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Creating a draft-eligible Frankenstein

Goalie Malcolm Subban uses his hips to launch himself from side-to-side in his crease. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

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Goalie Malcolm Subban uses his hips to launch himself from side-to-side in his crease. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Every prospect brings something special to the table, a set of skills that differentiate themselves from the others in their class. With so many intriguing talents and such a varied and diverse group of youngsters, I thought it might be fun to play mad scientist and put together the perfect prospect, Frankenstein-style, using the qualities of the 2012 draft class.

Feet - Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

‘Yak’ can fly and the biggest reason why is his ability to move his feet quickly and control his edges. He is extremely elusive because of his ability to turn on a dime or jam on the breaks, sending opposing players off on a wild goose chase as he winds his way into scoring areas.

Legs - Ryan Murray, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Watching Murray skate is a pure joy. His stride is very smooth and produces good power with an effective length and recovery. His ability to pivot and change directions is excellent, making him the obvious candidate for this area.

Hips - Malcolm Subban, G, Belleville Bulls (OHL)

Strange to think a goalie would crack an area on this list, but it’s impossible to ignore Subban’s ability to shuffle from side to side. To say it is explosive would be a severe understatement.

Torso - Matt Dumba, D, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

The uber-strong Dumba has insane core strength and relies on it heavily for his big hits, explosive movements and ridiculously hard one-timers.

Chest - Jacob Trouba, D, US NTDP (USHL)

Trouba is big and strong and is outstanding in push-and-pull battles around the net. He can be a brick wall for opposition skaters trying to win any space against him. His results during the combine, which saw him rank in the top 10 for both push strength and pull strength, attest to this.

Heart - Scott Kosmachuk, RW, Guelph Storm (OHL)

There were several players I considered for this particular spot, but Kosmachuk’s consistent effort level and passion, combined with his clutch scoring ability, stood above the rest.

Wrists - Filip Forsberg, C, Leksand (Allsvenskan, Sweden)

Forsberg’s release in the slot is out-of-this-world fast. His ability to unleash lightning quick shots makes him ultra-dangerous in the offensive zone. The power involved in doing this is impressive and when you add to that how strong he is on his stick you get a great indication of why this selection was a no-brainer.

Hands - Tim Bozon, LW, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

Bozon has great quickness in his hands and also displays some exciting creativity. A lot of this is strongly attributed to his great mind, but here’s hoping some of that muscle memory remains in those well-trained hands of his.

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Knuckles - Tom Wilson, RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

In such a dynamic game, every now and then even the most skilled players might need to turn at least slightly pugilistic. Wilson is big, strong and fearless and while he is nowhere near a one-dimensional player, his knuckles certainly are a welcome part of what he brings to the table.

Arms - Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

Not only do Faksa’s arms help him protect the puck effectively and provide a very strong release on his shots, he also registered the largest wingspan among skaters during the NHL combine.

Shoulders - Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

As dynamic and well-rounded as Thrower is, watching him throw hits is one of my favorite parts of his game. A clean, but hard hitter, Thrower loves getting his shoulders involved in the game and once he gets going, opponents are often intimidated.

Mouth - Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

There might be some better players who can use their tongues to agitate, but Reinhart projects his voice well and often has some interesting, if not hilarious, things to say off the ice. If you need proof, follow on Twitter (@GriffinReinhart).   

Eyes - Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

Rielly’s vision makes him incredibly dangerous with or without the puck. He identifies plays all over the rink and always seems to know which options and areas of the ice are available to him or opponents.

Eyes in the Back of Head - Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

It’s a Frankenstein, so why not? Grigorenko has Joe Thornton-like playmaking ability and instinctively knows where his teammates are without even looking.

Head - Olli Maatta, D, London Knights (OHL)

Maatta displays tremendous maturity and intelligence around the ice. His ability to adapt to different styles and tempo of play is outstanding. He never seems to panic in any situation and has a calming influence on his team while on the ice.

 

Ross MacLean is the head scout for International Scouting Services and is considered one of the rising stars of the business. A young, diverse and versatile hockey mind, MacLean leads ISS' network of scouts and puts his domestic and international hockey experience and knowledge towards ranking and providing industry-leading profiles and information on draft eligible players around the world.

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