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In this edition of my blog, I will look at a Calgary Flames' prospect, in Michael Ferland.
Over the past couple of years I've been watching Ferland play, and develop into the player he is today. I will go over his strengths, weaknesses and projected placement- in a precursor to my top 30 Draft Prospects going to be released soon.
Weight: 212 (Updated)
Drafted: 133th overall in the 5th round (2010 NHL Entry draft)
When I talk to scouts about Ferland, they say all say the same thing "Big, and a lot of skill". This year, playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL, Ferland has 94 points, and 75 PIMS in just 66 games. He has the makings to be a premiere power-forward in the NHL.
Michael Ferlands' biggest asset is his shot. He is a big kid, with a tremendous shot from the half boards, and has been known to quarterback the Wheat Kings power play occasionally. He loves to get in the dirty areas, and will never back down from a fight. He is one of the best fighters in the WHL, but also packs a scoring touch.
His biggest weakness are his hands. He was a notoriously bad puck handler. The reason he dropped to the 5th round (originally slotted 2nd round) was because of his hands. His puck control was sub-par, however, it has improved since the draft.
When talking with scouts, they seem to have Ferland slotted in the #2 Left-Wing position, which is where I have placed him aswell. He does not have the top tier skill to be an elite 1st liner, however he fits perfectly on the 2nd line, and 2nd power play unit due to his size and skill.
Overall, I have been impressed with Ferlands' development and production this year. I see him making the pro team next year, and playing third line time to start.