Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
Hopping on to pass on some prospect news that may, or may not, be interesting to our readers. It interests me greatly so I am sure you will be excited as well.
Over the past weekend, the prospect competition was in full force as Canadian and American teams evaluated their players in preparation of the upcoming Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament expected to start in the upcoming week. Now, these players are not yet drafted into the NHL but you will certainly be hearing these names at DobberProspects and DobberHockey over the course of the next year as they will be front and center in the VERY deep draft class of 2013.
Personally, I was pretty disappointed that I could not make the trip to Mississauga to catch this camp live in action but other work commitments came first. However, the oft-criticized twitter verse did a magnificent job keeping me informed of how these draft-eligibles were performing. At the end of the day, Canada has an extremely talented team that hopes to stretch their success at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament to five-straight gold medals.
Former Maple Leaf and current Kingston Frontenac’s Head Coach Todd Gill is Canada’s bench boss for these top 1995-born players. Here is a look at the team with a few thoughts on players I have watched:
Nathan MacKinnon (F, QMJHL, Halifax) – projected 1st overall pick of 2013 NHL Draft will be Canada’s top player.
Jonathan Drouin (F, QMJHL, Halifax) – MacKinnon’s teammate in Halifax, Drouin has tremendous chemistry and is a lock to play with his Moosehead’s teammate. First round talent.
Anthony Duclair (F, QMJHL, Quebec) – His speed is an instant catalyst for offense and he’ll be a player surely to go safely inside the first round next year.
Yan-Pavel Laplante (F, QMJHL, PEI)
Jeremy Gregoire (F, QMJHL, Chicoutimi) – Gregoire is a player I am not overly familiar with, yet, but from scouts I’ve spoken to he is a player that can play a number of different roles and that will be a valuable asset.
Sam Reinhart (F, WHL, Kootenay) – Youngest brother to Max (Flames) and Griffin (Islanders), Sam is an extremely smart player and is one of the favourites for the 2014 NHL Draft. He was the WHL’s Rookie of the Year this past season notching 28 goals and 62 points.
Morgan Klimchuk (F, WHL, Regina)
Curtis Lazar (F, WHL, Edmonton) – As a 16-year-old, Lazar led his Edmonton Oil Kings’ team in scoring en route to a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup birth.
Ryan Kujawinski (F, OHL, Kingston) – The player that I’ve watched the most of is also probably one of the most improved of this bunch. Blessed with great size, skill and net drive, Kujawinski is an OHL star in the making. He took huge strides playing for Canada at last year’s U17 tournament in Windsor.
Max Domi (F, OHL, London) – Son of former Leaf Tie Domi, Max is much more skilled and should become a top 20 pick. He’s a bit individualistic at times but his puck skills are excellent.
Nick Ritchie (F, OHL, Peterborough) – Likely Canada’s second best player (behind MacKinnon) at camp, Nick Ritchie is the younger but more talented brother of Brett Ritchie (Dallas Stars). He brings size and skill to the forward corps and will be a tough player to play against as he hits everything in sight. 2014 Draft eligible.
Bo Horvat (F, OHL, London) – A personal favourite of mine for the 2013 draft, Horvat is capable of playing a defensive role to perfection but also displays dynamic offensive skills when put in that position. He’s considered a borderline first-round talent but I will GUARANTEE that he rises substantially up draft boards this season. He was Team Ontario’s captain and best forward at last year’s U17 tournament.
Nic Petan (F, WHL, Portland) – Skillful centre that should earn more offensive minutes as Sven Bartschi and company graduate from a deep Winterhawks roster.
Darnell Nurse (D, OHL, Sault Ste. Marie) – Big, mobile defenseman that has developed a ton over the course of a season was likely the most impressive defensemen at camp. First round talent.
Shea Theodore (D, WHL, Seattle) – Owns a tremendous hard accurate shot and stood out during the weekend camp as one of the better defenders.
Jordan Subban (D, OHL,