Here is my rundown of the top 20 prospects for 2012 done in four parts. I do a list based on a blend of importance and value to the Edmonton Oilers. My cutoff for qualifying as a prospect is playing less than 40 games in the NHL.
16. Travis Ewanyk C – Tenacious, checking line center. Loves to be lined up against the other team’s best. Rare for a junior player to relish in such a role. Has a long road to get to the pros and needs to continue to develop and improve each year. Injury plagued season hurt his development but looked more confident in his ability in his shortened season. Ceiling – 3rd line center.
17. Kristians Pelss LW – Pelss really found his role with the Edmonton Oil Kings last season as a tenacious, pesky, up and down winger with a lethal shot. His shot might make him a top 6 forward but I feel his overall game will be better suited as a third liner. Will break into the pro ranks this season with either the ECHL Stockton Thunder or the AHL Oklahoma City Barons. Ceiling – 3rd line winger.
18. Colten Teubert D – Tough, defensive minded defenseman. Will likely play the role of AHL/NHL tweener again this season, like he did last season. Not a lot of dimension to his game. Will get a chance to see improved competition with the Barons this upcoming season. Will have to grasp and excel in role. Ceiling – Middle pairing defensive Dman.
19. David Musil D – Kind of in the same boat as Teubert. Big and tough but still trying to find an offensive dimension to his game. He has great tools for a big man, just a matter of trying to develop his mental skills. Taking on more of a leadership role on his WHL club in Vancouver. Ceiling – Middle pairing defensive Dman.
20. Samu Perhonen G – Big, lanky, athletic goaltender that has a nice frame to become a solid goaltender. Still very raw and unproven though. Will have to make many necessary steps before being in the big show. Ceiling – Potential starting goaltender.