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mb financial Features

2007 Draft Bios: Top Forwards

Tuesday, 04.10.2007 / 1:05 PM / Features
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2007 Draft Bios: Top Forwards

The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau's Final Rankings for North American and European players will be released on Wednesday, April 25.

Following are brief bios on some of the top forwards that will be ranked in the first round by NHL Central Scouting. Players are listed in alphabetical order.


ALEXEI CHEREPANOV
OMSK • Russia
6'0", 183 lbs. Right Wing, shoots left
Born: January 15, 1989 in Omsk, Russia
• Mid-Term Ranking: 1 • European Skater

2006-07 Omsk Russia 47 18 11 29 45

Plays wing in the Russian Super League with Avangard Omsk... set the record for goals by a rookie (18) in 2006-07 surpassing Pavel Bure's record (17) set in 1988-89 with the Red Army (CSKA Moscow)... nicknamed the Siberian Express... his 29 points as a 17 year old are more than Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk scored in their first year with the Russian Super League... won a silver medal with Team Russia at the 2007 World Junior Championships. He led all scorers with five goals for eight points and was named as the Top Forward of the tournament. Also selected to the Tournament All-Star Team.

ANGELO ESPOSITO
Quebec • QMJHL
6'1", 180 lbs. Center, shoots left
Born: February 20, 1989 in Montreal, Quebec
• Mid-Term Ranking: 1 • North American Skater

2006-07 Quebec QMJHL 60 27 52 79 63

Participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game on Team White for Scotty Bowman and Jacques Demers... finished third on the Remparts in scoring with 79 points (27-52-79) in 2006-07... was named QMJHL Player of the Week on Nov. 16, 2006 after registering 11 points (4-7-11) in three games... had three assists for Team QMJHL in the two game All-Star series, 2006 Canada-Russia Challenge ... member of the 2006 Memorial Cup Champions Quebec Remparts posting five points (1-4-5) in four Memorial Cup games... awarded the Michel Bergeron Trophy as the QMJHL's Top Offensive Rookie in 2005-06... named to the QMJHL All Rookie Team in 2005-06... attended Team Canada's selection camp for the 2007 World Junior Championships... captained Team Canada to a gold medal at the Under-18 Junior World Cup in the Czech Republic in 2006.

SAM GAGNER
London • OHL
5'11", 190 lbs. Center, shoots right
Born: August 10, 1989 in Oakville, Ontario
• Mid-Term Ranking: 3 • North American Skater

2006-07 London OHL 53 35 83 118 36

Was the youngest member of Team Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden... member of the Western Conference All-Stars for the OHL All-Star Classic tallying five points (1-4-5)... participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game... finished second in rookie scoring behind teammate Patrick Kane with 118 points in 53 games (35-83-118) in 2006-07... was named the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending on Oct. 15, 2006 - he had 14 points (4-10-14) in four games... played for Sioux City of the USHL totaling 46 points (11-35-46) in 56 games in 2005-06... was named to the USHL All- Rookie Team in 2005-06... was selected to the Western Conference All-Star Team for the 2006 USHL All-Star Game... had 13 points with Team Ontario in five games in 2005-06... his father, Dave, played 15 seasons in the NHL, registered two consecutive 40-goal seasons (1989-90 and 1990-91), had 719 career points and played for Canada at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

ZACH HAMILL
Everett • WHL
5'10.5", 180 lbs. Center, shoots right
Born: September 23, 1988 in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
• Mid-Term Ranking: 22 • North American Skater

2006-07 Everett WHL 69 32 61 93 90

Captured the Bob Clarke Trophy as the WHL's Top Scorer for 2006-07 season with 93 points (32-61-93)... named to the Western Conference Second All-Star Team and selected as the Everett Silvertips Most Valuable Player in 2006-07... WHL's Player of the Month for January 2007 after posting 24 points (6-18-24) in 12 games... was selected as WHL Player of the Week on Jan. 28, 2007 with 13 points (4-9-13) in four games, including a franchise record tying sevenpoint performance (3-4-7) on Jan. 26... became the all-time franchise leader in points on Dec. 12, 2006 - has 187 points (61-126-187) in 183 regular season games... participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game... had 59 points (21-38-59) in just 53 games in 2005-06... led all 16- year old rookies with 33 points in 2004-05 and was named the Silvertips Rookie of the Year... he played in 20 playoff games as a 15 year-old helping the Silvertips advance to the 2004 WHL final... was the first player ever selected by Everett in the WHL Bantam Draft (1st round, 3rd overall in 2003)... played for Team Pacific at the 2005 U-17 World Hockey Challenge where he helped his team win silver... was a key member of Canada's gold medal winning Under-18 team at the Junior World Cup in 2005.

