19th - Phoenix Coyotes - GM: Paul
Top 5 farm players: Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Stoa, Carter Ashton, Robin Lehner,Harri Sateri
Strength: The Coyotes seem solid in all 3 areas. Shattenkirk,Weber and Cohen lead the Defense. Stoa, Ashton and Coyle lead the offense. Sateri and Lehner lead in net.
Weakness: Only thing that Phoenix is lacking is high end talent, especially at Forward.
Analysis: The Coyotes have a well balanced group of prospects. However, are they going to be a huge improvement over their active roster? Also, with Thomas and Roloson aging, are Sateri and Lehner ready to take over?
20 – Carolina Hurricanes – GM: Jon
Top 5 prospects: Derek Stepan, Ryan Ellis, Cody Goloubef, Justin Faulk, and Dylan McIlrath
Strengths: Offensively talented defensive prospects
Weaknesses: Lack of organizational goaltending depth
Analysis: With 4 of their 5 top prospects being on the back end, the Hurricanes will continue to rebuild through the draft and may focus on acquiring young forwards and goaltenders. Derek Stepan looks to one day be captain material and has finished a solid college career. He will most likely spend 2010-2011 developing his pro game in the minors unless he absolutely wows management in training camp.
Offensively gifted forward, Kirill Kabanov, will look to establish himself as a top prospect in the ufhl after a disappointing 2009-10 season. On the back end, Carolina is stacked with 3 very good offensive D-men, but all will have to become defensively responsible in order to crack the pro line-up. The wildcard on defense is Dylan McIlrath, a big body that loves the physical parts of the game and is not shy when it comes to throwing haymakers. His offensive game got better in the second part of last season and if he continues to develop in the next two seasons, he could become a force as a pro.
Goaltending is currently the biggest concern in the organization as there are currently no viable future starters unless one of Justin Pogge or Russian, Vasily Koshechkin surprises. This position may be a focal point for the coming draft as an organization needs a solid goaltending pipeline to compete in the UFHL.It seems the rebuild will continue for a couple of year in Carolina, but management is slowly, but surely, building a powerful future for the Hurricanes with its focus being building from within through the draft.
21st Tampa - GM: Dave
Top 5 farm players: Nicklas Bergfors, Dustin Tokarski, Tyler Cuma, Pat Wiercioch, Mike Santorelli
Strength: Bergfors surprised with quality ice time, some depth prospects have good potential.
Weakness: Few sure NHL top line prospects.
Analysis: Current Starters strong and well rounded but the long term future could be challenging for Tampa!
22 – Detroit Red Wings – GM: Shaun
Top 5 farm: Calvin De haan (D), Gustav Nyquist (F), Austin Watson (F), Jared Knight (F), Ryan Spooner (F)
Strength: Strong forward crop that should help dramatically improve some older players. A potential stud defenseman in De haan.
Weakness: After De haan the defensive part of the system looks weak, no pure potential franchise player.
Analysis: Shaun has a great knack for finding OHL talents as seen by his top 5 list. His drafting of Spooner and Knight could provide some offensive spark to his team as soon as next season. With De haan, he could instantly help his defensive crop and remove some wasted space. Quality goaltending prospects but nothing looks as prized as Mason, but they got potential to be solid. Adding more defensive prospects with an offensive ability is needed.
23rd Ottawa- GM: Donavan
Top 5 farm players: Peter Regin, PK Subban, Derek Forbert, Michael Grabner, Angelo Esposito
Strength: Speed and Skill in abundance.
Weakness: Wonder about off ice issues with Subban; defensive depth is weak
Analysis: Ottawa has a potential stud defenseman in PK Subban if he can come into this season and thrive like he did in the playoffs. Regin is a star in the making if he can keep putting it all together. Questions arise with whether or not Grabner will become that scoring winger he was once destined to be and whether or not Esposito will ever turn the page. Sky is the limit.
