Steblick's 2006 Draft Top 70+ Picks

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Hiishawk, Apr 25, 2006.

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  1. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    Here are my first two rounds (ratings, not a mock), plus a few extra “compensation picksâ€, for the 2006 draft.

    The ranking is based upon a number of factors. Primary are my own reactions upon seeing the players play both live (preferable) and on TV (passable). Second is from scouts’ (and other hockey people’s) talk, often taken with a grain of salt. Third are ranking services, such as CSB, Redline, ISS, McKeen’s, Top Guns. The less I’ve seen a player, the more I rely on the latter two factors. Some of the players listed, I have not seen.

    By the way, the Russians playing within their hockey federation have an * by their names. I put them where they should go in an ideal world but with no IIHF agreement, they could all actually go much later.

    1st round
    1. Kessel- Dynamic upside. Has that “special†quality.
    2. Johnson- Who’d pass on Chris Pronger #2?
    3. Backstrom- Best Swede in ages. Mature game.
    4. Toews- A 15 year pillar for any team who chooses him.
    5. Staal- Huge upside with late b-day, size, strength.
    6. Brassard- Most dynamic Canadian and on a seemingly endless upward curve.
    7. Okposo- Power forward. Iginla-like player shows no weaknesses. Had little difficulty against USHL opposition.
    8. Mueller- Sniper. Eye-hand coordination is already NHL level.
    9. Tlusty- Great speed, agility, hands, vision and improving rapidly.
    10. Sheppard- NHL body, good work ethic and all-around game maturity.
    11. Stewart- At times, he’s the irresistible force. Major power forward potential, can just bull the puck through defenders.
    12. Wishart- Ultra-poised, smart, steady. Needs to get meaner. Was only average at U18s.
    13. Helenius- Big, technically-sound, and cool under pressure.
    14. Sangunietti- Offensive guy can step it up in big games. Sanguinetti is the very opposite of Wishart.
    15. Bernier- Ever so cool and always knows where the puck is…or is going.
    16. Grabner- Non-stop speed and scoring, often spectacularly so.
    17. Foligno- All-around pest and make-a-difference guy. Can play in the trenches or on open ice.
    18. *Alexandrov- Captain and leader, very smart with puck. Always in the right place.
    19. Berglund- Big upside. Can dominate with size, puck skills.
    20. Frolik- Learning/progression curve seems to have stopped. Beware.
    21. Vishnevsky- Tremendous quarterback. Elite skater, puckhandler, vision.
    22. Little- The guy just scores and scores. Can he do it at the next level? I hope he proves that this rating is too low.
    23. Persson- Swedish defenceman simply controls the ice and rarely makes a mistake. Sleeper.
    24. *Anisimov- NHL frame. Shows flashes of physical dominance c/w elite skill.
    25. Joenssuu- The learning curve may be going up again but what is the upside?
    26. Burki- Top 15 skill, but is sometimes on the periphery of the play and can disappear.
    27. Clutterbuck- Can’t miss character guy. Not a huge upside but a safe pick (are you reading this, Vancouver?)
    28. Irving- Did he make those flashy Everett numbers or does Everett’s shut down system make him?
    29. Fischer- Every year there is a Minn. High-school player of 1st round skill. This year’s Brian Lee and a possible riser.
    30. Swan- Oozes power forward potential if the injury bug was only a –cough- accident.

