Scouting Combine and Keeping an Eye on the Draft Prospects

Now that the Hurricanes are eliminated from the 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Race,  it is time to turn attention to the entry draft.  The top 100 draft prospects in the consideration of the NHL Central Scouting Service,  were invited to the Propects Scouting Combine.  

With the Hurricanes have a large number of draft picks in the first three rounds, the combine will have significant impact, not only on the first round pick, but particularly for second round picks.  Additionally, the consensus of opinions seems to be that Hall and Seguin will be the first two picks, although the order of the picks is less clear.  Similarly,  Fowler, Gormley, and Gudbranson are generally listed as the next three picks, with the order of their picks have some degree of variation.

Jim Rutherford and Jason Karmanos are going to have a crossroads decision if the Hurricanes pick 3 through 5.  A team probably can never have enough top end defensemen; and Fowler, Gormley, and Gudbranson are felt to be sure bets.  On the other hand,  there are large, fast, physical forwards available in this year's draft -- generally felt to be picks 6 through 10, at minimum.  Some of these anticipated picks include in no particular order, (1) Brett Connolly; (2) Riley Sheahan; (3) Steven Shipley; (4) Nick Bjugstad; (5) Nino Niederreiter; (6) Brock Nelson, (7) Kirill Kabanov; (8) Austin Watson; and (9) Vladimir Tarasenko.        

    If the  Central Scouting Service reports are accurate,  the top two picks are slightly ahead of the next three picks in terms of immediate impact; but the top five players Hall, Seguin, Fowler, Gormely, and Gudbranson, appear to be slightly ahead in terms of development of the next five to ten players.  The situation makes for a dilemma for the Hurricanes at the draft.  Do they pick the best player available in their ranking?  Or do they pick the best forward he addresses their short and long-term needs?  

   Some of the answer depends on (1) whether the Hurricanes will fill the role of scoring first line wing from the ranks of its young players, such as Dalpe or Bowman; and (2) whether the Hurricanes would consider an off-season signing of a player who has fallen out of favor with a coach or GM -- such as Fabian Brunnstrom or Nathan Horton.  The answer might further be affected by the Hurricanes analysis of the top 60 prospects in the draft.  If the second round would likely yield a big, fast, aggressive scoring forward who could have an immediate impact,  then taking Fowler, Gudbranson, or Gormley may make more sense.  An additional consideration is whether a team above the Hurricanes feels it needs Fowler, Gudbranson, or Gormely and is willing to trade a prospect to trade spots for the first round picks.

   What has been repeated many times by Jim Rutherford in his public statements about the team,  is that he intends to make certain the Hurricanes become younger, bigger, faster, and more physical.  As one looks at the veteran core of forwards,  Staal, Sutter, Cole, and Ruutu are the players with speed, size, and physicality.  At the other end of the spectrum,  Samsonov, LaRose, and Whitney all are in the neighborhood of 5'8" and 170 lbs; and all possess NHL level skill, but would not be listed among the NHL's fastest skaters (with LaRose having the most speed North to South).  One lesson from the playoffs last season and the injuries this season is that the Hurricanes need to have Ruutu in the lineup and that until the Hurricanes organization obtains other big, fast, physical forwards in addition to Cole and Ruutu,  the Hurricanes are one injury away from struggling against the bigger and more physical teams.  


   In short,  the decisions facing Jim Rutherford and Jason Karmanos in this year's draft will likely have a significant impact on the ability of the Hurricanes to reach the playoffs next season and seasons to come.  The safest and most conservative approach is for the Hurricanes to make certain they select a player who will become quickly an impact player for the team; and who fits in the Hurricanes' locker room -- that is a person of character who puts his team first.  If the first round pick is a defenseman,  then the Hurricanes staff will likely need to look creatively at how they can make use of all their young talent at forwards in order to speed their development into upper tier players.  Sutter's rapid development is proof that a young forward can take on huge responsibilities.  Boychuk, Bowman, and Tlusty seem ready to make the jump to the NHL as impact players.  Dalpe, too, may well be ready for the NHL.



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   The Scouting Combine runs from May 24 through May 29.  Here is the list of the top 100 prospects, in alphabetical order, who were invited to the camp:


