Final CS 1987 Draft 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 Sergei Fedorov - Medicine Hat Tigers
  Coming out of nowhere, Fedorov could become the 2nd Russian born to go #1 overall (Larionov).  In a surprising pre-season move, Fedorov jumped across the Atlantic to play in the NJFHL and quite a first impression he made.  Fedorov led the league in scoring and dazzled with his speed, creativity, and ability to play at both ends of the ice.  In fact, Fedorov was used as a defenseman on several occasions this year, showcasing his phenomenal hockey IQ.  Not only did Fedorov lead the NJFHL with 92 points, 5 of his 44 goals were shorthanded, also leading the league in that category.  Fedorov is magic with the puck on his stick and sees the ice well.  But it is his skating that really set him apart.  He moves laterally with ease and can seemingly go from standstill to full flight in 2 strides, which makes him extremely effective on the counter attack.  Despite his 44 goals, he doesn't have a strong shot, but it his quick and lethal.  Fedorov projects to be a franchise player, a #1 centre to build a team around.
2 Peter Bondra - Ottawa 67's
  Itís a European invasion atop the NJFHL and it has the pre-season draft rankings all shook up.  Bondra, a Slovakian born in the Ukraine, also came across the pond this season to ply his trade with the best in North America and, like Fedorov, dazzled.  If you could see him.  While Fedorov was gliding all over the ice, Bondra's speed is full on straight ahead.  There may not have been a faster skater in the entire NJFHL than Bondra and that gave him a lot of scoring opportunities.  And when you also possess a devastatingly accurate shot with a quick release, it means a lot of goals will follow.  And that is what happened with Bondra.  His 46 goals is behind on Wayne Gretzky's 52 in 1978 in NJFHL history.  He is especially potent with the man advantage where his speed stretches out the defense and allows him to get into open spaces.  Fully half of his goals came in this manner, 10 more than his nearest competitor.  Bondra can dish the puck, too, making sure that teams can't key on him on the power play.  He can find the open man if they take away his shot.  As with Fedorov, he isn't overly physical, but nor will he shy away from contact if teams feel they can physically intimidate him.  Bondra will put up points no matter who he plays with, but give him a top notch set up man, and Bondra will be music.
3 Joe Sakic - Shawinigan Cataractes
  Putting Joe Sakic at #3 caused quite the kerfuffle in the Central Scouting meetings.  Projected as the #1 pick for the past two seasons, no one could have predicted the arrival of Fedorov and Bondra.  However, that isn't to say Sakic won't still go #1.  He has that potential.  His the best passer in the draft, leading all eligible players with 54 assists this past season.  He possesses one of the best wrist shots in the league, especially powerful as he comes down the wing.  He is strong defensively, though doesn't have quite the extra gear that Fedorov has to make him that dangerous.  But he had a terrific +26 rating and scored once while shorthanded.  He is incredibly smart on the ice and is always in the right position and always makes the right play.  He is extremely competitive and, while not big, he won't get pushed around.  A born leader and captain material in the not too distant future.  Would not be surprising if he went #1 if a team wants a more traditional type of centre to build around.
4 Pierre Turgeon - Hull Olympiques
  Turgeon fits in the Sakic mould of centres.  He isn't the fastest up and down the ice, but is fast enough and moves well enough to be evasive.  Turgeon was one of just 3 players to eclipse 50 assists this season and could have out scored Sakic if he hadn't missed 6 games during the season to injuries.  Like Sakic, Turgeon doesn't score much with a powerful shot, but instead uses intelligent positioning and quick hands to pick corners and surprise goalies.  Turgeon doesn't have the natural skill set of Sakic (or Fedorov), but makes up for it in effort and determination.  He led all forwards in the class with 123 hits this season, more than 2 per game, despite his average size.  He simply out works most players and will go anywhere to get that puck.  His average skating tends to keep him off the PK units, but he won't hurt his team defensively.  Turgeon will likely go after Sakic, but any team that gets him gets a top drawer consolation prize.
5 John LeClair - London Knights
  The big bodied winger from the Memorial Cup champs actually out scored Sakic this year, showing a deft touch to go along with his bull in a china shop mentality.  LeClair was the third draft eligible player to hit 50 assists this season and combined that with 37 goals to make him a threat in more than one way.  LeClair skates well for a person his size and uses his stick well to block passing lanes while killing penalties.  But while he can be effective killing penalties, that is not where his strengths lay.  He makes his living in front of the net where he is basically immovable.  He has great coordination to tip in shots and his reach makes most rebounds available to him.  He has a quick release and if he could find a way to get more shots, he probably would have challenged for 50 goals this year.  His 183 shots was significantly lower than the rest of top tier of forwards.  However, that is the type of player he is.  He is a finisher, sometimes a set up man, but he doesn't create plays.  Teamed with a real playmaker and LeClair is a dangerous weapon. 
