Thursday, August 27, 2009

More HF's Top 20 Prospects, Fall 2009

Ottawa Senators
4.(3) Brian Elliott, G
Rating: 7.0B
Acquired: 2003 draft, 291st overall

After a stellar start to the year in the AHL, Elliott was recalled to Ottawa. For a time, it seemed like Elliott could help get the Senators back into the playoff picture. However, Elliott would show growing pains typical of a young goalie. Still, his play was overall impressive, resulting in him be signed to a two-year contract this offseason.

Going into 2009-10, the 24-year-old looks to be the backup on a full-time basis, but given Pascal Leclaire’s history of injuries, Elliott could see substantial time between the pipes. To take the next step and push to be a No. 1 goalie, Elliott must work on his rebound control, which was shaky at the NHL level. His athleticism and hockey IQ are both top notch, so with a bit of work, Elliott usurping Leclaire is not that far-fetched.
Edmonton Oilers
19. (NR) Troy Hesketh, D, 18
Acquired: 2009 draft, 71st overall

Hesketh, picked in the third round of the 2009 draft, was a lesser-known player. He has good size at 6’2, but is lanky. In his high school career, he’s shown good speed, a healthy shot and quick adaptation to the play.

Hesketh has some offensive tools, but he’s not an offensive defenseman and he’s good on the back end, but you wouldn’t call him a stay-at-homer. He’s well-rounded at this point.

It might take years to see if Hesketh pans out, but he’ll start at the University of Wisconsin in 2011-12 so the real meter of his growth will start to be seen at that point.