    2nd round
    31. Lewis- Said to remind scouts of Zajac. Take that as you may.
    32. Tulupov- Big, mean and mobile. What more do you want? Sleeper.
    33. Ahnelov Pihl- Improvement rate is skyrocketing. Plays a very mature game.
    34. Fiala- Showing great tools and now starting to find the toolbox in the WHL.
    35. White- Another meat and potatoes safe bet pick. 100% warrior-type.
    36. Giroux- Lots of skill and flash upside here, on an upward curve yet!
    37. Sneep- Getting some late season chinwag. I can add nothing to this.
    38. Maxwell- Showed great puck movement at U18s but intensity questions could drop him.
    39. Kana- Has stepped up his play against men in Czech leagues.
    40. *Varlamov- Acrobatic and intense. Best Russian goalie in a while.
    41. Mitera- Didn’t make as much of an NCAA impact as some had hoped. Wild card.
    42. Ryan- Tough, reliable, consistent. Will not excite you but get the job done.
    43. Weber- Pretty close to Ryan in terms of style, with a touch more jazz in his play.
    44. Peckham- Intense, ferocious and colorful player. He can be scary- for his own team too!
    45. Geoffrion- Plays a mature and consistent all-around game.
    46. Holzapfel- Fast hands and feet with sniper and playmaker potential.
    47. Palmer- Unremarkable in style, but gets the job done consistently.
    48. *Vasyunov- Elite hands and feet. But what does he actually produce? Beware.
    49. Forney- Shows sniper potential. A bit of an unknown quantity for many. Good upside or sleeper potential.
    50. Osala- Was turning into a force by season’s end. Still inconsistent but teased with considerable upside.
    51. Summers- Versatile and hard working. Drawn like a magnet to traffic- and I mean that both positively and negatively.
    52. J. Armstrong- When he’s on his game he looks like J. Staal, but when he’s off he looks like he’s watching a train leave the station. Big hit or miss potential.
    53. Matthias- Reliable and consistent defensive forward with good wheels and size.
    54. Fadden- Was a major force at the end of the season. But his floating earlier with Seattle might raise character issues.
    55. DeGray- He does his job. No more. No less. ‘Nuff said.
    56. Emmerton- He lacks an identifiable NHL skill or strength. Call me a doubter. I hope I’m wrong.
    57. Strait- See DeGray above. Reliable.
    58. Gryba- See Strait and DeGray but with a little less consistency and a little more meanness.
    59. McBain- Was very comfortable and creative on international ice. A late riser.
    60. K. Armstrong- Didn’t finish as strong as he started but still a worthy 2nd or 3rd rounder.

    Others (They'll become 2nd round if Russians are avoided+ compenstion picks)
    61. Berra- Everyone remembers his WJC performance. Great size and technically sound.
    62. Seppanen- Has adapted to higher level of play well and stood out in ’87 tournaments.
    63. *Zharkov- One shift he’s a consistent threat and the next he’s a wreck. Big upside/downside.
    64. Mursak- Slovenian has flash, dash and a great worth ethic. On the rise.
    65. *Popov- Great with the puck, skates in elegant, meaningless circles without it.
    66. Williams- If the U18 team doesn’t have the confidence to play him even as a 6th guy…
    67. Juutalainen- Leader of the strong Finnish U18 team can carry the puck, beat guys 1-on-1 and create. NCAA entry should help draft stock.
    68. Hillier- A poor man’s Giroux. Nice hands from the Q.
    69. Ratchuk- Looking for a quick, agile, but undersized puck-carrying defender with top level vision? Here’s your man.
    70. Shutron- Hopefully he’s improved his decision-making but I’m not sure what he brings to the table other than slick skating. Please prove me wrong, Ben.
    71. Daugavins- Slick Latvian is a relatively unknown quantity. We may get a peek at the senior WCs in Riga next month.
    72. Holzer- Big German defencemen with mobility, puck skills and a mean streak are in demand. Why CSB didn’t list him I don’t know.
    73. McGinn- Kind of a poor man’s Ryan White. Dependable up ‘n down guy, but limited upside.
    74. Lagerstrom- Swede has been up and down but has a well-rounded game and could surprise.
    75. Marcinko- Top Slovakian prospect is in the same boat as Lagerstrom but has too much upside to ignore.
    Did I miss anyone? I don’t think so. After this it’s a free-for-all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  2. Predatore

    Predatore Registered User

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    Good work/Nice read (mostly looking at the Swedes you rank).
    I have a general feeling that Jonas Ahnelöv is overrated (in this ranking and CSS:s). He makes quite a bit of mistakes defensively and has not really convinced defensively this season. Next season he should be the extra defenseman on Frölunda's SEL team and I am not sure that is what is best for his development.

    Would have liked to see Enroth in the third round. Not sure Patrik Berglund will go that high.
     
  3. Greg7

    Greg7 Registered User

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    My first reactions:

    Kessel at #1 over Johnson, that really surprises me. I'd like to hear what you have to say about that choice, and specifically in comparison to the rest of the scouting community that seems to have come to a pretty strong consensus of Johnson at #1 (or is that only a perception?).

    Backstrom at 3 breaking up the seeming "consensus" top 4 of Johnson Staal Kessel Toews also is a little surprising, but sometimes I have a hard time understanding where the idea of that consensus top 4 really came from, so I can buy that.

