Prospect Ramblings

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2012-04-29

 

I would like to apologize for being somewhat absent over the past week here at DobberProspects and via twitter (where many of you reach out for help).  Life needed me to attend to some personal issues and hockey was put on the back burner.  Thanks for your patience.

 

As mentioned earlier in the week, the Ramblings here at DobberProspect will be posted on several times per week depending on the amount of information.

 

As you read through the prospect reports on DobberProspects.com you will notice the “Fantasy Outlook” grading system rating prospects from A+ to E.  To understand more about the rating system please click on the “Fantasy Outlook” in each profile to get the details.

 

Looking around the leagues at some of hockey’s favourite prospects….

 

The Ontario Hockey League

 

The London Knights swept the Kitchener Rangers in the Western Conference Final while it took the star-studded Niagara Ice Dogs five games to eliminate Tyler Toffoli’s Ottawa 67’s.

 

In a year where the Hunter Brothers seriously considered a small rebuild at the OHL trade deadline, the London Knights are back in the OHL Championship series.  Much like the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL, London proves year after year that it is the model franchise that the 19 other OHL teams try to mimic.

 

The London Knights have not appeared in the OHL Championship series since 2005-06 when Rob Schremp, David Bolland and Sergei Kostitsyn starred for London with goaltender Steve Mason serving as the team’s backup goalie. The Knights lost to the Peterborough Petes in four straight games that season as Jordan Staal, Liam Reddox, Patrick Kaleta and Steven Downie went on to win for the Petes.

 

Ryan Strome (Islanders), Dougie Hamilton (Bruins), Freddie Hamilton (Sharks), Alex Friesen (Canucks), Tom Kuhnhackl (Penguins), Brett Ritchie (Stars), Jamie Oleksiak (Stars), Mitchell Theoret (Islanders) and goaltender Mark Visentin (Coyotes) are the notable NHL draftees that will be playing for the Niagara Ice Dogs when they meet London in the final.

 

The Knights’ have no shortage of NHL draftees either as Vladislav Namestnikov (Lightning), Austin Watson (Predators), Greg McKegg (Maple Leafs), Jarred Tinordi (Canadiens), Jared Knight (Bruins) and Scott Harrington (Penguins) have all heard their names called at the NHL Draft.  Add Olli Maatta (2012), Andreas Athanasiou (2012), Matt and Ryan Rupert (2012), Chris Tierney (2012), Josh Anderson (2012), Max Domi (2013), Bo Horvat (2013) and overagers Michael Houser and Seth Griffith as names that should see themselves as NHL property in the very near future.

 

Niagara vs. London = Prospect Heaven!

 

It will be interesting to see the matchups in this series and I will be particularly watching Olli Maatta vs. Dougie Hamilton as the draft-eligible prospect currently sits tied in points (19) with the Bruins prospect with one less game played for the Finn.

 

Series starts Thursday, May 3rd

 

The Western Hockey League

 

With the Portland Winterhawks defeating the Tri-City Americans in a four-game sweep and the mighty Edmonton Oil Kings taking care of the Moose Jaw Warriors in five games the WHL Championship series is set.

 

The Edmonton Oil Kings roster features NHL draftees including Michael St.Croix (Rangers), Martin Gernat (Oilers), Kristians Pelss (Oilers), Mark Pysyk (Sabres), Keegan Lowe (Hurricanes), Travis Ewanyk (Oilers) and playoff standout Laurent Brossoit (Flames) who has posted 12 wins, one loss, two shutouts and a remarkable .945 save percentage. The Oil Kings are led offensively by 2013 top prospect Curtis Lazar and 2012 prospect Henrik Samuelsson and defensively Griffin Reinhart is making a case for a top 10 selection in the 2012 draft.

 

The Portland Winterhawks have become one of the better hockey factories in the CHL producing tons of NHL talent.  The WHL leading scorer Ty Rattie (Blues) continues to produce at almost two points per game while Sven Bartschi (Flames), Brad Ross (Maple Leafs), Joe Morrow (Penguins), and Marcel Noebels (Flyers) are no slouches offensively either.  Tyler Wotherspoon (Flames), Cam Reid (Predators), Troy Rutkowski (Avalanche), William Wrenn (Sharks) and Mac Carruth (Blackhawks) round out the players already drafted into the NHL.  Portland defenseman Derrick Pouliot looks to challenge for a first round selection in the June NHL Entry Draft this year and currently sits second in WHL playoff defensive scoring with 12 points in 15 contests trailing only teammate Joe Morrow (by one point)

 

Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Portland Winterhawks begins Thursday, May 3rd.

 

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

 

The Saint John Sea Dogs, the Memorial Cup favourites, defeated Chicoutimi in 4-3 in overtime Saturday night to