Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #56-52

Garret Hohl kicked off this year’s Prospect Profile series, highlighting the 60th to 57th ranked prospects, which sets the stage perfectly for today’s list, which include the 56th, 55th, 54th, 53rd and 52nd ranked prospects. There’s a lot to like in this lot, from fallen former first rounders to late risers and everything in between.

Catch up on the other side of the jump, as we delve into their junior careers and what they might be able to offer at the professional level.

56. Dennis Cholowski

Bio:

  • Age: 18, 1998-02-15
  • Birthplace: Langley, B.C., Canada
  • Frame: 6’1″, 165 lbs.
  • Position: D
  • Draft Year Team: Chilliwack Chiefs
  • Accomplishments/Awards: CSSHL E15 Champion 2013-14, BCHL Second Team All-Star, World Junior A Challenge Gold Medal

Stats:

pGPS n pGPS s pGPS% pGPS P/GP pGPS R
21 0 0% N/A N/A

Scouts:

NHL CSS ISS Future Considerations HockeyProspect McKeen’s Button
23 (NA) N/A N/A N/A 27 39

Steve Ewen: NHL Scouts Coming in Droves for BCHL Prospects

Our Take:

The highest selection from last year’s draft used on a BCHL player was in the seventh round. With Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost, they are very likely to have two of their own called upon in the first round of this year’s draft. There is the potential for another, though, as Dennis Cholowski presents himself to the league as the third option for first round candidacy. A wildcard, as it were.

Cholowski, a late riser in scouting circles, took massive steps forward in this, his second full season with the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL. Cholowski was considered to be a late round talent for much of this season, but a consistently strong upward trajectory has placed himself on the map as a potential first-round pick. In fact, that’s precisely where McKeen’s has him ranked – 27th overall.

I can’t offer any sort of internal knowledge on Cholowski, having never viewed him at any point this season. I remember his name working itself into the conversation I was having with scouts around the January mark, though. One of which predicted his rise into the first-round, citing his high-end ability to process the game and strong transitional skills.

55. Jacob Cederholm

Bio:

  • Age: 18, 1998-01-30
  • Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden
  • Frame: 6’3″, 187 lbs.
  • Position: D
  • Draft Year Team: HV71 J20
  • Accomplishments/Awards: 2014-15 U17 WHC Bronze Medal, 2015-16 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Silver Medal, 2015-16 U18 WJC Silver Medal

Stats:

pGPS n pGPS s pGPS % pGPS P/GP pGPS R
105 6 5.71% 0.1185 0.0108

Scouts:

NHL CSS ISS Future Considerations Hockey Prospect McKeen’s Button
16 (EU) N/A N/A N/A N/A 93

Dan Stewart of Future Consideration:

“Defender Jacob Cederholm of the HV71 organization is a strong defense-first minded guy who plays a physical brand and can add to the offensive attack when he sees fit. Cederholm keeps things calm and simple defensively, communicates on the ice and sticks up for his teammates. He’s seen plenty of SHL action early this season and looked strong in the process.”

Our Take:

Jacob Cederholm, the younger brother of Vancouver Canucks prospect Anton Cederholm, has hung around the middle rounds of most draft boards for the entirety of the 2015-16 season. The younger of the two Cederholm’s is lauded most especially for his leadership, as he captained the HV71’s U20 team in the SuperElit league. Cederholm was also an assistant captain for the Swedish Ivan Hlinka and U18 teams.

Between Cederholm’s NHL-ready frame and consecutive seasons as a ringer in the SHL, there’s a lot to like about his NHL prospects. This encouragement is meted by his low point totals, as the sturdy, stay-at-home defender last cracked the double-digit points threshold in the 2013-14 season. Cederholm’s paltry production is reflected in his low gPGS rating, which gives him about a 6% chance of developing into a full-time NHL’er.

