Friday, June 25, 2010

DRAFT PROSPECT PROFILES: The Rest


I'm running out of time here.  So here's some quick videos and quotes on the remaining draft prospects...

BEAU BENNETT
"Another native Californian, from Gardena, who could be the talk of the draft if he gets selected as high as some teams have his ranked. A true wild card, cited as everything from Top 10 overall to the late second round, he scored 120 points for Penticton of the BCJHL. Still physically immature, he could suffer from “weaker league” syndrome but he’s bound to be one of the really interesting stories of this draft."
- TSN Insider Bob McKenzie


QUINTEN HOWDEN
"Quinton Howden, who was selected first overall in the WHL Bantam Draft, is one of the fastest skaters available in this year’s draft. A reliable two-way centre with smarts, he hasn’t put up huge offensive numbers in junior and the scouts’ projections have him a potential third-line NHL centre who’s as good without the puck as he is with it. "
- TSN Insider Bob McKenzie


KIRILL KABANOV
“He’s highly talented — as talented as any player in the draft. He broke his wrist earlier in the year and was sidelined a long time. Kirill is just adjusting to the North American game and as a result, left his Moncton team early in order to train for the Russian National Under-18 World Junior Team tournament that happens every April. Who’s he like? Maybe a Kovalchuk.”
- Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire


BROCK NELSON
“Big, strapping center in the Minnesota High School league. Going to North Dakota next year and destined to be an NHLer with 6-2 frame, 205 pound build. Guaranteed, hard-skating power forward.”
- Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire

JADEN SCHWARTZ
"What Jaden Schwartz lacks in size he makes up for in offensive ability. The southern Saskatchewan native, originally from the Regina area but who moved with his family to Wilcox to attend Notre Dame College, led the United States Hockey League in scoring this season playing for Tri-City. He’s off to Colorado College next season to join his brother, Rylan, a sophomore. Jaden’s sister Mandi, who plays hockey at Yale University, is battling leukemia and desperately needs a stem cell transplant in the next 30 to 45 days to survive and a there’s a worldwide search in progress to find a suitable match for a donor."
- TSN Insider Bob McKenzie


JEFF SKINNER
"Quite simply, Jeff Skinner is the best natural goal-scorer in the entire draft. He scored 50 goals in the regular season for the Kitchener Rangers and added another 20 in the playoffs. He played on the fourth line for Canada at the U-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament last August and led the team in goal scoring. The former minor midget teammate of Tyler Seguin is not big, he’s not that fast, but he’s got a low centre of gravity, he’s agile and he’s hard on the puck and can score with a quick release from far out or get his nose dirty in the blue paint. Kitchener GM-coach Steve Spott talks about Skinner with the same sort of reverence reserved for former Ranger captain Mike Richards, and that’s saying something. Skinner comes from a family of high achievers – both his parents are lawyers, one sister attends Harvard and the other sister, who has been called to the bar this summer, attends Cornell. When he was 12, Skinner finished third in the national junior figure skating championships and reportedly can do a single axle in full hockey equipment, although Spott said he has yet to witness that. Skinner has been rocketing up the charts all season long as concerns about his skating seem to have dissipated and is a bona find top 10 consideration, although scouts are miffed that NHL Central Scouting ranks him 32nd amongst North American skaters."
- TSN Insider Bob McKenzie


VLADIMIR TARASENKO
"Russian forward Vladimir Tarasenko is a gifted goal-scorer and elite offensive talent and showed up to the NHL combine with one of the most physically mature and impressive physiques, a Russian tank of sorts (think Vladimir Krutov in really, really good shape), but he is a draft wild card because of the Russian Factor. Top 10 ability, where he ends up is anybody’s guess."
- TSN Insider Bob McKenzie


CONCLUSION
Bennett- Could be a nice story for the local kid coming home.  Sounds a bit like Kyle Turris.  Could be the best player out of Penticton since Paul Kariya?
Howden- If Bob McKenzie is projecting his upside as a solid third-line center; I think the Kings need to go for the homerun and pass on the safe pick.
Kabanov- The most controversial kid in the draft.  I think the Kings need to get this kid.  He's made it very clear that he wants to be in the NHL and North America.  He's even hired new representation with the Orr Hockey Group.
Nelson- Big body going to play college hockey.  Kyle Clifford sounds like a similar player.  Pass.
Schwartz- Led the USHL in scoring.  Sounds like a solid playmaking center.  Could be a nice grab if he falls to the Kings.
Skinner- I doubt Skinner falls out of the top-10.  But if somehow he drops to the Kings; it's a no brainer.  
Tarasenko- The 'Russian Factor' in full effect.  I have a feeling he might be a star in the KHL.  Call it a hunch.

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