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Five to Watch at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft

Matt Duchene of the Brampton Battalion is ranked second overall heading into the 2009 NHL Entry Draft which takes places in one week, Friday June 26, 2009, at 7:00 pm at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.  Duchene highlights a list of five potential first round picks from the Canadian Hockey League profiled below, four of which competed at the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Duchene, Glennie, Kulikov, and Eakin).

Matt Duchene – Brampton Battalion (OHL)
Hometown: Haliburton, ON
D.O.B: January 16, 1991
Ht:  5’11    Wt:  196   Shoots:  L
Rank: 2

Matt Duchene scored 31 goals and 48 assists for 79 points in 57 games including 25 multi-point games to rank 14th in OHL scoring.  He also added 26 points in 21 playoff games helping to lead the Battalion to the Rogers OHL Championship Series for the first time in franchise history and was a Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week in that span.  Duchene was named the OHL Scholastic Player of the Year and was considered the Best Stickhandler and Best Playmaker in the Eastern Conference Coaches Poll.  He played for Team OHL at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge and for the Eastern Conference All-Stars at the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic.  He helped lead Canada to a gold medal at the 2008 World Under-18 Championships and Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.  He led the gold medal winning Team Ontario at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with 10 points.

“Matt Duchene is a pure offensive player who also is a great penalty killer. He helps the Brampton Battalion in all facets of the game. A pure sniper, he plays the point on the power-play and is a threat to score on the penalty kill as well. He reminds me, probably most of the new breed of snipers, Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner and Steven Stamkos as he grows into his offensive position in the NHL.” – Director of NHL Central Scouting E.J McGuire.

Click here to view a complete NHL Prospect Profile for Matt Duchene.

Scott Glennie – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
D.O.B: February 22, 1991
Ht:  6’1    Wt:  180    Shoots:  R
Rank: 7

Scott Glennie scored 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points in 55 games and added another 18 points in 12 playoff games for the Wheat Kings.  He had 17 multi-point games including two four-point games this season, and went on a 12-game point scoring streak during the first half of the season. He also finished third in the league with nine game-wining goals.  He was named the Boston Pizza WHL and CHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 24.  He won a gold medal competing with Team Canada at the 2008 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and also captured bronze as a member of Team West at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. 

“Scott Glennie was mislabeled earlier in the year as perhaps being only a finisher for often linemate Brayden Schenn. Yet Scott took matters into his own hands with an equal number of goals and assists and contributed greatly this season with a power forward type attitude. Glennie might remind the fan of NHL players with power forward abilities coming off the wall like Jonathan Cheechoo and Jonathan Toews — that kind of offensive ability.” – Director of NHL Central Scouting E.J McGuire.

Click here to view a complete NHL Prospect Profile for Scott Glennie.

Dmitry Kulikov – Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
Hometown: Russia
D.O.B: October 29, 1990
Ht:  6’0   Wt:  190   Shoots:  L
Rank: 11

Dmitry Kulikov scored 12 goals and added 50 assists for 62 points in 57 games with an impressive plus-minus rating of plus-34 finishing tied for second in scoring amongst QMJHL defencemen.  Chosen second overall by the Voltigeurs at the 2008 CHL Import Draft, he won several QMJHL trophies including Defenceman of the Year, Best Professional Prospect, Rookie of the Year, and Defensive Rookie of the Year.  He was named to the first all-star team and the all-rookie team after being named Rookie of the Month three times this season.  Kulikov won a bronze medal with Russia at the 2009 World Junior Championships after competing at the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge with his home country.  He also has a silver medal from Russia’s efforts at the 2008 World Under-18 Championships.

“In his first year (in the QMJHL) he’s been an all-around good player. He’s a great skater; he can carry the puck and shoot the puck well. He’s strong too, he can take big hits and they don’t seem to bother him. What we saw this year is likely what we are going to see from Kulikov in the future; he’s going to play the same way in the NHL. He knows when to join the rush, he plays defense first, but recognizes the holes. He can shoot the puck well on the powerplay and I wouldn’t be surprised if he played in the NHL next year.” – NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau.

Click here to view a complete NHL Prospect Profile for Dmitry Kulikov.

Ryan Button – Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
D.O.B: March 26, 1991
Ht:  6’0    Wt:  185   Shoots:  L
NHL CS Rank: 23

Ryan Button scored five goals and added 32 assists for 37 points in 70 games with the Raiders showing an offensive improvement of 29 points from his 2007-08 rookie season where he recorded just eight assists in 58 games.  His 32 assists led all Raiders defencemen.

“Button skates and plays the game with so much composure for a young player. His passes and movement around the rink are excellent. He uses his defensive partner well and he’s a team player that can buy time and space with his smarts for the game.” – NHL Central Scouting.

Click here to view a complete NHL Prospect Profile for Ryan Button.

Cody Eakin – Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
D.O.B: May 24, 1991
Ht:  5’11    Wt:  180    Shoots:  L
Rank: 29

Cody Eakin scored 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points in 54 games and led the Broncos with three shorthanded goals and four game-winning goals.  He scored two hat-tricks during the regular season and also scored a hat-trick as first star of a 5-3 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers in game five of the first round of WHL playoffs.  Eakin won gold as a member of Team Canada at the 2008 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.  He also competed recently at the 2009 World Under-18’s.  His draft stock rose from a 52 midterm rank to 29 after scoring two goals as MVP for Team Cherry in a 6-1 win at the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. 

“Cody is a tremendous skater and a lot of the things he does come from his skating ability. He’s also ultra-competitive, and where he has a lot of success is getting in on the forecheck and chasing and racing for loose pucks. He also uses his speed a lot with the puck on the entries into the offensive zone. His speed also helps him in the defensive zone by catching guys from behind and creating turnovers in situations where guys who don’t skate as well wouldn’t be able to do. He beats a lot of guys to the outside and that’s because of his skating ability.” – Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth.

Click here to view a complete NHL Prospect Profile for Cody Eakin.

Photo of Matt Duchene by Aaron Bell/CHL

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