Monday, June 20, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Duncan Siemens #20

By Eldon MacDonald

20. Duncan Siemens - “Mr. Intimidator” - D - Canada

Vitals: Size - 6’3”, 196 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 7-Sep-93 - Sherwood Park, AB
Team: Saskatoon, WHL
2010-11Stats: 72-5-38-43-121-(+40) + WHL playoffs 10-1-3-4-15-(-4)
9 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
9 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
11 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
12 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (10th North American skater)
12 - ISS per TSN
12 - The Hockey News per TSN
13 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
13 - McKeen's June Top 30
14 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
14 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
18 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
20 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
36 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
62 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
Draft result:
11 - Colorado Avalanche

The thing that impresses me most about Duncan Siemens is that he has that linebacker size and is not afraid to use it - to play physically, to dominate the opposition, to intimidate his opponents and to drop the mitts if necessary. He has that leadership mentality and a willingness to make things happen that sets him apart from your average d-man. Add in top level skating, a good first pass and a hard slapper from the point and suddenly you have yourself a top notch prospect.
NHL Central Scouting's B.J. MacDonald told, “Siemens is one of the top players available from the (WHL) this year. He's a strong, smooth skater with good composure and very poised under pressure. He's got good size and isn't afraid to use it."

However, Duncan Siemens is not a prospect without questions. Probably, the biggest question relates to his hockey sense and defensive zone decision making. The playoffs did not go well for either Duncan Siemens or his powerhouse Saskatoon Blades (who were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs) and Duncan did not play very well. How much of that is a real problem and how much relates to the fact that Duncan is one of the youngest guys in the draft (so will grow out of it naturally with a little more time) is a question that scouts need to have an answer for on June 24th. As a point of reference, I remember going to see Nathan Beaulieu (who is almost a year older, being born in December 1992) at the end of the 2009-10 season and thinking that this guy’s defensive game would never amount to anything but then came 2010-11 and he sure showed me and the rest of the world otherwise, winning the Memorial Cup in the process. The other question relates to how well Duncan’s offensive game will translate going ahead. While he put up decent points (43), it came on a powerhouse team and maybe should have been higher if he is going to be a true offenseman.

Where does a large, intimidating presence on the blueline go in the draft these days? The rankings above suggest a top 12 is likely. However, the intrigue on whether Duncan’s defensive game will progress and whether his offensive game will translate to the next level adds a little excitement in what would otherwise have been a slam-dunk to the top 12.


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