2007 looks like a weak draft class

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by turnbuckle*, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    Preliminary discussions with NHL scouts indicate that this year's first-round draft crop looks like one of the weakest in the past decade.

    "I'm not really excited about this draft right now after seeing Ontario (the past few weeks)...the OHL is brutal prospect-wise this season," noted one scout, who is off to Halifax to concentrate on the Quebec league standouts for a couple of weeks, including Jakub Voracek of the Halifax Mooseheads, rated first overall in Mckeen's preliminary rankings for the 2007 draft.

    The scout is not alone in being a little less enthusiastic about this year's group of forwards than recent draft classes that yielded the likes of the Staals, Johnsons, Malkin, Ovechkin and Crosby.

    "There just aren't a lot of guys jumping out at you, a lot of top end forwards like last year and the years before that," admitted another scout. "But it's early on...there's lots of hockey to be played yet."

    This time of year most NHL birddogs aren't working with hard player rankings.

    "The first half of the year we identify the players," explained one scout. "Then we cross (my list) over with other scouts' lists and start working on compiling rankings. But this time of year the meetings can be pretty rowdy at times. Players
    are all over the map, and there's some interesting debates."

    Early reports indicate a less than exciting group of European talent outside of Swede Mikael Backlund. Don't expect more than three or four European-based players selected in the first round, although that could change over the next five months.

    "Most of the top ones are playing over here," said one scout. "The ones from the Czech Republic at least. I haven't heard a who lot about Europe, and usually that means there aren't a lot of good ones, if there's no buzz in the scouting community."

    This year's strength lies in a deep group of North American defencemen. "There's some top-end guys on defence for sure," noted a scout this week. "As well as lot of projects."

    It looks like one of the deeper group of Canadian defence prospects in recent years, particularly out west with a much ballyhooed quartet of Ellerby, Alzner, Hickey and Blum.

    It would not be foolish to suggest that all four could be top 12 selections in the 2007 Entry Draft, something which hasn't happened since five WHL defencemen were taken in the first 13 selections of the 1996 draft. It's safe to say scouts are banking on this year's "Fab Four" turning out better than the top four of '96, which boasted the likes of Lance Ward, Jon Aitken, and Dan Focht. Most teams felt they'd been Focht by the time the returns came in from that draft.


    Here's the scouts top 10 early favourites from what I'm sensing -


    Jakub Voracek
    Angelo Esposito
    Keaton Ellerby
    Logan Couture
    Karl Alzner
    Pat Kane
    Sam Gagner
    Mikael Backlund
    Kyle Turris
    Zach Hamill


    Borderline top ten

    Nick Petrecki
    James Van Riemsdyk
    Colton Gillies

    Wildcards

    Mark Katic
    Ryan Hayes

    Others "slated" for the first round:

    James O'Brien
    Jon Blum
    Bill Sweatt
    Michal Repik
    Brandon Sutter
    Brendan Smith
    Mike Hoeffel
    Thomas Hickey
    PK Subban
    Sergei Korostin
    Jens Hellgren

    Fastest skaters: Kane, Brendan Smith, Katic, Tanguay, Gazley, Lombardi, Sweatt.

    Here are what some of the scouts are saying:

    Brandon Sutter - "He had a bad start. He's the anti-Sutter. He didn't grow up on the farm in Viking like the rest...he eats with a silver spoon."

    Dale Mitchell - "He's too fat, doesn't move fast enough, but he plays hard. Good skills, not the most creative player...he tries. He's surprisingly fast for his size."

    Angelo Esposito - "Very quick and skilled, plays on the perimeter. Been watching him since he was 15...you always love them early...then you overanalyse them. He's certainly talented on the power play if he has the room, but he's not anxious to get
    in there. But he's a talented player, a top ten for sure. Projection right now - A second liner and a power play specialist on a good team."

    Colton Gillies - "He can't score. He was a star at the under 18s, but he has one goal right now. A great skater, a big kid, but if you don't score in junior, what are you going to do in the NHL? Maybe he's a third liner...he does a lot of things well."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2006
  2. hifk88

    hifk88 Registered User

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    What about Oscar Möller?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2006
  3. Dream Big

    Dream Big Registered User

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    Looking forward to your new prospect publication in January. It's always good to have as many info sources as possible when you can't actually be there yourself.

    4 D in top 12? Why not if they're the BPA.
     
  4. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    Turnbuckle knows what he's talking about. I've been hearing a lot of the same things- both regarding individual comments (save for Tanguay on speed) and general perceptions of the draft. Woodlief is the only one I've heard applauding the '07 crop.
     
  5. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Kill! Jeff, Kill!!!

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    Yep. And it figures this is the year the Kings pick to really, really suck. Sigh.
     
  6. CowMix

    CowMix Go Kings Go!

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    Doesn't the Kopitar steal make it all better :D
     
  7. Alter Haudegen

    Alter Haudegen Registered User

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    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=7329&hubname=

    Yes, because both Slovenia and Switzerland are small countries in Europe and both begin with an "S". :sarcasm:
    But that's where the (hockey) similarities end. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world were young players can earn a lot of money in the Swiss NLA league - Kopitar on the other hand left Slovenia to play Junior hockey in Sweden because the Slovenian league is a joke (no offense, but the top team Jesenice, coached by Kopitars dad, now plays in the Austrian league). So he proofed his willingness to bring sacrifices for his dream long before he got drafted.
     
