HFNHL Detroit Top 20 Prospects

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by HFNHL Red Wings, Aug 31, 2006.

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  1. With so many former prospects either graduating or no longer meeting the age requirements to be considered a prospect it’s time to look at what’s left in the Detroit pipeline.

    Personal note: After compiling this list I couldn’t help but smile as I realized all of the following players were acquired through our own drafting and FA signings (hurts arm patting himself on the back).

    (1) C Martin Hanzal
    Acquired: 2005 1st (9th overall)
    HF Rating 7.0B
    Size and toughness are not an issue for this skilled giant although his defence could use some improvement. If all the pieces fall into place he will become a star in a few years.

    (2) C/RW Claude Giroux
    Acquired: 2006 1st (23rd overall)
    HF Rating 7.5C
    Blessed with vision and great hands the slick skater should make an excellent playmaker in the mold of Brad Boyes.

    (3) G Tomas Popperle
    Acquired: 2005 6th (188th overall)
    HF Rating 6.0C
    Yet again GM Niece marches to his own drummer and while many don't share this opinion I expect nothing less of him than to become a top 10 NHL starter.

    (4) C Andrei Taratukhin
    Acquired: 2001 2nd (66th overall)
    HF Rating 6.5C
    While not elite in any one area he is very good all round with no glaring weaknesses. It is expected that he will have a long career as a 2nd line or 1b centre.

    (5) C Tomas Marcinko
    Acquired: 2006 2nd (32nd overall)
    HF Rating 6.0C
    Some say boom or bust but I think at worst he's a shut down 3rd line centre and at his best I see a cross between Ladislav Nagy and Michal Handzus.

    (6) LW/RW Mikhail Grabovsky
    Acquired: 2005 5th (153rd overall)
    HF Rating 7.5C
    Talk about surprises. When drafted he was considered a boom or bust selection but he has since caught many peoples attention with his great showing in international tournaments and the RSL last year. Coming to NA we will see how well he adapts to the more physical play.

    (7) RW Martins Karsums
    Acquired: 2004 2nd (55th overall)
    HF Rating 7.0B
    It's no secret that GM Niece has a soft spot for this mighty mite who plays a reckless game and wears his heart on his sleeve.
    On draft day Detroit had entered into several trade discussions trying to move up to the late 1st or early 2nd rounds to select him but had been unsuccessful. Imagine the GM’s excitement when he was still available with their own pick towards the end of the 2nd round.
    While some project him as an energy player I believe he has 2nd line upside and likely to become a fan favorite.

    (8) D Kirill Lyamin
    Acquired: 2004 1st (25th overall)
    HF Rating 6.5D
    While his stock dipped slightly due to injuries and then limited ice time in Russia he has again started to restablish himself as a physical defensive dman with some offensive potential.

    (9) D Marc-Andre Gragnani
    Acquired: 2005 3rd (74th overall)
    HF Rating 6.0B
    His stock has been on the rise for a while now, especially after posting 71pts in 62 games last year. Primarily an offensive dman he is also defensively responsible.
    Just prior to the 2006 draft THN rated Gragnani as one of the best ‘value picks’ of the 2005 draft (Buffalo also picked him in the 3rd round)

    (10) LW Eric Nystrom
    Acquired: 2002 1st (15th overall)
    HF Rating 6.0A
    While many have been overly critical and his upside projections have been somewhat reduced he has the necessary skills and grit to be a quality 2nd line power forward for many years.

    (11) LW Vojtech Polak
    Acquired: 2003 2nd (33rd overall)
    HF Rating 7.0C
    The jury is still out on his commitment to defence and team play but his slick offensive skills should guarantee him a spot in the new NHL.

    (12) LW/RW Nikolai Lemtyugov
    Acquired: 2006 3rd (83rd overall)
    HF Rating 7.0C
    Instead of sulking about not being selected in the 2005 HFNHL draft he responded with strong offensive performances in the RSL and WJC which caught the attention of Detroit scouts who opted to use a 3rd round pick in 2006.

    (13) D Sasha Pokulok
    Acquired: 2005 2nd 55th overall
    HF Rating 6.0B
    Size, aggressiveness and a booming shot from the blueline are all strengths. The only area of concern remains his speed which has become increasingly important in the new NHL.

    (14) C Morten Madsen
    Acquired: 2005 4th (113th overall)
    HF Rating 6.5D
    The first, and only, Danish player to have been drafted by the HFNHL Red Wings. He has demonstarted all the skill necessary to be a quality 2nd liner but his consistency has been sub par.

    (15) C/RW Chris Thorburn
    Acquired: 2001 2nd (63rd overall)
    HF Rating 6.0B
    Faceoffs and defensive responsibility are his speciality but he does bring some offence that should enable him to become an effective 3rd line centre in the near future.

    (16) F Michal Birner
    Acquired: 2004 5th (150th overall)
    HF Rating 7.0C
    Birner is very versatile offensively, is not a defensive liability and has seen his stock rise significantly. He will likely continue to develop in the minors for a couple more seasons.

    (17) RW Adam Cracknell
    Acquired: 2006 FA signing
    HF Rating 6.5C
    Known for his two way play and work ethic he exploded offensively as an overager. This year will answer the question as to whether he was a late bloomer or a flash in the pan.

    (18) D Brian Salcido
    Acquired: 2005 6th (170th overall)
    HF Rating 6.5C
    While originally considered a long shot he has continued to develop his allround game to the point that he has a reasonable shot at becoming a 3rd pairing dman with 2nd line PP duty.

    (19) G Jordan Parise
    Acquired: 2006 FA signing
    HF Rating 6.0C
    Butterfly style goalie with great reflexes and positioning. Given New Jersey's lack of farm depth he should benefit from significant playing time.

    (20) G Curtis McElhinney
    Acquired: 2003 9th (273rd overall)
    Like fellow goaltending prospects Parise and Dennis the 2006/07 season will be his first in the AHL. He is a longer term project but has all the tools to succeed and projects as an NHL backup. Given he was only a 9th round selection he could turn out to be a steal.

    Just missing the cut …
    RW Stephane Goulet
    D Michael Vannelli

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