For a description of the methodology in these rankings, please see the Introduction. We'll be revealing more of the Top 100 every few days leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Full list of Top 100 NHL Draft Prospects
71. Kevin Roy, Center, Lincoln-USHL
Roy had one of the most productive USHL seasons in recent memory, leading the USHL scoring race by a good marginthe first 100-point scorer in that league since 1999. Roy's best tool is his puck skills, as he shows pretty tremendous hands and is able to create a good amount of offense through his individual skills. Roy has a decent frame for his size in terms of strength/muscle combination and is able to protect the puck well when being checked on top of being able to regularly make defenders miss. Roy has fine work ethic and while he doesn't bleed energy, he does play hard enough to somewhat make up for the size deficiency. Roy will show fine distribution ability, but I don't see him as a true above-average playmaker. Scouts see his hockey sense as more of the individual creative kind, being able to find open ice to set himself up to finish chances; he displays good ability on that front when it comes to his short to mid-range shots. Roy isn't the kind of player who is a huge risk/reward pick, but he has enough talent and one key high-end possession tool that you won't find too often in the mid-rounds.
72. Alexander Barabanov, Right Wing, SKA 1946-MHL
Barabanov was one of his team's leading scorers on an average Russia Junior teamwhich is a notable accomplishmentand looked good at the Under 18s playing on Russia's top line. He's a prototypical small Russian winger who doesn't really project to have any form of physical game, but boy does he have a lot of skill. Barabanov easily has above-average puck abilities and I'd debate at times he even shows high-end skill. He's a really creative puckhandler who can give defenders headaches with his moves and abilities to create scoring chances out of very little. Barabanov also has some flash, although not as much when it comes to his distribution game. He's a decent skater although I could see him being a tick above average. He's got average speed but he's very agile and elusive and can really be a pain to check because of his hands and ability to evade checks. Barabanov is a small player, who comes in at around 5'10", and although he isn't a perimeter player, he doesn't look all that effective physically as even when he engages he's easily knocked aside.
73. Christoph Bertschy, Center, Bern-NLA
Bertschy had a fine season playing pro hockey in Switzerland and showed well for his nation at the World Juniors this winter. He's a creative, skilled forward with the ability to handle the puck at an above-average level and he can move around the ice pretty well. Bertschy has a nice shiftiness to his game with his standstill agility and the way he's able to make defenders miss with his puck play. He doesn't any high-end offensive tool, which makes his projection a little pessimistic for a small guy, but overall he has a nice well-rounded offensive game. He measures in at 5'10" but has a fine muscle mass on his body and can handle his own in the physical game. Bertschy will drive the net, pressure opponents on the forechecks, and protect the puck moderately well. He needs one major offensive possession skill to take a step forward to become a legit pro prospect, but certainly has some potential if his development goes well.
74. Esa Lindell, Defense, Jokerit- Jr.A SM-Liiga
Lindell had a pretty successful year. While he didn't get to in the SM-Liiga, he impressively led his junior team in scoring as a defenseman. I wouldn't say Lindell is an overly impressive player from a skating or puck skills department who will wow you with skill, but he's a very smart, cerebral defender who makes a lot of good plays. He's average with the puck, but is coordinated enough to move it around fine. Lindell is patient with the puck under pressure, tends to always make the right read, and has the offensive instincts to join or lead the rush when he senses an opportunity. I don't see him as a guy who can blow down the wing but he has average speed, maybe a small tick below. Lindell has an average sized frame as well, although he needs to put on some muscle on it and I would not classify him as a physical player really. Despite his numbers this year, if you take Lindell, you're not taking this big offensive sleeper, but rather a good well-rounded type who could be a nice depth pick in the early mid-rounds.
75. Chris Calnan, Right Wing, Nobles-US High School
Calnan caught the attention of quite a few scouts this year playing high school hockey, as he displayed a good power forward type game while also flashing some offensive upside. He projects to have an average pro frame, although he's still a little thin and will need a few years of gym time like kids his age usually do. However, Calnan is a tough player who shows an above-average physical game with how he battles in the physical areas, drives the net, and throws his body around even at times with a little recklessness. Calnan supplements this physical game with above-average skating ability, which makes him a threat in the transition game and on the forecheck. He has decent puck skills, and while he won't dangle a defender, he is able to make moves with the puck and has fine hand-eye coordination. Calnan also has good finishing ability and flashes the ability to score from mid-range with good shot mechanics and a notably accurate wrist shot. His main knock is a lot of hockey sense and creativity and that may be the thing that keeps him from being a pro scorer and more of a third-line type, although I don't think that's his ceiling as he has a chance to potentially score in the pro game.
