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Prospect Pulse

Prospect Pulse: Late Rounder

Prospect Pulse is pleased to offer some thoughts on players Illegal Curve has seen this past year who were taken in the later rounds:

42nd (Ottawa)- Patrick Wiercioch- A smooth skating defenseman from BC that plays in the USHL, Wiercioch is adept at moving the puck but needs to add some bulk to his frame. He looks very gangly on the ice. Headed for college at Wisconsin.

51st (New York Rangers)- Derek Stepan – A forward playing for Shattuck St. Mary’s, Stepan is a very talented offensive player with good individual skills. Illegal Curve saw him at a Midget Tournament in January, and he didn’t disappoint. Was able to make things happen on the ice and looked after his own zone. Did appear a little disinterested against weaker opposition.

60th (Toronto Maple Leafs) – Jimmy Hayes – Hayes, a towering forward, has been featured on a previous Prospect Pulse. Though he slipped quite a bit from some previous rankings, Hayes has some interesting power forward type tools and is a willing competitor. His skating may hold him back a little.

66th (New York Islanders) – David Toews – Another Shattuck St. Mary’s forward, Toews certainly possesses good blood lines. When we saw him in January, he was a little underwhelming. Though he certainly possesses some talent, he didn’t do anything to stand out in the games we saw. Illegal Curve will offer updates on him next season, when he is expected to play at UND.

81st (Buffalo Sabres) – Corey Fienhage – Illegal Curve saw him only once, in a late season game in Sioux City. A big kid, 6’4, 210lbs, he uses his size well in front of the net and down low. He is a tough guy to get around but could use some more skill with the puck. Will be with UND next winter.

86th (Montreal Canadiens) – Steve Quailer – IC saw Quailer at the same time as Fienhage and wasn’t terribly impressed. He didn’t compete very hard and was seen (and heard) yelling at teammates on the PP. Though thats not always a bad thing, he didn’t seem to be offering constructive criticism. On a positive note, he did put up respectable numbers on a team that had trouble scoring.

89th (Dallas Stars) – Scott Winkler- A big centerman with speed, IC was very impressed when it saw Winkler at the January midget tourney. A feisty competitor, he is willing to stand up for teammates and will play a hard nosed game. He takes the puck to the net and battles hard for loose pucks, but can play a skating game too. He will play with Cedar Rapids this season.

91st (Detroit Red Wings) – Max Nicastro- A defenseman playing for the Chicago Steel in the USHL. A kid with some offensive upside, he has a good shot and good wheels. Likely a project for the Wings at this point, as he really needs to fill out.

96th (New York Islanders) – Matt Donovan- Illegal Curve hasn’t seen this young man play since last fall, but was impressed with his poise. Only 17 at the time, Donovan was very cool under pressure and not afraid to carry the puck.

108th (Calgary Flames) – Nick Larson – The Flames got a good kid with this selection. A fiery competitor, Larson is dogged in his pursuit of the puck and willing to play a physical game. He also had a deft scoring touch with a quick release shot. A prototypical Calgary Flame.

128th (Toronto Maple Leafs) – Greg Pateryn – Another kid that IC hasn’t seen since the fall, Pateryn also impressed with his skating ability. Though nothing else really stands out about him (at least to us in our limited viewing), he is headed to Michigan where he will continue to hone his game.

160th (Tampa Bay Lightning) – Luke Witkowski- At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Illegal Curve also saw Witkowski last in the Fall of 2007. Another great skater, Witkowski played a physical style of game and always had his feet moving.

190th (Florida Panthers) – Matt Bartkowski- A lynch pin of the Lincoln Stars’ defence, Bartkowski plays in all situations and excels in doing so. The PP quarterback and 1st option on the PK, he had a strong season and doesn’t get pushed around.

203rd (Tampa Bay Lightning) – David Carle- The Shattuck defenseman is loaded with potential. Easily the the 2nd best defender Illegal Curve saw at the aforementioned midget tournament. Calm and collected, he runs the power play very well and is good in his own. Closes the gap quickly and plays an NHL style defensive game. I am surprised he lasted this long.

Edit: David Carle has been diagnosed with a heart condition and will no longer be able to play hockey. Illegal Curve regrets the error in reporting and wishes David all the best. Kudos to Tampa for selecting the young man.