February Pens Prospect Rankings - 23-Feb-04
Written by: LGP Prospects Staff
The LGP prospect staff (pfim, Bowser, Mad City Mike, Blondshine, MrKnownothing, Goalie, Sigpi10, Jesse and Draftnik) voted on their top twenty prospects as of February 2004. A prospect is defined as a player 24 years old or younger, with less than 100 games of NHL experience as a forward/defenseman, or 40 games as a goaltender. Number of points possible is 180, and first place votes are marked in parentheses, excerpts from staff comments follow.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury, 179 points (8)
No-brainer as the Pens' top prospect...Franchise goalie...The disaster at WJC and following that in Pittsburgh may seem a far cry if Fleury returns to his normal self...If he can play that well against a pourous defense, what could he do behind a solid one?
2. Ryan Malone, 165 points (1)
Malone has made a breakthrough and he's the only power forward in the organization who has the markings of a first liner...Top line forward when on game...Strong on the puck, well get better when he learns how to play with a playmaker (assuming the Pens will have one)...2004's biggest suprise.
3. Brooks Orpik, 161 Points
Orpik isn't flashy, but gets the job done. He should become cornerstone and leader of the defense corps...Top 4 defenseman...Future captain who will never put up a lot of points, but his offensive play will improve with more experience and confidence...Already talked about as one of the NHL's biggest hitters
4. Ryan Whitney, 146 Points
PP quarterback, effortless skater with great size and passing ability...After struggling a couple of years following the draft, he's on pace for what he was expected to do in the first place...Statistics hurt by lack of talent up front for BU...Will lead the team in Assists some day, great understanding of the game
5. Tomas Surovy, 136 Points
Will find his nitche as a sniper...He's a sniper and is just becoming to use his greatest asset...Second line, goalscoring winger...Scoring more goals is just a matter of better positioning for him.
6. Noah Welch, 125 Points
Natural leader, very intelligent, makes good passes out of the zone and shows a mean streak along the boards...The future looks bright with number of decent defensemen in the organisation. Welch is among the best...Solid D man for Harvard...Top 4 defenseman
7. Konstantin Koltsov, 119 Points
Great energy, when he finds his hands he'll be a solid scorer...Real wild card, anywhere from a first liner to a third/fourth line shutdown player...Forces defensemen and goalies into mistakes, will benefit from playing with more talented players...With such a tremendous speed look for Koltsov to become a solid performer in the future.
8. Ben Eaves, 88 Points
Has more potential than any other skater in the organisation. If he can overcome his size, he's going to be a star...Injury prone, plays a gritty style that belies his size...57 points in 36 games last year for BC...Second/First line center and leader if can play physical enough for the NHL.
9. Matt Murley, 81 Points
Murley needs to become more consistent in order to become the playmaker Penguins thought he could be...Support winger, good two way player, second line potential...Made the team originally, great in the AHL all star game.
10. Sergei Anshakov, 76 Points
Anshakov showed scoring touch in WJC and along with Surovy is the only pure scorer in the organisation...1st/2nd line winger if game translates well to the NHL...Decent at WJC, but lack of ability in Superleague makes me question him...Speed to burn, the type of speed the Pens talk about building around but are just starting to acquire.
11. Kris Beech, 69 Points
Has had his chance a few times, jury is still out...Beech is slowly coming to a point where he must produce, or be gone...Still very young, was overhyped when he was acquired from the Caps...Good playmaker, poor skater, needs to get the puck low in the zone to be successful.
12. Michel Ouellet, 61 Points
Lacks speed, great instincts and willing to pay the price in front of the net to score goals...Ouellet has been a big surprise since being brought up from ECHL. Skating may not be good enough...Good shot, needs to be a bit better all around player...AHL rookie of the year?
13. Paul Bissonnette, 56 Points
Strong player on a poor team...Almost made the team in his first training camp. Steady defensively...Top 4 defenseman, rebounding nicely after poor start.
14(t). Ross Lupaschuk, 44 Points
Gaining confidence in defensive game, but some around WBS still question his ability...It might take yet another year for him to make his offensive minded game more balanced...Has all of the tools, needs to put it together soon.
14(t). Maxime Talbot, 44 Points
Surprise selection for Canada's WJC team, plays a gritty game along the boards and is often lauded for his leadership abilities...Darcy Tucker, Jr...Outstanding leader, great defensive play...Might fit in on the team in the future, wore the A at WJC.
16. Patrick Bartshci, 43 Points
Sniper with great skill, questionable size and strength...He has gotten a lot of icetime and responsibility in Switzerland and WJC. May be a wild card...Top 6 winger, good shot, good playmaking ability, underrated skater.
17(t). Colby Armstrong, 31 Points
Disappointing offensive production in his season and a half in the AHL...Decent point-getter, third line winger who can play the PK.
17(t). Ondrej Nemec, 31 Points
Despite his age; Nemec is playing in Czech Extraleague...Low, heavy shot, needs to work on stickhandling and passing if he wants to make it in the NHL...Great competitor who likes to take the body...Great on the power play, could be a little more solid in front of the net.
19. Ramzi Abid, 22 Points
Injuries have plagued Abid the past couple of years. It remains to be seen if he's given another chance...Gritty, irritating style, will score most of his goals 6 feet in, needs to work on cycling the puck, very strong on his skates...Needs to stay healthy.
20. Shane Endicott, 21 Points
3rd/4th line center with great size...Big, third line center refining his game in WBS...Hasnt had a chance yet, but makes some noise in WBS.
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