Every year it is the same old song and dance. The NHL draft rolls along, and hundreds of hopefuls eagerly await their names to be called by their future NHL club.
For some however the day is extra special as they will be greeted on stage by General Manager and Commissioner alike, and greeted with those four words that every young boy dreams of hearing: "Welcome to the NHL."
However for some hopefuls once thought of as a top picks have to sit and wait and wonder where things went wrong, as name after name get called ahead of them.
Every year there is at least one player who slips much lower then expected, and finds himself waiting an extra day for the later rounds to commence.
The following are five players who could be see their stock plummet come draft day.
Kirill is certainly a tough player to read. Joining the Moncton Wildcats at the beginning of the year it seemed that he wanted to get acclimated to the North American game, and distance himself from the whole "Russian factor", but his recent defection back to the motherland leaves many scouts and general managers alike questioning his motives.
The official reasoning behind the move was that Kirill wanted to play for Russia in the U-18 tournament, but with Moncton in the midst of a deep playoff run, it seemed highly unlikely that this was the sole reason.
Once thought of as an elite prospect, and even a potential top three pick, Kirill has fallen way off the charts, and lies off the top 30 lists for the ISS and Central Scouting.
Many general managers are not going to want to take a risk on this extremely talented prospect, especially with such a deep draft.
Kirill could very well fall into the later rounds.
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John McFarland is another one of those players that just seems difficult to read. The former first overall pick in the OHL Priority Selection, really had his sights set high, but he seems to have fallen off the rails a little bit.
After a decent rookie season with the Sudbury Wolves, McFarland followed it up with a surprisingly lackluster sophomore year.
With 50 points in 64 games, many had expected much more from the Richmond Hill native. However John has played well on the International stage, and has left scouts puzzled as to how he will play next.
It is no doubt John is a remarkably talented player, but he doesn't show it on a consistent basis. This could leave the once highly sought after player in the second or third rounds of the draft.
There is no doubt that Jeff Skinner is an amazing player and has preformed at an elite level with the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League, but many wonder whether he can compete at the NHL level.
Skinner scored 50 goals and 40 assists in the regular season, and had a stellar playoffs in which he scored 20 goals in 20 games. This would leave you to believe that he is a talented player, and should be a top pick.
However his smaller stature leaves many questions as to his ability can make it in a game that prides itself on physicality.
Skinner is currently rated very highly amongst ISS scouts (ninth), but finds himself off the charts for Central Scouting. Jeff Skinner may find himself falling more then he deserves.
Riley Sheahan may fall for altogether different reasons then the four other mentioned. The University of Notre Dame forward recently had a run in with the law that saw him get charged along with fellow teammate and Anaheim Ducks prospect Kyle Palmieri.
According to the St. Catherines Standard Sheahan was charged with public intoxication and minor alcohol consumption, but he could face a pre-trial diversion program that would allow him to do community service hours, which will negate the charges.
Whether or not teams take note of this event is still unknown. It could simply be a case of boys will be boys, but it could also very negatively effect his draft position.
image courtesy: NHL.com
Brett Connolly is one of those rare players that has seen his stock rise, despite the fact he has spent most of this season injured.
Playing only 16 games with the Prince George Cougars Connolly played rather well, which got scouts looking in his direction, but an injury has sidelined him ever since.
The remarkable thing is that Connolly has risen through the charts since the injury.
Recently Connolly laced up the skates with team Canada in the Ivan Hlinka U-18 tournament. With what was supposed to be a dominant team, many of the Canadian players struggled to find that scoring touch, and Connolly was certainly no exception.
Team Canada stumbled through the tournament and found themselves in the relegation rounds.
This poor showing may send Connolly sliding down the rankings again, but some scouts may just chalk it up to rust. It should be interesting to see where he lands.
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