Re: OHL Update
posted at 12/3/2010 6:05 PM EST
Here is my overview on some of the prospects I've seen and/or read about...
Everyone's questions or comments would be appreciated! Thanks!
Landeskog: I like him, he's a good player and I think he CAN be a really, really solid player in the NHL.
If the draft were tomorrow, we'd end up with either him or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
This draft is weaker than last year. As I've said numerous times, outside of the top 6, there is a potential drop off. Ideally, I'd want either Couturier or Larsson. Larsson could very well solve our problems of getting a good puck moving defensemen (one that is ACTUALLY good and consistent on the defensive end, lol). Although he hasn't quite put up the points like he did last year, he will in time. If the B's end up with the #1 pick, we could be re-living the "Taylor Vs. Tyler" debate of 2010. If we do end up with the #1 pick, I'd be content with either, but I'd take Couturier. He's a center, but can play wing very well also. He's a franchise player.
In Couturier I see a blend of Patrice Bergeron and Jordan Staal. Both are good in their own zones, and are playmaker. Couturier fits that mode. This kid is a head of A LOT of prospects (especially non-defensive ones) in the defensive zone. He's go a nice shot, has good vision and is a playmaker. He has good size (6'3/6'4 at about 195-200 pounds, with room to grow.), and probably won't end up with Joe Thornton size, but I see him at around 6'3/6'4 and about 210 pounds. He will be NHL ready next season. I don't think he'll project to be quite as good as Tyler Seguin, but I think he'll be pretty darn close. Just picture Jordan Staal. Any team would like to have Jordan Staal (when he's healthy lol).
In Nugent-Hopkins, only one word is needed to describe him: PLAYMAKER. He might very well be the best playmaker in this draft. He hasn't been putting the puck in the net as much as he did last year, which is a bit concerning (atleast to me), but he should get back on the right track. I see a lot of Henrik Sedin in this kid. A kid, if/when he makes it to the NHL will score merely 10-15 goals a year, but will have a BOATLOAD of assists. His vision and passing skills are OFF THE CHARTS. I don't think he'll be NHL ready next season, but will likely only need a year or so to get ready. However, he NEEDS to put on some weight. He's only about 165 right now. If he can get up to 175-180 then I think he'll be ready.
In terms of Landeskog, I really love this kid. If we were to drop out of the top 2 and into the 3-4 range, I'd want this kid. As was the case with Tyler Seguin, this kid has really shot up the draft boards. He's plays in a good system with the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL and is arguably the league's best player (that is draft eligible). He's got a good shot and good speed, and can play both LW and RW. I don't think he'll be NHL ready, but will likely only need 1 year to get ready: whether that be in juniors or in Providence.
Larsson is a very good defensemen in all areas. I see SOME of Brandon Gormley in him in the fact that he does everything well, but not a lot that is OVER the top (elite wise). However, I think Larsson will turn out to be a better player than Gormley. Larsson has real good size (6'2-6'3 around 200 pounds) and is a good puck moving defensemen. He's got a real good shot, and his passing skills are above average. This kid will be a franchise defensemen wherever he goes. He would crack the B's lineup without any question and COULD VERY WELL start out as a TOP 4 defensemen.
Brandon Saad is another good prospect. He can play both wings and has a good shot. He's probably a good 2 years away from being NHL ready (after he's drafted), but should be a solid contributor. GREAT kid, good in the clubhouse and is a nice passer.
Ryan Murphy: VERY good offensive defensemen. Is good in the defensive zone as well. His size might be the only thing to hold him back initially. He's a year or two away.
After that, there is a drop off.
My best available (out of the top 6)
1.) Sean Couturier
2.) Adam Larsson
3.) Gabriel Landeskog
4.) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
5.) Ryan Murphy
6.) Brandon Saad
IMO, you could make a case for Matt Puempel to crack the top 6. However, he needs A LOT of work defensively. I cannot stress that enough. He's VERY, VERY gifted offensively, but his play in the defensive zone leaves a lot to be desired. David Musil as well could be a potential top 6 pick. Victor Rask COULD break the top 6 as well. But, as of today, neither of these 3 players are in the top 6 best available players, imo.