Defending Big D continues our annual series of looking at top draft prospects that could possibly have their name called by the Dallas Stars at the 2010 Entry Draft. Today we take a glance at Portland Winterhawks center Ryan Johansen, whose fantastic first season in the WHL caught the attention of NHL scouts everywhere.
Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Born: July 31, 1992
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Weight: 192 pounds
NHL Central Scouting: 10th among North American skaters
International Scouting Services: 8th overall
The Hockey News: 12th overall
Red Line Report: 9th overall
Why the Stars would want him: ...
Johansen jumped on the scene this year seemingly out of nowhere, scoring 69 points in just his first season in the WHL. He's right-handed, has great playmaking ability, and uses his 6-2 frame well when battling for pucks. If the Stars draft him, he'll need another year of seasoning in the WHL. But if his surprisingly outstanding season is any indication, Johansen's development may be progressing quicker than anyone expected.
Why the Stars would pass:
As with any player experiencing a breakout season, there's the worry that Johansen's performance was an aberration. Johansen is more of a project than other more experienced prospects because he arrived on the scene so quickly.Though he projects as a top-six forward, the Stars could be wary of spending such a high pick on a player with such raw talent. As the famous quote goes, "One season does not a top prospect make." Or something like that.
What they're saying:
"He has good on-ice vision and also angles well on the forecheck. He has the intelligence to play power-play as well as penalty kill. He can be shifty and has the ability to beat a defenseman one-on-one. Once he fills out and gains more strength he could turn raw talent into a valuable center at both ends of rink. He has displayed nice playmaking capabilities and this should continue at the next level."
"He has the size and skill to go along with great playmaking abilities. He has strong offensive skills and can prove to an un-hittable target at times when he controls the puck. Johansen has a very good fram and still has lots of room to build on it, add to this the fact that Johansen can be very crafty with the puck and really challenge opposing defenders to contain him and you begin to see his NHL appeal."
"He uses his size to win battles in all three zones, and is very shifty, capable of beating defensemen one-on-one by using his deceptive speed and quick stickhandling. He moves extremely well for a player of his stature, often catching players off guard, when they think they have him reeled in; he simply shifts gears and goes right on by. He is a very good passer, able to find his linemates open and more often than not get the puck to them in a scoring area. Johansen also works hard on the forecheck and plays in both powerplay and penalty kill situations."
And finally, some Johansen highlights: (via nhldraftvideo)