Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2013 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical draft profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2013 Draft Articles Click here.
Its Draft Day! One of my favorite days of the year. Before the festivities get started (and you can watch them starting at 12:00 EST) I thought I’d leave you with one more article. Since time is short (and you’ve seen a full ranking of 75 players to date, if you’ve been following along), today I give you mini profiles of the players I have ranked from 76 – 90. I hope you enjoy it.
Check back after the draft, and I’ll have a full draft winners and losers article. I will also continue to bring you prospect coverage all summer long. I’ll take a break for a bit to do our free agent coverage, followed by a team by team review of the prospects in every NHL teams system. Just like I did last year. For now, enjoy this last preview of the NHL Draft.
76. Jan Kostalek, D, Rimouski, 6’1″, 180 lbs
Kostalek is a strong skater and projects as a two way defender going forward. He didn’t put up huge points for Rimouski, but has a strong first pass, and some offensive talent there. He’s also a good defender who plays well one on one and is willing to throw the big hit. A potential top 4 minute eating defenceman.
77. Carl Dahlstrom, D, Linkoping (Swe Jr.) 6’4″, 212 lbs
Dahlstrom is a big and powerful defensive defenceman. There isn’t much offence here to speak of, but he’s a solid physical presence on the blueline. He has good reach and cuts down passing lanes. He also uses his big frame to cut down shooting lanes and block shots. The first pass out of the zone is decent, but he’s not one to join the rush.
78. Remi Elie, LW, London Knights; 6’0.5″ 200.6 lbsHe was stuck on the fourth line for much of the year on a very deep London Knights club that won the OHL Championship. He has good acceleration and solid top end speed which he uses to be a torpedo on the forecheck. He’s a developing power forward, who can work the cycle game and can shoot the puck. Has been taught to play a simple, dump and chase, defensively responsible game so far; but may show more offence in a bigger role in London next year.
79. Lucas Wallmark, C, Karlskrona (Swe); 5’11” 176 lbs
A playmaking centre with good vision and hockey sense. Wallmark has good stickhandling and controls the play, slowing things down so his teammates can get open. Is also a strong two-way player with good face-off skills, and can kill penalties. His skating is his weakness, as he has a short, awkward stride and poor acceleration. Has top notch skill, if he can fix the skating.
80. Gustav Olofsson, D, Green Bay (USHL); 6’3″ 185 lbs
Olofsson is a Swedish Born defender who moved to the US to play junior hockey. He has good mobility, with solid edgework, pivots and agility. He is solid defensively with excellent positioning, and solid stickwork. He also shows some offensive potential specifically in his passing and vision. He does need to work on his shot though.
81. Stephen Harper, LW/RW, Erie Otters 6’1″ 203 lbs,
Harper is a another powerforward type. He has good top end speed, solid acceleration, and the power to fight through checks. At his best he plays a physical game and is willing to fight in the corners and in front of the net. He also has a good shot and release. Unfortunately Harper will need to be more consistent with his intensity levels to make it as a pro. Boom or Bust prospect.
82. Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakar 5’11” 167 lbs
Paquin-Boudreau like a waterbug out there. Very quick on his feet, with outstanding acceleration and great agility, he darts quickly into openings or beats defenders with quick moves one on one. He will really need to fill out that frame though as he can be muscled off the puck and needs work on his defensive game. Offensively he is more of a playmaker with excellent vision and passing skills.
83. Cole Cassels, C, Oshawa Generals, 6’0″ 180 lbsCassels is the son of former NHLer Andrew Cassels, who is best known for his time as a Hartford Whaler. Cassels is more a playmaker than a goal scorer at the offensive end, with good vision and passing skills. He has a good shot, but he doesn’t use it enough. He plays a strong two way game and works well at the defensive end, effective on the back check and at blocking shots and passing lanes, and at killing penalties.
84. Marcus Hogberg, G, Linkoping (Swe Jr.), 6’5″ 212 lbs
A Goaltender with excellent size, Hogberg plays a solid butterfly technique. He has quick legs and covers the bottom of the net well. He is a calm and composed netminder who recovers quickly after goals. He has solid pucktracking and good lateral movement. Like many young goalies, he needs work on his rebound control.
85. Mason Geertsen, D, Vancouver, 6’3.75″ 201 lbs
Geertsen is a solid physical defender who throws big hits. Mobile with a long stride and good agility, he covers the ice well and rubs forwards out of the play. Geertsen cuts down passing lanes and blocks shots well. He’s also known for being a good fighter, willing to stand up for teammates and to drop the gloves with the toughest guys in the WHL.
86. J.C. Lipon, RW, Kamloops 5’11” 180 lbs
Passed over in the draft last year, Lipon became one of the highest scorers in the WHL this season, and won a spot on Canada’s World Junior Team. Lipon may be small but he plays a gritty game, getting to the dirty areas of the ice, and battling hard. He has good vision and playmaking skill, along with a sniper’s touch in close too.
87. Mitchell Wheaton, D, Kelowna, 6’4″ 230 lbs
Another defenceman out of the factory that is the Kelowna Rockets. Wheaton has NHL ready size, and plays a defense first game. He is physical at the back end and uses his size to cut off many plays. He has strong positioning, good anticiption and solid defensive hockey sense. He needs to work on his skating though, especially his turning and pivots. He has potential if he can work on his quickness and footwork.
88. Gage Ausmus, D, US NTDP, 6’1″ 211 lbs
Another solid defence first defender out of the US National Team Development Program. Ausmus makes a good first pass, but is a pure stay at home type who doesn’t like to take chances joining the rush. However his poise with the puck and smart passing gets the puck moving in the opposite direction quickly and relieves pressure. He’s willing to take a hit to make a play. He’s a physical player who never quits on a play and who works extremely hard in the defensive zone.
89. Victor Crus-Rydberg, C, Linkoping (Swe Jr), 6’0″ 190 lbs
Crus-Rydberg has good top end speed, and very good acceleration. He uses his changes of speed to beat defenders. He has a hard, accurate wrist shot and snap shot with a quick release. He also has a well rounded defensive game. Crus Rydberg can stand to get stronger along the boards and add more strength to his frame.
90. Greg Chase, C, Calgary Hitmen, 6’0″ 195 lbs
Chase is an agitator, who plays a chippy and abrasive game. You’ll find him in the middle of every scrum, yapping and getting under an opponents skin. He’s also got some good offensive skill as a talented playmaker. He needs to work on his skating, particularly his first step quickness and his acceleration.
91. Ryan Fitzgerald, C/RW, Valley Jr. Warriors 5’10” 176 lbs
The son of former NHLer Tom Fitzgerald. Ryan led the Valley Jr. Warriors to the EJHL championship. He also played for Team USA at the World Jr. A. Championship, and 5 games for the US NTDP. Fitzgerald is undersized, but he is speedy, with good stickhandling, and elusive moves. He also has great hockey sense, and is a good playmaker.
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