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Ranking The Prospects: An ongoing effort.

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As mentioned elsewhere, the best predictor for a high level of NHL success for young forwards seems to be scoring in juniors.  Which raises a slight question in my mind concerning Gauthier: in evaluating his scoring stats for prediction purposes, might it be wise to make "adjustments" because he's so much more physically mature than the kids he's playing against?  I know he's more than just a brute out there, but I've seen kids in other sports who dominated when they matured earlier than their peers. But when the other kids caught up, the gap narrowed if not disappeared.  Note that I'm not saying that I think Gauthier isn't an exciting prospect with tremendous upside. And I love that he's going to still be a physical beast at the NHL level, something we really need.  But if the kid truly is on a star trajectory, I'm wondering if perhaps he shouldn't be even more dominant than he is now?  He's the type of kid that I almost wish had gone the college route so that at least he'd be playing against more men than in Canadian juniors.


I find Saarela to be one of the more intriguing prospects for the Canes.  Seems like he has a very high ceiling, but given his injury history, is also at risk of never making a difference at the NHL level.  I'm looking forward to seeing what he does this fall. 




Edited by LakeLivin

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It's a fair point on Gauthier, Lake. I think we need to see what he can do at higher levels.


My own opinion is still high on him.


His insane goals per game of his draft year dropped, but his assists doubled. Almost like he was working on his passing.

Then in the World Juniors he had 5 goals in 7 games as a key piece in Canada's Gold. In Junior Playoffs 11 goals in 16 games. And in the Memorial Cup, he had 6 points in 4 games.


Sometimes he flashes sweet skill. Sometimes he just scores. One of the Memorial Cup announcers mentioned how he wasn't looking that flashy, but then you look and he's scored a bunch of points.


I still don't think he is a Aho with the elite hockey IQ though. I think he needs to work on the game and his passing is inconsistent.


That's why, despite talk of him playing NHL last year for being physically ready, I don't think his game is ready for that now either. He needs to get to Charlotte and learn the NHL game. I'm still high on him personally.

Edited by remkin

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Notes from development camp:


Necas. I was hugely impressed with him in person. He stood out in a very good way. Plays at speed and creates all kinds of chances. It's hard to place this year's draft picks into the list yet, but Necas is probably the top forward in terms of career projections. He needs to put some meat on the bones, but dang he's going to be good. I had him as one of my top 2 guys I hoped for at #12, and seeing him doesn't diminish this at all. Ceiling is top line center.


Gauthier. He was a beast out there. He's now shown his chops in lots of situations: Traverse City, Team Canada World Juniors, Junior Hockey, Junior Hockey playoffs, Prospect camp. It's not just the size, he has moves and a shot. He goes to the net. He needs to work on total ice awareness, and overall passing game, but that is less of his game as a skilled power forward. He's also huge.


Bean. While Bean did not score many points in the World Junior tourney, he logged a ton of smooth, confident minutes. He was underaged too. Bean looked very skilled and slick in D camp. He, Necas and Gauthier dominated as a group on the ice together. It looked like a power play a lot of the time. He also made nice positional defensive plays. I think eventually Bean makes Fleury expandable, even though I like Fleury a lot.


Foegle. Foegle has something about him. He has a super slick skill set, but also seems to have a work ethic. He works along the boards like a Justin Williams. I just don't know if he can make his moves at NHL speed. If he can, he could be really good. He maintained a ppg throughout all kinds of settings on different junior teams and playoffs. He won the playoff MVP in the OHL, and 7 points in 4 games in the Memorial Cup. These are not necessarily superstar numbers, but he could work his way into a nice NHL career as a third liner that can score.


Those were the biggest standouts. I really want to see these 4 guys in training camp and preseason.

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I haven't made my list yet but when I do :huh: I might have to move this guy up toward the top. Looking forward to seeing what he does in Charlotte this season.

Roy used size, opportunity to develop into goal scorer by Kurt Dusterberg



"In the NHL pretty much every goal is scored in front of the net," he said. "I'm just going to keep going in front."


