1986 Draft Preseason 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.
Pre-Season Rank Player
1 Johan Garpenlov - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
  Garpenlov scored 38 times as an underager, easily leading his draft class in that category.  However, it is his all around game that puts him in the pre-season #1 spot.  Garpenlov made it so coaches could put him on the ice in any situation.  His 14 power play goals were 2nd among his class, but he was eqully as dangerous on the penalty kill where his 3 short handed tallies was tied for top spot.   He even notched 7 game winning goals.  He has great anticipation and seems to always be in the right place.  He isn't physical, but his dogged pursuit of the puck means he will battle in the tough areas if he has to.  
2 Jimmy Carson - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
  Some of our staff wanted Carson at #1, but in the end, his tendency to avoid physical play puts him a small step back of Garpenlov.  Carson shows to be a bit more of a play maker, leading the draft class in assists last year with 49, wh ile also showing a bit more defensive responsibility with his stellar +17 rating.  He has an awkward skating style, but manages to get around the ice efficiently and is fast enough to be effective on the penalty kill where he equalled Garpenlov's 3 short handed goals.  Carson did get 30 goalso n the season, no small feat for a 16 year old and there does appear to be room for growth.  A strong year in his draft season could certainly vault him into top spot.
3 Vincent Damphousse - Forward - Hull Olympiques
  Damphousse proved to be a killer with the man advantage, scoring more than half his goals on that discipline.  His 33 goals overall proved to be the 3rd best in the draft class and he showed an ability to set others up, as his 40 assists can also attest.  Skating is clearly Damphousse's strength, though he doesn't have the explosive speed that would make him more of a threat killing penalties.  Really, though, defense is not his strong point in general and is arguably what is keeping him from top spot in the rankings.  That and his reluctance to go to the greasy areas of the ice.  He does boast one of the quickest and deadliest shots, though.  It isn't hard, but he releases it quickly and it is deadly accurate.  Give him time and space and Damphousse can really make things happen.  Once he learns to play in tight quarters and protect the puck a little better, his numbers could just go higher.
4 Craig Janney - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
  With 71 points in 55 games, Janney is certainly one of the top offensive players available in the draft.  And what may even make him the top choice is his 5 on 5 play.  While the likes of Garpenlov and Carson each scored half of their goals on the man advantage, Janney was a force at even strength.  He scored just 3 of his 28 goals on the power play, while another 3 came short handed.  The knock against him is his reluctance to get physically involved.  Instead, he uses his terrific speed to keep defenders on their heels and slip away from tough situations.  It also allows him to get back on defense quickly, where he plays a more than solid game.  As he takes on top line cuties this year with the Tigers, his 2-way play could vault him into the conversation for #1 overall.
5 Tom Fitzgerald - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
  It wouldn't be a surprise to see Fitzgerald go closer to #1 depending on who is picking.  While he doesn't have the pure, natural offensive instincts of Carson or Janney, he does offer something none of the others do.  Something that many teams value quite highly.  He is physical and likes to bang bodies.  He will go into the difficult areas along the boards or in front of the net.  Whereever the puck goes, Fitzgerald will follow.  Yet, he isn't void of offense.  In fact, his 43 assists was 3rd bets in his draft class and he still managed 25 goals.  But he was also the only forward to eclipse 100 hits.  No other forward had 62.  He can play with the man advantage, but his lack of foot speed prevents him from helping out on the penalty kill.  But he is a fearless shot blocker and will sacrifice his body to stop the puck.
6 Pat Elynuik - Forward - Peterborough Petes
  Elynuik may be the best pure sniper in the draft.  Coming off a 35-goal season, second only to Garpenlov, he has shown to be deadly on the power play, while also adding a little chippiness.  His style of play won't win many friends and sometimes drives coaches crazy when he takes unnecessary penalties, but he all too often makes up for it with a well-timed goal.  Elynuik needs to play with a set-up man as he won't create offense.  He scores more than assists and most of his assists are from teammates scoring on rebounds from his shot.  Elynuik will need to keep scoring to maintain a top ten draft ranking.  If that falters this year, he could fall right out of the first round.  He hasn't given any indication that he can't continue to score, but he just isn't a first round selection without his scoring touch.
7 Darren Turcotte - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
  Turcotte missed 16 games last season and, if not for that, he may have been ranked even higher.  Turcotte averaged an assist per game last season, 2nd most in the draft class, despite missing all those games.  He has great eyes and seems to see plays before they happen.  He doesn't shoot well, though, which is a concern to many scouts and why some have him rated even lower than #7.  He notched 18 goals, which isn't a bad total when pro-rated over an entire season.  However, for Turcotte, is is a case of shooting as much as you can and hoping things go in.   Only 3 other players with at leat 100 shots had a lower shooting percentage than Turcott'es 12.0% and none of them have the offensive potential as him.  On a points per game basis, Turcotte ranks second in his class, so that potential is certainly there.  If he can stay healthy and play a full season, look for him to climb the rankings.
