U-17 Tournament Top Players
Do you want a head start on the NHL Draft in 2013? Well, with myself and Brian Raiger taking in 15 games in eight days at the World Under-17 Championship in Windsor, Ontario, we have a good picture of who was a standout player. Here are some of the top guys we saw at the tournament. I'm putting on my scouting glasses and have my clipboard ready. Keep in mind these are guys that stood out to me. I also took into account what the scouts said. I didn't really look at size as a disadvantage.
1. Nathan MacKinnon (Atlantic - Halifax, QMJHL)
MacKinnon is an average sized scorer and has tremendous hands. While he only had a goal and three assists during the tournament, he is the leading favourite for the number one pick in 2013.
2. Victor Ohman (Sweden - MODO, SEL)
Ohman led the tournament with 12 points in six games. He is only 5'9 and 165 pounds, but he plays bigger and has speed to burn defenders. Will he be picked high? Probably not, but if a team nabs him in the 5th round, consider them winners.
3. Andre Burakowsky (Sweden - Malmo, SEL)
Burakowsky was a member of the top line on Sweden, and has a lethal wrist shot. He does it almost as good as Ovechkin/Kessel. He's tall and lanky, and with some muscle building he can fill out and be a fast power power.
4. J.T Compher (USA - US National Development Program)
He is average size with good puckhandling and a good shot. He was tied for third in points. He also plays the point on the powerplay.
5. Bo Horvat (Ontario - London, OHL)
Horvat captained Ontario and led them to the bronze medal. Has the heart of a champion, blocks shots and can score timely goals for his team. The most consistent player Ontario had.
6. Leon Bristedt (Sweden - Linkopings, SEL)
Bristedt is in the Ohman mold and will likely be taken after him as well, but he has the same skill set. The only knock is that he's 5'8, but he's still taller than Martin St. Louis and Nathan Gerbe.
7. Hudson Fasching (USA - US National Development Program)
Fasching is a power forward and the best one in the tournament. He grinds in the corner and the front of the net is his house. He creates room for his teammates and can score from the dirty areas.
8 . Leon Draisaitl (Germany - Mannheim, DNL)
Draisaitl was the best player on a weak German team. He scored 97 goals in 20 games in the DNL league, along with over 200 points. He didn't have a lot of help in Windsor.
9. Sergei Tolchinski (Russia - CSKA Moskow, RUS)
Tolchinski is 5'7 and a buck fifty. Not NHL size at all, but his skills are second to none. Igor Larionov is his agent, so that speaks volumes.
10. Valeri Nichushkin (Russia, Traktor Chelyabinsk, RUS)
Nichushkin is the fastest skater in Russia under the age of 20. No joke - he beat a player that started at the far blueline and he was it the other blueline. He's also a giant and if he fills out he could be a poor man's Evgeni Malkin.
11. Sam Reinhart (Pacific - Kootenay, WHL)
Was second in tournament with 10 points in five games. If Darren Dutchyshen likes him, he must be good, right?
12. Anthony Louis (USA - US National Development Program)
He's 5'6 and 130 pounds. That's the only negative. Awesome hands and a killer wrist shot. He reminds me of Danny Briere and makes his teammates better. Escapability is phenomenal for a small guy.
13. Max Domi (Ontario - London, OHL)
Tie's son is a feisty little bugger, but he can score. The only knock I can find is that he doesn't pass the puck enough and might be a little lazy on the backcheck. Other than that, a solid prospect.
14. Anthony Duclair (Quebec - Quebec, QMJHL)
Duclair has speed to his advantage and was the best player on Quebec. Very skilled and has a complete game.
15. Curtis Lazar (Pacific - Edmonton, WHL)
Lazar didn't stand out in the game I saw, but the rest of the tournament he was okay. He is projected a top 10 pick.
16. Hunter Garlent (Ontario - Guelph, OHL)
Garlent is small but fast, and became a team leader when Ontario was decimated with injuries. He scored big goals and wears his heart on his sleeve.
1. Will Butcher (USA - US National Development Program)
USA's best defenceman had six assists in six games. He was the lone defenceman on the top powerplay, and will likely suit up for Windsor (OHL) next year.
2. Anton Cederholm (Sweden - Rogle, SEL)
Big defenceman that screams Victor Hedman. He doesn't score, but he's a stay at home guy that makes the simple play and has a high plus-minus.
3. Macoy Erkamps (Pacific - Lethbridge, WHL)
Had three goals in five games from the blueline. Has a rocket of a shot, and every goal he scored was a clapper from the point.
4. Robert Hagg (Sweden - MODO, SEL)
Hagg scored two goals in one period against Quebec, showing he can contribute offensively, but his real forte is creating space and making a great first pass.
1. Nikita Serebryakov (Russia, Dynamo Moscow, RUS)
Serebryakov was the best goalie in the tournament. He's built and moves like Ilya Bryzgalov, but plays more like Evgeny Nabokov in his prime.
2. Ebbe Sionas (Sweden - AIK, SEL)
The Swedish goalie played all but one game and was solid throughout, even when his team faltered, he gave them a chance to win over superior opponents.
Will we eventually see these guys in the NHL one day? Most of them will make it, but it's a long road ahead. Some will come over to North America and play in the CHL or college hockey in the States, but overall the talent pool for 2013 should be very deep and yield tonnes of talent. We saw it this past week and so did the scouts we sat with.