1989 Draft 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.
Final Mid-Season Trend Player
1 1   Mats Sundin - Forward - Ottawa 67's
Sundin goes wire to wire as the top prospect in the NJFHL.  He didn't improve on his goal scoring total from last season, once agains notching 29 goals.  But we don't suspect that goal scoring will be Sundin's forte.  He is a set up man, who makes those around him better.  He finished with an assist per game and simply dominated play, finishing with a +42 rating.  The puck simply follows Sundin around and Sundin knows what to do with it.  A true franchise forward who is a virtual lock to go first overall.
2 9   Pavel Bure - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
While Sundin may be the most complete player in the draft, Bure is simply the most dynamic.  There is no one faster in the draft and he can handle the puck at full flight.  Bure was healthy all year and, as a result, he notched 40 goals, far and away more than any other player and his speed proved to make him dangerous even while short handed, where he scored 3 of those 40 goals.  Bure proved all but impossible to control thanks to that game-breaking speed.  That he is willing to throw his body about recklessly and will shoot the puck pretty much from anywhere makes him arguably the top offensive prospect and any team will be rushing to the podium to draft the Russian.  Like Sundin, Bure has the ability to be a franchise-altering pick.
3 3   Niklas Lidstrom - Defense - Medicine Hat Tigers
The possibility of a 1-2 Swedish draft is there, but it is unlikely one of the top two teams can resist Bure's elite talent.  Which means whoever has the third pick is going to luck into one of the best blue liners that has come up through the juniors in years.  Simply put, Lidstrom has no weaknesses.  Oh sure, he isn't the best at certain aspects of the game.  Yet any area that he doesn't excel at, he makes up for with hockey smarts and efficiciencies.  But those are very few areas.  He has a terrific shot, though not the hardest.  But he can get it through traffic and used that ability to score 18 goals.  He finished off with more than 100 hits, had more shots than any other blue liner, was dynamite on the power play, and led his team to the best record in the league.  What more can you ask from a blue liner.  Another franchise player.
4 35   Steve Larouche - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
Larouche jumped into prominance out of nowhere and now can't be ignored as a top ten prospect.  The trade from Kamloops to Edmonton was a boon for Larouche.  Not only did he end up with a Memorial Cup, he jumped 30 points in the rankings.  Larouche jumped from 15 goals to 32 goals and 25 points to 78.  Larouche excelled with the Oil Kings, especially on the power play, where he had 12 markers.  He has proven, at least for one year, to be a real shooter.  There are some doubters still, that he is a one-year wonder, so it really wouldn't be much of a surprise to see him drop in the draft, even if his numbers deserve more.
5 22   Bill Guerin - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Everything we thought was within Guerin but had not materialized, finally came to fruition this season and his draft stock rises as a result.  Guerin used decent speed and a willingness to use hs body to snipe 31 goals.  He proved he could play in all situations, causing considerable havoc in front of the net while on the power play.  He also had 108 hits, 3rd most among forwards, though he also proved to be a bit too chippy, costing his team plenty of time short handed.  A little work on his discipline, though, and Guerin looks like a very solid power forward in the making.
6 8   Niklas Andersson - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
Andersson proved to be the sniper we thought he could be and justifies our top ten ranking.  Only Bure scored more than his 34 goals this past season and his 11 power play goals was also second best.  As with all Swedish players, Andersson isn't a physical player, but plays a very smart game that allows him to display his versatility.  He is a one-shot scorer, but he also has speed and checks well, which allows coaches to play him in short handed situations.  He played on a bad Blazers team, so his defensive numbers, noticably a -3 rating, aren't great, but taken in context, they are more than adequate.  We believe this draft is top heavy, with the top 4 or 5 being great players.  Andersson starts the second tier of players that should be solid players, perhaps top 6 forwards or complementary players.  He isn't a franchise player or game breaker, but he is the type of depth player championship teams need.
