Thursday, December 30, 2010



Saturday, December 25, 2010

World Junior Championships 2011 Viewers Guide: Players To Watch & TV Schedule

JuniorsSASKATOON, SK - JANUARY 5: David Warsofsky #5 of Team USA reaches for the puck in front of Ryan Ellis #6 of Team Canada during the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tournament Gold Medal game on January 5, 2010 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Over at The Hockey Writers, I've completed a series featuring players to watch at this year's World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, NY.

Part 1: Team Canada players were highlighted

Part 2 highlighted some of the young guns who are vital to the success of the other contending nations – the favoured defending champions USA, along with Sweden and Russia

Part 3 features the best of the rest - who might emerge as "El Nino" did last year and what will Niederreiter do for an encore?

TV Schedules:


Date Game Time (EST)
12/26 Russia vs. Canada 4pm
Finland vs. USA 8pm
12/28 Canada vs. Czech Republic 4pm
USA vs. Slovakia 8pm
12/29 Norway vs. Canada 7:30pm
12/30 Sweden vs Czech Republic 3pm
Germany vs USA 7pm
12/31 Canada vs Sweden 4pm
USA vs Switzerland 8pm
1/2 Quarterfinal #1 3:30pm
Quarterfinal #2 7:30pm
1/3 Semifinal #1 3:30pm
Semifinal #2 7:30pm
1/5 Bronze Medal Game 3:30pm
Gold Medal Game 7:30pm

All games on NHL Network.

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 16: Nino Niederreiter  of the New York Islanders warms up before playing against the Colorado Avalanche on October 16, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)


TSN Schedule -
Sunday, December 26 - 4:00 pm ET - Russia vs Canada.
Sunday, December 26 - 8:00 pm ET - Finland vs United States - TSN2.
Tuesday, December 28 - 4:00 pm ET - Canada vs Czech Republic.
Tuesday, December 28 - 7:00 pm ET - Sweden vs Russia.
Wednesday, December 29 - 7:30 pm ET - Norway vs Canada.
Thursday, December 30 - 3:00 pm ET - Sweden vs Czech Republic.
Thursday, December 30 - 7:00 pm ET - Germany vs United States.
Friday, December 31 - 4:00 pm ET - Canada vs Sweden.
Friday, December 31 - 8:00 pm ET - United States vs Switzerland.
Sunday, January 2 - 3:30 pm ET - Quarterfinal #1.
Sunday, January 2 - 7:30 pm ET - Quarterfinal #2.
Monday, January 3 - 3:30 pm ET - Semifinal #1.
Monday, January 3 - 7:30 pm ET - Semifinal #2.
Wednesday, January 5 - 3:30 pm ET - Bronze Medal.
Wednesday, January 5 - 7:30 pm ET - Gold Medal.

All games are on TSN except for Dec 26 - 8:00 pm ET - Finland-United States.
That game will be on TSN2 due to Vikings-Eagles NFL game being shown on TSN. (Stick tap to LaxSabre - HFBoards)


Monday, December 20, 2010

Grand Larsson-y: NHL 2011 Mock Draft – Holiday Edition (via THW)

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 05: Adam Larsson  of Team Sweden skates against Team Finland at the USA Hockey National Evaluation Camp on August 5, 2010 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the World Junior Championships (U20) looming, here's my first and early crack at NHL 2011 Mock Draft.

I know, I know - slightly premature given the the continuous jockeying for positioning in the NHL standings which will take place as the season progresses. it ever too early to consider Hockey's Version of Christmas?

Read on:

Grand Larsson-y: NHL 2011 Mock Draft – Holiday Edition


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dmitrij Jaskin - A hat trick against Russia


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ryan Strome's Goals vs Colts - Dec 11 2010 Rogers TV


Travis Walsh's amazing goal


Amazing hockey goal by 17 year old


Amazing hockey goal by 17 year old


Kitchener Rangers Jason Akeson great solo effort in Game Winning Goal


Friday, December 3, 2010

RSVP – Team Canada World Juniors Selection Camp Invitees Named

SASKATOON, SK - JANUARY 5: Brayden Schenn #10 of Team Canada stick handles the puck while being defended by AJ Jenks #22 of Team USA during the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tournament Gold Medal game on January 5, 2010 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The Hockey Writers has you covered with two articles with respect to Team Canada Selection Camp.

