The Hockey News ‘Future Watch’ list has created several questions for some people, so here are a few follow-up notes on yesterday’s article…
* Why Oscar Moller wasn’t ranked is a multi-part answer. First, the list is pretty much for 21-and-under prospects. Moller turned 22 in January. However, he wasn’t ranked last year either. So, what’s the deal? Well, each team provides a list of their top prospects (believed to be 10 players) and then THN cross references that list against a panel of NHL scouts. Essentially, the top 75 is the consensus list from the panel and the ‘other’ prospects come from the teams list. Thus, if Moller wasn’t on the list, perhaps you can assume his name wasn’t submitted.
* In addition to the top five players listed yesterday, the ‘other’ prospects this year were Jake Muzzin, Colten Teubert (since traded in the Dustin Penner deal), Thomas Hickey, Maxim Kitsyn and Martin Jones.
* According to THN, last year’s top 10 list was:
1. Brayden Schenn (ranked #10 overall)
2. Jonathan Bernier (15)
3. Colten Teubert (48)
4. Thomas Hickey (72)
5. Andrei Loktionov
6. Viatcheslav Voynov
7. Kyle Clifford
8. Jeff Zatkoff
9. Martin Jones
* Looking at the list above, Schenn improved (from 10th overall among NHL prospects to number one this year), Bernier graduated to the NHL, Teubert and Hickey’s rankings fell out of the top-75 overall – while Loktionov (now #39) and Voynov (now #54) went from being ‘other’ prospects on the Kings top-10 list to placing in the top-75 overall.
* The biggest thing to notice on this year’s list though is the strength of the Kings 2010 NHL Draft, with two players debuting in the top-75 overall. Derek Forbort (first round) placed at #49 overall and Tyler Toffoli (second round) placed at #51. By comparison, Schenn was the only player from the Kings 2009 draft to debut in last year’s top-75.
* Overall, the Kings were the top organization ranked last year – one of only two teams to receive an ‘A’ rating by THN (St. Louis being the other). This year, the Kings were slotted second. Edmonton received the only ‘A’ and Los Angeles was given an A-. It’s rather curious that they had FIVE players in the top-75 and actually lost a little overall. But, hey…
There is so much more in the actual issue, including an article full of quotes from Schenn and the Kings Co-Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Futa – such as, the fact that Futa envisions Schenn centering Kyle Clifford and Wayne Simmonds next season.
The idea of Schenn on the third line (and the ramifications surrounding it) should give people plenty to talk about.