Monday, October 12, 2009

Ryan Yessie's Early Season Top 30

Perhaps inspired by my own list, Ryan has sent me his early top 30 for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. I think it's always interesting to see a different perspective on things. Below is Ryan's list...

1 Taylor Hall - Left Wing - Windsor Spitfires
YOB: 1991 - 6’1” - 185 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 20
What can I say about this guy that you haven’t already heard a million times. Great skater, excellent playmaking abilities and can finish just as well. Responsible in his own zone. In many way’s this is Steven Stamkos on Left Wing, with a little more size.

2 Tyler Seguin - Center - Plymouth Whalers
YOB: 1992 - 6’1” - 186 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 25
Much like Taylor Hall two years ago, when I saw Seguin in the 2009 OHL Playoffs, it was very clear this young rookie was going to be a superstar. Without question Seguin has put the exclamation mark on this statement. I can’t stop singing this young man’s praises, he has great speed, great playmaking abilities, and has shown many times he can create a play out of practically nothing at all. Is able to put the puck in the back of the net, and is a potential franchise player much like Duchene was able to establish himself behind Tavares, however honestly I think Seguin is better than Duchene, and will be in the NHL next year.

3 Cam Fowler - Defence - Windsor Spitfires
YOB: 1992 - 6’2” - 190 lbs. - GP: 10 PTS: 14
Has made an impact so far with his new team, and if any NHL team goes into the draft looking for a defenceman, Fowler may be the top option available. A solid puck mover, if he can add about 15-20 lbs of muscle he would be ideal size for a defenceman. If he can become more physical, while keeping his puck moving capabilities he could be a #1 blueliner in the NHL one day. Could still stand to develop a mean streak.

4 Erik Gudbranson - Defence - Kingston Frontenacs
YOB: 1992 - 6’3” - 199 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 6
Gudbranson has got great, ideal size for a defenceman and although his point production is not quite where I expected it would be after 10 games, he more than makes up for it with his solid play in all 3 zones, great skating and movement both forwards and backwards, as well as lateral movement. Mix that speed in with size and a willingness to hit, and the endurance to play 30 mins a game, it’s hard to find anything in this player that doesn’t shout top 2 defenceman in the NHL sooner rather than later.

5 John McFarland - Center - Sudbury Wolves
YOB: 1992 - 6’1” - 195 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 11
I hate to follow Brock exactly for the top 5, but McFarland hasn’t done anything yet to show me that he’s any better than the other 4 ahead of him, and to be totally honest Hall and Seguin are miles ahead of McFarland in terms of skill. McFarland does have some great hands and some great agility to beat defenders. He does play with more of an edge and has a little better size than the other, and combined with his natural talent does keep McFarland in the top 5.

6 Stephen Silas - Defence - Belleville Bulls
YOB: 1992 - 6’0” - 190 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 10
Silas looked great for Belleville and really gives them a second option offensively on the blueline besides Lalonde. If they move Lalonde the Bulls should be just fine with Silas running the offensive show. He had great speed, always seems to keep his legs moving and his good positioning combined with his speed seems to save him from getting caught. Could be in some ways this year’s Ryan Ellis in terms of top undersized defencemen available. Looks smaller than he really is, is willing to get physical when the situation calls upon it.

7 Jeff Skinner - Center - Kitchener Rangers
YOB: 1992 - 5’11” - 197 lbs. - GP: 6 - PTS: 11
Skinner is a very skilled goal scorer. He showed great ability in putting the puck in the net as a 16 year old last year, and continues to do that this year. Skinner has decent speed, and is very solidly built so he should have minimal issues with his size. His knock is that he could move the puck more often to his linemates, but when you have a player with Skinner’s finishing abilities the question is how often should he do this?

8 Joey Hishon - Center - Owen Sound Attack
YOB: 1991 - 5’10” - 190 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 9
Hishon is not exactly breaking out as many expected this year, and this has been part of Owen Sound’s undoing early in the season. Hishon has added some weight to his frame which should really help his draft stock for those who were very concerned about his size. Hishon has great speed, and plays solid in his own zone which should help take the weight off his shoulders when he’s not producing at his usual high level. Hishon has the opportunity to be a very similar version to Nazem Kadri, but like Kadri last year, he looks a little off from the player that established himself the year before he became draft eligible.