6 Alexander Mogilny - Ottawa 67's
  Yet another foreign-born forward to crack the top ten, Mogilny may also be the most tantalizing, yet frustrating.  Mogilny oozes skill.  Speed, puck handling, lethal shot.  He possesses them all and showcases them in practice, where you can often find teammates staring in awe.  Yet on the ice in the game, he leaves you wanting.  He doesn't engage nearly enough and tends to play to the perimeter.  He is too easily knocked off the puck.  But when he has the puck on his stick, you are drawn to him and can't stop watching.  You simply can't ignore his skills and that is why he will still be a top ten pick, though he may never be a point producer.  His 15.2% is one of the lowest totals of any forward in the top 20 of scoring and he only took 164 shots.  That works out to 25 goals.  A modest number, but he could do so much more.   He did finish with 49 assists, showing his distribution skills.  Mogilny's speed is otherworldly and that by itself could keep him in a top six role.  Thankfully, his skill set, even when not at full prowess, is enough to keep him in a top six role.  Mogilny is going to be a good NFHLer.  If he can get a coach to get him engaged, he could be a great one.
7 Eric Desjardins - London Knights
  The first blue liner in our rankings, Desjardins is the best offensive blue liner in the draft, but doesn't shirk from his defensive responsibilities for offense.  He has a terrific feel for the game and is able to control the pace of play with the puck on his stick.  Defensively, he finds a way to be in the proper position and is able to use his stick to break up plays.  He isn't big and won't lay a beating on opponents, but he is strong enough to keep the front of the net clear.  Offensively, Desjardins is smart with the puck.  He's able to get it to forwards in flight and is a great quarterback on the power play.  He manages to get the puck on net consistently, though not with a booming shot.  He uses his excellent lateral mobility to get into better shooting positions and use screens in front.  Desjardins will be a solid top pairing blue liner in the NFHL, though likely not a huge point producer.  
8 Stephane Quintal - Sudbury Wolves
  Quintal finished with similar stats as Desjardins, but offers a little different aspect to his game.  While Desjardins controls the game with his ability to slow down the game in his own end and make crisp passes to counter-attack, Quintal is more physical, using his bigger frame and meaner disposition to move players out of position more than using his stick.  He loves to hit, leading all defensemen in hits with 150, 20 more than the next nearest blue liner.  Offensively, he still makes a great pass out of his zone and doesn't hesitate to join in on the rush.  He has a good, though not overpowering, shot and can be a good shooter on the power play or a second line power play quarterback.  There are certainly some flaws to his game in his own end and he can be a bit undisciplined, but Quintal has the potential to be a top pairing defenseman, second pair at worst, with a little seasoning and proper development.
9 Ted Donato - Hull Olympiques
  Donato isn't the prototypical power forward as he doesn't have the size, but he plays with similar disposition.  He is just average size, but gets involved physically and will go anywhere on the ice to make a play.  His 33 goals puts him in the top 5 among draft eligible forwards and he was one of only 6 forwards with 100+ hits.  He is willing to take the punishment in front of the net on the power play, and is successful there.  He has an awkward skating style, but has surprising speed, which allows him to be dangerous on the PK.  In fact, he is very mature in his own end, playing a tough game when required, but playing it within the rules and not putting his team down a man.  Donato elevates his game at the most critical times, scoring 7 game winning goals for Hull, the second best total among draft eligible players.  Central Scouting doesn't project Donato to be a top line player at the next level, but he should become a very good complementary scorer.
10 Daniel Marois - Kamloops Blazers
  Marois had the 4th most goals this draft year with 35.  He doesn't rank higher because there are doubts about his willingness to go to the tough areas of the ice and how easily he can be knocked off the puck.  But Marois possesses terrific speed and hockey sense, combined with a very quick release.  He moves well in traffic and has the ability to avoid checks, but, as mentioned, he does go down easily if he is clipped.  He is very responsible in his own end, though he doesn't see much time on the PK.  Marois does see time on the power play in Kamloops, though.  However his strength lies in his speed and ability to surprise goalies with his deadline wrist shot.  He can try a little too hard to set up the 'pretty' play, often giving up a shot in prime scoring positions.  His 140 shots was significantly lower than the top point getters in the league.  If he would be a little more selfish and take a few more shots, he could help his team out more.  As with Donato, Marois doesn't project to be a top line player, but could become a second line scoring option with the ability to move up in the line up when necessary.
11 Chris Joseph - Edmonton Oil Kings
Terrific offensive instincts, though sometimes overshadowed by defensive deficiencies.  Tied for lead among blue liners with 16 goals, and was also used as an offensive component while short handed.  However, defensive break downs and poor decision making make for some chaotic outings.  
