On Saturday, June 25th, the 2005 NHL Entry Draft was scheduled to be held in Ottawa, ON, however, because of the lockout, did not materialize. When the CBA is finally ratified though, a draft will be held before the start of the 2005-06 season. Because of this, several major scouting services have not yet released their final reports. Today, we’ll rate the projected top-30 (1st round) in HabsWorld.net’s preliminary draft rankings.
These rankings are not based on team needs, as the draft order has yet to be finalized. A lottery will be held after a CBA agreement is reached. First, let’s see the breakdown of the rankings, by position, by country, and by league:
Left Wing: 3
Right Wing: 6
Czech Republic: 7
Czech Republic: 4
NTDP (USA): 3
Next, the table of players, including biographical information, statistics, and more:
|3||Jack Johnson||D||6’1||201||USA U-18||NTDP||42||14||27||41||170|
|4||Anze Kopitar||C||6’4||220||Sodertalje Jr.||SWE||30||28||21||49||26|
|6||Bobby Ryan||RW||6’1||213||Owen Sound||OHL||62||37||52||89||51|
|7||Luc Bourdon||D||6’2.5||199||Val D’Or||QMJHL||70||13||19||32||117|
|10||Jack Skille||RW||6’1||198||USA U-18||NDTP||54||24||31||55||76|
|13||Martin Hanzal||C||6’4||198||Budejovice Jr.||CZE||37||22||22||44||80|
|15||Niklas Bergfors||RW||5’11||195||Sodertalje Jr.||SWE||21||18||16||34||25|
|17||Kenndal McArdle||LW||5’11||190||Moose Jaw||WHL||70||37||37||74||122|
|20||Ondrej Pavelec||G||6’2||177||Kladno Jr.||CZE||39||2218||2.30||7||.929|
|26||Tomas Pospisil||RW||6’0||185||Trinec Jr.||CZE||38||19||18||37||44|
|27||Risto Korhonen||D||6’3||202||Karpat Jr.||FIN||36||5||12||17||73|
|28||Jakub Vojta||D||6’0||194||Sparta Jr.||CZE||38||2||7||9||42|
|30||Jeff Frazee||G||6’0||184||USA U-18||NTDP||24||1309||2.71||3||.916|
On the Bubble:
C Chris Durand (Seattle, WHL)
C Ryan Stoa (USA U-18, NTDP)
D Sasha Pokulok (Cornell, ECAC)
C Ilya Zubov (Chelyabinsk, RUS. 1)
LW Sergei Shirokov (Central Army, RUS)
Player comments and notes:
1-Sidney Crosby: Is there any need for an explanation? Top player to come out in more than a decade.
2-Benoit Pouliot: OHL rookie oozing with upside, plays strong all-round game.
3-Jack Johnson: Top defenceman eligible for the draft, very physical with some offensive capabilities.
4-Anze Kopitar: Unlimited potential. Offensive capabilities second only to Crosby, size an asset as well.
5-Gilbert Brule: Power-forward in the making, although size and proneness to injury a concern.
6-Bobby Ryan: Strong all-round game, skating a concern. Injury this season hurt his top-5 potential.
7-Luc Bourdon: Came out of nowhere this season, strong on his feet, and can put the puck in the net (13 goals).
8-Tuukka Rask: Stock rises due to Finland’s rapid production of high-quality goalies, played well in international competitions.
9-Ryan Parent: Nothing flashy, but gets the job done. Above average stay-at-home defenceman.
10-Jack Skille: Quality all-round game with a strong shot, consistency a concern though.
11-Carey Price: Struggled in the U-18’s, but excelled on a weak Tri-City team. Future #1 goalie.
12-Mark Staal: Brother of recent 1st rounder Eric, plays a strong two-way game, but needs to be more physical.
13-Martin Hanzal: Lightning fast, with great hands to boot. His will and consistency on the other hand need work.
14-Ryan O’Marra: Not the biggest threat offensively, but he plays hard and is always in traffic areas.
15-Niklas Bergfors: Top Swede in this year’s draft, rating slipped with below expectation performance in U-18’s.
16-Alex Bourret: Can hit with the best of them, but size and durability are concerns. High risk, high reward player.
17-Kenndal McArdle: Second WHL season showed great improvement, never takes a night off. 2nd liner in the making.
18-Guillaume Latendresse: He can score, but the rest of his game is slow in the making.
19-Devin Setoguchi: Has a knack for timely goals, but isn’t the best 1-on-1 defender.
20-Ondrej Pavelec: Named best goalie in U-18’s, strong fundamental game.
21-Matt Lashoff: Came back from mono bout to have a stellar season in the OHL. Limited viewing hurts his stock.
22-Radek Smolenak: Natural goalscorer who can mix it up well. Needs to improve defensively to make a mark.
23-Marek Zagrapan: Finesse player with an NHL shot already. Has made improvements to his defensive game.
24-Brian Lee: Offensive-minded defender, but played in the weaker USHL this season. Real test comes next season in college.
25-Jakub Kindl: Is great at handling the puck, numbers don’t back it up. Doesn’t always bring the ‘A’ game.
26-Tomas Pospisil: Injuries hurt his status, but is a highly skilled forward. Size and strength bring up some red flags.
27-Risto Korhonen: Punishing defenceman, but doesn’t yet have a well-rounded game.
28-Jakub Vojta: Quality two-way game and is very intense. On the downside though, is prone to several straight off nights.
29-Brendan Mikkelson: Very adept in the defensive zone, limited offensive skills.
30-Jeff Frazee: Was a big reason for the States’ U-18 victory. Has strong positional abilities.
General draft notes:
– With so many goaltenders set to retire in the next 2-3 years, goalies will soon become a premium, their stocks will rise because of this.
– When the lockout ends, more emphasis will be placed on skill, raising the ratings of flashy, yet undersized players. On the flip side, big guys who can hit but have a limited game otherwise will drop.
– With a salary cap to be implemented, teams will be looking for players who could step in immediately, to help alleviate potential budgetary restrictions.
Do keep in mind that this is currently just a summary of the best players projected to be available for the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, whenever it will be held. Rankings will change once the order is determined, and could further change depending on whether unsigned 2003 draftees are forced to re-enter the draft.