9 Alexander Burmistrov - Center - Barrie Colts
YOB: 1991 - 6’0” - 170 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 17
Burmistrov could be higher or lower on this list come Thursday night when I get an up close and in person look at him, but from what I hear he has great skating abilities, and can not only finish like many forward imports in the OHL, but he can also move the puck very well. He’s good in all 3 zones, and has made quite the impact since making his appearance in the OHL. Should be interesting where the rest of this season takes him.

10 Steven Shipley - Center - Owen Sound Attack
YOB: 1992 - 6’2” - 204 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 9
Shipley who is the second half of the duo that was expected to help Owen Sound contend for a top 4 position has had about the same kind of contribution as Hishon. Lacks the speed of Hishon, is still a very capable skater, and has much better size, already near NHL ready, not to mention his hands are very underrated as a goal scorer. I expect Shipley to go much earlier than some predict. Needs to add more of a mean streak.

11 Ryan Martindale - Center - Ottawa 67’s
YOB: 1992 - 6’3” - 190 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 12
Martindale, unlike teammate Toffoli who he was actually behind in the ratings last time, has jumped ahead of his teammate as the prominent 67’s prospect going into this draft. Compared in a lot of ways to Steven Shipley. If Martindale develops a mean streak there’s no stopping him from climbing past similar prospects Shipley and Yogan in the ratings. Is already very solid in all 3 zones.

12 Andrew Yogan - Center - Erie Otters
YOB: 1991 - 6’3” - 200 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 7
Yogan is someone I’ve always been high on as a prospect. I’m not a big fan of Greg Nemisz, but I think I see a lot in Yogan that Nemisz supporters see in him. Yogan is great with puck possession, plays hard in corners, and likes to be physical, yet at the same time has the hands of a goalscorer. If his combination size and skill are used properly Yogan could be a very good prospect.

13 Ryan O’Connor - Defence - Barrie Colts
YOB: 1992 - 5’9” - 175 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 9
O’Connor is yet another undersized Colt prospect out there. O’Connor has great speed, and puck moving abilities. Already proved himself to be a legitimate prospect this year, should only wind up better off by the end of this season being a key offensive contributor for a contender.

14 Ryan Spooner - Center - Peterborough Petes
YOB: 1992 - 5’10” - 175 - GP: 10 - PTS: 10
Spooner has great skating ability and has proven already he’s got a quick accurate shot. He is able to use is small size and agility to work around defenders, but also is willing to make contact despite his size.

15 J.P. Anderson - Goaltender - Mississauga St. Mike’s Majors
YOB: 1992 - 5’10” - 175 lbs. - 2W - GAA: 3.38 - SV%: .870
Going into this season Anderson was the favourite to be the top goaltender drafted. His size will likely be an issue, and needs to make the best out of his playing time as he will need to battle with Chris Carrozzi. Anderson makes the best of his situation by cutting down angles and using his great lateral movement to make the save. Reflexes are another asset.

16 Tyler Toffoli - Right Wing - Ottawa 67’s
YOB: 1992 - 6’0” - 187 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 3
After a very impressive rookie campaign Toffoli looked as if he was going to be among the sure fire top 10 OHL prospects. However after a disappointing start, Toffoli; although still a prominent prospect, needs to get his game together. Toffoli isn’t someone I’m willing to give up on just yet. He moves the puck very well, and is an excellent passer. However there isn’t as many options for him to pass to as there was last year. Toffoli will be given plenty of time by scouts to turn his game around, the big question is.. Is Toffoli a top line player, or a complimentary set up man?

17 Brandon Archibald - Defence - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
YOB: 1992 - 6’3” - 200 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 6
Archibald is the definition of the ideal two-way defenceman. He has a huge NHL ready frame, and is not shy about using it to punish his opponents. Yet he is able to move the puck effectively. He plays in all game situations and is a huge part of the Greyhounds’ early success. I expect big things from Archibald.

18 Brock Beukeboom - Defence - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
YOB: 1992 - 6’1” - 196 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 8
After a decent rookie season, Beukeboom has looked outstanding so far in his sophomore campaign. Beukeboom along with Archibald are both legitimate two-way defencemen. Beukeboom is willing to use his solid frame to hit, but also has some solid skating assets as well which helps him when he does choose to play physical. At the same time Brock has a solid offensive package including the best shot the SOO has seen since Josh Godfrey, that has got him 2 goals, and close to a point per game 10 games into the season.

