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Draft Day Sleeper and Bust

With the draft mere days away, I thought I would offer up a few notes on two players at opposite spectrums of the draft (in my opinion). One player that I consider a potential bust (at his projected slot) and another I consider to be a steal (again at his projected slot).

First, the bust. I have only seen Zack Kassian play three times, all at the World Under-18’s and needless to say, I wasn’t terribly impressed. He is definitely a big body and moves moderately well for a player of his size, but what I didn’t see was hockey sense. His play was somewhat uninspired and Kassian seemed to be unsure as to where to go and when to go there. If the play became static and he was allowed to set up in front of the net, he was alright. However, as soon as the play picked up in tempo and became free-wheeling, he was noticeably absent.

Again, I am not saying Kassian doesn’t have skill. He has good hands and knows how to use his bulk effectively. My point is that I think its a stretch to have him slotted 10th overall. He may just be an NHL regular one day, but he may just be Brad Isbister redux.

My sleeper is, not unlike my bust, a guy who will certainly go in the first couple of rounds. Unlike my bust however, this kid is one who I feel will show up “How Did We Miss This Kid” lists 5 years from now. Carl Klingberg, who played last season with the Frolunda Junior team (and a few games with the big club) is a big Swedish winger who isn’t afraid to mix it up. My viewing of him was also limited to the World Under 18’s, but he was mighty impressive in those few games. A power forward type, Klingberg seems to the player Kassian is made out to be. He finishes his checks, is a bear around the net and he skates very well. I would look for him to develop into something of a Detroit Red Wing Swede. Though he is projected in that 30 to 40 range for draft day, I see his skill set as being as good or better than many kids touted as first rounders.