2011 NHL Draft Top 100 Skaters: (26-50)

2011 Draft Rankings, TSR Features | 30 May 2011

Be sure to check out the rest of our Top 100: (1-25) (26-50) (51-75) (76-100)

26. RW Zach Phillips - Saint John (QMJHL)

DOB: Nov. 28/92 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 181lbs 
Midterm Rank: 34 | League Rank: 4th QMJHL | Country Rank: 13th Canada
Phillips made some major strides forward in his game this season and we think he’s done enough to be included in our Top 30 prospects. He doesn’t have an overly defining quality to his game, but he’s a crafty offensive player who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Skating isn’t great, but it isn’t horrible; albeit something that needs to improve for him to make the jump. While Phillips seems to be a guy that a lot of people feel might not be able to find a role at the next level, we liken him a bit to a guy like Brett MacLean who, even with some weaknesses in his game, seems to have enough of everything to overcome them.

27. LC Boone Jenner - Oshawa (OHL)

DOB: Jun. 15/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.03 | Weight: 197lbs 
Midterm Rank: 46 | League Rank: 9th OHL | Country Rank: 14th Canada
Jenner is a big riser in our final rankings; although we were probably guilty of leaving him a little low in the mid-terms. The former 4th overall pick in the 2009 OHL Draft has all of the tools that NHL teams are looking for but needs to find a way to put it altogether. He’s a big guy who is very strong on the puck and is very good in the dirty areas. He’s become a lot more assertive on the ice; and despite an awkward long stride, he’s doing a better job of spanning the whole 200 feet. If everything works out for Jenner, he should be a dependable two-way center who will look good on your second line, but we feel he has a lot of maturing; both physically and mentally, that needs to be done in order to fulfill that potential.

28. RD Scott Mayfield - Youngstown (USHL)

DOB: Nov. 14/92 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.04 | Weight: 200lbs 
Midterm Rank: 16 | League Rank: 4th USHL | Country Rank: 5th USA
Nobody has been on the Mayfield bandwagon since the beginning of last season more than TSR. Defensively, his 1 on 1 skills are tough to match. Mayfield also plays with an edge in front of the net and in the corners. Offensively, Mayfield improved significantly in his ability to handle the puck and skate it out of his zone. He already possessed a great shot, sharp passing skills and offensive awareness. Some wish that Mayfield’s skills would have resulted in more production but we’ve seen him enough live to know that he was hindered a bit by the level of play on his club. Mayfield has historically played up to the level of competition and his teammates and will surely do the same at Denver.

29. LC Alexander Khokhlachev - Windsor (OHL)

DOB: Sep. 09/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 5.10 | Weight: 172lbs 
Midterm Rank: 28 | League Rank: 10th OHL | Country Rank: 2nd Russia
Nobody was too sure what type of a player Khokhlachev would be this season as most in OHL circles felt he was overshadowed a bit by fellow Russian Vladimir Namestnikov. It didn’t take long for him to make his presence known, however, as Khokhlachev quickly established himself as one of the most dangerous offensive forwards in the league. Offensively, his talent level is up there with any player in the draft. He’s very good in small spaces and has a whole bag of puck tricks he uses frequently throughout the game. He’s an opportunistic scorer and if he shot more, would probably have eclipsed 40 goals this past season as well. The issue with Khokhlachev comes down to his lack of size and strength, and determining how much of an issue that’s going to be for him at the next level. His two-way game won’t blow you away, so unless he can find a way to add the muscle needed to play in the NHL, he’s going to be a bit of a risk.

30. RW Ty Rattie - Portland (WHL)

DOB: Feb. 05/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 5.11 | Weight: 170lbs 
Midterm Rank: 20 | League Rank: 5th WHL | Country Rank: 15th Canada
Coming into the season, Ty Rattie was thought of as a potential top-10 pick for the 2011 Entry Draft, but has seen his stock drop slightly. Rattie has an excellent shot and the ability to release it quickly. Rattie has also shown great chemistry with his linemates, ably setting them up with crisp, solid passes. The biggest issues with Rattie’s game are that he tends to disappear at times and plays primarily on the perimeter. Rattie is a work in progress, but he has the raw skills that simply can’t be taught to a young offensive player.

31. RD Connor Murphy - USNTDP U18 (USHL)

DOB: Mar. 26/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.03 | Weight: 192lbs 
Midterm Rank: NR | League Rank: 5th USHL | Country Rank: 6th USA
We had a pretty limited viewing (like most) of Murphy this year which is why we were a little hesitant to put him in our Top 30, but there’s no doubt the big American defenseman has the talent to potentially hear his name called in Round 1 on draft day. His season was marred by injuries but Murphy managed to recoup a lot of his lost time with a very impressive showing at the Under 18’s where he scored the game winning goal in overtime against the Russians. Murphy is a big guy with a good shot and a pretty enticing package of solid defensive play and offensive upside. It would be naïve to think that most teams don’t have the Miami-Ohio commit on their first round radar and it wouldn’t be a shock to see a team step up and take him in the middle portion of the first round.

