June 21, 2007 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Draft Preview

by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer

Out of the top-10 college prospects for this weekend's NHL Draft, eight haven't yet played their first NCAA game. Colorado College's Bill Sweatt and Darmouth's T.J. Galiardi were the only two current college players to make our list of 10.

1) Kyle Turris, Wisconsin (Incoming)

Position: Center
Height: 6'1
Weight 165lbs
Born: 8/14/1989
From: New Westminster, BC
Last Season (Burnaby, BCHL): 53 GP, 66G, 55 A, 121 Pts

Outlook: Turris could end up being the top pick in the entire draft, which would mark the second straight season that an incoming college freshmen is picked number one. It appears to be between him and Patrick Kane (London, OHL), but early reports out of Chicago indicate that Turris will be the Blackhawks' pick. He has a good frame, but needs to add weight to it. He has exceptional speed and all the tools to make an immediate impact in either College, or the NHL. Many are calling him blend of Paul Kariya, Steve Yzerman, and Joe Sakic — not a bad recipe.

Prediction: #1 to the Chicago Blackhawks

2) James Van Riemsdyk, New Hampshire (Incoming)

Position: Left Wing
Height: 6'3
Weight: 191lbs
Born: 4/5/1989
From: Middletown, NJ
Last Season (USNTDP): 42 GP, 33 G, 30 A, 63 Pts

Outlook: Scouts rave about his size and strength. On paper, he is the prototypical power-forward. However, he doesn't appear to have the natural aggressiveness that most power-forwards have. Some have questioned his choice to play at UNH, considering their large ice sheet, it doesn't appear to be fitting to his power-style of hockey. He is also known as a very smart player. There have been some comparisons to Cam Neely, only with a lesser mean-streak.

Prediction: #3 to the Phoenix Coyotes

3) Ryan McDonagh, Wisconsin (Incoming)

Position: Defense
Height: 6'1
Weight: 200lbs
Born: 6/13/1989
From: St. Paul, MN
Last Season (Cretin-Derham, MN-HS): 23 GP, 10 G, 23 A, 33 Pts

Outlook: A very skilled offensive defenseman who moves the puck out of the offensive zone extremely well. Has a nice shot from the point and is the perfect power-play quarterback. He makes good decisions with the puck, however sometimes his offensive instincts can get in the way of his
defensive responsibilities.

Prediction: #8 to the Boston Bruins

4) Kevin Shattenkirk, Boston University (Incoming)

Position: Defense
Height: 5'11
Weight: 193lbs
Born: 1/29/1989
From: Greenwhich, CT
Last Season (USNTDP): 48 GP, 12 G, 22 A, 34 Pts

Outlook: Shattenkirk served as the captain of the U.S.-Under 18 team and is a highly skilled offensive defenseman. However, like many offensively skilled defensemen, he is inconsistent in the defensive zone, and scouts say that his physical presence is almost non-existent. His offensive skills are off the charts; he reads the ice very well and has an exceptional shot, both wrister and slapper, from the point.

Prediction: #11 to the Carolina Hurricanes

5) Bill Sweatt, Colorado College

Position: Left Wing
Height: 6'0
Weight: 180lbs
Born: 9/28/1988
From: Elburn, IL
Last Season (Colorado College): 30 GP, 9 G, 17 A, 26 Pts

Outlook: Sweatt is the fastest player in the entire draft class. The hard-working Tigers' forward doesn't posses franchise player talent, but he is an extremely hard worker and does the little things to help his team win. He is a very smart player who anticipates his opponents' next move. While he has the talent, there is a concern surrounding his broken hand he suffered in the postseason after punching out a window in a fit of rage so his stock may dip to late first round.

Prediction: #30 to the Edmonton Oilers

6) Nick Petrecki, Boston College (Incoming)

Position: Defense
Height: 6'3
Weight: 213lbs
Born: 7/11/1989
From: Schenectady, NY
Last Season (Omaha, USHL): 54 GP, 11 G, 14 A, 25 Pts

Outlook: A big, hard-hitting, stay-at-home defenseman. He is drawing early comparisons to the San Jose Sharks' Scott Hannan, which isn't bad considering Hannan has been voted by his peers to be the toughest defenseman in the league to play against. He is very good as positioning himself in the defensive zone, but also passes the puck very hard in transition.

Prediction: #14 to the Colorado Avalanche

7) Tommy Cross, Boston College (Incoming)

Position: Defense
Height: 6'3
Weight: 195lbs
Born: 9/12/1989
From: Hartford, CT
Last Season (Westminster Prep): 25 GP, 8 G, 12 A, 20 Pts

Outlook: Along with Petrecki, the Eagles add another tough defensive defenseman in Cross. He has the same size as Petrecki, but hits less though he is still physical in the defensive zone. He has more offensive skill than Petrecki and can quarterback the power play with his hard slap shot.

Prediction: #27 to the Detroit Red Wings

8) Max Pacioretty, Michigan (Incoming)

Position: Left Wing
Height: 6'1
Weight: 203lbs
Born: 11/20/1988
From: New Canaan, CT
Last Season (Sioux City, USHL): 60 GP, 21 G, 42 A, 63 Pts

Outlook: An offensive power-forward type who is very physical and like to plant himself around the net. In Juniors, he was an up and down winger who drove to the net with total disregard for his own body. He doesn't do one thing exceptionally well, but does almost everything well enough to be considered first-round worthy.

Prediction: #24 to the St. Louis Blues

9) Brendan Smith, Wisconsin (Incoming)

Position: Defense
Height: 6'1
Weight: 170lbs
Born: 2/9/1989
From: Toronto, ON
Last Season (St. Michaels, OPJHL): 39 GP, 12 G, 24 A, 36 Pts

Outlook: Very good with the puck and has the speed and skating ability to join the rush. He isn't very physical in the defensive zone. There has been zone rumors that he might play in the OHL, however many NHL teams that have talked to him would rather him go to college to further develop his skills.

Prediction: #35 to the Chicago Blackhawks

10) T.J. Galiardi, Dartmouth

Position: Center
Height: 6'2
Weight: 172lbs
Born: 4/22/1988
From: Calgary, AB
Last Season (Dartmouth): 33 GP, 14 G, 17 A, 31 Pts

Outlook: Had a very good freshman season with the Big Green. Is seen by scouts as a raw talent that needs to develop most parts of his game, though he has a tremendous skill set. Not the fastest player, but relentless in his pursuit of loose pucks and anticipates defenders well before he fires up with his quick release wrist shot.

Prediction: #54 to the Nashville Predators

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