ISS Top 30, Risers and Fallers, January 2012

By Int'l Scouting Services

Photo: Despite a recent knee injury suffered in the WJC, Nail Yakupov remains one of the top rated prospects eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft. (Photo courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

Name Pos Birthdate S/C Ht. Wt. Team League

1. Grigorenko, Mikhail, RW 5/16/94 L 6.03.25 200 Québec QMJHL
2. Yakupov, Nail, LW 10/6/93 L 5.10.5 189 Sarnia OHL
3. Forsberg, Filip, RW 8/13/94 R 6.01 176 Leksands SweAl
4. Trouba, Jacob, RD 2/26/94 R 6.02 196 USA Under-18 NTDP
5. Murray, Ryan, LD 9/27/93 L 6.00.5 201 Everett WHL
6. Dumba, Matt, RD 7/25/94 R 5.11.75 183 Red Deer WHL
7. Gaunce, Brendan, C 3/25/94 L 6.02 215 Belleville OHL
8. Rielly, Morgan, LD 3/9/94 L 5.11.5 190 Moose Jaw WHL
9. Reinhart, Griffin, LD 1/24/94 L 6.03.75 207 Edmonton WHL
10. Maatta, Olli, LD 8/22/94 L 6.01.5 202 London OHL
11. Ceci, Cody, RD 12/21/93 R 6.02.5 207 Ottawa OHL
12. Collberg, Sebastian, RW 2/23/94 R 5.11 Vastra SweJE
13. Athanasiou, Andreas, C 8/6/94 L 6.00 179 London OHL
14. Aberg, Pontus, LW 9/23/93 R 5.11 187 Djurgarden SweE
15. Koekkoek, Slater, LD 2/18/94 L 6.02 184 Peterborough OHL
16. Maidens, Jarrod, C 3/4/94 L 6.00.5 178 Owen Sound OHL
17. Finn, Matthew, LD 2/24/94 L 6.00.25 195 Guelph OHL
18. Galchenyuk, Alexander, RW 2/12/94 L 6.00.5 198 Sarnia OHL
19. Faksa, Radek, LW 1/9/94 L 6.03 202 Kitchener OHL
20. Skjei, Brady, LD 3/26/1994 L 6.03 203 USA Under-18 NTDP
21. Pouliot, Derrick, D 1/16/94 L 5.11.25 186 Portland WHL
22. Hertl, Tomas, LW 11/12/93 L 6.02 198 pounds Slavia CzeE
23. Matteau, Stefan, LW 2/23/94 L 6.01 210 USA Under-18 NTDP
24. Girgensons, Zemgus, F 1/5/94 L 6.01.25 201 Dubuque USHL
25. Matheson, Mike, LD 2/27/94 L 6.01.25 180 Dubuque USHL
26. Sissons, Colton, C/R 11/5/93 L 6.01 189 Kelowna WHL
27. Kerdiles, Nicholas, C/L 1/11/94 L, 6.01.5 200 USA Under-18 NTDP
28. Wilson, Thomas, RW 3/29/94 R 6.03.5 203 Plymouth OHL
29. Slepyshev, Anton, LW 5/13/94 R 6.02 187 Novokuznetsk KHL
30. Bystrom, Ludvig, LD 7/29/94 L 6.00.75 208 Modo SweE


Andrei Vasilevski, G, Tolpar Ufa

Already, arguably one of Russia‘s most accomplished and highly touted goaltending prospects, in recent memory, Vasilevski managed to amplify the hype already surrounding him as one of the best young goaltenders for this year’s NHL draft. Was instrumental in Russia making it to the gold medal game. In that game, he was benched in favor of Andrei Makarov. Vasilevksi, who was a candidate for top goaltender, took that very well and proved that he is capable of checking his ego and following a game plan. Expect him to be one of the first 2 goaltenders chosen in this year’s NHL entry draft in Pittsburgh.

Tomas Hertl, F, Slavia Praha HC

Hertl continues to surprise and impress scouts with his play. This WJC was no different. Hertl tied for the team scoring lead putting up 5 points in 6 tournament games and his play outshined that of fellow first time NHL draft eligible prospect, Radek Faksa.

Jacob Trouba, D, USNDT

Trouba continues to impress but somehow still seems to be underrated and undervalued. Apart from Jon Merrill, Trouba was easily the most impressive American defender, and although the team had a disappointing result, their blueline was hardly to fault. Trouba’s style translates very well to the pro game, especially the NHL style of game and he continues to push closer and closer to being NHL ready.

Nikita Gusev, F, CSKA Moscow

An undrafted prospect, Gusev strutted his skill set very well during the WJC and was arguably Russia’s most consistent offensive forward throughout the tournament. He is explosive, intelligent and dynamic with an off shot one timer that few goaltenders in any league would be able to handle. He is certainly on the radar now and should garner some early round attention as he continues to dominate the top Russian junior league in scoring while developing with his stints in the KHL.

Stefan Matteau, F, Blainville-Boisbriad Armada

Matteau’s energetic and determined style makes him easy to notice and he is capable of putting up good offensive numbers as well. Certainly a player to keep an eye on over the coming months has emerging power forward potential and does a lot of the little things right every shift.

Matteau’s rights have been traded to Blainville-Boisbriand where his dad is coaching.

Mikko Vainonen, D, HIFK Helsinki

Team captain. Very smooth and polished defender is calm and collected. Rarely makes mistakes and makes great decisions both with and without the puck.

