Kirill Kabanov falling to late in the third round. The Carolina Hurricanes selected Jeff Skinner seventh overall. Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley falling to 12th and 13th respectively.
These were just four of many examples of surprises at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles. With the unpredictable nature of the event, we’re sure to see many more in Minnesota later this June.
So what can hockey fans expect at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft?
The unexpected. With a wide open field and a class that boasts prospects ranked so close in nature, anything can and presumably will happen.
Looking into the crystal ball, here are Future Considerations’ ‘wow’ moments of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Rocco Grimaldi will be a top-10 pick.
Though he’s got top-5 talent, the five-foot-six Grimaldi is short on stature. What the NHL draft combine may have shown is that the Auburn Hills, MI. native isn’t short on strength. While his 6.8 per cent body fat will impress (in fact, it tied Scott Tesink for first) against an average of 9.0, Grimaldi finished top-five with 39 push-ups, push strength in pounds per body weight, in the vertical jump with no pause and top-10 in average jump height.
Not too bad for a player who weighs in at 163-pounds.
Benjamin Conz finally has his day.
Skipped over both the 2009 and 2010 drafts, Conz will finally get drafted with a late round pick. The Swiss goaltender has impressed in two consecutive World Junior Championships and was named the NLA’s top goaltender in a coaches and players poll in January. Also, a relatively weak goaltending crop plagues the 2011 draft.
Because of these factors, Conz will finally have his draft day.
Tyler Biggs falls out of the first round.
The rollercoaster ride through the draft rankings throughout the season has seen Biggs ranked everywhere between the mid-first round and an early second round pick. Plagued with bouts of inconsistency throughout the year, the Cincinatti, OH. native has looked both like a full-fledged power forward and a third line checking winger at best.
Biggs’ lack of consistency will draw but one constant – each team will pass on him in the first round.
No goalies on opening day.
Though John Gibson is ranked among FC’s final top-30 and Samu Perhonen at 31, it will be a lonely June 24th for netminders hoping to be selected in the first round. With the draft being as wide open as it is and a lot of premium offensive talent, though not without its flaws, forwards become more attractive than goaltenders with a late first round pick.
Because of this, the goaltenders will once again be at the lonely end of the rink on draft day.
What does the 2011 NHL Entry Draft have to bring in the way of surprises? Only time will tell, starting June 24th.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!