(HF Story) WHL Top 40 Eligible Players for 2005

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Aaron Vickers, Jun 25, 2005.

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  1. Aaron Vickers

    Aaron Vickers FC Hockey

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    After numerous hours of research, interviews with several scouts and WHL team executives, Hockeys Future is proud to release it's list of the top 40 players from the Western Hockey League who are eligible for the upcoming 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

    Note: The order of players was determines by the HF writers who researches and wrote the feature and not ISS or the other professional hockey people we consulted. Our list will differ from the upcoming and as of yet unreleased ISS Draft Guide so do not consider this a replacement for the ISS product. To order the ISS Draft Preview: http://internationalscouting.com/product3.html

    Enjoy.

    Aaron Vickers


    Further reading:

    Top OHL Prospects
    http://hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=7764&mode=threaded&order=0
    Top QMJHL Prospects
    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articl...hreaded&order=0
    Top NCAA Prospects
    http://hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=7765&mode=threaded&order=0
    Top Swedish Prospects
    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=7749
    Top Finnish Prospects
    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=7754
     
  2. Guy Flaming

    Guy Flaming Registered User

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    As always, we welcome agreements and differing opinions but please be constructive either way and refrain from the "this list stinks" posts without backing it up.

    Jeff, Aaron and I saw numerous WHL games this year and, although none of us claim to be scouts, as writers we'll try to answer your questions about the list and players where we can
     
  3. Habsfan 32

    Habsfan 32 Registered User

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    Good Work.
     
  4. flambers

    flambers Registered User

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    Very Interesting...!!
     
  5. Canadian Chris

    Canadian Chris Registered User

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    the only thing I can think of, other than it being a really well done list, is....In the Drazenovic part, the scout mentions that Hunter was drafted by Anahiem....I thought he was drafted by Chicago...that's really my only complaint...other than that...I have no complaints...looks good....and god I want hockey back...8 more weeks till training camps open!
     
  6. Duff88

    Duff88 Registered User

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    Greatest quote ever!

    Seriously, great list! Isn't Gauthier a little low though? Even if he's had a difficult year with his injury and without much sucess, he's still got a good potential doesn't he?

    Again, great work! :handclap:
     
  7. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    After just a quick look over this, I really think this is a pretty good list. Only two major quibbles: Yello****n is too high and Cody Franson is mysteriously missing. Other disagreements are reasonably minor. I love that you have Scott Jackson as the top eligible defenseman and Shaun Vey in the middle area. One thing though, Shaun Vey asked the Giants to trade him, they definitely did not want to.
     
  8. Lard_Lad

    Lard_Lad Registered User

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    Yeah, Yellow Horn seems a little high to me, too. Definitely wouldn't put him ahead of Hobson. But it's a pretty solid list. Nice work, guys.
     
  9. Guy Flaming

    Guy Flaming Registered User

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    Pros: Well he led the list of '05 eligibles in scoring for about 90% of the season, was Lethbridge's best player and finished the year fifth in league scoring and just 1 point back of Gilbert Brule and 3rd spot.

    Cons: He's small.



    We chose to ackowledge his accomplishments and recognize that he's a solid player regardless of how tall he is. He probably won't get drafted where we have him slotted but, he might.
     
  10. Form and Substance

    Form and Substance Registered User

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    I think Dupont's a little high. caught fire this year? come on, he had a ppg of .37. Good list though
     
  11. Joe Hallenback

    Joe Hallenback Registered User

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    Nice to see Ryan Reaves make the list. I think hes going to have a great year next season and hes already bigger then his listed 6'1 194, hes at least 6'3 210 (had a chance to meet him and im 6'4 230 and hes very close in size to me just a lot more physically developed) Hes a nasty guy to play against.
     
  12. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    I know he had a great year, but watching him, he just doesn't look like he'll be able to translate to the NHL at all. He's not just small, he's a poor skater, not in very good shape, not very strong, and to be honest his stats are misleading as an indicator of his overall offensive talent imo. I think he'll be lucky to be drafted at all, nevermind ahead of all those guys he's listed ahead of. But like I said, I think it's a pretty good list. I am curious though, why no Franson?
     
