With prospect camps in full swing, The Hockey News’ Hot List – our weekly roundup of players we can’t wait to see in the NHL some day – looks at some of the names making early waves this summer.
1. Zach Bogosian, D – Peterborough Petes (OHL): He’s an animal! He’s hungry! He’ll likely be on Atlanta’s opening night roster so we need to big him up on The Hot List now! Bogosian dominated the Thrashers’ prospect camp and proved he’s on a mission to shake up the South next season. Drafted third overall by Atlanta in 2008.
2. Josh Bailey, C – Windsor Spitfires (OHL): With the Islanders now fully committed (we think) to rebuilding through youth, GM Garth Snow must have been mighty pleased to see Bailey click with fellow future star Kyle Okposo at New York’s camp. The pair was dynamite in intra-squad games. Drafted ninth overall by the New York Islanders in 2008.
3. Colten Teubert, D – Regina Pats (WHL): Teubert is proof-positive that players can have multiple personalities. On the ice, the defenseman is a dump truck just waiting to plow an opponent under. Off the ice though, he’s quite approachable with a confident charm about him. And considering he, Drew Doughty, Thomas Hickey and Jack Johnson will eventually have the opportunity to form a solid top four defense corps in Los Angeles, it’s easy to see where the confidence comes from.
“People will not want to play the Kings,” Teubert said. “It’s exciting. L.A.’s going to improve every year from now on.”
While Doughty and Hickey can sling the puck up to the Anze Kopitars and Alexander Frolovs (or just put it in the net themselves), Teubert and Johnson will punish with extreme prejudice any opponent who attempts to cross center ice. And Teubert would like to do so as soon as possible.
“I’m going to try and make the team, plain and simple,” he said. “Doesn’t matter that I was picked 13th and Doughty was second, I’m going to do my best. I’m going to respect the (Kings) logo.”
Whether or not Teubert makes the squad next year, it’s certain he’ll be moving to California in the not-too-distant future, which will be a slight adjustment from Regina.
“I might have to throw away some of my winter clothes,” Teubert laughed.
Drafted 13th overall by Los Angeles in 2008.
4. Max Pacioretty, LW – Michigan Wolverines (CCHA): Foes of the Wolverines will be glad to hear they’ve seen the last of Pacioretty. The emerging power forward signed with the Montreal Canadiens last week, meaning he’ll likely play in the American League with Hamilton next season. Pacioretty’s departure leaves Michigan without its entire top line from last year, as linemates Chad Kolarik and Kevin Porter are already in the Phoenix Coyotes system. Drafted 22nd overall by Montreal in 2007.
5. Jeff Zatkoff, G – Miami RedHawks (CCHA): The now former RedHawk turned aside all 25 shots he faced in the Kings’ scrimmage game, including a penalty shot. With Zatkoff, Jonathan Bernier and Jon Quick, the Kings will have their choice of young hot goalies for years to come. Drafted 74th overall by Los Angeles in 2006.
6. Nikolai Kulemin, LW – Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Rus): Evgeni Malkin’s former running mate comes to Toronto with high expectations and little command of the English language. But his fabulous two-way play speaks for itself. Hit up YouTube if you want to see some devastating open-ice hits. Drafted 44th overall by Toronto in 2006.
7. Karl Alzner, D – Calgary Hitmen (WHL): It seems as though the apprenticeship of Alzner is coming to a close. The rocksteady Dub defenseman is expected to join the Caps this upcoming season and his early returns at rookie camp put him on that track. Drafted fifth overall by Washington in 2007.
8. Jakub Voracek, RW – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL): Voracek was operating at top speed in Columbus’s camp and impressed coach Ken Hitchcock. Perhaps even more importantly, the kid added 20 pounds to his wiry frame in the past year. Drafted seventh overall by Columbus in 2007.
9. Angelo Esposito, C – Quebec Remparts (QMJHL): Another positive by-product of the Marian Hossa trade was the fresh start granted to Esposito, who recently signed an entry-level deal with the Thrashers. Considering the weak state of Atlanta’s pivot depth, this year will be the most important ever for Esposito’s future. Drafted 20th overall by Pittsburgh in 2007; acquired by Atlanta in February 2008.
10. T.J. Oshie, C – North Dakota Fighting Sioux (WCHA): It’s not a guarantee he’ll make the St. Louis roster, but it’s pretty darn close. The Blues have been patient with Oshie throughout his college career and the next step begins at training camp for the playmaking pivot. Drafted 24th overall by St. Louis in 2005.
The Hot List, a weekly roundup of minor league, junior, college and high school players we’re excited to one day see in the NHL, appears every Tuesday, only on thehockeynews.com.
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