1. RSVP – Team Canada World Juniors Selection Camp Invitees Named (via THW)


It’s the be all and end all for many hockey fans and media– especially those with a special interest in the young guns of the game. It is a chance for the futures of the game to shine on a world stage, and for viewers to get to see these young athletes compete against many of their top peers.

Preposterous NHL contracts are out the window. Passion. National pride. Youthful enthusiasm. Everything that’s right about the game of hockey is portrayed in its finest form at the World Junior Championships.

Today, the countdown to Buffalo unofficially begins as Hockey Canada announced invitees to their December team selection camp.

2. WHL porspect analysyt Kelly Friesen digs deeper into the 17 invitees from the Dub.

*Of course, Brayden Schenn is also at the forefront of Team Canada candidates now that the Kings have sent him back to the WHL to lace 'em up for the Brandon Wheat Kings. (LAKingInsider)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prospect Pursuit: Charles-Olivier Roussel: Plenty of Skill. Not Enough Room.

TORONTO - OCTOBER 26: Dennis Wideman  of the Florida Panthers skates up the ice during game action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre October 26, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs won 3-1. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

With an already stacked defense, there may be no room for Charles-Olivier Roussel to crack the Nashville Predators lineup.  But I wouldn’t tell that to him if I were you.  For him, everyone is fair game and he’s got as good a shot as any make the “Big Show.”
It is, without question, that the Nashville Predators have one of the top NHL defensive corps in the game today, but what is more impressive is their defensive prospect depth.  Names like Jon Blum, Ryan Ellis, and Cody Franson may jump out at you, but the player you might want to keep an eye out for is the one who is talked about the least.  
Roussel’s rookie season, in 2007-08, with the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes left much to be desired.  He posted a mere 16 points in 50 games which was unlike Charles-Olivier’s style of play.  But things would soon change for the better as Roussel exploded the following year with 44 points in 68 games, all the while accruing 77 penalty minutes.  But where he really shined was in the playoffs, chipping in wherever he could, securing 18 points.  He followed up the stellar season with yet another spectacular performance where fans saw him score 51 points in 64 games while tacking on 70 more PIM’s.  He has shown that his skill set is a valuable commodity for those defenseman who want to achieve the ultimate goal of playing in the NHL and he has slowly climbed up the ranks in Nashville’s prospect system.  So are the Nashville faithful questioning Charles-Olivier Roussel’s ability?...  I didn’t think so.
Prospect Pursuit was fortunate enough to get a chance to interview Charles-Olivier Roussel before the season started:

Prospect PursuitWhen did you start getting into hockey and what made you get into it?

Charles-Olivier Roussel:  I started to play hockey in the street with my neighbors and never stopped.

PP:   What is your favorite hockey movie?

COR Youngblood, because he shows character.

PP:  Who was your favorite team growing up and who were your favorite players?

COR:  My favorite team was the Montreal Canadiens and favorite player Ray Bourque.

PP:  It’s been a long summer, what have you been doing to stay busy?

COR:  I played golf and trained during summer.

Roussel has always been looked upon as a slick, puck-moving defenseman with great vision and the ability to see the play a step ahead of most players.  He does not possess blistering speed on his skates, but at the same time, I wouldn’t bunch him together with the likes of Jody Shelley either, whose skating speed can be timed via sundial.  While he may not be the fastest guy on the ice, he does have great agility and movement to get around players and to set up plays, at which he is most established.  He can control the point very well and find the open man.  He is capable of playing on both the penalty kill as well as the power play, which inevitably leads to points.  But to balance him out as a player, he also brings a tenacity to his game that makes it difficult for opponents to get by him without receiving a hip check or, at the very least, throwing them off balance.

 PPIn a few short sentences, describe yourself as a player. Strengths, weaknesses, style of play, etc.

