Last week I looked at my new selections for the top 10 prospects for the 2008 entry draft. Today we continue with Nos. 11-15. I’ll provide the final 15 with brief bios Thursday, Feb. 14.
11 – Colten Teubert; RD, Regina Pats
Although Teubert has dropped out of the top 10 in my rankings, it shouldn’t be perceived as a slight on him, but rather a credit to the guys who have jumped ahead of him.
He continues to play a big part in the good season his Pats are enjoying with his steady and effective play. He has added a touch of nastiness that was lacking from his play, which is good, because at his size, he can intimidate opponents who are faint of heart.
He is another WHL defender who is technically very sound, but doesn’t have a lot of flash to his game. This bores fans, but excites coaches. He still needs to add about 25 pounds to his frame and if he continues to play with some sandpaper, he’ll be a tough guy to play against, translating into a winning NHL career.
12 – Cody Hodgson; C, Brampton Battalion
Hodgson is another OHL sniper in the mould of Edmonton Oiler Sam Gagner. The new rules will allow this smallish water bug with a tremendously high hockey IQ and a coach’s mentality on the ice to play and be very effective.
He has been a winner at every level and has that certain something in his personality that makes you believe he’ll succeed, despite the hurdles. Although not as offensive as Gagner, Hodgson has a more complete game than Gagner did at the same age and their drive, hockey sense and work ethic are eerily similar.
13 – Cody Goloubef; RD; Wisconsin
Goloubef, of Oakville, Ont., is another NCAA defenseman who has really caught my eye over the past few months. He’s had a very good start to his NCAA career and, much like Colin Wilson at BU, his age gap cannot be understated enough to appreciate how he compares to others in this draft class.
He possesses excellent offensive skills and makes the right decisions under pressure without fail. His defensive play has continued to improve. Goloubef played his minor hockey with many of the guys who went in last year’s draft, such as Sam Gagner, Akim Aliu and Brendan Smith, but because of his late birth date, he’ll make some team very happy this year, despite a lack of fanfare.
14 – Joshua Bailey; C, Windsor
The Owen Sound Attack made Bailey their first round pick a couple years ago, but he was traded to the Windsor Spitfires last year in an attempt to bring in a goaltender. As a result the Spitfires found their leader as they head into their new building.
He is exceptionally mature and has an understanding of the game unparalleled in players his age. He has shown an offensive side that will translate at the next level, while oozing leadership and defensive awareness that will allow him to play the game in any manner.
15 – Mikkel Boedker; RW, Kitchener Rangers
Many of my counterparts in the scouting world have Boedker rated much higher than I do, but I can’t shake the thought that if he doesn’t score, what will his effectiveness be?
That said, his performance in the first half of the season, along with his play at the WJC, make me feel pretty sure he will. He has tremendous vision, a knack for finding open seams in the defensive zone and he can certainly finish when given the opportunity. But the question lingers, what if?
I believe teams continue to be fooled by prospects who are playing in the USHL, NAHL, Canadian Junior A and U.S. high schools because the level of competition is so weak that average skaters can look outstanding.
Teams that use high picks on these unproven players are playing with fire.
Mark Seidel is the chief scout for North American Central Scouting, the commissioner of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, and appears as a host on Leafs Lunch on AM 640 radio in Toronto.