Brian Rosenbaum

In The Crease

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Oilers Nail It!

Friday, June 22, 2012

11. Washington Capitals (from Colorado)-Filip Forsberg-Forward

  The selection originally belonged to Colorado, but it was acquired by the Capitals as part of the Semyon Varlamov deal. Filip Forsberg leads the European list of prospects, and is one of the most complete players in the entire draft. He has good size and he can play in every aspect of the game. He is extremely versatile, and is effective in both the open-ice and along the boards. He had an impressive season with Leksand, often playing against men much older than him. Forsberg is dangerous in the offensive zone, combining his creative instinct with a lethal shot. He modeled his game growing up around Peter Forsberg, though the two share no relation. He still needs to improve his defensive zone awareness, but he has the skillset to become a very good two-way player. Scouts often compare him to Corey Perry. As he gains more strength and improves his overall speed, he should become a player to be reckoned with at the NHL level.

  12. Buffalo Sabres-Mikhail Grigorenko-Forward

There are no questions about Mikhail Grigorenko’s offensive prowess. He has great size and his deceptive speed allow hims to enter offensive zones with ease. Grigorenko is also a terrific passer, sending pucks through tight windows. He has the rare ability to create scoring chances for teammates even when offensive chances look squandered. Questions arise among scouts about Grigorenko’s defensive game and his will to win. When Grigorenko isn’t producing offensively, it seems to affect his defensive effort. That being said, the Sabres have been searching for talent at the center position for a long time and acquired Cody Hodgson and Grigorenko in a calendar year.

  13. Dallas Stars-Radek Faksa-Forward

Radek Faksa had a wonderful rookie season with the Kitchener Rangers, leading OHL rookies with 67 points in 62 games. He has a large frame and is a very smooth skater. He is one of the few prospects who understand how to use his size to his advantage. Scouts love his hard-working attitude and his knack for leading by example. He will be a strong leader in any NHL dressing room. He is great on the back check and his physical nature helps him win one-on-one battles along the boards. He is one of the more safe picks in the draft and has the potential to have an Eric Staal like impact. This is a solid pick by the Dallas Stars at this stage of the draft.

  14. Buffalo Sabres (from Calgary)-Zemgus Girgensons-Forward

Zemgus Girgensons is one of the most determined prospects on the ice. His willingness to play in traffic and his will to control the puck is engaing. He has power forward potential, combining solid puck skills with a big shot. He produced more than a point per game, but isn’t known to be the best playmaker. He may be better served as a winger at the next level where he can battle along the boards. Girgensons physicality on the defensive end frustrates opposing players as well as being strong on the back check. With further development, Girgensons has the potential to be a top-six forward in the league and he adds more size down the middle for the Sabres as the highest drafted Latvian-born player ever.

  15. Ottawa Senators-Cody Ceci-Defenseman

Cody Ceci jumped up scouts’ draft boards throughout the season, and finds himself in the top ten in the final rankings. He is very strong on the puck and makes accurate passes, notably on his outlets out of the defensive zone. One of Ceci’s assets is his big right-handed shot, coveted by NHL organizations. He certainly has the potential to play on special team units at the next level. He has a solid understanding of defensive zone positioning, but at times does not use his size to his advantage. He needs to become more physical to become a better one-on-one defender. Ceci is known to be one the most NHL-ready blueliners in the draft, so it might not take long for Ottawa to soak in its future on the backend with Ceci and Erik Karlsson. He'll be popular with Sens fans off the bat, too.

  16. Washington Capitals-Tom Wilson-Forward

Perhaps the draft’s most intimidating force, Tom Wilson is a true power forward who uses his elite size to bother opponents. He is a tough kid and a natural leader. However, injuries have haunted his development and he has yet to play a full season in the OHL. Wilson has offensive upside as his strength and size allow him to drive the net at will. However, he lacks the ability to create his own chances because he doesn’t possess great puck skills. Moreover, he’s an average skater and doesn’t excel on the defensive end. It will probably be at least a couple years before we'll know if he'll have any fantasy value with the Capitals.

  17. San Jose Sharks-Tomas Hertl-Forward

One of the more unorthodox skaters in the draft, Tomas Hertl makes up for these deficiencies by having great hockey sense. He has a solid frame and is strong on the puck down low. He was a consistent contributor in the Czech men's league because he has the size and strength to compete at that level. He likes pursuing the puck and sees the ice well. Hertl is steady on the defensive side, understanding positioning and using his body effectively. Scouts were surprised with his strong effort at the World Junior Championships, with some believing that he outplayed teammate Radek Faksa. As long as he improves his speed and skating ability, he should turn into a nice piece at center for the Sharks.

  18. Chicago Blackhawks-Teuvo Teravainen-Forward

Despite his small frame, Teuvo Teravainen might be the best pure playmaker aside from Yakupov in the draft. Scouts love his superior hockey sense. He is one of the few prospects that can create space from defenders by using his exceptional puck skills and agility. At just 165 lbs, he played with men much more physically mature than him but it didn’t stop him from manufacturing offense. Still, he must add strength if he hopes to compete with bigger NHL players. His defensive game isn’t polished and he needs to improve his decision-making without the puck. Considering the staggering young offensive talent already on Chicago's roster, this is an example of the rich getting richer. That being said, he might have to wait a little while for that to happen.

  19. Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit)-Andrei Vasilevski-Goalie

Coupled with his great size, Andrei Vasilevski is very athletic with great balance and flexibility in his crease. He prefers to stay upright in net before being forced to drop to his pads. However, he is still very effective in the butterfly. He does a good job of taking away angles and challenging shooters. He is probably the best goaltender in the prospect pool at controlling rebounds. Vasilevski played very well for Team Russia at the World Junior Championships even though he was pulled in the semifinal against Canada and didn’t start the gold medal game. If Vasilevski decides to play in North America, expect him to develop into a consistent number one goaltender at the next level. Between drafting Vasilevski and trading for Anders Lindback, the Lightning have done a lot to make their goaltending situation look far better for years to come.

  20. Philadelphia Flyers-Scott Lahghton-Forward

Scott Laughton is a high character player who is willing to do whatever it takes to win. He's slightly undersized but he's a smart player who gets in the right position in the offensive end. He tends to look to distribute too often instead of trusting his shot. He is a tough player who is willing to drop the gloves to energize his team. His skating needs some improvement as he lacks the speed to separate from defenders. Laughton can be trusted in the defensive zone since he has a good understanding of positioning. He may not become a consistent scorer at the next level, but he projects to be a solid two-way forward if he can add some bulk, which should help the Flyers shut down the opposition when he's ready to make the jump to the NHL.



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Brian Rosenbaum is the Senior Hockey Editor of He's run the hockey coverage since its inception in 2000.
Email :Brian Rosenbaum

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