FanPost

Prospect Rankings from The Hockey News since 2010

Here’s a review of recent prospects lists compiled by the The Hockey News from the special issues of Yearbook and Future Watch. I would have had this article completed long ago, but I was handcuffed by Barnes and Nobles not having the 2012 Yearbook in stock soon enough.

2010 THN Yearbook (August)

Rank

Pos

Player

Age

1

D

Luca Sbisa

20

2

D

Cam Fowler*

18

3

RW

Kyle Palmieri

19

4

C

Peter Holland

19

5

D

Jake Gardiner

20

6

RW

Emerson Etem*

18

7

C

Nic Deschamps

20

8

C

Nick Bonino

22

9

LW

Brandon McMillan

20

10

G

Igor Bobkov

19

* 2010 Draft Pick

2011 THN Future Watch (March)

Rank

Pos

Player (Prev Rank)

Age

1

RW

Kyle Palmieri (3)

20

2

RW

Emerson Etem (6)

18

3

D

Justin Schultz (NR)

20

4

C

Peter Holland (4)

20

5

RW

Devante Smith-Pelly (NR)

18

6

D

Sami Vatanen (NR)

19

7

G

Igor Bobkov (10)

20

8

C

Nic Deschamps (7)

21

9

C

Nick Bonino (8)

22

10

D

Matt Clark

20

THN Top Overall Rankings: Palmieri 34th, Etem 57th, Schultz 59th

Graduated to NHL: D Sbisa, D Fowler

Traded: D Gardiner

2011 THN Yearbook (August)

Rank

Pos

Player

Age

1

RW

Kyle Palmieri (1)

20

2

RW

Emerson Etem (2)

19

3

D

Justin Schultz (3)

21

4

C

Peter Holland (4)

20

5

RW

Devante Smith-Pelly (5)

19

6

RW/C

Rickard Rakell* (NR)

18

7

G

John Gibson* (NR)

18

8

D

Sami Vatanen (6)

19

9

G

Igor Bobkov (7)

19

10

LW (sic)

Nic Deschamps (8)

21

* 2011 Draft Pick

2012 THN Future Watch (March)

Rank

Pos

Player

Age

1

D

Justin Schultz (3)

21

2

RW/C

Rickard Rakell (6)

18

3

RW

Kyle Palmieri (1)

21

4

D

Sami Vatanen (8)

20

5

RW

Emerson Etem (2)

19

6

G

John Gibson (7)

18

7

C

Peter Holland (4)

21

8

C

Nick Bonino (NR)

23

9

C

William Karlsson (NR)

19

10

LW

Max Friberg (NR)

19

THN Top Overall Rankings: Schultz 21st, Rakell 36th, Palmieri 40th

Graduated to NHL: RW Smith-Pelly

2012 THN Yearbook (August)

Rank

Pos

Player

Age

1

D

Hampus Lindholm* (NR)

18

2

RW/C

Rickard Rakell (2)

19

3

RW

Kyle Palmieri (3)

21

4

LW

Nicolas Kerdiles* (NR)

18

5

RW

Emerson Etem (5)

20

6

D

Sami Vatanen (4)

21

7

G

John Gibson (6)

19

8

C

Peter Holland (7)

21

9

C

William Karlsson (9)

19

10

LW

Max Friberg (10)

19

* 2012 Draft Pick

Lost to FA: D Justin Schultz

This is a short sample to review (I seemed to have misplaced previous THN resources and this is all I could muster) and yet many things to detect. Prospects develop at different paces and some prospects are limited in talent, but happen to be very good in that limited talent to have a cup of Joe with the parent club. The list is from THN’s perspective. On the last ranking, THN has given the Ducks a grade of A -. We are ranked 3rd out of the 30 teams.

Fowler and Devante Smith-Pelly made the NHL squad. That is a pat on the back of our scouts to find such players to force the parent club to make room for both of them. There is a possibility of one more prospect that could force his way onto the parent club’s roster, provided the season starts on time and the prospect doesn’t return to his European club, defenseman Hampus Lindholm.

Prospects that have remained in the top 10 since 2010 are RW Palmieri, RW Etem, and C Holland. All three have the possibility of making the NHL level and becoming mainstays this season. Of the three prospects, Palmieri has been part of THN’s top 50.

With a baseline of NHL break through potential talent of Palmieri, Etem, and Holland, it is surprisingly pleasant to see many other prospects scattered above and among those aforementioned players. There are two prospects above Palmieri, Rakell and Lindholm, with Lindholm being a 2012 draft pick. Another 2012 draft pick, Kerdiles, is sandwiched between Palmieri and Etem. The rest of the prospects are 19 years old with the exception of Vatanen who’s 21 years of age and will be seasoned at the AHL level. Kudos to the Ducks’ scouting staff for amassing highly talented players in the past few years.

And then there are other prospects who are making NHL headways though not as glamorous or flashy like a Palmieri, Etem, or a Vatanen. Those players are McMillan, Bonino, and Clark. Bonino has worked his way into a one-way NHL contract.

Despite losing Gardiner to a trade and Schultz to free agency, the Ducks have been able to replenish those lost talents with Vatanen and Lindholm. Although Gardiner was traded, with RW Lupul, to acquire, or rather re-acquire, defensive stalwart Beauchemin to anchor the NHL club’s defensive core. Schultz took some time to develop in college and came out of nowhere. The Ducks have a defenseman who is likely to follow in those footsteps of Schultz in the name of Welinski.

As a Ducks’ fan, one has to feel relieved in the organization’s future will be stable such that the prospects will keep the NHL club competitive or they may be traded to acquire veteran talent to keep the Ducks competitive. (Please note: I do not necessarily agree with THN’s rankings, but I do acknowledge the movement in talent that THN also notices that the Ducks have made.)

This article is user-generated. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Anaheim Calling. Please do not link this article as representative of Anaheim Calling content or viewpoints . . . unless it's <em>really</em> really good.

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