Player Name Birthdate Birthplace Pos Sh Height Weight Team
1 AGOSTINO, KENNETH 30-Apr-92 Morristown, NJ LW L 5' 11" 190 lbs. DELBARTON (HIGH-NJ)
2 ALT, MARK 18-Oct-91 Kansas City, MO D R 6' 3" 199 lbs. CRETIN-DERHAM (HIGH-MN)
3 ARCHIBALD, BRANDON 31-Mar-92 Port Huron, MI D R 6' 3.5" 200 lbs. SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
4 ARNOLD, BILL 13-May-92 Boston, MA C R 5' 11.5" 218 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
5 BASARABA, JOE 2-May-92 Fort Frances, ON RW R 6' 2.25" 190 lbs. SHAT.ST.MARY'S (HIGH-MN)
6 BENNETT, BEAU 27-Nov-91 Gardena, CA RW R 6' 0.5" 173 lbs. PENTICTON (BCHL)
7 BEUKEBOOM, BROCK 1-Apr-92 Greenwich, CT D R 6' 1" 202 lbs. SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
8 BIEGA, DANNY 29-Sep-91 Montreal, QC D R 6' 0" 191 lbs. HARVARD (ECAC)
9 BJUGSTAD, NICK 17-Jul-92 Minneapolis, MN C R 6' 3.75" 188 lbs. BLAINE (HIGH-MN)
10 BOURNIVAL, MICHAEL 31-May-92 Shawinigan, QC LW L 5' 11" 179 lbs. SHAWINIGAN (QMJHL)
11 BRICKLEY, CONNOR 25-Feb-92 Malden, MA C L 5' 11.5" 190 lbs. DES MOINES (USHL)
12 BRITTAIN, SAM 10-May-92 Calgary, AB G L 6' 2.75" 215 lbs. CANMORE (AJHL)
13 BULMER, BRETT 26-Apr-92 Prince George, BC RW R 6' 2.25" 175 lbs. KELOWNA (WHL)
14 BUNZ, TYLER 11-Feb-92 Regina, SK G L 6' 1.25" 196 lbs. MEDICINE HAT (WHL)
15 BURMISTROV, ALEXANDER 21-Oct-91 Kazan C L 5' 11.25" 157 lbs. BARRIE (OHL)
16 CAMPBELL, JACK 9-Jan-92 Port Huron, MI G L 6' 2.5" 175 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
17 CONNOLLY, BRETT 2-May-92 Campbell River, BC RW R 6' 2" 181 lbs. PRINCE GEORGE (WHL)
18 CORBEIL-THERIAULT, MATHIEU 27-Sep-91 Montreal, QC G L 6' 5.75" 186 lbs. HALIFAX (QMJHL)
19 COYLE, CHARLIE 2-Mar-92 E. Weymouth, MA C;RW R 6' 1.5" 202 lbs. SOUTH SHORE (EJHL)
20 CULEK, JAKUB 7-Sep-92 Plzen LW L 6' 3" 185 lbs. RIMOUSKI (QMJHL)
21 DAVIDSON, BRANDON 21-Aug-91 Lethbridge, AB D L 6' 1" 190 lbs. REGINA (WHL)
22 DOMINGUE, LOUIS 6-Mar-92 St-Hyacinte, QC G R 6' 2.5" 180 lbs. QUEBEC (QMJHL)
23 DONSKOI, JOONAS 13-Apr-92 Raahe RW R 6' 0" 180 lbs. KARPAT JR. (FINLAND-JR.)
24 ETEM, EMERSON 16-Jun-92 Long Beach, CA RW L 6' 0.25" 190 lbs. MEDICINE HAT (WHL)
25 FALLON, JACOB 27-Feb-92 Riverside, CA C L 5' 10" 191 lbs. INDIANA (USHL)
26 FAULK, JUSTIN 20-Mar-92 South St.Paul, MN D R 5' 11.75" 196 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
27 FORBORT, DEREK 4-Mar-92 Duluth, MN D L 6' 4.5" 198 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
28 FOWLER, CAM 5-Dec-91 Windsor, ON D L 6' 1.25" 190 lbs. WINDSOR (OHL)
29 GALIEV, STANISLAV 17-Jan-92 Moscow RW R 6' 0.75" 178 lbs. SAINT JOHN (QMJHL)
30 GARDINER, MAX 7-May-92 Edina, MN C L 6' 2.5" 176 lbs. MINNETONKA (HIGH-MN)
31 GAUTHIER-LEDUC, JEROME 30-Jul-92 Quebec City, QC D R 6' 1.25" 176 lbs. ROUYN-NORANDA (QMJHL)
