|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 07/15/2010 : 17:08:00
01 Alex Pietrangelo
Hasn't made the jump yet like some others in his draft class but it is more due to the St. Louis Blues youth already on the blueline. Pietrangelo and EJ should make a deadly combo on the PP and Piets defensive game is rounding into form. This guy is a stud. Expect to see him in the NHL in 2010-11.
02 Tyler Seguin
Could be a future superstar. Might be more talented than Hall. Is a right-handed center with immense offensive tools and an excellent work ethic.
03 Taylor Hall
Can skate, can score. Plays with tenacity and isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas to put the puck in the net. Needs to make sure he keeps his head up in the NHL. Could make the jump from junior to the NHL.
04 Jacob Markstrom
The future in Florida, Markstrom has come overseas after signing an Entry Level Contract this summer. He's a tall goalie with a butterfly style and a quick glove. Could get a look in Florida is early as 2010-11.
Stock may have slipped a bit after leaving the Blue Jackets to go back to Russia last season, but that doesn't change the fact that Filatov has huge talent. He'll be back in the NHL in 2010-11 and with a new coach in Columbus perhaps he gets more icetime. Could be a future 40-goal scorer.
06 Jordan Eberle
It is now impossible to ignore what Eberle has done outside the NHL and even more impossible to ignore the massive holes in Edmonton's lineup that Eberle can easily slide into. If your league doesn't score plus/minus or you can afford the hit to that category, Eberle is someone fantasy owners should get a piece of.
07 Jonathan Bernier
If Jon Quick hadn't emerged in 2009-10, this season would be Bernier's coming out party. Bernier was a star in the AHL and has nothing left to prove in the minors, and its only a matter of time before he is making the majority of the starts for an uber talented, young team (think Chicago Blackhawks 2.0 - now with goaltending).
08 John Carlson
An offensively gifted, defensively responsible blueliner, Carlson will find himself with a large role sooner than later on one of the most explosive teams in the NHL. Carlson isn't likely to reproduce what teammate Mike Green puts up on the board, but he also will PLAY DEFENSE!
09 Brayden Schenn
He tore up the WHL (again) and looks to be just another talented youngster to enter the Kings' pro roster. He has all the tools to succeed at the top level, and once he gains the trust of the coaching staff, Schenn will be worthy of a roster spot in all fantasy formats.
10 Cody Hodgson
Back injuries have stalled his development and likely delayed his arrival in the NHL, but he not only has all the tools to be an effective player in all three zones, he has the smarts and leadership skills to be an impact player. He is too talented to be left outside the top-10 list and if certifiably healthy, would be much higher on this list.
11 Nazem Kadri
Simply put, Kadri had a spectacular final season in junior. Not only did he improve on his career best season but he was also dynamite in the playoffs and was a factor for Canada at the WJC's. It is almost a certainty that Kadri plays in the NHL in 2010-11, and depending on what the Leafs do this summer it is a possiblity that he centers the top line alongside Phil Kessel.
12 Tyler Ennis
Everone questions his size, but the 5-9 forward made a seamless transition from the WHL to the AHL. He was so good that he played in 10 games with the Sabres during the regular season (9 pts) and saw 6 games of action in the playoffs (4 pts). The Sabres could use a star center and it's becoming harder and harder to doubt that Ennis could be that guy.
13 P.K. Subban
He scored 53 points in 77 games in his rookie AHL season and got the call-up to Montreal when injuries took their toll for the Habs. Critics have wondered if he would be a defensive liablity but there is little questioning that Subban is dangerous when on the ice. 8 points in 14 playoff games for Montreal should secure a roster spot for 2010-11. He's still a bit of a wildcard, but his doubters have less to question than they did at this time last year. His potential is all over the place: He could one day be a 60 pt dman but at the same time could be a defensive liability to the point he doesn't last. We're voting for somewhere between 40-50 eventually.
14 Cory Schneider
Seemingly buried in the minors, Schneider will get his chance to backup starter Roberto Luongo in Vancouver unless he is traded. Schneider is a technically sound goaltender with a seemingly bright future so it is expected that he will eventually get a shot to start somewhere. If he's in Vancouver all year in 2010-11 expect him to to start around 15 games.