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I think Roy is a fascinating prospect. He was once considered very highly, but slipped by his draft year and in the draft. That early high pedigree (Sareela was the same) can mean that there is very high end talent there which got sidelined, but could get back on track. And in Roy's case it did get back on track after he was drafted and just kept on improving.


The tricky thing though is that older players in Junior Hockey can put up good numbers that can be a bit inflated since it's no longer their draft year. Still, Roy looked good in the World Junior Tourney and was a key player for Canada.


It will be very interesting to see what he does in Charlotte.


Above I have him at #3 on my most recent list (which does not include this year's picks). Given the depth of our prospects, that's pretty high.


Right now I'd say Necas, Roy, Gauthier, Bean and Fluery are a clear category above the rest as our most elite prospects, with Saarela as a bit of a wildcard.


I have to say I love Necas. I just have no idea of our late round picks this year, so can't rank them. But Necas has to be near the top.

Edited by remkin

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Re ranking my now TOP 20 Prospects List: Biasing potential ahead of "readiness" as of 8/28/17: Ahead of Traverse City, but after prospect camp:


1. Gauthier: (what can I say, the upside is All Star). Huge specimen. Tons of goals two years ago, tons of primary assists this year.


2. Fleury: starting to show it in Charlotte. Good size. Starting to find some offense too. Will he be ready this year? I say yes.


3. Roy: putting up goals in dominant fashion two years in a row, good showing in World Juniors, huge guy, also dominating playoffs.


4. Bean. Huge upside. Good World Juniors for underaged D man. Skill apparent at prospect camp. OK at World Junior Summer Tourney. A lock for team Canada again, this time not underaged. Still, want to see more offense this time.


5. Necas. In terms of upside, probably at the very top of the list. Skill at speed let him jump out with Gauthier, Bean, Roy, and Foegle to my eye at camp but Necas is younger than the others. Already stands out. Needs to bulk up, but he could be a star. Great pick given our position.


6. Kuokannen: has the skills, now the 1C for the Fins for next year's World Juniors. Looked good in the summer World tourney. Highly interested in his progress in Charlotte and this year's WJC.


7. Saarela. Moves up on strong showing in Charlotte. Coming off shoulder surgery, so will need to simmer some more in Charlotte. Hard to rank, never seen him play, but seen video of his top notch shot, and AHL is tough league. If he breaks out early could be very early call up.


8.  Foegle. OK, I'm going with my gut here. I just really like his game. This guy could become that gritty third liner with sneaky skill. He filled that role in the junior hockey playoffs where he led scoring and in the Memorial cup where he was that guy for the top line on a loaded team.  He makes some serious high skill plays, and had one mind blowing move in the prospect camp. It's very hard to know which guys can bring that skill to the NHL, but the added grit and work on the boards increases his chances. Zykov and Wallmark are more NHL ready, but I'm going out on a limb for Foegle on skill and potential until I see otherwise.


9. Zykov: Looked so good in his one NHL game, but that can be deceiving. Went to net which endears him to Peters, but hard to see a spot on Canes roster and lots of talent arriving in Charlotte.


10. McKeown: not great +/- in Charlotte, but looked good in camp last year. Needs to have a good camp and to show in Charlotte this year. His right handedness could still get him looks. Plus, may want to make him trade bait. A bit of a make or break year upcoming probably.


11.  Wallmark. Improved skating. Looked good in recent call up. Scoring. High hockey IQ. Peter's made positive comments. Lead Charlotte in goals and goals/game by a good margin. Leading AHL playoffs in points. He an Fleury are the most NHL ready, but hard to gauge upside. I was thinking he had a shot at 4th line center before we went and got Kruger. Canes seem to like professional 4th line centers rather than putting yutes there.


12. Smallman. Upside may be more 3rd line, but he is making waves with his toughness and leadership, and is scoring too. Had a monster playoff run. Under radar, but compared to Scotty Walker.


13. Cotton. Just really looking very good in D1 hockey as a big freshman.  I have him here on potential. This list is biased to potential. It is harder to gauge college players sometimes.


