Thursday, November 17, 2011

Central Scouting Rankings - November 2011

Yesterday we had ISS release their rankings, today it was Central Scouting unveiling there's. First of all, they can be found here:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=75380&navid=DL|NHL|Microsite-Draft2012

As you know, my main focus is the WHL, so I will post their top 25 and their top 6 goalies.

Skaters
1. Ryan Murray Everett D
2. Morgan Rielly Moose Jaw D
3. Mathew Dumba Red Deer D
4. Derrick Pouliot Portland D
5. Griffin Reinhart Edmonton D
6. Colton Sissons Kelowna C
7. Chandler Stephenson Regina C
8. Coda Gordon Swift Current LW
9. Mike Winther Prince Albert C
10. Nicholas Walters Everett D
11. Brandon Troock Seattle RW
12. Brett Kulak Vancouver D
13. Damon Severson Kelowna D
14. Dalton Thrower Saskatoon D
15. Dominik Volek Regina RW
16. Michal Plutnar Tri-City D
17. Tyrel Seaman Brandon LW
18. Lukas Sutter Saskatoon C
19. Brendan Leipsic Portland LW
20. Shayne Gwinner Moose Jaw D
21. Ryan Olsen Saskatoon C
22. Travis Brown Moose Jaw D
23. Timothe Bozon Kamloops C/LW/RW
24. Steven Hodges Victoria C
25. Alessio Bertaggia Brandon LW

Goalies
1. Andrey Makarov Saskatoon G
2. Chris Driedger Calgary G
3. Patrik Bartosak Red Deer G
4. Mackenzie Skapski Kootenay G
5. Corbin Boes Brandon G
6. Cole Holowenko Prince Albert G


Observations:

- It seems like consensus among most people is that there is a solid top 6 in the WHL this year with Ryan Murray sitting at the top. I would still agree with that. However, at this point I think Dumba could be the guy that has the best chances of knocking him out of that spot.

- Not shocked to see Rielly ranked ahead of Dumba. I've seen Rielly dominate a game from the blueline. He's an amazing skater that has really taken big stride this year in his defensive game as well. However I expect to see Rielly slide a few spots because of his recent knee injury that will sideline him all season.

- Pouliot over Reinhart is interesting, even though Reinhart has been off to a bit of a slow start this season and he hasn't been too strong in my two viewings of him this year. But, in all the games I've seen Pouliot play, he's never done anything to jump out at me and make me think he should be in consideration for a top 15 pick. Maybe that's just what makes him so appealing to some, the fact that he can go unnoticed while still playing well.

- Not a huge fan of Chandler Stephenson at 7th. I've seen him around a dozen times live over the last year and a bit and he's a solid player, but I have concerns about carrying his offense to the next level. Seems to be more of perimeter player and he's still only listed at 5'9. I would have him ranked somewhere closer to the late 3rd, early 4th round.

- Unfortunately I have yet to see Coda Gordon play, but I have heard nothing but good things.

- I like Mike Winther. He's versatile and plays well in all 3 zones. I just don't have him rated as highly as Central Scouting does. I just don't think he fits into a top 6 at the NHL level so I would have him ranked in a similar spot to Stephenson.

- Severson and Thrower being ranked that low are surprising to me. They should both be inside the top 8-9 for the WHL. Both strong kids who are good offensively and defensively and play with an edge.

- Volek is getting some love, great to see. He's my biggest sleeper from the WHL so far. I would have him slated to go somewhere in round two.

- Really happy to see Travis Brown ranked again by someone other than myself. The kid is very solid and dependable, has a strong frame to grow into and is a good skater. Plays tough, too. With hard work this year, he could continue to climb into many teams top 90-100 ranked players.

- Bozon is a guy people will start to hear more about as the season goes on. Very quick, shifty and dangerous player. Plays with an edge and isn't afraid to fill that agitator role too. He also speaks 4 languages.

- Bertaggia cracking the top 25 is good to see, even though I don't agree with it. Once again, size is major issue here. He's a very good offensive player and is one of the fastest guys in the league, but I don't see him having enough jam to overcome his size problems.

- One of the biggest shockers among the skaters for me is the lack of Jaynen Rissling from Calgary. Admittedly, he was somewhat disappointing in my lone viewing of him this year, but he is a very good two way defenceman with size. His mobility seems to have suffered the slightest bit as he added more height and weight over the summer, but he's got a strong frame and could be a horse at the next level.

- In goal I would definitely agree with the top 3. Makarov has been stellar for Saskatoon, the team's MVP. Driedger is fantastic and has good size, even though he wasn't very good in my only live viewing of him this season. Bartosak is an import that is more of a blocker then goalie at this point, but I like his potential. Boes would be the one guy that could sneak into that top 3, in my opinion.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

International Scouting Services - November Rankings

The latest ISS rankings are out for the 2012 NHL draft.

http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=51588

Rank Player Pos Ht. Wt. S/C DoB Team League
1. MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO RW 6'3 200 L May 16/94 Quebec QMJHL
2. NAIL YAKUPOV LW 5'10 189 L Oct. 6/93 Sarnia OHL
3. FILIP FORSBERG RW 6'1 176 R Aug. 13/94 Leksands SweAI
4. RYAN MURRAY D 6'0 201 L Sep. 27/93 Everett WHL
5. MATT DUMBA D 5'11 183 R Jul. 25/94 Red Deer WHL
6. JACOB TROUBA D 6'2 196 R Feb. 26/94 USA U-18 USNTDP
7. SLATER KOEKKOEK D 6'2 184 L Feb. 18/94 Peterborough OHL
8. PONTUS ABERG LW 5'11 187 R Sep. 23/93 Djurgarden SweE
9. BRENDAN GAUNCE C 6'2 215 L Mar. 25/94 Belleville OHL
10. MORGAN RIELLY D 5'11 190 L Mar. 9/94 Moose Jaw WHL
11. CODY CECI D 6'2 207 R Dec. 21/93 Ottawa OHL
12. GRIFFIN REINHART D 6'3 207 L Jan. 24/94 Edmonton WHL
13. OLLI MAATTA D 6'1 202 L Aug. 22/94 London OHL
14. JARROD MAIDENS C 6'0 178 L Mar. 4/94 Owen Sound OHL
15. MARTIN FRK RW 5'11 204 L Oct. 5/93 Halifax QMJHL
16. SEBASTIAN COLLBERG RW 5'11 174 R Feb. 23/94 Vastra SweJE
17. ALEXANDER GALCHENYUK RW 6'0 198 L Feb. 12/94 Sarnia OHL
18. DERRICK POULIOT D 5'11 186 L Jan. 16/94 Portland WHL
19. NICHOLAS KERDILES C 6'1 200 L Jan. 11/94 USA U-18 USNTDP
20. ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS C 6'1 201 L Jan. 5/94 Dubuque USHL
21. MIKE MATHESON D 6'1 180 L Feb. 27/94 Dubuque USHL
22. NICK EBERT D 5'11 205 R May 11/94 Windsor OHL
23. ANDREAS ATHANASIOU C 6'0 179 L Aug. 6/94 London OHL
24. COLTON SISSONS C/R 6'1 189 R Nov. 5/93 Kelowna WHL
25. ANTON SLEPYSHEV LW 6'2 187 R May 13/94 Novokuznetsk KHL
26. THOMAS WILSON RW 6'3 203 R Mar. 29/94 Plymouth OHL
27. GIANLUCA CURCURUTO D 6'0 195 L Feb. 25/94 Sault Ste. Marie OHL
28. BRADY SKJEI D 6'3 203 L Mar. 26/94 USA U-18 USNTDP
29. MATT FINN D 6'0 195 L Feb. 24/94 Guelph OHL
30. DALTON THROWER D 5'11 189 R Dec. 20/93 Saskatoon WHL


Observations:

- Oddly enough, the WHL players ranked are in the exact same order as I currently have them.

- With that being said, I think that Sissons and Thrower are more 2nd round talents at this point. With their styles though, I think teams could definitely have them ranked inside the top 20.

- Definitely shocked to see Yakupov not ranked 1st overall. Do I like Grigorenko? Absolutely. Do I think he could end up being better than Yakupov? Absolutely. Is this something being done just to try to generate some buzz? That could definitely be true.

- I like Koekkoek, but him at 7 is a bit of a shocker. Craig Button recently ranked him 25th and I said that was too low, but 7 is too high. I like him around 15th, and behind Morgan Rielly, who is a similar player.

- Good to see Griffin Reinhart holding strong near the top 10, even though I've been hearing nothing but 'somewhat' negative things about his play so far this season.

Overall it's a pretty good list and I really like how the WHL guys are being viewed by ISS.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Officially On The Radar: Tim Bozon

Each and every season a few draft-eligible European players head over and into the CHL. Many of them slide through the cracks at the draft but some of them gain big time exposure and end up hearing their names called by an NHL team each June.

Tim Bozon of the Kamloops Blazers is one player that I expect to be drafted this year after benefitting from some extra viewings.

The dynamic offensive forward is an interesting character. He’s originally born in St. Louis, has lived in France, he grew up playing hockey in Switzerland as a teenager and he speaks four languages.

Not only that, but he’s a heck of a hockey player.

He’s got excellent speed and features extremely good acceleration and foot work. He’s shown that he can get involved in the forecheck and play physical if that’s what’s needed in the game. With that being said, I would like to see more consistency from him in that area of his game.

Along with his skating, his offensive abilities are his strongest attributes. He’s got great hands, is an excellent handler of the puck and is both a strong passer and shooter. He spends quite a bit of time hovering around the offensive zone and around the goal, even if he isn’t overly physical.

He does play with a bit of an edge and isn’t afraid to get under the oppositions skin by using stick work from time to time.

I don’t think he will ever reach a level like European WHLers Sven Bartschi or Nino Neiderreiter, but he has a chance to be drafted inside the first 3-4 rounds this summer. He’s definitely a player to watch and one that is officially on the draft radar.

Officially On The Radar: Colton Sissons

The WHL once again has a few ‘powerforwards’ up for grabs at the NHL draft.

For 2012, the most high profile one is definitely Colton Sissons of the Kelowna Rockets. The big 17 year old does a little bit of everything for his club, including wearing the captain’s ‘C’.

He really is a true powerforward, as well. Sissons currently stands 6’1 and weighs in at just a shade under 190 pounds. He’s clearly got another inch or more to go and will likely one day play around 210 pounds. With a body like that, it’s not hard to see how he’s most effective on the ice.

Despite his large frame, he doesn’t get held back by his skating. He has a good first few steps and has good mobility and edgework. He skates hard and also plays with an edge.

He loves to lay the body and is very strong at creating room for his linemates, one of whom has been NY Rangers draft pick Shane McColgan.

Along with his size and strength, he features a very sharp hockey mind and knows where to be at what times on the ice.

His overall offensive potential will be the biggest question regarding Sissons this season. Will he be able to round out his game enough and refine his skills enough to become a future point per game player at the pro level? It’s hard to say and to be honest, I think that might be expecting a bit too much from Sissons.

But one thing is for sure, he’s a big strong kid with a good work ethic and many NHL teams would love to add him to their prospect pool.

I expect him to be in the running as the top WHL forward selected in the 2012 draft, maybe even as soon as the early stages of the 2nd round.