Before I go on about the 2011 draft players, i just want to mention 3 guys that aren't eligible until 2012. Peterborough defenseman Slater Koekkoek and Sarnia forwards Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk are showing very early into this season that they will be first round picks in 2012. Everything so far points to stardum for these three in the future.
Peterborough has struggled in the early going this season and have gone 2 games without scoring a goal. In fact the goaless streak was at 150:43 until Ryan Spooner scored in the second period. But you have to give the kids credit for not giving up and keep on working. Even though pucks aren't going in as frequently for Matt Puempel, he is still showing why he will be a top pick in 2011. He continues to skate hard, get in on the forecheck, set up his teammates, drive to the net and get shots on goal. If he keeps playing like that, the points will come as they did last night.
The 5'5" Lino Martschini impresses me more and more each time i see him. The speedy skater doesn't back down against anyone. He goes full speed ahead into the forecheck, he will drive to the net, has a deceptive shot and is a very good playmaker. Despite his size, an NHL team will give him a chance at the NHL level, but it remains to be seen when he will be selected.
Defenseman turned forward Derek Mathers could turn into a very good power forward. He goes all out hard every time he's on the ice. He can make a big hit and will take one to make a play. Wins most battles along the wall. He needs to work on his skating a bit. Will do whatever it takes to give his team a lift whether its a big hit or a big fight. He did both last night when his team was down and had gone 7 periods without a goal.
Goaltender Andrew D'Agostini has been relegated to a back up role after the Petes acquired Bryce O'Hagan from the Soo Greyhounds who's experience should help a very young Petes defence.
Sarnia's Brett Ritchie Is really bringing his game along. He's a force in front of the net who makes it hard for the opposition defence and goaltender. He's gritty fights hard to retrieve pucks comes back har on the backcheck and is more than reliable in his own zone. His offensive numbers aren't where they should be right now, but playing on a line with Yakupov and Galchenyuk, they are bound to go up. And he will be a first round pick in 2011.
Brandon Francisco is a super fast skater. He gets in on the forecheck and battles hard. Uses his speed to create chances for himself and his teammates. He gets some penalty killing time, which goes to show he is good in the defensive zone. He has good offensive ability and is making the most of his chances, On a team that boasts 2 rookies in the top 10 in scoring, the Sting aren't depending on Francisco's offense so everything he produces is just gravy. 20 goals and 60 points are not out of the question for this season.