Flyers Faithful is pleased to have Adam Kimelman from NHL.com, Mark Edwards from HockeyProspect.com, Chris Shafer from Hockey’s Future, Todd Cordell from The Hockey Guys and HockeyBuzz and our very own Jared Abbott participate in the current iteration of Five Questions. This is the third of a five part series focusing on the upcoming draft.
Which prospect(s) do you think is (are) rated higher than they should be?
Adam Kimelman: That’s hard to say. I think because the talent level is so high, it really comes down to very minuscule differences that one team might see that another doesn’t. The player at No. 15 on one team’s list could be No. 25 on another.
Mark Edwards: A few guys come to mind. Ryan Pulock of Brandon, Darnell Nurse from the Soo and Shea Theodore of Seattle. Pulock has a deadly slap shot, plays a physical game and wore the “C” for the Brandon Wheat Kings, but his development was very stagnant this year. We don’t like the hockey sense area of his game. It might have to do with the minutes he played every night, but there are a lot of people saying he’s a top 10-15 pick. We would stay away from him until later in the first round. While we like Nurse and have him rated 16th overall, some rank him much higher. I know a few NHL guys who don’t even have him as a first rounder. His physical tools are fantastic but again, like Pulock we question the thinking part of his game. In Theodore’s case, he is extremely talented with the puck, but when he has to play defense, he is all over the place. We wouldn’t spend a first round pick on him, we have him ranked 39th.
Chris Shafer: I think this year has the opportunity to be one of those great years like 2003 where a lot of players end up becoming real impact NHLers. It is an incredibly deep draft year. I will say though that the Flyers should stay away from defensemen not producing offense at the lower levels of hockey right now. There are some great defenders in there, but do not believe all the hype surrounding the rumored potential of guys like Zadorov or Morin. They are great prospects, and the Flyers should be happy should they take either of them. Still, if the Flyers are not looking for a shut-down defenseman, this would be a wasted opportunity to take a different player that they might need more.
Then again, this is the Flyers. They are the kind of team that reaches off the board to get Scott Laughton because he is who they feel is best available.
Todd Cordell: This isn’t meant to be a knock on Darnell Nurse because he’s a good player and has potential, but I’ve seen him as high as a top-5 pick in some mock drafts and to me he’s just not a player I’d select that high. There are some questions about how much offense will translate to the next level and to me, you don’t consider a guy like him with a top-5 pick.
If you look back to a few years ago when the Maple Leafs selected Luke Schenn, I think this could be a similar scenario. There’s nothing wrong with Luke Schenn, but I wouldn’t take a defensive defenseman with a top-5, or even top-10 pick. You look down the 2008 draft and you see the likes of Erik Karlsson, Michael Del Zotto, Jake Gardiner, etc. drafted after him and to me, if you’re going to go with a defenseman with a top pick, you take a guy who has some offensive upside.
Nurse has some potential and I could eat my words, but I think the Flyers would be better off taking a defenseman with some offensive upside, such as Ryan Pulock, should they decide to go the defenseman route.
Jared Abbott: In the final CSS rankings prior to the NHL draft, Central Scouting ranked Hunter Shinkaruk as the 6th overall North American skater. This ranking appears to be much too high for the Medicine Hat winger. His offensive skill is undeniable. He has slick hands and lighting-quick feet. But, he thinks offense first and often disregards his defensive zone. Unless he can come into the NHL and play in a top-six role, he is going to have to earn his stay playing a gritty style on the third or fourth line. I don’t see Shinkaruk fitting into that mold and contributing defensively first before thinking offense. He is barely 5’11″ and weighs just 174 pounds. Shinkaruk needs to add bulk to his thin frame if he is going to be able to stand up to the physical nature of the NHL. He will be regarded highly in the draft due to his offensive talents, but I don’t think he warrants a top-10 selection.
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