PATRICK KANE
London • OHL
5'9", 162 lbs. Right Wing, shoots left
Born: November 19, 1988 in Buffalo, NY
• Mid-Term Ranking: 4 • North American Skater

2006-07 London OHL 58 62 83 145 52

Captured the OHL and CHL scoring titles with 145 points (62-83-145) as a rookie in 2006-07...had nine points (5-4-9) as a member of Team USA's bronze medal-winning team at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden... fellow London Knights' linemate Sam Gagner commented, "he's really blown me away with his talent... he's such a skilled guy with the puck and he has unlimited potential."... named OHL and CHL Player of the Week on Mar. 18, 2007 with 11 points (5-6-11) in two games and on Feb. 14, 2007 after posting 13 points (6-7-13) in three games... named OHL Rookie of the Month in November (9-16-25), February (13-16-29) and again in March (15-17-32) ... member of the Western Conference All-Stars for the OHL All-Star Classic (2-2-4)... competed in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City... had 102 points for the U.S. National Under-18 Team in 2005-06 - setting a record for points in a season (previously held by Phil Kessel --98)...won a gold medal at the 2006 World Under-18 Championships - led the tournament in goals (7), points (12) and was named to the Tournament All-Star Team... played for the Honeybaked AAA in Michigan before playing for the U.S. NTDP in 2005-06, where he lived with former NHLer Pat Verbeek.

DAVID PERRON
Lewiston • QMJHL
5'11.5", 180 lbs. Wing, shoots right
Born: May 28, 1988 in Sherbrooke, Quebec
• Mid-Term Ranking: 18 • North American Skater

2006-07 Lewiston QMJHL 70 39 44 83 75

Led all rookies in goal scoring (39), plus/minus (+37) and was second in points (83) during the 2006-07 regular season... was named QMJHL Rookie of the Month in November and December. He totaled 18 points (9-9 18) in 13 games and was plus-eight in November while adding 12 points (5-7-12) in 11 games in December... participated in the CHL Top Prospects Game as a member of Team Red adding one assist... played for the St. Jerome Panthers of QJAHL in 2005-06 posting 69 points (24-45-69) in 51 games.

KYLE TURRIS
Burnaby • BCHL
6'0", 170 lbs. Center, shoots right
Born: August 14, 1989 in New Westminster, British Columbia
• Mid-Term Ranking: 5 • North American Skater

2006-07 Burnaby BCHL 53 66 55 121 83

Scored 50 goals in 39 games and had 13 multi-point games including three games with four goals in 2006-07... was second in the BCHL in scoring during the regular season with 121 points (66-55-121)... had 26 points in 14 playoff games in 2007 (12-14-26)... was named as the BCHL's Most Valuable Player as well as the MVP and the Top Forward of the Burnaby Express in 2007... won the Royal Bank Cup in 2006 (Canada's National Tier 2 Junior Championship) with the Burnaby Express - named the Tournament MVP after posting 13 points (7-6-13) in six games, including a hat trick in the final game... member of Team Canada's Under-18 Team in 2006 - had a goal and an assist in helping Canada win gold at the Junior World Cup... represented Team Canada at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships in Finland... played 57 games with the Express last season posting 72 points (36-36-72).

JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK
US National U-18 • USDP
6'3", 200 lbs. Left Wing, shoots left
Born: May 4, 1989 in Middletown, NJ
• Mid-Term Ranking: 2 • North American Skater

2006-07 US Nat'l U-18 USDP 43 33 30 63 81

Made his U.S. Junior Team debut at the 2007 World Junior Championship where he helped Team USA capture the bronze medal. He had a goal in Team USA's first win of the tournament against Slovakia - "to play in the World Juniors was the thrill of a lifetime. It's the best up and coming hockey players in the world and it was quite an honor to be there"... led his team with 63 points (33-30-63) in 42 games in 2006-07... played for the U.S. U-17 NTDP team in 2005-06 totaling 42 points (26-16-42) in 55 games... won gold with Team USA at the Under-18 IIHF World Championship... helped Team USA to a silver medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he had nine points (5-4-9) in seven games and was named to the All- Tournament Team... prior to the U.S. NTDP, he played 30 games for Christian Brothers Academy and the Brick Hockey Club collecting 60 points (36-24-60) in 2004-05... will attend the University of New Hampshire in 2007.

JAKUB VORACEK
Halifax • QMJHL
6'1.25", 191 lbs. Right Wing, shoots left
Born: August 15, 1989 in Kladno, Czech Republic
• Mid-Term Ranking: 15 • North American Skater

2006-07 Halifax QMJHL 59 23 63 86 26

Awarded the 2007 Michel-Bergeron award as the QMJHL's Top Offensive Rookie... set a new franchise record with his 56th assist in 2006-07 surpassing Ladislav Nagy's (Dallas Stars) mark of 55 set in 1998-99... shared the Halifax Mooseheads MVP honor with teammate Andrew Bodnarchuk. Was also named Rookie of the Year and won the Fan's Choice Award for the Mooseheads in 2006-07 season... was named QMJHL Rookie of the Month in October 2006 after totaling 18 points (6-12-18) in 11 games... was named the QMJHL Offensive Player of the Week on Mar. 5, 2007 with six points (3-3-6) in two games... was selected as the Offensive Player of the Week on Jan. 29, 2007 after posting eight points in two games (1-7-8)... participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game scoring one goal for Team Red. Was second in the fastest skater competition with a lap time of 15.004 seconds... drafted first overall by the Halifax Mooseheads in the 2006 CHL Import Draft... played for the Czech Republic at the 2007 World Junior Championships helping them to a 5th place finish.