HFNHL Panthers Top 20 Prospects - Midseason Edition

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Brock, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Brock

    Brock Registered User

    Feb 27, 2002
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    With HF re-doing all of the team's top 20's, I figured what better time to re-examine the structure of my own prospect list.

    With some trades this offseason and to start this season, the list definitely looks different than it has in the past. Five fairly decent prospects were all shipped out (TJ Brodie, Casey Cizikas, Eric Wellwood, Justin Shugg, Stephen Johns). All five would have easily made my top 15, let alone 20. Thankfully, I've got 4 picks in the first two rounds in 2011, which can help to bring a little more flash to my list.

    1. Tyler Toffoli (1)
    Toffoli remains in the top spot as he's been one of the best players in the OHL this year. He currently leads the league in goals and is second in points. Even though he fell a bit in the NHL draft, selecting Toffoli in the last first of the HFNHL draft is looking like a shrewd move at this point.

    2. Jake Muzzin (20)
    Perhaps the most meteoric rise of any prospect I've ever had, Muzzin has shot himself into the category of significant prospect. After winning OHL defenseman of the year last season as an overager, Muzzin actually made the LA Kings out of camp this year. He's since been sent down, but is performing very well in the AHL (10 points and a +8 in 23 games). A late bloomer who looks to be a significant blueline prospect).

    3. David Savard (3)
    The reigning QMJHL defenseman of the year, Savard has transitioned seamlessly into the AHL this year. His 7 goals and 24 points thus far puts him tops among his team in blueliner scoring (ahead of first rounder John Moore) and among the best in the league for rookie defenseman. He seems to have a pretty bright future.

    4. Matt Donovan (2)
    Donovan's fall from 2 to 4 on this list isn't so much about what he's done wrong, but what Muzzin and Savard have done right at a higher level. He remains a very solid prospect as he (hopefully) plays out his last year in Denver. In his sophomore year, he's producing just as well as he did last year for the solid Pioneers.

    5. Christian Thomas (11)
    Thomas is definitely performing up to his high NHL draft selection this year. He currently sits second to fellow Panthers prospect Tyler Toffoli in goals for the OHL with 44, and has the Oshawa Generals back to respectability. He may be small, but he's quick, tenacious and has the offensive instincts to succeed at the next level.

    6. Taylor Doherty (9)
    Doherty has had another solid season in the OHL after breaking out last year. He's on pace to beat his point production of last year, while refining his aggressive approach to become more disciplined. The big behemoth remains a project, but one that could pay off in the future.

    7. Mark Cundari (HM)
    Truthfully, I've been surprised at how well Cundari has transitioned to the AHL this year. I figured he might take some time to adjust, but he's been sensational for Peoria where he's right up there among rookie scoring for defenseman (21 points), and has one of the top Plus/minus ratings on his team (+8). The fact that his aggressive two way demeanor has carried over to the AHL this well bodes well for his NHL future IMO.

    8. Mike Murphy (5)
    The former OHL superstar is currently playing in his second AHL season, where he's putting up respectable numbers. He's splitting playing time with former top prospect Justin Pogge, and is outperforming him. Consistency remains a bit of an issue at the AHL level, but he's young and has the talent to succeed.

    9. Brandon Kozun (12)
    I've been quite happy with Kozun's play in the AHL this season. The speedy diminutive WHL scoring sensation has 29 points in 51 games and is around the same production of some other quality prospects playing their first AHL seasons (Greg Nemisz, Nic Deschamps, Kyle Beach, Joe Colborne). Who knows what the NHL has in store for him, but his first pro season has to be considered a success so far.

    10. Benn Ferriero (6)
    It only seems like a matter of time before this guy cracks an NHL roster full time. He's split time between San Jose and Worcester this year, where he's been at a point per game in the AHL and has done an admirable job on the Sharks depth lines. It remains to be seen what type of NHL potential he has though.

    11. Luca Caputi (new)
    Acquired in the offseason, it's been a season to forget for Caputi. I expected big things from him this year in Toronto, but he got off to a slow start in the AHL and then got injured. He's been out of action for a while now and there as whispers that it's a serious knee injury. Still time left on the clock for this potential power forward though.

    12. Matt Clark (8)
    The Syracuse Crunch are just terrible, so it's been hard to evaluate Clark's season thus far. The former high NHL pick is a physical stay at home guy and he's been named the rookie captain of the Crunch this year (which says things about his character). Offensively, he's actually been not bad with 11 points, but that -18 scares me a bit.