7 6   Stu Barnes - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Central Scouting will always place a premium on scoring and Stu Barnes is one of the better scorers in the draft.  He barely missed out on the 30-goal barrier, scoring 28 goals in his draft year, 4 more than the previous season.  Barnes isn't big, but is quick and shifty.  He has great instincts and anticipates where the puck will go.  This helps him on special teams, where he scores 16 of his 28 goals; 12 on the power play and 4 short handed.  He is a feisty player and will go out of his way to make a hit, yet he plays a very clean game and rarely gets sent off.  If there is one thing that Barnes suffers from it is play within his own end.  His -23 rating was worst among forwards, but it is something that can be taught along the way.  The offensive talent, though, is there.
8 NR   Tom Pederson - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
Talk about taking advantage of your opportunities.  Pederson only managed to get in to 25 games last season, but the Wolves had openings this year and he took full advantage.  He got into all 60 games this year and managed a point per game in that span.  In fact, his 49 assists was not only best among all blue liners, but was also tied with Steve Larouche for 2nd most among any draft eligible player.  This obviously serves him well on the power play.  He has a big shot that he can get through to the net.  He doesn't play an aggressive game and often seems to lose focus playing in his own end.  However, all the arrows are pointing up for this player and with a lack of top notch blue liners in this draft, Pederson's stock is fairly high.
9 11   Kris Draper - Forward - London Knights
While Central Scouting does place a premium on scoring, we will contradict ourselves when a player just offers so much else.  Draper is a terror on the ice.  Not that he bangs and crashed, though he does like to play the body.  But he is just tenacious and never gives up.  He will doggedly pursue the puck anywhere until he hounds it right off their stick.  However, Draper does still have some offensive capability.  He isn't going to be a scorer, he managed just 16 goals this season, but he can distribute the puck adequately.  More than adequately, actually, as his 45 assists ranked 3rd among forwards.  Draper's defensive numbers weren't stellar as the Knights weren't a very good defensive team, but he did get some ice time in defensive situations and didn't look out of place.  His dogged determination, combined with his speed, will probably look good on a team's PK one day.   The lack of offense likely limits how high in the order he bats, but Draper certainly looks like a prime candidate for a team's third line who can move up if required.  Is that worth a 1st round pick?  In many drafts, maybe not.  In this one, Central Scouting suggests it is.
10 10   Travis Green - Forward - Hull Olympiques
Once more, Central Scouting reverts back to putting a premium on goal scoring and Travis Green is a player who can put the puck in the net.  Green just missed out on scoring 30 goals, ending with 29, which was 5th most among draft eligible forwards.  He was deployed in all situations with Hull and proved to be successful on both special teams, scoring 9 times on the power play and once while short handed.  He tended to have a little trouble marking his man in his own zone, but he did show a willingness to get involved physically.  Offensively, he shoots from all angles, but his top end offense is still in question.  He doesn't distribute the puck well enough to be a top line player, but he certainly looks capable of being a complementary scorer, perhaps anchoring a second line.  
11 14   Danny Felsner - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
What more does the man have to do to get some love?  Felsner finished 4th in scoring, ahead o the likes of Guerin and Andersson, scored 24 goals, including 10 on the power play, and was a positive player.  He had the 3rd most assists.  Central Scouting has doubts about his intensity and willingness to play when the going gets tough and rank him outside the top ten.  But all he does is produce and he could prove to be a steal.
12 18   Patrick Lebeau - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
Lebeau increased on last year's totals, scoring 4 more goals and added a staggering 44 more hits to finish with 156 in just 60 games, yet takes relatively few penalties.  We debated moving Lebeau into the top ten.  What team couldn't use a player who hits everything that moves and can score 20+ goals?  He plays a decent defensive game, so won't be a liability.  Could be a very strong power forward for the top two lines if he can translate hisjunior success into the pro game.
13 69   David Roberts - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
Roberts got in a full season and the Oil Kings were the beneficiaries of it.  After just 6 goals and 16 points in 32 games last year, Roberts responded with 21 goals and 38 assists and a likely selection in the first round.  Some will undoubtedly be wary of selecting Roberts, thinking it is a one-off.  And they could be right.  He avoids physical play and isn't a volume shooter.  But he has shown he can be elusive with the puck and really helps his line mates.  Certainly a gamble, but in a relatively weak looking draft, it may be one worth taking.
