Scouts rank Tyler Seguin above Taylor Hall

yzerman.jpg

No pressure, kid.

You have to think that Central Scouting might be re-thinking their top prospects list already, but their most recent list places the beleaguered Tyler Seguin over Taylor Hall according to NHL.com. Here’s the top 20 with the bonus of the always hilariously unfair comparisons to NHL players (He’s the next Mario Lemieux! The next Wayne Gretzky! Uh oh now he got another concussion … )

1. Tyler Seguin, C — Steve Yzerman (retired)
2. Taylor Hall, LW — Zach Parise, Devils
3. Brett Connolly, RW — Peter Forsberg (Sweden)
4. Erik Gudbranson, D — Dion Phaneuf, Maple Leafs
5. Cam Fowler, D — Mike Green, Capitals
6. Brandon Gormley, D — Chris Phillips, Senators
7. Mark Pysyk, D — Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
8. Emerson Etem, RW — Glenn Anderson (retired)
9. Derek Forbort, D — Erik Johnson, Blues
10. Ryan Johansen, C — Jason Spezza, Senators
11. Alexander Burmistrov, C — Maxim Afinogenov, Thrashers
12. Nino Niederreiter, RW — Erik Cole, Hurricanes
13. Nick Bjugstad, C — Andrew Brunette, Wild
14. Austin Watson, F — Kris Draper, Red Wings
15. John McFarland, C — Brenden Morrow, Stars
16. Tyler Toffoli, C — Tim Connolly, Sabres
17. Dylan McIlrath, D — Ed Jovanovski, Coyotes
18. Tyler Pitlick, C — Mark Parrish, Lightning
19. Quinton Howden, C– Todd Bertuzzi, Red Wings
20. Stanislav Galiev, RW — Alexander Frolov, Kings

If I’m Quinton Howden, I might just be bristling at that Bertuzzi comparison. But that’s just me. Then again, I might prefer that comparison than being called the next Steve Yzerman or Peter Forsberg (no pressure, kid). The story mentions the fact that – barring injury – Brett Connolly would probably be in the No. 1 pick conversation (a talented but oft-injured player named Connolly? You don’t say.).

Speaking of that conversation, Hall’s Windsor Spitfires have a 3-0 series lead over the Plymouth Whalers and Seguin, who is still pointless in the series. Now, hopefully one series won’t decide how scouts view the path of an entire career, but then again if the race really is close enough that the two could be “flip flopped” (like E.J. McGuire said) then perhaps the series could swing the whole thing.

Then again, a lot can happen between now and June 25.

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    Hurricanes give Di Giuseppe a two-way deal for 2017-18

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    The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Phil Di Giuseppe to a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday.

    The team announced that Di Giuseppe’s deal is worth $725K at the NHL level and $125K in the AHL in 2017-18.

    Di Giuseppe, 23, was the 38th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft. He’s been getting some looks at the NHL level with Carolina:

    2015-16: 17 points in 41 games
    2016-17: seven points in 36 games

    He’s also been splitting time between the AHL and NHL lately, so a two-way deal works well enough.

    Carolina doesn’t have much more to do on the free agent front, but that doesn’t mean that their off-season is wrapped up, as there’s still that whole ownership situation to settle.

    Habs president Molson pens glowing farewell letter to Markov

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    Another bold move by GM Marc Bergevin, another statement from Montreal Canadiens president/CEO Geoff Molson.

    However Molson actually feels about the franchise’s decision to let Andrei Markov leave for the KHL, he provided quite the goodbye letter regarding the 38-year-old defenseman. One can’t help but wonder how Molson feels about Montreal’s overall makeover, whether you believe Mark Streit is really “replacing” Markov or not.

    Anyway, that will need to wait. In the meantime, here’s the very kind statement from Molson to Markov:

    “On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Andrei for his great contributions during his 16 seasons as a proud member of the Montreal Canadiens. Arguably one of the best defensemen in franchise history, Andrei was a model of dedication to the great game of hockey. A respected figure around the league and among his teammates, Andrei demonstrated leadership both on and off the ice. Andrei’s commitment to our franchise was second to none, proven by his overcoming three serious and potentially career-ending injuries. I would like to wish Andrei the best of luck in the next step of his career, and happiness with his family.”

    Speaking of Canadiens all-timers, Larry Robinson had plenty of nice things to say about Markov, too.

    Related

    Markov, Habs officially part ways.

    Markov is headed to the KHL.

    Sabres re-sign Eichel’s buddy Rodrigues for two years

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    The Buffalo Sabres might have signed Evan Rodrigues back in 2015 in part because he enjoyed so much success as a college linemate with Jack Eichel at Boston University, but the undrafted forward seems like he’s making a case that he’ll be a part of their future in his own right.

    The Sabres handed Rodrigues a two-year deal that is two-way in 2017-18 and one-way in 2018-19. Whenever he’s at the NHL level, it’s worth $650K per season.

    Rodrigues debuted in 2015-16, scoring a goal and an assist in two games. He managed to play in 30 regular-season contests for the Sabres last season, collecting six points.

    He’s shown quite a bit of improvement at the AHL level, in particular. After collecting 30 points in 72 games for the Rochester Americans in 2015-16, he scored 30 again in 2016-17, although he only needed 48 contests to do so. Rodrigues isn’t quite Matt Moulson to Eichel’s John Tavares just yet, but it’s possible that he might at least develop into a regular NHL player.

    Buffalo’s work isn’t done for the summer just yet, as RFAs Zemgus Girgensons and Nathan Beaulieu still need deals.

    Andrei Markov opts for KHL after saying goodbye to Canadiens

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    Andrei Markov wanted to play his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens. With that option officially off the table, Markov announced that he’s headed for Russia and the KHL.

    “I didn’t see myself with any other NHL team,” Markov said during a conference call wrapping up his lengthy stay with the Habs. “I didn’t see myself wearing another jersey.”

    (At least not the jersey of another NHL team.)

    The 38-year-old also noted that he hasn’t closed the door to a return to Montreal. That makes sense since it seems like it was largely the Canadiens’ decision to part ways with Markov, essentially replacing him with Mark Streit at a heavily discounted rate.

    Beyond the comforts of home, Markov was almost certainly motivated to play in the KHL because of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

    The veteran blueliner did not mention which KHL team he’ll end up playing for. There were some rumblings that Markov might sign with the Florida Panthers, but that turned out to not be true.

    If it’s a one-year deal, a return to the Habs is at least feasible in 2018-19. Considering his age, it sure seems like this is the end of Markov’s lengthy run with the Canadiens, though.