Crzydrvr

2017 NHL Draft - Players to Watch List

69 posts in this topic

S: Exceptional level of interest, possible top 5 draft pick.

A: Extremely high levels of interest, possible non-playoff (top 15) draft pick

B: High levels of interest, possible 1st round draft pick

C: Moderate levels of interest, possible 2nd or 3rd round draft pick

D: Outside level of interest, possible late-round draft pick

 

WHL:

S-Level Prospects:

 

C Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings

 

A-Level Prospects:

 

RW Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs

---

D Callan Foote, Kelowna Rockets

 

B-Level Prospects:

 

F Stelio Mattheos, Brandon Wheat Kings

F Nikita Popugayev, Moose Jaw Warriors

C Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City Americans

---

D Cale Fleury, Kootenay Ice

D Juuso Valimaki, Tri-City Americans

 

C-Level Prospects:

 

C Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Spokane Chiefs

F Jordy Bellerive, Lethbridge Hurricanes

C Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks

RW Kole Lind, Kelowna Rockets

W Sami Moilanen, Seattle Thunderbirds

F Kyle Olson, Tri-City Americans

---

D Josh Brook, Red Deer Rebels

D Henri Jokiharju, Portland Winterhawks

D Artyom Minulin, Swift Current Broncos

D Mark Rubinchik, Saskatoon Blades

D Jonathan Smart, Kelowna Rockets

D Scott Walford, Victoria Royals

---

G Stuart Skinner, Lethbridge Hurricanes

 

D-Level Prospects:

 

F Artyom Baltruk, Edmonton Oil Kings

F Logan Christensen, Saskatoon Blades

W Connor Dewar, Everett Silvertips

F Erik Gardiner, Regina Pats

F James Hamblin, Medicine Hat Tigers

F Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos

F Mark Kastelic, Calgary Hitmen

F Parker Kelly, Prince Albert Raiders

F Jake Leschyshyn, Regina Pats

F Lukus MacKenzie, Saskatoon Blades (yes, I spelled that one right, don’t ask me questions)

F Ethan McIndoe, Spokane Chiefs

F Kobe Mohr, Edmonton Oil Kings

F Josh Paterson, Saskatoon Blades

F Ryan Peckford, Victoria Royals

W Austin Pratt, Red Deer Rebels

F Tyler Preziuso, Medicine Hat Tigers

F Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers

LW Matthew Wedman, Seattle Thunderbirds

F Lane Zablocki, Regina Pats

---

D Brayden Gorda, Edmonton Oil Kings

D Nolan Kneen, Kamloops Blazers

D Jarret Tyszka, Seattle Thunderbirds

---

G Jordan Hollett, Regina Pats

G Ian Scott, Prince Albert Raiders

 

 

OHL:

A-Level Prospects:

 

RW Owen Tippett, Mississauga Steelheads

C Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor Spitfires

---

D Nicolas Hague, Mississauga Steelheads

 

B-Level Prospects:

 

F Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs

C Matthew Strome, Hamilton Bulldogs

---

D Jacob Paquette, Kingston Frontenacs

 

C-Level Prospects:

 

F Alexander Chmelevski, Ottawa 67’s

C Brady Gilmour, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

C Austen Keating, Ottawa 67’s

F Alexei Lipanov, Barrie Colts

F Ivan Lodnia, Erie Otters

F Nathan Schnarr, Guelph Storm

C Jack Studnicka, Oshawa Generals

F Nicholas Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack

F Robert Thomas, London Knights

---

D Markus Phillips, Owen Sound Attack

D Dmitri Samorukov, Guelph Storm

---

G Michael DiPietro, Windsor Spitfires

 

D-Level Prospects:

 

RW Robbie Burt, Oshawa Generals

F Macaulay Carson, Sudbury Wolves

F Hunter Canestra, Niagara IceDogs

F Cole Coskey, Saginaw Spirit

C Mackenzie Entwistle, Hamilton Bulldogs

F Morgan Frost, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

C Liam Hawel, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

F Benjamin Jones, Niagara IceDogs

F Renars Krastenbergs, Oshawa Generals

F Kyle MacLean, Oshawa Generals

F Kirill Maximov, Saginaw Spirit

C Ryan McGregor, Sarnia Sting

F Nick McHugh, Kitchener Rangers

W Greg Meireles, Kitchener Rangers

F Brett Neumann, Erie Otters

F Isaac Ratcliffe, Guelph Storm

F Zachary Roberts, Owen Sound Attack

F Marian Studenic, Hamilton Bulldogs

F Maxim Sushko, Owen Sound Attack

---

D Ian Blacker, London Knights

D Hayden Davis, Niagara IceDogs

D Anthony DeMeo, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

D Samuel Duchesne, Flint Firebirds

D Cole Fraser, Peterborough Petes

D Fedor Gordeev, Hamilton Bulldogs

D Nick Grima, Peterborough Petes

D Mac Hollowell, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

D Jachym Kondelik, Sudbury Wolves

D Brady Lyle, North Bay Battalion

D Reagan O’Grady, Sudbury Wolves

---

G Kaden Fulcher, Hamilton Bulldogs

G Kyle Keyser, Flint Firebirds

G Jacob McGrath, Sudbury Wolves

 

