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DRAFT CENTRAL: The Top 3 D

Monday, 06.05.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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DRAFT CENTRAL: The Top 3 D
Johnson, Sanguinetti and Williams

By Jason Lockhart

With the Islanders set to pick seventh overall for this year's NHL Entry Draft on June 24, 2006, it's time to take a look at this year's top prospects. In our first installment, we feature the three defensemen - all American - slated to be selected in the First Round.


Erik Johnson
Bloomington, Minnesota
Height: 6-4
Weight: 220
2005-2006 Team: USA National Team Development Program/Under-18 US World Junior National Team
2005-2006 Stats: USA NTDP - GP: 38, Goals: 11, Assists: 22, Points: 33/WJC - GP: 7, Goal: 1, Assists: 3, Points: 4, PIM: 18
Central Scouting Board North American Rank: 1st

 

Breakdown:
Erik Johnson is regarded as the top defenseman in this year's draft and a potential franchise player. The Minnesota native has impressed scouts with his hard shot, smooth skating and physical play. There's very little chance he'll be there when the Islanders pick at seven because he's going at the top.

Ranked only 17th by the International Scouting Service as late as June 2005, Johnson has since improved his game in leaps and bounds. His play at this year's World Junior Championships in Vancouver locked Johnson into the one of the top positions. Despite the US Team's failure to medal, he was a bright spot at the tournament.

Central Scouting Service Director E.J. McGuire likens Johnson's game to Ottawa Senator, Wade Redden.

"He's good at everything - that's the amazing thing," one scout told The Hockey News. "He has flare. He can really skate and open up the ice."

The slick skating defenseman will attend the University Of Minnesota starting in the fall of 2006, assuming the NHL team that drafts him doesn't sign him first.


Bob Sanguinetti
Lumberton, New Jersey
Height: 6-1
Weight: 182
2005-2006 Team: Owen Sound (OHL)
2005-2006 Stats: GP: 68, Goals: 14, Assists: 51, Points: 65, PIM: 44
Central Scouting Board North American Rank: 12th                                           

 

Breakdown:
Bob Sanguinetti possesses what is important in the new NHL -- Speed. The polished skating defenseman has quick feet and an accurate breakout pass that is valuable to any team's transition game. Some scouts are wary of Sanguinetti's small frame and lack of physical presence, but have confidence that he can overcome his deficiencies by contributing offensively.

"He's a good skater and moves the puck well," one scout told The Hockey News. "And he had a very good playoff [this past season]. You like to see guys finish strong. Owen Sound upset (heavily favored) Kitchener and he was a major part of it."

 

Nigel Williams
Montgomery, Illinois
Height: 6-4
Weight: 226
2005-2006 Team: USA National Team Development Program
2005-2006 Stats: GP: 48, Goals: 6, Assists: 9, Points: 15, PIM: 41
Central Scouting Board North American Rank: 13th

Breakdown:
Committed to Wisconsin next season, Nigel Williams has the speed and skill to be an NHLer in the future. His game has produced some comparisons to Chris Pronger, but scouts say he could be more aggressive - which says a lot by itself. Williams improved significantly playing with the National Developmental squad this past season and has a genuine shot at becoming a top four defenseman in the NHL.

"He is a little gangly, but he'll grow into his body," one scout told The Hockey News. "There is not much of a downside. He doesn't lack intensity, but I wish he was a little meaner."

 

MORE OF THE DRAFT CENTRAL '06

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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