14. Poturalski: racking up points in Charlotte. Didn't look great in short call up, sent back down. Too soon to quit on him, but may move down list. Needs to make most of any future chances, or could get passed over for good.


15. Filipe. Gets on the list after listening to Tony McDonald on Prospect radio. 6'2" 19 yo is adapting fast to D1 hockey, scoring, and playing a heavy game.


16. Carrick: more of a close to ready thing. Solid. Problem is he finds himself on a defensively deep team in prospects and on the big club.


17. Steve Lorentz. Leading his team and most of Junior hockey playoffs with 20 points in 8 games. Team Captain. Name keeps popping up. Just signed pro contract.


18. Elynuik. 6'5" will get you a look. 3rd rounder had 73 points in 64 games in Juniors this year. Will play a few games now in Charlotte. Could raise stock if he does well there.


19. Noah Carroll. D. 19 yo, 6'1"; last player Canes took last year, but I've heard his name called a few times. Hockey Prospects wanted to talk about him with Tony McD, supposedly very positionally strong shut down guy, Canes Country called him an under the radar guy to watch last year, and he was just mentioned in the Canes' page write up about who's scoring and playing well in the Junior playoffs.


20. Eetu Luostarinen. Makes the list for two reasons. 1. Francis et all reputation for finding good Finns in the second round. 2. Needed a #20 and our high second rounder probably needs to at least be on the list. Never seen him and hard to find much on him.

Edited by remkin

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Prospect Ranking: Pre Training Camp, post Traverse City: September 16, 2017:


1.(5) Necas. Moves up to the top. Gotta just go with unabashed upside. This kid has elite speed and makes plays at that speed. He has high hockey IQ, and plays two ways. If this were a less deep Canes team and Necas wasn't physically a string bean, he'd have a shot this year. Interestingly Necas can go 4 ways next year: NHL, AHL, Juniors, Men's league back home. I'd bet on the last one. If he can bring his skill and speed to the NHL level this is a star in the making. He has gotten a seriously long look in camp, but make it or not, he holds the #1 slot.


2. (6) Kuokannen: The more I see, the more I like. He moves up on a strong showing with the Finns, but also Traverse City, where he was putting up points but also making so many things happen so often. A couple of moves were very Aho-like. His underwhelming World Juniors as an underage guy on a disaster Finn team is way in the rear-view now. He is growing on me fast. Had a very solid camp and pre-season. Just looks like a guy who, like Aho, makes plays and does a lot of thing very well.


3. (2) Fleury: I thought he was solid in Traverse City, but at least one writer said he was disappointing. I did not drop the money on the write up, but I'm guessing it was due to lack of point production. But he will not be looked to for that at the start for the Canes. He needs to look in place and solid with his D and moving the puck, and he did that in spades. Most accounts he had a good camp and pre-season to date. Canes need to cash that #7 overall check, even if it's just to establish trade value. Bean looking a bit shakey, ups Fleury's stock a tick too. NHL ready.


4. (1). Gauthier: Gauthier drops down a bit on a less than rousing Traverse City showing and OK camp, but sent down already. He is far more than huge. He has NHL hands and has put up points, specifically goals in all sorts of settings. He has skill around the net and on the rush. He can make the primary pass for points too. My issue is hockey IQ and just situational awareness. He is shoot-first, even way back from the dots, and tends to pass to no where on occasion. The key upside in all of this is that he is a power forward. He doesn't need to have a center's awareness, or even that of a playmaking winger. And the way our team in constructed, we will have an opening for a guy like this, but not this year. He needs AHL time and coaching. It should be fun to watch this guy in Charlotte.


5. Roy (3): Thanks to goon-Warner's cheap shot, Roy gets one game in pre-season. This stinks not only for us but for him. Roy was not going to make this team out of camp. He remains an elite 8 prospect. Huge with tons of point production at lower levels and a prominent role on team Canada Junior team. Like Gauthier, needs some AHL time to see more of his upside vs. bigger, faster players, also should be fun to watch in Charlotte.


