1-Dylan McIlrath- I put him here because every year since Jeff Beukeboom was forced to retire, I have called for a defensive stopper. Here he is and Jeff Beukeboom would give his approval.
How can you not like a player who his mere presence forces teams to change how they attack. Watched Medicine Hat refuse to go down his side of the ice after 2 clean body checks.
Do not even think you can touch a McIlrath teammate as he will be on you in a second. Have watched teams think twice about taking the body when McIlrath was out there.
And then there is the gentle giant giving up his Friday night so he can read to first graders. Then how can you not like a guy who every time he drops the gloves is called one of the toughest in the WHL.
And we saved the best for last as since the middle of last season, McIlrath as been working on his shot. It is a heavy almost dangerous shot that is going to either create rebounds or injure anyone trying to block his shot.
They will try once to block it then will get out of the way.
The rest of Rubenstein's Top looks like this...
2. Carl Hagelin
3. Christian Thomas
4. Chris Kreider
5. Ryan Bourque
6. Blake Parlett
7. Scott Stajcer
8. Shane McColgan
9. Jason Wilson
10. Max Campbell
...c'mon Jess, no Erixon?
...having said that, I have much respect for Jess' opinion so I put a lot of stock in this list. Do yourself a favor and click the above link to read analysis from someone who has actually watched these players.
...my top five is 1. Hagelin 2. Kreider 3. Thomas 4. McIlrath 5. Erixon.
Mcilrath as number 1? questionable. But hey if he lives up to what Jess is saying people will (hopefully) forget about Cam Fowler.
Hear Jess loud and clear with the "since Beukeboom." I'm sold!
But what is Jess's explanation re: Erixon? Maybe he already counts Tim as on the team ; )
@AG_Blue That was my thinking as well or maybe he didn't want to comment b/c he hasn't watched him in person yet. Jess comments here from time to time so maybe he'll drop us an explanation.
@KevinDeLury , how do you list your top five, Kevin?
Are the simply in order of your favorites, regardless of what chance they have of making the roster this camp?
I gotta think there's more opportunity right now among defense and this is why I think Erixon is perhaps the most likely to breakthrough.
Maybe they'll shake it up with the forwards, but I think a couple guys will get to finish out their contracts and guys like Hagelin, Kreider, and Thomas have a better shot next year. I dunno...
Counting the days 'til Traverse City though!
@AG_Blue It's just based on who I like skillwise.