Monday, 6 May 2013

2013 NHL Draft Prospect Report: Jonathan Drouin

Player Bio:

Player Name: Jonathan Drouin
Birth: Marth 7th, 1995
Place of Birth: Ste-Agatha,Quebec
Height: 5'11 Weight: 185 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position:Left Wing/Center
Team: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Puck Central Draft Ranking: Number 8 (January Rankings)                   
NHL Potential: Top 6 Scoring Forward/All-Star                 
NHL Comparison: Patrick Kane/Simon Gagne

The Scoop:

I'll be the first to admit that I was hard on Jonathan Drouin at the beginning of this season and that he's clearly exceeding my expectations and expectations of most people. Drouin was ranked by most to be a mid or late first rounder and be somewhat of project but after this season many expect him to not only be in the NHL next season but making an impact. Drouin played himself into a top 6 position on a very good Team Canada World Junior team and it became very clear that he was not just relying on his Mooseheads superstar linemate, Nathan MacKinnon, and it may in fact be the other way around. He had a solid WJC tournament and he hasn't slowed down since. Drouin finished the season with 41 goals,64 assists and a total of 104 points in 49 regular season games. This season he has shown that he score goals just as well as he can set them up. Drouin is recorded as being 5'11 but when you see him live that appears to be a very generous 5'11. For a young player of his size he's very strong, weighing in at 185 lbs. Like many players who lack size, he makes up for it with a tremendous amount of skill and an incredible hockey IQ. He see's the game well which allows him to do things other players aren't capable of doing, and if you don't believe me just watch his "Shift of the Year" on YouTube, you won't be disappointed. He's capable of scoring goals because he has such a great shot but seems to look for the pass before shooting but he's also capable of driving the net so goalies should expect anything from this kid. One of my issues on Drouin heading into this season was I thought he would rely too much on Nathan MacKinnon and that would make him look better then he actually is but he has managed to play extremely well when '22' was out of the lineup. Despite his strong play I still question whether he's really as good as this season has shown because besides the handful of games that MacKinnon has been out we've only ever seen him playing with other elite talents. My opinion on Drouin has changed drastically and he has quickly become my top ranked forward in this draft, even higher than MacKinnon, but I still think he could benefit from one more year in the QMJHL and a truly dominate performance at the World Juniors. Drouin draft rankings nowadays seem to be anywhere from number one to number three but I'm not sure where he'll actually be drafted. I think it's likely he'll go in the first three picks but I'm not sure he'll unseat Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon as the first two picks in the 2013 NHL Draft. They've simply proved more in their young careers so far. Regardless of where he goes in the Draft, Drouin is sure to be an impact player in the NHL sooner rather than later.

Strong Points:
• Great Shot and Release
• Strong Skater
• Has Elite Vision
• Elite Level Hands
• Accurate Passer
• Good Character
• Hard To Take Off the Puck
Weak Points:
• Lacks Size
• Has Only Played One Full Season in QMJHL
Interesting Facts:
• He was the 2nd player taken in the 2011 QMJHL Draft, behind linemate Nathan MacKinnon
• He represented Canada at 2013 World Junior Championships as an underager
He won gold with Canada at the 2012 U-18 Ivan Hlinka Trounament this past Summer
• He started the 2011-2012 season in Midget AAA, rather then joining the Mooseheads right away
• This season he was named to the 'First All-Star' team in the QMJHL
• This Season won the 'Michel Briere' Trophy as the QMJHL MVP
• This season he won the 'Mike Bossy' Trophy as the QMJHL top draft prospect
• This season he won the 'Paul Dumont' Trophy as the QMJHL top personality

Continue to follow our 2013 NHL Draft coverage by checking the site regularly or by following us on twitter 

Contact Us:
Twitter: PuckCentralHQ

Friday, 22 March 2013

2013 PuckCentralHQ Mock Draft 1.0

Below is the PuckCentralHQ NHL Mock Draft (1.0). The draft order was created using the standing as of March.20th at 5pm est. The way the draft worked was Trevor (Co-writer) picked, then Bradley (Co-writer) picked, and so on. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts and opinions on the Mock Draft (1.0) by tweeting us at @PuckCentralHQ!