COR I am a good two-way defenseman.  I can play PP or PK and also hit people.  I need to improve my foot speed and skating.

PP:  Who in the NHL, right now, do you compare yourself to and why?

COR:  I compare myself to Dennis Wideman because he is a good two way player.

PP:  How does playing in the QMJHL benefit your game? Explain briefly.

COR:  I like playing in the QMJHL because they are some good players that compete.

PP:  What do you think you have to do to crack the top 6 this season?

COR I don’t think that I can crack the line-up this year but I want to give a good impression and come back strong next year.

What the experts say:

Dirk Hoag, editor of, “Probably the role that Preds fans hope Roussel eventually steps into is something close to what Dan Hamhuis provided over the last several years; a combination of skilled two-way play and competitive physical work. That said, the road to Nashville is going to be a long one. The Predators are famously patient with their prospects, and Roussel will likely need to prove himself at the AHL level for more than a full season before getting an NHL audition.

Jim Diamond, writer for the Nashville Predators Examiner, “Charles-Olivier Roussel is another solid prospect in the seemingly never-ending line of defensemen in the pipeline of the Nashville Predators, which can be both good news and bad news for a player like Roussel.  I have had the chance to speak with him a couple of times at Nashville ’s Developmental Camp as well as this season’s Training Camp. He is a very engaging and personable young player. Unlike some players who feel a sense of entitlement being a relatively high draft pick, he understands that there is a lot of work to be done if he ever is to become an NHL player.  The Predators are obviously great at identifying and drafting top defensive prospects and that should speak highly of Roussel, but the downside for a player like Charles-Olivier is that he has a lot of current Predators and prospects to climb over if he ever wants to earn a job in Nashville . Five of the seven blueliners currently on the Nashville roster were drafted by the Predators.

            I would like to say that Roussel can be an offensive defenseman who is capable of hitting 40 points, but the reality is, Roussel will be used however the Nashville Predators upper management intend him to be used.  He brings every facet of the game you would like a defenseman so Charles might be specifically sent out on the PP to work his magic at the top of the circle, or the Predators could use him as a shutdown defenseman against the team’s top talents, pushing them to the outside, and using his physicality to prevent scoring chances. 

PPIf could you see yourself doing anything else besides playing hockey what would it be and why? 

CORPlaying football.  I love it

PP:  What is your best moment of your career up to this point?

COR:  When I got drafted

PP:  Who are some players you have played with or against who you think could be fantasy sleeper picks and will produce well in the NHL? 

COR:   I would pick Pekka Rinne.  He is sick.
Dirk Hoag, “[Roussel] also has to compete with a deep talent pool on the right side. Shea Weber is the franchise cornerstone, Kevin Klein was recently rewarded with a 3-year contract, and Cody Franson is making a big impression this season, leading the Nashville defense in scoring. Coming up through the system, Jonathan Blum is talked about as being close to NHL-ready, and of course Ryan Ellis has tremendous offensive upside. There is opportunity to climb that depth chart, but Roussel will have his work cut out for him.

Jim Diamond mentions, “In reality, it will likely be a while before Roussel sees any action with the Predators. In addition to his time with the Montreal Juniors, he has a chance at making Canada ’s World Junior Championship team.
If he does make the team and play at the World Juniors, it will be a great opportunity to see his progress against some world-class competition at the junior-age level.  When his season with the Juniors concludes, he will probably join the Predators AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. If this is the case, it will be an opportunity to show how he matches up against men as opposed to junior-aged players. 
The Predators front office and coaching staff love to say that the road to Nashville runs through Milwaukee , and Roussel will have to travel that road to get here. He certainly has his work cut out for him, and it will be interesting to continue to monitor his progress. 

Roussel will not be seeing any ice time with the Predators this season, however if he is able to produce a successful season in juniors, he might be able to get a stint in the AHL after the season is up.  Charles, after coming into Nashville’s development camp in the summer, has since been returned to the QMJHL where he is playing for his hometown, Montreal Juniors.  And without missing a beat, he already has put up seven points in 16 games this season for his squad.  Expect to see him fighting for a spot on the Predators next season, and if the Preds utilize him to his capabilities it is a good possibility that he could be a very productive offensive defenseman in Nashville for quite some time.

