Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NHL Pre-Draft Rankings Include Four Penn Staters

Here's a rundown of how Penn Staters and Penn Staters-to-be have fared in the various pre-NHL Entry Draft guides.

In all, ten rankings of reasonable depth (one-round mock drafts - who doesn't have one of those - need not apply) were checked for this post. Rankings are often constructed a little bit differently from each other, so to help with context and comparison, here's how everyone listed the prospects.

NHL Central Scouting Services: 210 North American skaters, 130 European skaters, 35 North American goalies and 10 European goalies, with no combined list.
International Scouting Services: 200 skaters and 20 goalies, with no combined list.
Future Considerations: 210 players in a combined list.
HockeyProspect.com: 210 players in a combined list.
The Hockey News: 100 players in a combined list.
McKeen's Hockey: 120 players in a combined list.
The Hockey Writers (War Room): 120 players in a combined list.
The Hockey Writers (The Next Ones): 210 players in a combined list.
Bob McKenzie: 75 players in a combined list, plus five honorable mentions.
Craig Button: 75 players in a combined list

All rankings are the respective organizations' final pre-draft issuance.

First, the usual caveat: 30 different NHL teams do the drafting, not McKeen's, The Hockey News, or any single entity unilaterally ordering all available players.

With that out of the way and in summary, incoming goalie Eamon McAdam stands as the only player where it can be said that selection is considered likely. In the six guides that assigned him a numerical rank against all other players, his average placement was 104th, or in the middle of the fourth round. NHL Central Scouting considers him to be one of their top 101 overall, as evidenced by McAdam's invitation to the NHL Scouting Combine. International Scouting Services labeled him as a second-rounder.

Rising sophomore defenseman Mark Yanis (in his second year of draft eligibility), along with incoming defenseman Mike Williamson and 2014 defense commit Bo Pellah have also received attention. However, as each only appears close to the end of one ranking, their being picked has to be viewed as something of a longshot. At the same time, it does need to be said that only five lists are deep enough to incorporate the conclusion of the draft and a Penn Stater not named McAdam appears in three of those. So while individually, their chances might not be fantastic, the odds of one of the three going may be fairly decent.

All seven rounds of the draft will take place on Sunday, June 30th at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Any PSU-affiliated picks will join forward Max Gardiner (2010, 3rd round/74th overall by St. Louis) and defenseman Pat Koudys (2011, 5th round/147th overall by Washington) as NHL prospects on the Nittany Lions.

Eamon McAdam's performance in showcase events has boosted his draft stock

Eamon McAdam

6'2", 185 pounds
2012-13 Team: Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

NHL Central Scouting Services: 6th North American goalie (additionally, McAdam was one of 101 players invited to the NHL Scouting Combine by CSS, which would seem to place him in their top 101 overall)
International Scouting Services: 3rd goalie
Future Considerations: 106th, 7th goalie
HockeyProspect.com: 144th, 8th goalie
McKeens Hockey: 97th, 10th goalie
The Hockey Writers (War Room): 113th, 7th goalie
The Hockey Writers (The Next Ones): 92nd, 7th goalie
Craig Button: 74th, 7th goalie

Scouting Reports

International Scouting Services: McAdam is a good sized goaltender with good upside for the future. He is not the most athletic goaltender but does a good job of keeping his shoulders back and playing consistent angles. He can struggle at times by making his own mess. He needs a lot of polish but his upside is very intriguing and will be a good investment for the NHL club who selects him. McAdam is verbally committed to Penn State University however the London Knights still own his OHL rights. Size/Strength: Very Good; Athleticism/Ability: Good; Glove: Very Good; Blocker: Good; Lateral Movement: Average.

Future Considerations: McAdam is a big stopper with some very interesting professional upside. Immediately, you notice his great size; seals off his posts very well but altogether he doesn’t utilize his frame all that effectively. He arcs out toward the top of the crease when he goes to move post to post, pulling away from the goal line. He challenges the shooter and his size will force puck carriers into taking lower percentage shots. He can have nights where he struggles fighting the puck and having a hard time nabbing it clean, kicks out numerous rebounds, scrambles and flops around in the crease. McAdam really battles and never gives up; gets his mind right after letting in a bad goal. He shows impressive resiliency. His vision and tracking of the puck is great and compliment great athleticism and reflexes. His athleticism is key to his professional upside. He could stand to just play more positionally and let his size do more of the work instead of over committing and rolling around in his crease. NHL Potential: Starting Goaltender

HockeyProspect.com: Eamon got his developmental push out of Team Comcast in 2009-2010 where he made the jump to the junior hockey ranks splitting time between the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks and the NAHL’s Austin Bruins. Eamon received a fair amount of starts for a player who was just 16 to start the season in 2011-2012 and increased his starts again this year getting a lot of exposure and recognition early thanks to his participation at the Junior Club World Cup in August. Eamon has proven to cover the lower part of the net very well. He gets around post to post moderately well and shows good second effort on rebounds. He struggles a little with high shots because he has a tendency to go down a little too early. McAdam also benefited from playing at the World Jr. A Challenge. Eamon is slated to join Penn State University this fall of 2013. January 23, 2013, USHL Top Prospects Game (Muskegon, MI): Had a great night. Very athletic goaltender. Positionally sound and showed the ability to make desperation saves including one unbelievable goal-line glove stop. Communicated well with his teammates, barking commands and warnings to help.