    The only guys it's really fair for me to comment on beyond that are the WHL guys, as the others I only have limited viewings on, often only on tv, in limited time periods, or no viewing at all.
    But just off hand without going through it with a fine tooth comb, I'm a little bit surprised to see Calla miss completely, but on a list of only 70, that's certainly reasonable.
    I'm surprised at Fiala's rise of late, I don't think I quite know what's triggered that, so if you could comment on what you like there in more detail, and specifically in comparison to Ryan White, whom I think has a far better pro transferable game and I like a lot more, I'd like to hear it.
    I also like White a lot more than Maxwell, and I'm surprised you have them so close, again because of White's seemingly certain ability to easily adjust to the pro game, while I have major doubts there about Maxwell. I realize White's upside is maybe not so high, but I'm not really so sure Maxwell will be a very dynamic player when he gets to the next level. I can see him disappearing on the perimiter and not being able to make an impact on games.
    Fadden making it on there is interesting; he's really come full circle. High hopes at the start of the year, then he blows it in Seattle, moves on to Lethbridge and apparently turns it right around. I've only seen him on tv recently, so I'd be interested to hear what comments you might have on him as well.

    Overall, interesting list, I enjoyed the read.
     
  4. DJ Spinoza

    DJ Spinoza Registered User

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    Thanks steblick. I've been looking forward to your posts on the draft and I'm sure many others have as well. Great work.

    I'm hoping for the Pens to take Backstrom second. It's unlikely, but I'm still hoping.
     
  5. JSmith81x

    JSmith81x Your weapon is guilt

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    Very nice. Your lists are the ones I look forward to the most every year.

    Kirill Tulupov should have a *, though. And no Robert Nyholm? (not that I've seen him, but he sounds very good).
     
  6. Jaded-Fan

    Jaded-Fan Registered User

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    I think that St. Louis is about 90/10 probable to take Johnson. But I also agree with the assesment that leads this thread having Kessel at number one, and feel that St. Louis will regret passing on him for years to come as he scores in bunches. They will have one terrific player in Johnson, so will hardly be completely upset about how things turn out. But I thoroughly believe that every night a Blues fan hears the score sheet with Kessel's name on it they will imagine what might have been. I am going to worry that the Pens' pass on him too until the actual draft takes place. Though I think that they do in the end take him and put him on the wing with Crosby never looking back.
     
  7. Emmerton's quite low.
     
  8. An Ape called Yoko

    An Ape called Yoko Registered User

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    Great job Steblick!

    I agree completely about Dennis Persson - and i thought he was very dominating at the U18s and showed enormous potential.

    Regarding Jonas Ahnelöv as you had in early in second round... I´ve followed him throughout the whole season, and i believe he is overrated everywhere. Sure has really nice skating with size, and can really hit and pass the puck well. But I think he has weaknesses in several situations in his game.. especially defensively. I wouldn´t waste an early pick on him. He also signed a contract with Frölunda in SEL next season. That might sound good.. but he will only be a fill-in when there´s injuries... and the rest of the time he will play U20-hockey (because Frölunda refuses to lend out players to tier2)... which is bad when he should play mens hockey in tier2 instead. Im going to make a bold statement and tell you that he won´t make the JWC-team next season.
     
  9. An Ape called Yoko

    An Ape called Yoko Registered User

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    I know Finland made the finals in U18 and all.. but i thought Robert was a disappointment. He was good in fast counterattacks, but was hardly the force i thought he was - and his overall-game was pretty weak.
     
  10. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Great list and thoughts on each player. Is there any chance that you could post some of your thoughts on Makarov?
     
  11. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    Some follow-up comments on Euros.

    Tulupov is (I believe) considered to be Canada-based by the IIHF and is registered as a player in Canada so he avoids the IIHF business.

    I agree with Yoko's" assesment of Nyholm.

    Ahnelov-Pihl seems to polarize scouts. A few rave about him and think he is definite 1st round material and others see him as nothing special- a mid rounder. I saw him live only 3 times at a 4-nations tournament and he looked to be in full control there. But these knowledgeable criticisms are helpful. Thanks.

    As for NA's, I know Emmerton is lower than many have him. I just don't see anything really special with him and he did nothing at all at the U18s. Johnson vs. Kessell? Flip a coin. To me they are the two "special" players in the draft. The potential LaFleur and the potential Pronger/Robinson (with a meaner streak). It's a real toss up and I could easily flip-flop them.

    Calla hasn't improved- in fact he may have regressed- this year. He's just not as productive as he should be. Fiala adapted slowly to the WHL after early injuries and showed hints of elite skill. Doesn't mesh perfectly with teammates yet but there is a big upside. I share the same worries as you (Greg) about Maxwell but he was the big threat at the U18s for Canada and is capable of magic. Big risk, big reward guy. I barely had him top 100 until the U18s.

