I have been attending a few games at the World U-18’s down in Fargo and thought I would post a few items from said tournament. Here is a link to some more mock drafts (Note that there are several links there) so you can see where some of these players may fit into the first round of this June’s draft.
Draft Eligible Players I have seen this week (mostly first rounders):
Landon Ferraro– Only saw him in the Germany game. Excellent hands and good awareness. Smart with the puck and meshed well with McFarland.
Zack Kassian– You can tell he is very strong and possesses hands. Didn’t show much in the Germany game and was decent for stretches against Sweden, but could also disappear for a few shifts. Might just need a kick in the butt.
Simon Depres– Smooth skater who distributes the puck well. Would have liked to see a little more physicality from him.
Stefan Elliott– I thought he was bigger, but a good defender all the same. Looks comfortable on the PP and appears calm under pressure.
Dylan Olsen– Meh. I understand he is a big hitter, but didnt see this displayed. Moves the puck well on the PP but lacks imagination. Passed it back and forth with his partner for what seemed like an eternity. Good shot.
John McFarland- I believe he is 2010 eligible but oh boy is he skilled. Always in the right place and has a quick, lethal shot.
Peter Holland– Saw some time on the de facto top line with McFarland and Joey Hishon (who can really finish, by the way) and didn’t look out of place. He just goes up and down his wing and does his job in an unflashy sort of way.
Garrett Mitchell– Not really a first rounder, but I doubt you could find a harder worker or hitter on the team right now.
Jeremy Morin– Obviously blessed with an abundance of skill. Has a quick first step and I like how quick he gets his shot off.
Drew Shore– Speedy kid but a very selfish player. Saw him pass up an open teammate to make a pass to himself off the boards.
Cam Fowler– Excellent skater, extremely fluid in his movements. Tries to be too cute with the puck. Solid positionally.
Nick Mattson– Same skater as Fowler, but no nonsense. Up and down the ice and makes few mistakes.
Carl Klingberg– By far the best player I have seen at the tournament. A big, physical winger, Klingberg plays a throwback style of game, using his size and speed to drive the net. Seems to have decent hands, and looks to hurt people when he hits. If the your team wants to go gritty, we could do a lot worse than him. Would draft him over Kassian 10 times out of 10. Is not far from NHL ready, in my opinion.
Jacob Josefson– Very skilled two way center. Cerebral type of game where he is always well positioned. Good on faceoffs and distributes the puck well. No drop off in speed when he carries the puck.
Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi– Despite the hype, I wasn’t really blown away. Game changing speed and carries the puck well, but played a perimeter game against the Canadians. Dangerous down low and can cycle, but would have liked to see him get aggressive, especially when the Swedes were down 3-2 and pressing.
Tim Erixon– Another smooth skating defender. Didn’t know much about him until I saw him live. Has the same skill set as John Moore, but does it better. Heavy shot and calm player. Will skate puck to safety when pressed.
Olivier Ekman-Larsson– To be honest, I was so busy watching the other guys I didn’t really notice him. That being said, for a defenseman there is nothing wrong with not standing out.
I also liked William Wallen and Mattias Lindstrom. Wallen was a small, skill guy while Lindstrom was a handful physically.
Dmitri Kulikov was the only player that stood out for me, though I saw the Russians play Norway and no one looked to amped up to be there. A late 90 birthday, Kulikov looked to be a very composed player. Did everything well but didn’t seem to have one standout skill.
Here are some selected video clips of the Canada-Sweden game. Sorry for the poor quality, I forget to take my camera and had to make due with my phone. (Thanks to David for posting these)
Team Canada 5 on 3. Note the incessant back and forth passing between defensemen. (DeHaan and Olsen)