I had to make my last pick in the HF staff mock draft today. The results of that will be posted shortly on the site, but that and some other fact-checking caused me to delve pretty deeply into the ISS draft guide. A few interesting things I noted:
The guide has a "style compares to" section, where they say which NHL player each top-30 prospect most resembles. Brian Campbell, Jay Bouwmeester, Adam Foote, etc. I get to Kyle Beach and it says "Terry Ryan." Who? I looked this name up and the most accomplished Terry Ryan was drafted in the first round in 1995 by the Canadiens, peaked in his draft year and played just 8 NHL games. What kind of backhanded compliment is this? Actually I think it may have to do with the fact that he was from Newfoundland and so is one of ISS's top scouts. How about a comparison more than a few people would get then?
I checked out what my hometown OHL Erie Otters had to offer this year. The top-ranked guy is Mitch Gaulton, a defenseman. He only played 20 games this year due to an elbow injury. That's probably going to keep him from going as high as he should. Poor kid. I'm going to make sure we have a profile for him.
Ever hear of the Don Waddell award? It's a real award, given for the top freshman at Northern Michigan University, Don's alma mater. Mark Olver won it this year. He put up some darn good numbers as a freshman with Northern (led the team in scoring with 38 points in 39 games), but isn't ranked very high, jut 207th among North American skaters by Central Scouting and not at all by ISS. Makes me think scouts are scared off by the experience with his brother Darin a few years ago -- drafted 36th overall by the Rangers and then they never signed him, he went to Europe. Their father is now the GM of the AHL Iowa Stars, by the way.
I just heard back from Dave Caruso, who everyone should know. I was asking him about Vinny Saponari. The two are many years apart, but Dave said he knew Vinny's older brother Al. And of course Dave managed to work in the fact that Ohio State was recruiting Vinny. He cracks me up.