Steblick's top 60 for 2004 draft

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Hiishawk, Mar 21, 2004.

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  1. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    I don’t post here much, but just so you don’t think I’m just some yahoo copying one of the major scouting services, let me say who I am. I am involved in hockey and travel professionally so I get to see a lot of players and tournaments. I’ve probably seen two-thirds of the top draft picks for 2004 live, about 90% if you include videos. And, yeah, I go to Europe for those purposes. On the other hand, I’ll admit that my weak points are NCAA, USHS, and USHL.
    This ranking is not a mock draft but a top 60 based on my own observations, scuttlebutt from scouts and other insiders (always to be taken with a grain of salt), people connected with teams and players, and of course, the major scouting services.
    Two factors will affect this ranking. One is the World Under-18 championships, which always produces a few surprises. Second is the status of the opt-in players from the NCAA.
    Enjoy.

    1. Alex Ovechkin- ‘Nuff said.
    2. Evgeny Malkin- Like that late birthdate. Great upside.
    3. Rostislav Olesz- Already has a ‘man amongst boys’ aura.
    4. A.J. Thelen- Rising with a bullet. Improves hand over fist every week.
    5. Cam Barker- Potential home-run hitter on the D.
    6. Marek Schwarz- The real thing; can perform magic with regularity.
    7. Wojtek Wolski- Silky smooth- might apply himself more
    8. Rob Schremp- Can’t ignore all-world skill package.
    9. Andrew Ladd- Every scout has seen him now; has passed the tests.
    10. Drew Stafford- Another late, fast riser; appears to have no weaknesses.
    11. Alex Radulov- The Schremp of Europe?
    12. Wes O’Neill- Has been up and down but few will pass on potential stud DF.
    13. Laurie Tukonen- Already plays a pro-style game. Just needs finish.
    14. Ladislav Smid- Extremely poised for his age. Should dominate world U-18s.
    15. Andrej Meszaros- Few talk about him but he’s done everything Smid has.
    16. Dave Bolland- Great mix of character, improving skill and desire.
    17. Alvaro Montoya- Been up and down but proves himself under pressure.
    18. Alex Picard- Sniper from the Q has skill and moxy.

    IMO there is a drop around #18-19. Anyway, let’s continue:
    19. Mike Green- Dan Hamhuis part two.
    20. Kyle Chipchura- Character guy with big upside, pro-style player.
    21. Devan Dubnyk- Has been inconsistent but size, raw skill are undeniable.
    22. Enver Lisin- Speedster needs finishing skills.
    23. Boris Valabik- Nasty, giant Slovak will take time but has big upside.
    24. Alexei Yemelin- Best U-18 Russian DF rising with a bullet.
    25. Bruce Graham- Eric Daze #2?
    26. Lukas Kaspar- Complete player; lacks flash but few weaknesses.
    27. Roman Voloshenko- Excellent offensive instincts
    28. Corey Schneider- Big mystery could surprise.
    29. Paul Stastny- Not just great bloodlines; He has risen steadily all year.
    30. Blake Wheeler- Another late riser who has big-time ‘project’ appeal.