54. David Quenneville

Bio:

  • Age: 18, 1998-03-13
  • Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Frame: 5’8″, 183 lbs.
  • Position: D
  • Draft Year Team: Medicine Hat Tigers
  • Accomplishments/Awards: 11-12 AMBHL Champion, 11-12 AMBHL Top Defenseman, 12-13 AMBHL Champion, 13-14 Mac’s Midget AAA Tournament All-Star (D), Western Canada Challenge Cup Gold Medal, 15-16 Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal, U18 WJC All-Star Team, U18 WJC Most Goals by Defenseman (5)

Stats:

pGPS n pGPS s pGPS % pGPS P/GM pGPS R
3 1 33.3% 0.3495 0.1165

Scouts:

NHL CSS ISS Future Considerations Hockey Prospect McKeen’s Button
144 (NA) N/A N/A N/A N/A 74

Ryan Biech: Lower Ranked Draft Eligibles who Showed Well at U18

When I thought about these lowly ranked draft prospects that stood out, Quenneville immediately came to mind. The 5’8′, 185 pounds prospect led all defenceman in points with 8, that included 5 goals, which to no one’s surprise also led defenceman. The Edmonton native is a smooth skating, puck moving defenceman who despite his size will use his body to create separation between the puck and attacking players. 

Our Take:

I’ve had the chance to watch Quenneville on several occasions, both live and in person, and have never left disappointed. Though Quenneville doesn’t play outside his height, he’s certainly not victimized by it either. Quenneville processes the game at a blazing speed and is slippery from the confines of his own end, as he facilitates breakouts with relative ease.

Quenneville’s height, or lack thereof, has always been his biggest knock. At just 5’8″ (read: probably 5’6″ or 5’7″), Quenneville faces an uphill battle as he attempts to translate his savvy, offensive game to the professional ranks. 

Though Quenneville missed out on an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong with a strong showing in the WHL playoffs, his performance at the U18 World Hockey Championship assuaged the concerns of many regarding his ability to stay above water when all the chips were on the table. In fact, that performance might have moved him into the conversation as a third or fourth round pick – no small feat for a player of his stature.

Hockey runs in the family, too. That can’t hurt. David Quenneville is the son of Joel and younger brother of John and Peter. If that weren’t enough, Johnny Boychuk is his uncle.

53. Simon Stransky

Bio:

  • Age: 18, 1997-12-21
  • Birthplace: Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • Frame: 6’0″ 170 lbs.
  • Position: LW
  • Draft Year Team: Prince Albert Raiders
  • Accomplishments/Awards: 11-12 Czech U18 Champion, 14-15 Hlinka Memorial Silver Medal, 15-16 CHL Top Prospects Game

Stats:

pGPS n pGPS s pGPS % pGPS P/GP pGPS R
131 46 35.11% 0.5447 0.1913

Scouts:

NHL CSS ISS Future Considerations Hockey Prospect McKeen’s Button
48 (NA) N/A N/A N/A N/A 51

Buzzing the Net – NHL Draft Tracker: Simon Stransky, Prince Albert Raiders

“Stransky has a good offensive IQ and is really good at finding quick lanes to feed his teammates,” says Future Considerations scout Justin Froese. “He uses this same awareness to go unnoticed and show up in open ice for a look at the net. He has the touch to get pucks through traffic and the creative hands to dance around opponents when he has a step on them.”

Damien Cox – Top 30 NHL Draft Prospects (from November 2015

One of the players responsible for an excellent Raiders start. He’s a brilliant stickhandler who’s elusive in traffic.

Cody Nicholet – Dub From Above: 40 Names to Watch for 2016 NHL Draft

A diminutive but skilled winger from the Czech Republic. Skates well, makes some creative plays with the puck and possesses nice offensive smarts. His older brother Matej is a former Saskatoon Blade and current member of the Dallas Stars organization.

Our Take:

Nothing sours a players reputation in the mind of scouts like a plateau in development. Once a precedent has been set, scouts expect that trajectory to continue well into their draft year and beyond. This played out in last year’s draft, as the exceptionally talented Daniel Sprong lasted well into the second round. His draft-1 production suggested he was well on his way to becoming a top ten pick. When he didn’t make that jump in his draft year, it wasn’t well received.

Simon Stransky, who entered this season as a presumptive 15-20 overall pick and has since fallen to a mid-round candidate is one such player, too. 

Stransky has the potential to make a lot of people look silly again this season, much like Sprong before him. The offensive toolkit is full-to-overflowing, as his point-per-game clip will attest. So too is his defensive game, as he was called upon to play in a checking role for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships this winter.

There’s every reason to believe percentages could be at work with Stransky’s impressive, albeit relatively stagnant production, too. His Prince Albert Raiders are well below the median Sh% for WHL teams, hovering above the Vancouver Giants – terrible company to keep in any regard.

