1983 Final Rankings

*Note: The Central Scouting Rankings are based purely on the interpretation of statistics in the NJFHL, interpretation of real life history, and personal opinion.  In no way has the writer seen the ratings of the players or should the comments be interpreted to necessarily be accurate interpretations of the ratings the junior players have or will have.
Mid Season Rank Mid Season Rank Player
1 1 Steve Yzerman - Ottawa 67's
It wasn't a collapse, but Yzerman simply couldn't maintain his pace of the first half of the season.  Still, Yzerman ended up leading the NJFHL in scoring, including a league-leading 42 goals.  His Ottawa 67s easily ran away with the best record in the league, but were upset in the opening round of the playoffs.  Yzerman did his part with 6 points in 6 games, though it was off his 1.5 points per game pace of the regular season.  Yzerman has the entire package, though, playoffs not withstanding.  He is very responsible in his own zone and likes the physical game.  With that offensive game, too, he is too much to resist as the #1 ranked prospect and we would be stunned if he didn't go #1 overall.
2 4 Pat Lafontaine - Chicoutimi Saguineens


When all is said and done, there isn't a lot to choose from between Yzerman and Lafontaine and whoever picks second will certainly not be disappointed.  Lafontaine may be a little better playmaker, but the one area in which Yzerman is clearly superior is in his defensive awareness.  However, he is very fast and is quite good on the PK.  Like Yzerman, he doesn't shy away from the rough stuff and will shoot from anywhere.  Again, like Yzerman, he was a bit disappointing in the playoffs as he was taken out in the first round.  That won't change the fact he should be the second player taken in the draft, though.
3 3 Christian Ruuttu - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Ruuttu led this draft class in assists with 51, almost one per game.  He wont' drive the offense the way Yzerman and Lafontaine do, but he is good at getting his wingers involved and setting them up.  He can score, he finished with 27 goals this season, but it isn't his forte, as shown by only 6 PP goals.  Like the others, he gets physically involved in the play, actually finishing 3rd in hits in the class with 110.  He is responsible in his own end, but if coaches can get him to use his shot more often, he would be that much more effective.  He is certainly a step below Yzerman and Lafontaine, but should develop into a fine center.
4  9 Dave Gagner - Hull Olympiques
  Dave Gagner had a fine offensive regular season that saw him finish 5th in the class with 30 goals and 73 points.  He posted respectable defensive numbers, was effective on both special teams, and was a terror on the forecheck.  However, what boots him up into the top five was his play in the playoffs.  Gagner took it to another level in leading Hull to the Memorial Cup championship.  He had 7 goals and 28 points in 19 games and was even more of a physical force, despite his frame.  We're not sure that he is a 31 center, but any team looking for a top notch #2 center with tonnes of leadership capabilities doesn't need to look much further.
5 23 Brian Bradley  Peterborough Petes
Bradley only scored 34 goals this year.  We say only because he shot the puck on net more than anyone, 218 times in 16 games.  His shooting percentage was the lowest of almost any player with 20+ goals.  If he could even improve that by 3 or 4 percent, he would be devastating.  Despite that, he is still a force on the power play with his 15 goals.  He had almost 100 hits but still only took 15 PIMs.  He was a respectable even rating on a last place team, but all of his offensive production couldn't put the Petes into the playoffs.
6 18 Peter Zezel - Hull Olympiqes
A roller coaster year that saw Zezel begin the year in the top ten, fall to #17 at mid season, but rocket up to #6 in the final rankings.  Zezel recorded 33 goals and 33 assists in the regular season, but most impressively, led all players with 17 power play goals.  Zezel shone in the playoffs with 9 goals and 11 assists for 20 points in 19 games during the championship run.  Zezel really came into his own over the course of the season, developing his physical game to a respectable level, while still being a force in the offensive zone.  Any team that drafts him will have a future captain on their team.
7 8 Tommy Albelin - Ottawa 67's
We thought Albelin could remain a top ten pick if he continued with his solid campaign.  He did that and more.  He more than doubled his goals output and plus/minus rating, while finishing just under a point per game.  He is far and away the best offensive defenseman this draft and really has shown that his defensive game is just as impressive.  His +41 rating obviously stands out, but he also had 105 hits, second among blue liners and one of only 3 to eclipse the century mark.  He is a terrific on the power play where he scored half his goals, but is also clutch.  A player you want on the ice at any time, in any situation.  It is hard not to imagine Albelin as a top two defenseman in the NFHL, but it is just one season, so there is always a little bit of caution.  But it was a magnificent season for Albelin.