    2nd round:
    31. Oscar Hedman- Best Swedish DF prospect in years.
    32. David Booth- Looks like a pro; needs first step.
    33. Mikhail Yunkov- Typical Russian skilled forward.
    34. Kiril Lyamin- Hasn’t been as steady as hoped but oozes potential.
    35. Johan Fransson- Right behind Hedman (see above)
    36. Adam Pineault- Has he stalled or is he being held back? Big upside!
    37. Johannes Salomansson- Without injury 1st round would be likely.
    38. Sami Lepisto- Came out of nowhere at WJCs. Is he for real?
    39. Jesse Schultz- Great size and sense, skating needs work; worthy project.
    40. Carl Soderburg- Some think he is the best of the 2004 Swedes.
    41. Jakub Sindel- Great skills but soft; hasn’t delivered on promise so far.
    42. Juraj Gracik- Another Slovak forgotten by Joe Draftfan.
    43. Ryan Garlock- Steady, complete 3rd liner in the NHL. Safe pick here.
    44. David Shantz- For those who need a GK, outside shot at 1st round.
    45. Petteri Nokalainen- Hard-nosed character guy. Could surprise.
    46. Grant Lewis- VERY high on some lists. Also could surprise.
    47. Andy Rogers- Mr. Defence. Good size, skating- due for breakout in 2005.
    48. Bryan Bickell- Lost his touch but could refind it.
    49. Vaclav Meidl- Similar to Bickell above.
    50. Travis Zajac- Going purely on others’ rankings here.
    51. Adam Berti- Seems to have overcome big injury. Good toolbox. Tools?
    52. Karel Hromas- Shows flashes of brilliance but is inconsistent.
    53. Roman Tesliuk- Mature player who rarely flashes but is quietly consistent.
    54. Mark Fistric- Big, tough D could have breakout season next year.
    55. Justin Peters- Inconistent but has shown enough for 2nd round.
    56. Evan McGrath- Has he stalled? Big disappointment but skills are there.
    57. Laurie Korpikoski- Must show that recent 5-nations play was no fluke.
    58. Sergei Ogorodnikov- Great skill package- must fill out and round off game.
    59. Julien Ellis- The best Q goalie this year. ‘Nuff said.
    60. Brett Carson- Trio of giant Calgary DF all potential home run picks.

    Others who should be close (and could be 2nd round picks given compensatory picks ):
    Lukas Vomela- 2 way player has subtle strengths.
    John Lammers- Poised for breakout
    Boris Alexandrov- Hasn’t developed as expected but still high skill level.
    Martin Karsums- Lots of moxy and hockey sense up the wazoo.
    Victor Oreskovich- Dark horse with upside. Generating a lot of talk.

    And after that, in no particular order:
    Aki Seitsonen, Michael Sersen, Casey Borer, Raymond Sawada, Dan Lacosta, Dave Brown, Kyle Wharton, Mitch Maunu, Clayton Barthel, Thomas Greiss, Roman Wick, Peter Guggisberg, Peter Pohl, Alex Plyuschev, Rickard Demen-Willaume, Dmitri Vorobiev, Magnus Akerlund.
     
  2. helicecopter

    helicecopter Registered User

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    Welcome back Steblick! I was waiting for this one cause i remember the ranking you posted last season was a very interesting reading. Personally i find more interesting an own brave ranking from a good observer than 50 mock drafts.
    With the first look i give to the list the first 2 things i notice are the places where you put Thelen and Tukonen.
    As for the first it's like you give voice to my thoughts; i was wondering why he is always ranked pretty low towards of what i'm reading about him lately. You seem pretty sold on him, which is the thing you like the most about his game?
    Speaking of Tukonen, from what i've read i was expecting to see him higher in your list; Maybe also Lisin. Curiously you gave the same negative on the two players: lack of finishing.
    Is that you weights more than usual that weakness, or that it is a major problem in their case, or there are other specific reasons why you didn't put them higher?
    Thanks!

    I hope you will be back later in the thread to give more detailed opinions on some players! I remeber last year list as shorter but with longer opinions; maybe after we show our interest you will give us more! :D
     
  3. Gwyddbwyll

    Gwyddbwyll Registered User

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    I recognised your name as well steblick. I remember your list from last year as well, quite early on you pegged Richards, Ramholt, Boyle and Montoya as ones to watch.

    This list's commentary was interesting to read.. thanks. You seem to favor the defensemen in this draft much more than last.
     
  4. Fighter

    Fighter Always on the move

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    I'm surprised you rank so low Green and Sindel. Also McGrath at 56# is way too harsh, even if the guy hasn't developed as hoped.

    I would take Fransonn over Hedman too, but it's good to see someone recognize Meszaros' value.

    Good job! :handclap:
     
  5. Evilo

    Evilo Registered User

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    Am I the only one on earth that thinks Pineault is a first rounder?

    Great job BTW!
     
  6. EroCaps

    EroCaps Registered User

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    So would I.
     
  7. Balej

    Balej Registered User

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    Hey grest job steblick, I enjoyed reading this. I would love it if you could give me more info on these players: (Where they play? Positions? Style of play?)

