Wednesday, July 27, 2016

30 Teams in 30 Days - Minnesota Wild

Minnesota is up next. Strangely enough, all three of their OHL prospects are Imports.

1. Dmitri Sokolov - Sudbury Wolves
While I didn't have Sokolov ranked as high as a guy like Corey Pronman, I definitely don't think he should have been a 7th rounder. It's hard to stand out on a team as bad as Sudbury was this year, but at the beginning of the year, Sokolov just wasn't very good. However, he proved to be an extremely committed individual by losing weight and playing through a bum shoulder (that required offseason surgery) and got better and better as the season went on. Scoring 30 goals with not a ton of help around you is no easy feat. His conditioning needs to continue to get better (ditto for his skating). He needs to become more committed to playing without the puck. But his skill with the puck, puck protection ability, and shot are all above average. He's already stated that he'll be back in Sudbury next year and I expect him to have an even better season (finally healthy and hopefully in even better shape). Sudbury will finally look to take that next step forward as a young team and make the playoffs and Sokolov will be possibly their most important player. They need him to be a 35+ goal scorer and point per game player who leads by example on the ice.

2. Gustav Bouramman - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
At face value, it looks like Bouramman had a pretty stagnant season compared to his draft year (and freshmen OHL campaign). But you need to dig deeper. Through the first half of the year, I felt that yes, Bouramman largely looked like the same player he was the year before. But in the second half, he absolutely exploded and put forward one of the more underrated dominant performances in the OHL this year. In the final 29 games of the regular season, he had 28 points, and then he followed that up with 9 points in 12 playoff games. That's the same type of production that Calgary Flames top prospect and OHL leading scorer among defenders, Rasmus Andersson, put up. He looked way more confident in using his strong mobility to lead the rush deeper into the offensive zone, and was willing to take more chances offensively as the 3rd/4th man in. Defensively, there are still some holes, but he took some big steps forward offensively late in the year. The key will be keeping that up going into next year where he'll be counted on to be one of the go to defenders on a team with Championship aspirations in the Soo. I would expect him to be top 10 in defensive scoring next year and he should be able to crack the 50 point mark.

3. Pavel Jenys - Niagara IceDogs
Was better this year than the numbers would indicate. Once he got to Niagara (away from a struggling Sudbury team), his play really picked up even if the stats don't show it. He was relatively snake bitten during the regular season. Was working hard to be an all around complete player in the offensive zone, digging in the corners, crashing the net, and creating scoring chances on drives to the net. In the playoffs, the snake bite curse seemed to lift from him and his chances began to be converted. Outside of Josh Ho-Sang, I would actually say Jenys was Niagara's best forward in their playoff run to the OHL Championship. Moving forward, Jenys will be in the AHL next year. As he showed this year, he can play a multitude of roles and I think that bodes well for him staying in the lineup consistently. Probably will need a couple of years in the AHL before a true assessment of his offensive potential can be made.

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