Faceoff-Factor Draft Preview
Thanks once again to the tPB team for letting us stop by and be draft nerds for the third consecutive
year. Many people have said that the depth of this draft wasn’t that great, and while that may be true
after the first two rounds, that doesn’t mean the first round festivities will be any less exciting. This
first round is going to be like watching Vancouver riot after losing its third straight cup final. We aren’t
even doing a mock draft this year. I got about 10 picks through one and had a series of violent seizures.
Basically, it’s wide open and it’s next to impossible to even get a real gauge of where anyone is going
outside the first pick.
So what we do here is give c-blog a look at a few guys who we particularly like for that 23rd overall pick.
We actually got it right with Beau Bennett last year, but I’m pretty sure that only means we’ll be wrong
for the next 30 years.
Shameless plug, we have a little more detail on the below players posted on our site, as well as our top
30 available players with 20 more to come before Friday.
Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.
Tyler Biggs – RW – USNTDP – 6’2 – 210lbs – Shoots R – April 30, 1993
Like the case of Senator Anthony Weiner, it’s pretty awesome when a person’s last name is completely
descriptive of them. Tyler Biggs is, well, pretty big. He’s a nasty kid that is the type of you player you
hate playing against. While the offensive upside on Biggs is more limited than some of the other players
we’ll examine here, his size is already NHL-caliber and his board work and net front presence is top
of the line. Don’t think Biggs is devoid of offensive talent, though. He is a solid skater and surprises
opponents with the occasional dangle. We know Ray Shero likes big, North American skaters, and
you’ve basically got a picture perfect portrait right here.
Boone Jenner – C – Oshawa (OHL) – 6’1 – 204lbs – Shoots L – June 15, 1993
Some of you that are familiar with my Twitter account and follow Faceoff-Factor are probably having
a heart attack that I put Boone Jenner here. Let me clarify, I want the Penguins to draft Jenner more
than anything, and he’s definitely our number one hope come Friday night, but I think it’s unrealistic to
expect that he’ll actually BE available with that pick. We’re kind of conceding that here, but our fingers
are still crossed that King Ray takes him at 23. Jenner is the kind of guy you want to have on your team.
He’s a bit of everything wrapped into one. He’s excellent in the boards and in front of the net, he’s
responsible defensively, he’s not a bad skater, and he has a really even set of playmaking and scoring
skills that make him a multi-threat. He struggled in the middle of the year with consistency, but he’s
still young and he had an absolute monster turnaround in the OHL playoffs where you could argue that
he was Oshawa’s best player. I think the consensus is that Jenner is a safe pick. That said, I think the
offensive upside is higher than a lot of people are currently projecting.
Phillip Danault – LW – Victoriaville (QMJHL) – 6’0 – 170lbs – Shoots L – February 24, 1993
Danault is a guy that is going to end up wearing a letter in the NHL one day. He’s a youngster that brings
a solid work ethic to the rink on a nightly basis and is consistently praised for his passion. He captained
Victoriaville at a young age and didn’t take a shift off this year despite what the scoreboard said. He’s
one of those forwards whose physicality is on display nightly. He plays the game in the boards with little
care for his own well being. Great wheels, solid defensively, and has a low-risk projection for the NHL.
At worst, you’re looking at a two-way forward for the third line, but I think his offensive ceiling is higher
than that. This guy screams Shero when you watch him play, and he revealed during the combine that
his favorite team is the Penguins and his favorite player is Max Talbot.
Nicklas Jensen – F – Oshawa (OHL) – 6’2 – 187lbs – Shoots L – March 6, 1993
When you think about the Penguins prospect pool, you don’t really see a ton of dangerous offensive
talent on the wing outside of Beau Bennett. If it’s skill you’re looking for late in the first, look no further.
Jensen scored some of the nicest goals in the OHL this year. This Danish prospect can play on either
wing, has explosive speed, and a laundry list of offensive abilities. Good skating is the base for all Jensen
does and his shot can best be described as refined for his age. I hate the cliché “he loves to score goals,”
but this description fits Jensen pretty well. The offensive ceiling here is better than anyone projected
to go late in the first. The key with Jensen is he needs to show people more. He seemed to be a bit
reserved this year in terms of just taking control of the game and shocking the opposition with those
signature end-to-end rushes. As he gets more comfortable, we ought to see more of that, and his
offensive instincts are something the Penguins could desperately use.
Thanks again to the staff at tPB for the reigns to the blog again this year!