 

QMJHL:

S-Level Prospects:

 

F Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville Tigres

 

A-Level Prospects:

 

F Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads

 

B-Level Prospects:

 

F Antoine Morand, Acadie-Bathurst Titan

C Joel Teasdale, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

 

C-Level Prospects:

 

F Yaroslav Alexeyev, Sherbrooke Phoenix

LW Samuel Bucek, Shawinigan Cataractes

LW Arnaud Durandeau, Halifax Mooseheads

---

D Jocktan Chainey, Halifax Mooseheads

D Zachary Lauzon, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

D Matteo Pietroniro, Baie-Comeau Drakkar

 

D-Level Prospects:

 

C Joel Bishop, Halifax Mooseheads

RW Shawn Boudrias, Charlottetown Islanders

F Adam Capannelli, Baie-Comeau Drakkar

LW Louis-Philip Côté, Quebec Remparts

F Carson MacKinnon, Rimouski Oceanic

F Shaun Miller, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

F Axel Simic, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

---

D Mathieu Charlebois, Halifax Mooseheads

D Antoine Crete-Belzile, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

D Walter Flower, Halifax Mooseheads

D Igor Galygin, Acadie-Bathurst Titan

D Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Charlottetown Islanders

D Alexander Krief-Fleming, Chicoutimi Sagueneens

D Simon Le Coultre, Moncton Wildcats

D Keenan MacIsaac, Chicoutimi Sagueneens

---

G Dereck Baribeau, Val D’Or Foreurs

G Alex D’Orio, Saint John Sea Dogs

G Kyle Jessiman, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

G Matthew Welsh, Charlottetown Islanders

 

 

Europe & Russia:

S-Level Prospects:

 

D Timothy Liljegren, Rögle BK (SHL)

 

A-Level Prospects:

 

C Lias Andersson, HV71 (SHL)

RW Klim Kostin, Russia U18s (MHL)

C Elias Pettersson, Timrå IK (AllSvenskan)

F Kristian Vesalainen, Frölunda HC (SHL)

---

D Urho Vaakanainen, JYP (Liiga)

 

B-Level Prospects:

 

F Jesper Boqvist, Brynäs IF (SHL)

F Marcus Davidsson, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)

LW Rickard Hugg, Leksands IF (SHL)

---

D Erik Brannstrom, HV71 (SHL)

D Robin Salo, Sport (Liiga)

 

C-Level Prospects:

 

F Ivan Chekhovich, Russia U18s (MHL)

F Lukas Elvenes, Rögle BK J20 (SWE-J20)

F Filip Krivosik, HPK (Liiga)

F Emil Oksanen, Espoo United (Mestis)

C Adam Ruzicka, HC Pardubice (CZE)

F Kirill Slepets, Russia U18s (MHL)

F Fabian Zetterlund, Färjestad BK J20 (SWE-J20)

---

D Tom Hedberg, Leksands IF (SHL)

D Miro Heiskanen, HIFK U20 (FIN-U20)

D Kasper Kotkansalo, Blues U20 (FIN-U20)

D Adam Tilander, Skellefteå AIK J20 (SWE-J20)

---

G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, HPK U20 (FIN-U20)

G Daniil Tarasov, Russia U18s (MHL)

 

D-Level Prospects:

 

F Tobias Ahstrom, MODO Hockey J20 (SWE-J20)

RW Erik Aterius, Leksands IF J20 (SWE-J20)

F Jesper Emanuelsson, Frölunda HC J20 (SWE-J20)

F Teemu Engberg, HIFK U20 (FIN-U20)

F Lukas Henze, VIK Västerås HK J20 (SWE-J20)

F Joni Ikonen, Frölunda HC J20 (SWE-J20)

F Pavel Koltygin, Russia U18s (MHL)

F Jesse Koskenkorva, Kärpät U20 (FIN-U20)

F Kirill Kozhevnikov, Russia U18s (MHL)

F Hugo Leufvenius, Linköping HC J20 (SWE-J20)

F Aatu Luusuaniemi, Kärpät U20 (FIN-U20)

F Maxim Marushev, Russia U18s (MHL)

F Kalle Miketinac, Frölunda HC J20 (SWE-J20)

F Martin Necas, HC Kometa Brno U20 (CZE-U20)

F Linus Nyman, Jokerit U20 (FIN-U20)

F Lauri Pajuniemi, TPS U20 (FIN-U20)

F Ostap Safin, HC Sparta Praha U20 (CZE-U20)

F Filip Sveningsson, HV71 J20 (SWE-J20)

F Matyas Svoboda, SK Kadan (CZE-2)

F Marcus Sylvegard, Malmö Redhawks J20 (SWE-J20)

F Aarne Talvitie, Blues U20 (FIN-U20)

F Santeri Virtanen, TPS U20 (FIN-U20)

---

D August Berg, Brynäs IF J20 (SWE-J20)

D Victor Berglund, MODO Hockey J20 (SWE-J20)

D Anton Bjorkman, Linköping HC J20 (SWE-J20)

D Martin Bodak, Tappara U20 (FIN-U20)

D William Dageryd, Luleå HF J20 (SWE-J20)

