Future Considerations’ scout Dan Sallows gives his thoughts on who from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft class left him impressed, who disappointed and who his sleeper is on draft day.
I didn’t know much about Dane Fox before taking in the CHL’s Top Prospects Game in Kelowna, BC this season, but after being a late edition to the roster he came in and played pretty much flawless.
He has a ton of offensive weaponry at his disposal, with a pro calibre shot, great vision and those soft hands that could probably stickhandle in the back of a Volkswagen Beetle. And, aside from what he can bring you while on the attack, he is also incredible on faceoffs, is strong down low and along the boards, competes hard and plays the game with a chip on his shoulder. The only knock on the six-foot, 185-pound centre is that he could utilize his shot more, as he is more than capable of sniping 40+ in the OHL. The sky is the limit when talking about the gifted Fox, as he has all the attributes that if he continues to put in the work, he’ll be a valuable asset to an NHL club someday.
I had the opportunity to watch Mikhail Grigorenko live on a few occasions this season, and while his numbers in the QMJHL were impressive, and a top-3 ranking is nothing to be demoralized over, he just wasn’t the same player I saw last year.
I know he had some injuries – so did Alex Galchenyuk – and apparently battled mononucleosis, but in most scouts eyes he isn’t even be considered for the No. 1 pick, which should be more surprising. I mean, not to take anything away from Nail Yakupov, who mesmerizes me every time he steps on the ice, but in my mind Grigorenko is an enigma that could very well be the best player available in 2012. Just about every NHL club either wants or needs a big centre that can dominate down the middle and create offense, so the fact he doesn’t even seem to be mentioned in the Edmonton Oilers or Columbus Blue Jackets draft plans should speak volumes.
Yes, it’s not like he has fallen out of the top-10, or even top-5 for that matter. And, I know he had some great games during the 2011-12 campaign, I just failed to see any, which makes him my disappointment. But, when he wins Rookie of the Year in the NHL, all will quickly be forgotten I’m sure.
I caught a handful of Lethbridge Hurricanes games during the year, and fell in love with what Philip Tot brings to the ice night in and night out.
The 18-year-old is a six-foot-two, 190-pound prototypical power forward that has already spent three full seasons in the WHL and has improved in each of them. His best asset is his vision, as he has incredible hands and makes his linemates better with his ability to dish the puck. He has good wheels and is very mobile for his size, has a nice shot, a big frame in which he uses to drive to the net as well as lean on the opposition to wear them down while battling for loose pucks and will do anything to help his team win whether it’s dropping the gloves for the occasional fistacuffs or blocking shots.
The Calgary, AB product works incredibly hard on and off the ice, and is a foot soldier that good teams need to win. As the Hurricanes finally look to turn the corner, Tot is going to be a huge part of their success moving forward, and he has the potential to be a very versatile pro in the coming years