This is the first of three reports that will be issued regarding the current play and analysis of Future Coyotes. The second report will be issued on centers in the organization with the third report being on defense and goalies. If you have any questions or comments on any players you can e-mail me or post a message below. Thanks and Enjoy!
#1 Frantisek Lukes – St. Michael’s Majors – (36 GP, 18 G, 25 A, 43 P, 30 PIM, +15)
For a eighth round draft pick, Lukes has been a real surprise. He is fourth on the team and scoring and is tied for a team lead in game-winning goals with four. If he continues at this pace, look for him to be in Springfield possibly next year.
#2 Ramzi Abid – Springfield Falcons (30 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 P, 97 PIM, -6)
Abid got off to a real slow start but has picked up his play and his scoring of lately. If Abid receives constant ice time and Marc Potvin, the Falcons head coach, doesn’t make him a healthy scratch, look for him to keep his scoring consistency up.
#3 Brad Ralph – Mississippi Sea Wolves (17 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 P, 12 PIM, -6)
Ralph has had an injury plagued first half of the season and looks to pick it up for the second half of the season. As long as he stays healthy for the last 30+ games of the season, his scoring production should pick up along with his overall play.
#4 Robert Francz – Frankfurt Lions (31 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, 86 PIM, -4)
Francz has had a real slow season after returning to Germany this year. Francz season has been disappointing and doesn’t look like it will be going up-hill from where it is now.
Overall look: The Coyotes have horrible depth at this position and may want to use a high draft pick at this position or look to move someone from either center or right wing over to the left side. Grade: C-
#1 Fredrik Sjostrom – Calgary Hitmen (34 GP, 12 G, 17 A, 29 P, 43 PIM, +5)
Sjostrom has been scoring in huge streaks this year and has been real cold ever since he left for the World Junior Championships. The Coyotes should take time in developing Sjostrom as he has the potential to be a superstar in this league.
#2 Ruslan Zainullan – Ak Bars Kazan (Stats Unavailable)
Zainullan has not had a good showing at all this year, especially with Ak Bars. As with Sjostrom, you need to give Zainullan time to develop and should come over from Russia a lot quicker then Tatrinov will.
#3 Alexander Tatarinov – Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) (24 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 P, 8 PIM, E)
Tatarinov has had a decent first half of the season this year with Lokomotiv. He needs to continue to pick up his play and improve. Look for him to move to North America within the next two-three years with a shot at making the Coyotes team within that time.
#4 Branko Radivojevic – Springfield Falcons (39 GP, 7 G, 15 A, 22 P, 43 PIM, +1)
Radivojevic has has a good start to the first half and will look to continue it with the Falcons. He has received a considerable amount of well deserved ice time this year. Branko chances of making the NHL will come within the next couple years.
#5 Scott Polaski – Colorado College (22 GP, 0 G, 6 A, 6 P, 18 PIM, N/A)
Polaski has had a fair season with Colorado College so far. He has yet to recorded a goal this season. Polaski is still in college and will not see the NHL for probably four or five years at the most.
#6 Sami Venalainen – Tappara Tampere (39 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 P, 20 PIM, +1)
Venalainen has had a respectable season so far with his three goals and five assists. His shot at making the NHL seem very low although there is a shot.
Overall: The Coyotes depth at this position is fairly weak although they have skillful players at right wing. Sjostrom has the best shot at making the NHL and should be a treat to watch, when he makes it with the Coyotes. Grade: B