Thursday, June 5, 2008

Minnesota High Schoolers in the 2008 NHL draft (Rounds 1- 3)

The NHL Central Scouting Bureau's final rankings came out a while ago, and it's time I provided my commentary on the Minnesota High School players in the draft since I've seen all of them play quite a few times. I'll put the CSB final rankings in parenthesis, as well as my comments on the player. 

Jake Gardener, Minnetonka HS, D (23)
He's as close to the total package as you can get outside of the first five picks. If he's a great offensive defenseman now, he could be a star with some seasoning in the WCHA.

Aaron Ness, Roseau HS, D (27)
He'll be drafted as a defenseman, but I guarantee he won't stay that way. He's got great offensive skill, he's like a 4th forward out there, but I worry about the physical side of his game. I saw him play in the MN HS state tournament this year and he looked like his was missing that X factor, that ability to carry his team.

Corey Fienhage, Eastview HS, D (36)
He's your prototypical defensive defenseman. He's a catalyst on the blueline, and a solid hitter. You virtually can't catch this kid out of position.

Justin Jokinen, Cloquet HS, RW (54)
This kid has speed to burn. I only saw him once this season, but this kid is some offensive talent. He's got good puckhandling skills and has that intangible ability to finish

Derek Stepan, St. Mary's HS, C (58)
The Kid's got talent, but I'll be honest, its wait and see with this kid. He's got flash and the ability to finish, some physical skill. But that isn't saying much playing average at best teams up north.

David Carle, St Mary's HS, D (60)
I've heard a lot of talk about this kid, great physical ability and makes plays like nobody's business. I've yet to see though; same old story like Stepan, you never know with this kids coming out of smaller schools.

David Toews, St. Mary's HS (79)
St. Mary's really had a good team this year, eh? David has great offensive instinct like his brother Johnathan, he has hockey sense that you can't teach. He tends to back down from the physical battles though. 

Well folks, that's all the Minnesota High School players projected to go in rounds 1-3. I'll do rounds 4- 7 a bit later.