Draft Week Post #8: Blue Bullet’s List

One of the real gems HF gave the world goes by the name Blue Bullet. He is not a scout, in fact in 2007 when he posted his list BB said “I always give a little disclaimer as I want to make sure people know that I am in no way a scout or have any ties to the scouting community. This is just something that started out as a little hobby of mine in seeing how well I could do making my own rankings and has turned into something I am quite passionate about.”

He won’t say it so I will: he’s really good at it. BB’s 2007 list and information are still used as a starting point for me when tracking a player like Sam Gagner and his progress. In fact, I think the values and verbal he placed on the Oilers first round picks in 2007 border on clairvoyant:

  • #7 Sam Gagner has all the ability to be a top line center that plays at both ends of the ice and excels on the PP. He isn’t the biggest player but as he adds lower body strength his skating should improve as well as his ability to fight through checks, which are the two areas of concern in his game.
  • #30 Alex Plante is a rarity as he is an offensive d-man in a 6’4 frame. He can move the puck very well and has a hard accurate shot from the point. He has a lot of upside but he is a project as there are definite areas of concern in his game. He will need to improve his skating as well as continue to improve his play in his own zone to succeed in the NHL.
  • #41 Riley Nash is the second player from the BCHL to make my top 50 and was a player that was not on my radar until a couple months back. He is a fairly well-rounded player with good skills and skating to go along with a strong two-way game. As with other players playing Tier 2 it is tougher to get a good read on how they will do against strong competition. If his coach is right Nash could turn out to be as good as a former Salmon Arm player Travis Zajac.

Those numbers are about right in a re-draft (Gagner up slightly, Plante/Nash spot on). So, here is Blue Bullet’s 2010 list.

