Habsguy26 Future Watch Poll
3 members have voted
Hello again! Welcome back to my Future Watch! This time, we'll be scouring the Pacific division of the Western Conference for top prospects. NEW in Part 4 is NHL comparisons. I have gone back to Parts 1, 2 and 3 to put them in. Go back and check it out! Unfortunately, not a lot of big names stand out but upon digging in I found the talent is there and although the Pacific isn't quite as loaded as other divisions like the North East or the Central, it will be an exciting division to watch in the future. Anyways, don't forget to leave a comment and a vote!
10) Jamie Oleksiak - Dallas Stars
drafted by DAL 1(14) in 2011
Rounding out the Top 10 is the behemoth, 2011 first-round pick (14th overall) of the Dallas Stars, Jamie Oleksiak. Oleksiak has tremendous size, agility and soft hands, and has been among the top defenders in the OHL all season. Oleksiak posted 21 points in 28 games after moving to Niagara’s stacked defensive zone in a mid-season trade from Saginaw, and is an anchor on a unit that includes the likes of Dougie Hamilton and Jesse Graham. Oleksiak may play another year in the OHL (he will not turn 20 until December), but with his superb athletic abilities and physical play, a more likely scenario would have him starting his pro career with the AHL's Texas Stars.
NHl Comparison: Kurtis Foster with more offensive upside
9) Tyler Toffoli - Los Angeles Kings
drafted by LAK 2(47) in 2010
Tyler Toffoli has solid hockey sense, good puck handling skills, a solid work ethic and a very quick release along with an NHL-caliber shot. For the second consecutive season, the Ottawa 67s' sniper has scored more than 50 goals and has 163 goals in his four year OHL career. He has established himself as a premier finisher at the junior level and has a sixth sense to find loose pucks around the opposition’s net. Although the offensive winger has improved his skating speed and added to his strength, he will need to work with a power skating coach and gain more muscle mass to play his game at the NHL level. Toffoli has become the Kings' best scoring prospect and could be an NHL sniper in the future.
NHL Comparison: Mike Cammalleri
8) Peter Holland - Anaheim Ducks
drafted by ANA 1(15) in 2009
A big, offensively talented center, Peter Holland is a noted finisher who also has the ability to set up chances for his linemates. He has a powerful skating stride and can use his 6-3, 200-pound frame to protect the puck and work through traffic. An incredibly smart hockey player at both ends of the rink, the 21-year-old Holland is well-suited to the responsibilities of a center in the defensive end and at the faceoff dot. A lack of consistency has been his biggest knock, but ample opportunity with Syracuse in the AHL led to a productive rookie season that helped even out his performance. Anaheim envisions him as an eventual top-six center, and a full-time role with the big club may not be far off for Holland.
NHL Comparion: Jordan Staal
7) Tanner Pearson - Los Angeles Kings
drafted by LAK 1(30) in 2012
Pearson went from being passed over repeatedly in the past two drafts to being selected as a 2012 first-round pick. His newfound attractiveness came after a monster season in which he recorded 91 points in 60 games. He also competed for Canada at the World Juniors. His hockey sense, tenacity and versatility make him a player with multiple development paths open to him.
Pearson can play anywhere up front and, despite being listed commonly as a left winger, he scored more points on the right wing this season. Although the Kings’ NHL roster seems relatively set with only one unrestricted free agent remaining from their Stanley Cup-winning club, Pearson will be eligible to play in the AHL where he could help the Manchester Monarchs immediately. He said his vision was his strongest asset and while he was a two-way playmaker at the junior level, he said he would be willing to adjust his role as necessary. He is a player with skill that was undaunted by physical contact and dangerous areas of the ice.
NHL Comparison: Mike Richards
6) Tomas Hertl - San Jose Sharks
drafted by SJS 1(17) in 2012
The Sharks decided that the right pick for their first rounder was Tomas Hertl who can play all forward positions and has the physical game to match his offensive skills. The 18-year old Czech played this past season against men in the Czech league, scoring 12 goals along with 13 assist and a good plus-nine rating in 38 games for Slavia Praha. The talented playmaker was one of the best players for his Czech team at the 2012 WJC.