    13. Arturs Kulda (4)
    After two great seasons in the AHL to start his pro career, I was really hoping Kulda would make the NHL full time this year. But his career seems to have stalled a bit, with a decrease in offensive numbers, a dip in his +/-, and very little time in the NHL. Hopefully he's still in the Thrasher's plans.

    14. Eric O'Dell (13)
    O'Dell went through heart surgery this offseason and rather start his pro career in the AHL, he was sent back to the OHL where he didn't start playing until a few months into the season. With his return, the Wolves have been playing some great hockey and are now pushing for the 5th spot in the OHL's Eastern Conference (after toiling at the bottom for some time). He's scoring at over a point per game and seems to have gotten his career back on the right path.

    15. Nicholas D'Agostino (HM)
    After a very good freshman season at Cornell, this offensive blueliner has improved in his sophomore year where he's anchoring the Big Red's blueline and leading the team in defensive scoring (16 points). He looks like he could be a bit of a diamond in the rough.

    16. Nathan Condon (HM)
    After an excellent season in the USHL last year, this two way center is having a very good freshman season at the University of Minnesota. He's right up there among the team lead in points among freshman (with Erik Haula) with 16 in 29 games.

    17. Patrick Wey (HM)
    Wey was a surprise addition to team USA at the most recent WJC's. He's a solid stay at home guy who is one of Boston College's minute eaters. As a sophomore, he's already set a new high in points, but that's not what he's known for.

    18. Darren Archibald (HM)
    After failing to be selected in two straight drafts (to my surprise), Archibald's hard work finally paid off this season as he was signed to an NHL contract by the Vancouver Canucks. He's a big guy who can do a little bit of everything and I'm excited to see how he does professionally next year.

    19. Brian Lashoff (HM)
    Truthfully, I've been disappointed by Lashoff's production this season in the AHL (his first pro year). After playing so well in the AHL the last two years as an underager (after his OHL season finished), I thought he'd walk right into Grand Rapids' line up. But he's had trouble staying in and isn't really contributing a whole lot. Next season will be the big one for him.

    20. Dalton Smith (10)
    Even if this year has been a total disappointment offensively, Smith remains a solid pro prospect because of the other things he does on the ice. His offensive game has turned around in the past few months (after a slow start), so hopefully next year he can take that next step to justify his high NHL draft selection.

    Honorable Mention:
    Connor Brickley (15)
    Dalton Prout
    Brandon Manning
    Kaspars Daugavins (14)
    Kevin Lynch
    Brandon Maxwell
  2. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

    Feb 27, 2002
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    Pretty solid and deep list considering I don't believe anybody there was a first rounder in the NHL. You could probably move Savard, Muzzin, Doherty and Donovan around any way you want, they're all pretty close.

    After watching a lot of Toffoli last month, I'm genuinely curious about where his career will go from here. I really hope he makes the WJC team next year, that would be a really interesting test for him, because in all likelihood next season in Ottawa he'll just do his thing with Shane Prince and a new centre (maybe even Monahan) again and score another 50-60 goals.
  3. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

    Feb 27, 2002
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    Brock, the king of the unheralded prospects. This list doesn't jump out directly and excite you, but I can imagine that in 3 or 4 years it will be as strong as any we have with all these skilled sleepers you uncover. Muzzin was a revelation.
  4. HFNHL Commish

    HFNHL Commish Registered User

    Feb 28, 2002
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    Ah, Jake Muzzin. I almost took a flyer on you in the draft one year, then thought about signing you as a UFA until the NHL Pens failed to tender you a contract. Way to make one heckuva dark horse prospect out of yourself.
  5. HFNHL Canadiens

    HFNHL Canadiens Registered User

    Aug 12, 2004
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    I think its only a matter of time before Ferriero sticks in the NHL. He is a really fun player to watch, very noticeable on the ice, his game has translated well from NCAA, which seems to be the case for many NCAA players who did not necessarily light up the NCAA, but nonetheless have found success in the NHL. Other examples of this are David Booth and Patrick Sharp.
  6. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

    Feb 28, 2002
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    I'd missed Muzzin on yoru prospect list, and was excited to be able to sign him to a FA contract this summer. Oopsie.

    Really pleased with Stumpy's son's progress -- he may not have a long career, but it'll be a good one.

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