32. RW Tyler Biggs - USNTDP U18 (USHL)

DOB: Jan. 30/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 210lbs 
Midterm Rank: 32 | League Rank: 6th USHL | Country Rank: 7th USA
Biggs certainly merits consideration as a prospect due to his size, physical play, skating ability and determination. It’s difficult though to see him as a first rounder since he does not possess the offensive skills that would be worthy of such a high pick. Biggs may only top out as a 15-20 goal guy who can provide some grit and nastiness which fits nicely on some clubs but the ceiling doesn’t seem high enough to justify anything other than the second round.

33. LD David Musil - Vancouver (WHL)

DOB: Apr. 09/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.03 | Weight: 200lbs 
Midterm Rank: 14 | League Rank: 6th WHL | Country Rank: 1st Czech
After a very solid initial campaign as a 16 year-old last season, some unfair expectations were placed on Musil this year. Going into the season, Musil was looked upon as a potential lotto pick although it didn’t look like he had the offense to support such a pick. Musil plays in all situations for the Giants and he is able to chip in a little offense but won’t likely be expected to provide that offense at the NHL level. With his dad and uncle combining to play well over 2000 NHL games and his mom being a former pro tennis player, David has some good athletic genes. Like his dad, Musil is a steady defender having very good size and strength, while being good at taking care of his own end. While Musil may be one of the best defensive defensemen available in the draft this year, he needs to work on improving his quickness. His slow acceleration and top end speed make him vulnerable during puck retrieval plays, as well as his ability to contain the fastest players in the league.

34. RW Dmitri Jaskin - Slavia Praha (Czech)

DOB: Mar. 23/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 196lbs 
Midterm Rank: 23 | League Rank: 1st Czech | Country Rank: 2nd Czech
Jaskin is a tough player to get a read on as he has a tremendous skill-set, but doesn’t bring it consistently enough. The big Czech winger had an up and down season and had a lot riding on the Under 18’s, where he was fairly average over the course of the tournament. His season never quite took off after an early season injury, but when he’s on, he is a talented winger who can play with a bit of jam. His status as a surefire first round pick has probably come and gone, but there’s a lot to like for any team that is picking in the late part of the first round.

35. LD Joe Morrow - Portland (WHL)

DOB: Dec. 09/92 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 198lbs 
Midterm Rank: 42 | League Rank: 7th WHL | Country Rank: 16th Canada
Joe Morrow climbed up the draft rankings progressively after coming off an early season injury. Morrow has had some injury troubles throughout his junior career, but has shown that he can be an effective puck moving defenseman in the WHL. Morrow is an excellent skater, and makes a nice first pass out of his own zone, seamlessly starting his team’s breakout. He also has a deceptive shot that he ably gets through traffic and on net, generating strong scoring chances for his teammates, particularly on the power play.

36. RD Adam Clendening - Boston University (NCAA)

DOB: Nov. 26/92 | Shoots: R | Height: 5.11 | Weight: 190lbs 
Midterm Rank: 48 | League Rank: 2nd NCAA | Country Rank: 8th USA
Clendening is a player who has quietly gone under the radar despite having a pretty impressive freshman season with BU. Up front, the big question with Clendening’s game is what type of a role you can expect from a somewhat undersized defenseman who doesn’t have overly explosive feet and lacks the big-time shot at the point. These are valid concerns, but in a draft that seems to thin out on defense, Clendening is a solid puck-moving prospect who will likely hear his name pretty early on Day 2. His ability to move well laterally and buy time for himself are two qualities that you can’t undersell him on, and Clendening is also a very smart puck mover and makes great passes in transition. Definitely not a flashy player, but he’s a dependable prospect who could have some untapped upside yet to come.

37. LC Victor Rask - Leksand (Allsvenskan)

DOB: Mar. 01/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 194lbs  
Midterm Rank: 17 | League Rank: 1st Allsv.| Country Rank: 6th Sweden
What was previously a year under the radar quickly developed into a year to forget for this former “can’t-miss” prospect. Rask had issues with ice-time, attitude, and on-ice performance; factors that have certainly changed a once favourable opinion of him. While there are a lot of negatives about Rask, he does still have an intriguing skill-set which should be enough to secure him a spot in the Top 50. Rask’s great shot and combination of size and vision indicate a lot of potential, but he’s going to need to show more drive and passion if he ever wants to realize any of it.

