Saturday, June 25, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120

Introducing...E-Mac's Top 120 Prospects for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft:

I am starting at 110 to leave room for any prospect that my do really well during the Memorial Cup that I don’t already have ranked.  

These postings are the writings of one hockey fan for other hockey fans with the intention of making them memorable enough so that a casual reader has a chance of remembering the prospect’s name when it comes up at the draft in June. Some will be successful, some will not - however, I am hoping for a better success rate than the 19% chance the NHL teams currently have in selecting an NHL player in the fourth round.
In looking back at the 2003 to 2005 entry drafts, it is interesting to note the success rate for each of the rounds. By my calculations (players that are NHL regulars for the most part - your list could be slightly different), here are the figures:

01-15 – 82% (03-93%; 04-73%; 05-80%)
16-30 – 76% (03-93%; 04-67%; 05-67%)
31-45 – 33% (03-33%; 04- 7%; 05-60%)
46-60 – 24% (03-33%; 04-33%; 05- 7%)
61-90 - 24% (03-33%; 04-20%; 05-20%)
91-120 - 19% (03-10%; 04-30%; 05-17%)
120-150 - 11% (03-10%; 04-13%; 05-10%)
151-180 - 9% (03-13%; 04-13%; 05- 0%)
181-210 - 10% (03-17%; 04- 3%; 05-10%)
Over 210 - 12% (03-13%; 04-10%; 05-15%)
Overall - 23% (03-25%; 04-20%; 05-23%)

*Here are the rankings so far and will be updated regularly as they are released leading up the draft. All profiles can be found under the author's main link: Eldon MacDonald
**To easily find the full profile of each prospect, simply click on name (hyperlink) and/or go to the "Index" on the right-hand side of the site.
***You have to go to each individual profile to find out E-Mac's unique nickname given to each and every player! (I have included some of the them as teasers.)

Here's an excerpt of E-Mac's profile on his #23 ranked prospect Nikita "Mr. Game-breaker" Kucherov:

What kind of player is Nikita Kucherov??? Game-breaker would be the easy answer or heart breaker if you are playing for the other side. Nikita has an impressive arrange of advanced weapons in his arsenal. First of all, his one-timer is so good that he could live of that alone. Secondly, his speed is so devasting that he can back up defenders and use his sublime passing skills to finish the play. Thirdly, he is prepared to be aggressive on the forecheck and pounce on loose pucks. Fourthly, add vision, determination and an elite finishing ability and you have one elite hockey player.

Are there any negatives to Nikita Kucherov? The biggest negative and one that will affect when he gets drafted is the fact that he is Russian and appears to be committed for two more years playing in Russia. Maybe that is not all bad because it will allow him some time to correct his second biggest weakness which is size and strength.
Here's an excerpt of E-Mac's profile on his #110 ranked prospect Jean-Gabriel Pageau:

At the end of the playoffs, Jean-Gabriel stood third in playoff scoring with 28 points in 23 games and a +9 when going against the league’s best. Maybe now you can start to see why even the recalcitrant are coming around. So, if you are looking for a Claude Giroux like guy (without the irritability) who can play center or right wing and you want someone who always comes up big in critical situations you might give a thought to the petit dragon slayer, Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
E-Man's Rankings: (Click on prospect's name for detailed profile)
Tomas Mr. Youtube Jurco - Photo by EliteProspects

Marek "Titanium Guy" Tvrdon

    Xavier "Mr. Chameleon" Ouellet - Photo by Benoit Lefebvre



    E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: 111 to 120

    By Eldon MacDonald

    Well, I don’t have time to do a proper write-up on these guys (111 to 120 in the rankings) as day two of the draft is fast approaching. However, I did put together a few words on all of them to give you some idea of who they are.

