...Size, grit, and scoring ability. All of these can describe Saginaw Spirit LWer Josh Shalla, who at age 19 remains undrafted by an NHL team. His size of 6'2 203lbs and scoring ability (which is featured in the OHL Network story below) would be an incredible asset for the Avalanche on left wing. Currently I do not see him even listed in the first round by various mock draft sites; but his stock could rise very soon with this story courtesy of the OHL Network:
Josh Shalla on historic Saginaw Spirit pace for goals scored (http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/article/josh-shalla-on-historic-saginaw-spirit-pace-for-goals-scored). After seeing film of Josh Shalla, his game is very similar to All-Star Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets; and his size is eerily similar too. If Josh Shalla's game could be anywhere near that of Rick Nash, he would certainly be a dark horse pick indeed.
Joey Hishon was the unexpected pick of the Colorado Avalanche at No. 17 in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft; surprising pundit and fan alike. Hishon, who has been on a tear this year putting up points in bunches, is currently 4th in the OHL in scoring. It would appear that the gamble the Avalanche made with Hishon might actually pay off. It is possible that Hishon may very well have been the "dark horse" of the 2010 Draft, but this remains to be seen until he can make the jump to the NHL and can repeat the production of his junior career. With the Avs again looking at picking in the uncertain "middle-of-the-road" of the first round of the 2011 draft, should the Avs gamble the pick on another dark horse? My answer is: why not?
According to the mock draft site mynhldraft.com it currently has the Avs picking at #20 in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota, and has the strong puck moving center Victor Rask going to the Avs. While it would be a dream to have a 6'2 200lbs Swedish center described as having "amazing puck moving abilities" going to the Burgundy and Blue, it is highly unlikely that he will still be there by the time the Avs are picking. But it is still too early to tell where the Avs will be picking by the time summer rolls around, but it is always fun to look to the future.
Josh Shalla LW L 6.02 203 Sep. 25, 1991 Whitby, ON Saginaw Spirit
So what do you think after reading that story?