Top Prospects Game

I always look forward to the top prospects game, even went to one once upon a time. I’m not foolish enough to think that my scouting report on any of these kids is bona fide, and as proof it’s interesting to read my report from the 2008 game at Rexall:

  • Fun game to watch. A lot of exceptional defensemen with a wide range of skills, the Oilers might want to get an early 2nd rd pick to pick up one of those guys.
  • I promised to watch Schenn and Boedker.
  • Schenn is way ahead of the curve as of now, the WJC experience must have given him a big edge over most of the players on the ice. I can’t imagine this guy going lower than Alzner did last season. He’s terrific.
  • I don’t know how it translated on TV, but Boedker has ridiculous skill. Plays with authority and makes people miss, he competed against those big boys on D and never backed down. Based on tonight I’d be thrilled with the guy as an Oiler.
  • Some other quick hits:
  • Stamkos: Nice player, didn’t dominate like I thought he would. That may be overhype or maybe I didn’t notice him due to focusing on Boedker.
  • Del Zotto: One of many defensemen on the night that impressed on a lot of levels. I honestly had a hard time telling who was who because they were all solid.
  • Boychuk: A real nice player. He’ll be long gone by the time EDM drafts which is too bad but he’s going to be fun to watch.
  • Ennis: Looked small and was outmuscled quite a bit but you can see the skill. He’s a guy who might actually fall to Edmonton.
  • Maxime Sauve: A born Oiler. Involved, aggressive and had about 10 chances without scoring. I’d like to know more about him.
  • Jared Staal: For some reason I didn’t expect much. I’d read he was not as skilled as his brothers but I think we should probably say he doesn’t play the same style. Scored a beauty goal.
  • Bogosian: Very impressed with him, smart player, terrific shot and has a wide range of skills. These defensemen are going to dominate the first round.
  • Robak: Made a sweet pass and played a strong defensive game.
  • These kinds of games are hard to judge goalies on and I have no clue what works and what doesn’t anyway.
  • Drank beer, ate a hotdog (lordy they’re good, worth the heart attack that’s sure to follow) and sat beside a pretty girl the entire evening.

The lesson I believe is twofold: one, I shouldn’t quit my day job. Two, “saw him good” or bad is extremely dangerous from one viewing. I’m not sure a bunch of viewings improves things, but give plenty of credit to NHL scouts for plucking most of the best fruit in the first two rounds every season.

One guy I loved watching a year ago: RNH.

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40 Responses to "Top Prospects Game"

  1. hunter1909 says:

    I’m still excited about that Mikhnov clip on YouTube.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I’m too busy watching all the Pouliot’s!

  3. russ99 says:

    That 2008 draft is really interesting to see how certain players look now.

    Eberle at #22 (acquired in the Pronger deal) looks better than most of the players drafted around our original pick lost in the Penner offer sheet at #12, though Karlsson at #15 may end up as one of the top 3 players picked that year.

    Also, Colten Teubert was drafted at 13. 🙂

  4. sliderule says:

    After reading this I may never comment on a player again.

    Last year RNH looked great and played much like he has with the oilers.Huberdeau I thought was better than RNH and he is back in junior.
    Go figure?

  5. DSF says:

    I’m too busy watching all the Pouliot’s!

    And Jacques is on waivers…whoo hoo.

  6. Lowetide says:

    And Colin McDonald is back in the NHL. Come back, Kevin!

  7. nelson88 says:

    Interesting 1st period “poll” on TSN asking the panelists (dreger, ward, crawford) to rank the next up and comers from 1 to 4. Candidates were RNH, Seguin, Hall and Tavares.

    Can’t remember which panelist (Dreger and Crawford?) ranked who were but 2 of 3 had RNH as the #1 pick and Hall #4. Ward (?) had Seguin at #1, RNH #2 and Hall at #3

    All agreed it was a ridiculous poll question because they are all A+ prospects and budding superstars but interesting to see how highly RNH was thought of and that Seguin topped Hall on all cards.

  8. Ribs says:

    So it’s Pronger for….

    NHL All Star Joffrey Lupul
    NHL All Star Jordan Eberle
    Stay-at-Home Defenceman Ladislav Smid
    1st Round pick (30th Overall)
    2nd Round pick (53rd overall)

    It took almost six years for these damned magic beans to start growing!!

    Looking at the Prospect Game’s rosters…Not much to look at as far as forwards go.

    …And holy crap. Is that ANOTHER Sutter??

  9. Ribs says:


    I suspect Hall missing so much time with injury plays a part in these opinions.

  10. DSF says:


    Being injured is part of Hall’s persona.

    Given his style of play, likely always will be.

  11. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Saw Rick Nash way back when in Saskatoon prospects game – Thought he was slow and lazy – I think I’ll keep relying on this site for my prospect info.
    I’ll keep giving my opinions (complaining) about the Oiler big league roster though.

  12. Ducey says:

    I can’t find the game online anywhere. Anyone?

    I got to watch. There’s a Pouliot playing and LT will no doubt be pimping him for the next three years.

  13. TheOtherJohn says:


    3 year….. Try 8 years

  14. Lowetide says:

    Look at that kid with the Oiler jersey! Beautiful.

  15. DSF says:

    Cogliano credited with another one but taken away be official scorers.

  16. itsaleaf says:

    Only caught half the period but Murray was impressive from what I saw. Calm and collected and reads the play well. Seems like the type of player that if the Oilers had him, he wouldn’t be appreciated. Not physical but real smart

  17. DSF says:


    Dreger: 1. Nugent-Hopkins 2. Seguin 3. Tavares 4. Hall.

