Prospect stable flourishing under new management

by Sylvain Tremblay | December 15, 2006, 9:49 PM ET
For the first time in a while, the Reykjavik Icemen will see more than one of their prospects play in the World Junior Championships in a few days. While the prospects channel was pretty dry when the new management bought the team at the start of the 2004-2005 season, as many as 25 draft eligible players were picked in 2005 and 2006. At the time of the draft, many questioned new GMs Tremblay's strategy of going for quantity by adding up later picks for the top round picks. So far, this has seemed to be paying dividends as the team counts many promising players in those drafts despite drafting late. In order to present the mostly unknown prospects to the many Reykjavik fans, here is a list of the team's twenty best prospects that haven't fully developped yet (under 23 years old): 1. Paul Ranger - Mobile defenseman with an offensive touch, he should be a regular starting next season. 2. Keith Yandle - Offensive dynamo who could be a top pairing defenseman should he develop his defensive game. 3. Sean Bergenheim - Hard working winger with a scoring touch, he could play as a regular in less than two years. 4. Aaron Johnson - Offensive defenseman that is currently harnessing his defensive game to take regular shifts next year. 5. Marc Andre Cliche - Two-way forward that can play on all units with a touch of leadership. 6. Tomas Popperle - Slick goaltender with a good technique, he will need another year or two to polish his game. 7. Brodie Dupont - The gritty center can check, score and fight. He has good hands for such a big body. 8. Michal Neuvirth - Promissing goaltender that is solid between the pipes currently playing juniors. 9. Jeff Zatkoff - Excellent college goaltender with a good technique. 10. Matt D'Agostini - Small speedy winger that has a feisty side and a good offensive touch. 11. Gord Baldwin - The towering Westerner is developping his offensive skills but still needs to work on skating. 12. Harrison Reed - Offensive winger that needs to work on his defensive deficiencies to make the SICHL. 13. Chris Butler - Good on the offense and the defense, Butler is honing his skills at Denver's university. 14. Tim Kennedy - Small but good, an image is worth a thousand words: 15. Oskar Osala - Big Finish player that plays a physical style of game with an offensive touch. 16. Johan Ryno - Despite a settleback, this big winger has a good scoring touch. 17. Patrik Hersley - Reliable on defense, this big defenseman has soft hands to be a powerplay threat eventually. 18. Joonas Lehtivuori - Young defenseman playing in a Europe's man league is doing fine defensively. 19. Nic Blanchard - Physical tall forward, he also has an offensive touch. 20. Tomas Zaborsky - This slovakian winger adds a scoring to his team. This year, several Icemen prospects will be showcased at the World Junior Championships. From the 2005 entry draft, Marc-Andre Cliche has won a spot on Team Canada. From the 2006 draft, four players will play for their national teams: Oskar Osala and Joonas Lehtivuori for Team Finland, Jeff Zatkoff most likely as Team USA' starter this year and Tomas Zaborsky playing for the Slovakian Team.


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