6. Jonathon Huberdeau, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
Position: Centre, Shoots: Left, Height: 6'1", Weight: 170 lbs, Hometown: Laval, QC
NHL.com Draft Prospect Video
Huberdeau continues his surge up the draft ranks as his powerhouse Sea Dogs compete in the QMJHL conference finals. Huberdeau currently sits second in the Q's playoff scoring race with 21 points in just nine playoff games (10G, 11A). Huberdeau is just one of nine Saint John Sea Dogs on the Central Scouting list so some people are concerned about the teammate affect.
Ironically, Huberdeau says that one of his favourite players is Mike Ribeiro and his play definitely mimics that of Ribeiro's. Huberdeau has trememdous creativity and is a great playmaker with exceptional hockey IQ. Like Ribeiro, Huberdeau is a "dangler" and good skater that makes his teammates better with crisp, accurate passing. It should be noted that Huberdeau has the ability to play the wing as well which makes him an attractive prospect to many teams as they go shopping this year in St. Paul.
Readiness: Huberdeau needs to fill out his lanky frame so I fully expect his development to be longer. Huberdeau is likely one or two years away at least.
7. Ryan Strome, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
Position: Centre, Shoots: Right, Height: 6'0", Weight: 175 lbs, Hometown: Mississauga, ON
NHL.com Draft Prospect Video
Video Interview, Highlight Reel Goal
Ryan Strome seems to be one of the bigger question marks in this years' draft class. It appears that some scouts love him while others are a bit weary since he missed most of the 2009-10 season. Strome's production this past season will surely get him drafted in the first round but at which position remains to be seen. Ryan Strome was voted the Most Improved and Best Playmaker in the OHL Eastern Conference Coaches' poll and also tied Ryan Spooner for the Best Stickhandler. Strome's strength as a player are his quick feet and puckhandling abilities but he is not afraid to mix it up with the physical play either. Strome is a very likeable kid and that will surely help his draft stock as the June Entry draft draws closer. There are some scouts who have Strome ranked higher than fellow OHLer Landeskog so it will be interesting to see which team drafts Strome and at what position.
Readiness: Strome will likely follow along the same development path as former OHLer Bryan Little. Little was drafted in the first round (12th overall) in 2006 and then returned for his final OHL season. Strome and Little are both 100+ point producers at the OHL-level and Strome will likely return to Niagara and join a strong team.
8. Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Position: Defenseman, Shoots: Right, Height: 5'10, Weight: 166 lbs, Hometown: Aurora, ON
Coaches Corner Video, More Video
In the past two NHL Drafts we have seen two OHL offensive defensemen, Ryan Ellis and Cam Fowler, fall further than where they were "ranked" to be selected. Ryan Murphy should prepare for the same scenario as his NHL future is somewhat unknown. Murphy has world class hockey IQ and skating ability but there will be some NHL teams weary of his size (5'10") and his gambling approach to the game. Murphy plays more like a fourth forward on most shifts in the OHL and that style of play may be difficult to translate to the NHL.
Offensively, Ryan Murphy is (by far) the best of his draft class but he will have to show NHL clubs that he can take care of his own end as well. Murphy has stated that his goal was to become better defensively and he looked to improve in that area this past season. Ryan Murphy is currently playing for Team Canada at the World under-18 Championships in Dresdan, Germany. The young defenseman leads all Canadian players with 8 points (3G, 5A) in five games (to date). Murphy also holds a plus-five rating through it's round robin play which should appeal to NHL scouts. Murphy has the offensive talent to be a top 5 selection but could see him fall into the middle of the first round if teams choose not to gamble.
Readiness: Murphy should return to the Rangers next season as their leader. The offensive defenseman will need to improve on his defensive aspect of the game and that might require another year of junior hockey and one or two years of AHL seasoning.
9. Mika Zibanejad, Djurgarden (SEL)
Position: Centre, Shoots: Right, Height: 6'2", Weight: 194 lbs, Hometown:Huddinge, SWE
Video of Big Hit, SEL Debut: Brut force to strip opponent and score, Zibanejad beats Larsson and scores
The rise of Zibanejad in the rankings over the second half of the season has been rapid, to say the least. The large physical swedish centerman is exactly what many NHL teams covet so it would not surprise me to see Zibanejad drafted well above the tenth position. Zibanejad thrives in the gritty areas of the ice and can simply skate right through the opposition en route to a goal. Mika began the season with Djurgarden's junior team before getting the call up to play with it's Elite League team where he scored five times and added four assists and was often one of the team's best players. The large power forward has a strong work ethic and is extremely strong on the puck. Combine those rare physical attributes with good puck skills and a heavy shot and it sounds like Zibanejad might become one the drafts best prospects. Zibanejad is currently playing for Team Sweden at the Under-18 World Championships and leads his team with four goals and three assists in four games. Zibanejad might be a player that gets selected higher than projected by most experts - prepare yourselves.
Readiness: Zibanejad seems to be that one player who proves everyone wrong. Mika has the size and has already competed professionally but most Swedes prefer to spend multiple years developing in the SEL. The team who drafts Zibanejad will determine his ETA but the earliest we would see Zibanejad is 2012-13.
10. Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Position: Defenseman, Shoots: Left, Height: 6'3", Weight: 200 lbs, Hometown: Sherwood Park, AB
Older Video, Fight
Siemens will tell you that his favourite childhood icon was Scott Stevens and if you watch Siemens play, you will not be surprised by that statement. Siemens has made several youtube videos with his fighting skills so the man-child is not afraid to fight. However, Siemens possesses a smooth skating stride and is very good at moving the puck. The Saskatoon alternate captain is exactly the defenseman every NHL team needs in the number two or three slot. Ryan Murphy is ranked ahead of Siemens on this list but I would not be surprised to see an NHL club opt to draft the steady, reliable and composed Siemens ahead of Murphy. Siemens is the less risky of the two prospects ranked later in the top 10. Duncan's offensive upside is limited but he is more than capable of handling powerplay duties and his shot is very effective at finding the net. After Larsson and Hamilton, Siemens is likely the next best defensive prospect (in terms of all-around skills).
Readiness: Physically, Siemens has the size to play in the NHL but he will likely return to the Blades for his fourth junior season. Siemens could see NHL action in 2012-13 but the year following would be a better guess.
Check back for the next ten prospects as we continue to follow the 2011 NHL Draft Class.
Last edited by Dean Youngblood; 05-03-2011 at 04:38 PM.