April ISS Rankings: Duchene #2?!

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    Add International Scouting Services to the list of scouting organizations that are starting to put together the Matt Duchene bandwagon. In their latest rankings, following a the shocker from Redline report, ISS has followed suit and finally shuffled the top 2 of the draft. Unlike Redline, Tavares remains at #1, but ISS now has Duchene at #2 and Hedman at #3. Looks like the “Big Two” just became the “Big Three”.

    TSN’s Bob Mckenzie may have been the first to see this coming after talking to a few scouts prior to his live chat with fans last week. Here’s an excerpt from that chat transcript:

    “Scouts love everything about Duchene. They like his size, strength, speed, skill and smarts. They see him as a character player, as someone who can score goals, make plays and work as hard without the puck as with it. There’s nothing not to like about the Brampton Battalion forward. Tavares and Hedman are heavy favorites to go one-two in this draft, but if there’s one player who could upset that scenario, it’s probably Duchene. Not to give it away just yet, but when we release a revised Top 15 draft ranking tonight on the NHL Draft Lottery show on TSN at 8 p.m. eastern, Duchene will be a rock-solid No. 3 but at least one of the 10 scouts we surveyed had him at No. 2, ahead of Hedman.”

    All of sudden, things may have gotten a lot more interesting for Brian Burke as he attempts to trade up and secure one of those top two selections. The first thought that comes to mind is that with the “Top 2″ distinction becoming more and more blurry from the emergence of Matt Duchene, the price for that #2 selection may come down a little bit, since a player at #3 may no longer be that steep of a talent drop if at all. However, given Burke’s penchant for size and belief that defense wins championships, I’m still fairly sure that he selects Hedman at #2.

    Here is the complete ranking from ISS:

    1 Tavares, John  C 9/20/1990 L 6.00 200 London OHL
    2 Duchene, Matt  C 1/16/1991 L 5.11 196 Brampton OHL
    3 Hedman, Victor  LD 12/18/1990 L 6.06 220 Modo SweE
    4 Svensson-Paajarvi, Magnus  LW 4/12/1991 L 6.01 200 Timra SweE
    5 Kane, Evander  C 8/2/1991 L 6.01 180 Vancouver WHL
    6 Schenn, Brayden  C 8/22/1991 L 6.00 193 Brandon WHL
    7 Cowen, Jared  LD 1/25/1991 L 6.04.7 218 Spokane WHL
    8 Kadri, Nazem  C 10/6/1990 L 5.11.5 180 London OHL
    9 Ekman-Larsson, Oliver LD 7/17/1991 L 6.02 176 Leksands SweAl
    10 Kulikov, Dmitri  LD 10/29/1990 L 6.00 190 Drummondville QMJHL
    11 Josefson, Jacob  C 3/2/1991 L 6.00 187 Djurgarden SweE
    12 Leblanc, Louis  C 1/26/1991 R 6.00 178 Omaha USHL
    13 Schroeder, Jordan  RW 9/29/1990 R 5.08.2 175 Minnesota WCHA
    14 Ellis, Ryan  RD 1/3/1991 R 5.09.2 183 Windsor OHL
    15 Holland, Peter  C 1/14/1991 L 6.01.5 188 Guelph OHL
    16 Moore, John  LD 11/19/1990 L 6.02 189 Chicago USHL
    17 Ferraro, Landon  RW 8/8/1991 R 5.11 169 Red Deer WHL
    18 Shore, Drew C 1/29/1991 R 6.02 190 USA Under-18 NTDP
    19 Glennie, Scott  C 2/22/1991 R 6.01 180 Brandon WHL
    20 Kassian, Zack  RW 1/24/1991 R 6.02.5 212 Peterborough OHL
    21 Leddy, Nick LD 3/20/1991 L 5.11 179 Eden Prairie MN-HS
    22 Rundblad, David  RD 10/8/1990 R 6.02 189 Skelleftea SweE
    23 Palmieri, Kyle  C 2/1/1991 R 5.10 191 USA Under-18 NTDP
    24 Kreider, Chris LW 4/30/1991 L 6.02 201 Andover MA-HS
    25 Caron, Jordan  C 11/2/1990 L 6.02.5 200 Rimouski QMJHL
    26 Werek, Ethan  C 6/7/1991 L 6.00.5 191 Kingston OHL
    27 Morin, Jeremy  C 4/16/1991 R 6.00.5 189 USA Under-18 NTDP
    28 Nattinen, Joonas  C 1/3/1991 R 6.02 183 Espoo FinJrA
    29 Orlov, Dimitri  F 7/23/1991 L 6.00 197 Novokuznetsk KHL
    30 Rajala, Toni LW 3/29/1991 L 5.09 163 Ilves FinJrA

    Of Note:

    - Nazem Kadri was having a phenomenal playoff run for the London Knights, which ended abruptly today with a 4-3 overtime loss to Dale Mitchell and the Windsor Spitfires. Stepping up his game in a big way with 21 points in 14 playoff games, especially with Tavares production dipping, likely raised his stock quite a bit.

    - Cracking the ISS top 10 for the first time is Sweden’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the big, smooth skating, well-rounded defenseman of Leksand. Possessing a ton of offensive ability and potential, he is this year’s Erik Karlsson, a player playing in a lower league who has seen his stock increase dramatically over the course of one season. Larsson recently had a very impressive U-18 tournament, and speculation would lead to him being very high on Ottawa’s list.

    - Simon Despres, a big bodied offensive defenseman from the Saint John’s Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, has seen his stock take a big time hit. He’s a player who’s seen his rank rise from the 20′s early on this year to the early teen’s most recently and as high as top 10 on som draft lists to now completely falling out of the top 30. After an underwhelming performance at the U-18′s for Team Canada where he continually got exposed by stronger, more physical forwards, scouts are beginning to question his defensive abilities. No doubt he’s got the talent though.

    Always a pleasure,

    Alex Tran

    [email protected]

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