2013 NHL Draft Rankings War Room Top 120 – The Sleepers

Guest post by Eldon MacDonald (edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)

The Sleepers

Everybody loves sleepers when it comes to the NHL entry draft. Everyone would love for their team to draft the next Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson, Ryan Miller or Henrik Lundquist, to name but a few draft day steals.

Henrik Zetterberg

Henrik Zetterberg – one of the Detroit Red Wings many draft day steals (Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports)

My definition of a sleeper for purposes of this post is anyone who is at least 30 spots above anybody I used for comparison in my May rankings( i.e. Chris Ralph, Bob MacKenzie and NHL Central Scouting).

As you can see quickly from below it is usually either size or skating which holds a player back causing them to be a sleeper.

Don’t get caught napping when it comes to the following prospects:

76. Matt Buckles, Centre, St. Micheal’s Majors – The good – Power forward size, finish, shot, drive to the net. Improve his skating and we could be talking first round.  The bad – Skating could use some improvement.

80. MacKenzie Weeger, Defense, Halifax – The good – Offensive defenseman whose defense was good enough to lead the league in plus minus in his rookie season in the Q.   The bad – Modest size.

84. Tyler Motte, Left Wing, USA NDTP U18 – The good – Skating, shot, finish, puck possession, puck pursuit, penalty killing.   The bad – Size and strength.

85. Roberts Lipbergs, Left Wing, SeattleThe good – The shot, a growing physicality, hard to move off the puck, little by little improvements to his game without the puck. If he continues to improve like he did in the 2nd half of this year, he has a good shot at making it.  The bad – Modest size.

90. Matt Murphy, Defense, Halifax – The good -  Skating, passing, rushing, shot.  The bad – Can be prone to poor decision-making with the puck.

95. Niklas Hansson, Defense, Rögle – The good – Dynamism, offense, hockey sense.       The bad – Size and strength, defensive game could use improvement.

96. Peter Trainor, Left Wing, Rimouski – The good – Shot, passing, consistency, hockey sense, board work, results.   The bad – Size and strength.

97. Brendan Harms, Right Wing, Fargo – The good -  Playmaking, defense, work ethic, hockey sense, competiveness, results. – The bad – Modest size and strength.

101. Peter Cehlárik, Left Wing, Luleå – The good – Offensive skills, passing, shooting, hockey sense, board work.  – The bad – Skating could use some improvement.

104. Gage Ausmus, Defense, USA NDTP – The good – Size, dependability, defensive awareness, first pass, physicality, nastiness – The bad – Lack of offense, foot speed.

109. Jesse Lees, Defense, Kelowna – The good – Skating, agility, shot, offensive skills – The bad – Size and strength.

114. Miro Aaltonen, Centre, Left Wing, Blues – The good - Skating, energy, scoring, coachability – The bad – Size and strength.

119. Markus Søberg, Right Wing, Luleå – The good – Energy, agility, wrist shot and physical play – The bad – Size and a defensive game that needs further work.

120. Brendan Burke, Goal, Portland – The good – Size, bloodlines (son of former NHLer, Sean Burke), results. -  The bad – As a backup, it is difficult to gauge how good he really is.

Catch Some Zs (Read On for More in Depth Sleeper Info) 

76. Buckles, Matt

Matt Buckles

Matt Buckles – 2013 NHL Drfat sleeper (OJHL Images)

  • Hashtag: BuckNasty
  • Team: #19, St. Michael’s, OJHL
  • Position: Centre
  • Shoots: Right
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 210 lb.
  • Born: Toronto, ON, 5-May-95
  • Other rankings: NHL 161
  • Playoffs: 17g 17pts
  • YTD: 50g 71pts
  • Twitter A/C: @BuckNasty1pt

  • Profile: Daniel Nugent-Newman at HockeyNow.Ca
  • Quote: Director of NHL Central Scouting, Dan Marr at ViseSports.com, “Matt Buckles plays a power forward game. He’s a very effective offensive player when utilizing a size/strength game to the net and is a proven scorer.  Matt has an NHL calibre shot and great finishing ability”.

80. Weeger, MacKenzie

  • Hashtag: Late Bloomer
  • Team: #52, Halifax, QMJHL
  • Position: Defense
  • Shoots: Right
  • Height: 5’11
  • Weight: 181 lb.
  • Born: Nepean, ON, 2-Jan-94 – 2nd time draft eligible
  • Other rankings – NHL 224
  • Playoffs: 17g 5pts +13
  • YTD: 62g 44pts +55
  • Twitter A/C: @weegar52

  • Profile: Neate Sager via Yahoo! Sports Canada
  • Quote: Halifax Mooseheads Coach, Dominique Ducharme @ Yahoo.com, “He had a great season. There were little details in his game. He had the Junior A habits a little bit where he would sometimes take too much time with the puck or his execution or reaction would be a little bit slow. He really adapted well. It took a little bit of time. He really improved on everything else — his skating, his positioning”.
  • Video: Allsports13 on YouTube.

84. Motte, Tyler

  • Hashtag: Mr. Dangerous
  • Team: #14, USA NDP U18, USHL
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left
  • Height: 5’9
  • Weight: 190 lb.
  • Born: St.Clair, MI, 10-Mar-95
  • Commit: U of Michigan
  • Other rankings – NHL 115;
  • WJC U18: 7g 7pts +5
  • YTD: 63g 44pts +24
  • Twitter A/C: @tmotte_14

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