Another week, another ten wonderful prospects. Since I love this kind of thing like Kings fans love Dan Cloutier being on the IR, I'm not ready to end this next week. But it's up to you, dear readers. Is 30 enough? A top 60, maybe? How about 90? Or somewhere in between? The greatest advantage one can have in the world of fantasy hockey is knowledge. Well, that and someone else having drafted Clouts.
11. Keaton Ellerby, D, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Height: 6'4 Weight: 174
Scouting Report: Excellent skater for a big man. While tall and capable of delivering big hits, has a lanky enough frame to be fluid and agile. Despite that advantage, adding muscle is a top priority- Ellerby simply is too thin for his size. He's also nowhere near effective enough physically. Instead of well-timed checks and fights, the native Okotoks, AB simply throws himself around recklessly. His slapshot is also a point of concern. Having said all that, big, raw defensemen with excellent positioning and smarts will never go out of vogue. Has drawn limited comparisons to a younger Dion Phaneuf.
12. Bill Sweatt, W, Colorado College (WCHA)
Height: 6'0 Weight: 186
Scouting Report: Speed, speed, speed. The first thing anyone notices about Sweatt. Long, quick stride allows the forward to outdo anyone in that department. However, he also possesses an excellent set of hands that go underused because of his ability to just blaze around a defender instead of deking through him. His upside is incredible; tremendous puck smarts, fluid stickhandling and a wicked wrister in full-flight hint at a potential top-line forward who can play in all situations. Could move up if a team coveting speed and raw potential ends up with a top ten pick.
13. Mikael Backlund, C, Västerås IK (HockeyAllsvenskan)
Height: 6'0 Weight: 191
Scouting Report: Despite disastrous season, not quite ready to give up on this young phenom just yet. Has played a regular shift on the Västerås fourth line after missing the beginning of the year with serious illness. 1-2-3 and 14 PIM in 17 games since returning. About the only positive this season has been being trusted enough to anchor the bottom line as a 17 year-old, as Backlund wasn't named to the Swedish WJC squad and has been underwhelming offensively. Despite these shortcomings, all the tools necessary for greatness are there: great vision, a sharp, corner-picking wrister, elite hands, and tape-to-tape passing ability. If Backlund can regain his timing, confidence and head for the game, NHL stardom is a reasonable goal.
14. James O'Brien, W, Minnesota (WCHA)
Height: 6'2 Weight: 185
Scouting Report: Didn't record his first goal until November 25th in Minnesota's 16th game of the season, despite dressing for every one; Also picked up his first assist and his second goal in what was an 8-2 win over Michigan. His next point was a month and four days later, the third goal in a 3-1 victory. O'Brien followed that up with an assist the next night. Together, those five points account for the majority of his five goals and two assists in 25 games- that despite being built and playing physically like a man among boys. There's a lot of skill here; above-average skating, soft hands and a wide array of deadly shots. But O'Brien hasn't consistently demonstrated the smarts that good NHLers must have. Still worth a first-round pick based on the flashes of domination he's displayed. When the burgeoning power forward has scored, it's been because of his strength, hands and reach.
15. Nick Petrecki, D, Omaha (USHL)
Height: 6'3 Weight: 210
Scouting Report: The biggest faller among previously touted top-3 selections. A punishing stay-at-home rearguard who loves to hit, Petrecki is absolutely flawless in his own zone. However, that appears to be all he is, as the offense many expected to materialize simply hasn't. To date, the hulking defender has eight points in 20 games. A team desperate for that cornerstone blueliner will still take him anywhere from five to fifteen, but he's more Mike Komisarek than Dion Phaneuf. Above-average mobility, a huge slapper and a willingness to do anything for his team highlight the package.
16. Alexandre Plante, D, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Height: 6'5 Weight: 220
Scouting Report: What Nigel Williams would be if he were in major junior last season- and knew where his own zone was. An enticing commodity because of his rare mix of size and offensive potency, Plante also leads the Hitmen in PIM with 71 and is second among team blueliners with a +13. Still no telling where he might go, although it's a sure bet some GM still covets huge defensemen who love to jump into the rush and beat pucks at the net. You read it here first: Plante will be a steal, playing to a level that may push him into the top five or six players from this draft. A darkhorse franchise player thanks to his creativity, skating and pure physicality.
17. Maxim Mayorov, F, Leninogorsk (Rus-2)
Height: 6'1 Weight: 190
Scouting Report: One of the most enticing players in the draft. There is a great deal to work with here, from Mayorov's tremendous shooting to his great speed and hands. Just a bundle of potential capable of dominating games. A mini Ovechkin if there ever was one. The biggest concerns here are consistency and acceleration. On the big ice, Mayorov can get away with taking a shift off thanks to his top-end speed and ability. However, the tantalizing quantity must make use of it in close to be effective in the NHL. Could surprise and be taken in the top five.
18. Tyson Sexsmith, G, Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Height: 6'0 Weight: 204
Scouting Report: Still criminally underrated in scouting circles despite a ridiculous 1.99 GAA and 19-7-5 record. Some point to the stacked roster and system the Giants employ as being the reason for his elevated numbers, especially in light of a relatively unspectacular but still solid 0.911 SV%. However, much like Leland Irving from last year, Sexsmith is simply just a great goalie playing for a great team. How much this hurts him at the draft remains to be seen, but the potential to be a star goalie in the NHL is there in spades. Sexsmith's biggest asset is a sharp glove hand, buoyed by superb anticipation and an elite head for the game. He simply wins when wins are required.
19. Sergei Korostin, W, Moscow Jr. (Rus-Jr.)
Height: 5'10 Weight: 176
Scouting Report: The Russian Billy Sweatt. All kinds of speed, elite acceleration, great hands and a big drive for the net. Can do everything at top speed, a necessity for success at a higher level. Despite his size, Korostin is a tough one to knock off the puck thanks to his low centre of gravity and muscle. Offensive awareness is still an unknown quantity, but there is no doubt that he skill is there to be an elite forward in the NHL. One of the few players who would be best-suited to staying in Russia thanks to the experience honing his playmaking ability against men will provide.
20. Thomas Hickey, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Scouting Report: Partnered with Scott Jackson on the Seattle top defensive pairing, Hickey has had the freedom to jump up into the play, the area he excels the most. A stud on the powerplay, Hickey's production comes from a big point shot and excellent passing, both in close and long-range. Also sound in his own end when he wants to, which isn't often enough and which hasn't really been all that necessary thanks to the aforemention Jackson's rock-solid play. A poor man's Wade Redden.
Next week, the final ten prospects in the Bugg Bytes Top 30!
21. Mike Hoeffel
22. Dana Tyrell
23. Michael Biega
24. Brandon Sutter
25. Jon Blum
26. Tommy Cross
27. Teddy Ruth
28. Kevin Shattenkirk
29. Zach Hamill
30. Trevor Cann