6.(12)  Wallmark. Just gets it done on NHL ice. Improved skating. Looked good in recent call up. Scoring. High hockey IQ. Peter's made positive comments. Lead Charlotte in goals and goals/game by a good margin. Leading AHL playoffs in points. He an Fleury are the most NHL ready, but hard to gauge upside. I was thinking he had a shot at 4th line center before we went and got Kruger. Like Carrick could hold down the #6 slot in a less deep team, could be our #4 center right now. Rises on "NHL readiness" as guys like Bean and McKeown drop for the opposite reason.


7. (16) Trevor Carrick: Good defensive year in Charlotte though points tanked. Under the radar due to Fleury/Bean/McKeown. Problem is he finds himself on a defensively deep team in prospects and on the big club. Still, solid defense and being most ready can get you a call up. Problem is our depth at LHD.


8.(4) Bean: Bean was not ready for NHL prime time. He drops on a poor pre-season. Long term, he should rise back up, but he'll have to improve in the AHL the way Fleury did. Bean flashes very slick skill and long term offensive chops. He seemed to toy with other guys in prospect camp, but didn't seem to stand out at Traverse City as much. I am still a Bean believer. Bean is the prototype of what is wrong with the Candian Junior - NHL system forcing a guy like him back for another year of Junior hockey. I'd like to see him in Charlotte now. I guess he can work on his O game some more. Upside remains high.


9 (7). Saarela. Eyeballing him has been difficult due to injuries and mostly playing overseas until recently. I have to think his strong showing at the end of the year in the AHL will get him a long look, but hard to see where the opening is on the big club for him at the moment, but he has to be on the short list for a call up, especially if he picks up where he left off last year. Like Roy, a guy who was a very elite prospect at points in his career, but has also had some pretty low lows. But his most recent showing at the end of the Charlotte year was very strong. May be the first forward call up (PDG, Wallmark, Zykov, Poturalski and Saarela would seem to be the forward short list as most NHL ready).


10 (8).  Foegele. Foegele is becoming my boy a bit. Sort of like McGinn that way. I just really like his game. This guy could become that gritty third liner with sneaky skill. I watched him do exactly that for his team's top line in the Memorial cup.  He makes some serious high skill plays, and had one mind blowing move in the prospect camp. He has shifty skill. It's very hard to know which guys can bring that skill to the NHL, but the added grit and work on the boards increases his chances. Again, so many good prospects and a deep NHL forward line up, will make it harder. Like much of this list, eager to see what he can do in Charlotte.


11. (9). Zykov: This is a tough one. Not sure he had a great camp/preseason. He is more NHL ready than several guys higher on the list. Could easily move up if he tears it up in Charlotte.


12. (10). McKeown: Stock seems to be dropping. TVR's arrival lessens need to rush him. Not a great pre-season, or first year in Charlotte. If I'm completely honest, my eyeballs have just never seen elite level skill. After being reportedly NHL ready last year out of camp, he was sent back with Fleury for another AHL year. But whereas Fleury steadily improved all year  in Charlotte, McKeown not so much. I can't help but think we got TVR in part due to McKeown not impressing last year. He still has upside, but he'll be back in Charlotte and may not even be the first call up.


13.(18) Elynuik. This huge (6'5") mid 3rd rounder two years ago had 73 points in 64 games in Juniors this year. Stock raising on our prospect camp and Traverse City, where he at times looked like he was out Gauthiering Gauthier. Very powerful first step and breakaway speed, and has buried more than one of them. But also goes to the net and makes nice first assist type passes. Also like Gauthier, needs to work on overall game, but stood out in Traverse City more than Gauthier. Plus, imagine an Elynuik - Roy - Gauthier line where they could call Gauthier "shorty".


14. (14). Poturalski: Looked very good in Traverse City. However, he was a bit over-aged and over experienced for that tourney. Still, racked up points in the AHL and in NCAA division 1 hockey. I just can't get over how lost and overmatched he looked in his one NHL game. Just like I'm probably over positive about 1 NHL game for Zykov, I'm probably over negative about one NHL game for Poturalski. Like with so many others on this list though, it's hard to see where he would slot in on the Canes and he is getting close to an age where he's a perma AHLer.


