For a description of the methodology in these rankings, including the Projected Peak and Statistical Comparables (courtesy of Iain Fyffe), please see the Introduction. We'll be revealing more of the Top 100 every few days leading up to the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Full list of Top 100 NHL Draft Prospects
61. Scott Harrington, Defense, London-OHL
Scott Harrington had high expectations coming into the year, and while he didn't bring the offense, if you like solid defensive back-end guys, then Harrington can fit that bill. He's a pro-level skater with good all-around mobility and a good first step that helps pinch up from the offensive blue line to keep pucks in. His puck skills are average, but in terms of being able to execute the basics he is more than capable with breakout passes. Harrington was used in an offensive role this year with London, and while he showed decent distribution skills on the power play, it became obvious that his future wasn't as a puck rusher. Though his frame doesn't look that big yet, he measures in at 6'1", 200 lbs., and is able to hold his own in the physical game. At the Junior level, he was able to win his fair share of puck battles and did well in front of the net, but at the highest level he likely tops out as average at best. Harrington is a notably smart player whose hockey sense wavered between average to solid-average. With the puck in his own end, he showed good vision bringing it out and a decent panic threshold and defensively he is above-average. Harrington's production potential is more in the Corsi numbers than in the counting numbers, but I think he could definitely be decent in the latter and be a fine even-strength defensive asset.
Projected Peak GVT: 2.2
Statistical Comparable: Steve Montador
62. Duncan Siemens, Defense, Saskatoon-WHL
The physically-gifted Duncan Siemens is one of the youngest prospects in the 2011 draft class, just being a few days removed from being a 2012 candidate. He's a pro-level skater who moves at an above-average level for a big defender. His mobility is very notable which lets him jump up into the offensive zone and recover very easily. He measures in at around 6'3", 195 lbs. and uses every inch of that frame regularly when he's on the ice, ravishing in the physical element of the game and making opponents wary of him when the puck gets along the sideboards. The frame is still a little thin and he needs to fill out, and despite how much he engages in the physical element he still loses more battles than he should, but once he bulks up in the gym that problem should sort itself out. Duncan's puck skills are fringe and while he does try to hold onto the puck he looks awkward while doing so. His passing ability is decent and he will be able to execute breakouts fine at the next level. His offense at the WHL came mainly from his hard slapper and what he was able to generate off his skating ability on the rush, however I'm not very confident he's going to put up counting numbers in the NHL because of his lack of ability with the puck. In addition, his hockey sense is on and off where at times he seems very collected and aware with and without the puck, while there are other times when he'll go way out of position to deliver a hit and surrender a scoring chance in the process.
Projected Peak GVT: 6.7
Statistical Comparable: Brent Sopel
Ranking Explantion: Here's a ranking that I'm sure won't be easy on the eyes to fans of the big Blades defenseman who think he's top 15 material as opposed to top 65. He skates at a solid, above-average level for a big defenseman and projects to have a very good physical game. Those are desirable assets and drive his value, however the areas that I think are more importanthis hockey sense and ability to control the play and move the puckare areas where he seems lacking. His passing was decent in the WHL, as seen by his impressive production (especially for a very young player related to his draft class), but I don't think it's going to translate well to the next level when his passes are going to need to be quicker and consistently on target. His lack of coordination (which is in part due to him growing into his body) and the fact that he hasn't shown pro-level passing skillsin regards to accuracy, vision and techniqueis why I don't think he'll produce offense. Then taking into account the fact that his defensive game is suspect is why I don't think he has the ability to be a consistent, valuable asset over an NHL season as opposed to having a skill set that is nice to look at, but at the end of the day doesn't get done all the things done that you need to get done.