38. RW Tomas Jurco - Saint John (QMJHL)

DOB: Dec. 28/92 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 193lbs 
Midterm Rank: 24 | League Rank: 5th QMJHL | Country Rank: 1st Slovakia
Jurco is relatively comparable to Oshawa Generals forward Nicklas Jensen, in that he has that rare game-breaking ability that is extremely rare amongst prospects. He’s a player that can absolutely fly and has all the dynamic puck moves you would want to accompany that level of speed. He’s a fairly good finisher, although he could probably stand to take opportunity on more of his chances, but the talent is there. Jurco’s issue has been finding consistency, however, as he can go through spells where he can’t generate much of anything on the scoreboard. He might remind you a lot of Michael Grabner, and maybe an NHL team will step up in round one hoping that Jurco can eventually find that type of success in the NHL as a game-breaker.

39. RW Nikita Kucherov - CSKA Moskva (MHL)

DOB: Jun. 17/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.00 | Weight: 165lbs 
Midterm Rank: NR | League Rank: 1st MHL | Country Rank: 3rd Russia
It’s tough to find a player that made a bigger case for himself at the U18’s than Russia’s Nikita Kucherov. The dynamic Russian winger absolutely shredded the competition in Germany with an astronomical 21 points in 7 games. Kucherov actually had quite a strong season in the MHL this past year and even had some seasoning in the KHL so it’s not like he’s coming out of left field. His offensive instincts and dynamic skills could probably justify a first-round selection, but the likely “Russian” fears and concerns about strength might push him into the second round.

40. LW Brandon Saad - Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

DOB: Oct. 27/92 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 196lbs 
Midterm Rank: 11 | League Rank: 11th OHL | Country Rank: 9th USA
Suffice to say, TSR’s thoughts on Saad have plummeted as the 2010/2011 season progressed. We had very high expectations for Saad this year; his first in the OHL, but have never seen the type of game that warrants the pre-season hype. Saad is a big winger with good speed, a hard shot, and a fairly good head for the game, but he lacks the drive you need to be a top line player at the next level. Saad shies away from contact despite being a big player and never really uses his body to his advantage. He doesn’t drive the front of the net enough and just isn’t willing to pay the price. All is not lost with Saad, as he does have goal scoring talent, but he needs to show a lot more if he wants to have that opportunity in the NHL.

41. LW Mario Lucia - Wayzata (HS-MN)

DOB: Aug. 25/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 183lbs 
Midterm Rank: 49 | League Rank: 1st HS-MN | Country Rank: 10th USA
Draft trends would indicate that there should be one high school player going in the first round this year, and if that holds to be true, Mario Lucia is probably leading the way to be that guy. The son of University of Minnesota head coach Don Lucia, the younger Lucia remains uncommitted in the NCAA but plans to spend next season with Sioux Falls of the USHL. Lucia is a big, strong center with very good feet for a player of his size. He generates a lot of his offense from his speed and has the ability to make his teammates better players while being a very dangerous player in his own right. As he fills out, it should allow him to become more of an effective offensive forward and use his size to his advantage more often.

42. LW Lucas Lessio - Oshawa (OHL)

DOB: Jan. 23/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 201lbs  
Midterm Rank: 40 | League Rank: 12th OHL | Country Rank: 17th Canada
Lessio had a pretty average season based on the high expectations he had coming in, but is still entrenched as a very solid early to mid second round pick. The third Oshawa Generals forward on our list, Lessio is a blue-collar winger who competes hard and plays well along the boards and in front of the net. He has agile feet, allowing him to be effective on the forecheck or in the cycle; and while he doesn’t possess elite speed, he can fight through checks with his powerful stride. Lessio does a lot of little things well to generate offensive chances, but lacks the high-end finish you would expect from a first-round pick. The end of his season is something he’d like to forget, as he’ll be serving a two-game suspension to start 2011 after his actions following Oshawa’s defeat against Niagara.

43. LW Matthew Nieto - Boston University (NCAA)

DOB: Nov. 05/92 | Shoots: R | Height: 5.11 | Weight: 183lbs  
Midterm Rank: 21 | League Rank: 3rd NCAA | Country Rank: 11th USA
Nieto was projected to be a first-round pick coming into the year, but had a pretty tough start to his NCAA career and was never quite able to recover the lost ground. He’s undersized, but makes up for it with great speed and the ability to change gears into “breakaway” speed. Handles the puck well and is a pretty opportunistic player who can create for himself with some silky smooth hands. Nieto will have to address some of the deficiencies in his game such as competing harder and showing that he’s willing to sacrifice his body in the corners to make things happen.