    111. Joel Lowry - “The Twofer” - LW - Canada

    Vitals: Size - 6’2”, 185 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 15-Nov-91 - Calgary, AB
    Team: Victoria, BCHL
    2010-11Stats: 42-24-43-67-35 + BCHL playoffs 12-5-12-17-6
    111 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    124 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (95th North American skater)
    Draft result:
    140 - Los Angeles Kings

    Yes, Joel Lowry is Adam Lowry’s older brother and Dave Lowry’s son. Playing in the BCHL, he simply wasn’t good enough last year to be drafted. However, a year later and after leading the Victoria Grizzlies in points in the playoff (2nd in the regular season) there is every reason to believe that his luck will change this year. Could there be a twofer with with his brother???

    Joel is likely to be a third-line power forward type of guy, will grind it out, go to the net, all the things you expect from a Lowry. And yes, he can drop em too.

    112. Jordan Binnington - “The Goalie” - G - Canada

    Vitals: Size - 6’2”, 158 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 11-Jul-93 - Richmond Hill, ON
    Team: Owen Sound, OHL
    2010-11Stats: 46-1-3.05-.899 + OHL playoffs 7-0-3.21-.894 + Memorial Cup 4-1-1.42-.951
    84 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (3rd North American goalie)
    112 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    Draft result:
    88 - St. Louis Blues

    Hmm, yes, I love humble pie, it is my favourite. And I have been eating it every since I said that NHL Central Scouting did not know what they were doing in rating this guy so high, 3rd best North American goalie. After all, he had a lousy season (.899 save percentage) and his playoff numbers didn’t look too hot either (.894 save percentage) but they put him in for the last two games of the OHL playoffs and he played so well that Owen Sound became the OHL champions. And then came the Memorial Cup and Jordan played even better. He was unbelieveable and there were high expectations for him in the semi-final game against Mississauga, a rematch of the OHL finals. How did he do? He did nothing because they didn’t play him in one of the most incomprehensible moves I have seen in junior hockey. By the way, Owen Sound lost that game, big time, and were knocked out of the Memorial Cup.

    Jordan just has that look and feel of an NHL goalie and I am sure he is going to be one someday.

    113. Chase Balisy - “Ballsy” - LW - USA

    Vitals: Size - 6’0”, 171 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 2-Feb-92 - Fullerton, CA
    Team: Western Michigan, CCHA
    2010-11Stats: 37-12-17-29-8-(+4)
    113 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    Unranked - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings
    Draft result:
    170 - Nashville Predators

    Once highly regarded, he was passed over last year as he was distracted by some off ice things in his life. However, those distractions appear to be behind him and he had an excellent freshman year at Western Michigan.

    Chase is not particularly big, not particularly strong, not particularly fast but he is good at protecting the puck and passing it of to his teammates. He is also an intelligent player and can put up the points.

    114. Johan Sundstrom - “Godzilla” - C - Sweden

    Vitals: Size - 6’3”, 196 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 21-Sep-92 - Göteborg, SWE
    Team: Frölunda, Swedish Elite League (Elitserien)
    2010-11Stats: 41-1-0-1-10 + J20 playoffs 7-8-7-15-2
    HM - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts (HM’s rank 61 to 85)
    68 - ISS's Final Listing per TSN
    74 - The Hockey News's List per TSN
    84 - The Scouting Report's Top 100
    114 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    151 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (24th European skater)
    Draft result:
    50 - New York Islanders

    Well, he didn’t have a good year in the Swedish Elite League, just one goal in 41 games. So, they let play him play with his age group for the playoffs and it was like releasing Godzilla in downtown Manhattan, chaos, he cleaned up and had 15 points in 7 games.

    Johan is a power forward who will drive to the net. He has a decent top speed but his gears and turns are not top notch. He is likely to end up as a defensive forward if he makes it to the NHL and at 6’3’’, 196 lb., there is a chance that will happen.

    115. David Honzik - “The Czech Goalie” - G - Czech Republic

    Vitals: Size - 6’3”, 194 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 9-Aug-93 - Karlovy Vary, CZE
    Team: Victoriaville, QMJHL
    2010-11Stats: 36-1-3.54-.884 + QMJHL playoffs 9-0-3.28-.919
    43 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
    55 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
    115 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    131 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
    213 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (8th North American goalie)
    Draft result:
    71 - Vancouver Canucks

    A Czech goalie with size who played in the QMJHL for Victoriaville. Not too good in the regular season (.884 save percentage), he stepped it up in the playoffs (.919 save percentage) and converted quite a few of the naysayers.

