Saturday, May 30, 2009

Koper, Levko - LW - Spokane WHL

Levko Koper / Spokane Chiefs WHL

LW-L / 6-0.0, 180 / 05-Oct-90

Skating: 75 / Skill: 55 / Sense: 65 / Compete: 45 / Tough: 50

Strengths: Great speed and acceleration. Gets to the scoring areas and can finish. Dangerous on the forecheck and a good penalty killer. At his best when the games count the most.

Weaknesses: Wildly inconsistent effort level. Somewhat limited skill level.

Inconsistency drove me nuts. I could give him either a 75 or 25 on competitiveness, depending upon when we're talking about. Was at his best in May 2008, during Spoke's Memorial Cup run. Was very underwhelming through much of the middle of this past season, before stepping up again in playoffs.

When he's at his best, he's a pesky energy player who is strong defensively and a an elite pass-stealing threat on the forecheck. But for most of his draft year, he looked lazy, floated a lot, and rarely used his blazing speed.

Fantastic skater with a long, powerful stride. Some of the best pure speed and acceleration in the draft. Has a good shooting touch around the net, but isn't a real great passer. Has a knack for sneaking into the backdoor scoring areas near the net when he doesn't have the puck.

Tremendously effective on the PK with that good lateral quickness and ability to anticipate opponent's passes. Isn't a real physical player, but that's fine for the style he plays. I do like the fact that he will drop the gloves on rare occasion - but isn't really much of a fighter.

Summary: The fact that he steps up in the post season makes me want to give this guy a lot of leeway on the questionable effort. And he's got probably the two biggest ingredients for an NHL career - skating and hockey sense. Could be a steal in the 2nd - if I'm around the 40th-50th pick and Button and Eakin are gone, I'd argue for this player.

Draft Day: I think he goes somewhere in the 2nd. Could sneak into the 30s. I'll be totally shocked if he slides as far as Central's ranking indicates (4th-5th round!).

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