The NHL draft is a fascinating time of year for all hockey fans, not least of all me. This year I've decided to embark on a rather ambitious project: to look at every player ranked by Central Scouting, and a few others too if at all possible. This article is the third part of an examination of Central's Domestic Skaters list.
As always, I'm working with the available data here: primarily statistical data, as well as scouting reports, whenever possible. This is not meant to be a definitive look at every player, but rather a snapshot based on publicly available data.
181. Michal Cajkovsky, Defense, 6'3", 202lbs. OHL: 64GP, 3G, 9A, 12P, -7. The OHL numbers probably undersell Cajkovsky's offensive potential, given the way he put up points back in Slovakia. Born in May of 1992, Cajkovsky was actually eligible for the 2010 NHL Draft. My call: Not a particularly compelling draft prospect, but possibly a guy worth inviting to training camp if he goes unselected.
182. Olivier D'Aoust, Left Wing, 6'3", 222lbs. QMJHL: 46GP, 5G, 6A, 11P, -5. This tough guy missed a big chunk of the season with a broken hand sustained in a fight. His coach has been impressed with the physical element he brings and the maturation in his game from last season. My call: Tough guys are so easy to find for pennies every summer that I wouldn't spend a pick on a player with such limited upside.
183. Cody McNaughton, Right Wing, 5'9", 176lbs. OHL: 65GP, 15G, 19A, 34P, -9. A pint-sized energy winger who hasn't been able to put up the points in junior, McNaughton impresses everyone with his willingness. Unfortunately, there's another flaw, as The Scouting Report points out:
He is not afraid to throw the body, defend a teammate by dropping the gloves, and has a tireless work ethic. A major issue is that he does not possess the speed to offset his size to be a legit NHL prospect.
My call: No interest here. If he were 6'4", that might be different, but as it is
184. Anthony Bardaro, Center, 5'8", 176lbs. WHL: 59GP, 20G, 20A, 40P, +10. Bardaro's trainer, Mike Thompson, offered a succinct analysis of his protégé's skill-set:
His vision with the puck is unreal. He's an average to above average skater. He gets there. But he can put the puck on a string. He has future pro puck skills.
Bardaro's carved out a scoring role on a strong Spokane team, but he's not driving the boat offensively there. My call: A player this small really needs to be putting up more gaudy point totals.
185. Gunnar Hughes, Left Wing, 6'1", 198lbs. USHL: 48GP, 13G, 10A, 23P, -4. Hughes' USHL numbers don't look very good, but there are a few things in his favor. First off, only six of his points have come with the man advantage, so it isn't like he's getting high-end minutes. Secondly, his work ethic and physical play are listed as strengths. Finally, he's committed to St. Lawrence University, meaning that any team that drafts him would be able to leave him to develop for a few years. My call: I'm not sure that I'd spend a draft pick on him, but he stands out as one of the more interesting lower-tier prospects in the draft.
186. Olivier Jodoin, Left Wing, 6'3", 189lbs. QMJHL: 63GP, 2G, 5A -7P, -26. Aside from the fact that Jodoin's big and was highly-regarded enough in 2009 for Cape Breton to snag him with their first pick in the QMJHL draft, but it's difficult to see what the attraction is here. My call: Pass. The numbers are just not good enough to seriously consider him.
187. Troy Vance, Defense, 6'6", 200lbs. QMJHL: 21GP, 1G, 3A, 4P, +7. Dealt for an eighth-round QMJHL draft pick, Vance is on this list because of his stature, though I imagine making the jump from the EJHL to the QMJHL improved his draft prospects. My call: There's not really enough data here to make a decision, but his size and the limited numbers we do have make him look like a very interesting prospect.
188. Andy Ryan, Defense, 6'1", 200lbs. USHL: 22GP, 0G, 4A, 4P, +3. A depth defenseman in the USNTDP system, Ryan is described by Kirk Luedekeas a "defense-first, no-nonsense defenseman who has battled injuries this season." My call: It really doesn't seem like Ryan's been playing a key role in the USHL this season. I'd suggest he's as likely to go undrafted as he is to be selected.
189. Jack Barre, Right Wing, 6'2", 170lbs. H.S.: 8GP, 5G, 4A, 9P (as of Jan. 10). It's incredibly difficult to find information on high school players, although Kirk Leudeke says that Barre, "hasn't quite developed as hoped," and "may have to take the longer route to the pro routes." My call: High school forwards who aren't piling the points on are the longest of long shots. This is not a player I'd draft, based on his scoring totals.
190. Joe Fiala, Defense, 6'2", 185lbs. USHL: 21GP, 0G, 0A, 0P, +3. According to Fiala, he is a "stay-at-home defenseman who makes simple and smart plays and plays lockdown defense." Kirk Leudeke, an invaluable resource for these guys, says that Fiala is "heady and tenacious," but questions both his shooting and his skating. My call: This isn't the kind of player I'd draft, simply because I think his ceiling is a little too low and I prefer higher risk/reward players with late picks. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone spend a late pick on him.
Domestic Skaters, Part 1
Domestic Skaters, Part 2
Jonathan Willis is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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