D Jakub Galvas, HC Olomouc U20 (CZE-U20)

D Jesper Kokkila, Kärpät U20 (FIN-U20)

D Algot Landin, Timrå IK J20 (SWE-J20)

D Karl Markstrom, Frölunda HC J20 (SWE-J20)

D Eero Teravainen, Jokerit U20 (FIN-U20)

D Sebastian Walfridsson, MODO Hockey J20 (SWE-J20)

---

G Olle Eriksson Ek, Färjestad BK J20 (SWE-J20)

G David Otter, Leksands IF J20 (SWE-J20)

G Arvid Soderblom, Frölunda HC J20 (SWE-J20)

 

 

NCAA Commits, USHL, and USNTDP:

A-Level Prospects:

 

F Casey Middelstadt, Eden Prairie High Eagles (HS-MN)

C Scott Reedy, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

LW Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)

---

D Max Gildon, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

 

B-Level Prospects:

 

F Shane Bowers, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

F Grant Mismash, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

 

C-Level Prospects:

 

C Evan Barratt, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

RW Brannon McManus, Omaha Lancers (USHL)

C Joshua Norris, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

LW Michael Pastujov, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

F Ryan Poehling, St. Cloud State Huskies (NCAA)

---

D David Farrance, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

D Jake Harrison, West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL)

D Philip Kemp, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

D Nate Knoepke, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

D Cale Makar, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)

D Joshua Maniscalco, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

D Luke Martin, Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)

D Ian Mitchell, Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)

---

G Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA)

G Keith Petruzelli, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

G Cayden Primeau, Lincoln Stars (USHL)

 

D-Level Prospects:

 

F Wyatt Bongiovanni, Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)

LW Joseph Cassetti, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

F Matthew Cassidy, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

F Noah Cates, Stillwater High Ponies (HS-MN)

F Logan Cockerill, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

RW Adam Dawe, Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL)

F Charlie Dovorany, Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep (HS-MN)

F Tyler Gratton, Chicago Steel (USHL)

F Randy Hernandez, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

F Logan Hutsko, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

F Isaac Johnson, Anoka High Tornadoes (HS-MN)

C Patrick Khodorenko, Michigan State Spartans (NCAA)

F Jeremy Klessens, Olds Grizzlies (AJHL)

F Marc MacLaughlin, Cushing Academy Penguins (HS-MA)

RW Andrew Nedeljkovic, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

F Baker Shore, Chicago Steel (USHL)

F Graham Slaggert, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

RW Baron Thompson, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

F Adam Tisdale, Canmore Eagles (AJHL)

F Jacob Tortora, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

---

D Grant Anderson, Wayzata High Trojans (HS-MN)

D Mike Anderson, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

D Jesse Bjugstad, Stillwater High Ponies (HS-MN)

D Joshua Ess, Lakeville South High Cougars (HS-MN)

D Tyler Inamoto, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

D Joey Keane, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

D Matt Kirwan, Avon Old Farms High Winged Beavers (HS-CT)

D Graham Lillibridge, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

D Griffin Mendel, Penticton Vees (BCHL)

D Thomas Miller, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

D Reilly Walsh, Chicago Steel (USHL)

---

G Adam Scheel, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

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Preliminary Top 50 Rankings

 

