Profiles In depth look at the
prospects 6/19/04 - By James Weise -
1) Alexander Ovechkin LW Shoots: R
62 212 lbs Moscow Dynamo 2) Andrew Ladd LW
Shoots: L 62 200 lbs Calgary 3) Wojtek Wolski
LW Shoots: L 63 200 lbs Brampton 4)
Alexandre Picard LW Shoots: L 62 190
Lewiston 5) Lauri Korpikoski LW Shoots: L
61 183 lbs TPS Turku 6) Roman Voloshenko LW
Shoots: R 61 189 lbs Krylja 7) Denis Parshin
LW Shoots: L 510 165 lbs CSKA 8)
Adam Berti LW Shoots: L 62 188 lbs
Oshawa 9) Bryan Bickell LW Shoots: L 63 210
lbs Ottawa 10) David Booth LW Shoots: L
61 212 lbs Michigan State
Is there anything that
hasnt already been said about Alexandre Ovechkin heading into the
2004 NHL Entry Draft. Not only is Alexander the best LW in the draft, hes
the best player in the draft. Hes also expected to be the next great
franchise player that enters the NHL. Scouts have been drooling over the kid
whos been described as Kovalchuk with defensive ability.
Although, the Kovalchuk comparison may not be as close as a comparison to say
Andrew Ladd is the highest rated North American
skater according to the NHLs Central Scouting. Andrew has a nice all
around game that mixes size, skill, leadership, and work ethic. It would be
surprising if Ladds name wasnt one of the first ten called at the
Wojtek Wolski is a bit of a puzzle. The Polish born and
Toronto bred LW for the Brampton Battalion has a nice mix of size and skill.
But, questions about Wolskis toughness and drive have cropped up
throughout the season. Although, it should be noted that Wolski led the
Battalion in scoring this past season without a lot of help. In a league that
needs skilled players, Wolski is likely to go in the 1st half of the 1st
Alexandre Picards motor hasnt been questioned.
He had a big year playing for the Lewiston Maineiacs of the QMJHL. Picard is
also known as a clutch goalscorer and a guy who is a terror in the offensive
zone. His defensive abilities have been questioned by some, but he does appear
to be hard working and coachable. Hes another guy that should be a
mid-1st round pick this year.
Lauri Korpikoski is a player with a
lot of natural offensive abilities. He is a strong skater that also has a nice
mix of scoring touch and playmaking ability to boot. Korpikoski could be a
boost to any teams PP down the line and could develop into a solid 1st
line player. His draft stock is on the rise and he could leapfrog Picard and
Wolski to become the 3rd LW taken in the draft.
is sniper being imported from Russia. He may not be the fastest skater in the
draft, but he is a consistent scoring threat almost from the time he steps onto
the ice. Hes a player that very well could turn into a value pick in the
late 1st round.
Speaking of skilled Russian wingers, next up is Denis
Parshin. At 510 165 lbs, Parshin wont scare anyone
physically. But, he will scare people once the puck is on his stick. Hes
a puckhandling wizard whos fun to watch. The only problem is that he can
be taken out of the play physically. But, youd have to catch him first.
There are also some questions about whether Parshin got his paperwork in on
time or not. If he did, he could see the size issue cause his stock to drop on
draft day. And if he does, he could become a value pick in the 2nd round should
the NHL move to open up the game and return it to more a skills contest as
opposed to the mucking and grinding affair that the NHL has become of
Adam Berti lost most of his 2002-03 season to a knee
injury. And he had an up and down year this season for the Oshawa Generals.
Hes got the size to be a power forward. The question is whether
hell live up to his potential down the road or not. Berti should fall
into the 2nd round and be a boom or bust guy.
Bryan Bickell has
the size and strength to be a solid NHL player. Its his hands and desire
that have scouts wondering just how good hell be. Can dominate physically
when he feels like it. The problem is that he doesnt feel like it often
enough. Hes likely to go in the 2nd round and be a guy that needs a hard
driving coach ala Mike Keenan to get him to play to his
David Booth made the decision not to opt into the 2003
Draft and that may cost him. Hes another big strong kid whos still
trying to develop into a power forward. Any team that will take
Booth will know that hes a work in progress. But given that hes
currently at Michigan State, a decision wont need to be made right now as
to whether hell be a player or not. Hes not gifted offensively, but
could develop into a big, tough role player down the road and he should be a
solid 2nd round pick.
Best of the rest: Martin Karsums
doesnt have a big body, but he does have a big heart. Would be a solid
late 2nd pick for a team that can look past his size.
checking type LWs in this draft are Karel Hromas from the Czech
Republic, Dane Byers of the Prince Albert Raiders, Shawn Weller
of the Capital District Selects who will be headed to Clarkson University, and
Mark Tobin of the Rimouski Oceanic.
Some of the more offensive
minded prospects in this LW class are Sergei Shirokov from Russia,
Kris Chucko of Salmon Arm who will be headed to the University of
Minnesota, Roman Psurny from the Czech Republic, and Robbie Earl
of the University of Wisconsin.
Goulets son Vincent is a late round LW prospect that played his Jr A
hockey in that noted hotbed of Texas. Vincent wasnt the only son of a
former NHLer on the Texas Tornado this past season. But well leave you in
suspense as to who that was .
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