There are a few more interesting players at the bottom of the international ranks than at the bottom of the domestic rankings.
My standouts are as follows:
Pontus Netterberg, an overage Swede with the frame and mentality of a power forward
Ville Jarvelainen, a tiny Finn with high-end offense
Inti Pestoni, who lit up the World Juniors
Evgeny Palenga, a big and nasty defensive defenseman who has already played in the KHL
There are others, all on the list below.
121, Pontus Netterberg, A 6'1" 198 lb right wing, Netterberg went undrafted last season despite some pretty good numbers (47 points in 41 games) in Sweden's U-20 league. His numbers dipped a little bit this season, except for penalty minutes (those more than doubled in one less game). Kirk Leudeke likes his mean streak and describes him in power forward terms, while Elite Prospects likes his offense a lot more than his defense.
122, Branislav Rapac, The right-shooting left winger didn't progress much in terms of point production over 2009-10, managing 24 points in 42 games in the Czech U-20 league. He does add size at 6'3" and 194 lbs, while his June 1993 birthday is toward the younger end of this draft class.
123, Aleksi Rekonen, The Finn with a Russian-sounding first name entered the year with a solid track record in Finnish junior hockey, but despite ripping up the Jr. B and Jr. C ranks in previous years he had a disappointing debut in Finland's U-20 Jr. A, recording 19 points in 40 games and a single assist in seven playoff games.
124, Artem Batrak, Despite his lowly KHL Draft status (fifth round pick), Batrak had a fairly nice season in the MHL, recording 16 points in 33 games. The left-shooting right winger stands 5'11" and weighs 163 lbs.
125, Vladislav Vorobyev, Third round pick in this summer's KHL draft; the 5'11" Vorobyev recorded eight points in 37 MHL games.
126, Viktor Perezhogin, Perezhogin tried to come over to North America once before, to join the Erie Otters, and he ended up in the Greater Metro Jr. A Hockey League instead. He was draft-eligible last season but didn't get selected and it's tough to believe his eight points in 49 MHL games is going to change that.
127, Alexei Shamin, First round pick in last summer's KHL draft lacks size or impressive point totals in Russia's second-tier league.
128, Ville Jarvelainen, Jarvelainen would get a lot more respect if he was 6'5" rather than 5'6". This season, he crushed the top tier of Finnish junior hockey, putting up 52 points in 41 games before adding four goals in four games in the playoffs. He also recorded four points in five games at the U-18 tournament.
129, Christian Marti, Lean 6'2" defenseman made the jump from U-17 play last season to U-20 play this year, and after scoring at a point-per-game pace his numbers fell off steeply. Still, there's obviously some scoring potential here.
130, A lban Rexha, 5'11", 180 lb center played eight games in Switzerland's top league after scoring just under a point-per-game in their U-20 division. Unfortunately, that's more or less what he did last season too, and it would have been nice to see a step forward in his draft year.
131, Daniel Fischbuch, “Fish Book" (thank you, Google Translate) played some third-line minutes for the Ratinger Ice Aliens (nope, not kidding) in Germany's third-tier league and was brilliant for them in relegation play (five goals, six assists in five games) after lighting up Germany's U-18 league (he led it in goals). He also scored three points in five games at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He's small, but reportedly a good skater who can do it all offensively.
132, Vojtech Zadrazil, Zadrazil sustained some nasty injuries in the past year, but remains focused on an eventual NHL career. The 6'0" rearguard was an offensive force in U-18 play, but was held to limited minutes in the Czech U-20 league.
133, Mikhail Naumenkov, 6'0" defenseman plays larger than his size, and has provided a nasty presence in Russia's MHL (one tier below the KHL) and at various tournaments. He is supposed to be strong positionally as well. Naumenkov went 97th overall in the KHL Draft.
134, Tomas Rousek, Barely qualified for this year's draft (had he been born a week later, we'd be talking 2012). Rousek put up modest numbers in the Czech U-20 league, but scored twice in five games at the IIHF U-18 tournament.
135, Filip Mezovsky, 6'2" defender spent last season with "HK 32 Liptovsky Mikulas U18," and played just 12 games (he had four assists). Redefines "under the radar."
136, Bruno Mraz, Spent 2010-11 mostly in the Slovakian U-20 league, where he did well, but not being able to crack the top Slovakian league is a little disappointing. Small, dynamic forward.
137, Inti Pestoni, Swiss overager made a bit of a splash this season, he scored five goals in six games at the World Juniors, and he made the jump to the top Swiss league, where he led his team in scoring and was one of just two regulars to manage a plus rating. Among his teammates were ex-NHL'ers Yanick Lehoux and Eric Landry. Realistically, the 5'9" scorer is probably one of those guys who will keep knocking the ball out of the park overseas and maybe get a chance as an undrafted guy later in his career. Even so, he'll probably have a better career than a lot of guys with a better chance at getting drafted.
138, Alex Ronning, Smallish offensive defenseman has been a pretty good scorer in the U-18 Allsvenskan this season. He's been less successful in the U-20 league, but at least he's made the jump.
139, Denis Blokhin, 6'0", 161 lb forward went in the sixth round of the 2010 KHL Draft, and isn't doing much in Russia's second-tier league.
140, Evgeny Palenga, A fifth round pick in last summer's KHL draft, Palenga is a 6'4" defensive defenseman with minimal offensive upside, and the fact he went so low in the Russian draft isn't a positive. On the plus side, he has already played in one KHL game, and not too many defensive defensemen are knocking at the KHL door at his age.
Domestic Skaters, Part 1
Domestic Skaters, Part 2
Domestic Skaters, Part 3
Domestic Skaters, Part 4
Domestic Skaters, Part 5
Jonathan Willis is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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