There comes a time in every draft season where someone inevitably steps up and pushes the top prospect(s) for draft position.
After analyzing our viewings of both defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Jonathan Huberdeau this season, we see no reason why the big four should not be extended to the big six for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
Hamilton’s game, while still a little on the raw side compared to that of Swede Adam Larsson, gives us no reason to believe that he will not make the transition to the NHL at anything less than a physical, two-way #2 defenseman with his ideal size and extremely impressive skating for a guy with his vitals. Compare Hamilton to Larsson’s projection of a top two, poised two-way defender and one starts to think that while not overly similar in styles, that their upside is not that far off from one another.
Huberdeau is a case of constant improvement over the course of the season as he is by far a better prospect then at the start of the year. His trajectory is still moving skyward. Huberdeau could challenge Nugent-Hopkins as the most skilled forward to come out of this draft crop due to his offensive skills, vision, competitiveness and hockey sense.
Now, while it is true that this draft does not hold that surefire “franchise” type player we have steadily seen drafted at the top of his class and go on to do big things in the NHL seemingly overnight, 2011 will certainly give many teams some nice pieces with high potential to build around for the future.
Dan Stewart is the chief scout of Future Considerations. Follow the latest 2011 NHL Entry Draft news from FC via FC’s Official Twitter Feed at www.twitter.com/FCHockey and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/futureconsiderations