    Justin Peters
    Juraj Grajik
    Boris Alexandrov
    Grant Lewis
    Karel Hromas
    Laurie Korpikoski
    Sergei Ogorodnikov


    Thanks, and again, great job!
     
  8. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    Interesting list, interesting read. Some things I don't really agree on, but it's obviously your personal opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.

    I do have a question for you though. You have Evan Mcgrath ranked very low, but with the drop off in talent in this draft around the 20 mark, do you think someone will take a chance on him much earlier then you have him?

    At least that's my thinking with Mcgrath. He's had a disappointing season, but I think his skills pro-rate well and he's got much more potential then some of the other guys he's ranked around. I think a team will still grab him with a late first-early second round pick to be honest.
     
  9. Howard35

    Howard35 Registered User

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    i was at the super 6 all weekend. I watched Hensick and Tambellini play all weekend and if tam is a first rounder, then Hensick most definitly is a first rounder as well, he was way better then nystrom (who is horrible) and tamb. and i see you dont even have him in your top 60, ah oh well, easy mistake
     
  10. helicecopter

    helicecopter Registered User

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    Is he Viktor Alexandrov? If i'm not wrong Boris was his father..maybe here came the error?
    It's surprising to not see his name in your list despite he is already playing as a regular in RSL.
     
  11. Prussian_Blue

    Prussian_Blue Registered User

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    Julien Ellis again.

    I'm really curious as to what makes people rank this guy so highly. I'd love a scouting report on him, and I'd like one on Martin Houle as well, if possible. Houle seems like he'd have it all over Ellis, sight-unseen.


    This looks like a good call. I could see St. Louis taking a flyer on this guy, maybe not in the first, but second round for sure. I'm sure they've had lots of chances to see him play while checking up on Konstantin Zakharov.


    Seitsonen, Sersen, LaCosta, Wick and Akerlund have been on my radar screen all year. Any inside scoop on these guys would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    PrussianBlue
     
  12. EroCaps

    EroCaps Registered User

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    Wonderful job! :) For anyone who follows the Swedish leagues, what's the lowest you see Fransson and Hedman being available?
     
  13. Cayouche5

    Cayouche5 Registered User

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    Michal Sersen is the MVP for Rimouski ( after Crosby of course ) I saw him play and he really impress me i say he'll be pick 45th-60th.
     
  14. turnbuckle*

    turnbuckle* Guest

    Some day...some real fine day...I'm hoping that people will stop copying and pasting long posts, only to add "nice job!" We know that you're talking about the original post....why, oh why, do people do this?

    Sorry...I've been bottling that one up for awhile.

    Good list. I take it that your abnormally high ranking of Thelen is based more on hearsay than actaul viewing, as you stated you don't get to see much college action.

    I'll be interviewing several scouts concerning a draft article over the next couple of months, and I'll be interested in finding out whether they consider Thelen to be a better prospect than Barker. If they do, he's going to be a good one. I'll also be interested in knowing how they think the draft compares with others in the past decade.

    I'll keep you folks posted, and submit my own top 50 closer to draft time.
     
  15. chrisralph007

    chrisralph007 Registered User

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    Cool to see Paul Stastny as a 1st rnder...gotta love the blood lines...I don't personally know much about him, but I have a gut feeling about this kid...any more opinions on the young Stastny?
     
  16. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    Some replies.
    - Boris Alexandrov should have been Viktor Alexatv/ndrov, you're right.
    - I've seen Thelen twice live and a few times on TV/video. He looks like a senior out there but is only high-school aged. The buzz on him though is growing exponentially.
    - Hedman is a year younger than Fransson, that's why he's a fingernail ahead in my rankings.
    - McGrath is ranked low because the draft is all about who is rising (i.e., Stastny, Bolland, Thelen). You expect players who really get better between ages 16-18 to continue at that pace. McGrath hasn't shown it. Has he hit the top already?
    - Sindel just doesn't look like an NHL player to me. Lots of skill but VERY soft.
    - Yeah- I missed Hensick. He should be in my 'just after #60' set.
    - Lisin has to show that he's more than a one-trick pony (speed), although that one trick is very good. Another Koltsov perhaps? Let's see at the World U-18s.
    - Tukonen might well belong in the top 10, even 7 or 8. There is a real logjam at about 8-15.
    - I think Green will be much like Dan Hamhuis. He's a pretty sure bet, but other DF show more home-run hitter upside.
    - To learn about some of the players I listed check CSB's site or subscribe to McKeen's.
     
