Saturday, June 04, 2005


Scouting THN's Top Draft Prospects Issue

The Hockey News recently came out with their yearly issue that focuses on the draft prospects. It's one of the periodicals that I look forward to purchasing every year.

As it is well known, The Hockey News was forced to scale down operations drastically due to the lockout. In addition to publishing just twice a month, the content of the magazine has been reduced and the coverage isn't as extensive as it normally is.

The Top Draft Prospects issue suffers greatly this year. Only the Top 50 prospcts are listed (no 51-100), and the scouting reports are limited to a simple paragraph. THN has put 8-10 prospects on each page and given less than 100 words on each one. On top of this, the scouting reports on the Czechs and Slovaks, from the friends and sources I've talked to, aren't terribly accurate.

There were also some notable and glaring errors:
1. THN lists Tomas Pospisil as playing for Slovakian club Trencin when he actually
played for Czech club Trinec. How can they screw that up?
2. THN lists Marek Zagrapan as hailing from Poprad, Czech Republic. Umm, guys...Poprad is very much in Slovakia. Just because Marek played for a Czech club once upon a time doesn't mean he was born there.

Quite disappointing given THN's professed stance of being the 'Bible of Hockey'. They could have easily sent me an email and I could have done some free editing for them. Of course, I bet most xenophobic Canadian fans wouldn't even notice these type of errors.

Anyway, let's have a look at what IS in this issue.

Top 10 & Czech/Slovak prospects

1. Sidney Crosby
2. Benoit Pouliot
3. Jack Johnson
4. Gilbert Brule
5. Bobby Ryan
6. Anze Kopitar
7. Corey Price
8. Jack Skille
9. Marc Staal
10. Alex Bourret
15. Ondrej Pavelec, G
19. Marek Zagrapan, C
21. Jakub Kindl, D
27. Radek Smolenak, LW
30. Tomas Pospisil, RW
35. Jakub Vojta, D
45. Tomas Kudelka, D

Brule 4th?? *shakes head*. I will predict and say it now: Gilbert Brule will be a better pro than the overrated Benoit Pouliot. If any other blogger wants to disagree, than why don't we make a wager?

The breakdown of the Top 50 by country

Canada - 23
USA - 8
Czechia - 7
Russia - 6
Finland - 3
Sweden - 1
Slovakia - 1
Slovenia - 1

If these rankings are to be trusted, then it is a terrible year for Sweden (again) and now for Russia (their top guy, Ilya Zubov, is ranked 33rd)

This issue also has a very short article on Crosby (because we never hear enough about this kid). The first concert Sir Sid attended? Sharon, Lois, and Bram. Yep.

I agree that it's disappointing that a publication like THN would make the errors you've outlined. However, I disagree that just because a Canadian reader might not notice the errors, he or she is xenophobic. Ignorant of European geography and hockey leagues, yes but xenophobic is an unfair characterization.
Well Jes, I worked on the one last year, so it's inevitable that the product would suffer this time around...


Anyway, give the guys a break. There are like four of them putting it out now.
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