Tidying up a category not quite addressed yet in our previous Who We Be's (Centres, Centres II, Left Wings, Right Wings, Goaltenders), we have the category of prospects drafted but not signed to entry-level contracts (ELCs). I'll keep it brief here as there's a nice little crop of 'em.
It's important to note that since none of these guys have ELCs, they shouldn't be expected to impact the big club this year, and in many cases not in any of the coming years. To make sure we're not looking at a bunch of 29-year olds, I cut the list down to 24 or younger, and provided you with the last three years' data.
|John Albert||C||22||180cm (5'11")||82kg (180lbs)||08-09||NCAA||Ohio St.||42||11||28||39||20|
|Tanner Lane||C||19||188cm (6'2")||78kg (172lbs)||08-09||HS-MN||Detroit Lakes||25||49||41||90||62|
|Daultan Leveille||C||21||180cm (5'11")||73kg (160lbs)||08-09||NCAA||Michigan St.||38||9||8||17||12|
|Jesse Martin||C||23||183cm (6'0")||77kg (170lbs)||08-09||NCAA||Denver||37||10||13||23||34|
|Ivan Telegin||C||19||191cm (6'3")||84kg (185lbs)||08-09||WHC-U17||Russia||5||2||2||4||4|
Ivan Telegin and John Albert jump out at me the most, Albert less so. Albert will have a chance to prove himself at the AHL level; the word on him is that he plays good, two-way hockey, but won't be too impressive offensively. Never hurts to have a guy like that on the 4th line, assuming he plays well in the minors and continues to keep those PIM numbers down. Telegin, a former Atlanta 4th rounder, is big and uses it in front of the net. You have to like a guy who can utilize the big without taking a ton of penalties. Though not a flashy player or "hot" prospect, if he continues to put up numbers like those in the AHL, we could see him in the NHL in a couple of years.
|Jordan||LW||21||188cm (6'2")||86kg (190lbs)||08-09||USHL||Waterloo||59||32||22||54||59|
|Yasin Cisse||RW||19||191cm (6'3")||95kg (210lbs)||08-09||USHL||Des Moines||31||2||6||8||46|
|Vinny Saponari||RW||21||185cm (6'1")||88kg (195lbs)||08-09||NCAA||Boston U.||44||8||9||17||39|
Quite a bit of the nothing-to-see here variety; Cisse has had a couple of serious injuries that have derailed his career to this point. He plays tough hockey, but his body hasn't taken it well. Might end up having a sort of Angelo-Esposito-like career curve. Saponari decided to affirm that he wasn't mature last year; he left BU after refusing to attend his punishment for getting caught with too few years and too much dancing juice. His ensuing transfer to Boston College required him to sit out a year, which he spent looking really good against skinny teenagers in the USHL. Okay, maybe they aren't all skinny teenagers. Does that count as promising?
|Kendall McFaull||D||19||191cm (6'3")||86kg (190lbs)||08-09||Midget||Saskatoon||60||7||23||30||115|
|Julian Melchiori||D||19||191cm (6'3")||91kg (200lbs)||08-09||Cdn Jr A||Newmarket||48||2||20||22||34|
|09-10||Cdn Jr A||Newmarket||39||7||16||23||16|
|Will O'Neill||D||23||185cm (6'1")||93kg (205lbs)||08-09||NCAA||Maine||34||4||12||16||82|
|Sebastian Owuya||D||20||193cm (6'4")||89kg (196lbs)||08-09||Swe-U18||Timra||31||0||9||9||54|
|Peter Stoykewych||D||19||191cm (6'3")||88kg (195lbs)||08-09||Cdn Jr A||Winnipeg||53||4||12||16||33|
|09-10||Cdn Jr A||Winnipeg||56||6||25||31||63|
Stoykewych is one of the few interesting ones of the bunch, but I use the term generously. He's a local boy who held his own in his first year in the USHL, and has only a slim possibility of being a third-pairing, defensive defenceman. O'Neill looks good on the surface, but there's not much upside there. I've heard whispers that Melchiori could develop into a two-way NHLer, but we'll need to see him take a step forward as he moves from the OHL to the NCAA Hockey East's UMass-Lowell.
|Alex Kangas||G||24||185cm (6'1")||79kg (175lbs)||08-09||NCAA||Minnesota||36||17||11||6||0.901|
Pettersson-Wentzel is a long-term project, at best. If he makes it, it'll be three or more years into the future. Kangas, one of the better goaltenders in Minnesota collegiate history (don't worry, Robb Stauber, you're still #1), suffered the dreaded torn labrum in his hip last year (you know, the injury that has endangered the careers of Rick DiPietro, Ray Emery, and countless other goalies). If he can recover, he could be a solid backup at the NHL level, which is more than what Stauber could say. But it should be considered a long shot.
So how does this change the outlook presented by our Who We Be's? Well, there's a little bit of promise at centre, but not much else. It'd be safe to assume we still need to retain our previous conception of draft priorities, with centre being at the top, right wing in second, and defence in third.