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June 7, 2013
Top 100 Draft Prospects 2013
81-90

by Corey Pronman

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81. Arturs Kuzmenkovs, Right Wing, Metalurgs Liepaja (Belarus)

Kuzmenkovs, of Latvian descent, is a little off of the radar, and has only played regular season games over the past few seasons in Latvia, the Russian junior league, and the Belarusian pro league. This is his second season of draft eligibility. He is a skilled forward who has stood out for Latvia in international play, and he qualifies as a great sleeper for a team looking to take a chance. He is best when he has the puck as he plays a quality possession game, and at times, he will display significant offensive flash through his puck skills and playmaking abilities. He is a notably above-average passer who can control the play and see his options developing well. Kuzmenkovs has solid size, and although he will not drive through defenders, he will engage with opponents. His skating is also just average, although I am not as confident about him in that area.

82. Filip Sandberg, Right Wing, HV7 (J20 SuperElit)

Sandberg really impressed in international play this season, as he was good in non-World Juniors U20 play, as well as pushing his way up to Sweden's top line at the World Juniors. This is his second season of draft eligibility. He has high-end puck skills, and as a small player, he can dangle in tight with the puck. He possesses the flair to make difficult plays that create scoring chances out of seemingly nothing. Sandberg has above-average vision as well, so he can be a multi-dimensional offensive threat when he has the puck. His 5'9" frame will be his point of issue, but he has hustle in his game, and is quite good on the penalty kill. Sandberg will fight for pucks and pressure opponents. His skating is middling, as he does not possess the breakaway gear that is often desirable for a smaller player.

83. Jonathan Ismael-Diaby, Defense, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

While Ismael-Diaby is not the type of defenseman who will excite a crowd with a fast rush or a highlight-reel offensive play, he is a big, tough defender who is good in his own end. He measures at 6'5" and about 225 pounds. He is more than a big frame, however, as he is very physical and also has decent mobility. Ismael-Diaby will close gaps with his body, win a ton of battles, and clear the front of his net. His skating has developed well, which has helped his prospect stock, although he is still just an average skater. He moves well for a big man, and with his wingspan, he is able to make a lot of stops with his stick when he is not forcing attackers off of pucks. While he is aggressive, he is also a smart player, and he will not take ill-advised risks. He positions himself well, and he won't hurt his team with his puck play. That being said, his ability with the puck is limited, and he does not project as capable of running a professional-level power play.

84. Sven Andrighetto, Right Wing, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

Andrighetto has been passed over twice in the NHL draft, but he has made a strong case to be drafted this time around. He had a dominant season in the QMJHL as a 19-year-old, and he had a very good World Junior tournament. He is an above-average skater, arguably high end, and he accelerates very well. His ability to gain the zone with his speed is quite impressive. While speed is his best offensive skill, he is also a creative, instinctual passer who hits his targets well, makes good saucer passes, and generally makes the right decision. He does have puck-handling skills as well, but a dangle-and-control game will not be where the roots of his puck possession come from. His main weakness is his physicality, as he is just 5'10" and not overly gritty. He can be pushed off of pucks quite easily. His defensive value is also questionable. He has signed to play with a Swiss league professional team beginning next season.

85. Gustav Olofsson, Defense, Green Bay (USHL)

Olofsson was born in Sweden, but he came to North America to play in Colorado for his 16- and 17-year-old seasons, before transitioning to the USHL for this past campaign. He plans to return to Colorado, as he is committed to Colorado College for 2014-15. His best asset is his plus skating. He is a very good four-way mover, with a quality first few steps. His footwork provides him with enough agility to evade pressure. He is a smart two-way player, albeit limited in the offensive end. He is what one NHL scout called a contain defender, as he will keep the play in front of him. He can outlet the puck efficiently, and he has the vision to make passes of moderate difficulty, but that is not typically his style. He has pro-average size, and some physicality to go along with it, but he could stand to gain a tad more strength as his development progresses.

