Laurent Brossoit | G | Catches L | Edmonton (WHL) | 03/23/1993 | 6’3 202lbs | 2011 Eligible
Brossoit is a big goalie that uses his size well and is very athletic. He needs to work on his fundamentals a bit, but he could turn out to be one of the best goalies to come out of the entire 2011 WHL goalie crop.
Sven Bartschi | LW | LH | Portland (WHL) | 10/05/1993 | 5’10 185lbs | 2011 Eligible
Bartschi has a great nose for the net and the hands to finish when he gets there. The 7th overall pick in last season’s CHL Import draft has quickly developed great chemistry with linemate Ty Rattie and the duo is quickly developing into one of the top scoring tandems in the entire WHL.
Mark McNeill | C | RH | Prince Albert (WHL) | 02/22/1993 | 6’2 210lbs | 2011 Eligible
McNeill has good size and he competes hard. He hustles for loose pucks and he plays a two-way game. His hustle combined with his improved ability to anticipate the play has been leading to good scoring chances so far this year.
Alex Kuvaev | RW | RH | Lethbridge (WHL) | 05/02/1993 | 6’3 190lbs | 2011 Eligible
Kuvaev needed a little time to get used to the WHL, but once he did, he has been very good, putting up 15 points over his past 17 games. He has an intriguing combination of size, skill and shooting ability that should move him up. He has the skills, he just needs to develop better consistency.
Joe Morrow | D | LH | Portland (WHL) | 12/09/1992 | 6’1 198lbs | 2011 Eligible
Even though Joe is part of a very deep Portland defensive squad, Joe has fought for minutes and established himself as one one of the top puck-moving defensemen in the WHL so far this year. He is a very good skater that is capable of making good passes and using smart judgement with the puck. As a late ‘92, Joe was expected to have a comparatvely good season, but he has exceeded all expectations early this season.
Keegan Lowe | D | LH | Edmonton (WHL) | 03/29/1993 | 6’1 176lbs | 2011 Eligible
Kevin Lowe’s son started the season by being selected to the American Ivan Hlinka Memorial U18 squad that captured silver in Slovakia this past August. However, Lowe hasn’t really improved from last year at all. He still looks very slow and is easy to push off the puck. At this point, Lowe is going to need to have a strong year to be on the draft radar in June.
Jesse Forsberg | D | LH | Prince George (WHL) | 08/13/1993 | 6’1 195lbs | 2011 Eligible
Another player that just hasn’t met pre-season expectations, Forsberg is a player that is tough to gauge as to where he will fit at the NHL level. He hasn’t produced much in the way of offense over the past couple years despite having the skills to do so. Forsberg has played a grittier game, but he is undersized for that sort of role at the NHL level. The team that drafts Forsberg will be picking him based on his late birthdate and some untapped potential versus what he has shown over the last couple seasons at the WHL level.
David Musil | D | LH | Vancouver (WHL) | 04/09/1993 | 6’3 200lbs | 2011 Eligible
This year hasn’t started the way some had hoped for Musil. While he had been looked upon as a potential lotto pick to start the season, Musil has looked a little slow moving around the ice this year and he hasn’t developed his offensive game as much as needed to be a lotto pick. He is still very good defensively, but not as physical as needed for a purely defensive player. It also doesn’t help that Musil was recently diagnosed with a broken foot from blocking a shot and will miss the World Juniors, potentially dropping his stock even further. Musil is still looking like a 1st round pick at this point, but he may not be the prospect some thought he would be.
Shane McColgan | RW | RH | Kelowna (WHL) | 01/01/1993 | 5’10 160lbs | 2011 Eligible
McColgan is a small but shifty player that hasn’t been meeting high expectations so far this year. It is not that McColgan has been playing poorly, but it seems like he is not progressing as much as anticipated. His production has seemed to stall from last season’s totals and those totals aren’t good enough for scouts to overlook some of his deficiencies. McColgan still needs to work on his play away from the puck and he has looked disinterested at times at engaging in any physical battles for the puck.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins | C | LH | Red Deer (WHL) | 04/12/1993 | 6’0 164lbs | 2011 Eligible
For someone that is in the mix for being the #1 overall pick in this years NHL draft, it is not the lack of goal scoring that is concerning as Nugent-Hopkins does have a good shot and is primarily a play-maker anyways. What is concerning though, is that for someone that is so lethal on the powerplay, Nugent-Hopkins has produced very little at even strength so far this year. He is far too talented to fall very far, but unless improves he improves this part of his game, he will not be the 1st overall pick in this year’s draft.