1.       C Nolan Patrick, Brandon (WHL)

2.       RD Timothy Liljegren, Rögle (SHL)

3.       F Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

4.       C Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor (OHL)

5.       C Nico Hischier, Halifax (QMJHL)

6.       LW Eeli Tolvanen, Sioux City (USHL)

7.       LD Urho Vaakanainen, JYP (Liiga)

8.       RW Klim Kostin, Russia U18s (MHL)

9.       C Scott Reedy, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

10.   LW Kristian Vesalainen, Frölunda (SHL)

11.   F Lias Andersson, HV71 (SHL)

12.   RW Owen Tippett, Mississauga (OHL)

13.   LD Max Gildon, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

14.   F Elias Pettersson, Timrå (ASK)

15.   RD Callan Foote, Kelowna (WHL)

16.   RW Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane (WHL)

17.   F Casey Middelstadt, Eden Prairie High (HS-MN)

18.   LD Nicolas Hague, Mississauga (OHL)

19.   F Marcus Davidsson, Djurgårdens (SHL)

20.   LW Rickard Hugg, Leksands (SHL)

21.   F Matthew Strome, Hamilton (OHL)

22.   RW Nikita Popugayev, Moose Jaw (WHL)

23.   F Jesper Boqvist, Brynäs (SHL)

24.   F Antoine Morand, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

25.   C Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City (WHL)

26.   LD Erik Brannstrom, HV71 (SHL)

27.   RD Cale Fleury, Kootenay (WHL)

28.   C Joel Teasdale, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)

29.   F Shane Bowers, Waterloo (USHL)

30.   F Grant Mismash, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

31.   F Jason Robertson, Kingston (OHL)

32.   LD Juuso Valimaki, Tri-City (WHL)

33.   LD Jacob Paquette, Kingston (OHL)

34.   LD Robin Salo, Sport (Liiga)

35.   F Stelio Mattheos, Brandon (WHL)

36.   RW Brannon McManus, Omaha (USHL)

37.   LD Dmitri Samorukov, Guelph (OHL)

38.   F Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound (OHL)

39.   RD Luke Martin, University of Michigan (NCAA)

40.   LD David Farrance, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

41.   C Adam Ruzicka, Pardubice (CZE)

42.   F Alex Chmelevski, Ottawa (OHL)

43.   F Ivan Lodnia, Erie (OHL)

44.   C Evan Barratt, USA-U18s (USNTDP)

45.   F Kirill Slepets, Russia U18s (MHL)

46.   LD Tom Hedberg, Leksands (SHL)

47.   C Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Spokane (WHL)

48.   RD Artyom Minulin, Swift Current (WHL)

49.   RD Adam Tilander, Skellefteå (SWE-J20)

50.   F Yaroslav Alexeyev, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)

 

1.       G Daniil Tarasov, Russia U18s (MHL)

2.       G Michael DiPietro, Windsor (OHL)

3.       G Stuart Skinner, Lethbridge (WHL)

4.       G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, HPK (FIN-U20)

5.       G Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA)

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Is there anyway nolan patrick doesnt go 1st OA? This kid is insanely talented, ive heard nothing but good things in every article I read, and 102 pts in draft -1 year is nothing to scoff at.

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Is there anyway nolan patrick doesnt go 1st OA? This kid is insanely talented, ive heard nothing but good things in every article I read, and 102 pts in draft -1 year is nothing to scoff at.

 

While I do agree with the overall sentiment, Patrick will be facing quite a lot of competition for that top spot. Liljegren is right up there and guys like Comtois, Hischier and Vilardi could jump up with strong draft years.

 

It's another mixed bag as far as drafts go, where anyone could go anywhere and there is no prohibitive "wire to wire" favorite, like there was in 2015, 2016, or 2008. It could end up like 2013, where the top forward and top defender swap back and forth the entire year as they continue to jockey for draft position with each other. It could be like 2011, where the top defender slipped slightly over the season and forwards took over those top spots as a result of a balanced group up top. Or it could be like 2014, where the defender ends up staying in the mix with a strong group of forwards and then sneaks into pick 1.

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I've never put a tonne of faith in Superelit.

 

Personally, I think Nolan Patrick compares favorably to Connor McDavid at the same age.

 

 

And I don't think there's anyone else in the draft who does.

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Hey Crzy, who would you pick for the Flames at #6 drafting spot? We seem to like drafting there of late.

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7 hours ago, xstrike said:

Hey Crzy, who would you pick for the Flames at #6 drafting spot? We seem to like drafting there of late.

 

Not sure ATM. There's a lot of hockey left to be played. There's a group of roughly 4 players at the top of the draft, maaaybe 5 depending on who you like, and the Flames are just outside of those players in terms of draft spot. Any of those guys dropping would be easy to pick, but otherwise there's a real chance that the Flames pick at the top of the second tier, which is unfortunate.

 

Once things begin to clear up we'll have a more definite view of who's available and where the Flames will be picking, it's just way too early to say right now.

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What is the deal with Maxime Comtois? He is not having a strong year offensively and is starting to fall on draft boards. He is a guy who was a top 5 pick at the beginning of the year and now is looking like he might go around 15th. If we are picking around that area is this a guy we should be looking at or is he a risky pick at this point?

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I am going to make a bold prediction. We are going to make it to the conference finals and draft really low! 😜

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Any insight into Callan Foote?  RHS RD 6'-3" and in the mold of his father Adam Foote except he apparently has better skating and can move the puck.  He sounds like exactly what the Flames need to round out their top 4.  A big mean physical shut down defenseman who can skate and a product of the Kelowna Rockets, an NHL defenseman factory.  Most rankings have him in the 10th to 15th spot and if the Flames miss the playoffs, then that's where the Flames will be picking.  

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On 1/4/2017 at 1:22 PM, JTech780 said:

What is the deal with Maxime Comtois? He is not having a strong year offensively and is starting to fall on draft boards. He is a guy who was a top 5 pick at the beginning of the year and now is looking like he might go around 15th. If we are picking around that area is this a guy we should be looking at or is he a risky pick at this point?

 

He passes the eyetest, but is extremely snakebitten. It's not like his tools just disappeared, but he started the year making plays and not capitalizing, and now he's slowly gotten into the rut of not having the confidence to make plays like he was earlier this season and last season.

 

I don't think you can comfortably take him at 15 as he is right now, but that's because I see a lot of guys in and around that spot in the draft who are similar in quality and talent level, while also having the confidence and production to warrant being picked ahead of Comtois. Not that he'd be a bad pick (quite frankly, everyone in this draft who falls within that 10th-25th overall area is basically the same, with differences in style and role but all equally talented and skilled, and all with at least one major flaw that could hold them back), he just wouldn't be MY pick. I think in a draft like this, where you won't see many star players, that you kind of have to go out on a limb and hope that the guy you think has the highest upside will be able to mitigate his weaknesses. I don't think Comtois has the highest upside within that group of 15-20 players in the middle of the 1st.

 

That being said, he's got the body and the playstyle to adapt to a grinder role with some skill, so he's not altogether unworthy of being a non-playoff pick. If he turns it on in the second half, he could rise once again.