McKeen's Hockey: Set career highs in his second season - sharing duties with fellow draft-runner Cal Petersen .. led the Black Hawks to the final of last summer’s World Jr. Cup in Russia - and Team USA to gold at the World Jr. A Challenge (4-0, 2.18, .927) .. made biggest impression at the USHL Top Prospects Game, claiming MVP honours and delivering one of the year’s best saves .. Perkasie, Pennsylvania native will attend Penn State University this fall .. SCOUTING REPORT .. quick, hybrid goalie casts a solid net presence .. effectively deploys a good-sized frame to manage shooting angles - aided by efficient footwork and deceptive agility .. methodical and structured - reacts and makes decisions relying on his natural instincts and strong anticipation .. style blends poise and competitiveness .. persistence and hard working - won’t give up, sticks with plays .. patient staying up and not over-reacting prematurely .. mostly does a good job of tracking the puck, sustaining solid positions, and not losing the middle of his net .. moves easily post to post and is tough to beat down low .. flashes instantly into a wide and flexible butterfly .. can go flat when down and fully extended - and expose the upper corners .. stays aware - directs teammates about threats - and comforts with positive body language and the mental strength to bounce back after a bad goal.

Mark Yanis' outstanding freshman year at PSU has earned him some draft consideration

Mark Yanis

6'3", 207 pounds
2012-13 Team: Penn State (NCAA)

Future Considerations: 164th, 59th defenseman

Scouting Report

Future Considerations: Yanis is a big, physical blueliner who uses his size to his advantage. He’s shown some flashes of offensive ability and moves well, but could improve his feet. By doing so, he can shore up some coverage lapses in his own end.

HockeyProspect.com views Bo Pellah as a high-end puck mover

Bo Pellah

5'11", 150 pounds
2012-13 Team: Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL)

HockeyProspect.com: 198th, 67th defenseman

Scouting Report

HockeyProspect.com: Pellah is a poised puck moving defenseman who provided a very strong offensive presence from the backend this season and made the power play look quite impressive with his smart decisions with the puck. Pellah does most of his damage offensively with his hockey sense and very impressive passes. He reads the play quite well, and displays good vision from the blue line. He can thread passes through small seams and be mobile to create some space and time to make a play. Pellah does not have a great shot, but he does a good job of getting them on net and creating rebounds by shooting low. He does not carry the puck too often, but does limit the turnovers that he commits and makes a pass or simply dumps the puck in when he feels pressure.

The issue with Pellah’s game his is lack of strength and defensive game. He still has a lot of weight to put on, and really lacks the upper body strength to physically handle players along the walls and in the slot. He has to become much stronger to have any sort of a chance to be a professional player one day. Defensively, Pellah is not particularly great without the puck. He does a good job of positioning himself, but when he has to engage physically, he gets beat time and time again, and bigger players easily get positioning around him.

Pellah is not heading to the NCAA until 2014, so he has a lot of time to develop physically and improve on his defensive game. He is definitely another project, and teams may pass on him this year, but if he can get stronger and be a better presence without the puck to go with his impressive offensive skills, an NHL team may sign him to a rookie contract in the future, or draft him this year and give him a lot of time to develop.

Sept 9, 2012, Prince George Spruce Kings vs. Langley Rivermen (BCHL): A smooth puck moving defenseman who had a very good game. So smart with the puck, and uses time and patience to his advantage. Not afraid to stickhandle and try to beat opponents one on one. Definitely has the skills to do so. A very good skater, could turn from one direction to another in a hurry. Pushes the pace of the game very well. Needs to bulk up and get much stronger. Was listed as 5’11, 139 lbs last year, but this year listed as 6’1, 165 lbs. Defensively, above average in terms of positioning, but play along the walls could improve a lot.

Really impressed with Bo Pellah (2013). His puck moving skills were by far the best out of any 2013 NHL Entry Draft eligible defensemen from this weekend. I was able to talk to his old major midget coach and he said Pellah has moments once in a while where he tries to put on a stickhandling clinic and gets caught and pays for it. Did not see that today, but could be evident later.

Mike Williamson's versatility probably helped him get a nod from NHL Central Scouting

Mike Williamson

6'3", 195 pounds
2012-13 Team: Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)

NHL Central Scouting Services: 183rd North American skater, 71st defenseman

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