This was supposed to go up yesterday, but apparently the post schedule function took the holiday off, so here we are today. Continuing with our Year End Awards, which have seen us vote on the Best Goaltender of 2010 and the Best Goal of 2010, it's time now to decide who the Best Prospect was this year.
We're not including guys that have graduated to the NHL club, like Andreas Nodl or Sergei Bobrovsky, who would likely run away with this if we included him. We've narrowed it down to a few guys who are still in the system.
After the jump, we've listed the nominees, complete with their talent evaluation from Hockey's Future.
Joacim Eriksson, G, Brynas (Sweden)
Ranked as the second best goaltender born 1990 in Sweden, after the more hyped Jacob Markström. A skilled goaltender with decent size, quick reflexes and good mental strength.
Eriksson is a classic butterfly goaltender with good size and respectable lateral mobility.
Erik Gustafsson, D, Adirondack Phantoms (AHL)
2009-10: Registered 3 goals, 29 points, and 26 penalty minutes in 39 games. He also served as team captain for the Wildcats. Was named CCHA top offensive defenseman for a second year in a row. At the conclusion of his junior season, Gustafsson signed an entry-level deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. The defenseman was then assigned to the AHL where he posted 2 goals and 5 assists in 5 games for the Adirondack Phantoms.
Nic Riopel, G, Adirondack Phantoms (AHL) / Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL)
After passing through the 2008 draft without being selected, Riopel attended thetraining camp but saw his fellow goaltending invitee ( ) receive a contract instead of him. He responded by posting record-setting totals in his 2008-09 season. He back stopped the Moncton Wildcats to a Atlantic Division title with 43 wins, a .930 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against-average (a league record). In return, Riopel received the Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy for the 's lowest GAA as well as the Michel Briere Memorial Trophy as the 's player of the year.
Mike Testwuide, RW, Adirondack Phantoms (AHL)
Despite being 6'3, 216 pounds, Testwuide does not seem to realize exactly how powerful he is, even though he regularly overpowers opponents. He drives the net hard and his 18 goals prove he can capitalize on some of his chances. Testwuide doesn't have elite skill or speed, but he's a hardworking player who is difficult to play against and can lay out heavy hits along the boards.
Eric Wellwood, LW, Adirondack Phantoms (AHL)
Eric plays a similar game to Kyle in that the two have similar size and agility, and neither is overly physical. Though Eric’s offensive instincts are less than Kyle’s, his performance in the defensive end of the rink is superior. Plays on the PK.
Plays bigger than his size.
Now, the voting...