Stransky’s pGPS rating, roughly 35%, suggests he’s as likely to develop into an NHL forward as a low first-round selection. He’ll be well worth the second or third round selection that’s used on him. And then some.

52. Adam Fox

Bio:

  • Age: 18, 1998-02-07
  • Birthplace: Jericho, New York, United States
  • Frame: 5’10” 183 lbs.
  • Position: D
  • Draft Year Team: USNTDP
  • Accomplishments/Awards: 14-15 WHC Silver Medal, 15-16 U18 WJC All-Star Team, U18 WJC Best Defenseman, U18 WJC Bronze Medal, U18 WJC Most Assists by Defenseman, U18 WJC Most Points by Defenseman, U18 WJC Top Three Player on Team

Stats:

pGPS n pGPS s pGPS % pGPS P/GP pGPS R
3 1 33.33% 0.2893 0.0964

Scouts:

NHL CSS ISS Future Considerations Hockey Prospect McKeen’s Button
50 (NA) N/A N/A N/A N/A 98

HockeyProspect.com – Adam Fox from Long Island to the NTDP and Beyond

Standing at 5-10, 183 pounds the Jericho, New York native, isn’t the ideal size, although at 17 he could still grow, but he makes up for that with some other intangibles including a good hockey I.Q.

Continued…

Fox is a good skater who was playing on the top paring for Team Roenick at the 2015 All American Prospects game in Buffalo, New York. His team won and he was on the ice for more than a few goals.

As a 2016 Harvard commit he will be able to get a great education as well as playing ECAC hockey. A conference that has gotten very competitive over the past 5 seasons. The Kitchener Rangers did pick him as their 8th selection in 2014 but he chose to go the college route so far.

Our Take:

Much like the aforementioned Quenneville, Adam Fox will have a considerable hurdle to clear as he tries to prove himself as an undersized defenseman. Though not as diminutive, Fox’s 5’10” frame is far from imposing. He’s a good enough skater and strong enough on his feet, though, that scouts are willing to overlook these most obvious downfalls.

Fox has floated about as a mid-round pick since the beginning of the season. As a member of the USNTDP, he’s clearly a prospect worth keeping on the proverbial radar. That’s an excellent program that’s churned out high-end prospects at an alarming rate in these last few seasons. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Fox land somewhere in the middle of the second-round. Wouldn’t be a half-bad bet, either.


David Quenneville is a Vimy Hockey Academy Alumni, a proud partner of the Nation Network. Check them out at 

www.vimyedmonton.ca/hockey

  • RJ

    Since LH/RH balance has taken on heightened significance to teams, it would be nice to see that in future summaries. I think most nerds like me will know the top-10/20 prospects and their handedness, but the lower-prospects we won’t know.

    Thanks.

  • Whackanuck

    The year of the undersized defenseman?

    Is offense from the D at the cost of defence itself the new mode? Are the scoring stats of defensive defensemen being deflated because they are covering for their small, offensive partners flights up the ice?

    Skill flatters, but on D, size still matters.

    • It’s not really the new mode, but more because two things have been noticed recently:

      1) Defensive play capability is not the same as defensive impact. When you see a good defensive play, it’s a player limiting chances but was in the defensive zone to start with. Many of the defensemen viewed as being good offensively and bad defensively have a positive impact on defensive shots and goals against, because they rarely defend. Of course, there are legitimate defensive defensemen that have a positive impact (ex: Tanev), but we are noticing more and more that those are quite rare and hard to scout, by anyone.

      2) Even the best defensive defensemen in the NHL were still somewhat decent scorers in junior/NCAA. Very rarely is someone a defensive defender in junior/NCAA and also in the NHL. For the most part, the best scorers become scorers in the NHL, while the second best scorers become defensive defenders. And size only matters as a means to an ends. If you have some of the means, but no ends, it is not worth anything.

    • Andy

      From the first prospect article:
      “Outside of pGPS’ creators, the voters in these rankings had no prior knowledge of each prospects pGPS.”

      And the most recent prospects article:
      “We will reference the Prospect Graduation Probabilities System (pGPS) throughout this piece, a more indepth explanation can be found here. But simply put, the system is used to see how often statistically similar players graduate into the NHL. It isn’t used as the only point of reference or analysis, but is a complimenting tool to give us another angle to analyze these draft hopefuls.”