I'm particularly happy that Jim O'Brien isn't in our top four, like he was last year. It speaks very much to the great job Murray & co. have done to restock the proverbial cupboards. Ignoring the question of whether Karlsson should be considered as "graduated" from the prospect list or not (he should), a few quick observations about the list:
- In what should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, four of our top five prospects, according to HF, are defensemen. Our depth at D, while nice on paper right now, will be beastly in practice a few years down the line. This, of course, assumes that Karlsson, Cowen, Wiercioch and Rundblad continue their development instead of falling into the Brian Lee Downward Descent into Development Doom.
- I find it interesting that Louie Caporusso is listed higher than Wick, Butler and Smith. I've never seen Caporusso play, so for all I know he could be great down the line, but it seems to me that a prospect who's closer to cracking the NHL is a more valuable commodity than one who hasn't gotten much buzz since being nominated for the Hobey Baker award in 08-09.
- Hoffman at 19 seems a bit low, given the outstanding seasons he's had over the past two years and his training camp, which has been solid, albeit unspectacular. Having him below O'Brien seems less about their respective skill levels, but more about O'Brien's high draft position.
- Lehner's ranked a solid 5 on our list, but Sens need to draft another goalie or trade for one. There's just not enough long-term depth there to sustain. (This comment assumes that Brodeur bolts once his contract is up after this year.)
Thoughts on the list? A prospect you like not getting enough love? Someone on the list that you feel is overrated? I'd love to read your thoughts in the comment section.