14 21   Aaron Miller - Defense - Chicoutimi Saguineens
Miller found the offense to his game, hence the rise in the rankings.  After not scoring a single goal last season, Miller had 4 this year, but more impressively had 42 assists.  He continued to provide a physical presence, dishing out another 89 hits, while playing a mean, stay at home defensivem yet extremely clean, game.  Could prove to be the second best deefensive prospect in the draft if he continues to improve at this rate.
15 2   Mike Craig - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
The question for scouts is whether Craig's 16-year old season was an abnormally high 24.1% shooting percentage and his 32 goals can never be achieved again.  Or is his 17-year old season with a 14.8% shooting percentage the norm?  In the end, Craig scored similar goal totals with his 27 this year.  He shoots a tonne and, if paired with a good puck disributor, will get his fair share of goals.  The issue will be whether or not he can do enough else to justify top six playing time, which he will need to ensure he gets enough shots.
16 16   Patrick Juhlin - Forward - London Knights
Didn't improve on his previous year and didn't come close to 30 goals, finishing with 23 once again.  Would like to have seen more improvement, though he did play a bit more physical.  Or at least didn't shy away from it as much. Needs a lot of work on where to be when he doesn't have the puck.  A definite work in progress, but a work in which you can see what is waiting at the end of the training.
17 NR   Byron Dafoe - Goalie - Edmonton Oil Kings
Dafoe wasn't ranked last year as he didn't get playing time with the Oil Kings.  This year?  Oh, he played.  Every single game and then led the Oil Kings to a Memorial Cup championship.  Dafoe jumped into the scene this year, leading draft eligible starting goalies with a 3.44 GAA and a .886 save percentage, while also snagging 30 wins.  Goalies are voodoo, but Dafoe looks like he could develop into an NFHL calibre goalie, if not a starter.  He moves around quickly and has very good rebound control.  Still, a long term project, but will be a good pick for a team that has time to wait to develop him.
18 64   Ted Drury - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
Like others, Drury got more time on the top lines as he became draft eligible and responded.  Drury scored 22 goals and finished with 49 points in 52 games.  He was especially dangerous while short handed where he scored twice and got lots of action.  There are some serious question marks to his game, though.  He takes too many penalties, mostly of the ill-advised stick infractions away from the play, and plays too much of a perimeter game.  Coaching will help, but there is enough offense there to work with so he can become a useful player.
19 34   Jim McKenzie - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
McKenzie broke the 20-goal barrier this year and greatly improved his overall offensive play, yet maintained his physical play.  McKenzie developed his play away from the puck as well, making him a much more well-rounded player.  He was used more on the man advantage this year and responded with 6 goals.  Central Scouting doesn't see McKenzie as a top six type forward, but he could be an energy player in the bottom six with a little ofensive pop.
20 29   Rob Zamuner - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
Zamuner really redeveloped his game since last season.  He worked on his shot and, as a result, went from 15 goals to 25, with almost half coming on the power play.  He also became much more intense and physical, increasing his hit total by more than 50%.  All while playing in 4 fewer games.  Unfortunately, this came at the expense of his defensive game, which may also affect his ultimate draft ranking.  We appreciate the offensive game and feel that is enough to warrant a first round selection, if a late one.
21 39   Pat Murray - Forward - Ottawa 67's
Murray followed the mold of Zamuner and greatly increased his goal total.  Murray scored 23 goals, up from 7 the previous season, with most of the increase coming on the power play, where he scored 10 times.  And like Zamuner, he became more physical, going from 65 hits to 107, one of just half a dozen forwards to have more than 100 hits.  Murray is a bit more of a volume shooter than Zamuner, but doesn't appear to be as much of a finisher.  Otherwise, any team that misses out on Zamuner could do worse than taking Murray.  Or vice versa.