15 Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
The speedy Swede has dazzling skill and had another solid season in Sweden. Paajarvi-Svensson has signed an entry level contract with the Oilers, ensuring that he will be at training camp in Edmonton. At 6-2, 200 lbs he has NHL size and considering his explosiveness it's possible that he could break camp with the big club.
16 Jamie McBain
McBain had a standout college career and an even more impressive transition to pro hockey in 2010-11. Regarded as a very solid 2-way defense prospect with intruiging offensive potential, McBain was a rock as a rookie in the AHL and took the fantasy world by storm by scoring 3 goals and 10 points in a 14-game late-season callup to the Hurricanes. Of course, if you were a regular follower of SYP since early 2009 you would already be well versed about McBain as our own Ray Irwin made it his personal mission to pimp McBain nearly every week. Worst case scenario: Top-4. Best case: #1 dman and powerplay quarterback.
17 Lars Eller
The 57 points in 70 AHL games is impressive, but toss in a no-back-down attitude (80 PIMs) and Eller appears ready for the NHL. The Canadiens gave up a starting NHL-level goaltender to acquire Eller and with his superb salary, allowing the club to keep more expensive veterans. All this adds up to Eller being given a full-time role with the team in 2010-11, and though he has a lot to prove in the wake of the Jaroslav Halak trade, he has all the abilities to make good on his potential.
18 Oliver Ekman-Larsson
An all-round solid Swedish defenseman, Ekman-Larsson has excellent agility, tremendous hockey sense and the ability to play on the top pairing. He has the sense and poise to be strong in both the offensive and defensive zones and will have an immediate fantasy impact once he suits up with his NHL team. OEL has a hard shot from the point as well as the ability to both make a crisp outlet pass and lead the rush.
19 Brett Connolly
Take away his injured hip this past season and Connolly could have been in the mix for #1 overall. This kid has all the talent to succeed at the NHL level as he plays a very strong two-way game, can score goals from all over the ice and will provide a dynamic winger to Tampa Bay in the very near future.
20 Evgeny Grachev
There is little question that Grachev has all the makeup needed to be a top-6 forward in the NHL; speed, size, and skill. He should be arriving on the scene in 2010-11 and barring another influx of aging veterans to the Big Apple, Grachev should immediately be given a significant role. His ability to protect the puck and get the shot off is perhaps his best asset, along with the accuracy and strength of that shot.
21 Kevin Shattenkirk
There is a tremendous amount of skill in Shattenkirk, but he finds himself this high on the list more for the opportunity he has entering the 2010-11 NHL season. The Avalanche looked poised to build on a very successful season with all the parts in place, except on the blue line. Shattenkirk appears to be an important piece to the defensive puzzle and should slide right into a power-play role, along with top-4 minutes.
22 Michal Neuvirth
Neuvirth is a well-polished goaltender who is as NHL-ready as goalies come. He had another spectacular run in the AHL playoffs this season and is starting to get a reputation as a big game goalie. Semyon Varlamov may get all the hype in Washington but he's going to face stiff competition, perhaps as early as 2010-11, from the more technically sound Neuvirth.
23 Kyle Beach
Everyone watched with amazement as Dustin Byfuglien rocked the scoresheet in the 2009-10 playoffs and figure him for the same role over the regular season. That didn't materialised after a successful 2008-09 playoffs and it won't be happening next season, because Beach appears to be pencilled in for that role. Beach brings to the ice a tenacity and drive that should fit right in with the extremely skilled pair of Joanathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He can create space for those two to work their magic, and once Beach understands the way they play, this trio will be a dominant force in the NHL for years to come; with Beach getting points by proxy.
24 Mikael Backlund
The enigmatic prospect with a high skill-set sneaks onto this list by playing 23 games for the Calgary Flames last year, two short of our cut-off. Backlund had a so-so year in the AHL in 2010-11 but finished the year off strong in Calgary. Late in the season he was being relied upon in key situations, especially defensvely and on face-offs which bodes very well for gaining the trust of his NHL coach. Backlund may take a while to become a fantasy force, but he has the skills to do it.