    Ward: 1. Seguin 2. Nugent-Hopkins 3. Tavares 4. Hall

    Crawford: 1. Nugent-Hopkins 2. Seguin 3. Hall 4. Tavares

  18. Traktor says:

    There looks to be a gigantic gap in talent between the defense and forwards. I know it often gets said but someone drafting in the middle round could end up with the best defender in the draft. Aside from Grigorenko the forward crop doesn’t look very impressive.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: You don’t like Nail?

  20. Traktor says:

    Lowetide: I’m just commenting on the players in the game. It looks like D prospects vs F suspects

  21. Traktor says:

    I bet if you asked 10 people who the best forward is so far all 10 would would say Grigs but if you asked the same question about D you might get 5 or 10 different answers.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Ah, gotcha.

  23. hockeyguy10 says:

    I am firmly in “dyin for Ryan” camp. That Don Hay used him in his shut down pair speaks volumes. The fact that Team Canada had five first round picks playing D and they chose Murray for that roll impresses me even more.

  24. SK Oiler Fan says:

    What’s the NHLE for house league hockey?

  25. Traktor says:

    Derrick Pouliot is awesome.

  26. FPB94 says:

    Hockeyguy: That reminds me of a story in basketball.

    The year where Michael Jordan was draft eligible he blew the doors on the USA Olympic team (Pros weren’t allowed at that point).

    Jordan was kept, but the coach cut 3 HOF’s/All-Stars including Charles Barkley, passing them over NBA benchwarmers.

    These guys are there to evaluate who’s better in a quick period of time, (and sometimes fail at it), certainly not to assess future talent.

    This year is a very short draft talent wise.

    Either Nail, Grigorenko or a defenseman. The rest of the forwards are simply putrid.

    Filip Forsberg just to give a hint, is getting outscored by MPS, playing one league LOWER than than Paajarvi. And people question MPS’s offense.

    Outside of Lars Eller there really hasn’t been anyone who was able to come out after such a low junior production (at least in term of 1st rounders).

    And i’m not going to get started on the Canadian first round kids.

  27. cabbiesmacker says:

    That 2008 draft is really interesting to see how certain players look now.

    Karlsson at #15 may end up as one of the top 3 players picked that year.

    MAY ??

  28. FPB94 says:

    As odd as it might sounds, this year the odds are stacked for drafting a d-men (Outside of Grigorenko and Yakupov).

    The Oil should try and get 2-3 picks. (Or avoid the draft if they can’t get the top F’s)

  29. cabbiesmacker says:

    If the Oilers take Branden Troock with a later pick it’ll be proof positive Lowe is still heavily involved in our draft day.

  30. hockeyguy10 says:


    I understand what your saying.But the fact that Murray made the team as a draft eligible player was impressive(something RNH and Seguin couldn’t manage,different position though)and then that the coach used him as a #1-2 instead of his #7 was even more telling.imo

  31. itsaleaf says:


    He’s been the best player on the ice. BY A MILE

  32. Lowetide says:

    Alll of the Pouliot’s are like this! Really!

  33. itsaleaf says:

    LT has a new man crush.

    Bonus! You don’t have to get your tattoo removed!

  34. Lowetide says:

    Actually, Reinhart is the guy I like. Murray too of course. Wish they could get both.

  35. hockeyguy10 says:

    I like Reinhart also. seems to have good offensive instincts.Textbook hit by Dumba

  36. hockeyguy10 says:

    Well there you go.Ryan Murray is a bum.

  37. VOR says:

    There are some stunningly good forwards in this draft beyond Yakupov and Grigorenko.They are just high risk. If he is healthy Galchenyuk is elite, Collberg showed at both U18 and U20 that he is all world, and Radek Faska is one of those ten tool guys. There are also two really hard to project picks who march to their own drummer but could be dominant NHL players, Henrik Samuelsson, and a player we don’t hear much about out here, Daniil Zharkov. Samuelsson we are getting to see with the Oil Kings. If he had played like that for an entire season in Edmonton he would be a lock to go high first round.

    It is actually hard to ignore Zharkov. The kid is a disaster in so many ways. He keeps getting lost in the defensive end of the ice, floats for long stretches, and can’t skate. For all that he is the guy a lot fo scouts think could be a 1st line forward in the NHL. Scouts love him because he is an old fashioned throwback, no fancy tricks, no blinding speed, just one of the best shots in all of hockey and when he is in the mood an amazing forechecker. The other reason scouts love him is he never met a teammate he didn’t want to stand up for and he has the frame to do it. He also throws Andy Sutton type body checks.

    What I am trying to say is there are some very promising forwards outside the top two, just no sure things and a lot of promising D. Personally, I think if they fall to the second round either Samuelsson or Zharkov might be great picks for Edmonton.

  38. russ99 says:


    Well, there is Stamkos, Doughty and Eberle… 😉

    Also, I’m not sold on Karlsson’s half season of play as the final product.
    Doughty looked just as stellar a year or two ago and fell off a bit.

  39. cabbiesmacker says:


    Well, there is Stamkos, Doughty and Eberle…

    Also, I’m not sold on Karlsson’s half season of play as the final product.
    Doughty looked just as stellar a year or two ago and fell off a bit.

    Stamkos is top 3 no question.

  40. FPB94 says:

    Vor: Galchenyuk… yes very good pick. Tough he’d have to clear medicals first.

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