32 GORMLEY, BRANDON 18-Feb-92 Charlottetown, PE D L 6' 2" 185 lbs. MONCTON (QMJHL)
33 GOTHBERG, ZANE 20-Aug-92 Grand Forks, ND G L 6' 0.5" 177 lbs. THIEF RIVER FALLS (HIGH-MN)
34 GRANLUND, MIKAEL 26-Feb-92 Oulu C;W L 5' 10" 180 lbs. HIFK (FINLAND)
35 GRAVEL, KEVIN 6-Mar-92 Marquette, MI D L 6' 4" 185 lbs. SIOUX CITY (USHL)
36 GUDBRANSON, ERIK 7-Jan-92 Ottawa, ON D R 6' 3.75" 195 lbs. KINGSTON (OHL)
37 HALL, TAYLOR 14-Nov-91 Calgary, AB LW L 6' 0.5" 185 lbs. WINDSOR (OHL)
38 HAMILTON, CURTIS 4-Dec-91 Tacoma, WA LW L 6' 2.25" 209 lbs. SASKATOON (WHL)
39 HAMILTON, FREDDIE 1-Jan-92 Toronto, ON C R 6' 0.75" 187 lbs. NIAGARA (OHL)
40 HAYES, KEVIN 8-May-92 Boston, MA RW L 6' 2.25" 201 lbs. NOBLES (HIGH-MA)
41 HISHON, JOEY 20-Oct-91 Stratford, ON C L 5' 9.75" 170 lbs. OWEN SOUND (OHL)
42 HOLL, JUSTIN 30-Jan-92 Edina, MN D R 6' 2.25" 170 lbs. MINNETONKA (HIGH-MN)
43 HOWDEN, QUINTON 21-Jan-92 Winnipeg, MB C L 6' 2" 182 lbs. MOOSE JAW (WHL)
44 JARNKROK, CALLE 25-Sep-91 Gavle C R 5' 10.75" 156 lbs. BRYNAS (SWEDEN)
45 JOHANSEN, RYAN 31-Jul-92 Vancouver, BC C R 6' 2" 192 lbs. PORTLAND (WHL)
46 JOHANSSON, JONATHAN 30-Jun-91 Gothenburg C L 6' 3.25" 188 lbs. FROLUNDA JR. (SWE-JR.)
47 JOHNS, STEPHEN 18-Apr-92 Ellwood City, PA D R 6' 3.25" 215 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
48 KABANOV, KIRILL 16-Jul-92 Moscow LW R 6' 2" 173 lbs. MONCTON (QMJHL)
49 KITSYN, MAXIM 24-Dec-91 Novokuznetsk LW R 6' 2" 194 lbs. NOVOKUZNETSK (RUSSIA)
50 KUEHNHACKL, TOM 21-Jan-92 Landshut RW L 6' 2" 172 lbs. LANDSHUT CANN. (GERMAN-2)
51 KUZNETSOV, EVGENY 19-May-92 Chelyabinsk C L 6' 0" 172 lbs. CHELYABINSK (RUSSIA)
52 LANIGAN, CAMERON 9-Jun-92 Calgary, AB G L 6' 1.75" 180 lbs. EDMONTON (WHL)
53 LINDBERG, OSCAR 29-Oct-91 Skelleftea C L 6' 0" 187 lbs. SKELLEFTEA JR. (SWE-JR.)
54 MACKENZIE, MATT 15-Oct-91 New Westminster, BC D R 6' 1" 191 lbs. CALGARY (WHL)
55 MADAISKY, AUSTIN 30-Jan-92 Burnaby, BC D R 6' 1.75" 185 lbs. KAMLOOPS (WHL)
56 MARINCIN, MARTIN 18-Feb-92 D L 6' 4" 187 lbs. SLOVAKIA U20 (SLOVAKIA)
57 MARTINDALE, RYAN 27-Oct-91 Oshawa, ON C L 6' 3" 183 lbs. OTTAWA (OHL)
58 MCFARLAND, JOHN 2-Apr-92 Richmond Hill, ON LW R 6' 0.25" 192 lbs. SUDBURY (OHL)
59 MCFAULL, KENDALL 10-Apr-92 Rosetown, SK D L 6' 2" 187 lbs. MOOSE JAW (WHL)
60 MCILRATH, DYLAN 20-Apr-92 Winnipeg, MB D R 6' 4.25" 212 lbs. MOOSE JAW (WHL)
61 MCKEGG, GREG 17-Jun-92 St.Thomas, ON C L 5' 11.75" 191 lbs. ERIE (OHL)
62 MCNALLY, PATRICK 4-Dec-91 Glen Head, NY D L 6' 2" 180 lbs. MILTON ACADEMY (HIGH-MA)
63 MELCHIORI, JULIAN 6-Dec-91 Richmond Hill, ON D L 6' 3" 186 lbs. NEWMARKET (CCHL)
64 MERRILL, JONATHON 3-Feb-92 Oklahoma City, OK D L 6' 3.25" 198 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
65 NELSON, BROCK 15-Oct-91 Minneapolis, MN C L 6' 2.5" 205 lbs. WARROAD (HIGH-MN)
66 NEMETH, PATRIK 8-Feb-92 Stockholm D L 6' 3" 201 lbs. AIK JR. (SWE-JR.)
