>Hockey’s Future Features RedHawk Skaters
>Over on Hockey’s Future, they’re in the process of compiling each organization’s Top Twenty Prospects. Former RedHawks Jeff Zatkoff and Alec Martinez were ranked 12th and 15th, respectively in the LA Kings Top Twenty, while Freshman defenseman Will Weber was rated the 14th best prospect in the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise. Here are a few snippets from each:
Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Bernier is not the only goaltender in the Kings system with legitimate NHL starting potential. Zatkoff left college hockey early, signing an entry-level contract during the offseason. With Bernier and Jonathan Quick already in the system, it will be tough for Zatkoff to find significant playing time. But the Kings were high enough on Zatkoff to bring him into the already packed minor league system to begin his training under the watchful eyes of the Kings coaching staff. He does not have the future franchise goaltender tag that Bernier has, but can be a solid and steady No. 1 goaltender in the right situation. He will spend a couple of seasons in the minor leagues before he can be expected to see meaningful minutes in the NHL, whether with Los Angeles or with another organization. If both Bernier and Zatkoff develop to their full potential, the Kings will have a valuable trading chip in Zatkoff that they can use to fill any hole in their roster in future years. Or, if Bernier falters, Zatkoff is a good insurance policy to have..
You can read JZ’s profile analysis by clicking here.
15. Alec Martinez, Defenseman
With no graduations from these rankings, it stands to reason that most prospects would drop a couple of spots as new faces from the 2008 Entry Draft are added. But Martinez is one of the few prospects who actually moves up after an outstanding season with Miami University. He demonstrated enough skill and maturity last season to seriously be considered a viable candidate to join Los Angeles as early as this season. Martinez is a two-way defenseman with respectable enough skating ability to keep pace with the forwards at the NHL level. He does not have as high of a ceiling as the first three defensemen on this list, but like Harrold, can be serviceable enough at the NHL level. If he does not join Los Angeles to start the season, he will likely take the spot in Manchester vacated by Harrold’s promotion to the Kings.
This link showcases Alec’s prospect profile.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Weber has all the physical tools to become a very good NHL defenseman, but he is extremely raw. He has strong skating, has a good build for an NHL defenseman at 6’4, 205, and he has a good shot.
The big Michigan product had an up and down season last year with the Steel and did not stand out overall as one of the better defensemen on his team. He had a total of 18 points in 46 games. He is committed to play at Miami University and will need a few years there to mold himself into a premier quality, polished defenseman.
View Will’s profile, click here.
These really are very good reads. I strongly encourage you to check them out. I’ll have these permanently linked in the upper right corner of the page, for future reference.