Prospect Pursuit is a series of articles and interviews written by Shawn Reznik.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

NHL Top 100 Prospect Rankings (via THW)

MONTREAL, QC - SEPTEMBER 26: P.K. Subban  of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Minnesota Wild at the Bell Centre on September 26, 2010 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

My major preseason project over at The Hockey Writers - ranking the Top 100 NHL Prospects. I am currently working on the Top 250 Prospects in a search-able and sortable table format. Stay tuned!

Here's an excerpt from Part 4 (1 to 25), which links up to all four parts:
  • The list has been compiled with an emphasis on long term, top end potential. NHL readiness is taken under consideration as well.
  • The pattern of ranking goaltenders particularly tough is evident in my entry draft rankings and is again the case here.
  • When available, prospects are linked to their respective detailed prospect profile, which I have completed over last couple of seasons. Otherwise, the links will take the reader to or Hockeys Future.
  • As noted above, to qualify for this list, a prospect has to be drafted or signed as a free agent and is eligible for the Calder Trophy
  • The Top 100 will be released in a series of 4 articles.
  • After the Top 100 prospects have been released, stay tuned for a mega listing of the Top 250 NHL prospects in a searchable and sortable table format. Find out which players narrowly missed getting into the Top 100 rankings.
*This article contains prospects ranked 1 to 25.
* To view prospects ranked 26 to 50, click here for Part 3.
* To view prospects ranked 51 to 75, click here for Part 2.
*To view prospects ranked 76 to 100, click here for Part 1.

Part 4: (Read on...)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top 10 Calder Trophy Candidates – Fearless Predictions

Edmonton Oilers' Taylor Hall (L) and Jordan Eberle (R) steal the puck from Calgary Flames' Jay Bouwmeester during the first period of their NHL pre-season hockey game in Edmonton October 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

From October 12th, this is my article highlighting Calder Memorial Trophy candidates for the 2010-11 season. It is a fantastic crop of rookies and should prove to be an interesting race. There always seems to be a couple players emerge out of left field. This year is no different with the likes of Matt Taormina and Mark Letestu emerging already, amongst others. Cam Fowler didn't even make the list and I am extremely high on him and he has certainly been impressive already this season. I had him ranked 3rd in my 2010 Draft Rankings and 12th overall in my Top 100 Prospect Rankings which attests to how high I am on him. I simply didn’t see him winning the Calder this year.

With my Top 100 NHL Prospect Rankings fresh off the press, I still wanted to discuss this year’s top rookie class. Though a prospect had to be Calder Trophy eligible to meet the Top 100 criteria, the list was focused on long term potential with NHL readiness taken into account.

This article then features prospects that are obviously ready for the Big League and should garner some consideration for rookie-of-the-year, should things fall in place for them this season.

...I have decided to make my Top 10 Calder Trophy Candidates article in a slightly different direction. The following prospects then are strong candidates in their own right but I will throw a spin in to the mix in which I predict things that will have to go right (or wrong) for them to be a true contender.

Excerpt scenario:
4. Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers

Prospect Ranking: 1

Calder Winning Scenario: The one thing that just might be standing in the way of the #1 rated NHL prospect winning rookie of the year is an injury. Hall plays with an obvious passion and determination. He is susceptible to being hit and hit hard, but to this point has been able to get right back and have an impact even in the same game. Until now though he has not faced guys who are so big, so fast and hit so hard. My fearless prediction is that Hall gets knocked out at some point for about 15 games, which ultimately cost him the Calder.
Read on:


Monday, September 20, 2010

THW's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Rankings Top 60 – An Early Look

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 05: Adam Larsson  of Team Sweden skates against Team Finland at the USA Hockey National Evaluation Camp on August 5, 2010 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The next edition of hockey's version of Christmas is a long way's off, but it's never too early to take a glimpse at the highly touted prospects who are eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which will go down on Jun 24-25th in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Here's a snapshot of the Top 5 with a link to the Top 60 in a sortable and searchable table format:

1 F Sean Couturier L 07-Dec-92 6'3 193 Drummondville QMJHL CAN
2 D Adam Larsson R 12-Nov-92 6'3 220 Skellefteå Elitserien SWE
3 F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins L 12-Apr-93 6'0 166 Red Deer WHL CAN
4 D David Musil L 09-Apr-93 6'3 191 Vancouver WHL CZE
5 F Matt Puempel L 24-Jan-93 6'0 205 Peterborough OHL CAN
Read on and flame away!

