ISS released its top 30 prospects as of October 2012, and it’s not surprising to see Nathan MacKinnon topping the list. The Rangers do not have a first round pick this year –it was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Rick Nash trade– so it’s more important to look at the risers and fallers in the article, which come after the initial top 30 rankings.
One of the risers that stands out to me is Max Domi (yes, son of Tie Domi). HF had this to say about him:
Max Domi – If he causes a turnover you know there is about a 50/50 chance he’ll get it back, leaves everything on the ice. May not be the quickest skater (although no slouch) but he’s so shifty and does an excellent job in shifting his hips to elude traffic. *Add 3″ to his frame and he is in talks with the Top 5 of the draft. Biggest thing against him is his size which we feel he does a good job of making up for with his lower body strength and ability to elude defenders.
Domi stands out to me because of two things noted: his work ethic and his elusiveness. Suit has mentioned multiple times that smaller players are more likely to be successful at the NHL level if they can elude defenders. It’s why Martin St. Louis is an elite player, and someone like Petr Prucha is no longer in the NHL. The same applies to Mats Zuccarello. If you can’t elude defenders, you get flattened.
On defense, one defenseman caught my eye, and that’s Darnell Nurse, who happens to be Donovan McNabb’s nephew:
Darnell Nurse – Potential, potential, is what ISS see from Darnell. He is a reliable defenseman in the OHL all at the age 17. His height, mobility, atheletism and physical play lead us to believe he will be a force in the OHL for a couple years to come. His upside is incredible and he comes from a great family and has been surrounded by athletes his entire life (nephew of Donovan McNabb). He plays tough in his end, works the puck carrier over on the wall and clears the front of the net. Plays on the PP unit, moves the puck well, utilizes his heavy shot and shows decent awareness.
Nurse is someone to keep an eye on because it’s rare to see someone drafted in the first round based solely on potential, so he could slip to the Rangers late in the second round. The Blueshirts are thin on defensive prospects right now, which is why someone like Nurse looks very appealing.
ISS releases their top 30 prospects with risers and fallers monthly, so it’s definitely worth skimming through to see who is rising and falling. Without a first round pick, the Rangers need to find value in their second round pick, which is why these risers and fallers are so important.