Born Oct 12 1994 — Brampton, ONT
Height 6.02 — Weight 193 — Shoots Left
Unlikely we end up with him IMO. He'll probably be taken by Calgary or Edmonton.
Monahan has all the tools you’d want in a centre. He is big and powerful, with ideal NHL size. His stickhandling is very good, and he protects the puck well. He is able to make plays, off the rush, in the cycle game, and get in quickly with a strong and aggressive forecheck. Monahan drives the net hard, and gets to the dirty areas, where he can use soft hands to score goals. He also has a very good wrist shot, and a quick release. His passing skills and vision make him a great playmaker, and he is able to make his linemates better.
Monahan’s skating is good for a guy his size. His stride is fluid and Monahan is able to generate good top end speed as a result. His acceleration, agility and edgework are good, allowing Monahan to get by defenders and take advantage of his good stickhandling in making moves past defenders. Monahan’s best asset though is his strength on the puck and his balance. He fights through tight checking, doesn’t get knocked off the puck, and makes plays.
Monahan’s two way game is amongst the best developed in this draft. His face-off ability is very good, and he was voted by OHL’s coaches as the 3rd best faceoff man in the Eastern Conference, impressive for a draft eligible player. He uses his size and strength effectively in the defensive end of the ice, and contains opponents off the cycle. He cuts down passing and shooting lanes, and is not shy about blocking shots. Monahan’s high effort level and commitment will make him NHL ready sooner rather than later.
Monahan’s game and style remind us of Eric Staal. He can be effective in all areas of the ice, in all situations, and make the players around him better. He plays a strong physical game as well. Potential wise, Monahan has everything necessary to say that his ceiling is as a point-per-game, first line NHL centre.
Born Dec 2 1994
Height 5.11 — Weight 183 — Shoots R
Another one I think won't make it to #9.
Lindholm is a talented centre with excellent vision and playmaking ability. He has soft hands and excellent stickhandling. Lindholm has patience with the puck, and is very creative, able to thread passes through small openings. While he is more of a playmaker than a scorer, his shot is decent, and his release good. With a little more bulk, he may be able to add some power. He works hard in the corners and wins battles, but again needs to gain a little bit more muscle on his frame for NHL hockey. A key asset is that Lindholm is unafraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice to make plays though, and loves to finish his checks.
Lindholm seems to have a very wide skating stride, that seems awkward at times. However this gives him tremendous balance, and allows him to be very strong on the puck, and gives him the ability to fight off hits, hooks, and holds. It really doesn’t diminish his skating too much either, as he has good top end speed and acceleration. His agility and edgework are strong and compbined with his soft hands allow him to make precise dekes around defenders.
Lindholm has an effective defensive game, as his willingness to throw his weight around extends to the defensive zone. He works hard on the back check and understands his defensive responsibilities down low. He works hard on the backcheck, reads the play well, and effectively handles his responsibilities. His complete game is very well developped for an 18 year old player.
Stylistically Lindholm’s game reminds us of Peter Forsberg. Now again, this is a style comparison only, and we would like to avoid saying he’ll be as good as the Hall of Famer. In terms of potential, we see Lindholm’s ceiling as a point per game player who can be used in all situations, and play big time minutes on the first line in the NHL.
Born Apr 16 1995 — Moscow, Russia
Height 6.05 — Weight 228 — Shoots Left
Zadorov is best known for his defensive skills. A huge defenceman, he dishes out big hits, and opposing forwards really need to keep their heads up if coming down his end of the ice. He is mean along the boards and in front of the net. His skating and mobility is top notch, making him really hard to get by one on one. His pivots are crisp, and his edgework outstanding which allows him to maintain his gap control, cover a lot of ice, and close quickly on a forward and take the body. His backwards skating is outstanding, which makes him very difficult to beat one-on-one off the rush.
He’s a willing shot blocker and his long stick can be an asset in the defensive zone. Zadorov does sometimes have a tendency to overcommit on the hit though, and this can get him out of position. He also needs to work on his poise with the puck, especially when under pressure as he can have a tendency to make some bad passes and giveaways in his own end of the rink. Overall though, his defensive game shows a lot of potential, its just a little rough around the edges right now and needs some polish.
Offensively, Zadorov has improved by leaps and bounds over the course of the season. Early in the year he was strictly a stay at home type, but is now using his good mobility to allow himself to join the rush and then recover quickly. In the offensive end he has a very hard and heavy slapshot, and can let it fly from the point. He also has decent vision and passing skills from the back end, but again struggles at times when under heavy pressure. His stickhandling and wrist shot are also decent. This is another area where Zadorov is highly skilled, but again very raw and will need some time to develop.
When it comes to Stylistic comparisons, Zadorov reminds us of a bigger version of Niklas Kronwall. The sky is the limit for Zadorov in terms of ceiling, but there are some big questions as to whether or not he can reach that potential. He has all the skills, but his game is just not as polished or as NHL ready as the four defencemen we have ranked above him. Zadorov could be a real boom of a pick though, as he has a unique mixture of size, mobility, and mean streak that is hard to find, and if properly nurtured could make him an elite NHL blueliner.