1) Florida- Seth Jones
2) Colorado- Jonathan Drouin
3) Washington- Nathan MacKinnon
4) Buffalo- Valeri Nichushkin
5) Calgary- Aleksander Barkov
6) Philadelphia- Ryan Pulock
7) Tampa Bay- Sean Monahan
8) Nashville- Hunter Shinkaruk
9) Edmonton- Josh Morrissey
10) New York Islanders- Darnell Nurse
11) Dallas- Elias Lindholm
12) Columbus- Adam Erne
13) Phoenix- Max Domi
14) New Jersey- Nikita Zadorov
15) San Jose- Rasmus Ristolainen
16) Columbus (From New York Rangers)- Anthony Mantha
17) Toronto- Zach Fucale 
18) Carolina- Ryan Hartman
19) Detroit- Frederik Gauthier
20) Vancouver- Robert Hagg
21) Minnesota- Valentin Zykov
22) St. Louis- Mirco Mueller
23) Winnipeg- Kerby Rychel
24) Columbus (From Los Angeles)- Alexander Wennberg
25) Ottawa- Curtis Lazar
26) Boston- Bo Horvat
27) Montreal- Morgan Klimchuk
28) Anaheim- Nicolas Petan
29) Pittsburgh- Eric Comrie
30) Chicago- Spencer Martin

Contact Us:
Twitter: @PuckCentralHQ

Friday, 1 March 2013

Q&A With Top 2013 Prospect Eric Comrie of the Tri-City Americans

Below is the Q&A we did with one of the top Goaltender prospects in the 2013 NHL Draft. He plays for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL and represented Team Canada at the u18 tournament this past summer which won gold. As you'll read below his older brother is Mike Comrie, a former NHLer! He is currently ranked 25th by us and is the 2nd ranked goalie.

PuckCentralHQ: You and your team have had a decent year so far. In your opinion how do you think the year has gone for you personally, and for the team?
Eric Comrie: My year was a lot of fun I just tried to get better every time I stepped on the ice. It's very unfortunate my year was ended early but now I have to get ready for next season. As for our year we are a somewhat younger team and we are really starting to come together. Our coaches have been great for us this year. We continue to get better every game we play.

PC: Obviously this is your draft year so there's a lot of pressure to perform well. Did you feel any extra pressure to perform well or put any extra pressure on yourself?
EC: Of course the draft is always in the back of your head but I had a great support staff that really helped me.

PC: Do you pay any attention to your rankings or anything like that? A lot of players say they don't but it must be tempting to search at times!
EC: I don't pay attention to it mostly because nobody really knows until it's over. And I will find out on draft day what happens. All I can do is work my hardest every day and then let that stuff work its way out.

PC: Heading into this season you obviously knew it would be a big year for you. Did you prepare differently this past offseason compared to past offseasons?
EC: It was a different offseason because of the u18 tournament which was a lot of fun! It also really prepared me for the season well.

PC: How was that u18 experience for you? Do you think it helped better prepare you for the season despite limited playing time?
EC: It was great I had lots of fun during my time there. I also feel it prepared me for the season with the great coaching and practices.
PC: It must have been great being able to represent your country like that. A lot of people have you penciled in as a goalie to watch out for in the World Juniors. Is that a goal you have, to someday play for Canada at the World Junior Championships?
EC: It was a fantastic experience representing Canada it's everyone's dream. Playing in the world juniors would be unbelievable it's been a goal of mine since I was 4.

PC: You have the luxury of having a brother who's played in the NHL. How has that helped you get to where you are now? And how is he helping you deal with this very important draft year?
EC: Yes he has been huge to me not only as a brother but as a role model showing me how hard you have to work everyday if you want to make it. With the draft he is just saying what everyone is just keep working hard and things will work out.

PC: So now ill just ask some questions to help the readers get to know you a little better. What made you decide to start playing goalie?
EC: My older brothers needed someone to shoot on so they stuck me in net and used me as a target when I was about 4.

PC: Well I guess that worked out pretty good for you in the end!. Growing up what was your favourite team? And who was your favourite player?
EC: My favorite team would have been Edmonton when I was really young because of my brother and home town team. Now as I get older I have become a Montreal Canadian fan which leads to the next answer of favorite player who is Carey price.

PC: Awesome! So I just have two more questions. Which part of your game do you take the most pride in?
EC: I would have to say my work ethic I try and work my hardest every single day and focus on the process.

PC: Our final question is one we ask everyone, is there a player who you try to model your game after or used to try to play like when you were younger? And if so, how come?
EC: When I was really young it would be Martin brodeur as I got older it switched to Carey price but now I just try and play like myself and watch video of all NHL goalies and see what they do and if I could add it to my game.

PC: That's a great answer. Well that's all we have for now! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! Best of luck to you in June!
EC: Thanks so much for including me in this! And thank you so much!