15. (12) Smallman. Anyone who's been favorably compared to Scotty Walker will get every shot to show his stuff. He has leadership qualities out the wazoo, but flashed some serious offense this offseason in playoffs and Memorial Cup. Looked pretty good in Traverse City, though not really a stand out. In some ways could battle Foegele for that gritty third liner with some scoring upside.


16. (13) David Cotton. It is so hard to get good intel on college players, and they don't play in Traverse City, so a slight drop, but from the BC website: "lead all freshmen in points scored … tallied a team-high four game-winning goals … finished the season with a +10 plus/minus rating … accounted for three multi-point performances". He was #5 on the team in goals as a freshman. He's another Francis "big guy pick" (6'3") but also one who plays skilled; scouting reports a pretty glowing, and Tony McDonald was pretty glowing in an off-season interview.


17. (20) Eetu Luostarinen. Watching Aho and Kuokannen, I will keep moving this guy up, even if I've not seen him play and can't get much info on his recent play. He is our Finnish second rounder. That's all I need to know for now.


18. (19) Noah Carroll: 19 yo, 6'1"; despite low draft pick, positionally sound, got the call to come to Traverse City. Tony McDonald had nice things to say about him.


19. Morgan Geekie. 6'2" center makes the list for the first time. He was solid in Traverse City, and he replaces Filipe who was not an invite and is a year older. Geekie is an interesting prospect. He was a third rounder, but very high (#5) in the round. He is described as a late bloomer, because he just exploded for 35G90pts in 72 games out of nowhere last year. He's relatively inexperienced in major junior hockey, so upside might be hidden. Craig Button rated him #32 overall, just out of the first round, while other scouts didn't even rate him. He went undrafted his first year. This is a high risk/reward kind of pick, which is not a bad way to use a third rounder.


20. Nick Schilkey. Sort of this year's Poturalski: Smallish, undrafted college senior with huge senior year.   Looked good in Traverse City. Had two really good seasons at Ohio State, including #3 in the country in goals with 27 goals in 32 games last year. Team captain 2 years running.


EDITED: 9/28.

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Too soon to shuffle the list to move a few guys at the bottom, but some thoughts.


I like Smallman, but it was not great for him to gets sent all the way to the Everblades. He's going to slide on the next re ranking. Nick Schilkey looked good in Traverse City and has scored in the preseason for the Checkers. Probably need to boost him up a bit.


Top 3 guys on the list actually made the opening night roster.

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Two sentence version.


1.(1) Necas. Stayed around longer than expected with the big club. Future star in the making.


2. (3) Fleury: Looking better in the NHL than I thought he would as a brand new rookie. Despite traditional definition of prospect, I'm already close to taking prospect label off him as he will likely never play in the AHL again.


3. (2) Kuokannen: Been on his bandwagon for a while now, but did not expect him to stick with the club this long and look so not out of place in the NHL. Still think he ends up back in Charlotte, but he creates enough chances that I wouldn't bet the house on that.


4.(6)  Wallmark. Just keeps putting up points (leads entire AHL after 7 games). I like what Kruger brings, but I really wanted to see Wallmark in the NHL this year.


5. (3) Roy: Got his first goal last night. This one is more about potential still.


6. (10).  Foegele. OK, I've been fascinated with Foegele since he showed up to his first prospect camp. He just brings a very complete game with an NHL skill set and lunch pail work ethic, oh and he has 5 goals in 7 games in Charlotte.


7. (4) Gauthier: I just can't drop this much size and talent for scoring lower than this, but he has not started strong in Charlotte. Still, serious scoring chops in the system of a team that needs that.


8. (7) Trevor Carrick: Next up on D, but we are fat at LHD with Dahlbeck better on his natural side. Still like what he brings, if he can break the log jam and is hurt by Fleury looking so good.


9. (11). Zykov. 5 goals and 8 points in 7 games in Charlotte. Big and goes to the net.


10. (8) Bean: Falling stock due to looking so over-matched in NHL time. Still an elite prospect due to offensive potential.


