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@wendelsfist @MaxwellHowe  Dylan Strome is 2015 Eligible...


22 hours, 54 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


@Zep2  Maybe in 5 years they will. Neither plays in the NHL next year. 

Patience, young grasshopper. Nyquist didn't become an NHL regular till 24, Tater at 23, Kadri was 22 or 23, Bobby Ryan didn't become  full-time NHLer till 21, same for James Neal. Look at Mika Zbenejad (fuck your spelling!) who's a really solid prospect and how the learning curve will take him till he's at least 22-23 to be a real big-time contributor. #2 or #3 overall Kyle Turris took until 23 to start really producing offensively, and the same for #2 overall JvR who stayed back in NCAA and then had seasons of being "kinda" productive.

22 hours, 55 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


@MaxwellHowe @Burtonboy  Needs the time in Maj. Jr. anyways to develop some semblance of being a true offensive threat and/or catalyst. If he goes to the AHL he'll simply be improving and relying on his strengths of defensive and detailed play and is likely to limit his ceiling as a prospect.

23 hours ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


@Jordan29  Leivo only had 39 point in 57 games, and to put him on the seccond line would seem to suggest in 6 months of off-season work he's ready to duplicate his AHL production in the NHL. Unlikely.

Let's remember Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Tater essentially spent the majority or all of 3 season in the AHL before EARNING/STEALING jobs from injured regulars, the way it should be done. Don't hand these kids spots who "look ready" make 'em either win it in camp and have to hold off the incumbent for 82 games, or come in and steal it away.

23 hours, 3 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


@Jmessih @Bruffins  Watch a Ho-Sang hightlight reel, cause the kid is a highlight reel. Robby Fabbri too. 

23 hours, 5 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


@DIGGLER _69  I have ZERO negative to say about Perlini other than if he brought the compete EVERY shift, he'd be in the conversation for top 5 against Dal Colle. 

Dal Colle btw is far more one dimensional, he's good along the boards, hard to knock off the puck, and finds a way to get to the middle and release an absolute Kessel type laser beam. Kid can snipe. But without the puck, he's a gun with no bullet. 

Mike Richards is a good comparison, he does skate better, but I'd say the sheer determination and pedigree of Mike Richards... it's a lofty comparison. That's why I like to use Kesler, he's not so much of a "big name" but still conveys that solid two-way, physical player who has 50-60 point potential.

23 hours, 7 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


@Sundin_13  IMO, #1 pick SHOULD be Ekblad. Bennett is pretty damn good, but IDK, Ekblad is an absolute HORSE. Legitimate shot to be a top 20 or even top 10 defender in the league. Plays shut down d, can rush the puck, and has an absolute cannon. He's nasty at times. I was in Barrie for his 4-goal night vs. Kingston and I can tell you I was impressed with Bennets agility, his skill level, his ability to find the soft spots, and not backing down. But I will tell you Ekblad dominated the game, and I was impressed with Bennet's compete for at least standing up to Ekblad's abuse.

Ekblad scored 1 SH with a BOMB of a clapper, 2 PP snipes (writer top cheese, bard down both of them, on a 5-on-3 and the 5-on-4 off the same pair of penalties) and a ES goal. Physically dominant. 

I wouldn't be able to pass Ekblad up even with #1 because TBH Bennett is probably a little more like RNH, Seguin calibre of player: very high-end. But I see Ekblad as a Pronger, a Chara, a Weber: a dominating D-man who plays 30 mins and can shut you down and beat you offensively. You just don't get too many chances at those players.

23 hours, 12 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


Also, I've opined on Robby Fabbri who is another kid, who althouth is more of a longshot, is a kid I would love to add to the organization. Given the options from 8-13, Perlini, McCann, Ritchie, and having heard very good things about Virtanen and Fleury, I wouldn't be upset if the Leafs made a deal with Anaheim to pick up their #10 overall and their undetermined first for the #8 and perhaps #68 and something else to pick up one of those 5. 

The prospects in the 20-30 range there are certainly good finds there. Fabbri I really like, McKeown has a chance to be a really solid 4-5 type guy and could develop as high as a #3 d-man, Ho-Sang in that range has the possibility to bust completely, or be a serious SERIOUS offensive threat, and I mean HIGH END 65+ points kind of skill, (size concerns, and softer than a wet paper plate, VERY dynamic and dangerous though). Haven't seen Sarnia, I know they have two players sitting in around there. Brendan Lemieux... I do not like. But still, there's goodies to be found there too.

23 hours, 19 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot


My 0.02 cents:

As some of you remember I've followed the OHL a bit this year with an eye on draft eligible (or really the 16 and 17 year olds) players and have had a chance to see all but Nick Ritchie (who I was supposed to see in Kingston until traffic on the 401 stopped me from doing so...)

I'd say by far the most impressive player of the bunch in regards to McCann, Ritchie and Perlini would be Brendan Perlini. At the OHL level he simply is a game changer. He has effortless skating and with rangy strides covers a TON of ice. Can really get in on the forecheck and wins possession along the boards. Has a good shot, and very good (although, not mind blowing) offensive skills. I've heard a comparison to JvR, and plays a similar style of game, big but not a banger, but a terrific fluid skater who's dangerous with the puck both to create for linemates and a shooting threat. I see him projecting easily as a second line winger, and if he develops well he could become a 60-70 point type of player in the NHL. CANNOT overlook his 6'3 stature.

McCann is probably less dynamic and less "skilled" but displays a high hockey IQ. positions himself well, and has a tremendous anticipation of the unfolding play. Plays a physical brand of hockey and a strong two-way game. It's a rudimentary comparison but I think with him you get more of a Ryan Kesler type of player. He's gritty and physical in his compete, but not physical like Ritchie will be. I think there's definitely the chance for him to produce in the NHL, but he's certainly not a top-end offensive prospect and is likely more of a second or third line centre. He could be mike Fisher, he could be Ryan Kesler, but you'll get a solid dependable centre capable of at least 16-18 mins a night with 50-65 point type of potential. 

I haven't seen Ritchie, so it's hard for me to comment BUT... He is keep in mind an 18 year old in his 3rd season of junior and by birth year one year OLDER than the other two. Currently, Ritchie is probably one of the toughest 5 or 10 fighters in the OHL PERIOD. Kid can flat out fight and kicks the shit out of people. His offensive production/skills and skating I can;t comment on, however, I will dare to say his skillset is less impressive than the other two because of the added value of his top-end grit and toughness. However, I will venture to say you really don't know how this kid will pan out, and his attitude will probably make all the difference. I'd say as a prospect he'd probably be more akin to Zach Kassian who it seems a poor attitude has held him back from achieving his potential. Keep in mind Kassian was #13 overall, was a top heavyweight in the OHL and had significant offensive production much like Ritchie.  

All in all, I think Ritchie is probably your pick if you covet a guy who COULD score anywhere between 30 and 55-60 points AND add 100 PIMS and be a legitimate fighter, but may fall anywhere between the 4th or 2nd line. McCann is probably the safest bet being a heady high-IQ centre with a strong two-way game and would strike me as a details team first guy. Perlini probably has by far the highest upside of any of the 3, and IMO, I love the kid, I feel like he's really got a chance with time to develop to really shine with his size. Best skater of the 3, not as strong but much faster and in the neutral zone far more dangerous than Dal Colle even. He's an ultra telented kid, and by all accounts has worked incredibly hard off ice and in the off season to put himself on the map which speaks to his character.

23 hours, 25 minutes ago on Morning Mashup: Drafting in the 8 spot