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Prospect Sunday (Thursday Edition) Pre-Draft Special, Part 2

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"Game Time" PROSPECT SUNDAYS


By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department


2010 Draft Logo

T-minus thirty hours and counting...

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft is less than a day-and-a-half away now, and there's still no clear indication of which direction the organization will be headed after Jarmo Kekalainen steps up to the podium to make his last first-round selection as the Director of Amateur Scouting for the St. Louis Blues.

The consensus among the "experts" at NHL.com seems to be that the Blues should go with the double gold medal-winning goalie for Team USA at the 2010 U20 and U18 World Junior Championships, one Jack Campbell. Campbell's talent would make a very solid addition to the strong prospect goalie pool (Jake Allen, Ben Bishop, Paul Karpowich) that the Blues already have, even if Campbell ends up spending the next four years minding the crease for Red Berenson at Michigan.

The consensus among the Blues' fan base seems to be that the Blues should abandon their long-held "tie goes to the defenseman" strategy and draft a scoring forward -- a position given more weight by the recent trade of the organization's top offensive prospect, Lars Eller, to Montreal in the Jaroslav Halak deal.

The Blues, naturally, aren't tipping their hand, so let's quickly take a look at...

The Defenseman / "Best Player Available" Factor:

As reported Wednesday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and linked to by none other than our own Lord of the Links, Poor College Student, the Blues won't rule out the possibility of drafting a defenseman at 14th overall if there's a blueliner available that stands out above the crowd remaining on the board at that position.

As reported here, in Part One of this Draft Special, there are five outstanding blueliners at the top of this year's draft, and the feeling around the Game Time Prospect Department HQ is that if one of these bottles should happen to fall, his name will be up on St. Louis' wall. Here's how your GTPD ranks the top five defensemen available in this draft:

  1. Cam Fowler (Windsor/OHL)
  2. Erik Gudbranson (Kingston/OHL)
  3. Derek Forbort (USNTDP U-18)
  4. Brandon Gormley (Moncton/QMJHL)
  5. Mark Pysyk (Edmonton/WHL)

As noted previously, we don't expect any of these guys to slip to 14th overall, but if one does, Pysyk is the one we see as most likely to do so. Your GTPD also feels that the best scoring forward still available at 14th overall would be the BPA over either Gormley or Pysyk... but then again, we're not the ones actually making the picks.

In Part One of this Draft Special, we took an in-depth look at ten prospects we feel will be available at 14th and 44th overall. Here in Part Two, we'll take a look at players we project for 74th overall and beyond -- after the jump.

Round Three (74th overall):

As before, any player ranked higher by "Game Time" who happens to slip, should be a priority for selection in this round and subsequent rounds. The goaltender, Fredrik Petterson-Wenzel, would be a particular priority in this round should he slip out of the second.

There will be a goaltender included in the five "target" prospects for each round between 2 and 6. Only one goaltender need be selected in this draft, however; once that goaltender is chosen, in whatever round, no further selections should be spent on a goaltender.

As before, there is a mix of Europeans and North Americans to choose from in this round. North Americans have been the higher-ranked players in rounds 1 and 2, so a European is the likely target in this round. The third round has also been the round in the Kekalainen era in which the Blues are most likely to select a goaltender, and the one who appears in the targets for this round is one who conforms to the common perception of Blues' draft picks in general: a college-bound American.

Brandon DAVIDSON Zane GOTHBERG Johan LARSSON Teemu PULKKINEN Bradley ROSS
2010 Draft Davidson 2010 Draft Gothberg 2010 Draft Larsson 2010 Draft Pulkkinen 2010 Draft Ross
** Regina (WHL) ** Thief River Falls HS (MIN) ** Brynäs Jr (SWE Jr) ** Jokerit Jr (FIN Jr) ** Portland (WHL)
** 6' 01, 190, D, shoots L ** 6' 01, 177, G, catches L ** 5' 10, 200, LW, shoots L ** 5' 11, 183, LW, shoots R ** 6' 00, 175, LW, shoots L
** 59 GP, 1-33-34, +15 ** 25 GP, 1.83 GAA, .922 ** 40 GP, 15-19-34, - 1 ** 17 GP, 20-21-41, + 0 ** 71 GP, 27-41-68, +22
** 37 PM, 1 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 3 SO, 1281 mins, 17- 7- 1 ** 80 PM, 4 PP, 3 SH, 1 GW ** 41 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 203 PM, 4 PP, 0 SH, 2 GW
** Davidson profile ** Gothberg profile ** Larsson profile ** Pulkkinen profile ** Ross profile

NOTES:

** Davidson led the Regina Pats in plus/minus with a plus-15 this season, and was named the Pats' top rookie for the 2009-10 season. He plays on both special teams, and takes a regular shift on Regina's top defense pairing at even strength.