22 4   Wes Walz - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
It is quite the fall for Walz.  From 71 points a season ago and coming in to the season ranked #4, Walz fell to 49 points this season and clings on to a spot in the first round.  His goal total didn't fall much as Walz was never much of a goal scorer.  He managed 19 goals this season, down from 24, mostly attributable to his decreased effectiveness on the power play.  The big difference was what he did with the puck on his stick.  He was second only to Sundin last season with 47 assists, finishing this season with just 30.  His hits and shots totals were also down.  Central Scouting can't ignore last season and his stats this season were still respectable.  He is still worth a first round selection.
23 13   Adam Foote - Defense - Peterborough Petes
Foote falls a bit in the rankings and this may be a bit unfair to him.  However, despite Foote's improved offensive numbers, he still didn't impress with his defensive play.  His -16 rating was 4th worst among defensemen.  His foot speed remains an issue, as well.  Negatives aside, Foote really improved his shot and it has become a real weapon.  He won't ever be considered and offensive blue liner or quarterback the power play, but he will get some time on it as a shooting option and will keep defenses honest.  We have him ranked near the end of the round, but would not be surprised to see him go a lot higher, especially if a team is looking for a future top four defenseman.
24 32   Igor Korolev - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
Korolev shows flashes of potential and has shown ability to play at both ends of the ice.  Though he doesn't project to be much of a shooter, he did finish with 17 goals.  Those were more a result of his ability to be in the right position at the right time and some decent speed that allowed him to play on the penalty kill and eventually score 3 shorthanded markers.  He will need to work on his consistency, not unheard of for young players.  Not a player to push the play, but could develop into a potential secondary scoring option.
25 25   Rob Pearson - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
26 NR   JF Quintin - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
27 NR   Louie DeBrusk - Forward - Hull Olympiques
28 50   Peter White - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
29 36   Janne Laukkanen - Defense - Saskatoon Blades
30 NR Andre Racicot - Goalie - Medicine Hat Tigers
31 28   Mike Needham - Forward - London Knights
32 67   David Sacco - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
33 15   Jason Wooley - Defense - Ottawa 67's
34 41   Shawn Antoski - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
35 33   Blair Atcheynum - Forward - Peterborough Petes
36 NR   Chris Govedaris - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
37 20   Mike Sillinger - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
38 5   Greg Johnson - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
39 NR   Jim Cummins - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
40 12   Scott Thornton - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
41 19   Robert Reichel - Forward - Peterborough Petes
42 NR   Martin St. Amour - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
43 NR   Roman Oksiuta - Forward - Kamloops Blazers
44 31 Dan Lambert - Defense - Medicine Hat Tigers
45 23   Stephane Morin - Forward - Peterborough Petes
46 38   Dan Bylsma - Forward - Hull Olympiques
47 7   Derek Plante - Forward - Ottawa 67's
48 54   Tomas Forslund - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
49 47   Scott Daniels - Forward - Edmonton Oil Kings
50 27   Jamie Heward - Defense - Shawinigan Cataractes
51 NR Jeff Batters - Defense - Hull Olympiques
52 59   Kent Manderville - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
53 46   Trent Klatt - Forward - Hull Olympiques
54 37   Alexander Karpovtsev - Defense - Saskatoon Blades
55 NR   Dan Laperriere - Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings
56 48   Jeff Robinson - Defense - Chicoutimi Saguineens
57 NR   Paul Holden - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
58 26   Peter Kasowski - Forward - Saskatoon Blades
59 63   Brett Harkins - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
60 NR   Jon Rohloff - Defense - Ottawa 67's
61 NR   Travis Richards - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
62 NR   Peter Fiorentino - Defense - Hull Olympiques
63 52   Patrice Brisebois - Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings
64 NR   Steven Rice - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
65 45   Scott Pellerin - Forward - Medicine Hat Tigers
66 NR   Brett Hauer - Defense - Sudbury Wolves
67 49   Mike Rosati - Goalie - Peterborough Petes
68 42   Craig Fisher - Forward - London Knights
69 43   Jason Marshall - Defense - Kamloops Blazers
70 63   Brett Harkins - Forward - Shawinigan Cataractes
71 NR   Brent Grieve - Forward - Chicoutimi Saguineens
72 17 Bobby Holik - Forward - Sudbury Wolves