The Dean’s List has already previewed the top offensive forwards available for the upcoming 2012 NHL draft class and your fantasy prospect drafts but now it is time to turn our focus to a few player names creeping up the ranks. Examine the past draft boards two, three or four years later and you will certainly find a few names that leave you asking, “how was that player not selected higher?”
The list contains several current NHL star players highlighted by Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Claude Giroux, Shea Weber, Paul Statsny and Milan Lucic to name a few. The 2012 draft class will be no different and it’s important to introduce the readers to potential names that could be occupying future fantasy rosters in the near future. Lets face it, only a select few will have the opportunity to draft the Yakupovs, Grigorenkos, Dumbas and Galchenyuks in your upcoming fantasy drafts, so in Beyond the Elite Names (Part 1) TDL familiarizes the readers with talented players not receiving enough attention but should still become fantasy relevant.
Timothé Bozon (LW), Kamloops Blazers, WHL
March 24, 1994
2011-12 Statistics: 69 GP- 35G - 34A - 69P, +25, 40 PIM
Central Scouting Service (CSS) Rank: 39th North American Skater
The twenty-seventh selection in the first round of the 2011 CHL Import Draft by the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers, Timothé Bozon has made quite the impression in his first major junior season. Following in the footsteps of Swiss-trained players Nino Niederreiter (New York Islanders) and Sven Bartschi (Calgary Flames), Bozon is attempting to continue the success of Swiss players honing their skills in the Western league and becoming high NHL draft picks.
Scoring at a point-per-game pace in his freshman season for the Blazers, Bozon has tallied an impressive 35 goals and 69 points and currently sits in first in rookie scoring as a seventeen-year-old. In over thirty games since the calendar turned 2012, Tim Bozon has tore up the Western Hockey League scoring 18 goals and 36 points including twelve January games where he was held pointless just once. In a draft class lacking players with notable high-end offensive skills outside of the top ten, Bozon has the potential to slide up the draft charts if a team feels his scoring punch is too good to pass up on. Tim Bozon, hailing from France but developed in Switzerland, is the son of former St. Louis Blue Philippe Bozon. The lanky winger has good hockey roots and continues to show progression on North American ice.
From a fantasy standpoint, Tim Bozon is a name that should be targeted as he carries real potential especially if he is able to improve his skating and fill out his 6-foot-1 frame. The “good” certainly outweighs the “bad” as Bozon possesses good vision, soft mitts, strong hockey sense and a desire to improve. Couple those qualities with a snipers’ mentality and Tim Bozon could find himself as another Swiss-drafted first round pick.
Projected Draft Spot: 25-40th
Scott Laughton (C), Oshawa Generals, OHL
DOB: May 30, 1994
2011-12 Statistics: 62 GP- 21G - 32A - 53P, +10, 92PIM
CSS Rank: 40th North American Skater
Every year, players emerge as NHL stars that were, surprisingly, drafted outside of opening round leaving many people to question, “how did he slide that far?” Oshawa Generals’ forward Scott Laughton is a player The Dean’s List feels falls into this category given his natural born talents. Entering the Ontario Hockey League as the third overall selection of the 2010 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Oshawa has high hopes for the scoring pivot after showcasing his skills as a member of the Toronto Marlboros – a minor hockey organization that has been churning out superstars. Mike Ricci, Jason Spezza, Rick Nash, John Tavares, Sam Gagner and Ryan Strome are just a few names that have all emerged from the Marlboros minor hockey program.
To nobody`s fault, Scott Laughton has had to compete for ice time with veteran teammates on a deep Generals’ squad featuring the likes of Nicklas Jensen (Vancouver Canucks), Christian Thomas (New York Rangers), Lucas Lessio (Phoenix Coyotes), Boone Jenner (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Andy Andreoff (Los Angeles Kings) leaving him with less than ideal offensive opportunity. After factoring in his competition for ice-time, the seventeen year old Laughton has posted a rather noticeable stat line in his sophomore season placing him fifth in team scoring with 21 goals and 53 points. Laughton is a responsible centre that plays with an edge as imminent by his 92 penalty minutes. In a draft class void of top-end offensive Canadian forwards, Laughton’s surely has the ability to put up points and keep pace with any other country mate in this draft. The Oakville native has a good accurate shot and good puck handling abilities and with a little refinement and more ice time look for Laughton to explode onto the scene next season. Laughton is currently amidst a strong March campaign that has him with points in seven straight games.