  1. TAYLOR HALL WINDSOR 14/11/1991 6′ 1″ 185 lbs LW. For my #1, I decided to go with the more dynamic player and that is Hall. Seguin may turn out to be a more complete player of the two but when it comes down to it, if you could only throw one of these guys over the board to get that goal you needed, Hall would be my choice.
  2. TYLER SEGUIN PLYMOUTH 31/01/1992 6′ 1″ 172 lbs C. Seguin has shot up the rankings and given something most people weren’t expecting which was someone to compete with Hall for the top spot. He is a better playmaker than Hall and has the potential to be the more complete player but it isn’t enough to overtake the top spot.
  3. BRANDON GORMLEY MONCTON 18/02/1992 6′ 2″ 185 lbs D. Not much separates the top d-men in this draft as it is more a matter of preference in what you look for in a d-man. In the end, Gormley is the most well rounded d-man in the draft class. He does everything well and is known for his maturity and poise for a d-man of his age. He is one of the safest picks in the draft.
  4. CAM FOWLER WINDSOR 05/12/1991 6′ 1″ 190 lbs D. Fowler has the potential to be the most dynamic d-man in the draft class with his offensive skill His skating and puck movement are the best in his class but the lack of a physical game keeps him off the top spot.
  5. ERIK GUDBRANSON KINGSTON 07/01/1992 6′ 4″ 195 lbs D. Gudbranson is a big, physical shutdown d-man that is tough to play against and fights as well. Some have compared him with Phaneuf or Pronger but I don’t think he has the puck handling skills or offensive upside of either of those players. If he did he would be my top d-man in the draft.
  6. NINO NIEDERREITER PORTLAND 08/09/1992 6′ 2″ 201 lbs LW. Niederreiter is one of my personal favs and one of the best names in the draft. A big strong power forward that plays nothing like the stereotypical Swiss player. Has adapted well to the North American game and has the potential to be the best player ever out of Switzerland.
  7. RYAN JOHANSEN PORTLAND 31/07/1992 6′ 2″ 192 lbs C Johansen has been shooting up the rankings after a very strong playoffs. He is a very good, playmaking center that kept getting better and better as the year went on. The buzz around him reminds me of 2003 when Jeff Carter shot up the rankings.
  8. BRETT CONNOLLY PRINCE GEORGE 02/05/1992 6′ 2″ 181 lbs RW If it wasn’t for the injury, Connolly would likely be in my top 5 and as high as 3rd. However a hip flexor injury and a poor showing at the U-18 has brought up some concerns. However, if he slips in the draft a team may end up with a huge steal.
  9. VLADIMIR TARASENKO NOVOSIBIRSK 13/12/1991 5′ 11″ 202 lbs RW It will be interesting how far Tarasenko falls in the draft due to the Russia effect. He is an exciting player to watch with great hands. Tarasenko has been said to have a higher compete level than that of some of his fellow countrymen.
  10. JACK CAMPBELL USA U-18 09/01/1992 6′ 2.5″ 175 lbs G Campbell is the best goalie in the draft since Jonathan Bernier in 2006. He has all the makings of a future stud goalie as he seems to have the mental toughness that separates the top goalies from the rest.
  11. MIKAEL GRANLUND HIFK 26/02/1992 5′ 10″ 180 lbs LW The one thing you consistently hear about Granlund is that he has the highest hockey sense in this year’s draft. He is not the biggest guy and you would like him to be faster for a player his size but he makes up for it with his vision and smarts.
  12. JEFF SKINNER KITCHENER 16/05/1992 5′ 10″ 187 lbs C He is not the greatest skater in the world but there is something to be said about a player that gets 70 goals in a season. Skinner has a good shot and a strong compete level that could help him overcome his shortcomings.
  13. DEREK FORBORT USA U-18 04/03/1992 6′ 5″ 198 lbs D Forbort is the type of d-man that makes you excited to think what he can develop into. A 6’5 d-man with his skating ability and all the makings of a very good two-way d-man are rare to come by. As he fills out he needs to continue to add more of a physical element to his game.
  14. ALEXANDER BURMISTROV BARRIE 21/10/1991 5′ 11″ 157 lbs C You have to like Burmistrov’s competitiveness for a player of his build. He also has a lot of speed and skill and is definitely one of the most exciting danglers in the draft. He needs to add some bulk onto his frame to compete at the next level.
  15. AUSTIN WATSON PETERBOROUGH 13/01/1992 6′ 3″ 185 lbs LW He didn’t get a Memorial Cup but the trade to the Petes was a benefit for Watson as he was able to show his offensive upside. Watson has all the makings of a strong two-way winger and is one of the safest picks in the draft.
  16. JONATHON MERRILL USA U-18 03/02/1992 6′ 3″ 198 lbs D After not a great start, Merrill finished the season off on a good note with a strong U-18 performance. He has all the skills and size that you want in a top 4 d-man and now he just needs to perform more consistently.
  17. NICK BJUGSTAD BLAINE 17/07/1992 6′ 4″ 188 lbs C The winner of the Mr. Hockey award is an intriguing prospect. Bjugstad has a big frame, a good work ethic and plays a strong two-way game. Like all high school players it is hard to get a good guage on their upside due to the lower competition level.
