Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's wrong with Tyler Ennis

Another thought from the TPG last night...

First of all, fans often make too much of how much impact a good or bad Top Prospects Game performance can have on a player's stock. But there can be some important subtle clues that will move a player on teams' lists.

The best case in point from last night's game was Tyler Ennis. By this time in the season, scouts have seen plenty of Ennis and have a good read on what he is. And surely there's a lot to like about his game despite his very smallish size. Even on our rankings, he is knocking on the door of the first round.

But no matter how many of Medicine Hat's regular season games a scout sees this season, he won't get a better chance to evaluate Ennis' ability to beat above-average skating defencemen with his moves than in the Top Prospects Game. No WHL team boasts a one through six defensive corp that can skate like Team Red. So Ennis' agility and speed were put to the toughest test of the season last night.

We've seen Ennis turn plenty of WHL defencemen into pretzels this season - even some of the better defencemen struggle to contain him. But against such mobile blueliners as Del Zotto, Doughty, etc., Ennis really struggled. And these are the type of defencemen that Ennis will have to try beat every shift at the next level, either the AHL or the NHL.

Now it's not such a poor showing that would drop Ennis completely out of the first two rounds. But it's enough of a clue to scouts about his future in pro hockey that NHL teams may drop him a few spots on their lists. And that could be enough to keep him from being a high second round pick (say 30-35) to perhaps later in the 2nd (45-60th overall).

No comments: