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Four TELUS Cup alumni among potential first-round NHL draft picks
February 9, 2012

TSN has unveiled its midseason rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and the first round, according to Bob McKenzie, has a few familiar names to fans of the National Midget Championship.

Of the 30 players listed as potential first-round selections, four were on the ice in Lévis, Que., at the 2010 TELUS Cup; in fact, all four played in the gold medal game between the Notre Dame Hounds and Mississauga Reps.

The four players, in order of their ranking by McKenzie, are:

No. 8 – Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw Warriors)

2010 TELUS Cup – Notre Dame Hounds (gold medal)

What TSN says: A graduate of the famed Notre Dame program, he was averaging a point per game when he tore up his knee in early September, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. Strengths: An elite puck-rushing defenceman with creativity, vision and hands; competitive and decent in his position game, he has good hockey sense and instincts; a strong skater with good mobility. Weaknesses: Not overly big or physical, described by one scout as a ‘5-foot-11 rover’ and will have to continue to refine his defensive play; his knee injury will concern some teams and questions will arise concerning how it may affect his mobility. NHL upside: Offensive skills will intrigue several teams in the top 20 despite his knee injury and he'll get a solid opportunity to be an offensive defenceman in the NHL.

No. 15 – Slater Koekkoek (Peterborough Petes)

2010 TELUS Cup – Notre Dame Hounds (gold medal)

What TSN says: Won a gold medal with Ontario at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge last winter, then represented Canada at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship as an underage defenceman a few months later. Koekkoek is sidelined for the rest of the year after having season-ending shoulder surgery. Strengths: Strong character traits and leadership qualities; big, solid, steady mature player, solid work ethic; can lug the puck out of trouble, tough to play against in his own zone, plays a spirited, physical style; mature for his age. Weaknesses: Tries to do too much at times, not a point producer or play creator, hockey sense is average in offensive end, has some issues when he's under pressure; has some work to do on his backwards skating. NHL upside: Has the intangibles to be a solid defensive defenceman in the pro game, a reliable fourth or fifth defenceman with leadership qualities and some grit.

No. 22 – Malcolm Subban (Belleville Bulls)

2010 TELUS Cup – Mississauga Reps (silver medal)

What TSN says: Brother of NHL defenceman P.K. Subban has battled injuries this season, missing five weeks with a sprained ankle early in the season and then injuring his groin over Christmas and missing another five weeks (along with an opportunity to represent Canada at the World Juniors). Strengths: Athletic, competitive and never gives up on a play; extremely quick and mobile and takes up a lot of net; he reads the play well, has decent rebound control with a quick glove and pads. Weaknesses: Like most young goalies, he needs to work on his consistency and can't get too down when he lets in a bad goal; there are concerns that he may be injury prone. NHL upside: If he stays healthy, has the natural ability and competitive fire to be a starting goalie in the NHL.

No. 25 – Stefan Matteau (U.S. National Team Development Program)
2010 TELUS Cup – Notre Dame Hounds (gold medal)

What TSN says: Son of former NHLer Stephane Matteau and a member of the U.S. U18 development program. He recently announced via Twitter that he will play in the QMJHL next season for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Strengths: Plays a power forward style similar to his father's and is strong, competes well, has a good shot and works the wall effectively; also a physical player who shares the puck; a student of the game, he has good character and leadership qualities. Weaknesses: He's inconsistent; his puck-handling and hands are average; lacks high-end skill and agility and won't be a scoring star. NHL upside: A second or third-line winger at the NHL level who plays a smart, hard, north-south game.

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft will be held June 22-23 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Penn.

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

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