In the second part of this ongoing series (part one can be found here), we'll take a look at the second of five prospects likely to be available at the Senators' draft spot in the 2011 NHL Draft.
Today, our potential draftee, from Helsinki of the Finnish SM-Liiga, is diminutive center Mikael Granlund. He's consistently put up a point per game or more for the last three years, with his highest point total of 57 points in 35 games coming with Karpat in the Jr. A league. He's also good in the clutch, having scored the game-winner in the WJC Under-18 bronze medal game.
The NHL's official website lists Granlund at 5'10", 180 lbs. With Spezza standing 6'3" and Fisher at 6'1", it's definitely worth considering getting a smaller center. Although he's not a speedy player by most accounts, he can make plays with the best of them, with many scouts comparing him to a young Saku Koivu.
The major downside to Granlund's game, much like Bjugstad's in the last entry, is fairly self-evident. His size is both a blessing and a curse, in that although a few feet less can make a player less easy to hit, it also kills their own ability to be a particularly physical player. That isn't Granlund's style, but the option of physicality would be a nice one to have. Still, at best it's not a hindrance, and at worse it will limit his potential.
Also, side note: NHL.com lists his favourite team as the Canadiens and his favourite player as Crosby. Ew.
Personally, I'm hoping for Granlund. He seems like as sure a bet as any in this draft, and if he falls to us I'll be cartwheeling down Bank Street. What do you think?