Of course, there's a lot of hockey to be played (and off-ice incidents to go through) which will cause some might and not so mighty rising and falling of the stocks of prospects, but the analyzing of the eligible players has to start somewhere.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

NHL Prospect Profile – Mikael Granlund - Minnesota Wild

SASKATOON, SK - JANUARY 4:  Mikael Granlund #22 of Team Finland skates while being followed by Maxim Trunev #11 of Team Russia during the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tournament Fifth Place game on January 4, 2010 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Team Finland defeated Team Russia 4-3.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

For the 2010 NHL Entry Draft I released detailed prospect profiles of the top 30 rated prospects at The Hockey Writers. To revisit these profiles, I will link up to take a glimpse back at one superb draft.

Mikael Granlund

Age: 18

Date of birth: February 26, 1992

Place of birth: Oulu, Finland

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 180

Shoots: L

2009-10 Team: HIFK (FIN)

An excerpt from my draft preview detailed profile at The Hockey Writers:

Inevitably when one is an undersized, talented, crafty forward from Finland oozing with potential, that prospect will get compared to Saku Koivu.

In this case, Mikael Granlund deserves the accolades and the comparison is a valid one. In fact, he has a chance, should he reach his full potential, to exceed Koivu offensively. Matching Saku’s intensity, drive and work ethic, however, will not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

After a not so inspiring WJC U20 Championships performance in Saskatchewan, he had a fantastic WJC U18 tournament. Combined with his superb play in the Finnish top league, the cerebral skilled playmaker could easily sneak into the Top 10 on June 25th.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

About/Updated Contact Informartion


The Next Ones focuses on the future of hockey - the prospects and the NHL draft.

From "The Rocket" (Maurice Richard) and "Mr. Hockey" (Gordie Howe) who share #9,
From "Sid the Kid" (Sidney Crosby) #87 to #66 (Mario Lemieux) "The Magnificent One",
From Bobby Orr #4 to the one, the only truly "Great One", (Wayne Gretzky) #99.  

The Team:

Christopher Ralph - Owner and editor; Chris also is senior prospect and draft analysis at The Hockey Writers (THW).

Shawn Reznik - His "Prospect Pursuit" article series features prospect profiles and interviews.

Eldon MacDonald - E-Mac's unique spin on hockey prospect analysis is "by a hockey fan for hockey fans".

Consider "The Next Ones" your online hockey prospect eNewspaper featuring the greatest prospect resources on the web.


Wayne Gretzky once said: "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." 

The Next Ones attempts to take readers not just where hockey is right now, but where it’s going in the future.

Contact Information:
Links to web sites which I currently contribute to:
*Senior sportswriter at The Hockey Writers ( specializing in covering NHL prospects and the entry draft.

My archives at THW:


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Hockey Spy’s Prospect Profile – Ryan Johansen

For the 2010 NHL Entry Draft I released detailed prospect profiles of the top 30 rated prospects at The Hockey Writers. To revisit these profiles, I will link up to take a glimpse back at one superb draft.
Ryan Johansen (Click on name for up- to- date stats)

Ryan Johanson {Photo: Flickr - Portland Winterhawks}
Age: 17
Born: July 31, 1992 in Vancouver, British Columbia
Height/Weight: 6-2/192 pounds
Position: Center
Shoots: Right
2009-10 Team: Portland (WHL)
NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010

No player in this draft has rocketed up the rankings and charts of hockey scouts like Johansen in the past year. His hockey evolution has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Big and talented 1st or 2nd line centermen are tough to come by and thus Johansen will be a hot commodity come June 25th.
The only cautionary note some scouts might make is the fact that he has come so far so fast – can he really continue on this amazing evolutionary trail. Those close to and know Johansen well, however, will quickly refute this notion.
Ryan actually has a connection to my hometown of Grand Bank, Newfoundland given that he’s a first cousin of a good friend of mind.



