There seems to be popular demand (or at least a populous contingent of unknown majority/minority among our dear readers) who request occasional separate threads for prospective-prospect gazing.
So with the NHL Central Scouting this week releasing their mid-term rankings for North American and European (separate but equal) skaters and goalies (separate but totally not equal, because goaltenders are a subspecies), we can at least take a quick look and provide those interested with a thread for 2012 draft gluttony.
A thorough "consensus" mid-term ranking was compiled by Copper & Blue last month.
By percentage of points earned the Islanders today stand in the familiar 26th place, so there is a good chance they'll call one of these names next June. We've added a few extra observations from sleepless nights of painstaking scouting of these players' lesser known attributes:
RANK PLAYER TEAM LEAGUE HEIGHT WEIGHT POSITION
1 YAKUPOV, NAIL SARNIA OHL 5' 10.5" 189 RW
2 GRIGORENKO, MIKHAIL QUEBEC QMJHL 6' 3.25" 200 C
3 MURRAY, RYAN EVERETT WHL 6' 0.5" 201 D
4 FAKSA, RADEK KITCHENER OHL 6' 3.0" 202 C
5 RIELLY, MORGAN MOOSE JAW WHL 5' 11.5" 190 D
6 MAATTA, OLLI LONDON OHL 6' 1.5" 202 D
7 DUMBA, MATHEW RED DEER WHL 5' 11.75" 183 D
8 REINHART, GRIFFIN EDMONTON WHL 6' 3.75" 207 D
9 TROUBA, JACOB USA U-18 USHL 6' 2.0" 193 D
10 POULIOT, DERRICK PORTLAND WHL 5' 11.25" 186 D
It sounds like there is still widespread agreement that Nail (pronounced more like "nile" than "nail," but that's still not quite it) is the undisputed #1. [Note: Clearly the ISS, which may be the better opiner, disagrees with this and rates Grigorenko.] If you finish in the lottery top five and don't win the lottery, you're missing out on a gem and you might as well have won those meaningless games in April after all.
Notes gleaned from early mornings in cold rinks with bad coffee watching these certain future stars from age 7:
- Trouba is the kid who impressed with "nearly mistake-free" hockey at the recent 2012 WJC.
- Dumba is the guy with an awesome name.
- Olli Maatta is the Mississippi of names on this list: Just double each letter and you're probably close enough.
- Pouliot is a guy whose surname gives Oilers fans nightmares.
- Griffin Reinhart is indeed the son of former Flame Paul Reinhart, who also gave Oilers fans fits in a different way.
|1||FORSBERG, FILIP||LEKSAND||SWEDEN-2||6' 2.0"||181||C|
|2||COLLBERG, SEBASTIAN||FROLUNDA JR.||SWE-JR.||5' 11.0"||176||RW|
|3||HERTL, TOMAS||SLAVIA||CZREP||6' 2.0"||198||C|
|4||ABERG, PONTUS||DJURGARDEN||SWEDEN||5' 11.0"||194||LW|
|5||POKKA, VILLE||KARPAT||FINLAND||6' 0.0"||196||D|
|6||LINDHOLM, HAMPUS||ROGLE JR.||SWE-JR.||6' 2.5"||196||D|
|7||TERAVAINEN, TEUVO||JOKERIT JR.||FINLAND-JR.||5' 11.0"||165||LW|
|8||BYSTROM, LUDVIK||MODO JR.||SWE-JR.||6' 0.75"||208||D|
|9||PROKHORKIN, NIKOLAI||CSKA 2||RUSSIA-JR.||6' 2.5"||191||LW|
|10||VAINONEN, MIKKO||HIFK JR.||FINLAND-JR.||6' 3.0"||205||D|
Both lists are rather D-heavy, are they not? This nhl.com article goes into that.
Forsberg impressed at the WJC for the champs.
Other notes gleaned from jet-lagged nights and powerful espresso in oddly wide European rinks as these kids made the difficult choice between hockey player and future black metal star:
- Like so many before him, Hertl continues the fine Czech tradition of selling excess vowels to the Finns. (If he really wanted to be frugal, he could've gone with "Hrtl" instead but I guess he lacks ambition. Martin Frk for the win.) Frk, by the way, was the hot projection a year ago this time but is now listed 25th on the CSS list as his season didn't even get started until December. Concussions are scary.
- Pontus Aberg is an nhl.com headline pun waiting to happen. "Pontus 'Pilots' the Penguins" and what not.
- According to the CDC, "Teuvo Teravainen" is a rare viral condition marked by dizziness, rashes, and general irritation. With medication sufferers can cope with its symptoms and lead a relatively healthy life, but if found early enough the condition can be converted into a Finnish NHL prospect.
- I wish him all the luck, but I really don't want to have to spell "Nikolai Prokhorkin" ever again.
I guarantee a few of those kids have "great size and competitiveness," a few "really hate to lose," and if we're lucky one or two will have "the fire of Patrick Roy."
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For those of you who are really into prospect-watching, go ahead and share what you've seen, read and lost sleep over ... now!