25 Joe Colborne
At 6-5, 200 lbs Colborne has often been compared to another Bruins draft pick, Joe Thornton. Like Thornton, Colborne is a playmaking center who plays a bit of a peripheral game but is being encourage to use his body more. He'll get a chance in 2010-11 to prove he's no softie as he makes the move from the NCAA to the AHL. He's probably NHL ready right now but with a glut of center in Boston, the Bruins won't rush his development.
26 Brett MacLean
Had the Coyotes not decided to go with veterans over youth last season, MacLean very well may have played his rookie season. Instead, he improved on his rookie AHL season in by scoring 30 goals and 65 points in 76 games. MacLean is a big part of the Coyotes future and it's only a matter of time before the sniper gets his opportunity.
27 Jon Blum
Blum had an outstanding rookie season in the AHL, totalling 41 points in 80 games. Armed with impeccable hockey sense, Blum has all the tools to be a potent powerplay quarterback in the NHL. The mobile defenseman does not hesitate to carry the puck up the ice himself, and end-to-end rushes in the WHL were a common sight. He still needs to work on the defensive side of his game, particularly positioning as he's not physical enough to manhandle opposition forwards.
28 Chris Kreider
Drafted 19th overall by the Rangers in 2009, Kreider did nothing but improve in 2010 with tremendous showings for both Boston College and Team USA (WJC's). Kreider is perhaps the fastest skater from the 2009 Entry Draft and at 6-2, 205 lbs stands to be a potential NHL star.
29 Eric Tangradi
Tangradi is a strong candidate to make the Penguins in 2010-11 mostly due to some cap constraints, but don't let that fool you as he is an emerging power forward at the NHL level. He makes smart decisions and shows an uncanny level of maturity for someone so young, especially in his own zone. With the talent he will be surrounded by and his own talent, Tangradi looks like a fantasy stud in the making.
30 Cam Fowler
One of the most offensively gifted blueliners in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Fowler will provide a boost to the power play of the Anaheim Ducks. He is a gifted skater, able to make strides up the ice effortlessly, and also have good lateral movement. His shot is strong enough to be effective from the point, and his passing is top notch, but its his commitment to winning and overall attitude that will make him a star. The Ducks will eventually look to him to be their replacement for Scott Niedermeyer.
31 Thomas Hickey
The Kings are stocked with elite prospects at all positions and Hickey may find it difficult to make an impact once he is given full-time minutes at the NHL level. This may make him a buy-low candidate in keeper leagues as owners become frustrated by his lack of production, but make no mistake, this kid has all the tools to be a fantasy producer from the blue line.
32 Nino Niederreiter
He's got NHL size, is a decent skater, likes to play physical, and loves to score. There's not much to dislike with Niederreiter, who has the potential to develop into a top line winger.
33 Jordan Schroeder
Schroeder had a bit of a down year in NCAA in 2009-10, but signed an ELC with the Canucks and joined the Manitoba Moose after his college season ended, scoring 7 goals and 15 points in 17 games (including playoffs). Schroeder is blessed with great skating ability and on-ice vision which should make him a dangerous player once he gets some more pro experience under his belt.
34 Mattias Tedenby
Tedenby is an extremely fast skater and proficient playmaker. He may join the NHL as soon as 2010-11 and should be considered a strong candidate for a top-6 role in New Jersey almost immediately. He is in some ways comparible to Mason Raymond in that despite his speed can get knocked off the puck so adding strength would help him.
35 Derek Stepan
The Rangers 2nd round pick in 2008, Stepan is a playmaking center who recently signed an Entry Level contract, having decided to leave college and join the Rangers organization. At 6-0, 175 lbs Stepan could afford to gain some weight and despite already being solid defensively he might require some AHL seasoning before being NHL-ready.
36 Tomas Tatar
The Slovakian has seen his stock skyrocket since the World Junior Hockey Championship, and rightfully so. Tatar is a tremendously gifted scorer with great hands and an elusiveness on the ice that is needed due to his small frame (5-11, 180 lbs). The fact that he was drafted by the Red Wings, which still holds great value as Detroit is well known for finding some gems outside the first round (Tatar was drafted in the second round; 60th overall). Looking like he is still a couple years away fom making the jump to the NHL puts him lower on this list, but he should slide right into a sniper role on a scoring line when he does arrive.