11. (9). Saarela. Still one of the biggest enigmas to me. Has 3 points in 4 game in Charlotte but did not overly impress in NHL time, but has an NHL shot and the big club needs that.


12. (20). Nick Schilkey. This guy with stellar college career is my shake up mover. Age of smaller players, scratched initially, but just keeps scoring points, now with 3 in 4 games.


13. (13) Elynuik. Still thinking about his games from Traverse and some things at camp. If size matters have to keep him in top 15 for now.


14. (20) Eetu Luostarinen. Moves up on the strength of his Finnish second round brethren. Hard to follow him in Finland, but our last two Finish second rounders are so good that I just have to keep him in the top 15.


15. (12). McKeown. Right now, his right handedness is his best asset. Fallen from NHL ready last year to not NHL ready this year.


16. (14). Poturalski: Needs to stay at the top of Charlotte's point totals to get another shot in this prospect-deep team: currently 1 point in 7 games.


17. (16) David Cotton. Off to a slow start, albeit in just 5 games so far with a struggling BC team. Has size and hands, but needs to step it up this, his sophomore year.


18. (15) Smallman. Has a lot going for him in the gritty department and showed scoring chops in Junior hockey playoffs, but demoted past Charlotte to the Everblades, admittedly deep Charlotte team, but that's still what he has to climb past too. To me Foegele brings a lot of what Smallman brings but with a higher skill set.


19. (20) Morgan Geekie. 6'2" center was a very high third rounder last year. Put up 90 points in 70 games in WHL last year.


20. (*) Luke Martin: Our other second rounder last year is a big RHD shut down guy playing at U. Michigan. Did I mentioin big RHD?


21. (19) Noah Carroll: 19 yo, 6'1"; Sound stay at home guy, but shoots left in a pretty deep LHD system.




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TheHockeyNews has an article on prospects they see as having falling furthest in their Future Watch rankings from last year.  Guess who was #1? :o


Last year: 25th
This year: not ranked in top 100

Wow. To go from a consensus top-25 prospect in our scouts’ poll to…not even a top 100 prospect? In one year? Ouch. When the drop is that big, there’s a reason for it other than bad luck. As reported in Future Watch 2018, Gauthier’s transition from major junior to his first season as a pro with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers has been rocky. He’s tallied just 12 goals and 16 points in 55 games. Gauthier is a gym beast, a jacked physical specimen, but the mental side of the game has come slowly for him this season, with Checkers coach Mike Vellucci wanting him to move his feet more. When Gauthier is a deer in the headlights, he can’t use his size to its full potential.

The good news: Gauthier has worked hard to improve and showed flashes this winter, especially when placed on a prospect line with Janne Kuokkanen and Nicolas Roy. And it’s hardly uncommon for monster power forwards to mature slowly. Tom Wilson, for example, was a grinder before breaking through as a scoring threat in his fifth NHL campaign. So Gauthier, 20, is far from a lost cause.



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Yeah, interesting Lake, though not in a good way. He had already fallen in my last rankings, which I have not felt ready to update since October, to #7, and of course that was 5 months ago. There is a school of thought that big guys take longer to get NHL ready. There is also a school of thought that says big guys have more trouble when they can't just push little guys around anymore.


I will say this. Gauthier is not just a big lumbering guy. He has some slick skills and good hands. But the hockey IQ is important. My hope is that it is less important for a power forward. Drive the wing. Go to the net. This guy has more talent than Zykov and should be studying him for how to get it done.


Way to early to give up on him, but that first AHL year has not been kind to him.

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The Hockey News has 13 minutes of a podcast dedicated to Canes prospects.  I didn't hear much of anything new, and one of the guys had to be corrected on how to pronounce Foegele's name (he thought it was Foag-a-lee), but if you're interested it starts at 22 minutes in:


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My take after the end of AHL regular season:


Necas- obvious, 19

Wallmark- 1.23 PPG in Charlotte and a +14 , 22

Geekie- Looks to have taken his career to a new level.  3 PPG in the playoffs right now, 19 

Mattheos- looks very solid now that he isnt playing in Patrick's shadow, 19


Zykov 22

Foegele 22

Kuokkanen 19










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I find it hard to thoroughly re-rank guys at this point, but surely the list has changed. I'll offer my re-rankings after seeing the guys in tourneys and prospect camp.