Friday, June 25, 2010

The Hockey Spy’s NHL 2010 Mega Three Round Mock Draft

Today’s article embarks on my final mock draft of the season – 3 Rounds with 10 bonus picks!

Notes: (Please read to get the most enjoyment from this mock draft.)
*The table is “sortable” – that is, if you click on any of the headings it will sort that particular column.
*For detailed prospect profiles (Top 30), check out the Home Page for my monster 2010 Entry Draft Preview. Click on players name to go to prospect profile article.

Taylor Hall #4 {Photo: Leon T Switzer @
*Just under the title, you can click “Show” and change the quantity you show on one page or you can simply click on bottom right hand corner of table to scroll through the mock draft.
*Use the “Search” field to find your team’s picks (use city name).

The first 10 picks:

1. EdmontonHall, TaylorLW1WindsorOHLExplosive offensive dynamo; Oilers toy with taking Seguin, but have to take Bure-like Hall
2. Boston (from TOR)Seguin, TylerC2PlymouthOHLBruins covet Hall, but settle for Yzerman-esque franchise centerman; Crash-cart on stand-by for Brian Burke
3. FloridaGormley, BrandonD6MonctonQMJHLNew GM Tallon envisions Duncan Keith Part Deux?
4. ColumbusGudbranson, ErikD5KingstonOHLPhysical force on back end Blue Jackets badly need; offensive upside
5. NY IslandersNiederreiter, NinoRW4PortlandWHL"El Nino" Swiss Rick Nash to flank Tavares
6. Tampa BayCampbell, JackG12Usa U-18USDPPut goalie woes to bed; Cool as ice franchise goaltender
7. CarolinaFowler, CamD3WindsorOHLSublime skating QB blueliner Canes sorely lack
8. AtlantaJohansen, RyanC10PortlandWHLFranchise center; Eric Staal-like rocketed up rankings
9. MinnesotaSkinner, JeffRW9KitchenerOHLSuper sniper; Not Gaborik-like speed demon, but don't worry about his skating
10. NY RangersEtem, EmersonRW7Medicine HatWHLCalifornia kid is one of the draft's fastest & has finish

 Read on for the rest of the picks...


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview - "Home Page"

Calgary Hitmen goaltender Martin Jones (31) makes a save on Windsor Spitfires Taylor Hall (4) at the Memorial Cup in Brandon, Manitoba May 17, 2010. The Canadian Hockey League's championship tournament runs until May 23. REUTERS/Fred Greenslade (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

This marks the second year my annual monster draft preview has been hosted here at The Hockey Writers (THW). For last year’s detailed draft preview click here – 2009 NHL Entry Draft Preview.

*Also note, “We’re pleased to announce that The Hockey Writers will be hosting a webcast covering the entire First Round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, being held in Los Angeles on June 25th. We’ll be webcasting live from the Rbar, in the shadow of Nationwide Arena, from the beautiful Arena District in downtown Columbus, Ohio.”

*Check out and bookmark this link for more information on the Live Draft Coverage!

THW’s Live Draft Webcast – June 25th, 2010

Here are the Top 10 NHL 2010 Draft Prospects: 

1. Taylor Hall
2. Tyler Seguin
3. Cam Fowler
4. Nino Niederreiter
5. Erik Gudbranson
6. Brandon Gormley
7. Emerson Etem
8. Brett Connolly
9. Jeffrey Skinner
10. Ryan Johansen

I have now completed 17 detailed prospect profiles. Tune in to my "Home Page" preview article at The Hockey Writers for much more draft coverage and links to all the prospect profile as well as mock drafts.

