As a lead-in to the 2008 NHL Entry Draft June 26-27 in Montreal, NashvillePredators.com will be taking a look at the top prospects available in this year's draft class. Today we will continue with the prospects who have improved their stock the most during the 2008-09 season.
Usually skaters ranked in the top-100 of Central Scouting’s North American Rankings and top-25 of Central Scouting’s European Rankings are safe bets to be drafted, while those outside the top-100 in North America and top-25 in Europe are more subject to differences in scouting opinions. Five North American prospects improved by at least 50 spots to slide into the top-100 in Central Scouting’s Final North American Rankings, while four European prospects improved by at least 20 spots to move into the top-25 of Central Scouting’s Final International Rankings. 1) Brennan Yadlowski (Defenseman, Lethbridge, WHL)
72 games, 3g-14a-17pts, 135 penalty minutes
CSS-NA-#70 (NA-#153 in mid-term rankings, +83 improvement)2) Patrick Wey (Defenseman, Waterloo, USHL)
58 games, 7g-27a-34pts, 75 penalty minutes
CSS-NA-#95 (NA-#166 in mid-term rankings, +71 improvement)3) Curtis McKenzie (Left Wing, Penticton, BCHL)
53 games, 30g-34a-64pts, 90 penalty minutes
CSS-NA-#89 (NA-#158 in mid-term rankings, +69 improvement) 4) Anton Burdasov (Left Wing, Chelyabinsk-2, RUS-3)
CSS-E-#20 (E-#83 in mid-term rankings, +63 improvement) 5) Thomas Larkin (Defenseman, Exeter, HS-NH)
31 games, 14g-32a-46pts
CSS-NA-#87 (NA-#146 in mid-term rankings, +59 improvement) 6) Justin Florek (Left Wing, Northern Michigan, NCAA)
33 games, 8g-5a-13pts, 6 penalty minutes
CSS-NA-#81 (NA-#135 in mid-term rankings, +54 improvement) 7) Alexander Urbom (Defenseman, Djurgarden, SWE)
28 games, 0g-0a-0pts, 2 penalty minutes
CSS-E-#21 (E-#60 in mid-term rankings, +40 improvement) 8) Mattias Lindstrom (Left Wing, Skelleftea-Jr, SWE-Jr)
31 games, 8g-5a-13pts, 46 penalty minutes
CSS-E-#22 (E-#55 in mid-term rankings, +33 improvement) 9) Sergei Chvanov (Center, Sherepovets-2, RUS-3)
46 games, 16g-13a-29pts, 38 penalty minutes
CSS-E-#25 (E-#47 in mid-term rankings, +22 improvement)
Along with the impressive rising prospects, there were five North American prospects from the top-50 Central Scouting’s Mid-Term Rankings who fell at least 40 spots in the Final North American Rankings. The most eye opening may have been left wing Cassidy Mappin, who was projected as a potential late first round-to-early second round pick in Central Scouting’s Mid-Term Rankings, but dropped 46 slots by the Final Rankings and now projects as a third-to-fourth round prospect (#73 final, #27 mid-term). The other North American prospects who Central Scouting downgraded the most include defenseman Tommi Kvisto (#119 final, #46 mid-term, -73 drop), right wing Michal Hlinka (#90 final, #39 mid-term, -51 drop), defenseman Brenden Dillon (#91 final, #41 mid-term, -50 drop), and left wing Levko Koper (#84 final, #44 mid-term, -40 drop).
Similarly, there were two European prospects who saw their draft stock fall significantly between the Central Scouting mid-term and final rankings. Russian forward Nikita Dvurechensky was No. 9 in the mid-term International Rankings, which likely would have had him pegged for early-to-mid second round range, but Dvurechensky fell 27 spots to No. 36 in Central Scouting’s final International Rankings, which puts him on the fringe to even be selected in this year’s draft. Swedish forward Henrik Eriksson dropped 17 spots from No. 18 mid-term – a solid bet to be a mid-round pick – to No. 35 in the final International Rankings.