12 Vladimir Malakhov - Shawinigan Cataractes
Malakhov could find himself in the top ten on draft day as his smarts in his own end make him a bit more reliable than others.  He can move the puck well, but doesn't have a big shot.  He isn't as physical as coaches would like, but is quick enough to get into position and angle forwards away from the net.
13 Mathieu Schneider - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Schneider plays with a mean streak, bordering on dirty, but he gets the job done, too.  He has a great shot from the point and scored almost half his goals on the power play.  However, he does spend a lot of time in the sin bin and can often be found getting out of position to go after the opponent.  But the raw skills are there and he could be a great gamble to go in the top ten.
14 Glen Wesley - Ottawa 67's
While the top of the draft is forward heavy, there are a group of 6 defensemen making up the bulk of the middle part of the round and they could realistically go in any order.  Wesley rounds out the bunch for Central Scouting, but it was a split decision.  Many liked that Wesley scored most of his points at even strength, though some took marks off that he wasn't quarterbacking the power play or playing much short handed.  But he has the chops to play either and adds a little more physical presence than some of the other blue liner comparables.
15 Dmitri Khristich - Edmonton Oil Kings
Enigmatic winger could be seen as Mogilny-lite.  He has terrific puck skills, but the desire appears to be lacking.  But you can't ignore a 70-point season.  However, won't engage physically and prefers the perimeter game that will have some teams sour to him.  Likely to play the role of a top six winger who can move up and down the lineup, but could also spend time in the press box when coach frustration reaches the tipping point.
16 Sheldon Kennedy - Sudbury Wolves
Might have cracked the top ten if he had played a whole season.  But in 50 games, he still managed 65 points and almost 30 goals.  Not a physical presence, but protects the puck well.  Great shot and is able to find the angles, which works especially well on the power play, where he scored 7 of his 29 goals.  Needs to shoot more, though.  
17 Donald Audette - Peterborough Petes
The diminutive Audette is a top play maker.  He plays a feisty game and gets himself involved physically.  Doesn't have a great shot, but is fast enough to get into position to make good use of it.  Plays a smart defensive game and is used often when needing to protect a lead thanks to his tenacious checking.  But setting line mates up will be his calling card.  His 40 assists ranked 7th among draft eligible forwards.  Likely not a top line player, but could be a very good complementary second liner.
18 Dan Woodley - Hull Olympiques
Woodley is the poster boy of a player who does everything well, but nothing outstanding.  He has a good shot, scoring 28 goals, including 6 on the power play.  But it isn't overpowering.  Plays well in his own zone thanks to a high hockey IQ and is very good on the PK, where he even managed a short handed marker.  Will go to the tough areas if necessary, but doesn't force the issue enough. Still, with 65 points in 56 games, he has shown enough to be a first round selection.
19 Neil Brady - Sudbury Wolves
Brady scored  30+ goals this year and has shown a willingness, almost a zeal, to get in front of the net and mix it up with the biggest defensemen around.  There is good in that, and bad.  It makes him a very valuable part of the power play, where he scored almost half of his goals.  however, he overzealousness almost meant he spent almost 300 minutes in the penalty box.  High risk, potential high reward.
20 Jim Dowd - Ottawa 67's
Dowd had a solid offensive year, scoring 63 points in 55 games, 26 of those points were goals.  However, Dowd's play away from the puck was more impressive.  He battles hard in every situation, often winning battles against players significantly bigger than him.  He is quick and anticipates plays in order to break them up.  Dowd's +21 rating was proof of his strong defensive play.  We're not sure he has a future as a scorer on the top six, but he looks like a very good 3rd liner who can put up a few points.
21 Brendan Shanahan - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
There was no more controversial selection in the Central Scouting offices than that of Shanahan.  He topped our rankings in the unreleased pre-season rankings, but he followed that up with a less than impressive season.  Shanahan failed to record a point per game this season, finishing with just 59 points in 60 games.  In itself not a bad result, but not what you would expect from a top ranked player and significantly less than other top draftees.  But there is still so much to like here that he will likely still go in the first round.  He has a tempting blend of speed, skill, size, aggressiveness, leadership.  Everything necessary to become an impact player.  This season may have been an anomaly and could result in a team in the later portion of the round getting the steal of the draft. 
22 Theoren Fleury - Kamloops Blazers
Fleury was also much discussed in our discussions.  While some scouts believe him to be just too small to compete in the NFHL, in the end, his skills and willingness to compete simply mean too much to keep him from our first round list.  Fleury is like a little gnat, buzzing around and causing issues, but a gnat with a deadly snap shot.  Fleury has a nose for the net and his 34 goals show he is one of the better snipers in the draft class.  However, he has a temper and tends to take some ill-timed penalties.  If he were 4 inches taller and 40 pounds heavier, he would likely go in the top ten.  But, with his size disadvantage, his other warts shine even brighter.  Could be a late-round steal, though.