 

On 1/4/2017 at 4:42 PM, robrob74 said:

I am going to make a bold prediction. We are going to make it to the conference finals and draft really low! 😜

 

Could happen. Not a strong conference. Wouldn't prefer it because the talent drops off before that pick IMO and I think making it that deep with such a weak year is a bit of a red herring as to the actual build quality of the Flames roster, which could and should really still use another quality player to round out the top 6/top 4/core group.

 

On 1/5/2017 at 11:19 PM, The_People1 said:

Any insight into Callan Foote?  RHS RD 6'-3" and in the mold of his father Adam Foote except he apparently has better skating and can move the puck.  He sounds like exactly what the Flames need to round out their top 4.  A big mean physical shut down defenseman who can skate and a product of the Kelowna Rockets, an NHL defenseman factory.  Most rankings have him in the 10th to 15th spot and if the Flames miss the playoffs, then that's where the Flames will be picking.  

 

Callan Foote's apparently even bigger than his listed height, he hit another growth spurt and is supposedly at least 6'4" now. It's actually noticeable in a bad way though; his skating has been pretty clunky, he lacks the 4 direction mobility and his speed and footwork are both average, and technically below average for an elite level prospect.

 

I like his smarts, I think he's one of the best defensive players in the draft (among all skaters, not just a positional thing) and he shows some offensive touch. I really think the biggest reason he hasn't taken that next step this year like so many people thought he would is because his skating isn't NHL-quality. It's so average sometimes it looks like he's just coasting. but really he just labors to get around the ice. If people thought Aaron Ekblad was an average skater in his draft year, hoo boy are they gonna be disappointed by Foote right now.

 

He falls into that 10-25ish category for me, and like I said earlier every one of those guys has a major weakness. Foote's is his skating and mobility. If he improves it enough without losing the rest of what makes him good, he looks like he could be a Weber-lite-lite, but if not he could be just another Luke Schenn bottom pairing liability. It isn't like a Logan Stanley "only picked because he's big" type deal, but it's a legitimate concern that in an era of speed Foote is going to be a slow player at the NHL level, because I don't think he'll ever be able to get his skating to above average level even with the best of luck.

 

This draft lacks in that security factor. Either it ends up like 2014 where most of the picks are or look to be highly serviceable if unspectacular, or they could all flatout bust and we're now talking about this draft like it's 1999 all over again. There is a severe lack of safe projectable prospects in the mid-1st round, guys like Dylan Larkin or J.T. Miller or Alexander Wennberg where you just knew he'd be an NHLer even if you weren't sure whether he'd be a top 6 scorer or just a 3rd line player.

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A couple of players that I am keeping an eye on in our range:

 

Kailer Yamamoto: very small (5'8"), but he has dynamic skill and skating. I hesitate to say he is a RHS Gaudreau, but that is his comparable.

 

Juuso Valimaki: A reliable safe defender, isn't going to do anything flashy but will make the right play.

 

Nikita Popugayev: A huge offensive winger, 6'6" with good hands.

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2 hours ago, JTech780 said:

A couple of players that I am keeping an eye on in our range:

 

Kailer Yamamoto: very small (5'8"), but he has dynamic skill and skating. I hesitate to say he is a RHS Gaudreau, but that is his comparable.

 

Juuso Valimaki: A reliable safe defender, isn't going to do anything flashy but will make the right play.

 

Nikita Popugayev: A huge offensive winger, 6'6" with good hands.

 

Have to ask.  Is Yamamoto any better than Debrincat or Matt Phillips?  

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25 minutes ago, travel_dude said:

 

Have to ask.  Is Yamamoto any better than Debrincat or Matt Phillips?  

 

He's better than both at the same age. DeBrincat's forte is getting into scoring areas but he's not as good at reading the play, is more reliant on his linemates due to being a shooting first player and he's not as good of a playmaker as either of the other two. Phillips could be a great pick, but he lacks the same level of dynamic skating and hockey sense that allows Yamamoto to remain a great playmaker, even on a team with no finishers last year.

 

Yamamoto is a dynamic offensive threat who can score and pass equally effectively. He's also got the skating and hockey sense to create space in the neutral zone and take advantage of small openings with his great hands.

 

I don't know if I'd take him on the Flames due to already having a lot of small skilled players, but on skill alone he's a top 15 pick. He doesn't play a huge game, and is pretty shifty, but also has had injury issues thanks to getting rocked a few times which might scare teams away if the size doesn't.

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^^^^^^

 

Cool, thanks.

 

I would pass on him unless he fell quite a ways.  After teams have seen what smaller guys can do in the league now, they are getting scooped up a lot sooner.  That is assuming they have the requisite skill level.

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21 hours ago, Crzydrvr said:

Callan Foote's apparently even bigger than his listed height, he hit another growth spurt and is supposedly at least 6'4" now. It's actually noticeable in a bad way though; his skating has been pretty clunky, he lacks the 4 direction mobility and his speed and footwork are both average, and technically below average for an elite level prospect.