Read on:


Friday, June 4, 2010

The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Jeffrey Skinner

2010 Home Hardware CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game

Jeffrey Skinner

Position: Center

Age: 18

Date of Birth: May 16, 1992

Place of Birth: Markham, Ontario

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 182

Shoots: Left

2009-10 Team: Kitchener(OHL)

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010


After a very impressive 50 goal campaign as a 17 year old in the OHL, Skinner absolutely exploded in the playoffs and took his game to an even higher level scoring 20 goals in 20 games and added 13 assists.

He is one of the top snipers in the draft, possessing one of the best sets of hands bar none.

Why then is there such a wide range of opinion on where Skinner will go in the upcoming draft?
Read on at The Hockey Writers...’s-2010-nhl-entry-draft-preview-–-jeffrey-skinner/


The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Brett Connolly

Brett Connolly

Born: May 2, 1992 in Campbell River, British Columbia

Height/Weight: 6-2/181 pounds

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

2009-10 Team: Prince George (WHL)

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010


Two word – hip injury.

No one denies Connolly’s high end talent. In actual fact, if not for his serious hip injury that required surgery and caused him to miss nearly the entire season, few doubt that he’d be giving Hall and Seguin a run for the prospect available.

When Brett is healthy, he’s an intensely competitive goal scoring force with good size and very good skating ability.

Read on at THW:’s-2010-nhl-entry-draft-preview-–-brett-connolly/


The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Emerson Etem

Emerson Etem

Position: C/W

Shoots: Right

Height: 6-0

Weight: 194 lbs

Birthdate: 1992-06-16

Hometown: Long Beach, California

Current team: Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010


Etem plays for one of the best coaches in the CHL in Willie Desjardins who marvels over the explosive forward: “Emerson is a great skater who opens up the ice real well. He is a real professional already. Everyday he prepares like a pro. His biggest strength is he wants to improve as a player. When you tell him something he is prepared to do it.” (

Dynamic skating speedsters with a goal-scorer’s touch are not easy to come by.He is also one of the younger of the top players available in the draft.

Read on at The Hockey Writers...’s-2010-nhl-entry-draft-preview-–-emerson-etem/


The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Erik Gudbranson

NHL Combine 2010 - Day One

My 2010 NHL Entry Draft prospet profiles and draft coverage continues at The Hockey Writers (THW)

Age: 18

Date of birth: January 07, 1992

Place of birth: Ottawa, Ont., Canada

Ht: 6-3.75 Wt: 195

Shoots: R

Current team: Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010


Gudbranson might be raw at this point, but he’s the prototypical big, physical, skilled defenseman every GM and scout covets. He had a good sophomore year, but was limited somewhat as he battled a knee injury as well as a lengthy bout with mononucleosis.

Read on...’s-2010-nhl-entry-draft-preview-–-erik-gudbranson/


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Hockey Spy's 2010 Mock Draft Round 1 - Playoff Edition

2010 Home Hardware CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game

The Hockey Spy here at THW is also busy scouting the prospect world and will continue to bring detailed prospect profiles leading up to the draft.

Tyler Seguin {Photo: Robin Kasem - Flickr}

Today’s article embarks on my second mock draft of the season – Playoffs Edition.
The major addition in this updated mock draft compared to my Olympic Edition mock draft is that I’ve added a brief rationale section for each pick. Take a look back at my previous mock and see if you can discover any trends over the past couple of months!

Read on...


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Brandon Gormley

2010 Home Hardware CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game

Position: DEFENCE
Number: 3
Height: 6.02
Weight: 190 lbs
Shoots: LEFT
Born: 1992-02-18 (AGE 18)
Birthplace: Murray River, P.E.I.
Current team: Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL
NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010
Gormley is the consensus top rated prospect out of the “Q” (QMJHL) this season and will challenge for the top blueliner taken in June.
Not super flashy, but very smooth skating and has a good head for the game. He has a quiet confidence about him and excels in all facets of the game – PP, PK and 5-on-5 as well as on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice.
Gormley may not develop into the prototypical franchise defenseman, but should evolve into an important cog of whatever NHL franchise chooses him and has the ability to log efficient top pairing minutes.

