shone in round robin play. He is a big kid with good puck skills and hockey sense. He has a great feel for the game, and knows where to go and what to do. Possessing great potential, Adams has got great size, a great work ethic and composure, and his vision on the ice is amazing — he sees things most players don’t. He is mature for his age, and perhaps most importantly, he’s a great team player.
Medicine Hat Hounds Major Bantam Tournament
Landon Ferraro / Burnaby Winter Club
Birthdate: 8/8/91, Height: 5-11, Weight: 165
Ferraro was definitely the purest goal scorer in the tournament. He has great bloodlines, as his father Ray Ferraro scored a record 108 goals in the WHL, and also had a great NHL career. The younger Ferraro is a very good skater and has a high battle level. He loves to score and does it at the right times. In the semi-finals, he scored a hat trick. In the finals, he scored a breakaway goal to seal the game and make it 4-1. Ferraro possesses a skill that can not be taught- goal scoring. He will score at the next level. He’ll be an early first round pick in the WHL bantam draft.
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The ISS Future NHL Stars Report is designed to fulfill the needs of all hockey fans and fantasy draft participants. Our monthly bulletin will provide you with in-depth material. We publish nine issues per year (minimum eight pages per issue) beginning October 15th and ending in June.
• Ranking of the Top 50 NHL 2006 Entry Draft prospects
• Ranking of the Top 50 NHL Prospects (Under age 25)
• ISS profiles of the top 50 prospects for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
• Inside information from the hockey scouting community
• Future Watch – spotlight on top prospects for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
• Spotlight on upcoming 2006 CHL Priority Drafts (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)