 

I like his smarts, I think he's one of the best defensive players in the draft (among all skaters, not just a positional thing) and he shows some offensive touch. I really think the biggest reason he hasn't taken that next step this year like so many people thought he would is because his skating isn't NHL-quality. It's so average sometimes it looks like he's just coasting. but really he just labors to get around the ice. If people thought Aaron Ekblad was an average skater in his draft year, hoo boy are they gonna be disappointed by Foote right now.

 

He falls into that 10-25ish category for me, and like I said earlier every one of those guys has a major weakness. Foote's is his skating and mobility. If he improves it enough without losing the rest of what makes him good, he looks like he could be a Weber-lite-lite, but if not he could be just another Luke Schenn bottom pairing liability. It isn't like a Logan Stanley "only picked because he's big" type deal, but it's a legitimate concern that in an era of speed Foote is going to be a slow player at the NHL level, because I don't think he'll ever be able to get his skating to above average level even with the best of luck.

 

This draft lacks in that security factor. Either it ends up like 2014 where most of the picks are or look to be highly serviceable if unspectacular, or they could all flatout bust and we're now talking about this draft like it's 1999 all over again. There is a severe lack of safe projectable prospects in the mid-1st round, guys like Dylan Larkin or J.T. Miller or Alexander Wennberg where you just knew he'd be an NHLer even if you weren't sure whether he'd be a top 6 scorer or just a 3rd line player.

 

Thanks.  It's good to hear about him from you.  And you never want to hear that a prospect has skating issues at this level of hockey.  It's a red flag for sure and it sounds like even if he does get drafted, he's going to be 5-to-6-years away from NHL ready.

 

14 hours ago, JTech780 said:

A couple of players that I am keeping an eye on in our range:

 

Kailer Yamamoto: very small (5'8"), but he has dynamic skill and skating. I hesitate to say he is a RHS Gaudreau, but that is his comparable.

 

Juuso Valimaki: A reliable safe defender, isn't going to do anything flashy but will make the right play.

 

Nikita Popugayev: A huge offensive winger, 6'6" with good hands.

 

11 hours ago, travel_dude said:

 

Have to ask.  Is Yamamoto any better than Debrincat or Matt Phillips?  

 

 

 

 

Check this out, shift by shift of Kailer Yamamoto.

 

...for a quick summary though, "very average" is my take.  Shift by shift, you can see how he's good when he has the puck but boy, when he doesn't and when he's defending, he shows as a defensive liability.  So that said, biggest question is, will his strengths outweigh his weakness at the NHL level? From watching this video, i don't think it will.

 

While the kid can do some great things with the puck, has some moves, thinks fast, and has a good general awareness in the offensive zone, i don't feel his overall offensive skillset overwhelms you to the degree that he's a can't miss top end offensive player.  I think he's a good passer with good confidence and has excellent balance while stick handling around with the puck.  His other highlight packages on youtube shows you his ability to buy time, wait for plays to present themselves, and then make a great pass.  From watching this video though, you can see he generally runs out of room fast and then will throw the puck into the general vicinity of his teammate in desperation, albeit, high percentage safe play but it doesn't lead to anything.

 

That's sort of the point.  He doesn't really make something out of nothing shift by shift.  Should he be expected to though?  Well, yes.  Pre-season, he was ranked by some to be a top 5 to 10 pick in this year's draft.  But when you look at rankings like ISS Top 31 right now (http://www.isshockey.com/iss-top-31-november-2016/), he doesn't even register as a first rounder.  Rightfully so.  In terms of offense, you can argue that he's a solid 8 out of 10 but when it comes to defense, he's a 2 or 3.

 

And so, let's look at his defensive game where he appears to be very much a liability.  When you watch this video of him, he's almost always in position, gets back to cover his zone, but man, why even bother?  When the puck enters his area, he whiffs 9 times out of 10, and the opponent blows by him like he's not even there.  I'm not sure if this is poor effort or he's too small.  In any event, his commitment and urgency to shut down the opponent is extremely bad.  When you look at little guys in the NHL like Gaudreau, Byron, Gallagher, etc, these guys give 110%.  Gaudreau is known to be a sneaky stick lifter on the backcheck and one of the best at stealing the puck.   The other little guys understand their low center of gravity and they use it wisely to defend.  Yamamoto, on the other hand, gets back into position just to show that he's in position and that's it.  When someone comes in full speed at him, he is disinterested.  Once he's beat, there's no second effort to keep harassing the guy.

 

Can defense he taught?  Meh... some of it yes, but when he's coming from so far away i wouldn't even bother.  In comparison, a Travis Konecny, who is another small player taken in the first round two years ago, is actually a tough kid who plays a mix-power forward game and can use his strength when required.  Yamamoto doesn't look like he's going to have that kind of bite to his game.  Moreover, defensively, he appears to be a reactionary guy rather than someone who can anticipate with a 6th sense so that shows his understanding of the game is one-sided.  A good comparable to Yamamoto at the same age might be Andrew Mangiapane or perhaps a Hunter Shinkaruk to some degree.

 

All in all, from this video and from his highlight packages on youtube, I agree with ISS that he's not even a first rounder.  He should be a late 2nd or classic 3rd rounder that teams take a chance on where he's high risk and high reward.  He's definitely not a guy you take in the mid-teens.