  18. MARK PYSYK EDMONTON 11/01/1992 6′ 1″ 174 lbs D Pysyk is one of those d-men that do everything well but nothing great. He is more of a well-rounded puck moving d-man than he is an offensive d-men. He is a very safe pick but more likely a 2nd pairing d-man.
  19. EMERSON ETEM MEDICINE HAT 16/06/1992 6′ 0″ 190 lbs C Etem is a goalscorer who uses his blazing speed to drive to the net. A native Californian, Etem has shown a lot of growth in his hockey development in the last couple of years. I see him as having 2nd line potential.
  20. EVGENY KUZNETSOV CHELYABINSK 19/05/1992 6′ 0″ 172 lbs LW Another skilled Russian that will likely fall in the draft because of the Russian factor again. An inconsistent performer, Kuznetsov showed his high upside at the U-18 with his strong performance. Could be a steal if he falls to the 2nd round.
  21. QUINTON HOWDEN MOOSE JAW 21/01/1992 6′ 2″ 182 lbs C Howden is a player whose inconsistent play has kept him from establishing himself in the top 15 in the draft. With his size and skating, this former #1 pick in the bantam draft, has all the tools to be a strong two-way center.
  22. BROCK NELSON WARROAD 15/10/1991 6′ 3″ 205 lbs C Nelson was one of the best players coming out of Minnesota high school hockey this year. He is a big strong center that can skate and has skill to go along with it which always makes for an interesting prospect. Like Bjugstad, there is always the concern with high school players looking better because of inferior competition but at the same time there can be hidden gems and Nelson could possibly be one.
  23. LUDVIG RENSFELDT BRYNAS JR. 29/01/1992 6′ 3″ 192 lbs LW After a strong junior season in Sweden, it wasn’t until his outstanding U-18 performance that Rensfeldt jumped up into my first round. He is a big, strong player that plays a consistent all-around game.
  24. JADEN SCHWARTZ TRI-CITY 25/06/1992 5′ 10″ 180 lbs C Schwarz is the best player coming out of the USHL this year. He is a shifty, smaller playmaking center that competes well for a player of his size. A player of his type would be best suited as a 2nd line center at the NHL level.
  25. DYLAN MCILRATH MOOSE JAW 20/04/1992 6′ 4″ 212 lbs D A favorite on the Oilers boards, McIlrath is probably the toughest player in the draft. Not as high on my list as some others as there are some concerns with his puck skills and decision making at times. However, if you like d-men like Matt Greene, than you will be a fan of McIlrath.
  26. TYLER TOFFOLI OTTAWA 24/04/1992 6′ 0″ 178 lbs C If Toffoli was a better skater he would likely be a consensus top 20 pick. He is a skilled player with a good release and an improving two-way game. There are concerns that his skating will hold him back while others think he compares to Brad Boyes.
  27. CALLE JARNKROK BRYNAS 25/09/1991 5′ 11″ 156 lbs C Jarnkrok is a lot like Burmistrov in many ways as they both are skilled, offensive players with slight builds. He was a big riser this year in the draft after playing well in the SEL and showing that he can play with men.
  28. BEAU BENNETT PENTICTON 27/11/1991 6′ 1″ 173 lbs RW Bennett is an intriguing prospect as he comes from a untraditional hockey market (California) and despite that he just lead the BCHL in scoring. He is considered a skilled playmaking winger who needs to bulk up for the pro game.
  29. JOHN MCFARLAND SUDBURY 02/04/1992 6′ 0″ 192 lbs LW A consensus top 10 pick at the start of the year, now McFarland may not be picked until the 2nd round. His skating and shot are top notch but his hockey sense does not match up to it. A complimentary winger, McFarland is a better player when he is playing with higher skilled players at the tournament events.
  30. JARRED TINORDI USA U-18 20/02/1992 6′ 6″ 205 lbs D Tinordi is a huge strapping d-man that plays a physical shut-down role. He is also considered a good leader as he was captain of the U-18 gold medal squad. Like McIlrath, limited puck skills keep Tinordi from being higher on my list.
  31. TYLER PITLICK MINNESOTA STATE 01/11/1991 6′ 2″ 194 lbs C
  32. RILEY SHEAHAN U OF NOTRE DAME 07/12/1991 6′ 2″ 202 lbs C
  33. CALVIN PICKARD SEATTLE 15/04/1992 6′ 0.5″ 195 lbs G
  34. PETR STRAKA RIMOUSKI 15/06/1992 6′ 1″ 185 lbs RW
  35. JORDAN WEAL REGINA 15/04/1992 5′ 10″ 162 lbs C
  36. KIRILL KABANOV MONCTON 16/07/1992 6′ 2″ 173 lbs LW
  37. JUSTIN FAULK USA U-18 20/03/1992 6′ 0″ 196 lbs D
  38. ALEXANDER PETROVIC RED DEER 03/03/1992 6′ 4″ 193 lbs D
  39. TEEMU PULKKINEN JOKERIT 02/01/1992 5′ 11″ 183 lbs LW
  40. GREG MCKEGG ERIE 17/06/1992 6′ 0″ 191 lbs C
  41. CHARLIE COYLE SOUTH SHORE 02/03/1992 6′ 2″ 202 lbs RW
  42. BRADLEY ROSS PORTLAND 28/05/1992 6′ 0″ 175 lbs LW
  43. STANISLAV GALIEV SAINT JOHN 17/01/1992 6′ 1″ 178 lbs RW
  44. JASON ZUCKER USA U-18 16/01/1992 5′ 11″ 174 lbs LW
  45. JOHAN LARSSON BRYNAS JR. 25/07/1992 5′ 10″ 200 lbs LW
  46. KEVIN HAYES NOBLES 08/05/1992 6′ 2″ 201 lbs RW
  47. RYAN SPOONER PETERBOROUGH 30/01/1992 5′ 10″ 172 lbs C
  48. TROY RUTKOWSKI PORTLAND 29/04/1992 6′ 2″ 208 lbs D
  49. MAXIM KITSYN NOVOKUZNETSK 24/12/1991 6′ 2″ 194 lbs LW
  50. JOEY HISHON OWEN SOUND 20/10/1991 5′ 10″ 170 lbs C

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