Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Top 5 Tuesday: Draft Day Sleepers
Here are 5 players who might not be getting a ton of hype right now, but could turn out to be sleepers in a few years.
5. Igor Bobkov-What's a Millard list without a goalie on it. Bobkov was named the top tender at the U-18 tournament in Fargo. He's quite large at 6.04 and 192 pounds and gets around the crease quite well. He's projected to be a mid round pick, but some think he's the best pipeman to come out of Russia in years.
4. Tomas Tatar-According to an interview with Tatar, the Slovakian star was asked if he was gay during a combine interview. Taking a chance on the small but ultra skilled Slovak could certainly make one team happy down the road. He's 5.11, 176 lbs, plays with a ton of intensity and has crazy sick hands. Right now he's a second rounder on most lists.
3. Sami Vatanan-While Ryan Ellis is getting all the attention when it comes to small but slick blueliners, this Fin is fine as well. Vatanan is ranked as the 5th best offensive defenceman by ISS, but they have him as a 3rd rounder. Recently Guy said an NHL D-man has to have 2 out of 3 when it comes to size, skating and smarts. Vatanan doesn't have size at 5.09, but he's a great skater, a heads up player and has a good shot. He's also a horse, playing almost 30 minutes a night for Finland at the U-18's. He's the same size as Ellis and only 10 pounds lighter, is a better skater. Why is he ranked 70 spots behind the Windsor Spitfire? Some team might look brilliant in 5 years with this guy.
2. Zach Budish-A massive forward who would have played high school hockey if he didn't suffer an ACL injury and miss the whole year. He's almost 6.03 and tips the Toledos at 230 pounds. His knee has to be a question mark and his development curve as well after not playing all year. He's been compared to Keith Tkachuk and most had him as a first rounder before his injury. I don't see him slipping past the 2nd round, if he makes it that far.
1. Kyle Palmieri-Yes he's rated as a first rounder, but late in the opening round. Palmieri could be the Zach Parise of this draft, a guy many teams pass on who turns into a pint sized stud down the road. Some have compared his playing style to Parise as well. He was kicked out of the USA development program after a tournament in Sweden. Some say he wouldn't rat out his teammates who got to know a few local ladies. If that's true, and I'm an NHL G.M. it sounds like a character guy to me. He's 5.10, 190 with blazing speed and put up 15 goals and 15 assists in 33 games this year.