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I remember watching last years U18's and the US had a pretty stacked team with Clayton Keller, Logan Brown, Kieffer Bellows, Casey Mittelstadt and Kailer Yamamoto is the one that I came away most impressed with. I kept hearing about how dynamic and Gaudreau like Keller was and I was excited to watch him and while he put up points, I didn't see the dynamic quality that everyone was talking about, I did with Yamamoto though. Every time he touched the puck you had a feeling something was going to happen. He ended that tournament with 7 goals and 13 points in 7 games.

 

In watching the above video, I didn't see anything that egregious with his defense, I would say he is probably ahead of where Gaudreau was at the same stage. The fact that Yamamoto was seeing regular time on the PK is encouraging for his defensive game.

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13 hours ago, The_People1 said:

 

Thanks.  It's good to hear about him from you.  And you never want to hear that a prospect has skating issues at this level of hockey.  It's a red flag for sure and it sounds like even if he does get drafted, he's going to be 5-to-6-years away from NHL ready.

 

I don't think he's a project in that traditional sense where he has one really good trait and a bunch of weaknesses. I look at him as this from a developmental standpoint: he's never going to be a speedster, but everything else is very good. He's still in a growth phase, which for many can make it difficult to coordinate movement, and that's only magnified for him because he's so big. When he's done growing and gets some work in, he'll be a good enough skater that it won't be the reason he can't crack an NHL lineup.

 

Shea Weber was much the same way, where he never was much of a speedster or an overly mobile guy. He got it to a point where he wasn't going to be hindered by his footspeed, then focused on maximizing his size, snarl and shot so that he could intimidate opposing forwards and continue to play elite defence even if he didn't have the speed.

 

Foote is excellent everywhere else, so I don't think he'll need 5-6 years. That being said, it is something to take note of. If he can't get it to an NHL quality, he might be the next Griffin Reinhart, who has hit that cap that all prospects face where he didn't get NHL reps before his entry-level deal comes up and so has missed the boat on becoming an impact NHLer of any fashion. At that point, the odds of him making the NHL would be slim for both Reinhart and Foote if he follows the same path. It's 4 years or nothing for prospects now, otherwise they'd have to hope for a change of scenery and a new situation somewhere else.

 

That being said, at his best he'll be NHL-ready within 2 seasons, which is normal for elite players and his skillset suggests that he could be an impact player like few in this draft are. It's just about trying to find where he fits in a draft while taking into account both the best and worst case scenarios.

 

As for Yamamoto, he can play defense at a decent junior level when he tries. I personally feel that he plays differently at even strength as opposed to shorthanded (Where he's focusing on playing said defence). That's the system Spokane generally runs, because they lack offensive talent Yamamoto plays higher as his value is going to be generating offense rather than anything he does defensively.

 

He's a project but it's important to take note of his age, because no 18-year old will be as good as an NHL star at the details of the game; that comes with coaching and years of experience that they just wouldn't have. When you look at the whole package, he might play poorly some nights compared to others but he always generates something at the end of the day with average support, as the primary threat and the main source of transition and offense, and he looked absolutely dynamite playing with other talented players at the U18s.

 

He's got a huge bust factor to him like any undersized offensive dynamo, but he gets to scoring areas without the puck a lot better than he did last year which was one of my complaints of him earlier (being too soft and a perimeter player). He'd do best going to a team that would allow him time to develop the rest of his game while still having need for a talented offense generator on the wing.

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Outside of the top 5 or so, I don't see a whole lot of elite blue chip talent. There are a few guys with potential, but I see a lot of 2nd/3rd line forwards and a lot of 2nd/3rd pairing defensemen. In a draft like this I am ok with taking a bit of risk in the 1st round and targeting a guy who is a high risk/high reward player. For me Yamamoto is that guy in our range.

 

I am intrigued by Popugayev. At 6'6" he is a beast, and has great hands for a guy that size. I have seen him listed outside the 1st round and I am not entirely sure why. Crzy do you have any insight on this player and what holes are in his game that would be holding back from being a mid 1st round pick? His skating isn't the prettiest but he seems to get around the ice fairly well.

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9 hours ago, JTech780 said:

Outside of the top 5 or so, I don't see a whole lot of elite blue chip talent. There are a few guys with potential, but I see a lot of 2nd/3rd line forwards and a lot of 2nd/3rd pairing defensemen. In a draft like this I am ok with taking a bit of risk in the 1st round and targeting a guy who is a high risk/high reward player. For me Yamamoto is that guy in our range.

 

I am intrigued by Popugayev. At 6'6" he is a beast, and has great hands for a guy that size. I have seen him listed outside the 1st round and I am not entirely sure why. Crzy do you have any insight on this player and what holes are in his game that would be holding back from being a mid 1st round pick? His skating isn't the prettiest but he seems to get around the ice fairly well.

 

I actually also have him as a No Draft myself. I wonder about his defense, I wonder about his effort, and I wonder about his actual skillset. He's poor already defensively, losing focus in his own end, being a floater, and compounds it by being the type of player that waits outside of scrums for pucks. With his size, he could be a dominant player in all facets of the game, but he is soft as melted butter and loses puck battles way more than he should. At 6'6", it's honestly impressive to be considered a soft player, but he is.