86. Miro Aaltonen, Center, Blues (SM-Liiga)

Despite being twice undrafted, Aaltonen took a significant step forward this season, showing quality offensive ability, particularly in U20 play. He is a creative, puck-possession type forward who has elements of flash and creativity in his game. He is a gifted puck handler, and he couples that with good offensive playmaking awareness. He shows the ability to make quick, correct decisions in tight spaces. He is also a solid to above-average skater, who may not have the ultra top gear desirable for a smaller player, but he certainly displays good speed. To that, his size is his major issue. He is 5'10" with a frame that needs bulk. He works hard, he will throw his body, and he will drive to the high percentage areas, but he still needs to develop his physicality. He also needs to improve his defensive play.

87. Carl Dahlstrom, Defense, Linkoping (J20 SuperElit)

Dahlstrom will not be a huge standout in any given game, but he always looks solid. Despite not being overly skilled, he finds a way to positively contribute. He has decent, if not solid mobility, especially for a big defenseman. He has the straight-away speed to bring the puck up when he is affronted space. He makes a lot of defensive stops, and that is his game, although in the Swedish junior league, he showed some offensive potential. He is a smart defensive player who can close with his body or with his stick. He is also 6'3", 200 pounds, and while he will not crush opponents, he pins well, will lay some hits, and he has the strength to push forwards off of pucks. His offensive potential remains questionable. In my viewings, he has appeared clumsy and unskilled with the puck. I have heard some conflicting reports that suggest he has average offensive potential.

88. Jan Stencel, Defense, Vitkovice (Czech Extraliga)

Stencel has played at a very advanced level considering his February 1995 birthdate, as he saw time with the Czech Republic's World Junior team, and he was a regular in the top professional league in his home country. Stencel is a high-end two-way thinker, and he can be a very effective puck mover. His vision, quick game processing, and solid positioning help him keep the play rolling in the right direction. Even at 5'9", his defensive awareness keeps him from being a liability in his own end. He has good puck skills, too, and while he is not a flashy player, he can make opponents miss, creating space for himself. Stencel is just a decent skater, though. While he is not slow, he lacks the great mobility and speed that smaller defensemen often need. He can keep up with oncoming forwards, but he will not blaze up the ice. His size is an obvious issue, but despite his weaknesses, he always finds a way to make positive contributions for his team.

89. Tristan Jarry, Goaltender, Edmonton (WHL)

Jarry checks in as the top goaltender on my list. Despite playing at a high level in Edmonton, he did not get as much ice time as one would expect from a top goalie prospect, as he shared the net with Flames prospect Laurent Brossoit. Thus, his numbers are affected by sample size distortion. His tools are quite noteworthy, though. While he has just average size, his athletic abilities stand out. He is a quick, energetic goaltender who effectively moves laterally, recovering well after the first shot. He has good limbs as well, showing the ability to make stops that require good reflexes beyond squaring up pucks. He is a competitive goalie, and scouts applaud his ability to fight through screens and find pucks in traffic. His rebounds can be a tad too juicy at times, and that will be an area to address going forward, along with the fact that he must fill out his current frame.

Ranking explanation: I tend to approach ranking goaltender prospects with a sense of conservatism. Tom Awad has estimated goaltending is worth about five percent of winning percentage, and has written several good columns on the goaltending market and talent distribution here and here to help illustrate the goaltending situation. Goalie talent levels are, for the most part, bunched together. Acquiring a league-average goalie seems to be far easier than doing so for other positions, and goalie production is quite unpredictable. Combine that with how long goalies take to develop and the development uncertainty from drafting them, and you can understand why goalies are afforded very low value in my rankings.

90. Anton Cederholm, Defense, Rogle (SEL)

Cederholm is not the type of prospect who puts up gaudy counting numbers as he does not possess notable offensive skill, but he is a big, mobile defenseman who processes the game at a desirable level. He keeps the play in front of him due to very good defensive positioning with his body and stick. His above-average skating allows him to get back well. He shows good ability to pivot and skate backwards in such a manner to stay with quick forwards. He knows how to take his assignments, and he will use his body to bump them off of pucks. He is well developed physically for a U18, measuring at 6'2" and 204 pounds. His puck skills are limited, but he will make a fine first pass out of his zone. He relies on better puck movers to get it through the neutral zone. He will flash a moderate breakout pass, because his hockey sense allows him to see those lanes open, but in general he prefers a conservative style.

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

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