It's about that time where scouting agencies and draft magazines begin to publish their own draft rankings for this years NHL Entry Draft.
While the top 10 seem quite stable with the same names like Nail Yakupov and Filip Forsberg constantly ranked, there seems to be quite a difference in opinion regarding the rest of the names.
It gets especially difficult in the 20's.
Last week, Hockey Wilderness published its own view on the top half the of the first round. So this week, we deal with the rest of the first round.
16. REINHART, GRIFFIN D EDMONTON WHL 6' 3.75" 207
A huge defenseman with good two-abilities and who is able to use his physical gifts to play a good defensive game. The only drawback is his skating, which is noted to be somewhat slow. However, he possesses everything else in terms of making the good, first pass, ability to play physical, and ability to play both sides of the ice well. There is no doubt NHL teams will love the combination of size and skill.
17. MAATTA, OLLI D LONDON OHL 6' 1.5" 202
Drafted 1st overall in the 2011 CHL Import Draft over Mikhael Grigorenko, the London Knights had big plans for Maatta, and he has not disappointed. He displays NHL size, skating, and makes good, smart decisions. While not dynamic offensively, he can move the puck and play a two-way game. Very much like Cody Ceci, Maatta has good all-round tools that make him an excellent safe prospect but there are questions to just how high his upside is. The only thing seperating Maatta and Ceci for me is that Ceci's questionable upside is starting to show on the stat, which is where it really counts; Maatta stills needs to prove he can.
18. SKJEI, BRADY D USA-18 USHL 6' 2.75" 200
Much more raw of a defensive prospect than the ones previously mentioned, Skjei possesses tons of tools that, if he puts together consistently, can make him a very dangerously player. He has size, skating ability, two-way game, and the ability to rush the puck up the ice by himself. His ability and willingness to play defense then start the offense by moving the puck all the way in the other end of the ice by himself impressed me greatly. However, there were some consistency issues, which has him at the lower half of the draft, but he will have tons of time to develop in college.
19. FINN, MATT D GUELPH OHL 6' 0.25" 195
Finn has become Guelph Storm's go-to-guy this season, playing as the teams top powerplay quaterback and relied upon just about everything else. While he doesn't have the massive size others do, or plays with flashy physicality, he plays with high hockey IQ, poise and vision. He is the type of prospect that just plays in all situations with smarts and quickness; a puck moving two-way defenseman.
20. SISSONS, COLTON RW KELOWNA WHL 6' 1.0" 189
Just a safe, hardworking prospect. Sissons plays hard, physical, and with an edge. He plays well in all zones, skates with good mobility, and has an NHL frame that he can fill out even more. Although he may not have big upside, he adds character to a team, and has decent offensive abilities that have some wondering if he has more than just a third line future. If not, I doubt any team will be dissatisfied with a safe prospect that works hard and plays physical.
21. POULIOT, DERRICK D PORTLAND WHL 5' 11.25" 186
An offensive defenseman that sees the ice well, and has exceptional selection of offensive tools. Skates with a smooth stride, possesses a hard shot and passes the puck with accuracy. He can quarterback a team's powerplay and set up rushes, but apparently needs to work on his defensive game. In addition, he doesn't exactly possess a large NHL body, which makes his defensive responsibilities harder.
22. MATTEAU, STEFAN LW USA-18 USHL 6' 1.5" 210
An agitating, energetic forward. Matteau packs alot of punch in his 6-1.5" frame and skates with a purpose: to hurt his opponents. Skates around with decent mobility and speed but always makes an impact on the game physically. He isn't the fastest skater but gets where he needs to be. In addition, he has a solid shot and can protect the puck well, which only adds to his impressive ability to cause havok. There are questions just how high his offensive upside is, but the combination of energy, physical play, and skill, will have tons of teams interested in his pro potential.
23. KERDILES, NICOLAS LW USA-18 USHL 6' 1.5" 201
A two-way centerman that is reliable in all zones of the ice. Plays a simple, responsible game and displays solid offensive abilities. He is a steady player that does everything well on the ice, and seems to be always in the right spot at the right time offensively and defensively. A good skater who has a good frame and who show flashes of creativity and dynamic play. However, while he is good at everything, he will need to prove that he can dominate at higher levels of play.
24. WILSON, TOM RW PLYMOUTH OHL 6' 3.5" 203
A raw player that has all the tools for a powerforward. He plays with grit and physicality, and has the size to give out punishing hits. Protects the puck well, can keep the cycle going, and has the skill to be able to slotted into a top six position. A versatile forward that can put into an offensive role or put into a bottom six checking position. He is strong on his skates and possesses tons of projectable tools, but thats all they are, projectable. His tools have yet to show up strong stat wise, but he makes an interesting prospect moving forward.
25. SCHMALTZ, JORDAN D GREEN BAY USHL 6' 0.0" 198
Check my previous post on Schmaltz, really don't need to repeat what has already been said. Link
26. ZHARKOV, DANIIL LW BELLEVILLE OHL 6' 3.0" 197
Another big package comes in Zharkov who has a very impressive physical frame at 6' 3" 197lbs. Not only is he big, he can skate quite well and has a dangerous scoring touch. Plays with an edge and has very good puckhandling skills. However, he has some issues with consistency as well as defensive abilities, which drop him to the later part of the first round.
27. DI GIUSEPPE, PHIL LW MICHIGAN CCHA 5' 11.5" 176
Di Giuseppe had an eventful December, impressing many at Canada's Selection Camp with his hardworking play but was eventually cut from the team. He plays a hardworking, aggressive type of game in which he keeps his feet moving and drives hard to the net. While not the biggest player, he has a decent frame, and coupled that with his tenacious style of play, he has the potential of developing into a powerforward kind of player. He has a good overall selection of offensive abilities, but will need to add more mass into order to become effective against NHL players.
28. SEVERSON, DAMON D KELOWNA WHL 6' 1.5" 172
A safe, all-round defenseman that can eat up minutes and does not display many holes in his game. He has good size, plays with poise, and displays a good, hard shot. Severson is at his best when he keeps his game simple and is just the total package. The only problem is, he does not really excel in anything that would warrant him a higher position in the rankings. But nearing the end of the draft, a safe minute munching defenseman would be a wise choice.
29. HUDON, CHARLES LW CHICOUTIMI QMJHL 5' 10.0" 170
Your annual small guy draft prospect. Although realistically not terribly undersized, his lack of top speed is what have many worried. However, Hudon possesses tons of offensive ability as well as creativity. He has good vision and plays with heart, grit, and determination. It's good to see a small player try to make up for his lack of physical abilities with hard work and willingness to play physical, but Hudon will need to put on more mass in order to stay in the game.
30. SUBBAN, MALCOLM G BELLEVILLE OHL 6' 1.0" 188
Subban has good mobility and lateral movement, as well as cat like reflexes and ability to make several saves in a row. He is confident in the net and plays with very good positioning. He is just very skilled in all aspects of goaltending which show up in his remarkable 0.938 save percentage. However, Subban might fall victim to the current trend of drafting goaltenders later.