Mark Seidel's Blog: Early risers and fallers for 2010

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

For my second blog of the new season, I will highlight some players who are rising and falling in the early going:

RISING

Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers – Previous No. 10; Current No. 1

What more can you say about a kid who has jumped to the No. 1 slot ahead of Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler? Last year I was very impressed with his play in the second half when he was on what was arguably the best line in major junior with Matt Caria and Chris Terry. This year both of them have graduated from the Whalers, but Seguin has continued to play outstanding hockey. Seguin looks like a man playing among boys and comparisons to Steve Yzerman are not as big a stretch as some would suggest.

Alexander Burmistrov, Barrie Colts – Previous No. 59; Current No. 15

Burmistrov has had an exceptionally strong start for the powerful Colts and seems to have adapted to the North American game very well. Our initial rankings had Burmistrov at No. 59, but after a few more viewings we quickly realized the error of our ways and boosted him into the middle of the first round.

Mikael Granlund, HIFK Helsinki – Previous No. 8; Current No. 4

Granlund has played 13 games in the top Finnish league this season, tallying three goals and nine assists for 12 points – a phenomenal pace for such a young player. HIFK has played him as a right winger, although he has been a center in the past. Granlund will probably need two or three more years to perfect his physique and skills before he’s prepared for the NHL, but make no mistake, this kid is destined for greatness. In some ways, he reminds me of Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom in the 2006 draft when big names like Phil Kessel, Jordan Staal, Erik Johnson and Jonathan Toews were constantly being talked about, while Backstrom was quietly one of the best.

FALLING

Kirill Kabanov, Moncton Wildcats – Previous No. 4; Current No. 12

There is no denying Kabanov has an immense amount of talent, but he allegedly was causing problems off the ice in Russia by showing some resistance to his coaches. I’m happy he decided to challenge himself against the world’s best prospects in Canada, but it’s time for him to buy in, prove his worth on the ice and realize he still has a lot to learn as a player.

John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves – Previous No. 5; Current No. 9

McFarland had an unbelievable Ivan Hlinka tournament, where he captained Team Canada through a dominating gold medal performance. However, his 2009-10 season is off to a poor start. At times his play has reverted back to how he looked in his rookie season. Much like Kabanov, McFarland’s skill set will keep him in the top 15, but there are some concerns surrounding him that have us monitoring him closely.

Teemu Pulkkinen, Jokerit – Previous No. 6; Current No. 11

Pulkkinen has one goal and two assists in 12 SM-Liiga games this season, which isn’t bad considering his team is struggling. However, his minus-10 is the worst in the league. He has started to work a lot harder in the neutral and defensive zones, but it’s obvious he will strictly be an offensive-minded player.

Here are our new rankings as of Oct. 20, 2009:

Rk

Name

Ht.

Wt.

Pos.

Team

Birth

1

Tyler Seguin

6'1

186

C

Plymouth Whalers

Jan-92

2

Taylor Hall

6'1

185

LW

Windsor Spitfires

Nov-91

3

Cam Fowler

6'2

190

LD

Windsor Spitfires

Dec-91

4

Mikael Granlund

5’8

176

LC

HIFK

Feb-92

5

Brett Connolly

6'2

181

LW

Prince George Cougars

May-92

6

Erik Gudbranson

6'3

199

RD

Kingston Frontenacs

Jan-92

7

Vladimir Tarasenko

6'0

192

RW

Novosbirsk

Dec-91

8

Brandon Gormley

6'2

190

LD

Moncton Wildcats

Feb-92

9

John McFarland

6'1

195

C

Sudbury Wolves

Apr-92

10

Stanislav Galiev

6'1

177

RW/C

Saint John Sea Dogs

Jan-92

11

Teemu Pulkkinen

5'9

176

RW

Jokerit

Jan-92

12

Kirill Kabanov

6'2

175

LW

Moncton Wildcats

Jul-92

13

Jon Merrill

6'3

205

RD

U.S. Under-18

Feb-92

14

Tyler Toffoli

6'0

181

RW

Ottawa 67's

Apr-92

15

Alexander Burmistrov

6'0

170

C

Barrie Colts

Oct-91

16

Derek Forbort

6'4

195

RD

U.S. Under-18

Mar-92

17

Maxim Kitsyn

6'2

182

LW

Metallurg

Dec-91

18

Joey Hishon

5'10

190

LC

Owen Sound Attack

Oct-91

19

Brock Beukeboom

6'1

196

RD

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Apr-92

20

Stephen Johns

6'3

220

RD

U.S. Under-18

Apr-92

21

Austin Watson

6'3

177

RW

Windsor Spitfires

Jan-92

22

Mark Pysyk

6'1

175

RD

Edmonton OilKings

Jan-92

23

Joonas Donskoi

5'9

156

RW

Karpat

Apr-92

24

Quinton Howden

6'3

189

LW

Moose Jaw Warriors

Jan-92

25

Evgeni Kuznetsov

5'11

175

LC/W

Chelyabinsk

May-92

26

Jacob Berglund

6'1

199

LW

Portland Winterhawks

Nov-91

27

Luke Moffatt

6'0

190

RW

U.S. Under-18

Jun-92

28

Victor Ohman

6'1

191

LW

Malmo

Apr-92

29

Jeff Skinner

5'10

197

LC

Kitchener Rangers

May-92

30

Nick Mattson

6'1

190

LD

U.S. Under-18

Oct-91

31

Janos Hari

5'10

165

LW

Farjestad

May-92

32

Jack Campbell

6'1

171

G

U.S. Under-18

Jan-92

33

Oscar Lindberg

6'0

185

LW

Skelleftea

Oct-91

34

Adam Pettersson

5’10

176

LW

Skelleftea

Jan-92

35

Ryan Martindale

6'3

190

LC

Ottawa 67's

Oct-91

36

Andrew Yogan

6'3

200

LW

Erie Otters

Dec-91

37

Jordan Weal

5'9

165

RC

Regina Pats

Apr-92

38

Kevin Gravel

6'4

175

LD

Sioux City Musketeers

Mar-92

39

Ryan Spooner

5'10

175

LW

Peterborough Petes

Jan-92

40

Ben Duffy

5'10

190

RW

PEI Rocket

Mar-92

41

Felix Liljegren

6'3

209

RW

Djurgarden

Jul-92

42

Aaron Harstad

6'2

183

LD

Green Bay Gamblers

Apr-92

43

Kevin Sundher

6'0

188

LC

Chilliwack Bruins

Jan-92

44

Charles Inglis

5'11

180

LC

Saskatoon Blades

May-92

45

Connor Redmond

6'1

172

LW

Red Deer Rebels

May-92

46

Christian Thomas

5'9

171

RW

Oshawa Generals

May-92

47

Ville Kolppanen

6'1

185

G

Lethbridge Hurricanes

May-92

48

Kevin Lind

6'3

200

LD

Chicago Steel

Mar-92

49

Guillaume Asselin

5'11

194

RW

Montreal Juniors

Sep-92

50

Yasin Cisse

6'3

208

RW

Des Moines Buccaneers

Mar-92

Mark Seidel is the chief scout for North American Central Scouting and co-hosts the radio show "Breakout; The Hockey Show; NHL 2009" on the Prime Sports Network. He is also a regular contributor to Hockey Night in Canada on Sirius Radio as their draft and junior hockey insider. Read his other blog entries HERE.

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