Future Considerations’ Western Hockey League scout Jeff McCarthy 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.
If I were to choose a player who has most improved throughout the season, Carter Rigby of the Kelowna Rockets would be on the top of that list.
In my viewing of Kelowna in the preseason, Rigby was slow and showed very little in the way of offensive potential. As the season progressed and my viewings of him increased, I noticed that he is continually growing into your typical power forward. Rigby has an excellent wrist shot, is willing to battle in the corners, and is far from shy in terms of dropping the mitts. His potential is there and could become a steal if he falls in the later rounds of the draft.
One guy who many seem to think be a sleeper is one player that really left me desiring more from his game.
Brandon Leipsic of the Portland Winterhawks has been described as a player with speed and great hands with a bit of an edge. In my viewings, Leipsic was taking selfish penalties and lacked offensive flare. On the wrong end of most exchanges, Leipsic has yet to learn how to walk the line of an effective agitator, often leaving the Winterhawks shorthanded as a result.
One player who has climbed up the rankings as the season went on was Malte Stromwall of the Tri-City Americans.
He showed some excellent offensive abilities, dishing the puck with the best of them while his patience and vision was regularly on display. His speed is a big factor in his game.
On a great Tri-City team Stromwall played limited minutes, but in those minutes he showed some great promise for a great future in hockey and a possible steal in this years draft.