Sunday, June 13, 2010

Troy Rutkowski / RD / Portland WHL

Troy Rutkowski / Portland Winterhawks WHL

D-R / 6-1.75, 208 / 29-Apr-92

Skating: 50 / Skill: 65 / Sense: 60 / Compete: 50 / Toughness: 45

Strengths: Excellent offensive ability and power play skills. Can rush or move the puck equally well. Good size. Good off-ice work ethic.

Weaknesses: Wildly inconsistent and need to gain confidence. Skating is questionable.


At various times this season, this guy gave you every reason to like him - great skill from the back end, outstanding power play skills, and even some rare flashes of physical ruggedness in his own end. But for most of this season, he just did nothing.

Power play ability was his most consistent positive. Handles the puck well inside the zone and has a knack for moving laterally to find a shooting lane for himself. Has a very accurate shot (although not all that hard) from the point. Almost never uses his slapshot.

Don't quite know what to grade him on skating. Sometimes it looked like a 70, other times barely a 40. For the most part, though, he doesn't have very quick feet or a very long stride. But sometimes he'll surprise you with a nice rush that displays some speed and lateral quickness.

Showed some rare flashes of rugged, physical play in his own zone. But usually his decision making was awfully tentative in his own end. Puck moving and offensive ability will be his ticket to the next level.

Summary: This guy's game was all over the place this season. Looked like a first rounder early in the season, but if I hadn't seen that and only saw him in the middle of the season I would wonder what the big deal is. For an inconsistent player, I try to remind myself that when he's at his best, you're looking at upside - and for this guy there's a ton of upside and could turn into a good offensive #3. And he's worked hard to get himself into shape, so there's good work ethic and desire there. I'd argue pretty hard for this guy after the 45th pick or so.

Draft Day: Very much a wildcard. There are some teams who just love puck skills from the blueline and will overlook everything else - those are the kind of teams that wouldn't hesitate to spend a high 2nd rounder on him. But he seems more likely to me a 50-80 overall guy. I'd be really surprised if he's not gone my the middle of the 3rd.

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