Expect to hear the names of OHL defencemen called early and often at this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft. This is a bumper crop of fleet-footed, skilled players, no lumbering oafs here. NHL central scouting has seven OHL defencemen rated among their top 30 North American prospects. Compare this total with three from the Western league and one each for the Q and the NCAA. Here’s a quick look at this bumper crop (in alpha order):
A classic European-trained player, skating and puck skills are his best assets. Straight-away speed keeps opposing fore-checkers honest and lets him cheat a little in the offensive zone much like Brian Leetch. Outstanding lateral mobility makes him tough to beat wide and tough to defend when quarterbacking the PP. He makes crisp tape-to-tape breakout passes and handles the puck with confidence whether on the rush or the PP. Not a heavyweight, he doesn’t intimidate the opposition physically but does finish his checks and battles hard in the trenches. This Czech could use more Petr Svoboda-style grit in his game.
NCAA Players to make impact on drafts first day
By Carl TillesonAs this weekend’s NHL draft approaches, teams are busy finalizing who they will go after when they’re on the clock. More than ever before, these prospective draftees are coming from the college ranks. It wasn’t long ago that even the top college players were little more than an afterthought, not likely to be picked early on. These days however ,teams are looking more and more to the NCAAs for an impact player. Players such as Paul Kariya (Maine) and Chris Drury (Boston U) have starred as soon as they made the NHL. Other college players have provided teams the role players they needed to make a title run. New Jersey may never have won the Stanley Cup in 99-00 without the abilities of guys such as John Madden (Michigan), Jay Pandolfo (Boston U), and Brian Rafalski (Wisconsin). College hockey as a whole has provided the NHL with more talent than ever before. This year should be no different, as there are several players who could provide help to the teams drafting early on Saturday. The following is a quick look at the top 5 college players heading into this weekend’s draft. The numbers in the parantheses indicate the player’s CSS ranking.
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By: Alexander Shapiro
By: Eugene Belashchenko ( http://www.russianprospects.com)
Chistov: Russian Karya? That title does not intrigue me
the last month Avangard forward Stanislav Chistov moved into second place
amongst the most promising juniors of the world and now gives way to only Ilja
Kovalchuk. Yesterday Chistov was
phoned in Florida by SE correspondent.Read more»