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Mark Seidel's Blog: Early risers and fallers for 2010

Tyler Seguin has 15 goals and 26 points for the Plymouth Whalers through only 12 games this season. (Photo by Walt Dmoch)

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Tyler Seguin has 15 goals and 26 points for the Plymouth Whalers through only 12 games this season. (Photo by Walt Dmoch)

For my second blog of the new season, I will highlight some players who are rising and falling in the early going:

RISING
Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers – Previous No. 10; Current No. 1
What more can you say about a kid who has jumped to the No. 1 slot ahead of Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler? Last year I was very impressed with his play in the second half when he was on what was arguably the best line in major junior with Matt Caria and Chris Terry. This year both of them have graduated from the Whalers, but Seguin has continued to play outstanding hockey. Seguin looks like a man playing among boys and comparisons to Steve Yzerman are not as big a stretch as some would suggest.

Alexander Burmistrov, Barrie Colts – Previous No. 59; Current No. 15
Burmistrov has had an exceptionally strong start for the powerful Colts and seems to have adapted to the North American game very well. Our initial rankings had Burmistrov at No. 59, but after a few more viewings we quickly realized the error of our ways and boosted him into the middle of the first round.

Mikael Granlund, HIFK Helsinki – Previous No. 8; Current No. 4
Granlund has played 13 games in the top Finnish league this season, tallying three goals and nine assists for 12 points – a phenomenal pace for such a young player. HIFK has played him as a right winger, although he has been a center in the past. Granlund will probably need two or three more years to perfect his physique and skills before he’s prepared for the NHL, but make no mistake, this kid is destined for greatness. In some ways, he reminds me of Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom in the 2006 draft when big names like Phil Kessel, Jordan Staal, Erik Johnson and Jonathan Toews were constantly being talked about, while Backstrom was quietly one of the best.

FALLING
Kirill Kabanov, Moncton Wildcats – Previous No. 4; Current No. 12
There is no denying Kabanov has an immense amount of talent, but he allegedly was causing problems off the ice in Russia by showing some resistance to his coaches. I’m happy he decided to challenge himself against the world’s best prospects in Canada, but it’s time for him to buy in, prove his worth on the ice and realize he still has a lot to learn as a player.

John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves – Previous No. 5; Current No. 9
McFarland had an unbelievable Ivan Hlinka tournament, where he captained Team Canada through a dominating gold medal performance. However, his 2009-10 season is off to a poor start. At times his play has reverted back to how he looked in his rookie season. Much like Kabanov, McFarland’s skill set will keep him in the top 15, but there are some concerns surrounding him that have us monitoring him closely.

Teemu Pulkkinen, Jokerit – Previous No. 6; Current No. 11
Pulkkinen has one goal and two assists in 12 SM-Liiga games this season, which isn’t bad considering his team is struggling. However, his minus-10 is the worst in the league. He has started to work a lot harder in the neutral and defensive zones, but it’s obvious he will strictly be an offensive-minded player.

Here are our new rankings as of Oct. 20, 2009:

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
Rk
Name
Ht.
Wt.
Pos.
Team
Birth
1
Tyler Seguin
6'1
186
C
Plymouth Whalers
Jan-92
2
Taylor Hall
6'1
185
LW
Windsor Spitfires
Nov-91
3
Cam Fowler
6'2
190
LD
Windsor Spitfires
Dec-91
4
Mikael Granlund
5’8
176
LC
HIFK
Feb-92
5
Brett Connolly
6'2
181
LW
Prince George Cougars
May-92
6
Erik Gudbranson
6'3
199
RD
Kingston Frontenacs
Jan-92
7
Vladimir Tarasenko
6'0
192
RW
Novosbirsk
Dec-91
8
Brandon Gormley
6'2
190
LD
Moncton Wildcats
Feb-92
9
John McFarland
6'1
195
C
Sudbury Wolves
Apr-92
10
Stanislav Galiev
6'1
177
RW/C
Saint John Sea Dogs
Jan-92
11
Teemu Pulkkinen
5'9
176
RW
Jokerit
Jan-92
12
Kirill Kabanov
6'2
175
LW
Moncton Wildcats
Jul-92
13
Jon Merrill
6'3
205
RD
U.S. Under-18
Feb-92
14
Tyler Toffoli
6'0
181
RW
Ottawa 67's
Apr-92
15
Alexander Burmistrov
6'0
170
C
Barrie Colts
Oct-91
16
Derek Forbort
6'4
195
RD
U.S. Under-18
Mar-92
17
Maxim Kitsyn
6'2
182
LW
Metallurg
Dec-91
18
Joey Hishon
5'10
190
LC
Owen Sound Attack
Oct-91
19
Brock Beukeboom
6'1
196
RD
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Apr-92
20
Stephen Johns
6'3
220
RD
U.S. Under-18
Apr-92
21
Austin Watson
6'3
177
RW
Windsor Spitfires
Jan-92
22
Mark Pysyk
6'1
175
RD
Edmonton OilKings
Jan-92
23
Joonas Donskoi
5'9
156
RW
Karpat
Apr-92
24
Quinton Howden
6'3
189
LW
Moose Jaw Warriors
Jan-92
25
Evgeni Kuznetsov
5'11
175
LC/W
Chelyabinsk
May-92
26
Jacob Berglund
6'1
199
LW
Portland Winterhawks
Nov-91
27
Luke Moffatt
6'0
190
RW
U.S. Under-18
Jun-92
28
Victor Ohman
6'1
191
LW
Malmo
Apr-92
29
Jeff Skinner
5'10
197
LC
Kitchener Rangers
May-92
30
Nick Mattson
6'1
190
LD
U.S. Under-18
Oct-91
31
Janos Hari
5'10
165
LW
Farjestad
May-92
32
Jack Campbell
6'1
171
G
U.S. Under-18
Jan-92
33
Oscar Lindberg
6'0
185
LW
Skelleftea
Oct-91
34
Adam Pettersson
5’10
176
LW
Skelleftea
Jan-92
35
Ryan Martindale
6'3
190
LC
Ottawa 67's
Oct-91
36
Andrew Yogan
6'3
200
LW
Erie Otters
Dec-91
37
Jordan Weal
5'9
165
RC
Regina Pats
Apr-92
38
Kevin Gravel
6'4
175
LD
Sioux City Musketeers
Mar-92
39
Ryan Spooner
5'10
175
LW
Peterborough Petes
Jan-92
40
Ben Duffy
5'10
190
RW
PEI Rocket
Mar-92
41
Felix Liljegren
6'3
209
RW
Djurgarden
Jul-92
42
Aaron Harstad
6'2
183
LD
Green Bay Gamblers
Apr-92
43
Kevin Sundher
6'0
188
LC
Chilliwack Bruins
Jan-92
44
Charles Inglis
5'11
180
LC
Saskatoon Blades
May-92
45
Connor Redmond
6'1
172
LW
Red Deer Rebels
May-92
46
Christian Thomas
5'9
171
RW
Oshawa Generals
May-92
47
Ville Kolppanen
6'1
185
G
Lethbridge Hurricanes
May-92
48
Kevin Lind
6'3
200
LD
Chicago Steel
Mar-92
49
Guillaume Asselin
5'11
194
RW
Montreal Juniors
Sep-92
50
Yasin Cisse
6'3
208
RW
Des Moines Buccaneers
Mar-92

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Mark Seidel is the chief scout for North American Central Scouting and co-hosts the radio show "Breakout; The Hockey Show; NHL 2009" on the Prime Sports Network. He is also a regular contributor to Hockey Night in Canada on Sirius Radio as their draft and junior hockey insider. Read his other blog entries HERE.

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