Zadorov has shown that he won’t back down from anyone. Fighting noted OHL tough guy Johnny McGuire in his first OHL game:
Born Oct 13 1994 — Calgary, ALTA
Height 5.11 — Weight 175 — Shoots Left
Shinkaruk is a quick and shifty skater. He has very good edgework, and strong lateral agility making him very shifty. He is able to use this skill to beat defenders off the rush, or attack the net when he has the puck in the offensive zone. He can also use his ability to shift gears quickly to attack defenders or to pull up opening space for him to be able to get off his wrist shot. Shinkaruk’s stride can sometimes be choppy, but it doesn’t seem to effect his top end speed as he is still above average in that aspect, and has good acceleration. Some refinement to his skating technique could make him even more dangerous though.
Shinkaruk has a tremendous wrist shot and excellent release, particularly when coming in on a rush off the left wing. His shot is very accurate, and heavy, and the release fools goalies leading to the puck being behind them before they know what happened. He also has a knack for finding the open areas of the ice and taking an excellent one-timer. Not just a one trick pony, Shinkaruk also has very good playmaking skill and vision which makes him very difficult to defend. Shinkaruk is an excellent stickhandler and can make defenders look silly in one on situations. Shinkaruk doesn’t really play a hugely physical game, but he is not afraid to battle on the boards or in front of the net. He also is more than willing to go to the dirty areas of the ice to make plays, and is able to make plays off the cycle game.
Shinkaruk’s two way game is decent, but he could use some more work on intensity in the defensive end of the ice. He does read the play well though, and gets back, he just sometimes can have a tendency to puck watch a little bit and lose his man. He also will probably need to bulk up before he can reach his full potential at the next level.
Stylistically Shinkaruk reminds us of Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes. We can also see him having the same type of potential, to be a dynamic offensive catalyst capable of creating and finishing plays at the NHL level.
Born Apr 5 1995 — Rodney, ONT
Height 6.00 — Weight 198 — Shoots Left
Horvat has very good vision, good passing skills, and excellent hockey sense. This makes him an effective playmaker in the offensive zone. He goes to the dirty areas of the ice winning board battles and taking the puck to the front of the net. He also likes to establish his front of the net presence where he can unleash a heavy shot with a good release from the slot. Horvat has good hands and is able to control the puck effectively on the rush or off the cycle game. He protects the puck extremely well, and makes smart plays in the offensive zone. Not the fanciest player, Horvat creates offence through simple, smart, straight ahead plays, and getting to prime scoring areas. Its the type of game that will translate effectively to the next level, so long as Horvat continues to bulk up and add strength as his opponents get bigger and stronger in pro hockey.
Horvat is a quick skater, and he has greatly improved his speed and acceleration this year. What was once a weakness has now become a strength and shows Horvat’s dedication to continue improving his game. Horvat’s good balance and strength on the puck allows him to fight through checks. He could use work on his agility, and his edgework could still use improvement, but Horvat’s skating overall has improved greatly since last season.
Horvat is an effective defensive presence. He is extremely effective on faceoffs and on the penalty kill. He cuts down passing lanes, blocks shots, and plays a very responsible game and is hard on the backcheck. Knights’ coach Dale Hunter has not been afraid to use Horvat in any situation and he plays big minutes against top lines. Horvat works hard and wins board battles as well. He’s not afraid to throw his body around, but he’s not really a huge hitter either, he hits not to get himself out of position and throw thunderous checks, but with the purpose of playing smart hockey and separating his opponent from the puck.
Horvat’s game and style of play is reminiscent of Patrice Bergeron. However this is a stylistic comparison only. In terms of potential, Horvat can be an effective top 6 centre in the NHL, strong in all aspects of the game, and capable of logging minutes against top lines, on the penalty kill, and providing scoring and playing the powerplay. He can be one of those versatile centres that can do it all, and any team needs to be a true contender.
Born Feb 2 1995 — Vernon, BC
Height 6.00 — Weight 189 — Shoots Right
At his best Lazar has great quickness and outstanding acceleration. He is able to use his quick and powerful stride to go wide on defence, and if he manages to get a step on them he puts it into another gear and drives the net hard. Lazar also uses his ability to change gears quickly to confuse defenders and coupled with very good agility, he is extremely dangerous off the rush. Lazar has good balance on his skates and effectively fights through checks and protects the puck, making him dangerous off the cycle.
Lazar is a pure goal scorer. He has an outstanding wrist shot and pro-level release which he uses to beat goalies. He also has an excellent slap shot. Add to this arsenal, the soft hands to finish plays in close and the quick hand eye co-ordination to make delections and pounce on rebounds and you can see why he had so many goals this season. Lazar also plays a rugged game and is willing to hit on the forecheck or battle along the boards, or in the cycle game. He’s not afraid to play in the dirty areas of the ice, be it in the corners or in front of the net. He could stand to be a little bit stronger and add some upper body mass in order to continue to play his style in the pros, but this is a concern with many of the 18 year old prospects in this draft. Lazar also could be a bit more of a playmaker, as he does show good vision and passing skill at times, but doesn’t do it often enough.
