By Eldon MacDonald
56. Gregory Hofmann, - “The Roadrunner” - C – Switzerland
Vitals: Size - 6’0”, 165 lb.; Shoots left; Born 13-Nov-92 Neuenberg, Switzerland
Team: Ambrì-Piotta, NLA
2010-11 Stats: 41-3-9-12-2 + NLA playoffs 12-02-2-2 - U20 6-1-3-4-2-(+2)
43 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
45 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
HM - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50 (HM = 51 to 58)
56 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
HM - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts (HM’s = 61 to 85)
71 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (11th European skater)
78 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
79 - The Scouting Report's Top 100
85 - ISS per TSN
103 - Carolina Hurricane
So who was the best top forward on the Swiss team at the U20’s? Was it Nino Niederreiter, nope!!! Was it Sven Baertschi, nope!!! OK, so who was it then??? It was Gregory Hofmann (a child-looking young man who is actually 6’0’’), the centerman who possesses a high performance engine that delivers F-1 type acceleration, Bonneville Flats type high-end speed, a pulsating type forechecking and the energy that reminds you of the “The Roadrunner” in the cartoon shows from your childhood. He is more of a playmaker than a shooter as he is the type of player that brings up the energy and compete level of the whole team.
There is some question as to whether Gregory will come over to North America next year as you can tell by the ambiguity to his response to PlaneteHockey.com when they asked him about it, “Today, I can not answer because I feel good with Ambri-Piotta. But I have a clause in my contract that would allow me to leave Switzerland for North America. Last year, I learned that three teams wanted to draft me during the Import Draft (CHL Entry Draft). Then I got involved with Ambri-Piotta and I decided to honor my contract with the club.” However, it may not be a bad thing if he doesn’t come over right away as he needs some time to bulk up on his child-like body.
Where does this exciting young man go in the draft. NHL Central Scouting has him mid-third but others have as high as mid-second (Future Considerations had him 43 in their final rankings). As for myself, I am a tweener at 55 and would love to have him higher but that child-like frame is a concern.