Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by disles1, May 6, 2004.
Who in your opinion are the top 5 dmen in this years draft?
1. Cam Barker - Size and offensive instincts that can't be taught. Has a few noticeable flaws in his game, but they can probably be fixed. Probably the first defenseman taken in the draft.
2. A.J. Thelen- Michigan State prospect and teammate of former first round selection Jim Slater. Projects to being a solid but unspectacular two way defenseman, in my estimation. The offensive game is there, but i'm feeling he's going to make his living with his defense. Along with Barker, the only two in this draft that have top pairing upside if you ask me.
3. Wes O'Neil- Just on the outside of having the top pairing potential I was talking about earlier. Has a more polished offensive game than defensive game, but has shown marked improvement in both areas. Was touted before the season started as the top 2004 eligible defenseman before Barker had a breakout year. Stock has taken a slide, and now is actually in the 4-6 range on most people's list, but I see his potential.
4. Mike Green- Another offensive defenseman, in my opinion. Not quite as polished as Thelen or Barker, but has a decent skill set that will make him a first round selection. Decent bet to go between the 15-25 area.
5. Boris Valabik- The huge hulking defenseman who stands close to 6"7'. Uses his body well and has an underrated offensive ability. Projects to more of a defensive defenseman, but Zdeno Chara comparisons have flown around, for obvious reasons. Will likely jump in his draft status due to his considerable size, but he doesn't have the natural ability of the first four, in my opinion.
How about Smid? How good is he?
Barker-Clear cut best all-around defenceman available. Stands 6'3'' and has the softest pair of hands imaginable for a defenceman.
Thelen-Another big guy with soft hands.
Smid-Best Czech defenceman at the WJC as a 17 year old. Great size, hands, and defensive awareness.
O'Neill-As caniacforever said, was once touted the best defenceman available for this years draft. Stock has fallen, but not that much!
Green-Decent size, great hands and a bullet of a shot. Edges out Valabik and Lyamin IMO.
I don't think he's good enough to be a 1st rounder.
No offense, but have you ever seen him..?
Barker - Best allround offense for any defensmen in the draft plus he loves to hit. He can be used on the PK and PP as seen at the prospect game. I world is the limit for this young defensmen.
Thelen - He barley edges out Green for the 2nd spot. Thelen is huge and has a great outlet pass. He has a hard shot and should use it more often. His mainstay is he nice vision with the puck. He is fairly physical also.
Green - Fastest and maybe the hardest open ice hitter defensmen in this draft. Green has scary skills but doesn't realize what he could do offensivly. Green is mainly a stay at home defensmen. A really high ceiling for Green who I project to be like Jovo.
Don't be silly. He'll go late in the first round, but he's definitely a first rounder.
Barker - this one should be obvious as he's quite possibly a top 3 pick.
Thelen - has a good offensive game, but not sure if it's a good enough one to translate into signifigant numbers at the NHL level. That said, he's still going to be good enough defensively to justify a top 10/15 pick.
Smid - great defensive prospect that doesn't seem to get nearly enough notice. Might not be picked higher then Wes O'Neill but he will probably turn out just as good, if not a slight bit better.
O'Neill - will likely be a top pairing/#3 d-man if he ever reaches his full potential. With his size and offensive game he'll be a good early pickup, just will need time to develop the defensive aspects of his game before being pushed to the pros (bigger version of Tanabe anyone?)
Green - Very solid player that will likely be an early second rounder (IMO). If he ever comes to realize how good he already is and how much better he could become this guy could be the steal of the draft.
anyone have comparisons of the top 5 d-men?
I haven't seen any of these guys, I'm just a poster. Just wondering if anyone could cite a comparitive player for each of these prospects. If he looks like a Kaberle, or a Jason Smith or a poor man's Rafalski or etc....
I like this list a lot, 'cept I'd make two minor adjustments:
Swap O'Neill & Green...
And put Valabik off (he'd be my #6) and include Johan Fransson.
1 - Barker
2 - Thelen
3 - Green
4 - O'Neill
5 - Fransson
As a Caps fan, I'm happy that Smid/Valabik are near the bottom, as I feel both of the two could develop into an interesting defensemen in the long run.
They both have talent, just might take a few years longer then the rest.
Definitely, at least one of the two could be in range for the Caps later first round picks to select.
I'm especially interested in Valabik, who could develop into a serious defensemen down the road.
I still agree that Thelen, Barker, and O'Neil are easily the class as far as defensemen go in this draft, but these other defensemen are more in the 'project class' and might turn out to be quality defensemen.