  8. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    To be honest I'm just starting to get some feedback from Europe, but I've heard good things about Moller. He could be one of the European-trained skaters that sneaks into the first round. While 2007 is relatively weak at the top end, there is a large group of North American prospects that are mid-to-late first-round potentia, so there may not be many first rounders from overseas.

    The top-rated player at this point is Voracek, and put into last year's draft he's picked after the top six or seven at least.
     
  9. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Registered User

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    Moller is playing in the WHL for the Bruins. Better talk to your West coast guys. :)
     
  10. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    Thanks a lot. Not too sure if people are going to think it's overload or something, but we want to provide an in-depth publication at a lower monthly cost that hopefully will appeal to the draftnik masses. Sure beats when I was a teenager and your only scource of draft news was a seemingly always late Hockey News Draft Preview.

    I think what will set our publication apart will be the content and appearance of the publication. It won't just be a newsletter stapled in the corner, it will be magazine format with a thick cover that is saddle stiched, and contain illustrations and first-rate layout. Most importantly we are going to be providing not only the thorough scouting viewpoints of the dedicated McKeen's staff, but also the opinions of professional scouts. By May there won't be a prospect that hasn't been considered, scouted, scrutinized and ranked. I'm looking forward to the task - I don't consider this work.
     
  11. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    Thanks man ;), should have checked first I guess. I'm just getting up to speed on all of this year's group, I haven't even seen reports from our scouts yet as I only officially joined McKeen's yesterday - I have 200+ guys I have to get to know more about.
     
  12. bullsville

    bullsville Registered User

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    I dont have the oportunity to see in action Angelo Esposito.Anyone can describe me his game and the player he could be?
     
  13. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    wasn't it less than 6 months ago these people were saying this draft was going to be better than 2003?
     
  14. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    "These people" as in scouts? More the media than the scouts I'd say.

    But that's not unusual - the upcoming draft is invariably hyped more than the present one - hell, I remember the 1999 draft being severely hyped 12 months earlier, it was going to be way better than 1998 with all the great Europeans.
     
  15. Superfly Jimmy Snuka

    Superfly Jimmy Snuka Registered User

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    Just out of curiousity being a Generals fan where do you think Dale Mitchell will go abouts in the draft? Hes got some soft hands but i agree he is a little pudgee but does have some speed.
     
  16. xIsle

    xIsle Registered User

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    Great post Turnbuckle, very interesting.

    Do you know what the scouts thinks of Logan Couture and Jakub Voracek? Are they projected to be first line offensive players or like Esposito to be second line player?
     
  17. firstroundbust

    firstroundbust lacks explosiveness

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    Is this class considered to be a stronger group than 06? I thought I heard something like that along those lines somewhere...
     
  18. coolhandluke2410

    coolhandluke2410 "BleedBlue44"

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    from what it looks like.. someone correct me if i'm wrong.. but the top end isn't as good as 06.. but 07 has more talent going in to the 2nd round.
     
  19. Howard35

    Howard35 Registered User

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    nope, just a bunch of hf posters
     
  20. Techbert

    Techbert Registered User

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    (Not talking about Turnbuckle, as most here would be wise to study what he says.)

    There seems to be a natural flow. First, the upcoming draft year appears strong, based on hopes of what some unrealized potential could become. Then, weaknesses are seen in the top picks, when they actually play, and the draft is judged weak. Finally, as unknown gems are discovered that can play, the draft builds some of its reputation back.

    I think any team can find 3 or 4 functional players in any draft, if they are astute enough and lucky enough. I think the difference between a strong and weak draft is the margin of error.
     
  21. McOilbleeder

    McOilbleeder We are all Kloppites

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    Just a question, Whats keeping Petricki from being a blue-line stud?? as in what does he lack or can't do well also bad habits?? Any information would be appreciated.
     
  22. Victory Ali*

    Victory Ali* Guest

    I'm skeptical about Hickey. He's got more skill and speed than any other defenseman in the WHL but he's got a ten cent set of hockey sense. He tries to do everything by himself and makes a lot of poor decisions. However, at times he compensates with his unreal speed and hands but he's out of position a lot and he's always trying to do everything himself. Maybe it's because of his supporting case in Seattle or he's trying to impress scouts but I'd be nervous about him.
     
  23. That's what I heard as well.
     
  24. Dream Big

    Dream Big Registered User

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    Turnbuckle, something I've noticed is that more scouts are based in the eastern half of North America. Therefore there tends to be a slight bias in reporting more about the eastern prospects as they are seen more. In addition it is the case that you like who you know. Also how can you have an opinion about something you don't know. How will your publication overcome this?

    Also what is the ratio of eastern based scouts to western based scouts that you are using? This will help me in assessing how much weight to give the assessments.
     
  25. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    He doesn't put up a lot of points at this stage of his career.
     

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