** Gothberg was selected in the first round (7th overall) of the 2009 United States League Entry Draft by the Fargo (ND) Force, and played for the USA U-18 Selects at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last August. He has committed to Notre Dame for 2011.

** Larsson is described by the Elite Prospects.com website as a "strong two-way player with good hockey sense and on-ice-vision" who is not "overly flashy or technically skilled, but ... works hard, passes the puck well and is very valuable in all zones of the ice."

** Pulkkinen missed some time with an injury this season, but still managed to post a goal and three points with the Jokerit senior club in the SM-Liiga, and a 10-5-15 scoring line with 10 PM, 5 PPG and three game-winners at the U18 World Juniors.

** Ross played LW on Portland's top line this year, with probable first-round selections Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Johansen. He is described by Red Line Report as "aggressive, disruptive, chippy, with just enough skill to be dangerous offensively."

GAME TIME RANKING:

Both Ross and Pulkkinen may well be gone well prior to the 74th overall selection. This will leave the choice, then, down to a gritty Euro scoring forward, a solid Canadian stay-at-home defenseman, and an American goaltender with almost unlimited potential.

Larsson is part of a sizeable group of quality draft prospects coming from the Brynäs Gavle system this year. Gothberg has committed to North Dakota for the 2011-12 season, and will probably play in the USHL for the Fargo Force next season. Davidson enjoyed a nine-place rise in the Central Scouting rankings from 57th at midterm to 48th in the final rankings.

  1. Ross
  2. Pulkkinen
  3. Larsson
  4. Davidson
  5. Gothberg

Round Four (104th overall):

Larsson is the priority target at this position, if he should happen to slip out of the third round. Davidson is close behind, and if the Blues have chosen all forwards in the first three rounds and davidson falls to them at 104th, we would draft him there even ahead of Larsson.

Oscar LINDBERG John RAMAGE Casey THRUSH Sebastian WÄNNSTRÖM Clay WITT
2010 Draft Lindberg 2010 Draft Ramage 2010 Draft Thrush 2010 Draft Wännström 2010 Draft Witt
** Skelleftea Jr (SWE Jr) ** Univ. of Wisconsin (WCHA) ** Team Maryland U18 (USMAAAE) ** Brynäs Jr (SWE Jr) ** Sioux Fallls (USHL)
** 6' 00, 187, C, shoots L ** 6' 01, 184, D, shoots R ** 6' 01, 175, L, shoots L ** 6' 01, 180, RW, shoots R ** 6' 01, 195, G, catches L
** 30 GP, 14-23-37, +15 ** 41 GP, 2-10-12, +14 ** 72 GP, 50-67-117, +45 ** 35 GP, 30-27-57, +20 ** 44 GP, 2.66 GAA, .906
** 44 PM, 3 PP, 1 SH, 2 GW ** 51 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 102 PM, 15 PP, 3 SH, 7 GW ** 55 PM, 7 PP, 0 SH, 8 GW ** 6 SO, 2570 mins, 24-12- 7
** Lindberg profile ** Ramage profile ** Thrush profile ** Wännström profile ** Witt profile

 

GAME TIME RANKING:

Lindberg is the most likely player on this list to be taken prior to this round; Witt may also be a surprise pick for a team that scouts the USHL heavily, and is looking for a goalie who has flown somewhat under the radar. Wännström led the J20 Superelit in scoring this season. Thrush is committed to New Hampshire (Hockey East), and was drafted in the first round of the USHL Emtry Draft by Muskegon. Ramage is his father's son on defense, big and physical with a hint of offensive upside as well.

  1. Lindberg
  2. Wännström
  3. Thrush
  4. Ramage
  5. Witt

Round Five (134th overall):

Wännström and Thrush are the priority targets at this position, in that order, if either or both should happen to slip out of the fourth round. This round features defense, defense, and more defense.