 

Those massive holes aren't covered up by his ability to create offense, because he's not an elite thinker of the game. He's opportunistic but outside of his shot, which is heavy and has an average release, and his puck control, which is very good, he doesn't have the type of game or the traits that suggest he's an elite player at anything. He excels on the powerplay where he has time and space, but at 5 on 5 he's not a factor, in the sense that he's just coasting around and not grabbing control of the play when playing tough competition. He can capitalize when there's open ice or when he faces weaker lines and D pairings, which look good on the stat line, but means nothing at the pro level.

 

I don't normally have many names on the ND list personally, but I wouldn't want to deal with him from a development perspective; he's a massive project and I don't like his attitude on the ice, relying on his linemates to do all the dirty work while he collects easy points. He's not a gamebreaker, so I have no problem saying "Even if he turns into a 50 point player, I don't want him on my team".

 

Of course, this all could change if he improves away from the puck a lot in Prince George. He's got a fresh new slate.

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Given the weakness of this draft i have a hard time seeing Yamamoto failing outside the top 20. I think you need to be careful judging him too much based on that one video because that is only one game. I agree with Jtech that at the Under 18s last year he was one of the US best player and that was aon a very good US team. I also did not find him a defensive liability in that tournament at all. He's not a two way player by any means but i'm also not so sure I would say he is that useless defensively. Need to look at it in context. 

 

He is a very exciting offensive player though and a guy that has no fear to get to the scoring areas which leads me to believe he can play at the NHL at his size. I havn't done enough work to say he would be a great pick where the Flames would be picking but he is someone I am keeping on the radar. 

 

Cryzdrvr, what seems to be the buzz on Nic Hauge? He seems to be sliding down some ranking in to the mid teens. I know he came with a lot of hype into the OHL so perhaps not quite living up to expectations?

I saw alot of really good raw physical tools when I watched him last year. Moves great for his size and seems to have a commanding presence in the O zone. Reminded me alot of Dougie Hamilton at the same age actually so if he is sliding into the range the Flames may be i'd be pretty excited. 

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What are the odds a player like Kristian Vesalainen or cal foote fall to us in the draft, both players seem to be falling down draft boards ranking in 16 to 22 range, and would fill needs on our team. I've heard a lot of good things about both players and Vesalainen aquited himself well at the world juniors according to sportsnet. Opinions?

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I've been watching some Cal Foote lately and have to say i'm not a huge fan. I agree with Cryzr that his skating is really clunky and I would have to call it below average. This is a personal bias for me but I put alot of emphasis on skating even for a dman. As much as you'd love to grab the next Regehr I really think the game is moving away from those type of dmen being effective. I do think Foote can improve his skating to a certain degree with some proper coaching but not sure it can become a strength, Luke Schenn at the same age was a much better skater and I think we've seen the impact he's had at the NHL level. Althought I will admit Foot moves the puck better than Schenn did so there is that. 

 

I think the 20s is a good spot for him right now. I'm not sure there is enough upside there to warrant overlooking those skating concerns. 

 

 

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On 1/11/2017 at 0:55 AM, AlbertaBoy12 said:

What are the odds a player like Kristian Vesalainen or cal foote fall to us in the draft, both players seem to be falling down draft boards ranking in 16 to 22 range, and would fill needs on our team. I've heard a lot of good things about both players and Vesalainen aquited himself well at the world juniors according to sportsnet. Opinions?

 

Vesalainen has all the tools, but no killer instinct. I liken him to Magnus Paajarvi, great skater, built like a pro, but doesn't have the same level of IQ or finishing ability to be a legitimate elite scoring talent at the NHL level.

 

Whether or not he becomes that bona fide first line winger, 30 goals 60+ point forward (his peak) or just washes out of the NHL (his bust factor), he's definitely got the tools. It's a matter of getting some confidence and finding out whether his toolbox is big enough to utilize all his tools successfully.

 

Both of them are in the group of 20 or so prospects that fall in the middle of the 1st. All it takes is for teams to like someone else other than them and they could slide.

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On 1/11/2017 at 10:41 AM, cross16 said:

I've been watching some Cal Foote lately and have to say i'm not a huge fan. I agree with Cryzr that his skating is really clunky and I would have to call it below average. This is a personal bias for me but I put alot of emphasis on skating even for a dman. As much as you'd love to grab the next Regehr I really think the game is moving away from those type of dmen being effective. I do think Foote can improve his skating to a certain degree with some proper coaching but not sure it can become a strength, Luke Schenn at the same age was a much better skater and I think we've seen the impact he's had at the NHL level. Althought I will admit Foot moves the puck better than Schenn did so there is that. 

 

I think the 20s is a good spot for him right now. I'm not sure there is enough upside there to warrant overlooking those skating concerns. 

 

 

 

If we draft in the mid-teens, then ya, there appears to be better options than Foote in that range.  But if we make the playoffs and Foote slides down to the early 20s, then i think that's a great spot to draft him.  And i would draft him knowing he won't have the skating to develop into a top pairing guy but would have him penciled in to become a second pairing 4/5/6 guy and can play 1st unit PK and close the games out in the final minutes of the 3rd period.

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