Saturday, October 4, 2008

HF Releases 11-25

Hockey's Future has released part II of their three part series. I gave my thoughts on 50 t0 25 here. From 11-25 no one really sticks out like sore thumb.

Lets start with Nikolai Kulemin who's ranked 25th. The Toronto Maple Leafs fans are pretty high on the second round pick in 2006 (Don't they think every prospect is the greatest thing since slice bread?). He spent the last three years with Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Russian Super Leagie. The last two years he had atleast 21 goals. Alexander Ovechkin never scored 20 goals in the RSL. I am not saying Kulemin will be better then Ovechkin but I expect him to put some points up in Toronto this year. He had his breakout year when Evgeni Malkin left Magnitogorsk Metallurg for Pittisburgh.

Michael Frolik is too high for me. This kid was highly touted coming out of the Czech Republic. He moved to Rimouski Oceanic two years ago. He has been hampered by injuries the last two seasons. No question the kid has talent but his injury history worries me. this season he will be with the Rochester Americans of the AHL.

A pair of St. Louis prospects to watch out for this upcoming season are T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund. Oshie is ranked 17th and Berglund is ranked 15th. I expect Berglund to become the third straight player from the Swedish Elite League to have a solid rookie year in the NHL. Anze Kopitar and Nicklas Backstrom each were a Calder Trophy Finalist the last two years. Oshie played three years at the University of North Dakata and should begin the year on the Blues third line.

Two of the first four defenseman that were selected in the first round of the 2008 Draft show up at 12 and 16 respectively. Luke Schenn comes in at 16th which I thought was kind of low. I do see why he was ranked low necause he doesn't have the offensive upside like Zach Bogosian, Alex Pietrangelo, and Drew Doughty. I wouldn't be surprised if Schenn spends the entire year in Toronto. Bogosian is ranked twelveth. He looks like he has already secured a spot on the Thrashers for this season.

Nikita Filatov just misses the Top Ten as he's ranked eleventh. He has the best offensive upside of any prospect. With the mysterious leg injury, it looks like he will be in Sudbury for the season.

Here's My Pridiction for the Top Ten

10. Alex Pietrangelo
9. Karl Alzner
8. Josh Bailey
7. Drew Doughty
6. Kyle Okposo
5. Jonathan Bernier
4. Jakub Voracek
3. James vanRiemsdyk
2. Kyle Turris
1. Steven Stamkos

That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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