37 Erik Gudbranson
Often compared to Chris Pronger, Gudbranson is a physical beast of a defenseman who is also willing to drop the gloves. His offensive game is still a work in progress but he makes an excellent first pass out of the zone. He'll be a minute-muncher for many years in the NHL and could develop into a decent fantasy option down the road.
38 Ivan Vishnevskiy
Once thought of as Dallas' next Sergei Zubov, the Stars could not pass up the opportunity to replace an aging Marty Turco and shipped Vishnevskiy to Atlanta for oft-injured Kari Lehtonen. This move took some pressure off of Vishnevskiy as he joined a defensive corps with some solid players, including elite blueliner Zach Bogosian. Now Vishnevskiy can acclimatize himself to the NHL playing style, particularly in his own zone where he has struggled, and should find himself on the power play once he gains the confidence of the coaching staff.
39 Ryan Stoa
Stoa is a born leader, on and off the ice, and should find success at the NHL level with whatever role he is given. This has been true throughout his collegiate career, capped off with a 24-goal, 46-point campaign in his final year with Minnesota in 2008-09; a season where he also notched 76 PIMs (personal record) and was named to the WCHA All-Star Team and onto the First-Team All-American. He was also awarded the club’s MVP and won its Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, but it was his follow-up season in the AHL that opened some eyes when he potted another 23 goals in 54 games for Erie. He has had a dozen games with the Avalanche and did not look out of place, so once he is given a significant role, expect him to continue his successful ways.
40 John Moore
Many may ask 'Who?', but those that followed the Blue Jackets 2009-10 preseason camp will be quite aware of this smooth-skating defenseman. Moore not only has the commitment and heart to make the NHL, his offensive talents and passing ability should make him a fantasy star. Columbus has long been without a goto blueliner for their power play, or even one to drive the play at even strength and Moore appears to be the kid to fill that role. Like most young defenders, his decision-making in the defensive end needs to improve, but there is a lot to like about his passing, skating and shot from the point. There may be a small buy-low window for those in dynasty leagues, but it will close fast.
41 Dustin Tokarski
Tokarski is a competitive spitfire of a goaltender that finds himself in a solid situation to get NHL starts as soon the 2010-11 season, which thrusts him into the top-65 list. He may not be the most athletic player or have the best glove hand of all goalie prospects (even on his own team; see Jaroslav Janus), but what he brings to the ice is a level of maturity needed to thrive between the posts. He is calm, rarely lets in a bad goal and when he does, he has the ability to forget about it and move on. His reliability is something desperately needed in Tampa Bay and wihtout a true incumbent for new GM Steve Yzerman to lean on, Tokarski should get the call sooner than later.
42 David Rundblad
The Blues were in the enviable position of having many offensive prospects coming up through their system, especially on the blue line, and thus led them to dealing the offensive minded dman to the Ottawa Senators at the NHL Entry Draft. Rundblad has the makings of a power-play specialist as he seems impetuous in his own zone, but he does have the size and composure to develop into a special two-way defender. Rundblad is blocked by Sergei Gonchar and Erik Karlsson, so maybe his future as a high-end fantasy contributor will take some time to play out - whatever the case, Rundblad is a defenseman to watch over the next couple of seasons.
43 Jhonas Enroth
A lot of hype surrounds a great many young goalies, but Enroth seems to go unnoticed and that may be due in part to Ryan Miller being in Buffalo's net for the foreseeable future. Small in stature (only 5-10), Enroth has tremendous agility and speed, and a phenomenal glove hand. He is also a well-positioned goalie, one that squares up to the shooter and takes away angles and passing lanes across the blue ice. His long-term place my not be with the Sabres, but it will be in the NHL.
44 Andrei Loktionov
There may not be a more well-rounded prospect outside the NHL than Loktionov, but with that reputation comes an uncertainty in where he slots when he finally makes the jump to the top league. Also, the Kings are stacked with prospects, which could slow that arrival and possibly make him a candidate for a move to another club. Whatever the case may be, Loktionov is a smart player that can make the tough passes to streaking teammates, just as easily as he can stop the cross-ice pass while playing shorthanded. He could be compared to Mike Richards in that he has the ability to play and thrive in all situations. Loktionov will need to develop his faceoff skills in order to compete against the league's best centermen.