24 – Pittsburgh Penguins – GM: Mitch
Top 5 prospects: Brett Connolly, Eric Tangradi, Blake Kessel, Kent Simpson, Nate Prosser
Strengths: Each position has at least 1 good prospect
Weaknesses: A lot of draft picks from previous years have been traded away
Analysis: The top 2 prospects in the organization are Brett Connolly and Eric Tangradi, both of whom could be impact players in the UFHL within a couple of years. Blake Kessel has shown some promise as of late scoring a point per game at the NCAA level. At the goaltending position, 2010 draftee, Kent Simpson, makes the Penguins top 5. Simpson is a big goalie who has struggled in international play, but really found his game in the WHL with the Everett Silvertips.
The Penguins should now focus on drafting and developing their own players instead of drafting well then trading away for current pro players in order to make a push for the playoffs. Time will tell whether management can change the way his prospects seem to be shipped out before making any sort of impact.
25th – Boston Bruins - GM: Jon
Top 5 farm players: Ville Leino, Drayson Bowman, Jussi Rynnas, Dan Sexton, Jonathan Matsumoto
Strength: Most of Boston’s prospects are guys who have had considerable success in the leagues they have been playing in. Whether or not they can translate that success to the NHL as Leino and Sexton have remains to be seen.
Weakness: Many of Boston’s prospects are 4th, 5th, and 6th round draft choices – if not free agents signed out of college. GM Jon has an eye for talent, so there could be diamonds in the rough to be mined from the farm – fantastic if they turn out – but fact is, later draft picks and college free agents are more likely to never realize their potential due to the attention that higher draft picks usually get from their NHL teams.
Analysis: Boston’s farm team represents one option for team management. The Bruins focus is always on their pro-roster, and this often costs the team high draft picks and blue-chip prospects. Instead of investing resources in acquiring players through the draft and waiting for years for them to arrive, the Bruins rely much more heavily on free agents. The result of this is the roster is filled with low-cost, no-risk, long-shot prospects that many people might not be familiar with.
26 – New York Rangers – GM: Jas
Top 5 prospects: Marcus Kruger (F), Landon Ferraro (F), Kevin Marshall (D), Maxim Noreau (D), Tyler Beskorowany (G)
Strength: Solid forward and defensive prospects who could make the jump to solid NHL careers.
Weakness: No pure top prospect, a lot of quantity but not high end quality.
Analysis: Kruger could instantly make the NHL and make the team better. Ferraro’s drive to become better then his dad makes him a hungry kid who wants to thrive in the NHL. It would be hard to beat his dad’s statistics but he wants to do it, very competitive. Marshall has an NHL frame and could be a good defenseman for 15 years, a pro’s pro. Lack of quality goaltending prospects also is scary not to mention no bonafied franchise stars in the system.
27 – New York Islanders – GM: Dave
Top 5 prospects: Fabian Brunnstrom, Alex Stalock, Ryan Stone, Zach Smith, and Bud Holloway
Strengths: Drew Doughty and Sidney Crosby
Weaknesses: Lack of organizational prospect depth
Analysis: When it comes to prospects there isn’t much to smile about on the Island. There are, though, lots of potential NHL players, but none of the top end variety. Fabian Brunnstrom was signed as a free agent in 2007, but has yet to emerge as the dynamic, Daniel Alfredsson, type of player some were comparing him to.
Alex Stalock, also signed as a free agent in 2008, seems to one day have what it takes to be a NHL goaltender, but is yet to be determined whether it will be as a starter.
Having his top 2 prospects being free agents signings shows how little of draft picks Dave has used. He has traded away lots of picks in order to build a young team with the future in mind. He did draft Drew Doughty, who may very well be the best defensemen in the NHL as a 20 year old, 3rd overall in 2008. A move that paid off dividends from the get-go.
The New York Islanders’ pro team is starting to take form and now may be a time to start building on the prospect depth through the draft in order to achieve a competitive future.
Editors note: I Would like to thank everyone for helping me. Sorry this couldnt get posted sooner. I would like to make this an annual event and I appreciate help on the first offical year of doing these lists.