8 Adam Graves - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
  Graves will never be the biggest point producer, but he offers such a different array of skills that are valuable.  Some more or less valuable to certain teams, of course, but there is no denying what he brings to the game.  And that is a high hockey IQ and a big net presence who likes to shoot.  Graves doesn't skate well, but he can move straight ahead and park in front of the net.  He has a quick stick and is able to get to loose pucks. He scored 29 goals as an underager last year, so scouts are looking for him to hit 40 goals this year.  And if he can keep up his torrid shot total pace, last year firing 219 shots, the only player in his draft class to eclipse 200 shots, there is no reason he can't do just that.  He doesn't get a lot of hits considering his size and aggressive play, but that is mostly attributed to his lack of skating speed.  With some improvement in his skating, look for his hit totals to increase.  Which would also improve his already impressive defensive play.
9 Joe Murphy - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
  Murphy would likely have been rated a few spots higher if he had managed to play a few more games.  But with just 50 games played last year, the point total just wasn't there and scouts grew concerned.  However, his points per game rate was among the best in his draft class and a strong draft year season could certainly vault him into the top five.  Murphy is special in that his play away from the puck is almost as dangerous as when he has the puck.  He is a rock-solid defender, always one of the first forwards back, and he has a knack for getting in the lanes and blocking shots.  His +17 rating last year was tied for the league lead despite not being a physical player.  When he has the puck, he is quite gifted with it. He is a pass-first winger, his 41 assists were more than Damphousse and equal to Garpenlov, but still possesses a sneaky shot, as his 23 goals on 128 shots can attest.  Murphy projects to be a second line winger that can play at any stage and in any area of the game.
10 Brian Leetch - Defense - Chicoutimi Cataractes
  Leetch is the top blue liner in the draft, but it is a very, very weak draft for defensemen.  Still, Leetch could become special.  He is a pure offensive defenseman who can control the play with his puck handling ability.  He skates well and can log the puck out of trouble or lead the rush.  He passes well and can blast the puck as well, making him a very dynamic threat on the power play.  His defensive play and play away from the puck is still in its infancy, and he needs to grow and get stronger before he can handle pro hockey, but a team that has some patience could really hit a home run with this selection.
11 Scott Young - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Young is a pure sniper with the ability to win the goal scoring title this year.  He had 29 goals in just 48 games last year, slightly behind garpenlov's pace.  Deadly on the power play, but doesn't get involved in the game with enough consistency and isn't a play maker.
12 Kevin Todd - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
Todd provides a little bit of everything, but doesn't stand out in any area.  Good puck moving skills with a good shot, he performed well on the power play.  His defensive play requires fine tuning, but isn't a big concern.  Won't engage, but won't back down, either.
13 Murray Baron - Defense - Peterborough Petes
Despite playing a heavier, more physical game, Baron had a remarkable season offensively, which has many scouts very bullish.  His 40 points trailed only Leetch's 47, yet had 10 more hits than any other defenseman and firign 100+ shots.  He wasn't projected as an offensive force, so this year will determine if it was a blip on his career or a new Murray Baron.
14 Teppo Numminen - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Numminen doesn't put up the offensive numbers of Leetch, or bang bodies like Baron, but he may be the most well-rounded defenseman in the draft.  Very good offensive instincts that let him be a threat in every situation, but plays smart in his own end and, unlike many Scandinavians coming over, isn't reluctant to lay the lumber or use his body to establish body position.
15 Benoit Brunet - Forward - Peterborogh Petes
Perhaps the most controversial prospect in the first round, Brunet divides scouts, even within Central Scouting.  On a points per game basis, Brunet was by far the top player in his class, but he managed just 32 games played.  That he managed to still finish 14th in scoring among his draft is remarkable.  But many scouts are hesitant to rank him high without more games under his belt.  Big year and could be the biggest riser or faller.
16 Jyrki Lumme - Defense - London Knights
The young Finn plays with a similar flair to Leetch, though plays a bit more conservatively in the offensive zone.  A fine quarterback with the man advantage, Lumme tends to wait until the perfect time to unleash a good shot.  Coaches will need to work with him to shoot more.  Doesn't get physical, instead relyin on his positioning and long reach.
17 Dave McLlwain - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
A sublime set up man who can't shoot the puck, though when he does score, they tend to be at important times of the game.  But he is at his best with the puck on his stick and making things happen with his line mates.  Defense is a definite work in progress, but his ability to shoot better is even more pressing.
18 Everett Sanipass - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
Another forward the scouts are taking a gamble on because of limited ice time last year.  Sanipass finished with a respectable 21 goals, 11 on the power play, last year, despite missing 15 games.  That is almost a 30-goal pace.  Like the others, though, his draft year will determine if this was a one-off or the mark of a player who can threaten for a top six role in the NFHL in the future.