Vainonen put up an impressive goal and 3 assists in his 4 tournament games and was a stable and reliable force at both ends of the ice for the Finns during recent U-18 5 Nations in Switzerland

Tim Bozon, LW, Kamloops Blazers

The son of former NHLer Phillippe Bozon, has been turning heads as a 17 year old rookie with the Kamloops Blazers all season long and continues to up his game for the 2nd place Blazers. He has shown very little problems in adapting to the North American style of game. His pro potential is off the charts and ISS scouts feel he hasn’t even come close to displaying just how good he will actually be. Bozon put up 12 points in 12 games in December and has started off January with 7 points in his first 4 games and currently trails only Medicine Hat’s Hunter Shinkaruk for points by players under the age of 18 in the entire WHL.

Zach Stepan, F, Shattuck St. Mary’s

Stepan just continues to impress in every possible way. Stepan’s leadership abilities were a critical part of Shattuck-St. Mary’s success at the World Sport School Challenge in Calgary, Alberta. He shows well in faceoff dots. Good skater. Stays with puck well. Tough to shake on forecheck. Shows some great vision with the puck and has great set up man ability on the PP. Stepan lead tournament with 13 points in 4 games, including four goals against Slovakia.

Mike Winther, C, Prince Albert Raiders

ISS scouts have been high on Winther since his bantam days with the Airdrie Xtreme of the AMBHL, and while his skill set has justified our high praise for the young forward, his numbers haven’t always met expectations. Well that has changed in a big way over the past couple months and Winther is impressing even those who were his biggest fans before. Winther has a very well rounded technical skill set and has displayed tremendous quickness around the puck as well as improving second efforts. Winther should continue to climb the rankings should he maintain this development pace.

Malcolm Subban, G, Belleville Bulls

Malcom has incredible poise & composure in net and ability to always be square to the shooter. He was definitely on his game tonight and through his square play and challenging the shooters he made everything look so easy. Quick legs. In position before the shot is taken. Hands in right spot. Moves extremely well from post to post.

Martin Prochazka, F, HC Sparta Praha U18/U20

A good skater, that moves well, Prochazka can beat defensemen wide. He is explosive and intense when he’s at his best but he takes shifts off from time to time. Prochazka has the ability to sneak into open areas in front of net undetected and proves to be force in front of the goal. Prochazka’s best moment of the tournament was certainly when he scored the game winner against Germany on a breakaway.

Ville Pokka, D, Karpat

Was a bit shaky to start of the tournament but got better and better as the games wore on and was arguably the best Finnish defender in their bronze medal showdown with Canada. Pokka did nothing to tarnish his reputation as a potential 1st rounder in this year’s NHL draft and certainly won over a lot of scouts and GMs with his timely versatility and poise.

Niklas Tikkinen, C, Blues U18/U20

A very smooth skater that is always in motion and has great pivot skills. QB on PP for Finns during recent U-18 5 Nations in Switzerland and played with poise and confidence. Head is always up, he always knows what’s going on, good overview. He made some unbelievable plays from the blueline on the powerplay. Showed good puck control.

Zane Jones, LW, Victoria Royals

Jones has been impressive in several recent ISS viewings. Potential is the big draw with Jones, as he has a great package of size, skill and compete. His skating needs improvement however he has emerging power forward potential and does a lot of the little things right every shift.

The six-foot-three, 205-pounder was assessed a two-game suspension by the WHL for boarding major and game misconduct.

Jeremy Boyce Rotevall, LW/C, Timra

An undrafted Swedish grinder, ISS scouts were thrilled to see JBR chosen as a last minute injury replacement for Pontus Aberg. One of the biggest surprises of the 2011 draft was that no NHL team selected Boyce-Rotevall. This tournament was another opportunity for him to showcase his abilities and remedy his undrafted status. He played his role to perfection throughout the tournament and was a feisty, pesky forechecking presence game in and game out.

Erik Thorell, LW, Farjestad

An undrafted player on a Swedish WJC roster. Thorell was impressive in a variety of different roles during the tournament and his work ethic and determination created a ton of opportunities. Although he’s not the biggest player, he engages and thrusts himself into battles and high traffic areas consistently and was able to come out the victor on more occasions than not. Thorell is a player who may have earned himself another look from NHL clubs with his performance at this event.


Milan Kolena, RW, MHC Martin U20

Team captain. A pretty quick skater that plays a physical game. Doesn’t show exceptional skills. Has plenty of skill, but is soft and for every one good game he plays, he’s invisible in three others. Has trouble in his own zone as he loses his man a lot. Tends to watch the play. A player that will have a tough time to reach the highest levels of hockey.

Martin Frk, RW, Halifax Mooseheads

His skating has never been strength however in recent viewings he really seems to be laboring out there. Out for most of the year with a concussion, Frk was already on a lot of scouts radars and was a favorite conversation piece amongst the scouting community coming into the season. His much anticipated return from his injury was expected to vault him back into the early half of the 1st round discussion but his early play since returning has been ordinary at best. Add to that his departure from the Czech World junior team and the questions are building around the talented and gritty Czech forward. Frk is a love him or hate him type of prospect and will need to produce in the stretch run of the season if he wants to find himself rising back to the cream of crop again.

Karel Plasil, D, HC Ceske Budejovice U18

An offensive-minded defenseman that likes to join the rush, Plasil showed some good rushing ability with the puck. He has strong puck protection and is able to create space for teammates with the puck. Even though he has the offensive skills to he did not play on the power play unit. Defensively he can be a bit frail, losing battles against physically weaker players and backing down from physical play a little too often. Did not take advantage of his long reach by taking away passing lines effectively. In the second game against Germany he was in the line up but didn’t play a shift. A surprising tournament from a player that had shown well in some previous viewings.

Gianluca Curcuruto, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Much more was expected from Curcuruto by S.S. Marie’s when they selected him with 1st Round Pick, 14th Overall in 2010 draft. The stall of his development at this point is a real reason for concern and unless he can right the ship quickly he is danger of falling far down the draft depth chart.