45 Chet Pickard
Nashville is another club that looks to have the shelves stocked with prospects (always holding a number of sound defensive prospects in the pipeline), and Pickard sits atop the pile for goaltendes. He uses his 6-2 frame very well and has the agility to cover the net with ease. Like other goaltenders on this list, he thrives in the mental part of the game, something that makes the difference between playing at the NHL level as a starter and riding the pine as a backup (or playing in the AHL). He is also one of the better puck-handing goalie prospects, something that seems to be a forgotten skill.
46 Nathan Gerbe
Similar to teammate Tyler Ennis, Gerbe looked like he has a future in the NHL after scoring 3 goals and 7 points in 12 NHL games in 2010-11 including playoffs. Listed at just 5-5, 173 lbs, Gerbe will have to produce offensively in order to stick in the NHL. Most surprising may be Gerbe's willingness to go to the corners to retrieve pucks which is an excellent asset to accompany his great skating and hockey sense.
47 Luca Caputi
Despite only scoring 2 goals in 22 NHL games last year, most of which came after a trade deadline deal that saw Caputi move from Pittsburgh to Toronto, the 6-2, 190 lb winger does posses solid offensive abililites. He will need to continue to get stronger, and Caputi projects as a potential 25 goal scorer in the NHL if he does. He should get plenty of opportunity in 2010-11.
48 Mathieu Perreault
Perreault has proven that he can produce at both the junior and AHL levels, and only an opportunity stands in the way from a long-term look in the NHL. Perreault is a good skater with excellent playmaking abilities. His opportunity may come in 2010-11 as the Capitals may have an opening at center on the 3rd line. Perreault has the skills to be a top-2 NHL center.
49 Gustav Nyquist
Nyquist is starting to show signs of being yet another in a long line of late-round draft gems by the heralded Detroit Red Wings scouting staff. He had a monster breakout NCAA season in 2009-10 and was a Hobey Baker finalist. Nyquist is already a polished two-way player and really only needs to add a bit of muscle before turning pro.
50 Philip Larsen
A slick skating defenseman with a boatload of offensive upside, Larsen is on the verge of getting a long look in the NHL after moving over from the SEL to the NHL late in the 2009-10 season. He possesses a right-handed shot which is a sought-after commodity in the NHL. The Stars believe he has the potential to be a future NHL powerplay quarterback but his defense needs some work. Potential comparibles are Brian Rafalski and Tobias Enstrom.
51 Robin Lehner
Lehner is a big butterfly goalie who is tough to beat down low. His consistency was questioned coming out of his draft year, but Lehner put those question marks to rest with an outstanding rookie season in the OHL. He's currently the top prospect goaltender in the Senators system, and the team does not really have a solidified number one tender. He's still a year or so away from being considered for NHL duty, but Lehner is emerging as one of the NHL's top goalie prospects.
52 Alexander Salak
Salak is in tough in Florida blocked by Jacob Markstrom, but considering Markstrom is still so young he could find himself an opportunity before the latter gets to the NHL. Salak is an extremely athletic goaltender which helps him make up for any technical flaws.
53 Jack Campbell
Calm, cool, and technically rock solid. These traits are somewhat remiscent to Carey Price, and Campbell is perhaps one of the highest ranked pre-draft goalies since the Montreal tender. His ability to show up in big games has scouts salivating.
54 Patrick Wiercioch
This kid has all the tools to make a successful defenseman in the NHL, and would be a boon to any fantasy hockey team once he is given the minutes to prove himself. Unfortunately, with the addition of Sergei Gonchar, the emergence of Eric Karlsson and the recent trade for David Rundblad, all of whom are offensive in their own rights, Wiercioch may be fighting to make the big club, nevermind battling for minutes. Don't sleep on him, as a change of scenery could propel him to fantasy relevance.