8 5 Derrick Smith - Saskatoon Blades
  Derrick Smith finished fourth in scoring in this draft class, but some definite weaknesses in his game keep him from being rated higher.  There is no doubt about his offense, as he finished with 31 goals and 46 assists, with 13 power play goals in the process.  However, he is not good in his own end and he tends to avoid getting dirty to get the job done.  Some scouts attribute it to a lack of commitment and others just think he doesn't have the mental make up.  And since his Blades were the worst team in the league, they didn't get to see him play in the pressure-packed playoffs.  Smith is the most likely top ten ranked player to slip on draft day due to these concerns. 
9 12 Russ Courtnall - Ottawa 67's
Benefitted playing with Yzerman, but Russ Courtnall still comes with high-end skill.  The most noticeable asset to his game is his blistering speed that really puts pressure on defensemen.  He used it to pot 36 goals this year, behind only Yzerman and Lafontaine in the draft class.  His speed really opens up the game on the power play where he can stretch the defenders and he often finds himself alone by doing so.  His 12 PP markers are proof of that.  His speed also helps him get back in the defensive zone and has broken up many odd man rushes with his hustle.  Courtnall certainly isn't big and he doesn't have the strength when the play gets slow and dirty.  Would like to see him shoot a bit more.
10 2 Bob Bassen - Medicine Hat Tigers
   Ranked #2 at mid-season, Bassen struggled in the second half, registering just 9 of his 29 goals and dropping from 2nd in league scoring to 9th in his draft class.  Still, though, it has to be considered a successful season as he helped the Tigers into the second round of the playoffs.  He continued to be a physical presence, but sometimes tried too hard which resulted in a lot of meaningless penalties.  He will certainly have to control that if he wants to make the NFHL.  However, for a team looking for some intensity, but also someone who is a terror on the power play (15 PP goals), and likes to shoot, he could become a good power forward.  However, if his draft stock plummets out of the first round, it will be because teams are wary of his discipline issues.
11 32 Bob Probert - Shawinigan Cataractes
Just misses out on the top ten, Big Bob Probert  is tough, impossible to move from in front of the net, and can play in any situation.  34 goals, 14 on the power play, 2 short handed, and more hits than anyone.  Needs to make better decisions without the puck.
12 11 Chris Jensen - Ottawa 67's
Play making center had as many assists as Yzerman, but didn't rank in the top 35 in his class in goals.  Solid defensively.
13 19 Rick Tocchet - Sudbury Wolves
Plays a similar game to Probert but with less of an edge.  Still plays tough and can score goals.  Needs to initiate the play more to make use of his big body and undeniable offensive skill.
14 6 Sylvain Turgeon - Sudbury Wolves
Slumped horribly in the second half.  Turgeon has very quick hands, but too often used in illegally wielding his stick.  Discipline issues take away from a dangerous player who led his class with 19 PP goals.  Needs work on his play away from the puck.
15 53 Nevin Markwart - Kamloops Blazers
A good regular season, but propels up the rankings thanks to a terrific post season.  Lost in the Memorial Cup, but showed he can play in pressure situations.  However, concern about his stunningly bad defensive play may make some teams wary of using a first round pick on him. 
16 7 Esa Tikkanen - Ottawa 67's
Only 5 goals and 17 points in the second half of the season, as well as a disappointing playoffs drops Tikkanen to the lower first round.  Discipline issues, but has offensive skill.  Needs to concentrate more on his hockey and less on his chatter.
17 22 Ed Belfour - Hull Olympiques
It wasn't a great year for goalies in the NJFHL, but Belfour stepped up in the playoffs, leading Hull to the championship and improving on regular season numbers.  Could go higher in the first round if a team needs a goalie to develop as he has the demeanor and attitude, as well as the skills, of a future starter.
18 15 Wally Schreiber - Sudbury Wolves
Maintained first half pace and was especially dangerous with the man advantage.  15 of 23 goals scored on the power play or short handed, but defensive lapses kept him on the bench frequently five on five.  However, he loves to initiate contact and plays a clean game.
19 10 Dominik Hasek - London Knights
Ranking based more on potential seen last year than this year's performance.  Still too tantalizing to pass out of the first round despite almost a 4.00 GAA and losing 32 games.  Remains to be seen if last year's near perfection or this year's mediocrity are what we can expect from Hasek.  Or something in the middle?