That said, Geekie surely has to jump way up. I can't personally put him above guys who have proven it in the AHL because every step up is a chance to regress. Geekie was also an overage draftee, so he is really technically of the group of Bean, Gauthier, Kuokkanen, and Elniuk. This is in no way to say that he doesn't have nice upside and his recent breakout is nothing but good.


Wallmark is an interesting case. He has thusfar been unable to translate that AHL success to the NHL with 3 points in 19 games. But he has been soo good in the AHL. Ideally gets some more looks, but we can't count on him, so chances could run out.


Kuokkanen seems to have some Aho in him. Not at the same level, to be sure, but smart and makes plays.  He seems to be coming on a bit at the end, but like Wallmark, may have trouble breaking in. Still, he looked pretty dang good in Camp last year, so I wouldn't count him out. He was #8 in rookies for assists this year, and again, seemed to be coming on more in the back half.


I've been on the Foegele train for a long time now and Zykov seems to bring a good bit of what we need (they both do).


Necas. His breakout in world juniors and just his flat out skill at speed, give him a good shot for next year, and clearly our most elite prospect.


Bean has been putting up some assists in the playoffs, and given his draft spot expectations are high. He looked out of place in camp last year, but next year is a new year. Still if no one is traded which of Slavin, Hanifin and Fleury would he beat out? Odd are an AHL year will help him.


Gauthier. I would love to see some sort of update about him. He does have 16 goals now, and I think he started really slow and got little ice time. I really think he could follow the Zykov model. Get to the net, use that size. He has hands and can score. He's going to need to do it more at the AHL level, but it is way too soon to give up on him. He may be one of those guys who just needs a bit of extra development time.


Roy got a taste of the NHL and didn't look bad. Like Gauthier probably needs more AHL simmer time, but not a bust yet either.


Saarela is a bit of a tweener. His 25 goals were not shabby at all. Really, he put up Foegele's stat line. But not as a rookie. He scores on the PP too. Arguably the Checkers 5th best forward. He may need a bit more of a breakout to really get an NHL look. This is where I wish more guys had gotten a look at the end.


I remain fascinated with Elniuk because he's huge and pretty fast. Teasing he might re-enter the draft if not signed by June 1. Had a good year. I hope we sign him, keep that chance in the system.

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1 hour ago, gocanes0506 said:

Calm before the storm ranking


decent write up about each prospect


Kuok, Roy, & Gauthier omitted so take it with a grain of salt.

Yeah, not sure what gives on those guys not being ranked. 


Interesting to read anyone who even knew we had Ville Rasanen and Jake Kucharski (both 7th rounders) let alone attempt to rank them. But my take aways:


So far Eetu Luostarinen is setting up to be our first second round bust in a long time. Time will tell, but I wouldn't put a bet on him.


Luke Martin is an interesting name. Second rounder two drafts ago, very steady at Michigan. 6-3, and as a stay at home RHD compared to...Brett Pesce. 


I've long had a passing interest in David Cotton. He scored 4 points in his first game, goes 3 games without scoring and this guy is about to start dropping him down. 


Jack Drury apparently looking really good at Harvard. Liked this line: He's underrated due to speed, but he seems to have gotten faster. 


And Geekie and Matteos remain a pair of high third rounders in the same draft, both continuing to score points. 

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On Gauthier. My take don't give up on this guy. He has size and skill and scored buku goals in Juniors, still the best predictor of scoring at higher levels. He's a big guy and not our typical super high hockey sense pick, but both of those are often the type of guy that takes longer to figure out the pro game. 


He was scratched and put on the 4th line for a lot of last year in order to get the right habits drilled into him. This can really hurt a scorer's confidence as well as provide fewer scoring chances.


Reportedly he has come into this season on way better footing, and is already 4th on the team in goals with 4 in 9 games.


And as gocanes knows following this stuff, but on Geekie, this guy is just starting his rookie season with 5 goals and 7 points in 10 games, at center. 