  17. montreal

    montreal Go Habs Go

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    Nice list Steblick. I've seen Thelen a few times and he's impressed me every time. Hard to believe he's the 2nd youngest player in the NCAA. Shows a good all round game, has the size, skating, shot, that should put him in the top 10, imo, if the NCAA changes their rule. Bolland really impressed me in every game as well. I like his powerful stride, skating, size, and his offensive abilities as he drives to the net hard. Seems to get overlooked, but I think he's one of the better NCAA prospects, both from the US developmental program.

    I was talking with one scout who said that they think Mike Green is overrated in the hitting department cause he had a really physical game at the CHL Top prospects game (and in the 3 on 3 game the day before) but overall isn't that physical. I don't get to see much WHL, but perhaps anyone who's seen him more then the prospects game could answer.

    Also that scout thinks Bruce Graham will go very high, maybe even top 15 barring a bad playoff. He doesn't seem that physical for a guy his size, and in the little Ive seen of him he seems a little weak in his own end, but that size and skating, wow. I'd like to see the Habs take a shot on him if he's there around 20th, any other concerns on him?

    About Fransson, I would think that his impressive season in the SEL would vault him over Hedman, as he's up for rookie of the year, but his size/physical/defensive play have me concerned as I assume the Habs are interested in him, as they were quoted as saying they were last year.

    Valabik is one guy i like a lot, he's still very raw but he's the guy I'd want the Habs to land most of all. That size and somewhat mean play would be great to see in 3 or so years as he looks like he's got a ways to go to adpat to his body frame, and mature his all around game.
     
  18. Jshibley

    Jshibley Registered User

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    You mean Jeff Shultz not Jesse Shultz right?
     
  19. Hoot

    Hoot Registered User

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    Steblick, is Thelen this years Uchevatov (do you remember your 2001 prediction that U. would go in the first round?) or is he the real deal? ;)
     
  20. Hiishawk

    Hiishawk Registered User

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    - Jeff Schultz is correct

    - I think Thelen has a much greater upside than Uchevatov in almost all aspects of the game. I predicted Uchevatov as a late 1st rounder three years back but I have Thelen at #4 this year. Uchevatov, like most big defensive defensemen, will take some time to round into a competent NHLer but ultimately I think he'll prove to have been a good pick. Thelen should play 1 year minor pro and then be ready for the show- at his current pace/projection that is.
     
  21. AE12

    AE12 Registered User

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    Pineault has been held back by BC. Pineault is a power forward with all the tools. Should go in the 1st round.
     
  22. Cariboux

    Cariboux Registered User

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    Totally agree with you and if he had not been injured, I'm sure he would have go in the 1st round. He's our best D-MAN without a doubt.

    As for Julien Ellis, he has been great this year with a shaky defense. Martin Houle had a very hard job to do because he was the guy to take the net after Fleury but he did very well, but he had the best defense of the Q in front of him.
     
  23. AE12

    AE12 Registered User

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    Pineault is a first rounder. He dropped in the rankings because he may not be in the draft and he is on a very stacked BC team and his ice time has been limited. Pineault is one of the top talents in this draft if he opts in.
     
  24. Tadite

    Tadite Registered User

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    Whats the 411 on Radulov? I keep hearing comparisons to Schremp but is that just because of a possible attitude problem or is that in skill as well? As some people think that Schremp is a point a game center why is Radulov ranked in the mid-teens?
     
  25. Dr_Chimera*

    Dr_Chimera* Guest

    Sersen is brutal - I don't know why some would like him. He gives the puck away left and right. There are much better eligible players out there.
    I would rate Sersen around 80th-90th overall in the draft.
     
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