Projected Draft Spot: 30th – 50th
Tomas Hyka (RW), Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL
March 23, 1993
2011-12 Statistics: 50 GP -20G – 44A – 64P, +14, 30 PIM
CSS Rank: 65th North American Skater
Tomas Hyka is a name some people may already be familiar with after he had an impressive pre-season performance with the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this year as a training camp invitee. Hyka played well enough to line up with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell in a few games before the Flyers sent him back to Gatineau. One of several second or third time re-entries into the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with a chance of being selected high, Hyka is competing for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL this season.
As the eighth selection in the 2011 CHL Import Draft, Tomas Hyka has quickly become the Olympiques` leading scorer...by a long shot. The small Czech has shown that he is one of the best skaters in this draft class with good top-end speed and agility. Hyka has good puck skills and has had success at doling out nice passes for his linemates to take advantage of all season long. NHL organizations seeking an offensive player could be taking a long hard look at Tomas Hyka on draft day.
Projected Draft Spot: 45th-60th
Scott Kosmachuk (RW), Guelph Storm, OHL
January 24th, 1994
2011-12 Statistics: 65 GP – 29 G- 27A- 56P, -10, 106 PIM
CSS Rank: 23rd North American Skater
Guelph Storm’s Scott Laughton is another alum of the Toronto Marlboros AAA Minor Hockey factory and has had a strong sophomore season on a young Storm team. The Dean’s List has really gravitated to Kosmachuk’s game in the several viewings of this smart winger.
Kosmachuk is a competitor that plays a rather simplistic game. However, he does own some offensive talents that have led many scouts to believe he has a higher upside than initially thought. A good skater with a knack for being in the right place at the right time has highlighted his strong hockey sense and he certainly has the potential to develop into a top six player at the next level. TDL has a tendency to place value in players that combine skill, work ethic and a noticeable understanding of the game. This recipe tends to develop hockey players that play the game hard, look to improve and have a coachability factor to them- increasing the likelihood of the player improving or developing to their full potential.
Scott Kosmachuk is a player that should be relied on more next season and we believe he is a favourite to become one of the OHL`s breakout players. Entering his draft year relatively unknown, now is a good time to snatch up Scott Laughton. The Toronto native is already starting to trend upwards as he sits third in team scoring (56 points) and first in powerplay goals (11).
Projected Draft Spot: 30-45th
Phillipe Di Guiseppe (LW), University of Michigan, CCHA
October 9th, 1993
2011-12 Statistics: 37 GP – 11G – 14A – 25P, +20, 18 PIM
CSS Rank: 28th North American Skater
Di Guiseppe, the Michigan Wolverine freshman, is an extremely intriguing prospect in the upcoming draft class. Besides having a fun name to pronounce, Di Guiseppe is one of the oldest draft-eligible skaters in the 2012 draft class giving him lots of experience. In the NCAA, Di Guiseppe has had a remarkable freshman season showing off his well-rounded skills as he currently sits sixth in team scoring with 25 points. Blessed with strong skating skills, Di Guiseppe utilizes his speed and lower body strength to create his offensive opportunities.
Not many rookies step into NCAA action and see the type of success that the Maple, Ontario native has had this season and it has surely caught the eye of scouts. Di Guiseppe fits nicely in the group of players listed above as he is another example of how a balanced game can become a very attractive package to NHL teams looking for a low-risk draft pick. On the other hand, low risk certainly does not mean low upside as Di Guiseppe has definitely displayed lots of potential early in his career. Di Guiseppe has shown a knack for getting pucks to the net either by his strong shot or his excellent ability at driving to the net. Scouting services have ranked Di Guiseppe all over the map, going as high as mid-first round and as late as the third. In the end, The Dean`s List believes Di Guiseppe will push hard to enter the top 30 and worst case is that he gets selected in the early second round.
Projected Draft Spot: 20th-50th
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