Saturday, April 17, 2010

The quiet men

This post is dedicated to several players who are not flashy and haven't been headline grabbers like some members of the 2010 draft class, but are talented enough to be considered mid-to-late first-round picks, and therefore in range for Boston when they use their second of two first-rounders (and might even package picks/players to trade into the 1st to get three firsts come draft day).

Now, just because these guys are on the list does not mean they are locks for the first-round, nor are they necessarily going to be desireable from a Boston standpoint. But, these players are solid, underrated and all deserve consideration in the top-30.

They are worth knowing something about.

Justin Faulk, D U.S. NTDP (USHL) 5-11, 195 Shoots: R March 20, 1992
Smallish defenseman is a very good skater who sees the ice well and can stretch the ice with strong, accurate lead passes. Like Boston's Matt Hunwick, he generates very good power on his shot despite not having a lot of natural size. Unfortunately, also like Hunwick, Faulk can get overpowered easily by big, bruising power forwards who take the puck hard to the net. Still, the skills are present, he plays with speed, energy and tenacity, and could be one of those classic "more than the sum of his parts" because he seems to have the natural smarts and work ethic to make himself into a player at the highest level.

Tyler Pitlick, RW Mankato State (WCHA) 6-1, 195 Shoots: R November 1, 1991
Nephew of former NHL forward Lance Pitlick quietly had an outstanding freshman season for the Mavericks. An excellent skater with quick burst and good north-south agility, he also has some nice creativity which isn't always easy to pick up because he doesn't have a lot of help around him. He's one of those classic up-and-down wingers who isn't going to necessarily dazzle or excite you, but he's got some ability and according to the April edition of the Red Line Report, could break into the late first round.

Ryan Spooner, C Peterborough (OHL) 5-10, 177 Shoots: L January 30, 1992
The classic "small" player, Spooner is all speed and skill, plus he works hard and has the kind of creativity that should see him make some kind of impact at the next level. Unfortunately for him, he broke his collarbone after the Top Prospects Game in January, and the rest of his season was a loss. I still remember the jailbreak play Spooner had with Taylor Hall late in the Top Prospects game, with the two using their speed to generate a 2-on-1 that Spooner finished off nicely. This guy has a ton of heart, and even with the concerns that because of his lack of size he'll always be an injury risk, he's worth taking a chance on late in the first-round. Second round for Spooner is a no-brainer.

Jarred Tinordi, D U.S. NTDP (USHL) 6-5, 203 Shoots: L February 20, 1992
Admittedly, he's a meat-and-potatoes defenseman who has size and toughness, but not much offensive upside. Still, the son is a chip off the old block, playing a similar style to his dad, Mark, who was playing for the Capitals when Jarred was born. The Notre Dame recruit is steady, smart positionally and owns the walls and front of the net. The U.S. Under-18 team captain has all the intangibles you want such as tenacity, leadership and poise under pressure. Think of him as a similar player to Mark Stuart-- he's going to hit, fight, play hard and give you everything he has. Just don't ask him to go out and score a lot of goals or run your power play.

2 comments:

  1. Great report, Kirk. My question is, can you consider Kevin Hayes belonging under the "quiet men" category? I read about an hfboards.com post of yours signifying a Boston interest on Hayes. If we see him as the Boston pick at 17, would you be disappointed if he was picked by Boston and some of the flashier, well - known draft prospects were passed over?

    Also, under what circumstances/conditions would you consider dealing the Tor 2011 pick? If it nets you another Top 10 pick in the draft that can net you one of Gudbranson, Gormley and Fowler, would you do it?

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  2. No, not really on Hayes. First of all-- I've talked about him quite a bit on this blog, whereas these guys are players who've gotten little to no mention previously.

    Secondly, Hayes is in some circles "overrated" because he's seen as a potential 1st-rounder, but has not dominated the prep level as he should.

    Hayes has upside, but I have some serious questions about how he projects at the next level and beyond. The Bruins already have Joe Colborne-- don't know that they need another player like him in terms of style and substance. Would prefer to see the high picks spent on someone with more grit/jam and on a player who's been at a higher level.

    We'll see. If Hayes is the guy, then so be it. But, I wouldn't say he's flying under the radar at all. If anything, his stock is over-inflated right now, IMO.

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