Wednesday, June 22, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Matt Puempel #12

By Eldon MacDonald

12. Matt Puempel - “The Assassin” - LW - Canada

Vitals: Size - 6’0”, 198 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 24-Jan-93 - Essex, ON
Team: Peterborough, OHL
2010-11Stats: 55-34-36-69-49-(-33)
12 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
12 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
14 - Craig Button's Top 30 of 8-Jun-11
16 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
16 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
17 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
19 - Guy Flaming - The Pipeline Show Top 30
21 - The Hockey News per TSN
23 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
24 - Dean Millard -The Pipeline Show Top 30
27 - Bob MacKenzie's June 2011 NHL Scouts Poll
29 - ISS's 30-May-11 per TSN
29 - McKeens June Top 30
33 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (28th North American skater)
33 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
Draft result:
24 - Ottawa Senators

Although he is not flashy, Matt Puempel’s economy of motion and economy of movement in making and setting up scoring chances night after night on a very bad team make me believe this guy is the closest to a pure scorer in this year’s draft and I like goal scorers. He went out with an injury at the end of the year but I don’t think that will have a big effect on his chances. What makes his elite talent of hard shot, quick release so effective is that he can get it off at almost any time and in any traffic and even when his feet are not set. In addition, he is an elite passer. As NHL’s Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards told, "He is dangerous with the puck and has an excellent shot. He has the ability to make highly skilled passes through traffic and can make his linemates better. His goals are skilled goals." He is not rated by many (Bob MacKenzie’s poll of scouts has him at 27) as high as I have him because some of other skills are just OK and his progression from CHL Rookie of the Year in 2009-10 up to the end of this season has not been as high as some of his peers. Still, it is my belief that premium goal scorers are few in number and hard to come by so a team wanting one better be prepared to pay a high price for this rare skill especially when it is probably the best in this year’s draft.

As for the rest of the story, this sniper and passer of elite renown also has high-end hockey sense, can work well in traffic and shows excellent balance on his skates. Most of his other skills and size are not remarkable, not bad, just not remarkable. However, he will have to step up the rest of his game and his overall compete level to continue his success to the next level.

The rankings have him at 12 to 33 with those that value elite goal scorers like me at the upper end and those that prefer more well-rounded types at the lower end.


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