D TROY RUTKOWSKI | 1992 | 6’1” | 205LBS | 71GP 12G 31A 43P +13 70PIM
With Portland’s dynamic second line full of draft eligible players in Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter and Brad Ross getting all the attention, Troy Rutkowski and Taylor Aronson have quietly gone about their business on defense. There’s a lot to like about Rutkowski in particular. He has an under-rated hockey sense and can be opportunistic in throwing big hits while not being afraid to mix it up if need be. Like many young players he needs to work on getting stronger and being more consistent. He skates fairly well but needs to focus on improving his quickness. At this point he’s a bit of a high risk, high reward type of player, but he should make some lucky team very happy they took a chance on him.
C KEVIN SUNDHER | 1992 | 6’0” | 188LBS | 72GP 25G 36A 61P +9 101PIM
Speaking of Ross, Kevin Sundher gives you a pretty similar game to Ross with a lot less hype. At around 6 feet tall, Sundher isn’t the biggest guy, but he’s not small either. He’s a very good skater that was able to pot 25 goals playing for a very weak Chilliwack team. His 61 points placed him second on team scoring. He also brings grit to his game as can be seen by his 101 PIMs this year.
D AUSTIN MADAISKY | 1992 | 6’2” | 199LBS | 65GP 7G 20A 27P -4 74PIM
A teammate of Sundher (and fellow 2010 draft eligible Alex Theriau of the Everett Silvertips) while playing for Vallley West Hawks in BC Major Midget, Madaisky is another guy under the radar a bit. That changed somewhat when he was a late invite to the CHL Top Prospects game, but he still doesn’t always get the credit he deserves since he doesn’t play a flashy game. While the defensive side of his game was on display early in the season, a trade to the Kamloops Blazers mid-season has provided him with more ample opportunities to show what he can do offensively. He will be expected to help carry the load for a young Kamloops team next season.
D BRANDON DAVIDSON | 1991 | 6’2” | 194LBS | 59GP 1G 33A 34P +15 37PIM
Brandon was passed over for the Entry Draft last season, but that won’t happen again this year. He possesses very good size and projects as a shutdown defenseman. He’s not overly physical and the best thing about his game is that you don’t notice him. Nothing eventful ever seems to happen when he’s on the ice. He is able to gain possession of the puck and quickly move it up ice by utilizing his smarts and a good first pass. He led a weak Regina team in plus/minus at +15. To put it into perspective, Eberle and Weal were next best at +8 and +3 respectively.
RW CODY BEACH | 1992 | 6’5” | 184LBS | 51GP 3G 11A 14P +6 157PIM
Cody’s stats aren’t going to blow anyone away, but with how well he’s been playing in the WHL playoffs, it would be hard to believe that this guy won’t get drafted this year. While he’s not even listed on Central Scouting’s Final list and clearly not the player his older brother is (Kyle led the WHL in goal scoring this year), he’s shown great improvements as the season has progressed and projects as a 4th line enforcer/energy player. He’s been hitting everything in sight, crushing opponent defensemen on the forecheck and at 6’4 or 6’5, is more than happy to exchange fists with anyone who offers (as witnessed by his 22 fighting majors this season). While he’s an avid fighter, he also likes to agitate. With his already giant size, it is hard to believe he is still one of the youngest players in the draft and could potentially still grow.