Read on...


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Future Blackhawks: Prospect Rankings Update


*Here then are our Top 20 Blackhawk Prospects:

- NOTE: Future articles will analyze, breakdown other rankings as well as provide our own reasoning for individual players; at least for the top 10 (since, for the most part, the rest of the rankings only looked at the top 10 prospects). Rankings will be updated after 2010 entry draft.

Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks

1. Dylan Olsen (D)
2. Kyle Beach (LW)
3. Shawn Lalonde (D)
4. Jack Skille (RW)
5. Nick Leddy (D)
6. Marcus Kruger (C)
7. Akim Aliu (LW)
8. Brandon Pirri (C)
9. Billy Sweatt (C/LW)
10. Bryan Bickell (LW)
11. Simon Danis-Pepin (D)
12. Brian Connelly (D)
13. Byron Froese (C)
14. David Gilbert (C)
15. David Pacan (C)
16. Ryan Stanton (D)
17. Joe Lavin (D)
18. Ben Smith (RW)
19. Brandon Bollig (F)
20. Dan Delisle (C)

Read on...


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Nino “El Nino” Niederreiter

"El Nino" - Detailed "Full Potential" Profile featured on The Hockey Writers:

IIHF World Junior Championship - Sweden v Switzerland - Bronze Medal Game

Nino Niederreiter (Click on name for up- to- date stats)
Position: LW
Age: 17
Date of birth: September 08, 1992
Place of birth: Chur, Switzerland
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 203
Shoots: L
Current team: Portland Winterhawks, WHL
NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010
Niederreiter should easily exceed Michel Riesen (14th overall  1997) as the highest Swiss player ever drafted. While destined to be perhaps the greatest player ever to hail from Switzerland, beyond that “El Nino” is simply an extremely talented forward when stacked against the best the world of hockey has to offer – period.
Size. Skill. Strength. Skating. Shot. Creativity. Passion. Desire. Maturity. Great hands. Defensive accountability.
These characteristics all add up to a complete forward destined for greatness.

Read on...


Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Cam Fowler

2010 Home Hardware CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game

Cam Fowler

Age: 18

Date of birth: December 05, 1991

Place of birth: Windsor, Ont.

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 195

Shoots: L

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010

One-Timer: While Brandon Gormley and Erik Gudbranson may have narrowed the gap, Fowler is still the clear cut number one blueliner for the 2010 draft class. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Drew Doughty, Niedermayer and Rob Blake, if he can continue to develop his physical play, Fowler has the potential to be a franchise defenseman.

He is an elite skating, savvy puck carrying, two-way blueliner. Should he tap into all his potential, and his work ethic and attitude suggest he will, Fowler could very well be a top 10 point-producing blueliner in the big leagues in the not so distant future.
Read more at The Hockey Writers...


Saturday, February 27, 2010

PIB’s Blackhawks Prospect Rankings #5 Nick Leddy

2009 NHL Draft Portraits

Nick Leddy
Nick Leddy {Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn - Flickr}
Nick Leddy {Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn - Flickr}

Age: 18
Date of birth: March 20, 1991
Place of birth: Eden Prairie, MN, USA
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 179
Shoots: L
NHL Seasons: 0-R
Drafted by Minnesota in 2009 (1/16).
Acquired in a trade with Minnesota in 2010.

The recently acquired (trade with Wild) Nicky Leddy comes in as the fifth ranked prospect, with the potential to easily move up in these rankings. The 16th overall, 1st round selection in 2009 by Minnesota was touted as one of the most explosive skaters in the draft.
As I noted in my monster 2009 Draft Preview, in the article featuring Nick Leddy, I summed the young blueliner up, stating:
One-Timer: The recently crowned “Mr. Hockey”, as the best high-school player in Minnesota high school, is a tad on the small side, but boy is he fast! He is a very poised player and an uncanny ability to make plays at high speeds. He posses very good vision and thus makes intelligent decisions on both sides of the rink, to go with his exceptional skating ability.”
Current Season Update:

Read on...

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