1. Brad Stuart, D, 20, Sharks: Rangy (6'2", 210 pounds); will
become offensive powerhouse because of slick passing and heavy,
accurate shot; needs to work on transition defense; may be
Norris Trophy candidate some day.
2. David Legwand, C, 19, Predators: Excellent speed; creates
scoring chances off rush; needs to get stronger and show more
second effort when in scoring position down low.
3. Patrik Stefan, C, 19, Thrashers: Total package; strong on
puck, can beat defenders one-on-one; not afraid to take hit to
make a play; health worrisome because of three concussions he
suffered before reaching NHL.
4. Scott Gomez, C, 19, Devils: Tremendous hockey sense and
passing skills; though a bit short (5'11"), is thick-bodied and
always in position; makes players around him better; deceptively
quick skater who worked hard to improve marginal shot.
5. Martin Biron, G, 19, Sabres: Keeps shooters guessing by using
butterfly and stand-up styles; remains calm in the net; seems to
play better in pressure situations.
6. Simon Gagne, C, 19, Flyers: Solid two-way player; impressive
competitiveness; eventually will be used in match-up situations
and be expected to win those match-ups against top players.
7. Peter Schaefer, LW, 22, Canucks: Not big (5'11", 195 pounds)
but smart; ability to read play makes him fantastic penalty
killer; rare young player skilled enough to run power play from
8. Jiri Fischer, D, 19, Red Wings: Moves puck so efficiently out
of zone that opponents can't forecheck him; plays physical game;
overpowering shot and quick release sets him apart.
9. Marc Denis, G, 22, Avalanche: Big-time competitor; plays
angles aggressively; needs to be more alert when the play is
behind the net and goal line.
10. Alex Tanguay, LW, 20, Avalanche: Pure scorer with uncanny
ability to create space for himself; releases puck as quickly as
anybody; needs to work on skating speed and strength; with
slick-passing center, should become a sniper.
11. Tim Connolly, C, 19, Islanders: Dynamic player with moves
that undress even veteran foes; doesn't work hard on defense but
should improve with maturity; hesitates too much in scoring
12. Mike Fisher, C, 19, Senators: Doesn't take a shift off; very
aggressive on forecheck; has hockey sense to be excellent penalty
killer; surprising scoring ability for someone with hard edge to
his game; needs to improve on face-offs.
13. Steve Kariya, LW, 21, Canucks: Speed-burner who plays with
enthusiasm and smarts; creates space because of willingness to
absorb hits; quick release as he penetrates offensive zone helps
him score off the rush.
14. David Tanabe, D, 19, Hurricanes: Outstanding skater; handles
puck extremely well; big-time offensive potential; not afraid to
take chances; special ability to make tape-to-tape passes out of
15. John Grahame, G, 24, Bruins: With superb glove hand,
consistently snares shots headed for top corner; height (6'2")
allows him to overcome mechanical flaws; needs to improve