Filed under: Europe, NHL Entry Draft, OHL, QMJHL, World Junior Championship | Tags: ambroz, bartschi, couturier, johansen, larsson, mccolgan, morrow, musil, niederreiter, nugent-hopkins, puempel, rask, rattie
With every draft year there are those who start strong only to drop down the rankings throughout the year for one reason or another.
A couple of the hardest fallers this season are Kelowna’s Shane McColgan in the WHL and Omaha Lancers power forward Seth Ambroz in the United States Hockey League.
Both Ambroz and McColgan just have not progressed from last year to this season and have been overtaken by many of their peers in their draft season.
Ambroz, who was once considered a top five selection, has not improved upon skating woes or conditioing concerns and looks to not be willing to put the work in to do so.
McColgan, who has always been a promising offensive player but lacking size, has not gained any strength or put forth the effort to round out other areas of his game and with being five-foot-eight he was already behind the eight ball.
Other once highly ranked prospects whom have slid include one time top five selection Matt Puempel who has dropped to 12th, defenseman with bloodlines David Musil who is not sitting at 15th and Swedish prospect Victor Rask who has had a very slow season moving down to ninteenth overall.
While many prospects have been doing their best to gain the attention of NHL teams, two specific prospects have been moving in the right direction most of the season and have now cracked FC’s top-30. They Portland Winterhawks teammates Sven Bartschi and Joe Morrow from the WHL.
Bartschi has been tearing it up offensively this seasson along with fellow draft eligible linemate Ty Rattie. Both currently in the hunt for the league’s scoring title, a rather impressive feat when you consider they technically make up the second line on a stacked Portland team which includes two top five draft selections from 2010 in Niederreiter and Johansen on the first unit.
Early season questions about Bartschi’s ability to play more than a perimeter game at his size or handle the physical nature of the WHL game have been somewhat quenched for most scouts who have seen him in game action. He is currently rated 28th overall in FC’s mid-season rankings.
The other rising star is defenseman Joe Morrow, rated 30th overall, he has forced his way into playing minutes on a blueline that again has multiple highly regarded, NHL drafted prospects because of his strong puck moving abilities.
The top three of Couturier, Larsson and Hopkins, were FC’s top prospects going into the season and could remain the top three from wire-to-wire. However, it is wise to remember that there are still many games to be played between now and June. May chances for the other prospects rounding out the top of the draft and beyond to elevate their games and challenge them, as former Yankee catcher Yogi Berra also once said “It ain’t over till it’s over”.
Dan Stewart is the chief scout of Future Considerations. Follow the latest 2011 NHL Entry Draft and World Junior Championship news from Future Considerations via FC’s Official Twitter Feed at www.twitter.com/FCHockey.
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