  13. Everest

    Everest Registered User

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    Reading on Blair Jones: Scout #2 says:"If Sutter sees something,then theres got to be something there"
    It seems Sutter has commanded a lot of respect. Are we giving coach/GM/Owner Sutter a ittle too much respect? This guy is not known to be the most patient coach around.
    I know Guy has raised a bit of a question about the defencemen coming out of Red Deer,and how a couple of them are not exactly tranfering the confidence and relaibility they showed under Sutter into the big leagues.
    Brent Sutter is probably the biggest name in Jr. hockey right now(not playing) and I think I feel A Sutter flu epidemic coming on.
    Symptons:
    Normally independant hockey minds who make their own observations and insights,are seen scrambling to find out "what Brent is saying"
    My Opinion on Jones: Smooth game,not the quickest feet on the rink,but an impressive cruise control feature to his game...that is punctuated with an accurate/purposeful shot/finishing touch.
    I like the kid,Sutter doesn't...but when he went to Moose Jaw he really fired up and was instrumental in turning the Warriors season around. MJW won that trade IMO and the fact Jones is showing well in Elk Tounge should force some "hockey mids" to re-consider the accepted trend of living and breathing every possible gulp of the "Sutterousphere" you can get :propeller
     
  14. MS

    MS Registered User

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    Pretty good list. A few thoughts:

    - Jackson and Sauer are where they should be. Good call there to have them ahead of Mikkelson.

    - Yello****n and Russell are too high. At #13 and #16, you're pegging them in the late 2nd or 3rd round. I'd be surprised if either went before the 7th-8th round. Look where Derek Meech and Ian White went for where Russell will go. Rabbit seems a bit high as well.

    - Drazenovic is one of the most chronically over-rated guys in the draft. Good to see him outside the top 15.

    - every listing I've seen for Gord Baldwin has his birthday as 10/20/87, which would make him 2006-eligible, not 2005.

    - Brodie Dupont is a good checking prospect, but I don't know if I'd have him that high ... #7 in the WHL would be a top-40 pick or so and I don't see that happening. Not enough upside there.

    - I'll wager $10 that Matt Kassian goes on the first day of the draft. Best enforcer prospect to come out of the WHL since Scott Parker in 1996. I think Ryan Reaves will go much higher than where he's listed as well based on his raw ability and physical game. I really don't think there's that much separating Reaves and Dupont. I'd figure Dupont goes in the third round or so and Reaves only a round or so later.

    - I'm not a huge Cody Franson fan, but he's definitely one of the top 40 guys in the WHL this year. Dan Mercer is a huge omission as well.

    - Kyle Cumiskey has better than 'decent' acceleration ... outside of Brule he's probably the best skater from the WHL in this draft. I'd still say he's a longshot to be drafted, though.

    - good call to have Keetley as the #3 WHL goaltender.

    Overall, good job ... biggest qualm I'd have is that there seems to be a bit of over-rating of where smallish guys who put up decent numbers will go, and under-rating of where bigger guys with pro frames will be selected.
     
  15. Everest

    Everest Registered User

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    Dan Mercer is an omission considering just about every other defenceman that goes through RedDeer gets drafted high,if not too high.
    I wonder if it also has something to do with Mercer not being one of Brent Sutters favorite players?
     
  16. Guy Flaming

    Guy Flaming Registered User

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    Great feedback but I have to disagree with you on this one. Every scout I've talked to, and I do mean EVERY scout, tells me Russell is someone they love. He will not make it past the 5th round, I'd be willing to put a dollar on it.
     
  17. Canadian Chris

    Canadian Chris Registered User

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    Agreed here....there's no denying he's a good player, but he's overrated quite a bit. He's a good skater, decent on the draws, but he's small. There's no 2 ways about it. In person, he's hovering the 6ft mark, and MAYBE pushing 170lbs. I think he'll go in by the 3rd, maybe 4th round. But I'd be surprised if he fell further than that.


    Also agree with this point. A Guy like Kassian has that one essential...and as much as the NHL say's it's changing...you still can't teach size! I've got a feeling he goes first day of the draft as well.
     
  18. Guy Flaming

    Guy Flaming Registered User

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  19. MS

    MS Registered User

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    Hmm ... my mistake. He's 10/20/87 on the WHL site and on hockeydb.com, and since he wasn't ranked by CSS in their mid-terms (when he should have been an obvious choice if eligible) I assumed that date was correct.


    But I remember that same sort of talk around small guys like White and Brandon Reid, and the shock everyone had when they fell. Scouts may love Russell and the way he plays - I've really liked what I've seen of him, for sure - but that doesn't mean that they'll take a 5'9" defender in the early-mid rounds. 5th-6th round I could see, maybe, but 3rd-4th round would really shock me.

    I wouldn't be shocked if he fell into the mid rounds. To me, he just doesn't do anything that would allow him to project as an NHL player. He's smart, and a good (but not great) playmaker. The rest of his tools are nothing special - average skater, small frame (not short but very slightly built), plays a lot on the perimeter. Not a great shot or much of a goalscorer. Reminds me of a guy like Eric Johansson, another smart WHL player without any real exceptional skills who just plumetted like a rock in his draft year.
     