I hope you all enjoyed this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it. You can follow Eric on twitter at : @EricComrie1 and you can follow us at: @PuckCentralHQ

Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Draft Rankings

Below is our rankings for the month of February. In remaing months leading up to the draft you can expect to see some mock draft and prospect reports, as well as other articles regarding prospects, and Junior teams. Make sure you check back each week to see what's new or follow us on twitter! (@PuckCentralHQ)
1- Seth Jones
2- Nathan MacKinnon
3- Jonathan Drouin
4- Aleksander Barkov
5- Valeri Nichushkin
6- Elias Lindholm
7- Sean Monahan
8- Hunter Shinkaruk
9- Nikita Zadorov
10- Adam Erne
11- Darnell Nurse
12- Max Domi
13- Rasmus Ristolainen
14- Ryan Pulock
15- Josh Morrissey
16- Frederik Gauthier
17- Zach Fucale
18- Anthony Mantha
19- Robert Hagg
20- Kerby Rychel
21- Ryan Hartman
22- Curtis Lazar
23- Bo Horvat
24- Alexander Wennberg
25- Eric Comrie
26- Andre Burakovsky
27- Nicolas Petan
28- Morgan Klimchuk
29- Anthony Duclair
30- Mirco Mueller

Others recieving votes:
Arturri Lehkonen
Valentin Zykov
William Carrier
Oliver Bjorkstrand
Please feel free to let us know what you think of our rankings, or give us your opinion on who should be ranked where!
Twitter: @PuckCentralHQ

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Draft Rankings and Q&A With Jack Johnson

PuckCentralHQ's Rankings:

1- Seth Jones
2- Nathan MacKinnon
3- Aleksander Barkov
4- Sean Monahan
5- Elias Lindholm
6- Valeri Nichushkin
7- Hunter Shinkaruk
8- Jonathan Drouin
9- Rasmus Ristolainen
10- Adam Erne
11- Ryan Pulock
12- Robert Hagg
13- Nikita Zadorov
14- Max Domi
15- Darnell Nurse
16- Josh Morrissey
17- Anthony Mantha
18- Frederik Gauthier
19- Kerby Rychel
20- William Carrier
21- Zach Fucale
22- Ryan Hartman
23- Andre Burakovsky
24- Bo Horvat
   25- Nicolas Petan
   26- Eric Comrie
   27- Jacob de la Rose
   28- Curtis Lazar
   29- Alexander Wennberg
   30- Artturi Lehkonen

Honourable Mentions:

-Nick Sorensen
-Eric Roy
-Anthony Duclair

Interview with Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets:
Here's a small Q&A we did with Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson!

PuckCentralHQ: You've been supporting the American World Junior team a lot since the tournament started, what was your World Junior experience like?

Jack Johnson: Both of my World Junior experiences were unbelievable. My first time in 2006 was in Vancouver. I've had a lot of great hockey memories in that city and the atmosphere of a WJC in a Canadian city can't be matched. It was a lot of fun and I fed off the Canada/USA rivalry, becoming public enemy #1 in Vancouver. For me personally it was a good tournament as I was named to the tournament all-star team. Unfortunately as a team we finished without a medal in 4th place. The following year was held in Sweden. I scored an OT goal against Sweden to get us to the medal rounds and then we played the epic shootout game with Canada in the semis. I went 2-for-2 in the shootout, but Jonathan Toews went 3-for-3 and won it in the 7th round for Canada. We ended up winning the bronze by beating the host Sweden. It wasn't what we set out to do, but everything was such a great experience. It was amazing to represent my country and it is a time I will never forget.

PuckCentralHQ: What advice would you give to the young players at the World Juniors right now?

JackJohnson: Go out and enjoy the experience. Play your game and try not to let the pressure get to you. It's a short tournament so anything can happen. Remember that it's an honor to play for your country and only the guys in the room with you will be able to say they represented USA at the 2013 World Junior Championships. Play with pride, respect the tradition, and go for gold!

