The weeks leading up to the draft are an exciting time for the hardcore hockey fan. While the average fan probably knows who Nolan and Hischier are, it takes a particular type of person to know the details about Noel Hoefenmayer (probably a late 2nd-3rd round pick).
Scouting reports and a player's stats card paint a picture for what kind of NHL player a prospect might become but even for pro scouts it's almost impossible to know how a player will turn out.
To mix things up I have selected 6 different players that were selected in the 1st round, from the 2010-2015 NHL Draft. For this blog, all the players I've selected are forwards. None of these players will have their real names used nor the names of the previous teams they played for. It's up to you to decide from the information given if this is a player you would pick. Bonus marks for guessing who the player actually is.
1.) Jero Sueket
This player was a bit of an off the board pick in his draft year. A year prior to his draft, Sueket scored 81 points in 65 games, the following year he suffered a foot injury which limited him to 36 games though he still managed to put up 40 points. His scouting report described him as a skilled, speedy player with an elite hockey sense. The biggest issues with him came down to injury recovery as well as needing to be physically stronger.
2.) Derek Daniel Coga
As a 17 year old this player scored 24 points in 36 games in a European league. His scouting report described him as an incredibly dynamic offensive forward who has a flair for creativity. While he is a smaller forward he is skilled at protecting the puck under pressure. He likes to play an east/west game which can sometimes get him in trouble and some scouts think he is too much of a perimeter player. As mentioned he is a creative player but that has also gotten him into issues in his defensive zone.
3.) Ravee N. Smith
Scored 85 points in his draft year (over 30 goals) and heralded as a dynamic offensive forward. Scouts were not worried about ability to snipe or his playmaking ability at the NHL level but his overall consistency and lack of size were areas of worry.
4.) Ziggy Brandon
Another player that came from a European league. What makes Ziggy unique is that he is a big body who can skate very well. He is incredibly difficult to get off the puck and excels at changing tempo. One minute he charging into the offensive zone with speed and the next moment he's backing off putting a defenseman out of position.
5.) Tyler Hall
There were many scouts who were not a fan of this selection. While he did lead his team in scoring in his draft year, there are questions to how much offensive ability he can bring to the NHL. Absolutely he is a physical threat and very difficult to push off the puck. His skating ability has improved in the years leading up to his draft though his first step could use some work.
6.) Jason Laffsfleur
Scoring over a point per game in the KHL as a 17 year old is a pretty big deal for a 17 year old. Scouting describes his tremendous puck handling ability and a superb shot. He is very good when it comes to one on one battles. As with many young dynamic players his biggest issues come when he is away from the puck. He lacks sense when in his own zone and needs to be better at making the simple consistent play to move the puck out.
Best of luck to anyone who decides to play along, I'll have the answers up in a couple days with a new blog.
Thanks for reading!