Hey guys, it's been a while since I posted anything here, school and exams had to be preferred over hockey after Canes season finished in a sad way. That Tampa-loss was pretty damn hard to swallow for me as well, so it took me a while before I started watching hockey on a regular basis again.
Anyway, I got my dirty hands on the International Scouting Service (ISS) Report which was issued some time ago, and I thought I'd post some of my thoughts on the players available as well as what I think we should do in the draft ourselves.
First the mock draft they put up have us drafting Oscar Klefbom, a Swedish D-man currently playing in Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League. The ISS describes our prospect status as lacklustre, as we, and I quote, "don't have a lot of NHL-ready prospects in their system", and that we can afford to gamble on an explosive two-way D-man. For the record according to the ISS, Klefbom is ranked as No. 4 among D-men for this years draft . I do disagree with that statement to some extent however, seeing as how we're decently covered up front with the likes of Boychuk, Bowman, Dalpe and possibly Terry and Samson aiming to impress the Hurricane-staff next season. On the other hand, I'd agree that if we were talking about defense, we don't have a whole lot of depth, which has been a problem all season. We do have pretty damn decent prospect in Justin Faulk, but will he make the jump next year? Will Jamie McBain live up to his expectations his sophomore year? And more importantly, will Pitkanen be resigned, and where do we look if not?
Oscar Klefbom - Defense (SWE)
There is no doubt that the Hurricanes is at lack of depth on the blueline (feel free to disagree), and for many Klefbom might be something to aim for in the draft. However, as Cory pointed out to me on twitter JR rarely draft euros, much less D-men in the first round of the draft. Neither have happened in the last ten years in fact. I won't let go of Klefbom just yet, he's listed with excellent size/strength (6"03.5/200 lbs), skating skills and puck skills, as well as very good offensive and defensive play and an overall high potential. He was also named as Sweden's best players at world juniors this year He does however need to learn to use his size more to his advantage physically. Sounds a bit like Pitkanen doesn't it?
Ryan Murphy - Defense (OHL)
Yeah I know, he's probably going higher than 12th, but man do I want this kid to drop like a rock like Fowler did last year. This is such a talented kid, and is pure jot to watch. He compares to the playfulness of PK Subban, but in my opinion he'll be much better. Reasons he might drop is his size, physical stature and his average defensive play. This might also be reasons why the Canes do not pick him if possible. HPwever, this organization have a soft spot for offensive D-men, though I guess 79 points in 63 games might be too tempting for teams with higher picks
Duncan Siemens - Defense (WHL)
This might be something to go after. He's supposedly a nightmare to play against, and also have potential offensively. His strength and physical play is excellent. His skating is great, and you rarely get past him wide. He's a minute-muncher, and known to pitch in on the powerplay, a realistic target? I think so, if JR would only lose that D-man complex, picking Siemens might be very worthwhile in the future.
Rocco Grimaldi - Center (USHL)
Yeah, this guy is small, this team doesn't need more small players. Fair enough, but he won't be NHL-ready in a couple of years if his strength isn't improved significantly. This guy would go much higher if he was bigger, but with a hockey market making it more than possible to adapt to the NHL, this guy might make it. He compares to St. Louis in style and is entertaining to watch. He's got excellent puck control and puts up a lot of points and leaves most opponents and team-mates in his dust with his blazing speed.. With the right coaches and guidance, he could be an elite player on a top line. We could have another Skinner on our hand if we pick this guy.
Mark Scheifele - Center (OHL)
A power forward in the making? Puts up good points, averaging more than a point per game. Has decent size with potentially more muscle, and a very good physical play. He brings a lot of net presence, and has an elite drive down the ice. He's a hard worker, works both ways, and is potentially a top six forward in the NHL.