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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Top 10 forwards from Red Line

Good read here about the top 10 forwards from Redline:

The forward group has some marquee value this year with three of the top offensive talents among Red Line's top five spots overall. But there is a pretty steep drop off after that top tier, so teams who want to grab one of the premium forwards had better be prepared to make a bold move to trade up in the draft.

The top two forwards, and the top two talents overall, are Steven Stamkos and Nikita Filatov. Both are dynamic, explosive game breakers who put a lot of points on the board and make players around them better. Stamkos is on top of our chart, but the gap between the two is not as wide as some would have you believe. We give Stamkos the edge because of his tremendous character and history of producing at every level. Stamkos is just a natural born sniper – any time he steps on the ice it's automatically a scoring opportunity. Plus he sees the ice beautifully and really opens things up for his linemates by drawing so much checking attention.

Filatov is every bit the game breaker that Stamkos is and, unlike so many other Russians, there is very little uncertainty about his willingness and availability to come over to North America right away and begin the transition to an NHL career. His instant acceleration and phenomenal lateral agility makes him impossible to contain. And one of his best traits is that (also unlike many Russians) he brings his "A" game every shift. He really wants to impact the game and wants the puck on his stick at crunch time.

The third top level forward talent is Danish winger Mikkel Boedker, who just finished up a terrific Memorial Cup run with Kitchener in the OHL. Boedker possesses blazing speed and a rifle shot that he can snap off from odd angles and positions that keeps goalies and defensemen constantly guessing. His speed is tough to deal with on the rush and forces defenders to back off and give up the blue line. This was his first season in North America and he just keeps getting better as he gets more comfortable.

The top 10:

1 Steven Stamkos C 6-1/180 R 7-Feb-90 Sarnia 1

2 Nikita Filatov LW 6-0/172 R 25-May-90 CSKA 1

3 Mikkel Bdker RW 5-11/201 L 16-Dec-89 Kitchener 1

4 Kirill Petrov RW 6-3/218 L 13-Apr-90 Ak Bars Kazan 2

5 Cody Hodgson C 5-11/182 R 18-Feb-90 Brampton 1

6 Colin Wilson C 6-1/208 L 20-Oct-89 Boston Univ. 1

7 Mattias Tedenby RW 5-9/172 L 21-Feb-90 HV 71 1

8 Zach Boychuk C 5-9/185 L 4-Oct-89 Lethbridge 1

9 Kyle Beach LW 6-3/205 R 13-Jan-90 Everett 1

10 Josh Bailey C 6-0/192 L 2-Oct-89 Windsor 1


That top 10 is very interesting. I'm not surprised about the top 3 but having Petrov 4 is. I personally like Wilson a whole lot and Hodgson seems to be a can't miss type player as well.

Anyhow. Good read. Check it out here.

There is also another good story here that talks about the uncertainty throughout NHL teams about players 2 through 6. Oddly enough though there was no talk about Filatov in this article, just 5 d-men of Doughty, Bogosian, Peitrangelo, Schenn & Myers.

Anyone else besides me warming up to Filatov if he's there as 6?

-LTL

3 comments:

wizworm said...

I've been interested in Filatov since late last year. Everything I've heard/read about him says he doesn't fit the mold of typical European players (soft, no heart, take nights off). He sounds more like a typical North American player who gives it his all every shift. Add to that the fact that many scouts have him close to Stamkos talent wise I have to think he'll be gone by the time we pick.

The fact that he has pretty much said he'll be playing in North America next year is going to hurt Columbus. We got Mayorov late last year when he was predicted as a 1st round pick because of the lack of a Russian transfer agreement. Since Filatov has already said he'll come over I don't think he'll be there at #6.

Keep up the great work! I love this site and you do an amazing job.

LTL said...

Hey thanks for the kind words wizworm!! I definitely have fun doing it and am always glad to hear some positive feedback from the CBJ faithfull out there..!!

-LTL

Anonymous said...

I've heard that if Filatov's name was Johnny Smith from Saskatchewan he would rival Stamkos for the top billing.

Great shot, skating, can score like crazy and above average hockey smarts.

Do we dare?