Over the last week or so I’ve been reading up on a bunch of the top prospects for the upcoming 2009 draft class. I do this every year at this time because I watch the World Junior Championships which start in late December and I want to be knowledgeable and all caught up on the big name prospects playing in the tourney and more so for the 2009 draft in June.
Many different sites and many different writers all have different opinions on these prospects and where they rank them, but for the most part they all rank the same 7 or 8 prospects near the top, so what I did was mix up a handful of the top prospects and I gave you some background info and current stats on each one, and maybe a youtube video of each player if it’s available. Click their name for their stats sheet.
Ht/Wt: 6.06/220 lbs
Current Team: Modo (Sweden JE)
Victor Hedman is one of the fastest, smoothest skating d-men around, the irony in this is that he comes in at around 6’7″ and 230lbs. He has excellent offensive instincts, which makes sure that he gets involved in the play frequently. He’s got amazing vision and play making skills which make him more then adept at running the PP, he still gets plenty of time on the PK and is on the top pairing there, so defensively he is proficient as well. Has sound positioning skills and uses his size to his advantage, does not get beat often. He will likely be the next generational defenceman to enter the league, very few like him, plays like Chris Pronger. The one difference would be that he is not as physical or aggresive as Pronger, but he has the size and playmaking skills. Another downside would be that he seems to have run into a little bit of injury troubles this year, it shouldn’t hurt him too much as his potential is too vast to pass up.
Submitted by: Lee Fehler
Ht/Wt: 6.00/199 lbs
Current Team: Oshawa (OHL)
This player is a future NHL superstar. While he had a drop off in goals last season, from 72 to 40, he became a much more complete player. It’s hard to understand him being so maligned for 118 points in 59 games and a great performance at the World Juniors, but that is the microscope he’s under.
He is very composed and never panics under pressure. Has great ability with the puck, but is improving substantially on his defensive play without it. Not afraid to mix it up physically and has added a little more of that element to his game. At 6’0”, 183 lbs, he will get bigger, but is already strong at protecting the puck and working down low.
He has great vision and anticipates plays before they develop. Has excellent offensive ability, with a quick hard accurate shot and is a threat to score anytime he has the puck. He has under-rated passing abilities, as shown by 78 assists last year. One on one he is absolutely deadly and is deceptive to read on what he will do with the puck. He has a very sublime hockey IQ. He definitely thinks the game at a higher level than anyone else in the Ontario Hockey League. Back to scoring at a goal a game pace, with 14 goals and 23 points in his first 13 OHL games this season.
Submitted by: HockeyProspect.com
Ht/Wt: 5.10.5/190 lbs
Current Team: Brampton (OHL)
Matt Has great hands and possesses one the best shots in the OHL, with a very quick release. Was guilty of passing too much and not shooting enough, given the depth of line-mates he had. Make no mistake though. This guy is pure high-level sniper.
Matt Is a decent passer and among the best skaters in the 2009 draft class, who can accelerate to top speed in no time. Could use his body a lot more effectively for puck protection and along the wall, but is working on it and he’ll get better given time.
Matt Has shown he can play a defensive game quite well, but in an offensive system, this player has game breaker written all over him. Went to the under 17’s last year for Team Ontario, winning gold and was dominant, leading them in scoring with 10 points and was their best player. A player who loves to compete. This guy is a big time future NHL scorer.
Submitted by: HockeyProspect.com
Ht/Wt: 6.05/216 lbs
Current Team: Spokane (WHL)
Spokane, WA – 11/18/08 -Spokane Chiefs Defenseman Jared Cowen tops the NHL’s Central Scouting rankings of draft eligible skaters from the Western Hockey League in their preliminary rankings for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The 6’5” defenseman is in his second season as a Chief and was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and the Western Conference’s Scholastic Player of the Year in 2008.
Scouts have compared him favorably with other top defenseman in the recent history of the WHL.
Ht/Wt: 6.00/196 lbs
Current Team: Brandon (WHL)
Brayden Schenn is perhaps one of the most complete forward prospects to come from the WHL in many years. After finding great success with the Saskatoon Contacts, Schenn was expected to find his rookie season with the Brandon Wheat Kings one of learning the game by seeing fourth line duty. Instead, he, along with fellow sixteen year old Scott Glennie, stunned the league and put up exceptional numbers on Brandon’s second line, averaging 1.08 PPG.
Schenn has a knack for making plays from where most players would have given up on the puck; he wants control of the game and is not afraid to take it. Works hard for his goals, but makes it look very easy. Equipped with a high-end skill set, Schenn is also quite capable of dealing with rough play and will drop the gloves with anyone who tests him. As he continues to grow (projecting around 6’2, 215 lbs, possibly larger based on his brother, Luke), he will become almost impossible to take off of the puck by force. Plays mature for his age and is unafraid of getting his hands dirty in the corners. Possesses a laser of a wrist shot, high and accurate. Also a deft passer who can make his linemates better. Decent skater, continues to improve; can eat up the ice when in alone.
Projects as a Bryan Trottier-type player and will almost certainly be drafted in the top five in 2009.
Draft Profile Submitted by: Dallas Hicks
Ht/Wt: 6.01/187 lbs
Current Team: Timra (Swe JE)
An Extremely fast and fluid skater, and quite possibly the second best player in the 2009 draft. Many comparisons between Magnus and many of the other great Swedes like Forsberg and Sundin who’s numbers were comparable at the time. More fairly a comparison between Naslund and Svensson-Paajarvi is a more precise pairing, as his defensive game is not anywhere near the quality of his offensive game. Although he’s got a great physical makeup, his style of play shys away from the physical stuff. Aside from that he’s a tremendous playmaker and stout goalscorer, putting in quite a few goals, and is adept on the breakaway. He’s a guaranteed top 10 pick and may play himself into a top 5 selection.
Draft Profile Submitted by: Lee Fehler
Ht/Wt: 6.00/170 lbs
Current Team: Vancouver (WHL)
Evander is a great skater with a bright future. This year he is playing extremely well. Leading the WHL in scoring. 100 points and a top 10 selection are realistic goals for him. He grew up playing on top teams in the province with the North Shore Winter Club. He has always had success, in minor hockey, and then winning the Memorial Cup with the Vancouver Giants in 2006-07. Now he will hope to have success in the NHL. His best asset is his stick handling. he is amazing with the puck.
Draft Profile Submitted by: Alex Whitman
Ht/Wt: 6.00/175 lbs
Current Team: London (OHL)
This is a guy who improved by leaps and bounds last year and has continued on that trajectory this season. After a 22-point rookie campaign and then 25 goals and 65 points in 68 games last season.
Centring the second line with the Memorial Cup finalist Kitchener Rangers last season, Kadri showed some highlight reel moves and has great stick skills and dekeing ability with the puck. Has great speed, which he uses quite effectively to get to an open spot.
He possesses a great shot and has been shooting more than in the past this season, with great success so far.
He has the ability to read the play around him quite well and react quickly. We predicted he would be far better offensively this season and we were right on the money. First line ice and bursting confidence with do that for a player. Now one of the most dangerous offensive players in the OHL, 90 points and a high NHL selection are in the cards for this well rounded player.
Submitted by: HockeyProspect.com
Ht/Wt: 5.08/168 lbs
Current Team: U. Of Minnesota
Jordan has the hockey smarts that you just can’t teach. He played on the Varsity High School team as an 8th grader and help lead them to a championship as a Freshman. He’s exceeded at every level and often against kids much older/stronger than he is.
Yes, he could use some size, but with his speed/smarts he should do fine at the next level.
Other noteworthy prospects for the 2009 draft: