Looks like another Hot List alumnus is graduating to the NHL – right winger Kyle Okposo is slated to make his debut with the Islanders Tuesday against Toronto. Ah, they grow up so fast…
1. Josh Bailey, C – Windsor Spitfires (OHL): The reborn Spits have experienced both tragedy and triumph this year and leading scorer Bailey is one of the reasons for the triumphs. Along with posting nearly an assist per game, the pivot has completely turned around his plus-minus from last season. Draft eligible in 2008.
2. Peter Delmas, G – Lewiston MAINEiacs (QMJHL): As the ‘other’ goalie on a team that features highly-touted Kings prospect Jonathan Bernier, you’ll excuse Peter Delmas if he doesn’t mind that you haven’t heard of him.
“I kinda like it,” he said of the anonymity. “But I think scouts can see I would be a No. 1 goalie on another team.”
Indeed, Delmas finished up the season with top-10 stats, and though his numbers (.903 SP, 2.83 GAA) aren’t mind-blowing, that’s a fact of life in the high-octane Quebec League.
“The ‘Q’ is real offensive and pretty open,” Delmas said. “That’s why it’s usually skilled forwards or goaltenders getting drafted – you have to be ready for all those scoring chances.”
Delmas, who cites quickness and technical abilities as his strong points, has already had a wealth of experiences in junior, from Lewiston’s Memorial Cup appearance to watching teammate Bernier get taken as the first goalie in the 2006 draft.
“I ask him questions all the time,” Delmas said. “That’s my goal, too, to be the first goalie taken this year.”
Considering the way he has played for the MAINEiacs in the past two seasons (he made the Rookie All-Star team last season), the 6-foot-2, 175-pound native of Bedford, N.S., definitely has a shot at realizing that goal.
Draft eligible in 2008.
3. Colby Robak, D – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL): Robak impressed scouts with his size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and his ability to make hard, crisp passes. He stays out of the penalty box, too, which is a good trait for a blueliner. Draft eligible in 2008.
4. Tyson Sexsmith, G – Vancouver Giants (WHL): Sexsmith is a shutout machine who has pitched 20 goose eggs in just more than two Dub seasons. He walked away with the league goalie crown this year thanks to a 1.89 goals-against average to go with 43 wins. Drafted 91st overall by San Jose in 2007.
5. Juha Metsola, G – Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL): Right behind Sexsmith was rookie Metsola, the only other ‘W’ keeper with a sub-2.00 GAA (he finished at 1.98). Metsola had three shutouts of his own in 30 games. Draft eligible in 2008.
6. Jacob Lagace, LW – Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL): The league’s reigning rookie of the month, Lagace earned the honors courtesy his 17 points in 13 games. He also rang up 18 hits in that span. Draft eligible in 2008.
7. Kevin Regan, G – New Hampshire Wildcats (Hockey East): Regan was a wall for the Cats in a first-round sweep of UMass. The Bruins prospect turned away 37 and 35 shots in two games against the Minutemen as UNH cruised. Drafted 277th overall by Boston in 2003.
8. Steve Quailer, RW – Sioux City Musketeers (USHL): Physically imposing forward is leading a middling Musketeers squad in scoring as the season winds down. A plus-18 is great on a team that has only scored four more goals than it has given up. Draft eligible in 2008.
9. Dmitry Kugryshev, RW – CSKA 2 (Rus): Kugryshev finished off the season with 50 points in 29 games and refused to stop there. Through five games in the playoffs, the winger already had four goals and seven points. Draft eligible in 2008.
10. Doug Rogers, C – Harvard Crimson (ECAC): Rogers did what all playoff heroes do in a time of need - come back from an injury to lead his team to victory. The sophomore center returned to help the Crimson in a first-round win over Quinnipiac. Drafted 119th overall by the New York Islanders in 2006.
11. Tyler Ennis, C – Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL): The pint-sized Ennis models his game after Martin St-Louis and has the stats to back it up. He finished fourth in Dub scoring with 91 points, but needs a strong playoff performance to prove himself. Draft eligible in 2008.
12. Andreas Nodl, RW – St. Cloud State Huskies (WCHA): Nodl’s Huskies are headed to the conference’s Final Five after downing the Wisconsin Badgers in straight sets. The Flyers pick had a goal and two assists in two games. Drafted 39th overall by Philadelphia in 2006.
13. Tyler Cuma, D – Ottawa 67’s (OHL): Fundamentally sound blueliner who keeps mistakes to a minimum and can move the puck. At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, he definitely has an NHL frame to build on. Draft eligible in 2008.
14. A.J. Jenks, LW – Plymouth Whalers (OHL): A Team USA stalwart before coming to major junior, Jenks has shown a major improvement in his sophomore year, more than doubling his point total. Draft eligible in 2008.
15. Matt Butcher, C – Northern Michigan Wildcats (CCHA): How about some kudos for the Wildcats? Butcher’s overtime goal sent defending NCAA champ Michigan State home early as the Cats gear up for a semifinal date with Michigan’s Wolverines. Drafted 138th overall by Vancouver in 2005.
The Hot List, a weekly roundup of minor league, junior, college and high school players we’re exciting to one day see in the NHL, appears every Tuesday, only on thehockeynews.com.
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