Player: Steve Stamkos
’07-’08 RS Stats: 58g, 47a, 105p, +18, 88 PIMs
’08 PO Stats: 11g, 0a, 11p, Even, 20 PIMs
Stamkos seems to be the unanimous pick for first overall in the 2008 Draft, and why shouldn’t he be? He has all the tools to be a franchise player and has drawn comparisons to Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic, not only for his play; but also the way he maintains himself on and off the ice.
In his first two seasons in the OHL, Stamkos has netted 100 goals and 97 assists while putting up a combined +31. Stamkos has a nose for the net and a mind for the game. He knows what to do in any situation and knows where he needs to be at any given time. Stamkos is a well-rounded forward who can score when needed and set-up his teammates when he can’t get a shot.
Though he’s not the biggest guy, Stamkos will fight through checks and take a hit to make a play. His biggest asset will be on the power play as he will command the point and slide down when he sees an opening, which is where his hockey sense comes into play. His leadership qualities have also helped him excel to the position he is at, with many claiming it's a matter of time before he becomes captain of an NHL squad.
Stamkos’ skill set is amazing and he’ll be an asset to the Bolts, should they decide to pick him. Also, if the Bolts pick him, he'll have another 1st Overall pick to help him through the transition in Vincent Lecavalier. It seems that both these players have/had a lot of hype in their draft year and with the help of Lecavalier, Stamkos should be able to transition better than Vinny did and evolve more rapidly than most would have thought.
We’ll leave you with a little piece TSN did with him before the NHL Skill Competition, which shows what kind of hands this kid has.