Hertl has upside potential to be a centerman who can play in all situations; he can defend, has a long reach, has an ability to strip pucks, can make offensive plays, and can play very well in the tight and dirty areas of ice. The big, agile Czech has good quickness and when combined with his excellent hockey sense, has shown the ability to adjust his skating speed with ease.
NHL Comparison: Johnathon Toews
5) Jack Campbell - Dallas Stars
drafted by DAL1(11) in 2011
Athletic goaltender with great reflexes. Never gives up on plays and competes hard on every shot. Sometimes he overplays the on-coming rush and can get into trouble. Has a very good glove and blocker. Stickhandles very well and is a fine outlet passer. Shows up majorly in big game situations throughout his career. Loves to compete, has a winning attitude, confidence and is always looking to improve. Consistency of any young goalie can be called into question and Campbell is no exception, maturity should ward off those untimely soft goals.
NHL Comparison: A more talented (and less injury prone) Rick DiPietro
4) Hampus Lindholm - Anaheim Ducks
drafted by ANA 1(6) in 2012
Lindholm competed for Rogle’s junior and senior Allsvenskan clubs, coming on strong in the second half of the season. He projects as a puck-moving defenseman with NHL size, solid mobility and respectable defensive ability. Lindholm was projected in the 20's in many mock drafts, but some scouts identified him as an appreciating commodity as the draft neared. Yet even Lindholm was surprised that he was selected a No. 6 overall. In a top 10 that featured eight defenseman, one could not identify Lindholm as the most excellent in any particular area. That said, his well-rounded ability, physical maturity and growing professional experience may have been attractive to the Ducks. Lindholm is projected to be a top 4, power play defenseman with two way upside.
NHL Comparison: Sami Salo
3) David Rundblad - Phoenix Coyotes
drafted by STL 1(17) in 2009
Expectations were high for David Rundblad heading into his first season of hockey in North America after being named the SEL's top defender in 2010-11. After he made the Senators roster out of camp, Ottawa needed more immediate help offensively and traded the gifted defender to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for center Kyle Turris. The 21-year-old Rundblad spent a majority of his season with Portland in the AHL following the transaction, but he still boasts a high offensive ceiling. The Swede's vision and passing ability make him a threat at any time and he can also unleash a heavy, accurate shot from the blue line. He skates well and is capable of leading the rush as well as running the power play. At 6'2, he also has a sizable frame and a solid build. More attention to his defensive game will be necessary if he is to become a complete defenseman, but Rundblad's offensive skills put him head and shoulders above most other blue line prospects.
NHL Comparison: Mark Striet
2) Emerson Etem - Anaheim Ducks
drafted by ANA 1(29) in 2010
Bet this one hurts, eh Flyer fans? This was the pick the Ducks acquired in the Pronger trade. Anywho, Emerson Etem flat out dominated the WHL circuit this season, becoming the first WHL player to hit the 60-goal mark in 11 seasons. He finished the year with 61 goals and 107 points in 65 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers. He did have an underwhelming showing at the World Juniors, but he wasn’t the only American to underachieve there. One of the best skaters outside of the NHL, Etem not only uses his speed to score, but also uses it to aggressively forecheck and pressure the opposition into making mistakes. There might be a slight adjustment period for Etem when he turns pro next season, but it seems like it’s only going to be a matter of time before he’s frequently lighting the lamp at the NHL level.
NHL Comparison: Dany Heatley circa 2006
1) Brandon Gormley - Phoenix Coyotes
drafted by PHO 1(13) in 2010
Brandon Gormley has the patience and calmness with the puck to make the smart decisions on whether to pass, hang on for the opening or carry it himself. The talented two-way defenseman has sound defensive instincts and plays with a maturity far beyond his age. He's a solid puck mover with good mobility who can add offense with his precision passing skills and hard, accurate point shot.
Gormley finally received the chance to represent Canada at the 2012 WJC tournament where he was named the best defenseman of the tournament for his excellent play in the shutdown role and on both specialty team units. The all-round defenseman will need to get physically stronger and add more toughness to his game in order to maximize his NHL potential. Gormley will have a chance to crack the Coyotes' NHL roster when he starts his professional career next season.
NHL Comparison: Shea Weber
Anyways guys, thats it! Hope you enjoyed and don't forget to comment and vote!