After starting the Languishing for Landeskog a few months back as a possible pick for the Avs first rounder, I thought it may be a good idea to point out a possibly player for the #11 pick.
A lot of Avs fans are clamoring for a D with one of the two picks (or a trade for a goalie). Unfortunately it looks like the top 4 rated Ds (Murphy, Hamilton, Siemens and Larsson) may go in the top 10. As with most drafts there is the chance a D or two fall out of the top spots and into the Avs laps. If not, the players all currently filling the 10-15 spots (on most scouting reports) are not necessarily someone the Avs would take high in the first round. That grouping is filled with players like Armia, Jensen, Bartschi, Saad, etc. It is possible the Avs may overlook some of the concerns with those picks and take one or even draft a solid hard working prospect with size like Biggs or McNeill (who fall around the 14-18 range). But there is one player that is being overlooked that fits what the Avs like and that is Matt Puempel.
You will hear a lot of comparisons between Puempel and Skinner. Both are similar players with Puempel being the better skater and Skinner having the slight edge in shot quality. Both produced similar numbers prior to Juniors where Puempel followed up exceeding Skinner's 1st year numbers (garnering OHL Rookie of the Year). Unfortunately this year (his second year), Puempel did not exceed or mirror Skinner's second year numbers but this is more to do with the teams they played on. While Skinner played on a very strong Rangers team (with Morin, Landeskog, Murphy, Moore, Akeson, etc) his draft year, Puempel has played on a struggling Petes team that has only one other PPG player in Austin Watson. Saying that he has had to produce a lot by himself is an understatement. Fully healthy, he had the ability to be a 40-45 goal scorer on a terrible struggling Petes team this year.
Matt may not make those around him better but he will put the puck in the net. Combined with his skating and willingness to go to the tough areas, Matt has the ability to score anywhere that is needed. He may not make the flashy plays but he will still get people out of their seats with his goal scoring ability. At the very least he is a top 12 talent and will more than likely be a steal outside the top 12.
6th overall of the 2009 OHL draft (Strome went #8 and Duchene went #5 in 07's draft)
Top 10 pick in preliminary rankings for NHL draft.
33 goals first OHL season. 34 goals in 55 games in second OHL season.