Defensively, Lazar is amongst the best checking forwards in the draft. His two way game is excellent, as are his faceoff skills. He plays his rugged game in all three zones, and uses his quick feet to keep himself in position and be hard on the backcheck. He helps out defenders down low and contains his man to the outside well, cutting down the shooting and passing lanes. He has a quick stick and intercepts a lot of passes, and is willing to block shots for his team. This well developped defensive game will serve him well on his transition to pro hockey.
Stylistically Lazar reminds us of Ryan Kesler. He plays the effective two way game and is much more a goal scorer than a playmaker from the centre position. A very straight ahead north-south style, and the ability to work in the dirty areas of the rink are his hallmarks. As far as potential goes, Lazar, if he reaches his ceiling can be an effective #2 centre, capable of playing big minutes and matchups in the NHL.
Born Mar 4 1995 – Chelyabinsk Russia
Height 6.04 — Weight 202 — Shoots Left
Nichushkin has a great combination of size and skill. At 6’04, he is a big and powerful forward, who is extremely hard to stop when he decides that he is going to take the puck to the net. He has great stickhandling ability and puck possession skill, allowing him to also add a skilled finesse game to that package of raw power. Add to that excellent vision and playmaking skills, and a real nose for the net, and you have a complete offensive package. Nichushkin’s size also makes him strong along the boards, effective on the forecheck, and a difficult man to move from the front of the net. His wrist shot is good, but not great, as he could stand to improve his power, accuracy and release. These are minor quibbles though, because the stickhandling, hands, playmaking, size and physical game, are all elite, it makes the shooting seem like a weakness, when its good but not at the same level. All in all, he’s the total package in the offensive zone. To top it all off, Nichushkin is comfortable in all three forward positions, but looks at his best coming in on the right wing.
Nichushkin is an extremely good skater. His stride shows raw power and great top end speed which allows him to make his patented move of going wide on a defender and then cutting it to the net. We’ve seen this move result in a goal in the preliminary round vs the USA in the World Juniors, in the OT winner vs Canada at the Juniors, and various times for his domestic club in Russia. Nichushkin is also able to show off his good balance on his skates and the ability to protect the puck in these goals. Add to that package good agility and edgework, and you have a player who can be called a very good skater, and much better than what most players his size are capable of.
Nichushkin would probably be the #4 ranked player, and might even challenge the top 3 if not for the “KHL” factor. His skills are that good, and if a team believes that they are willing to wait for him, and can bring him to North America, they may be able to get a heck of a steal in the NHL draft. His playing style reminds us of Rick Nash and this is one case where the playing style and potential line up, as we can see him being a similar level of elite winger.
Born Feb 4 1995 — Hamilton, ONT
Height 6.05 — Weight 192 — Shoots Left
As mentionned, Nurse’s offensive game has really blossomed this season. He showed off his big time point shot and one timer, scoring 12 goals in 69 games. Nurse became really effective at keeping his shot low, getting it through and on net, and generating opportunities for rebounds and tip-ins in front of the net. He also effectively utilizes a good wrist shot and release when he doesn’t have time to load up the slapshot. Nurse has also improved his puckhandling skills, and shows more poise and patience in controlling the play at the blueline. He walks the line well, and uses his lateral mobility to open up shooting and passing lanes. With good vision, and improving passing skills, he is developping his ability as a powerplay quarterback, but at this point he is more of a trigger man, than a guy who controls the play at the blueline. With Sproul leaving the Greyhounds next season, Nurse may be asked to transition into that quarterback role as he’ll be the primary threat at the back end.
A fantastic natural athlete, Nurse’s skating is elite given his size. He has excellent edgework, pivots, and agility. This allows him to transition quickly and cover all areas fo the ice. He can change direction very quickly, allowing him to close space in an instant, and throw big hits. He has good speed moving forward and backwards, and an above average first step and acceleration.
Nurse has terrific size and uses it effectively in his own end. He’s a big hitter who can strike fear into opposing players as they come down his end of the ice. He wins board battles and effectively leans on opposing players and clears the front of the net. His mobility makes him very difficult to beat one on one off the rush. He uses his size and an active stick to cut down passing lanes, and willingly sacrifices his body blocking shots. Nurse has been seen as a shutdown defence prospect and has continued to improve this aspect of his game. Going forward, he can stand to bulk up and add muscle to his frame, allowing him to be even more effective physically.
Nurse’s style is reminiscent of Dion Phaneuf, and his ability to play big minutes, and provide a very physical game defensively along with a good point shot on the powerplay. Once again this is a stylistic comparison and not one of potential. Potential wise, Nurse’s development in the last year has been excellent, and if he continues at that same level, he can be a #1 defender at the NHL level, capable of playing all situations and being a team leader.
Edited by Jerzey Devil, 30 April 2013 - 05:01 PM.