Hello everyone, I am new to this whole blogosphere and am excited to be part of PPP. I feel a little intimidated by all the writing talent here but here's hoping that I slowly squeeze my way into this fine community.
I am a senior in high-school and hockey is at the centre of my life (particularly the Leafs). Recently I have been prepping for some internship entries at local newspapers, and thought that I would test the waters here.
I wrote this piece a while ago but re-tooled it today and I feel it still relevant. My later posts will be Leaf-based but here's a taste of my writing style.
Feedback is greatly appreciated, and just to let you know, I'm not afraid of crticism, but please nothing too hurtful .
Anywhoo, I really you hope guys enjoy!
With the draft amongst us, I set my sights all the way into the 2010-2011 season… Yes, I might be a little anxious but none-the-less, here I have a Top 10 list of the young players I can’t wait to see in the NHL.
10. Linus Omark: While I won’t put my money on the young Swede getting a call to Edmonton (2007, 97th overall) next season, it sure would be nice too see Youtube’s Finest skate in North America. The plays that he comes up with are pure gold, but he needs to prove consistent, as well as strengthen other areas of his game.
9. P.K. Subban: Many of us can recall the speedy defenseman in the World Junior’s a few years back, when he helped his Canadian team grab the Championship. Now a Hamilton Bulldog, Montreal fans will have to wait for PK to develop his skills a bit more. A defenseman with a tremendous offensive upside, you can look for him to lace up with the pros more next year.
8. Jacob Markstrom: The Florida Panthers don’t have a whole lot to hold on to right now, but they have a keeper (literally) in this young Swedish goalie. His 6’3 frame resembles that of his countryman Jonas Gustavsson, and like "The Monster", Jacob has been developing in the Swedish Eliteserien but aims to make his mark in the AHL soon. Until Sunrise can do something with Tomas Vokun and Scott Clemmensen’s salary, it will be hard to see Markstrom in the NHL in 2010. A big goalie with great positioning, add him to the growing list of great Swede "Tenders".
7. Nazem Kadri: Well Leafs fans, I guess Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are out of the question, but last year’s 7th overall pick isn’t too bad. Kadri has been a dominant force in the OHL, and now, not many can blame Brian Burke’s decision to send him back to London last year. He eclipsed his previous season high record, and finished with 93 points. Had he started the season as strong as he had finished it, "Naz" would have topped both Hall and Seguin. A gritty two-way presence down the middle, the kid from London is exactly what Toronto needs.
6. Nikita Filatov: With all the drama that ensued last fall, the Russian sniper left the city of Columbus on a low note. But with Ken Hitchcock gone, the Blue-Jackets organization is looking to persuade the now "KHL" star back to North America. A fast kid with a great shot, another Ruski you can’t miss. (2008, 6th overall)
5. Cody Hodgson: Although his nagging back injury has caused Cody to miss the season, he will almost certainly be the same highly skilled player when he recovers and takes on a role in Vancouver (2008, 10th overall). Don’t forget people, in an OHL with the likes of John Tavares, Hodgson was the 2008-2009 player of the year, so yes… he’s pretty good. A playmaking centre with a higher than average "Hockey IQ", Canucks need too keep the kid.
4. Jordan Eberle: Edmonton can’t be down in the dumps for much longer. With all the skill stowed away in the juniors, and the 1st overall pick in their reaches, Jordan Eberle is another reason for the Oilers and their fans to be excited. Already a Canadian hockey hero at the age of 19, he has proven to have great motivation and fantastic skill. He can fly down the wing with Taylor Hall, or look for the dish from Tyler Seguin. More proof that the 2008 draft was a success for many, Jordan Eberle will make the "big-jump" to the NHL, next season.
3. Alex Pietrangelo: The 2010 Draft in Los Angeles will mark the second unfortunate year that Alex Pietrangelo has not played more than a dozen season games in the NHL. This really is a shame, as 2008’s 4th overall pick, is truly an enjoyable player to watch. If the St.Louis Blues have seen the last two World Junior Championships, they must, know how great of a "D-Man" Alex is. He can be a "shut-downer", or work the point on a power play. He can adapt on the fly and be an offensive or defensive threat. Fall 2010 will likely be the kid’s start of many seasons with the "Big-Boys".
2. Tyler Seguin: In what has been a battle for the first overall consideration in this year’s draft, hockey fans around the NHL have heard the name Tyler Seguin many a time before. Until December, he was ranked second in world behind now rival, Taylor Hall. But it was Seguin that jumped to the top spot during the World Junior’s, when Hall was absent from the OHL. The two have battled point-for-point during the junior season, and no matter whose name is called first this year, two great players will be drafted. A playmaking centre with great skating abilities, if Tyler Seguin is selected first, it will be to no one’s surprise.
1. Taylor Hall: "The Fall for Taylor Hall" has been the Tylenol for Oilers’ fans everywhere. In what has been a horrendous season, Edmonton can only hope that whomever they pick, will be NHL ready. And in Hall’s case, he will. The Windsor Spitfire is the definition of "Offensive Threat" (well, in hockey terms that is). He is fast and uses his speed to attack the net. He can shoot, he can shoot well, and he can shoot hard. Hall also boasts tremendous agility and hand-eye co-ordination. I’m putting all my magic beans on Tyler Hall going first overall…. Hey that rhymes!