2011 draft: The ups and downs
- June 26, 2011 12:59 PM |
- By Darren Winkler
Seth Ambroz is a good hockey player. Now he has a little extra motivation to be great.
He was once considered a potential top 15 overall pick, and ultimately Central Scouting tabbed him at a respectable 31st in their final rankings. The Omaha Lancers forward plummeted to the fifth round of the NHL Entry Draft. Columbus picked up Ambroz 128th.
The knock against the big winger is his skating. It's choppy and he lacks an initial quick burst. The real concern for the scouts is that Ambroz hasn't shown much improvement since joining the USHL as a 15 year old. His drive and passion for the game have also been questioned. If this snub doesn't get him fired up then I'm not sure anything can. You get a good look at his stride here:
The Ambroz slide was just one example of a wild weekend in Minnesota. With all the trades and picks and rumours, the draft showcase is always thoroughly entertaining. Similar to 2010, the trend of taking offensive players early continued as seven of the top eight picks were forwards and six of those were centres.
By the time the third round hit, sleepers were all the rage.One of the biggest risers was Brennan Serville who jumped to Winnipeg at 78, up from a final ranking of 104. Unlike Ambroz, the blueliner showed rapid improvement from the start of the year. The Stouffville product is a smooth skating defenceman who makes a crisp accurate first pass. He is smart on the breakout as illustrated in these examples:
Several highly touted players went undrafted in St. Paul. One in particular surprised me. Mike McKee, who we featured earlier in the week, is a high upside project. Perhaps scouts want to see him against better competition before making a final decision.
For McKee there is always next year and a strong 2012 draft crop.
Remember the names Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, and Mikhail Grigorenko. All could battle for top spot in 2012.
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