63. Vincent Trocheck, Center, Saginaw-OHL
Vincent Trocheck is a prospect without a standout tool, but he has a lot of decent attributes combined with a solid work ethic that could make him a somewhat projectable prospect. He's a fringe-average to average skater whose top speed doesn't hit pro level, but is solid on his edges and has a decent first step. Trocheck is solid on the puck with quick hands that let him handle the puck well along the wall and in tight. He comes off the wall well on the power play and displays notable distribution skills. His physical game is fringe, but that's due to his frame more so than how he battles, as he has very good intangibles evident in how hard he forechecks and battles in the physical areas. Trocheck's hockey sense is solid, which when combined with his hand-eye coordination make him an effective defensive player. He also makes good decisions with the puck and his playmaking skills are driven more so by his vision and patience than creation skills.
Projected Peak GVT: 3.8
Statistical Comparable: Arron Asham
64. Pathrik Westerholm, Center, Malmo-Allsvenskan
Pathrik Westerholm enters his second year of draft eligibility, and really bloomed offensively this year in Sweden, dominating the J20 league with the highest PPG rate and then continuing his contribution in Sweden's second-tier professional league. His puck skills are decent, and he likes to hold onto the puck and distribute it. I haven't seen much above-average stick-handling from Westerholm, but he can make moves at an average level. His offense comes from his vision, anticipation, and a solid finishing ability. His physical game is fringe just in relation to his frame, although he likely will be a grade above that as he grows, as he does notable work along the physical areas, is hard on his man assignments, and can win battles going against bigger guys. He commonly makes plays off the cycle and I've seen power plays when he would be in front of the net for the duration of it, so he has no issues with the physical side of the game. Westerholm's hockey sense grades as above-average as he's smart with his stick work, anticipates the play well, and shows an effective defensive game. His skating is below-average and while I saw the occasional decent flash from him, he never hit the 50 grade mark with any form of consistency. I understand the skepticism on taking a second year draft eligible and one without much international exposure, but Westerholm's combination of smarts, work ethic and decent offensive tools are worth it.
Projected Peak GVT: 3.9
Statistical Comparable: Marcus Nilson
65. Xavier Ouellet, Defense, Montreal-QMJHL
Marcus Ouellet had a noticeably good season in the counting statistics department and emerged as an above-average puck-moving defenseman. Ouellet is effective on the breakout, seeing the ice well and making quick, crisp passes with good technique. He works the power play well, showing the ability to open lanes and consistently make the right decision with the puck. Ouellet has below-average stick-handling ability, and really doesn't have much flash to his skill set as he plays a pretty quiet game and relies on his solid hockey sense. His skating is fringe and it really hurts his game as forwards regularly beat him in puck chases or 1-on-1 plays. The fact he's a fringe physical player too with below-average reach doesn't help him defensively in regards to staying with fast forwards. His positional play is fine defensively though and he can kill penalties. There's a lot to like with Ouellet from a possession standpoint, but the holes in his game may keep him from ever reaching the highest level, but he has good enough intangibles that you know he will at least attempt to make that progress.
Projected Peak GVT: 3.3
Statistical Comparable: Francis Bouillon
66. Rickard Rakell, Right Wing, Plymouth-OHL
Swedes coming over to the play in the CHL pre-draft have been a rarity, but aside from Landeskog, another talented Swedish forward came to the OHL in the form of the power winger Rikard Rakell. He's a solid skater who moves pretty fluidly and has an admirable motor to his game that sees him zoom up and down the ice. He's got below-average puck skills, but he does in fact flash beyond that level at times showing a tick above 50 in regards to passing and stick-handling, but other times he fumbles basic passes and shows no basic ability to create. He isn't going to score from mid-distances, rather using his well filled out frame and good battling technique to get goals from the high percentage areas. Rakell also shows equally good physical work along the walls. The defensive game is decent, and he does show notable work ethic on the back-check and fine positioning on the penalty kill. There's not a lot of upside here, but the frame, lower body strength, skating and intangibles point to a moderately projectable player.
