71. Eric Roy, Defense, Brandon (WHL)
After an impressive 17-year-old season, Roy took a step backwards in his 18-year-old campaign with Brandon. He has some abilities with which to work, but there are a number of areas that he needs to address if he is to succeed as a pro. The good: Roy is an above-average skater who is mobile in every direction, and he skates well for a bigger player. He has significant offensive upside, evident in his 53 points in 69 games last season. The bad: his defense, his decision making with the puck, and his physical game. One scout said that he is lost in his own end, and another said that he struggles with pace, turnovers, and trying to do too much. These issues and consequential risks make Roy a long-term prospect, should he pan out.
72. Keaton Thompson, Defense, USA Under-18 (USHL)
Thompson is not a highly skilled player, nor a flashy one, but he plays an advanced and mature game for his age. He was up-and-down this season, tailing off toward the end of the campaign. He shows a good panic threshold with the puck, and he tends to make good decisions. He knows how to position his body and his stick in such a way to make him an effective defender despite his slightly undersized frame. He is a quality puck mover who makes good outlets, and he can be decent on the power play. Thompson is an above-average skater with good footwork, top speed, and closing ability. Combining those attributes with his defensive sense allows him to make a lot of stops. However, he is fairly average with the puck, and as an NHLer, he does not project as a significant offensive player. He also needs to get a little stronger. He is committed to the University of North Dakota for 2014-15.
73. Bogdan Yakimov, Center, Dizel (VHL)
Yakimov had a decent season playing in the second-tier Russian pro league, and he was a final cut from the Russian World Junior squad. He is a big center, measuring in at about 6'5". He may not have the top-end tools of a typical top Russian prospect, but he is talented and he plays a good power game. His hands are above average, and while he can certainly make some moves and carry the puck into the opposing zone, he is not an overly creative forward. He also has pretty good hockey sense, as he makes quick decisions, sees the ice well, and positions himself effectively. As mentioned, he is a big body player, but he could use some more muscle to fill out and make the most of his frame. Still, he is effective when protecting the puck on the boards, and he will drive the net, making use of his physical assets. His main issue is his skating, as it is below average. His top speed and his first few steps are subpar, and while has shown some improvement, he must continue to progress in that area.
74. Tyler Motte, Left Wing, USA Under-18 (USHL)
Motte entered this season as a top prospect, and though he did not have an outstanding year, he showed that he could still contribute in a number of ways. He is a very good skater who picks up speed quickly, and he plays with a high level of energy. Even though he is a smaller player at 5'9", he pressures well with his speed. Motte anticipates the play very well off of the puck for a player his age, and he was one of the USNTDP's best penalty killers. While he is not dynamic offensively, he shows significant flashes of upside with his puck handling and playmaking. Motte has good hand-eye coordination, and his overall hockey sense allows him to be a good puck possession forward. He is committed to the University of Michigan for the 2013-14 season.
75. Viktor Crus Rydberg, Center, Linkoping (J20 SuperElit)
Crus Rydberg is a player who teams can dream on, as he is a very talented forward who displays significant upside on his best nights. He was a top-six center for Sweden in U18 international play. He has good hands as well as high-end offensive creativity and vision. His ability with the puck is impressive, as he can make quality passes and good plays in tight. Overall, he shows an advanced understanding of the game, evident in his quick decisions. He has impressive puck possession skills to go along with his good speed. While he is not a blazer, he does have an above-average top gear. His issues will come from refining particular aspects of his game. Crus Rydberg is a little small, at 5'11", and he is not exactly the meanest player on the ice. He could stand to be a little more consistent, although he has a good work ethic and he covers his assignments defensively.
76. Nick Moutrey, Right Wing, Saginaw (OHL)
Moutrey did not put up sterling numbers this season, but he has the potential to be a skilled power forward. He measures in at 6'2", with a well-filled out frame, possessing much more strength than most U18 players. He will throw his weight around on the boards, and he can win battles. He is also a decent skater, flashing above-average speed. He has solid, if not above-average, ability with the puck. He will not be a dangler or a player who will thread the needle with a highlight reel pass, but he can make plays to maintain puck possession. His best offensive skill is his shot. He has a quick release on his wrist shot that snaps out his stick smoothly, and his one timer is an absolute bomb. Despite that fact, he tends to have a pass-first mentality. He could also work on his defensive zone coverage.
77. Anthony Louis, Left Wing, USA Under-18 (USHL)
Louis is a talented forward who has a high level of puck possession ability, and he has been a top player with the USNTDP over the past two seasons. The primary reason for this low ranking is his size, and it might cause him to freefall beyond this spot on draft day. He is small, at about 5'6"-5'7", but his skill may be worth the gamble. One scout mentioned Calgary prospect Johnny Gaudreau as a point of reference, saying that small players with talent can be worth it if given the time to develop. Louis has the elements expected from a talented forward: high-end puck skills, great creativity, superb on-ice vision, and good speed. He is also a tough player who will initiate contact, fight it out in board battles, and backcheck hard. He finds ways to stand out on a nightly basis despite his limited stature. He will attend Miami University in the fall.
78. Wilhelm Westlund, Defense, Farjestad (SEL)
Westlund has come up though the Farjestad organization over the past few years, and this season, he played 20 games with the big club, albeit it in a very limited role. He is not a spectacular player in any specific area, but he can do a lot of different things very well. He plays a simple, smart style, with quality hockey sense at both ends. His strength is in the defensive end, as he is a good, if not a very good skater. With his hockey brain, he makes a lot of stops, be it with his gap closing, stick positioning, or overall anticipation of the puck. He will use his body, but as a slightly undersized player who needs strength, he does not project as pro-average in that area. With the puck, his skating allows him to evade pressure effectively, and jump into the rush when he sees an opportunity. He can be effective offensively if the expectations are quick puck movement and good decision making, while not trying to be a catalyst.
79. John Hayden, Center, USA Under-18 (USHL)
Hayden is a power forward who drew attention this year due to the solid amount of offensive skill he displayed, along with his power elements. He already has the body of an NHLer, as he is 6'2" and 210 pounds, and he uses his frame well. He is a tough player who will drive the net, shoulder off checks, and grind it out for pucks in board battles. His offensive touch with the puck is intriguing. Hayden will not blow anyone away with a flashy move or highlight reel pass, but he can flash above-average potential, and he has some creativity to his game. He is not selfish, as he can make plays. His power elements, combined with the fact that he can make a man miss, make him a desirable prospect. His skating is roughly average; while he is not lumbering, he is not a player will blow past a defenseman. One scout thinks that he is average skater, and another thinks he needs some work in that area. He will be attending Yale University in the fall.
80. Tyler Hill, Left Wing, Hotchkiss (US High School)
Hill is a 6'5"-6'6" forward with an unusual amount of offensive talent for his size. One NHL scout described him as the biggest risk in the 2013 draft. The reward may very well make the risk worth it. Hill is an incredibly strong player for his age, with room to grow. When he drops his shoulder and drives the net, or when he looks to deliver a hit, he can be absolutely punishing, clearly overmatching his high school opponents. A scout said that Hill could go through opponents or around them. However, his physical play is not always there, as one scout said it was inconsistent, and another said he prefers a finesse game, while not always playing to his size. Hill has good skill, and he can make unique offensive plays with the puck for a player of his stature. He is a tad raw, and at this moment, he lacks the hockey sense to be a true creator. His skating is also below average, with a rough first few steps. The team that selects Hill may be waiting many years for him to pan out, but he possesses a lot of upside should that happen.
Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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