  20. Leaf Army

    Leaf Army Registered User

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    I keep hearing stuff like this, but I don't buy it. Yellow Horn goes in the 3rd to 5th rounds I bet. There's no chance whatsoever that he goes undrafted.

    This is an excellent article by the way. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. :clap:
     
  21. Camden

    Camden Registered User

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    Will Franson get drafted? Surprised he wasn't there.
     
  22. Guy Flaming

    Guy Flaming Registered User

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    At the end of each discussion I had with scouts I asked 'is there anyone I'm missing?' or 'Did I forget someone?'

    That's how Gordie Baldwin got in.

    Cody Franson was not mentioned by any of the scouts nor was he ranked by ISS in June. This doesn't mean he won't get drafted but that he wasn't high enough on the charts of everyone I talekd with.

    He only had 13 points which leads me to believe that he's a defensive guy, but, he was a -10...

    I only saw Vancouver in person once (in Red Deer) and I don't remember him at all.

    Those are the reasons he's not on, someone explain why he deserves to be on the list and who you would bump off.
     
  23. MS

    MS Registered User

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    Franson deserves to be on the list because he has several tools that NHL scouts look for, and a nice raw platform to work with. He's 6'4" 205 (the height/weight on the WHL site is way off), and his mobility for his size is very good. He makes a strong outlet pass, and his development and improvement over the course of the year was excellent. Defensively, he reads the play OK but is way too tentative with his physical game and doesn't initiate or involve himself physically the way you'd like to see. But he's a nice raw package, his combination of size/skating/decent skill level is something that not many guys in the draft have, and he's a lock to get drafted, probably somewhere in the middle rounds. CSS had him at 104 in their mid-terms (and #21 in the WHL), and his stock has probably risen since then as he played his best hockey late in the year.

    As for who he should be ahead of: amongst defenders Kyle Cumiskey for sure ... I love his skating but there's no way he has the size or grit for pro. Serviceable guys like Flatters, Lamoureux, Rumsey don't have the skill or upside Franson does and I wouldn't take them ahead of him. Amongst forwards, Brett Sutter stands out as the biggest surprise to see on the list - he doesn't have any skill, his skating is below average even by WHL standards, and I don't know if I'd have him in the top 60 guys in the league, never mind top 40. If you want a gritty forward from the BC division, JD Watt and Troy Ofukany would be much better choices.

    Where were guys like Todd Robinson and Chris St. Jacques selected? Yello****n is just another in that line of player. Someone might take a flyer on him in the 7th-9th rounds. I never say there's 'no chance' of something happening, because anything always can, but I'd fall out of my chair if he goes as high as rounds 3-4.

    This is just not the sort of player NHL teams look to draft.
     
  24. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    That's fair enough.

    Well, here's a quick rundown of Cody Franson as a player to start. He's 6'5 with a lanky frame that played his rookie season last year as a 17 year old. To start the season he was fighting to stay in the lineup and wasn't getting a whole lot of minutes, and looked shaky at best. Over the year he made excellent strides and improved to the point of being named the Giants most improved player.

    As a player, he is an average skater with not very good acceleration or speed, but reasonable lateral mobility. He is pretty good one on one, and although he often gives me the impression of just barely hanging on and staying in front of his man and appears have some trouble with gap control to me, he is rarely beat to the outside so he's getting it done somehow. He uses his reach and size moderately well, but he certainly needs to become much more of a physical force to have a chance to play. Offensively, he's a bit of an odd mixed bag to me. He has this incredible knack to get his shot on net that I love, and he occasionally makes really nice breakout passes and homerun passes, but he also seems timid and lacks confidence with the puck at times and makes way too many terrible first passes that go for icing (this is partially the fault of the Giants forwards, though, who love to stand around and make it hard on the dmen). By the end of the year he was getting fairly consistent pp time and was typically playing over Max Gordichuk, who was being scratched most nights. One of the big things with Franson is his confidence and consistency. It seems like when he plays with confidence he looks really great, but some nights he just looks unsure of himself and gets himself into trouble.

    As for justifying a spot on a list like this, well obviously the first thing is that he has NHL size. He needs to improve his physical presence and skating to ever play, but the potential is there. The other really encouraging quality he has shown is his great work ethic and extremely impressive improvement over the year. I know scouts love to see steep development curves. CSS had him ranked 104th among NA skaters, and 22nd in the WHL (yeah I know, the CSS loves size). I'm definitely not his biggest fan, and I don't think he'll ever play, but I do think he has a chance to play and I think he'll be drafted in the first 6 rounds.

    Hopefully that helps.
     
  25. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    Well, looks like MS beat me to it. Right on again by the way, imo.
     
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