The 2009 NHL Entry Draft is over. We got some good players, not Tavares or Hedman worthy but I bet they’ll do as good as those two. With the Draft over, it’s time for the semi-annual list to come in. I’ll refresh everyone’s memory and give you a short rundown of my Winter Top 10.
1. Erik Karlsson
2. Brian Elliott
3. Jim O’Brien
4. Brian Lee
5. Ilya Zubov
6. Peter Regin
7. Louie Caporusso
8. Patrick Wiercioch
9. Zack Smith
10. Cody Bass
7 months later, the Top 10 list changes with new prospects coming in. Note that Elliott and Lee aren’t on my Summer list because essentially they’re not prospects anymore. Elliott is the new backup in Ottawa and Lee is sure to make the roster. Drum roll please, here we go!
1. Erik Karlsson
No doubt Karlsson stays on top after 7 months. He’s got the stuff to become one of the best offensive defenseman in the league, a quick, hard shot, a good first pass, the ability to see the ice well, and his definite calmness.. He’s been working on his physical stature and the Sens are really impressed with him. He signed a 3 year deal with the Sens this summer and some fans are hoping he’ll make the big squad this year but I’d say odds he makes it are 25 to 1. He still needs to grow and the best option for him is Binghamton.
2. Jared Cowen
The first round choice in 2009 for Murray and co, Cowen’s best ability is to get into the dirty zones and compete hard for the puck. He’s big and mean and isn’t afraid to lay out the big hit every game. He’s a good puck mover as well and has a quick shot. The biggest concern for me is his penalty trouble which he will have to improve on. He had his season cut short because of the knee injury but he was a steal for the Sens. Odds of making the team are 35 to 1 for him so expect him to go back to Spokane for the year.
3. Ilya Zubov
Zubov, who already has more than 10 games under his belt, may be the only potential Top 6 Forward in the Sens prospect system. Zubov’s best asset is his vision of the ice and his playmaking abilties. His strong shot leaves goalies baffled and his ability to make his teamates around him better is great. He practiced with NHL’ers such as Chris Kelly and Evgeni Malkin last summer and gained muscle weight. One thing I really like about him is his physical presence, something Russians are not known for. He’s got a 10 to 1 odds to crack a spot on the roster IF the Sens trade dead weight such as Kelly and Donovan.
4. Peter Regin
Regin, aka The Great Dane, also has more than 10 games under his belt, but has had more success than Zubov. He’s a good third liner who can score goals anywhere. He can get down low and score those dirty goals or he can use his fast wrister. He’s also essentially a good penalty killer and his work ethic is great. I would compare him to Mike Fisher but with a better shot. He has a 10 to 1 odds to crack the roster and again IF the dead weight leaves town.
5. Patrick Wiercioch
Most likely the steal of the Draft in 2008, Wiercioch not only has offensive prowess, he’s big and strong. He has a great first pass and and a shot that will never miss the net. He makes teamates around him better and isn’t afraid to battle hard and long for the puck. He’s another defenseman that probably won’t make the team, as far as 30 to 1 odds, but he’ll be in Binghamton for the majority of the season conditioning with Karlsson.
6. Jim O’Brien
O’Brien had one of the best seasons in his career scoring a point per game. Noto nyl did he do that, but he improved his defensive game big time. He’s a very good two-way forward and is developing into more of a RW, something the Sens lack in their system. His debut with Bingo was short, only 6 games and fortunately I saw one. He’s a good playmaker but needs to develop his shot into a faster and stronger one, but his development has been quick. I’d say 30 to 1 odds he makes the roster, and he’s assured to be joining Binghamton in the fall.
7. Louie Caporusso
Caporusso also had the season of his career in the NCAA with Michigan, escalating to being 4th in Hobey Baker voting. He’s a natural centre who can make some mistakes but makes up for it with his amazing shot and vision of the ice. He’s been known sometimes to be a “puck hog” but I think that may be a plus in Ottawa who has too much passers. He told HF that he’d be going back to Michigan for his last season in the NCAA. He’s a got a bright future for a Torontonian!
8. Erik Condra
Notre Dame improved this year along with Condra who is becoming Ottawa’s premier wing prospect. He signed a contract because of his year with Notre Dame which saw his offensive abilites improve. He’s a sniper who can also take over the game in his own style. He’s a coach-pleaser and very responsible in the defensive zone. EC may become Alfredsson’s replacement when he retires and sure would look good with Spezza. He’s playing in Binghamton and may be a late-season callup.
9. Robin Lehner
Drafted in the second round, Lehner was the best goaltender in the Draft Class of 09 and was the 2nd one chosen. His daddy was the former coach of Rangers’ astandout Henrik Lundqvist and Lehner is being compared to Lundqvist. His big body and big size makes up most of the net. He’s got a glove being compared to Dominik Hasek and his lightning quick reflexes are those of Marc-Andre Fleury. His weakness may be rebound control but with a good defensei n front of him he can be a franchise goaltender.
10. Zack Smith
Smith, who played 2 games with the Sens, had a breakout year for Binghamton after beign drafted in 2008. Smith has a great, quick shot and his ability to make room for himself is outstanding. He has a lot of grit and gumption and will be physical whenever he needs to be. He’ll have to wait before making the big club but he’s worth it. What’s with Bryan Murray and gettign players with the last name “Smith”?
So there’s the Summer edition. 3 players enter into the list, and 3 players drop out. I’m pretty sure there’ll be changes come Winter time so it’s always fun to see who the Sens’ future superstars are!