Let us know what you think!
Tweet us at: @PuckCentralHQ

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Final Team Canada Mock Rosters

Trevor's Roster:


J.Huberdeau*- R.N-H -M.Scheifele*
C.Hudon- R.Strome* -T.Rattie
H.Shinkaruk/- B.Jenner* -B.Ritchie
J.C.Lipon- P.Danault -T.Wilson





*= Returning Player
/= Draft Eligible
N-H= Nugent-Hopkins

Bradley's Roster:


J.Huberdeau*- R.N-H -T.Rattie
M.Scheifele*- R.Strome* -B.Ritchie
C.Hudon- B.Jenner* -J.C.Lipon
A.Camara- P.Danault -T.Wilson





*= Returning Player
/= Draft Eligible
N-H= Nugent-Hopkins

Friday, 7 December 2012

Team Canada (World Junior) Mock Roster 1

In the next week and a bit we'll be posting various "mock" rosters for Team Canada's upcoming World Junior Championship team. Since there's two of us we'll each post a roster and then on the final day of the selection camp, we'll post one final roster, which we believe will be the roster Canada should take to Russia. The rosters we post prior to that may not reflect exactly who we think will make the team but rather different views the team could take.

Trevor's Roster:




** Please note that Colton Sissons has been ruled out of the Selection Camp due to injury.

*=Returning player from last years team
R.NH=Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

The teams first line has the ability to score at will on any team they will face in the world juniors this year and barring an injury any of the 3 could lead this tournament in points, the second line although lacking in size has the ability to score goals in bunches with averaging 1.52 ppg. The third line featuring one of the top 2013 draft prospects in Sean Monahan are more then capable of scoring goals and are no slouches on the defensive end, with Danault and Sissons on this line the team has a potential shut down unit that will have no trouble scoring goals if that's what they are required to do. The fourth line of Jenner, McNeill, and Wilson will throw their bodies around and will scare almost anyone they come barreling in on. Potential 2013 1st overall pick Nathan MacKinnon will be the 13th forward but he will play a prominent role on this team.

On the back end they will rely on Dougie Hamilton who could be the tournaments top defenceman to carry the bulk of the defensive responsibilities. Morgan Rielly, and Ryan Murphy will be expected to create things from the back end and quarterback the teams powerplay. Xavier Ouellet and Scott Harrington will be this years shut down pair and should do a fine job of that, Ryan Sproul and Griffin Reinhart can both contribute offensively and play good defence making this years defence the strongest point of the squad.

Malcolm Subban will be expected to be the starting goalie but like every year the competition will be fierce in nets and it wouldnt surprise anyone to see Jordan Binnington take over as the starter.

Bradley's Roster:




*=Returning player from last years team
R.NH=Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

The roster I created is more of a "Shot in the dark" kind of roster but if I picked exactly who I thought should make it, it would look to similar to Trevor's.

On offence a lot of the roster spots are spoken for, and there's a lot of competition for those final spots. I'll skip the obvious players like Huberdeau and RNH because we all know why they should be there. There's some question marks surrounding Tyler Graovac and his health right now but if he's healthy you'd have to think he gets some strong consideration. He's had a break out year and has been a goal scoring machine for the Ottawa 67's of the OHL. Charles Hudon might not be a "lock" but his stand out performance this summer has him getting some strong consideration. The versatile winger can play a top 6 and bottom 6 role and brings a ton of leadership to the table. Philip Danault should get some serious consideration as well. The first rounder from 2011 is a leader and strong two-way presence on the ice. Much like Graovac, the big man, Brett Ritchie is having a breakout season and should get a serious look to fill a bottom 6 role for Team Canada. He's a complete player with lots of skill. Finally Anthony Camara can complicate the scary duo of Boone Jenner and Tom Wilson. Camara is a scary presence on the ice but he can also make it happen on offence, much like Jenner and Wilson.

On the back end there's a lot of great options. Hamilton and Harrington are returning players and will pick up a lot of the slack with injured star, Ryan Murray. Morgan Rielly was a stand out this summer and should be considered a lock for Team Canada, but he will have to have a good camp because there's a lot of able players trying to take his spot. Derrick Pouliot is a long shot but the 2012 top 20 pick could snatch up a spot with a good camp. Griffin Reinhart isn't having a great year but he's a big body who can play a great defensive game. Ryan Sproul started the year hot but got injured early. Now he's back and should get a lot of consideration because of his solid game. Ryan Murphy is taking his third and final crack at Team Canada. He was a stand out this summer and would be the backbone to the Canadian power play. The staff will have to decide whether his offence first type of play is worth taking to Russia, I personally think it is.

Subban is considered the front runner for the starting job, and likely has a chip on his shoulder after getting snubbed out of an invite last year. Laurent Brossoit was sensational last season and in the playoffs but his play fell off in the Memorial Cup and he wasn't exactly a shinning star at the Summer Camp (Canada-Russia Challenge). Jordan Binnington is one of,if not the best goalie in junior hockey and should challenge for the starting job, not just the backup position.