Sunday, June 15, 2008

2008 Wrap - Prince Albert

Prince Albert Raiders

The Raiders have a boatload of first year eligibles, but I don't see any of them going in the early rounds.

Tomas Voracek: The Raiders best draft prospect in my book, but still only a middle rounder. I'd be surprised if he cracks the top 100, but he could go as early as the 4th.

Steven Stanford: A little bit of buzz surrounding this guy in the middle of the season, so there could be a team (or few) considering him with a middle or late rounder. Then again, there's so many decent eligible goaltenders in the WHL this year, he could get lost in the shuffle and not go at all. Mildly underwhelming performance this season, but since he's one of the youngest players available in the draft, scouts will give him some extra credit.

Blaine Tendler: Had some high expectations on him and was a disappointment for scouts this season. Still might go with a late pick, however.

Nathan Deck: Small blueliner has plenty of skill and will be a very good junior player. Skating is a bit troublesome to me, however. Someone could grab him with a late pick.

Others: James Dobrowski is the best of the rest of the lot first year eligibles, but I still don't see him going. Zak Stebner has some tools but needs to work on his skating and d-zone play to become a prospect. Jordan Trach, Bryce Lamb, and Michael Small are the other first year eligibles but aren't likely to be on any teams' lists. German Max Brandl was on the end of my list two years ago, but probably hasn't done quite enough in the Dub to draw much interest.

Looking Ahead to 2009: The Raiders should again draw a some interest from scouts next year, as they have some young talent with some upside. Ryan Button is one my early sleepers for next year. I like his smarts and confidence with the puck, but scouts will want to see some more scoresheet production next year. At this point he would only be a middle rounder. Cole Penner and his physical style has received a little bit of buzz and he will be closely watched. With some production, he could emerge as an early round candidate. Brandon Herrod and Kyle Aschim look like they are going to be pretty decent junior players and are certainly on the radar.

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