19 Josh Shalla - Left Wing - Saginaw Spirit
YOB: 1991 - 6’1” - 187 lbs - GP: 9 - PTS: 14
Shalla is a pure goal scorer who’s really taking advantage of his opportunities in Saginaw. Shalla is a solid skater, who is willing to make contact, but also knows how to get in position to use his quick release.

20 Justin Shugg - Right Wing - Windsor Spitfires
YOB: 1991 - 5’11” - 185 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 14
Shugg is a fairly underrated player who always seems to give 100%. He’s willing to battle, and do the little things, and has a great nose for the net. Could put up 30 goals this year, and the amazing thing is, he may still be only considered a secondary contributor.

21 Austin Watson - Right Wing - Windsor Spitfires
YOB: 1992 - 6’3” - 177 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 7
Watson has great size, but could really benefit from adding about 30 lbs. In muscle or something close to that, as well as a mean streak. Already has a strong agile lower half. Very disciplined and doesn’t seem to make a lot of mistakes in general.

22 Devante Smith-Pelly - Left Wing - Mississauga St. Mike’s Majors
YOB: 1992 - 5’11” - 180 lbs. GP: 8 - PTS: 7
Smith-Pelly is one of my personal favorites going into this year. He seems to play with a lot of energy, but it seems tamed at times, knowing when to crash and bang, and when to play positional. He has a quick release on his shot, and although he may not be an overwhelming goal scorer seems to be able to put it in the net. A little undersized for his style of play, he should be an interesting prospect.

23 Christian Thomas - Right Wing - Oshawa Generals
YOB: 1992 - 5’9” - 172 lbs - GP: 9 - PTS: 12
Thomas has been fairly effective so far this season for the Generals. Thomas is a very solid skater, which can be expected for his size, also moves the puck to his teammates efficiently. I don’t see Thomas becoming a key player at the next level, but his willingness to grind it out, and his last name, should all help him on draft day.

24 Geoffrey Schemitsch - Defence - Owen Sound Attack
YOB: 1992 - 6’1” - 180 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 8
Schemitsch has very decent size, and has burst onto the scene much like Calvin De Haan did last year for Oshawa. If he is in fact even close to as good, Schemitsch should be a sure fire draft pick, but I can’t say I know a lot about him at this point.

25 Greg Sutch - Right Wing - Mississauga St. Mike’s Majors
YOB: 1992 - 6’2” - 190 lbs. - GP: 0 - PTS: 0
Sutch has yet to play this year, but I was able to get a very good idea on him playing his whole first year in Sarnia. Sutch has got very good speed, and is willing to drive to the net. His hockey sense is absolutely off the charts and anticipates plays very well. Has a decent release that may get better as his body gets used to his height, as he looks much bigger than 6’2 - 190. Willing to play a physical power forwards game. His biggest obstacle to overcome will be his hearing deficit in which he is considered legally deaf.

26 Bryce O’Hagan - Goaltender - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
YOB: 1991 - 6’2” - 190 lbs. - 4W - GAA: 2.45 - SV% .911
O’Hagan; unlike his former teammate Cody St. Jacques has embraced the idea of a two goaltender system. Because of his show of doing what’s best for the team as supposed to himself, as well as the way he’s played during the games he has been on the ice, O’Hagan has been rewarded with the conception that Bryce may in fact be the top goaltending prospect available in this year’s draft. Has much better size than Anderson, but reflexes aren’t quite matched up to J.P’s it should be interesting to see if the SOO and O’Hagan can continue their great play.

27 Greg McKegg - Center - Erie Otters
YOB: 1992 - 6’0” - 190 lbs. GP: 9 - PTS: 7
Despite the struggle Erie is having so far this year, McKegg has been one of the few bright spots on this team. He looks bigger than he is, but needs to become more physical. McKegg has good hands and good finishing ability when he gets around the goal area.

28 Nathan Chiarlitti - Defence - Sarnia Sting
YOB: 1992 - 6’0” - 185 lbs. - GP: 8 - PTS: 3
I’m personally very high on this kids abilities. Likely won’t be a big point producer, but plays a safe, smart and mature defensive game. Has untapped offensive potential, including a very accurate wrist shot from the point which has already accounted for 3 Sarnia goals this season. Not an exceptional skater or checker, but not notably bad in either departments. Lacks a stand out skill, but doesn’t really have any weaknesses to his game either.

29 Joe Rogalski - Defence - Sarnia Sting
YOB: 1991 - 6’3” - 185 lbs. - GP: 8 - PTS: 8
After a slow start riddled with puck moving mistakes, Rogalski has really looked impressive the last 3 games. He’s refined his decision making it seems, and is not trying to go for the home run, and instead is going for the smart play. Rogalski could really benefit from gaining a mean streak, because he plays soft for a 6’3” defenceman. However his skating abilities are among the best for draft eligible defencemen, and could become that much more of an asset if he gets better with his positioning. Can rush the puck like a premier offensive defenceman when; and only when he is on his game.

30 Philipp Grubauer - Goaltender - Belleville Bulls
YOB: 1991 - 6’0” - 190 lbs. - W: 3 - GAA: 3.22 - SV%: .915
Grubauer has certainly learned from Mike Murphy during last season. He has come into this season and done a great job. Grubauer seems to stop everything coming at him. His only weakness which seems to be a glaring one is his rebound control, however if he can refine this issue there’s nothing stopping Grubauer from being a legitimate NHL goaltending prospect. Something Belleville is quickly becoming known for. (watch out for Tyson Teichmann next)
Honourable Mentions

31 Ivan Telegin - Center - Saginaw Spirit
YOB: 1992 - 6’3” - 185 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 10
32 R.J. Mahalak - Left Wing - Plymouth Whalers
YOB: 1991 - 6’2” - 205 lbs. - GP: 4 - PTS: 4
33 Eddy Leitans-Rinke - Right Wing - Sudbury Wolves
YOB: 1991 - 6’5” - 192 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 5
34 Phillip Lane - Center - Brampton Battalion
YOB: 1992 - 6’2” - 194 lbs. - GP: 7 - PTS: 5
35 Sam Carrick - Center - Brampton Battalion
YOB: 1992 - 6’0” - 188 lbs. - GP: 7 - PTS: 7
36 Michael Sgarbossa - Center - Barrie Colts
YOB: 1992 - 5’11” - 165 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 12
37 Michael Houser - Goaltender - London Knights
YOB: 1992 - 6’2” - 180 lbs. - 3W - GAA: 2.00 - SV%: .943
38 Jared Knight - Center - London Knights
YOB: 1992 - 5’11” - 190 - GP: 9 - PTS: 4
39 Matthew Tipoff - Winger - Belleville Bulls
YOB: 1990 - 6‘0” - 190 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 15
40 Marc-Anthony Zanetti - Defence - Ottawa 67’s
YOB: 1991 - 6’0” - 205 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 4
41 Ben O’Quinn - Forward - Sarnia Sting
YOB: 1991 - 6’1” - 185 lbs. - GP: 8 - PTS: 8
42 Cameron Wind - Defence - Brampton Battalion
YOB: 1992 - 6’1” - 200 lbs. - GP: 8 - PTS: 4
43 Beau Schmitz - Defence - Plymouth Whalers
YOB: 1991 - 5’11” - 190 lbs. - GP: 10 - PTS: 6
44 Michael Fine - Center - Kingston Frontenacs
YOB: 1991 - 5’11” - 200 lbs. - GP: 7 - PTS: 7
45 Jason Akeson - Right Wing - Kitchener Rangers
YOB: 1990 - 5’10” - 186 lbs. - GP: 6 - PTS: 16
46 Chris DeSousa - Center - Niagara Ice Dogs
YOB: 1990 - 5’9” - 190 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 14
47 Adam Sedlak - Defence - Peterborough Petes
YOB: 1991 - 6’2” - 210 lbs. - GP: 8 - PTS: 2
48 Andrew Agozzino - Left Wing - Niagara Ice Dogs
YOB: 1991 - 5’9” - 185 lbs. - GP: 9 - PTS: 11
49 Austin Levi - Defence - Plymouth Whalers
YOB: 1992 - 6’4” - 195 lbs. - GP: 10 PTS: 1
50 Miroslav Preisinger - Center/Left Wing - Sarnia Sting
YOB: 1991 - 6’0” - 175 lbs. - GP: 8 - PTS: 3

(Stats as of Monday October 12th)


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