23 Stephane Matteau - Kamloops Blazers
A bit of a bull in a China shop, Matteau isn't going to win any skill or speed events.  However, he is effective at what he does.  He uses his size to cause havoc in front of the net.  He gets involved physically and is hard to move.  Obviously this makes him effective on the power play, where he scored 8 of his 23 goals.  He is able to play with skill players, though, often being the one to go into the corners and retrieving the puck.  As a result, his assist totals are pretty high and Matteau finished with a point per game in total.  However, he is likely to make the NFHL as a 3rd liner and energy player, but will still make a good, late-round pick.
24 Garth Snow - Shawinigan Cataractes
It isn't a great year for goalies, but Snow looks to be the best of the bunch.  He battles hard for every puck and covers the bottom of the net well.  Snow led all goalies with 3 shut outs and also led all starters with a .882 save percentage.  His 3.42 GAA and 32 wins were also second best.  Snow projects to be a borderline starter or a very good back up.  But, with the lack of quality depth in this year's crop of goalies, a team with a definite lack of prospect depth could do worse.  
25 Mike Sullivan - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
26 Patrick Kjellberg - London Knights
27 Keith Jones - Saskatoon Blades
28 Mike Eastwood - Sudbury Wolves
29 Tim Tayloy - Kamloops Blazers
30 Ron Shudra - Kamloops Blazers
31 Damian Rhoades - Hull Olympiques
32 Shawn McEachern - Medicine Hat Tigers
33 Tomas Srsen - Ottawa 67's
34 Denis Larocque - Kamloops Blazers
35 Joe Sacco - Edmonton Oil Kings
36 Geoff Smith - London Knights
37 Peter Ing - London Knights
38 Jayson More - Saskatoon Blades
39 Jeff Greenlaw - Saskatoon Blades
40 Dave Archibald - Hull Olympiques
41 Kip Miller - Saskatoon Blades
42 Jeff Hackett - Ottawa 67's
43 Ed Ronan - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
44 Rob DiMaio - Ottawa 67's
45 Peter Soberlak - Ottawa 67's
46 Bryan Marchment - Shawinigan Cataractes
47 Yves Racine - Peterborough Petes
48 Mario Doyon - Shawinigan Cataractes
49 Kevin Dahl - Sudbury Wolves
50 Mark Fitzpatrick - Kamloops Blazers
51 Dallas Drake - Sudbury Wolves
52 Peter Ciaviglia - Sudbury Wolves
53 Robert Svehla - Chicoutimi Saguineens
54 Ian Herbers - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
55 Matt Glennon - Edmonton Oil Kings
56 Martin Hostak - Shawinigan Cataractes
57 Kevin Miehm - London Knights
58 Dan Currie - Peterborough Petes
59 Bob Wilkie - Hull Olympiques
60 Jimmy Waite - Sudbury Wolves
61 Dennis Vial - Ottawa 67's
62 Bryan Fogarty - Peterborough Petes
63 Dean Chynoweth - Hull Olympiques
64 Jeff Harding - Chawinigan Cataractes
65 Kevin Dean - Medicine Hat Tigers
66 Sylvain Couturier - Chicoutimi Saguineens
67 Terry Yake - Chicoutimi Saguineens
68 Andy Rymsha - Medicine Hat Tigers
69 Jody Hull - Chicoutimi Saguineens
70 Greg Brown - Medicine Hat Tigers
71 Luke Richardson - Kamloops Blazers
72 Don Gibson - Sudbury Wolves
73 Warren Sharples - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
74 Kyosti Karjalainen - London Knights
75 Jeff Daniels - Chicoutimi Saguineens
76 Sean Williams - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
77 Jeff Bloemberg - London Knights
78 Rick Tabaracci - Saskatoon Blades
79 John McIntyre - Peterborough Petes
80 Peter Eriksson - Kamloops Blazers
81 Stephen Tepper - Kamloops Blazers
82 Darcy Loewen - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
83 Jim Ennis - Hull Olympiques
84 Brad Werenka - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
85 Ben Hankinson - Chicoutimi Saguineens
86 Darin Kimble - Kamloops Blazers
87 Lonnie Loach - Medicine Hat Tigers
88 Steve Maltais - Hull Olympiques
89 Marc Potvin - Kamloops Blazers
90 Todd Hawkins - Peterborough Petes
91 Brad Miller - Saskatoon Blades
92 Cam Russell - Shawinigan Cataractes
93 Scott McCrady - Sudbury Wolves
94 Dean Kolstad - Medicine Hat Tigers
95 Matt Del Guidice - Medicine Hat Tigers
96 Kevin Kaminski - Chicoutimi Saguineens