20 36 Dan Quinn - Shawinigan Cataractes
Yo-yo season sees Quinn start at #3, drop to #36, and ends up as a projected late 1st rounder.  Good passing skills and can be dangerous on the power play.  Almost a point per game in the playoffs and upped his physical game.  Trending upwards.
21 44 Brian Noonan - Shawinigan Cataractes
Huge jump for Noonan, scoring 25 goals while being defensively responsible, and making an impact on the power play.  Defense suffered in the playoffs and he needs to up his physical game, but projects into a solid 2nd or 3rd liner depending on the strength of the team drafting him.
22 26 Dave Lowry - Hull Olympiques
Lowry jumps into the first round thanks to Hull's championship run.  The run was a little disappointing for Lowry, who fell from being a better than a point per game player, to a little used role player in the playoffs.  Didn't get the power play time, didn't shoot the puck, and didn't get involved physically.  Could be a cause for concern.
23 24 Marc Bergevin - Shawinigan Cataractes
24 49 Ville Siren - Saskatoon Blades
25 30 Tom Barasso - Peterborough Petes
26 21 Mark LaVarre - London Knights
27 33 Kevin Stevens - Peterborough Petes
28 29 Dan Hodgson - Saskatoon Blades
29 13 Steve Duchesne - Hull Olympiques
30 39 Garry Galley - Chicoutimi Saguineens
31 16 Petr Klima - Ottawa 67's
32 18 Markus Beeck - Sudbury Wolves
33 27 Joey Kocur - Chicoutimi Saguineens
34 35 Shawn Evans - Hull Olympiques
35 14 Peter Andersson - Kamloops Blazers
36 45 Andrew McBain - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
37 59 Lyndon Byers - Shawinigan Cataractes
38 31 Mikko Makela - Ottawa 67's
39 57 Bruce Bell - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
40 54 Bill Watson - Chicoutimi Saguineens
41 52 John MacLean - Shawinigan Cataractes
42 58 Jeff Parker - Hull Olympiques
43 50 Alexander Vasiliev - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
44 37 Normand Lacombe - Saskatoon Blades
45 43 Iain Duncan - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
46 67 Alan May - Shawinigan Cataractes
47 55 Wayne Presley - Kamloops Blazers
48 78 Brad Berry - Sudbury Wolves
49 40 Allan Bester - Chicoutimi Saguineens
50 73 Gerald Diduck - Shawinigan Cataractes
51 51 Raimo Helminen - London Knights
52 34 Perry Berezan - Medicine Hat Tigers
53 28 Greg Johnston - Sudbury Wolves
54 60 Brian Lawton - Sudbury Wolves
55 41 Jocelyn Gauvreau - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
56 25 Bob Errey - Sudbury Wolves
57 42 Sergio Momesso - Peterborough Petes
58 48 Uwe Krupp - London Knights
59 65 Bob Essensa - Saskatoon Blades
60 46 Cam Neely - Peterborough Petes
61 61 Claude Lemieux - Peterborough Petes
62 70 Ed Kastelic - Peterborough Petes
63 38 Allen Pedersen - Medicine Hat Tigers
64 20 Kevan Guy - Medicine Hat Tigers
65 66 Don Barber - Medicine Hat Tigers
66 76 Mike Tomlak - Kamloops Blazers
67 NR Tom Martin - Hull Olympiques
68 85 Grant Jennings - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
69 79 Bruce Cassidy - London Knights
70 75 David Bruce - Peterborough Petes
71 77 Petr Vlk - Ottawa 67's
72 71 Joe Reekie - Chicoutimi Saguineens
73 80 Lane Lambert - Medicine Hat Tigers
74 NR Craig Berube - Kamloops Blazers
75 68 Pelle Eklund - Peterborough Petes
76 83 Alain Heroux - Shawinigan Cataractes
77 47 Gord Mark - Edmonton Oil Kings
78 64 Jeff Beukeboom - Ottawa 67's
79 62 Peter Taglianetti - Chicoutimi Saguineens
80 88 Mark Kachowski - Edmonton Oil Kings
81 56 Adam Creighton - Ottawa 67's
82 NR Rick Nasheim - Peterborough Petes
83 NR Jeff Jackson - Hull Olympiques
84 81 Stu Grimson - Medicine Hat Tigers
85 84 Yves Corteau - Chicoutimi Saguineens
86 86 Bobby Dollas - Chicoutimi Saguineens
87 82 John Tucker - Peterborough Petes
88 74 David Jensen - Sudbury Wolves