Francis may not have been interested in trades, but he did stock the cupboard. 

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TBH, Rask already had things to worry about with Wallmark and Roy coming, coupled with his injury issues.


I think Geekie may jump them all soon.


Eetu- dont know what to make of him


Martin- do we sign him after the season is over?  He looks to be very solid and plays the body too.  


My ratings (skaters)

1 Svech- duh

2 Necas- duh

3 Fox- dude is on fire at Harvard and looking big enough for the league 

4 Bean- O game has already gotten going. Coach speak says his defense play has made strides already

5 Kuok- playmaker, high IQ, just waiting his turn

6 Geekie- Proving the high offensive stats only from being an overager in Juniors. Biggest riser and could go higher this season

7 Mattheos- almost 2 PPG in Juniors so far.  Skilled C/RW

8 Gauthier- scoring already and coach speak says he is doing much better without the puck

9 Roy- big physical center. Isn’t getting enough ice time to know how to rate him

10 Martin big, space eating RHD. TVR type is his floor

11 Drury moved up to 1C as a true freshmen. May struggle early but learning curve will be huge

12 Henman put on weight young man. Plenty of offensive potential 

13 Zimmer able to handle more ice time and responsibilities 

14 Pu struggling in the AHL. Adjustment period is needed

15 Eetu big and powerful.  PIMs way up. Potential still there to give up on.






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Really can't argue with that list. Mine would look pretty much the same at least through 12. We need to sign Fox and I still hold out power forward sniper hope for Gauthier.

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My ratings (skaters)

1 Svech (will come off this season)

2 Necas- a little worried.  He has fallen off some since January 11th.  0 goals and 9 assists in the last 21 games.  6 of those 9 assists have come in the last 6 games.  

3 Fox- finished the regular season with a 1.38 PPG rate. 

4 Bean, really making a case for himself. 5th highest point getter this season. 11 goals for the defender.

5 Kuok- still up there but I feel like I am starting to get prospect fatigue with him though.

6 Geekie- has come on strong the last half of the season for Charlotte.  4th highest point getter.  20 of his his 36 since January 1st. 

7 Mattheos- im excited to see him get a tryout contract after his Juniors season is over. Could be a great add for Charlotte with 2-3 weeks before the playoffs start.

8 Gauthier- scoring more this season.  Has upticks where he scores 5 goals in 6 games but then goes on 5-10 game droughts, doesnt provide a lot of assists.  

9 Drury- performed well as a freshman starter for Harvard.  Looks like a sneeky good 2nd round pick again for us.

10 Cotton- he was given a great opportunity this season being on the 1st line.  Scored 20 and rumored to have gotten a lot stronger. 

11 Roy- big physical center. 

12 Eetu Done well in his 2nd Liiga season.  PIMS are way too high though.

13 Henman put on weight young man. As an older statesman in the QMJHL, I thought we would see more out of him this season.

14 Martin What happened to Martin?

15 Zimmer hasnt done as well as hoped as a junior this season






Edited by gocanes0506

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Really can't argue with your list at all. So I won't!


I like getting the thoughts of Checker's announcer Jason Shaya on his 10 thoughts posts on the checkers website. The player getting the call out this time was Geekie. 


7. The Checkers player who received the most praise from head coach Mike Vellucci this past weekend was Morgan Geekie. With nine points (1g, 8a) in his last nine games, he is also +8 in that time. Geekie continues to impress the coaching staff. I think the one thing that gets overlooked is his vision and playmaking ability. For instance, his setup of Nick Schilkey's first goal on Sunday afternoon was remarkable. 

8. There are scouts at every single AHL game and one of the reasons they are there is to assess the league's talent. Well, I hope these teams are taking a close look at Schilkey. No player has done more to earn an NHL contract next season than him. He has 12 points (6g, 6a) in his last 10 games and is one of the best stories of the year. I talked to Charlotte’s Sr. VP of Hockey Ops Derek Wilkinson about Nick and he told me that with a summer of training he can prepare himself to play in the NHL. But, like everyone in life, you just need an opportunity. 


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