Projected Peak GVT: 2.8
Statistical Comparable: Marian Kacir
67. Michael Paliotta, Defense, USA Under-18-USHL
Michael Paliotta didn't really do much from a counting statistics perspective this season, but the defender is still a decent prospect and has puck-moving ability. He's an above-average passer for a 6'3", 200 lb. defender who can connect on mid-distance passes well and leads breakouts just fine. As the season went on, his power play time diminished as more talented offensive defenders were called up from the U-17 team, but he looked at the least decent distributing on the power play early on. Paliotta doesn't force plays and thinks the game at a decent to solid level. He projects as an above-average physical player once he's done bulking up, and he already has a pretty good frame. When going against forwards one-on-one, he can push them off the puck well, but his defensive game extends beyond that with decent positioning and stick work. Skating is the major area of concern for Paliottahe's a fringe skater in regards to his speed and first few steps. He doesn't get turned around by forwards, but that's mostly due to the fact that he backs off a fair bit to keep the play in front of him. His balance is also suspect, and while he can handle the puck at a decent level, when he gets pressured he can't escape it with his lack of mobility and if an attacker engages him he comes off the puck immediately. Paliotta's conditioning has also been called into question by some.
68. Oscar Klefbom, Defense, Farjestad-SEL
Oscar Klefbom is a very toolsy defensive prospect with considerable upside if everything goes right. He's an above-average skater who at times flashes plus. Klefbom gets up to top speed very quickly with a powerful stride which lets him take off and jump into the rush and get back into defensive position if the play gets behind him. Klefbom's puck skills are solid-average as he can carry the puck at a notable level when moving at top speed. He's a decent passer, and while he has the potential to be an above-average distributor, the hockey sense and vision doesn't seem to be there enough for him to be that player. He has a decent shot, although I haven't noticed much bad or good in that aspect of his game. Klefbom has a good frame that has filled out nicely for a player born in late July at around 6'3", 200 lbs., but he doesn't really use his body much from a physical perspective though he can win some battles. I've also seen him make bad decisions when being physically pressured. Hockey sense is Klefbom's major liability as it grades from 35-40. He doesn't see the ice well, takes too long with decisions, his defensive game is suspect and he can get too overzealous at times with his offensive rushes and pinches.
Projected Peak GVT: 5.1
Statistical Comparable: Niclas Havelid
69. Markus Granlund, Center, HIFK U20-Finland Jr. A
Markus Granlund, the younger brother of elite Minnesota Wild prospect Mikael Granlund, had a decent season over in Finland and had an admirable performance at the Under-18's. Granlund is an above-average passer who operates very well from the sideboards and runs the power play with notable effectiveness. He has shown the ability to execute crisp mid-distance passes and draw defenders to him and dish it off to the open man. There isn't much in regards to pure stick-handling in his game and his scoring chance creation usually starts from the perimeter. His skating is below-average and while he doesn't look clumsy or anything, I don't see him being able to skate with the average player at the highest level. His physical game is fringe and despite the fact he works along the wall when he does engage, he doesn't go the net frequently enough and lacks the muscle mass to deal with bigger players. His hockey sense is solid which is seen in his vision and decision with the puck, but also his defensive work. Granlund at even-strength does show decent defensive positioning and can kill penalties with effectiveness. I'm not sure if he has enough positives to outweigh his negatives, but there are some things to like with Granlund.
Projected Peak GVT: 6.0
Statistical Comparable: Niklas Hagman
70. Tobias Rieder, Left Wing, Kitchener-OHL
Tobias Rieder came over from Germany this year to display his talents under the OHL spotlight. While he started off the 2010-11 campaign well, his performance tailed off in the season's second half. He's a pro-level skater, whose speed doesn't touch a 55 level, but his agility is quite good and he can be hard to check in open ice. His puck skills are above-average with on occasion flash plus and are good enough to make defenders respect him on the rush for the fear of being turned inside-out. His physical game is a major hindrance, grading well below fringe-level. Rieder does show decent work ethic in the physical game on the forecheck, but when the play is moving around the offensive zone, he's limited to being a perimeter player just because during any form of physical contact defenders can knock him off his skates with a simple push. As the season went on, you could see the physical toll was starting to wear on Rieder as his energy level started to decline. His hockey sense is decentnot much to comment on.
Projected Peak GVT: 2.0
Statistical Comparable: Ronald Petrovicky
Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.