DRAFT CENTRAL: 3 CENTERS OF ATTENTION

Wednesday, 06.7.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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DRAFT CENTRAL: 3 CENTERS OF ATTENTION
Staal, Toews, Kessel

By Jason Lockhart

There is some serious debate as to which forward will go first in this year's NHL Entry Draft. There is a logjam of highly skilled North American centers that are likely to be selected in the top ten.

Today we'll sneak a peek at the potential top three centers in this year's NHL Entry Draft. The Islanders will likely need some assistance via a trade in order to select one of these prized prospects.


 
JORDAN STAAL
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Height: 6-4
Weight: 209
2005-2006 Team: Peterborough (OHL)
2005-2006 Stats: GP: 68, Goals: 28, Assists: 40, Points: 68, PIM: 69
 

Breakdown:
If skill runs in the family, then Jordan Staal would be a safe choice for any team in need of scoring.
 
Brother Eric became a bonafide star this season with the Carolina Hurricanes, and Marc a 2005 First Round pick should soon join the Rangers' blueline.
 
Some scouts say that Jordan is further along in his development than Eric was at 17, but Jordan shows more signs of playmaking than finishing.
 
"You can't expect him to be another Eric two seasons into the NHL," opined one GM to The Hockey News. "But he is a great prospect."
 
Jordan has the build of a power forward and uses his long reach to effectively keep the puck from defenders.
 
The only negative appears to be his ability to compete hard, but Eric had a similar problem at the same age.
 
If habits also run in the family, then this concern should not be a serious worry. 


 
PHIL KESSEL
Madison, Wisconsin
Height: 6-0
Weight: 189
2005-2006 Team: Minnesota (WCHA)/US World Junior National Team
2005-2006 Stats: Minnesota GP: 39, Goals: 18, Assists: 33, Points: 51, PIM: 14/WJC GP: 7, Goals: 1, Assists: 10, Points: 11, PIM: 2


 
The highly touted Phil Kessel was at one point considered the "Sidney Crosby" of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft head and shoulders above the rest.
 
Kessel has since lost that label, but is still considered to go early in the first round of the Draft.
 
The dip in hype was caused by his lack of scoring production at the World Juniors, where he only notched one goal in seven games. Kessel's goal scoring production also dropped at Minnesota compared to his totals on the US National Team Development Program.
 
Despite his decrease in production, Kessel put up enough points [51] to earn WCHA rookie honors.
 
"Dynamic" is often used to describe Kessel, who is being compared to Jeremy Roenick, among others.
 
With his flash and style, Kessel could very well become a major star in the NHL.
 
 
 
JONATHAN TOEWS
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Height: 6-1
Weight: 195
2005-2006 Team: North Dakota (WCHA)/Canadian World Junior National Team
2005-2006 Stats: North Dakota GP: 41, Goals: 21, Assists: 17, Points: 38, PIM: 11/WJC GP: 6, Goals: 0, Assists: 2, Points: 2, PIM: 2
 
Breakdown:
A certain breed of players comes out of the University of North Dakota hard workers.
 
Jonathan Toews certainly fits the profile of one who comes to compete every game and in every situation.
 
Toews won't just put up points, but can also be used on the penalty kill or in late-game scenarios.
 
"Toews is one of the more complete players in the draft," one scout told McKeen's Hockey Prospects. "He has elite dangle, outstanding imagination and impressive dedication at both ends of the ice."
 
A fine effort leading North Dakota to this year's NCAA Frozen Four bumped Toews up to 2nd on the International Scouting Service's listing. 
 
  
The 2006 NHL Entry Draft is scheduled for June 24th in Vancouver, BC.

MORE OF THE DRAFT CENTRAL '06

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Bailey 2 1 2 1 3
R. Strome 2 2 0 1 2
B. Nelson 2 2 0 2 2
K. Okposo 2 1 1 1 2
J. Tavares 2 0 2 1 2
C. Clutterbuck 2 1 0 1 1
C. de Haan 2 0 1 0 1
M. Martin 2 0 1 0 1
L. Visnovsky 2 0 1 3 1
F. Nielsen 2 0 1 0 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 1 1 0 .917 2.52

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