Prospect Tuesdays: 16-20 Prospect Christmas Rankings

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 08: Erik Thorell #26 of Team Sweden is checked into goaltender Stephan Michalek #35 of Team USA by Jared Tinordi #12 at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 8, 2011 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Its that time of year where we get to see how our prospects have been doing in their respective leagues. World Junior Championships are coming up and just a great time for the holidays!

Our prospect pool looks dramatically different than previous seasons due to the Brent Burns trade as well as an impressive 2010 and 2011 draft class.

Earlier in the year, we did a readers poll on our top prospects. What has changed over the course of the last few months? Take the jump and find out!

Here were the results from the Readers Poll:


Rank Name Team League
1
Mikael Granlund
HIFK
SM-Liiga
2
Charlie Coyle
Boston University
Hockey East
3
Jason Zucker
Denver
WCHA
4
Marco Scandella
Minnesota Wild
NHL
5
Jonas Brodin
Farjestad
SEL
6
Zack Phillips
Saint John
QMJHL
7
Matt Hackett
Houston Aeros
AHL
8
Jared Spurgeon
Minnesota Wild
NHL
9
Johan Larsson
Brynas
SEL
10
Casey Wellman
Houston Aeros
AHL
11
Colton Gillies
Minnesota Wild
NHL
12
Darcy Kuemper
Houston Aeros
AHL
13
Justin Falk
Minnesota Wild
NHL
14
Tyler Cuma
Houston Aeros
AHL
15
Brett Bulmer
Kelowna Rockets
WHL
16
Nate Prosser
Houston Aeros
AHL
17
Mario Lucia
Penticton
BCHL
18
Cody Almond
Houston Aeros
AHL
19
Erik Haula
U. of Minnesota
WCHA
20
Chay Genoway
Houston Aeros
AHL

20. G Stephen Michalek (Harvard University) 6-2 196lbs

Kirk Luedeke - Link

Plus: Very good size and athleticism; takes up a lot of net and is tough to beat on the first and even second shots. Excellent recovery skills and never gives up on the play. Superb mental toughness; under siege all season, yet always kept his overmatched team in games. Proved himself against elite competition in his peer group last summer in winning silver medal at Eight Nations tourney.

Minus: Can get scrambly and overcommit at times; needs to keep fundamentals in mind and not open the net up by anticipating or cheating to one side.

Not many freshmen goaltenders can start to win starting minutes for their college team over an older and more experienced teammate. But that is exactly what Michalek has done.

While not boasting the best numbers, Michalek has the tools to become a very good NHLer. He's big, athletic and can play under pressure. Give him some time to develop and maybe Bob Mason can turn him into another gem.

19. D Chay Genoway (Houston Aeros) 5-9 177lbs

In Lou We Trust - Link

Some concerns associated with Genoway include his size (listed at 5'9 and 177 lbs) and his injury history. Plus, he is older than the typical college senior at age 24, so many feel he doesn't have more room to develop.

He skates well, can quarterback a power play and plays solid in his own end. In fact, most of the commentary I have read on him praises his defensive abilities more than most of his other qualities.

With the departure of Maxim Noreau, the Houston Aeros needed a player to quaterback its powerplay and Genoway has found his place.

While terribly undersized and not exactly the youngest player, Genoway still leads the team in defenseman scoring and 3rd in AHL rookie defenseman scoring. Not a bad start for a player that many had doubts over.

18 - C David McIntyre (Houston Aeros) 6-0 185lbs

Hockey Wilderness - Link

Wild fans are lucky. McIntyre is a beast. Fast, good hands, creative, smart (both hockey and otherwise), tough (but not distractingly so *cough*STAUBITZ*cough*), strong on the puck. I'd say if anybody epitomizes a Mike Yeo type of player, DMac is it. I just can't say enough good things about him. Plus, his mo is thick and rich. Clutterstache might get intimidated. I wondered when he was going to get his chance up there and now I'm very worried we won't get him back. But thanks for the Prosser and Peters!

Speaking of Maxim Noreau, he was traded away for David McIntyre who has found a niche as a physical, forechecking forward.

He looked good in his Minnesota Wild debut, showing off speed and willingness to jump on the forecheck and deliver some physicality. His upside isn't very high but in Mike Yeo's system, guys like McIntyre are needed for the team to produce wins.

17 - LW Kristopher Foucault (Houston Aeros) 6-1 202lbs

Wild Coordinator of Amateur Scouting Guy Lapointe via Aeros.com - Link

Strengths/Upside: "Good offensive instinct and hockey sense. Good hands, quick stick with good puck control. He has a good shot, quick release."

Area for improvement: "Work ethic need to be more constant, shows he is capable to do it, but has to do it on a regular basis. Need to be more selfish with the puck at times, tendency to set up teammate to much at times. Has a good shot and can score, but must shoot more. "Potential to be producing points kind of player who should be able to play on power play, generating offense."

When Foucault was drafted, he was considered an offensive but inconsistent prospect. That hasn't changed much but his offensive upside sees him into the top 20 rankings.

Foucault has decent rookie scoring numbers but has one of the worst plus-minus ratings within the Houston Aeros team. But what sees him over his fellow prospects is that he has good size to backup his offensive flashes, he just needs to put it together.

16 - D Nate Prosser (Houston Aeros) 6-2 210lbs

The Third Intermission - Link

He's a big fella and has a decent touch for setting up goals, having put up solid assist numbers throughout his career. According to this article from the Wild, he's a mean cuss gritty player who can provide that all-important physical spark.

After injuries started to deplete the Wild's blueline, the team had to call-up several Aero defensemen, including Nate Prosser. No one expected him to play as well as he did.

He's got size, can skate and can move the puck. However, like any rookie, was prone to making mistakes when he made his appearance as a Wild player. Still, he managed to help the Wild reach the top of the league as veterans Marek Zidlicky and Greg Zanon were out.

He was recently sent back down and that is most likely best for his development.

Here is the updated rankings:


Rank Name Team League Change
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14

15
16
Nate Prosser
Houston Aeros
AHL
0
17
Kristopher Foucault
Houston Aeros
AHL
New
18
David McIntyre
Houston Aeros
AHL
New
19
Chay Genoway
Houston Aeros
AHL
+1
20
Stephen Michalek
Harvard ECAC
New
X
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