67 NIEDERREITER, NINO 8-Sep-92 Chur RW L 6' 1.5" 201 lbs. PORTLAND (WHL)
68 OHMAN, VICTOR 7-Apr-92 Malmo C L 6' 1" 202 lbs. MALMO JR. (SWE-JR.)
69 PEREIRA, MIKE 24-Nov-91 LW L 5' 10.75" 170 lbs. AVON OLD FARMS (HIGH-CT)
70 PETROVIC, ALEXANDER 3-Mar-92 Edmonton, AB D R 6' 4" 193 lbs. RED DEER (WHL)
71 PICKARD, CALVIN 15-Apr-92 Moncton, NB G L 6' 0.5" 195 lbs. SEATTLE (WHL)
72 PITLICK, TYLER 1-Nov-91 Minneapolis, MN C R 6' 1.5" 194 lbs. MINNESOTA STATE (WCHA)
73 PYSYK, MARK 11-Jan-92 Edmonton, AB D R 6' 1.25" 174 lbs. EDMONTON (WHL)
74 RENSFELDT, LUDVIG 29-Jan-92 Gavle LW L 6' 2.75" 192 lbs. BRYNAS JR. (SWE-JR.)
75 ROSS, BRADLEY 28-May-92 Edmonton, AB LW L 5' 11.5" 175 lbs. PORTLAND (WHL)
76 RUTKOWSKI, TROY 29-Apr-92 Edmonton, AB D R 6' 1.75" 208 lbs. PORTLAND (WHL)
77 SCHWARTZ, JADEN 25-Jun-92 Melfort, SK C L 5' 10" 180 lbs. TRI-CITY (USHL)
78 SEGUIN, TYLER 31-Jan-92 Brampton, ON C R 6' 1" 172 lbs. PLYMOUTH (OHL)
79 SHEAHAN, RILEY 7-Dec-91 St. Catharines, ON C L 6' 1.5" 202 lbs. U OF NOTRE DAME (CCHA)
80 SHIPLEY, STEVEN 22-Apr-92 London, ON C L 6' 2.25" 205 lbs. OWEN SOUND (OHL)
81 SHUGG, JUSTIN 24-Dec-91 Niagara Falls, ON LW R 5' 10.75" 184 lbs. WINDSOR (OHL)
82 SILAS, STEPHEN 26-Jun-92 Brampton, ON D L 6' 0.5" 183 lbs. BELLEVILLE (OHL)
83 SIMPSON, KENT 26-Mar-92 Edmonton, AB G L 6' 2.5" 182 lbs. EVERETT (WHL)
84 SKINNER, JEFF 16-May-92 Markham, ON RW L 5' 10" 187 lbs. KITCHENER (OHL)
85 SMITH-PELLY, DEVANTE 14-Jun-92 Scarborough, ON RW R 5' 11.5" 211 lbs. MISSISSAUGA ST. MICHAEL'S (OHL)
86 SMITH, DALTON 30-Jun-92 Markham, ON LW L 6' 2" 203 lbs. OTTAWA (OHL)
87 SPOONER, RYAN 30-Jan-92 Ottawa, ON C L 5' 10.25" 172 lbs. PETERBOROUGH (OHL)
88 STRAKA, PETR 15-Jun-92 Plzen RW L 6' 0.5" 185 lbs. RIMOUSKI (QMJHL)
89 SUNDHER, KEVIN 18-Jan-92 Surrey, BC C L 5' 11.75" 192 lbs. CHILLIWACK (WHL)
90 TARASENKO, VLADIMIR 13-Dec-91 Yaroslavl RW L 5' 11" 202 lbs. NOVOSIBIRSK (RUSSIA)
91 TELEGIN, IVAN 28-Feb-92 Novokyzneck LW L 6' 2.25" 194 lbs. SAGINAW (OHL)
92 THOMAS, CHRISTIAN 26-May-92 Toronto, ON RW R 5' 8.5" 162 lbs. OSHAWA (OHL)
93 TINORDI, JARRED 20-Feb-92 Millersville, MD D L 6' 5.5" 205 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
94 TOFFOLI, TYLER 24-Apr-92 Toronto, ON C R 6' 0" 178 lbs. OTTAWA (OHL)
95 VISENTIN, MARK 7-Aug-92 Hamilton,ON G L 6' 1.5" 187 lbs. NIAGARA (OHL)
96 WATSON, AUSTIN 13-Jan-92 Ann Arbor, MI LW R 6' 3.25" 185 lbs. PETERBOROUGH (OHL)
97 WEAL, JORDAN 15-Apr-92 Saskatoon, SK C R 5' 9.5" 162 lbs. REGINA (WHL)
98 YOGAN, ANDREW 4-Dec-91 Coral Springs, FL C;LW L 6' 2.75" 205 lbs. ERIE (OHL)
99 ZAYTSEV, NIKITA 29-Oct-91 D R 6' 1" 176 lbs. NOVOSIBIRSK (RUSSIA)
100 ZUCKER, JASON 16-Jan-92 Las Vegas, NV LW L 5' 10.5" 174 lbs. USA U-18 (USDP)
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