1.29.2007

THN's 7 to watch are good, but more are out there; Part 2

Alright, I finally got around to writing this. Here are some more guys to watch in the near, and not so near future.
Nicklas Backstrom- The Washington Capitals need to find a foreign right winger blossoming with talent. Why? Because when Nicklas Backstrom goes to the Caps, they will have their 3rd young player with a chance at success. Alexander Ovechkin clearly comes to mind, with 174 career points in only 131 games, he's clearly on a roll. Alexander Semin is a less known name, but still pops up at the sound of "good young Russian." He has 73 career points in 98 games, including 51 points in 46 games this year. Backstrom? Well, unless you're a draft hound, you proably don't recognize him. But Backstrom, only 19, has played in a Swedish men's league since 2005 and has been doing great. Last season, he scored 26 points in 46 games, which is impressive compared to his age. The Caps are going to have fun once he comes, especially if he's anywhere as good as Ovechkin.
Rob Schremp- First off, few players haven't heard of his lacrosse/gravity-defying shootout attempt during a charity shootout. Players Jarome Iginla, Joffrey Lupul, Jamie Maclennan, and Dwayne Roloson were quoted as being mostly impressed, but also mentioned that it wouldn't happen during a game, unless it were in a shootout. But moving past the shootout, Schremp's hockey skill is highly impressive. In 2005-06, he rated a goal-per-game average, and over two points per game, with 57 goals and 145 points in just 57 games with London of the OHL. This year, through 40 AHL games, he is still averaging over half a point-per-game, with 26 points and counting.
Robert Nilsson- The Islanders have a real gem here, despite his low goal totals in both the NHL and AHL. Nilsson managed 20 points in 53 NHL games as a rookie, and also totaled just under a point-per-game in the AHL, scoring 28 points 29 games. This year, with the AHL, he has scored just 9 goals in 35 games, but 34 points total. MY opinion is that he could be a Joe Thornton player, 20 goals but 100 points. He is a strong play maker, but has yet to be consistent on either grittiness or softness.
Nicklas Bergfors- I see him becoming a similar player to Anze Kopitar, with a bit more of a scoring touch. Last season with the Albany River Rats, he totaled 17 goals and 40 points in 65 games, adapting well to the American game. He has missed a few games this year, still managing 22 points in 29 games. He looks to be a finesse-driven player, and should make it to the NHL by next year.
That's all that I have now, please comment if you are reading this. Kudos to hockeysfuture.com for providing some names and information.