TSN’s Craig Button came out with his latest draft prospect power rankings. Leading the board was the expected number one overall pick Nolan Patrick. The Brandon Wheat King is expected to return to after a long lay off recovering from a sports hernia. Ouch. We profiled Patrick way back in 2015, and discussed him as a potential franchise player. Even after missed time, Button still ranks the 17-year old center above any other amateur. However, if Vegas misses out on Patrick there are other potential star prospects.
SinBin.vegas has already spotlighted two of them in Nico “The Knight” Hischier and top defensive prospect Timothy Liljegren. Both could be more realistic options if Vegas doesn’t pick first. If the Golden Knights get bumped out of the top three, the following top prospects should still get fans excited. We’ve talked about the top three and now it’s time to dig deeper.
Fourth on Button’s big board is Czech center Martin Necas. The 6’0 right-hander plays in the Czech Extra League and is known for his competitive edge, which scouts love.
He refuses to be denied when he’s faced with a challenge, and his game will only become that much better as he matures physically. -Craig Button, TSN
Continued mentions of Necas’s competitiveness is what Vegas scouts should like the most about the young Czech’s scouting report.
Necas impressed scouts with both his effort and ability to get involved in everything. This guy gets after it. Not the biggest player on the ice, but makes up for it with his creativity and hard work. -Jeff Marek, Wyshynski and Marek Podcast
George McPhee needs a guy to lead the franchise with effort, and like Button said he hasn’t finished maturing. Two-way centers will be targeted early on by all teams. From all reports Necas is a well-rounded, aggressive player who can play in all situations.
An exceptional playmaker with dizzying speed who centered the top line and moonlighted as the top point man on the Czech Republic’s first power play unit. He’s a hard-nosed player who plays bigger than his 5’11, 165-pound frame would indicate, and he has an acute grasp of his responsibilities in all three zones. But take our word for it — this kid is an elite offensive force who in 2017 will be at or near the top of a very talented pool of European draft prospects.” –TheDraftAnalyst.com
Power play success, speed and responsibility are three incredibly important skills for the NHL. All successful teams have top-line centers that can control a game. If the Golden Knights draft a top-rated center they’d be heading in the right direction. Without a reliable center Vegas will have trouble controlling Anze Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Joe Thornton. The Pacific and the West as a whole are loaded with centers. It’s up to Vegas to keep up.