76. Thomas Wilson, Right Wing, Plymouth-OHL
Wilson is a true power forward with great physical projection and intangibles, although his ultimate offensive upside is a little questionable. His physical game is elite, or close to that level, with a massive frame that has muscle on it and he can be such a pain to deal with along the boards. When Wilson turns his back to a checker, he can protect the puck well, showing decent hands in tight and the ability to make a few plays, but he really controls the puck and makes plays by overpowering his opponent. Wilson is dangerous on the forecheck and will land some thundering hits and will show an edgy side to his game which results in getting involved in a few scraps. Wilson skates at a decent level for a big man, and his first few steps look much better than 1-2 years ago, but he's' certainly not a threat with his skating. He will flash decent vision and doesn't have poor hockey sense but he's not an overly creative or instinctive player. The team that drafts Wilson is not taking a bona fide goon or energy player, but they have to understand they aren't taking a top-six power forward, either.
Ranking Explanation: The explanation for Wilson and Colton Sissons are very similar, so consider this applicable for both of them. While the two of them are different kinds of players as far as style and skill set, ultimately the reason I have them this low is the same in that I do not see either having that much upside. Both seem like very good third-line type of talents who have enough skill to potentially be okay scorers and are very projectable into their roles. Wilson is an elite physical player but I don't see any tool being beyond average other than that. Sissons is a good skater, with a good physical game and shooting ability but I'm not sold on his possession skills even being average. Most scouts I talk to disagree with me on the value of these players, aside from a few on Sissons, but most I've talked to tend to agree with the skill set assessment and their upsides. This is just a matter of me looking at what they bring to the table and not being as impressed as others in the industry are by it.
77. Colton Sissons, Right Wing, Kelowna-WHL
Sissons has had a fine second WHL season, and while he's a decent prospect, it's hard to see him having legit offensive upside at the highest level and he seems more like a bottom-six player. He can certainly skate and shoot, though, which will generate some offense. Sissons moves at a fine level showing solid speed; he looks technically sound and projects to certainly skate with pros. However, despite being a good skater who can distribute the puck fine, it's hard to see him creating a whole lot of offense by himself. He isn't the most gifted puckhandler or creative player. Sissons has fine hockey sense, though, and makes a lot of decent plays but doesn't overly impress when it comes to scoring chance creation. He is a pretty gritty player who does a lot of good work along the boards, plays a nice power game and has a pretty bulky frame that should translate to the pro game well in two years. While I haven't really seen him shoot that much, WHL scouts I've talked are impressed with his finishing ability.
78. Malcolm Subban, Goatender, Belleville-OHL
The brother of top Habs defender P.K. got off to a roaring start this OHL season. The late birthdate netminder had a SV% that hovered around the .930s for a while before coming somewhere close to Earth with a .923 SV%. He's gotten a lot of praise from scouts I've talked to for being so effective at the position even though he only started playing goalie 6-7 years ago. Subban has really sharpened up his game in a small amount of time and this year displayed a very poised, comfortable, aware game in the net to combine with his great athletic tools. Malcolm shares his older brother's strength in terms of skating as he moves very quickly post to post with strong push-offs. He is a pretty aggressive goalie in terms of his positioning and challenging shooters, but due to his skating ability, he is able to reasonably compensate to a challenge if the challenged shooter is able to pass the puck off. Subban doesn't tend to overreact to shots and has a good-sized frame to square up picks, but has the reflexes and athletic ability to make out-of-position stops. His main issue is his rebound control, as he tends to kick too many pucks out off his feet, but he's an unusually refined goalie with high upside.
Ranking Explanation: See the Andrei Vasilevski explanation.
79. Matia Marcantuoni, Right Wing, Kitchener-OHL
Marcantuoni came into this season with a fair amount of hype and had some scouts thinking he could potentially go in the top 10. Many months later, now, after several notable injuries including concussion issues and an overall disappointing season, dreams about being taken in the first round have faded for Marcantuoni. He's a high-end skater with fluid, smooth movements and great jump in his step. His push-offs look effortless and he generates so much speed in every stride. Marcantuoni plays a high-energy game as well and really leans on his best asset to soar all over the rink, and will also engage physically. He's a good puckhandler who shows good coordination, and when he's on his game, can create offense without his speed. However, there are simply too many nights when he's off and looks one-dimensional. He'll force a lot of bad plays and overall doesn't show impressive hockey sense on a consistent basis, although when he's on, he shows nice vision. There are some in the industry who wonder how much these concerns have to do with several head-related injuries or if this is the kind of game Marcantuoni would have played regardless. He's a big risk for whoever drafts him, but with significant upside.
80. Steven Hodges, Center, Victoria-WHL
Hodges is an interesting prospect as I heard a ton of praise for his offensive skills, yet he didn't really put up the numbers this season to really suggest much value. Still, he seems like the kind of player worth reaching on in the middle rounds that has the upside to surprise. Hodges is an above-average skater who is quick off the line, generates good power off his first few steps and gets to a pretty good top gear. He has a smooth, refined stride that could add speed as his leg strength improves. Hodges is a smart player who makes a lot of good little plays with his puck distribution and off-the-puck work, but also has the sense to show good playmaking ability. He's at his best when creating offense for his teammates, but also has solid hands and certainly has the individual ability to be a threat with the puck when given open ice. Hodges has a pretty underdeveloped frame, though, and combined with his poor size, he's easily pushed around and isn't much of a threat in the physical game. Several scouts I've talked to have also used the "soft" label on Hodges in regards to his physical game.
Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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