Monday, March 31, 2008

What's right with Derek Grant

I've neglected this space for far too long, so it's time to get back on the stick...

Langley winger Derek Grant is looking like a riser here late in the scouting season. The big winger has some good straight line speed and excellent hands around the net.

He should be a middle round pick, somewhere around the 4th or 5th round. If he played a more rugged style, he would have a better shot at slipping into the top 3 rounds. He's somewhat of a gentle giant, but has the combination of hand, size, and skating that starts looking too good to pass up to NHL teams somwhere around the 100th pick.

What's wrong with Kyle Beach

While Kyle Beach is still a very safe bet to go somewhere in the first 20-25 picks, his stock has really taken a beating among NHL scouts since January.

First it was the second concussion in 5 weeks time that held him out of the Top Prospects Game that put serious concerns into NHL minds. But his play on the ice since that time has sent him into a mini-freefall.

And that's leaving aside the off ice issues that makes him untouchable to many NHL teams. Several NHL scouts have told me directly that their teams will not draft him under any circumstances.

Still, it only takes one gambler of a head scout with lots of job security (think David Conte, among others) with one of the first 30 picks to keep Beach from falling out of the first round.