55 Kirill Kabanov
Attitude issues, stupid decisions and injuries have seen Kabanov's stock slip significantly, but people must remember that he was talked about being in the same calibre of recent top draftees Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. There is little doubt about his ability and the team that took a shot on him (the NY Islanders) will give him every chance to succeed - and they have the spots for him too! Dynasty league owners should store him on the bench (or farm) and not buckle to temptation to move him as he could emerge as the best of the 2010 draft class. That being said, he still needs to add muscle and learn the defensive end (or choose to play there) before he can even be considered to make the jump to the NHL.
56 Teemu Pulkkinen
Pulkkinen was another youngster that saw his stock drop leading up to the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but guess where he landed? The Detroit Red Wings selected this talented forward and will now let him grow into the elite player he is destined to be in what is considered the best prospect system in the league. He may not be in the NHL anytime soon, but once he gets there, he will be spoken about as another late-round gem by the Wings.
57 Dustin Jeffrey
The Penguins are all set down the middle and that makes it tough to determine how high Jeffrey can be ranked on a list like this, but there is little doubt that this talented forward has what it takes to have an NHL career. He is gritty, and will go to the tough spots to make plays, and though he will never be mistaken for a goal scorer, Jeffrey can play a game similar to that of Thomas Holmstrom. If he can transition to the wing (and if Pittsburgh feels thats his role), Jeffrey would be immediately worth an add in fantasy leagues skating alongside either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
58 Michal Repik
This will be the last time Repik will be on anyone's prospect list as he will undoubtedly be a full-time NHLer in 2010-11. He has tremendous speed and agility, which he uses effectively along with his solid puck-handling skills. There are questions surrounding his height/weight and his ability to battle with some of the stronger blueliners in the league, but he doesn't lack confidence and could surprise some people if he can make the finer adjustments to his game.
59 Danny Kristo
The NHL loves speed and Kristo has plenty of it. He's not really explosive but loves to skate through the neutral zone to create his speed. More of a shooter than a playmaker, Kristo has a strong, accurate shot and projects to be a goal scorer in the NHL. He's a little undersized but has the determination to overcome that obstacle. May end up as a 3rd liner in the NHL but has the potential to score 25-30 goals in a top-6 role.
60 Marcus Kruger
When Chicago drafted Kruger in the 5th round in 2009, many scouts suggested it could be a steal. Kruger is blessed with tremendous hockey sense, playmaking ability, and nose for the net. He had a breakout season in the SEL in 2009-10 and has signed a 3-year Entry Level Contract with the Blackhawks.
61 Mats Zuccarello-Aasen
There are a few reasons to be skeptical about MZA's potential as an NHL'er, particularly the fact the he's a 22-year old undrafted free agent signed by the New York Rangers. He's undersized and a late bloomer but his solid play for Norway at the 2010 Olympics and big numbers for Modo (SEL) in 2009-10 are enough to get him on this list. He could be productive or he could be the next Fabian Brunnstrom. Regardless, he has speed and has produced in a good league so the opportunity is there.
62 Carl Klingberg
Klingberg represents part of the future in Atlanta and while he may not be a future first line forward he does have enough jam and scoring ability to settle somewhere on the 2nd or 3rd lines. Klingberg is a solid skater and loves to play around the net, which bodes well for his NHL future. He could be NHL-ready in 2011-12.
63 Patrice Cormier
It's easy to write of Cormier after his controversial and somewhat disastrous 2009-10 season that saw him suspended from the QMJHL. A first round pick of the New Jersey Devils, Cormier was part of the Kovalchuk deal that had him sent to Atlanta. The Thrashers view him as a potential 2nd or 3rd line center with a mean streak. He isn't a natural goal scorer but skates well enough and plays with enough determination that his offensive game could come around in the NHL.
64 Joacim Eriksson
A classic butterfly goalie with good size and technical makeup, Eriksson may represent the future between the pipes in Philadelphia. For an organization that is starved for a legitimate #1 goaltender, the Philly brass certainly hope that the highly touted Swedish netminder will be their answer.
65 Linus Omark
Omark embarks on his career in North America with an opportunity to help a rebuilding Oilers team. He is small but very skilled. Omark draws comparisons to Sergei Samsonov with more jam. He could be a 25-30 goal guy in the NHL but may take a while to get there.
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