April 20 2011 10:38PM
These days, the name most often mentioned as an alternative to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at the top of this summer’s NHL Entry Draft is defenseman Adam Larsson. The big Swede has been in the conversation all season, but there is concern in some corners about the lengthy development curve of defensemen.
Is that a concern?
April 19 2011 08:01PM
There are a plethora of scouting reports out there for this summer’s draft, and there isn’t always much agreement between them. One thing they all agree on, however, is that Sean Couturier’s spot on the list keeps getting lower and lower.
April 18 2011 11:27PM
Back in February, I suggested that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would be the wrong selection with the first overall pick. Since then, he’s gone on a tear (at both even-strength and on the power play), Ken Hitchcock has started comparing him to Pavel Datsyuk, and the opinion of the scouts (the ones talking, anyway) has firmed up in a positive way.
Meanwhile, there’s a notion out there that Nugent-Hopkins isn’t the first skinny power play ace to shoot up to the top of the draft rankings in recent years, and Patrick Kane’s done some pretty nice things for the Chicago Blackhawks.
April 15 2011 12:07PM
Ryan Whitney is a very good offensive defenseman. He was taken with a lottery pick in the 2002 NHL Draft precisely because he married strong offensive ability to a 6’4” frame, and he’s shown time and again that he is well above average in the NHL at recording points from the blue line.
During his early years in Pittsburgh, Whitney showcased that skill, most memorably with a 59 point effort in 2006-07. That mark stood as the best of his career until this past season, which I think we must note as being superior. Through 35 games prior to injury, Ryan Whitney led the Edmonton Oilers in scoring with 27 points.
April 12 2011 02:19PM
The regular season is ended. Now cometh upon us the time of the playoff.
Not coincidentally, the time of playoff prediction is here.