Category Archives: Prospects
Photo By David Romuald
The #1 rated Minnesota prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft is defenseman Tommy Vannelli
DOB: 1/26/1995 |Height: 6’2 |Weight: 170 |Position: D |Team: Minnetonka |College: Minnesota
Vannelli has made quite the rise over the past two seasons as he has went from being a transfer, playing junior varsity hockey, to a blue-chip prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft. Vannelli has an assortment of skills; most notable are his soft hands and his superb patience with the puck. The future Minnesota Gopher shows good control of the puck while under stress as he processes the game very well. Vannelli’s polished puck handling skills allow him to maneuver through traffic and create scoring opportunities.
Vannelli is an asset on special teams as he looks very comfortable and calm on the penalty kill and power play unit. Vannelli keeps the game in front of him as he does an excellent job surveying the ice looking for possible breakdowns.
Vannelli possesses very good speed and exceptional agility, making his defensive coverage tight and his transitions look effortless. Vannelli is very responsible and makes good decisions on when to pinch or retreat. Vannelli has first-rate gap control as he can take space away from the opposition. His strength is a minor concern as he must continue to work to improve on his physical play in the corners and in front of the net. Vannelli is a sharp prospect and has the skill and will to succeed.
Vannelli should be the first or second Minnesotan taken, probably in the second round of this very deep draft.
Photo By David Romuald
The #2 rated Minnesota prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft is forward Connor Hurley
DOB: 9/15/1995 |Height: 6’1 |Weight: 170 |Position: Forward |Team: Edina |College: Notre Dame
Hurley is an absolute burner as he possesses great acceleration and has tremendous top speed. The Notre Dame commit is widely recognized as one of the top skaters in the 2013 draft class. Hurley is very shifty on his skates as is able to cut and weave with ease. Hurley has demonstrated good hands as he’s able to control the puck in traffic and has the ability to receive difficult passes under duress. Was an integral part of Edina High School’s State Championship team by scoring 52 points in 31 games while playing tight defense in the process.
Hurley has made his rounds over the past few years as he played for Shattuck St. Mary’s Bantam Tier One team (2009-2010), Holy Angels High School (2010-2011), Edina High School (2011-2013), and made appearances with the US-Under 18 team and Muskegon of the USHL this past season.
Hurley has great offensive instincts as he drives hard to the net, attracting a lot of attention from opposing defenseman, subsequently opening up space for teammates. Hurley is a threat every time he touches the puck as he has an accurate shot and is an adept passer.
Hurley will have to add strength but does not have any other glaring weaknesses in his game. Occasionally Hurley will play the body but his game is not tailored around physical play. Continued development in the defensive end is necessary but should continue to progress with experience. Hurley will be the youngest player in the draft as he has a birthday on the cutoff date of September 15th.
With great skating skill, adequate size, and good instincts, Hurley should hear his name called in the second round of the draft. Hurley has a ton of potential that has the ability to be a top 6 forward in the NHL.
Photo By David Romuald
The #3 rated Minnesota prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft is forward Hudson Fasching
Height: 6’3 |Weight: 200 |Position: Forward |Team: US Under-18 |College: Minnesota
Although Hudson Fasching’s stock has dropped significantly over the last 12 months, there’s still a great deal of upside in the 17-year-old prospect. Fasching has the size that NHL Franchises covet and is an above average skater that is very agile for a player of his stature. Fasching possesses soft hands, giving him the ability to control the puck in traffic or receive passes from teammates. Fasching has a great work ethic and has showed improved skill in passing and defensive prowess.
Since leaving Apple Valley for the USDP IN 2011, Fasching has shown flashes of being the dominant player he was projected to be, but inconsistencies have left his name out of first round consideration. Fasching has had some lofty expectations placed on his shoulders but with his development idle, there have been many questions about his future at the next level. Two pressing issues with Fasching are his lack of aggressiveness in the slot area and inability to release his shot quickly. These two aspects can be corrected but defiantly raise red flags.
Another concern is Fasching’s hockey IQ as he has to work on recognizing scoring opportunities and be more selfish with the puck at these times. Fasching is a good passer but needs to grasp when to pass and when to shoot the puck. There have been too many instances over the past four years where Fasching would pass the puck instead of taking an open lane to the net or an open shot.
With expectations spoiled and draft status low, Fasching could be a great sleeper candidate for a team willing to take a small risk on prospect with a few patchable holes. Fasching could be a dangerous player as he has the skill to do so; he just needs to regain his confidence to make it happen.