Last week THW’s Brett Slawson looked at three undersized prospects who are likely first round picks in the 2015 draft: Mitch Marner, Travis Konecny and Nick Merkley. Here I’ll look at five other ‘undersized’ prospects available in this draft.
Dmytro TimashovQuebec Remparts forward Dmytro Timashov played for MODO in the SHL (Sweden’s top league) two seasons ago but decided to bring his game to North America last season. With Quebec he was more than a point-per-game player and THW’s Shawn Reznik noted that Timashov possesses elusive stickhandling, quick acceleration, and can do it all at top speed, but despite a definite shiftiness, he is “easily knocked off the puck.”
Richard (pronounced as Richard in Rocket Richard) is a 5′ 9″ centerman for Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL who scored 91 points in 66 games for a very strong Val-d’Or team.
Although McKeen’s expresses concern about his consistency from game to game, they note that he “dangles in and out of traffic areas … interprets the game quickly” and “has excellent puck control at top speed.”
Garland, a forward for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL, led that league in scoring by a wide margin and his 129 points on the season actually bettered that same total by the Erie Otters’ Dylan Strome since Garland played in one fewer game, but the CHL scoring title went to Strome for having scored more goals.
I profiled Garland here a couple of weeks ago; his skills and hockey IQ are off the chain. He will have to reinvent his game, however, if he wants to play in the NHL.
At 5′ 11″ this centerman for the Prince George Cougars would not ordinarily be classed as undersized. The issue with Morrison is his weight: he’s around 160 lbs. As you might expect he’s a fantastic skater who has explosive speed, and he can produce on the scoresheet, registering 23-26-49 points in 67 WHL games this past season.
Cody Nickolet writes that Morrison is “an extremely talented and dangerous offensive player in this draft” but whose “lack of mass definitely hurts him” with regard to draft position.
Denis Malgin is one of the handful of highly skilled Swiss prospects available in the draft. He certainly put his name on the scouting map with his performance in the U18 World Junior Championships, and he’s absolutely loaded with puck skills. THW’s Dennis Schellenberg sees Malgin’s biggest asset as his ability to create scoring chances, while ESPN scout Corey Pronman admits, “I’m a huge Malgin fan … the more you watch him, the more you appreciate how much upside he has.”
For coverage of over 150 prospects in the upcoming draft, check out THW’s The Next Ones: NHL 2015 Draft Prospect Guide, available for the Kindle and all other e-reader formats.