Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lost in the shuffle of the Kabanov kerfuffle...Marek Hrivik

With eight points in three playoff games for Moncton, Slovak left winger Marek Hrivik is one player who is doing his part to drown out the potential negativity surrounding Kirill Kabanov's departure.

I was told earlier in the season that Hrivik was extremely well-liked by his teammates, and he had a solid regular season of 26 goals and 55 points (66 games) with the Wildcats to draw from after being passed over in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft despite being the 31st-ranked European skater on Central's final list.

I guess B's fans can add Hrivik to the list of better options than Ben Sexton in the seventh round which currently includes Wisconsin defenseman John Ramage, BC freshman Pat Mullane, Plymouth D Beau Schmitz and Kootenay goalie Nathan Lieuwen (who admittedly has concussion issues, but some serious size and upside, too). But, I've railed on too much on this blog about the Sexton pick, so as of now, I will cease to forever mention him in this space.

In Hrivik's case, he has good size (6-1, 190), speed and a nice shot and release. If he continues to grow and develop, he could develop into a top-six forward at the NHL level, but with his attitude and energy level, he's at least a sturdy third-liner.

He's going to get drafted this year, maybe as early as the late second-round, and here's betting that just about every NHL team will regret not taking at least a late-round flier on him when they had a chance for some seriously good draft value. The secret's out of the bag now, so nobody's going to steal him this year.

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