International Scouting Services (ISS) presents their top 10 2005 NHL Draft prospects for the month of January, 2005:
- Sidney Crosby, Center
- Jack Johnson, Defenseman
- Gilbert Brule, Center
- Bobby Ryan, Right Wing
- Marek Zagrapan, Center
- Benoit Pouliot, Left Wing
- Ryan O’Marra, Center
- Nicklas Bergfors, Right Wing
- Guilluame Latendresse, Left Wing
- Chris Durand, Center
Team: Rimouski (QMJHL), Height: 5-11, Weight: 180
Team: USA Under-18 (USNTDP), Height: 6-1, Weight: 197
Team: Vancouver (WHL), Height: 5-10, Weight: 175
Team: Owen Sound (OHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 206
Team: Chicoutimi (QMJHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 183
Team: Sudbury (OHL), Height: 6-3, Weight: 185
Team: Erie (OHL), Height: 6-2, Weight: 182
Team: Sodertalje (SWE), Height: 5-11, Weight: 189
Team: Drummondville (QMJHL), Height: 6-2, Weight: 214
Team: Seattle (WHL), Height: 6-1, Weight: 185
Bobby Ryan / Owen Sound (OHL)
Ryan is turning into an absolute force within the OHL and has been a major part of the Owen Sound Attacks’ major run in the past 7 weeks. With all of the hype surrounding the London Knights, Ryan and the Attack went on a string of 20 games with only 1 loss to serve notice that London won’t be sailing to the League Championship. Ryan’s commitment to fitness has allowed him to become lighter and although he’ll never beat Ilya Kovalchuck in a foot race, he has become an adequate skater. Ryan’s real genius is his ability to carry guys to the net, and he has hands that are too good for a kid of his size. Ryan has become a player that ISS could see becoming a franchise player and that will be evident at the next draft.
Andrew Cogliano / St. Michaels (OPJHL)
Cogliano is a Michigan recruit and although it can be difficult evaluating players in the Ontario Tier 2 league, ISS believes that Cogliano has the tools to become a good player at the next level. His speed is incredible and his ability to find teammates makes him an attractive prospect. Although some may question his competition level at the Tier 2 level, we at ISS do not. We feel that he has game breaking abilities as was illustrated at last years World Under-18 Championship where he led the tournament in scoring. We also commend Cogliano for remaining true to his word about attending Michigan because the St. Michaels Majors of the OHL have made incredible offers to him to join the OHL but he has refused on the grounds that he has committed to Michigan. ISS would like to see more kids (and teams for that matter) remain true to their word and honor commitments.
Danny Syvret / London Knights (OHL)
Syvret has gone through two drafts thus far without being selected and, although it is fashionable to criticize NHL teams for missing him, the truth is that this kid has made incredible strides in the past 8 months. He has become a major force in the OHL and these skills have been on display in Grand Forks at the World Junior Championship. His ice awareness, passing skills and defensive abilities have made huge leaps and ISS believes that the third time will be the charm in terms of drafts for Syvret.
Sergei Shirokov / CSKA Moscow (RUS)
As usual, the World Junior Championship provided tons of drama and lots of material for conversations around the hot stove. Our choice for biggest gainer on the draft charts is Shirokov, who made a lot of noise on almost every shift and was fun to watch. He is a good skater with very good speed and agility. Shirokov is smooth with the puck, has quick hands and is good in tight space. He may be small, but he’s a feisty little agitator who sure can bury the biscuit. There’s no way we can keep him out of our first round, so he enters at #30.
Dustin Kohn/ Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
After a quick start he has continued to shine in the first half of the season. His offensive skills are rapidly improving and he is fitting comfortably into his multiple roles with the Calgary Hitmen. His ability to see the ice and generate offensive opportunities makes him a valuable commodity for NHL scouts. A consideration that must be accounted for from scouts is his ability to be physical enough to handle much bigger, stronger forwards in the NHL. His ability to demonstrate this will have a bearing on when he is drafted. His growth and maturity as a hockey player has certainly been impressive this season. Kohn will certainly be monitored closely during the second half of the season.
Anze Kopitar (SEL)
Occasionally we like to shine the spotlight on some lesser-seen prospects from the non-powerhouse hockey nations, and never has that been more applicable than after the World Under-20 Championship in Narva, Estonia. While most of the high-end prospects for this years draft were showcasing themselves at the 2004 IIHF U20 World Championship, in Grand Forks, USA, Kopitar, playing for Slovenia, was on his own mission in Narva. He was easily the best player in the tournament, leading the tournament in scoring with 10 goals and three assists in just five games. Kopitar (6-2, 200 lbs.) made his SEL debut last week.
Josh Beaulieu / London (OHL)
Beaulieu is a player that has flown beneath the radar of scouts. He plays the game the way his coach, Dale Hunter once did. He plays hard on every shift, finishes every check, will chip in a few goals and, if the need arises, will drop the mitts. His skill at the pugilistic side of the game is gaining notice around the league and, although he lacks the physical size to challenge the heavyweights in the OHL, he certainly isn’t lacking in willingness. There are a number of teams in the OHL that have inquired about this newer version of former Knight captain, Danny Bois.
Jakub Kindl / Kitchener (OHL)
Kindl’s adaptation to the North American game has been slower then expected. Although the overall skill set is good, ISS is starting to have trouble keeping him in its Top 10. His inconsistency is a concern and we are bothered by the fact that he picks his spots in terms of physical play. When he decides to turn it up, he is definitely a force, but these instances are becoming more sporadic. His dismissal from the Czech National Junior Team also raises some questions. Although we feel he will become a good NHL defenseman, his consistency will have to improve. Kindl has all of the tools that leave scouts excited.
Patrick Davis / Kitchener (OHL)
Davis is another Kitchener Ranger who is experiencing some ups and downs. His skating is very good and he does provide some offense but his aversion to the physical play makes us question his desire. He is still chipping in offensively and he has all of the tools but Davis must learn to play in traffic and use his speed to drive to the net and not stay on the perimeter.
Gennadi Churilov / Quebec (QMJHL)
Churilov was a prospect that carried very high expectations going into his first QMJHL season, but he has had difficulty living up to these expectations. A talented center, Churilov has been struggling to find his scoring touch. After having him ranked as a first round selection coming into the season, his four goals in 39 games haven’t impressed many scouts in attendance.