Editor's Note: CJ took a quick look at a few forward prospects who could also be available for the New Jersey Devils to draft on Saturday. I'm not doing profiles on these three, but it's good information none the less. So I updated the title and put it on the front page.
With the 2010 draft day approaching I've been spending some of my free time looking up information on players I think the Devils could take. I have decided to share some of this info with the lovely readers of ILWT. Today's post will focus on some of the forwards that I like.
Bill Arnold - C - 6' 218 lbs. - CSS Rank: 36 - Hometown: Needham, MA ( Source NHL.com )
2009-10 Stats: USA U-18 - 26 GP - 8 G - 15 A - 23 Pts - 20 PIM
Arnold played with the USA National Team Development Program last year under coach Kurt Kleinendorst who had this to say about him.
Bill is a solid all-around player. He plays very well at both ends of the ice.
A pretty simple statement but one that means he will probably get a good look at by the Devils.
I couldn't find much on Arnold but I did manage to find a very informative interview he did with Alex Linsky of hockeyprospects.com. In this Linsky asks Arnold how he would characterize his game. He responded with this
I value both ends of the ice, I’m not just all about scoring goals. I really take pride in my defense and not giving up anything when I’m out there. I see myself as a power forward type, real hard working, tough along the boards and gets the job done.
I really like what he said here, he didn't say that he plays well defensively but that he takes pride in his defense. He also brings up that he is tough along the boards which is something you don't really here from young players. These two thing are also something that the Devil players need to be good at.
Another quote I would like to share from that article. Linsky asks Arnold what player he likes to watch.
I love watching Zach Parise. He works hard, he is incredibly skilled, but also works really hard and it’s so evident.
Aside from bringing up Parise, Arnold brings up working hard for a second time. Most players will say they are hard working but he seems to really mean it.
I wasn't really able to find what Arnold's weaknesses are but Hockey's Future states that his skating is a concern. I also get the assumption that he does not possess the greatest offensive skill set as other players ranked around him do.
Arnold could be a player the Devils take with their 38th overall pick. He may not be the best offensive player available but he is a solid two way center who has decent size and is tough on the boards. He is definitely seems like a player the Devils would take. Hockey's Future projects him to be a checking center with offensive upside. Arnold will be attending Boston College next year.
Jared Knight - C - 5' 11" 186 lbs. - CSS Rank: 82 - Hometown: Battle Creek, MI ( Source: NHL.com )
2009-10 Stats: London Knights - 63 GP - 36 G - 21 A - 57 Pts - 39 PIM
I'm gonna start off by saying Knight is a personal favorite of mine. I like what I found on him and I would really like to see him become a Devil. Knight was asked to describe his game in an interview with Brock Otten, that I would highly recommended reading.
I think I play a two way game and take pride in playing the defensive zone. I do like to score and like crashing the net. I have scored a lot of goals going to the net hard.
Like Arnold, Knight says he takes pride in his defensive game. He was really know for his defensive game up until this year when he broke out as a goal scorer. He also mentions that he likes going to the net and has had success with it. This video supports that statement nicely.
Some things I noticed in this video were that Knight wasn't playing center and that 7th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Nazem Kadri, was his linemate. These two things could have been the reason for his offensive numbers this year but there is no doubt he knows how to put the puck in the net.
Also Knight was diagnosed with diabetes which caused him to have a slow start to the season. He has since been taking insulin which is probably another reason for his success this year. This is discussed in the interview I linked to earlier that I will link to again because you really should read it.
I struggled to find information on his weakness's but the scouting report had this to say
Goal scoring ability was a bit of a concern coming into the season, but Knight was able to alleviate those concerns rather quickly with a bigger role on the Knights. His skating still needs to improve given his size, but his willingness to compete and play the body are both definite assets to his game. Will be a very good value pick around this range.
They have him listed as a RW which is probably what he played last year. They also have him ranked 42nd which is a lot higher than the CSS ranked him.
Final quote on Knight is from Hockey's Future
A small forward who plays a good two-way game. Knight isn't afraid to get his nose dirty, but he has enough speed to keep himself out of harm's way. A very competitive player with some offensive skill.
Knight probably won't be anything more than a 3rd or 4th liner but I think he could be a really good 3rd or 4th liner. Oh and here's his fight card from hockeyfights.com. He only had one fight last year but he had four the year before that.
Yasin Cisse - RW - 6'3" 210 lbs. - CSS Rank: 107 - Hometown: Montreal, QC ( Source: NHL.com )
2009-10 Stats: Des Moines Buccaneers - 18 GP - 13 G - 6 A - 19 pts. - 16 PIM
I just discovered Cisse the other day while searching the depths of the CSS rankings for hidden gems. Ranked 83rd by the CSS in the midterm rankings, Cisse had a tendon in his ankle cut by a skate in December causing him to miss the rest of the season and drop in the rankings.
This USHL blog has a nice little write up on Cisse highlighting some of his strengths and weaknesses.
Cisse has a great shot which is very quick. He has a quick release on his shot which was what helped him get those 13 goals in the 18 games. Along with Cisse's offensive skills, he also has some pretty solid defensive skills. Cisse is a very good back-checker. He gets down and blocks passes in the lanes, and also blocks the occasional shot. Skating, Cisse has great speed for a player of his size. The one thing that Cisse needs to work on for sure is to make sure he uses that size he has to finish his checks. If he can start hitting on a regular basis, he can only help himself.
Like the other two prospects I've covered already Cisse is good defensively and can also score. Hearing that he has great speed was refreshing considering his size. The only complaint here was his checking which could be easily fixable.
Another good write up on Cisse was done here on The Scouting Report. They also highlight his quick shot and great speed. They added that Cisse "possessed good hands and was able to make some nifty passes by quickly spotting open teammates" The same thing about his good back checking and ability to break up passes is mentioned as well. His checking was also brought up as a concern. So I guess it's good that two sources mention the same strengths and weaknesses.
The Scouting Report had this to say about his skating though
As fast as he was, there is still room for Cisse to improve his skating. He skated with a narrow base and at times lost his balance. With some fine tuning and widening his base, he should be able to lengthen his stride and also handle the tight turns better
I am not surprised that his skating isn't the best. Most of the bigger prospects I've looked at seem to struggle their. Cisse could be a steal in the later rounds of the draft, if he recovers from his injury nicely he has the potential to be a solid 3rd line winger. He will be attending Boston University next year which should help him improve.
I don't get the impression that he is a fighter but he does have two fights listed in his hockeyfights.com fight card. Also here is a video of Cisse getting a hat trick. The quality isn't great but it's the only video I could find of him.
Some other players I was planing on doing a profile on but already have one on other SBN blogs are Jason Zucker (Western College Hockey Blog) and Christian Thomas (Matchsticks and Gasoline). I would recommend checking those out.