    116. Andrej Stastny - “Mr. Happy” - C - Slovakia

    Vitals: Size - 6’4”, 215 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 24-Jan-91 - Povazska Bystrica, SVK
    Team: Vancouver, WHL
    2010-11Stats: 32-10-20-30-40-(+2) + WHL playoffs 4-0-0-0-11-(-5) + U20 6-1-1-2-0-(-1)
    116 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    247 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (185th North American skater)
    Draft result:

    Mr. Happy (Stastny in English means happy) is a 6’4’’, 215 lb. center from Slovakia who played for the Vancouver Giants in the WHL in the second half of the season. Showed flashes of why he should be drafted (after going undrafted the last two years) and at his size I think someone will take chance on him.

    117. Michael Mersch - “Badger Mike” - LW - USA

    Vitals: Size - 6’1”, 196 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 2-Oct-92 - Park Ridge, IL
    Team: University of Wisconsin, WCHA
    2010-11Stats: 39-8-10-18-30-(+23)
    HM - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts (HM’s rank 61 to 85)
    HM - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50 (HM’s rank 51 to 58)
    71 - The Hockey News's List per TSN
    85 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
    97 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
    108 - ISS's Final Listing per TSN
    109 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (83rd North American skater)
    117 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    Draft result:
    110 - Los Angeles Kings

    Solid guy, does all the little things, can pass, can score but and I mean but, he is slow. Can some skating instructor do a Brian Boyle remake on him, if so, you have second line talent.

    118. Tobias Rieder - “The German Roadrunner” - C/W - Germany

    Vitals: Size - 5’10”, 180 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 10-Jan-93 - Landshut, GER
    Team: Kitchener, OHL
    2010-11Stats: 65-23-236-49-35-(+9) + OHL playoffs 7-0-2-2-4-(-1) + U20 6-1-1-2-0-(-1)
    70 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
    78 - The Scouting Report's Top 100
    94 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (73rd North American skater)
    97 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
    118 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    Draft result:
    114 - Edmonton Oilers

    Small guy, not strong, has the speed and the hands. Started the season afire and then the embers just went out as he faded big time in the stretch. However, some still like what he did early in the season and believe he is still a player who can develop.

    119. Zac Larraza - “Mr. Upside” - LW - USA

    Vitals: Size - 6’2”, 194 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 25-Feb-93 - Scottsdale, AZ
    Team: US NDP U18, USHL
    2010-11Stats: 49-8-5-13-20 + U18’s 6-1-4-5-4-(+4)
    90 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (70th North American skater)
    91 - The Scouting Report's Top 100
    106 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
    119 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    Draft result:
    196 - Phoenix Coyotes

    Has the size and skating that make a lot of people believe that this guy has a lot of upside that we have yet to see. His offensive game hasn’t taken off in spite of appearing to have a decent skill set to make it happen.

    120. Harrison Ruopp - “Uopp” - D - Canada

    Vitals: Size - 6’2”, 193 lb.; Shoots right; Born: 17-Mar-93 - Zehner, SK
    Team: Prince Albert, WHL
    2010-11Stats: 54-0-9-9-98-(+8)+ WHL playoffs 6-0-0-0-9-(-7)
    120 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
    134 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (102nd North American skater)
    178 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
    Draft result:
    84 - Phoenix Coyotes

    Uopp me once, shame on you; Uopp we twice, shame on me. Most WHL payers were smart enough not to get uopped twice. If you don’t believe me just ask Duncan Siemens for a reference. Uopp is a big Saskatchewan farm boy who is a horse in the backfield and doesn’t allow anyone to plough through to his goalie. Although you won’t see much offense from him, he can skate reasonably well, has a decent shot and can make a decent pass. However, it is that physical, intimidating presence that will be “the sell” for scouts.

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