Joey LEACH Austin LEVI Kevin LIND Peter STOYKEWYCH Jeff TEGLIA
2010 Draft Leach 2010 Draft Levi 2010 Draft Lind 2010 Draft Stoykewych 2010 Draft Teglia
** Kootenay (WHL) ** Plymouth (OHL) ** Chicago (USHL) ** Winnipeg South (MJHL) ** Omaha (USHL)
** 6' 03, 187, D, shoots L ** 6' 03, 192, D, shoots L ** 6' 03, 202, D, shoots L ** 6' 02, 188, D, shoots L ** 6' 00, 181, G, catches L
** 70 GP, 3-26-26, +33 ** 68 GP, 3-9-12, +10 ** 55 GP, 6-10-16, + 3 ** 56 GP, 6-25-31, ... ** 45 GP, 2.27 GAA, .921
** 77 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW ** 116 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 76 PM, 2 PP, 0 SH, 2 GW ** 63 PM, 2 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW ** 4 SO, 2700 mins, 30-10- 5
** Leach profile ** Levi profile ** Lind profile ** Stoykewych profile ** Teglia profile

GAME TIME RANKING:

1 ... Teglia

2 ... Leach

3 ... Stoykewich

4 ... Lind

5 ... Levi

Round Six (164th overall):

Brendan GALLAGHER Petter GRANBERG Marek HRIVIK Isaac MacLEOD Parker MILNER
2010 Draft Gallagher 2010 Draft Granberg 2010 Draft Hrivik 2010 Draft MacLeod 2010 Draft Milner
** Vancouver (WHL) ** Skelleftea Jr (SWE Jr) ** Moncton (QMJHL) ** Penticton (BCJHL) ** Boston College (HEA)
** 5' 09, 163, RW, shoots R ** 6' 03, 200, D, shoots R ** 6' 01, 186, LW, shoots L ** 6' 04, 205, D, shoots L ** 6' 01, 188, G, catches L
** 72 GP, 41-40-81, + 9 ** 40 GP, 2-7-9, - 1 ** 66 GP, 26-29-55, +24 ** 56 GP, 0-23-23, ... ** 13 GP, 2.10 GAA, .914
** 111 PM, 14 PP, 1 SH, 9 GW ** 39 PM, 1 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW ** 14 PM, 7 PP, 0 SH, 4 GW ** 51 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 0 SO, 741 mins, 10- 2- 1
** Gallagher profile ** Granberg profile ** Hrivik profile ** MacLeod profile ** Milner profile

 

GAME TIME RANKING:

1 ... Hrivik

2 ... Gallagher

3 ... Granberg

4 ... MacLeod

5 ... Milner

 

Also On The GTPD Radar:

CSS Rank Player Ps Sht Ht.. Wt. 2009-10 Club/League GP G.. A.. Pts +/- PIM PP. SH. GW.
NAM 091 GUDAS, Radko D R 5-11 192 Everett (WHL) 65 7 30 37 +45 151 3 0 2
NAM 105 BRUNELLE, Jonathan LW L 6-01 187 Drummondville (QMJHL) 68 23 26 49 +18 22 8 0 3
NAM 157 CAMPBELL, Colin LW R 6-01 187 Vaughan (OPJRA) 46 32 44 75 ... 55 7 1 5
NAM 164 ABELTSHAUSER, Konrad D L 6-05 190 Halifax (QMJHL) 48 5 20 25 -26 28 3 0 0
NAM 187 FULTON, Tyson RW R 5-11 190 Breck HS (MN) 25 33 44 77 + 9 24 6 6 4
NAM 195 SUSTR, Andrej D R 6-06 185 Youngstown (USHL) 50 1 18 19 - 6 95 1 0 0
EUR 004 JARNKROK, Calle C R 5-11 156 Brynas (SWE Elite) 33 4 6 10 + 5 2 1 0 2
EUR 019 GUSEV, Nikita LW R 5-09 163 CSKA 2 (MHL) 48 17 39 56 +25 14 .. .. ..
EUR 044 HARI, Janos LW L 5-09 161 Farjestad Jr (SWE Jr) 38 56 47 103 +41 64 16 4 9
EUR 065 SVEDBERG, Viktor D L 6-09 223 Frolunda Jr (SWE Jr) 40 4 10 14 +10 85 2 0 1
EUR 071 BEREZIN, Maxim D L 6-03 191 Nizhnekamsk 2 (MHL) 48 6 30 36 + 8 94 .. .. ..

Coming up this weekend, complete and in-depth review and analysis of the Blues' picks on Friday and Saturday. Until then, remember... "if we do not prepare for ourselves the role of the hammer, there will be nothing left but that of the anvil." Auf wiedersehen.