19 Jeff Daniels - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
The second last of the 20+ goals club in this draft class, Daniels notched 22 in 54 games last year, while adding 26 assists.  A solid player, but doesn't project to be a top six forward in the NFHL.  Could carve a career in the bottom six as a player who can add a little offensive punch, but will need work on his speed and play away from the puck.
20 Zarley Zalapski - Defense - Shawinigan Cataractes
The greatest name in hockey, Double Zed oozes offense with his 9 goals and ability to handle the power play.  Shoots low, hard, and often, but rarely on target, which has a tendency to waste power play time and opportunities.  Chaotic in his own end, but if he can improve that, gain more consistency and fight, he could rocket up the draft board.
21 Ron Tugnutt - Goalie - Peterborough Petes
Tugnutt didn't have great numbers, but was respectable on a young and struggling team.  Tugnutt moves well, but tends to stay too deep in his net and has some rebound control issues. However, he is the ultimate battler, never giving up on a puck.  Played in 59 of 60 games last year, could play them all in his draft year and see his stock rise.
22 Jocelyn Lemieux - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Another gamble who performed well in limited action.  Lemieux missed almost 1/3 of the games this year, but still put up almost a point per game.  Much better at play making, he needs to shoot more to give him more dimension to his game.  Can be quite an agitator, th ough needs more consistent efforts if that is the role he wants to play.  Some scouts doubt he has the offensive chops to make it in a top six role, so developing a nasty side may be in his best interest in the long run.
23 Darryl Shannon - Defense - Saskatoon Blades
24 Neil Wilkinson - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
25 Tim Cheveldae - Goalie - Hull Olympiques
26 Bob Corkum - Forward - Ottawa 67's
27 Rob Brown - Forward - London Knights
28 Mark Janssens - Forward - Peterborough Petes
29 Mike Hartman - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
30 Ron Hoover - Forward - Peterborough Petes
31 Glen Featherstone - Defense - London Knights
32 Jeff Greenlaw - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
33 Rich Pilon - Defense - Chicoutimi Saguineens
34 Jan Hrivnak - Goalie - Chicoutimi Saguineens
35 Mike Hudson - Forward - Peterborough Petes
36 Dave Capuano - Forward - Ottawa 67's
37 Ronnie Stern - Forwad - Medicine Hat Tigers
38 David Haas - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
39 Bill Berg - Forward - Ottawa 67's
40 Arto Blomsten - Defense - Saskatoon Blades
41 Shawn Anderson - Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings
42 Rob Zettler - Defense - Saskatoon Blades
43 Troy Crowder - Forward - Hull Olympiques
44 Greg Hawgood - Defense - Chicoutimi Saguineens
45 Lyle Odelein - Defense - Chicoutimi Saguineens
46 Sylvain Couturier - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
47 Stan Drulia - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
48 Dan Currie - Forward - Ottawa 67's
49 Lonnie Loach - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
50 Rick Lessard - Defense - Peterborough Petes
51 Mark Vermette - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
52 Janne Ojanen - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
53 Neil Brady - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
54 Todd Hawkins - Forward - Peterborough Petes
55 Dan Woodley - Forward - Hull Olympiques
56 Dean Kolstad - Defense - Medicine Hat Tigers
57 Greg Brown - Defense - Medicine Hat Tigers
58 Rick Bennett - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
59 Ken McRae - Forward - Ottawa 67's
60 Todd McLellan - Forward - Peterborough Petes
61 Lance Pitlick - Defense - Medicine Hat Tigers
62 Brian Glynn - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
63 Jeff Bloemberg - Defense - London Knights
64 Randy Skarda - Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings
65 Marc Potvin - Forwards - Kamloops Blazers
66 Kerry Huffman - Defense - Hull Olympiques
67 Par Djoos - Defense - Saskatoon Blades
68 Dean Morton - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
69 Ron Shudra - Defense - Kamloops Blazers
70 Dennis Vaske - Defense - Shawinigan Cataractes
71 Brad Aitkin - Forward - Hull Olympiques
72 Mark Pederson - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
73 Jim Ennis - Defense - London Knights
74 Frantisek Kucera - Defense - Ottawa 67's
75 Dan Keczmer - Defense - Kamloops Blazers
76 Mike Greenlay - Goalie - Chicoutimi Saguineens
77 Sean Williams - Forward - Hull Olympiques
78 John Purves - Forward - Hull Olympiques
79 Craig Endean - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
80 Mario Doyon - Defense - Shawinigan Cataractes
81 Don Gibson - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
82 Derek Mayer - Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings
83 John Blue - Goalie - Peterborough Petes
84 Brian McReynolds - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
85 Rene Chapdelaine - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
86 Warren Babe - Forward - Peterborough Petes
87 Robb Stauber - Goalie - London Knights
88 Denis Larocque - Defense - Kamloops Blazers