44. RD Ryan Sproul - Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

DOB: Jan. 13/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.04 | Weight: 185lbs  
Midterm Rank: NR | League Rank: 13th OHL | Country Rank: 18th Canada
Signing with the Greyhounds proved to the be the catalyst that Ryan Sproul needed to get his name on the map this year. The hulking defenseman had some struggles working his way up the depth chart in the early going, but by the midway point of the season, Sproul was finding himself as one of the most reliable defensemen on the team. He has a big-time shot that he is not afraid to use and can be a huge asset at the top of the umbrella or a player you run an overload through. He is still showing a bit of growing pains on the defensive side of the game and will need to continue to improve his positioning and understand how to utilize his size, but Sproul is a pretty intriguing player with a high ceiling.

45. RC Rickard Rakell - Plymouth (OHL)

DOB: May 05/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.01 | Weight: 185lbs  
Midterm Rank: 41 | League Rank: 14th OHL | Country Rank: 7th Sweden
Rakell is the type of players that coaches love to have, but just lacks that offensive punch that would justify him going too much higher. He will strike you as being a very smart, almost methodical player who appears to think the game one step ahead of everyone else. He’s a very good player on the forecheck and does a great job anticipating the play and disrupting passing lanes. Very good defensive player who can play against any trio the opposition throws out and won’t be liability in doing so. His offensive upside is the only real question right now, as he doesn’t quite have the skills and offensive instincts to be a major offensive threat.

46. RW Seth Ambroz - Omaha (USHL)

DOB: Apr. 01/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 211lbs 
Midterm Rank: 27 | League Rank: 7th USHL | Country Rank: 12th USA
Ambroz’s skating was an issue coming into the season and by all accounts it hasn’t improved enough to keep him in the first round. He has continued to be productive and possesses the good hands, heavy shot and quick release teams covet. Ambroz also plays a physical game along the boards and battles for space in front. He can either try to improve his puck skills and skating at Minnesota or further enhance his physical game in the WHL with Seattle. The next few years will prove whether or not he has chosen the right path and if so, the team selecting him may get a bargain.

47. RC Colin Jacobs - Seattle (WHL)

DOB: Jan. 20/93 | Shoots: R | Height: 6.02 | Weight: 204lbs 
Midterm Rank: 35 | League Rank: 8th WHL | Country Rank: 13th USA
Colin Jacobs came into the season with lofty expectations on a young Seattle team, and though he didn’t fully live up to those expectations, Jacobs quietly had a solid season. The Coppell, Tex. native has NHL size and has proven to be very durable in his two seasons in the WHL, while posting solid, if not spectacular point totals. Jacobs is a work in progress, (as evidenced by his -52 combined ranking in the last two seasons), but he is a solid skating, physical center with good offensive instincts, and is good on the defensive side of the puck as well.

48. LC Phillip Danault - Victorialville (QMJHL)

DOB: Feb. 24/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.00 | Weight: 170lbs 
Midterm Rank: 56 | League Rank: 6th QMJHL | Country Rank: 19th Canada
Danault has quietly become a player that has enamoured TSR with his hard work and consistency throughout the course of the season with Victoriaville. Danault comes to play every shift and you will often find the puck near him as he seems to always be involved in the play. He played with some talented players in the regular season which may have inflated his numbers a bit, but Danault rested some of those concerns with some pretty solid play during the post-season. He seems to be a player that just does a lot of things well and certainly is worthy of being slotted in this range.

49. LD Joel Edmundson - Moose Jaw (WHL)

DOB: Jun. 28/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.04 | Weight: 200lbs 
Midterm Rank: NR | League Rank: 9th WHL | Country Rank: 20th Canada
After playing midget hockey last year, Edmundson made the jump to the WHL this year. At 6’4 and growing, Edmundson has a large frame that will appeal to many teams. Not only is he a big guy, but Edmundson plays the game much the same way that his teammate (and 2010 NHL 1st rounder) Dylan McIlrath does. Tough and strong, Edmundson makes life hard for opposing players. Edmundson is a decent skater and is able to move the puck up ice. While there has been some improvement in his production from the start of the year, Edmundson still projects as a defensive player that is hard to play against.

50. LW Jeremy Boyce - Timra (SEL)

DOB: Aug. 28/93 | Shoots: L | Height: 6.00 | Weight: 170lbs 
Midterm Rank: NR | League Rank: 5th SEL | Country Rank: 8th Sweden
Here’s a guy that is definitely going to get some recognition after the Under 18’s, where he had a bit of a coming out party on the biggest scouting platform of his season. Boyce can flat out fly and uses his speed as the centrefold to his game. Despite being pretty wiry and a fairly raw talent overall, he’s still got an attractive package of offensive tools that will surely improve as he mature physically and mentally. He’s a bit of a project, but a few more seasons in Sweden should help him refine his skills.

Be sure to check out the rest of our Top 100: (1-25) (26-50) (51-75) (76-100)

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