    Makarov has been inconsistent and I understand that his rate of improvement has also been less than expected.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  12. Alessandro Seren Rosso

    Alessandro Seren Rosso Registered User

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    Tulupov now plays in russian's vysshaya liga :)
     
  13. Beesfan

    Beesfan Registered User

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    It's nice to see that you put Frolik late in the 1st round where I feel he belongs. A lot of people still have him in the top 10, which I think is outrageous.
     
  14. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    We'll have to wait for the IIHF and Russian Federtion to work his status out. To the best of my knowledge he's considered "open" for the 2006 draft due to registration/player status being in Toronto.
     
  15. Kvashinator12

    Kvashinator12 Registered User

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    nigel williams that low, wow???
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  16. Alessandro Seren Rosso

    Alessandro Seren Rosso Registered User

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    Maybe in the papers there is written that he belongs to Toronto and is on loan to russia or something similar
     
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Hi beat writers!

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    Always a good read. Thanks.
     
  18. CH Wizard

    CH Wizard Guest

    this is what i was wondering too
     
  19. Artie

    Artie Registered User

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    What is the deal with Williams. Appears on many lists as a first rounder (Usually top 15). He seems to possess the type of package scouts love. Is he getting the high rankings because of that and are you just not impressed based on seeing him play or are you basing your rank on what happened with him at the U18 camp?

    Great read , thanks for the insight.
     
  20. Charge_Seven

    Charge_Seven Registered User

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    I hope Helenius doesn't go 13th :eek: (and yes, I did read the part where you said you were rating, not doing a mock draft)
     
  21. helicecopter

    helicecopter Registered User

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    I was waiting for this one Steblick, your ratings are always appreciated.

    First off, i enjoy to see someone with exactly my same top 3, with Kessel at top and Backstrom at #3.
    Comparisons with Pronger for E.Johnson are common but still i don't get them too much. Johnson seems to be a much more dynamic skater to me; on the other hand at the U20 he looked too prone to turn overs in his zone, probably he is the less ready of the aforementioned top 3.

    Premising i had very limited viewings, two of the guys i would place higher are Varlamov and especially Popov.

    I would consider Varlamov a first-rounder in this kind of draft (but tell me if i am underrating it overall..what's your overall judgement of this class?)

    Popov, i keep seeing him placed lower than i would expect and than several other countrymen.. his flaws (you referred to) seem something that can be worked out.. seems like a sleeper, at least to me.

    Vasyunov is producing with his senior team though.. could bust, but #48 seems a bit too low to me at this point in time.

    As for Frolik, it's difficult judging if his struggles are just a result of a bad year (maybe in his life overall, who knows) or a clear indication of a stopped learning curve. Personally i would still have him in the top ten and i have an hard time believing all the guys from #10 through #18 are better than him.

    Tlusty seems to sound better and better as the time goes on.


    Ok, here are my weak two cents, hope you will get in some of these inputs :)
     
  22. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    I see Williams as slightly better than Tyson Dowzak- and with rather similar styles although Williams is a bit more mobile- not to mention that both have been highly-rated big US defencemen at some point this year. The fact that the USNDP has used him as a spare part when going with their best team, a 6th or 7th depth guy on a U18 team doesn't spell out top 10 for me, getting two or three shifts in the biggest games of the year. He has some raw potential to be sure but if Redline and ISS (?) didn't have him so high I'm willing to bet that most viewers, upon watching him actually play, would likewise peg him as a third-rounder. No shame in that.

    Somebody will probably grab him higher than I have him but I am pretty sure of at least two NHL teams that don't even have him on their draft list at all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  23. clay

    clay Registered User

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    There is absolutely no chance that Frolik or Little will drop that low.
     
  24. Le Golie

    Le Golie ...

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    Just like Letandresse, O'Sullivan and JP Levasseur.

    Honestly, anyone who still thinks Frolik is a top 10 pick needs to check in to April, 2006. Besides, this is a ranking by a real scout. If it looks different than a mock draft by a bunch of fans, it's probably not this ranking that is off base.
     
  25. timlap

    timlap Registered User

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    Two thoughts. One, why does someone always post a message like this even when the person is clear that he is not making a mock draft, but a rating of who he feels are the best players?

    And haven't you seen enough drafts to lose the phrase, "absolutely no chance," forever? :)
     

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