I'm introducing my new prospect series in today's edition of Stano's Daily.
In this series, I'll do short reports on some of this year's top prospects that intrigue me.
To kick off the prospect series, Dalibor Dvorsky.
Dvorksy currently sits in the second tier of top prospects for this draft, projected to go anywhere in the 6-10 range. There's a good chance he's the first forward off the board after the big five — Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Matvei Michkov, Leo Carlsson and Will Smith.
I'm in the minority with this opinion, but I actually think Dvorsky should be a challenge to Smith for the fifth-best forward prospect in this draft.
It was an up-and-down season for Dvorsky, who struggled at times to adapt to the pro game in Sweden, but he ended the year with a stellar performance at the U-18 Worlds. Scoring 13 points in seven games for Slovakia.
Dvorsky's a highly skilled center with size, what more could you ask for?
He's an excellent stickhandler and is able to beat players in tight spaces with ease. Combined with his size, he's very good down low and along the boards.
His other standout skill is his shot. He has a quick release and generates a lot of power, allowing him to consistently beat goalies at range.
His big deficiency is his skating. It isn't horrible, we aren't looking at an Arthur Kaliyev situation, but he lacks ideal NHL speed. His edgework and balance are fine, but he'll need to get with a skating coach to work on his explosiveness and top-end speed.
Of course, growing and adding muscle will help, but he has some stride issues he needs to work out. He needs to get more horizontal push on his stride to maximize power, he sometimes looks like he's trying to run on the ice.
His skating has made some scouts question if he's an NHL center or wing, but I think he'll stick at center after some work with a skating coach. His skating issues should be a pretty easy fix.
To tie it back into the Los Angeles Kings, I see some rhymes between his game and Gabe Vilardi's. It isn't one-to-one, Vilardi was a more powerful player at the same age and Dvorsky is more of a finesse player. But as a highly-skilled center with size and a high-end shot, they share some similarities.
Vegas moves on:
Facing elimination on Sunday, the Edmonton Oilers couldn't stay alive, falling in six to the Vegas Golden Knights.
It will be a Western Conference Final return for the Knights, and Jonathan Quick.
A Jonathan Marchessault natural hat trick proved to be the difference. Although Jack Eichel's all-around play in that game deserves some praise. It was a tough start for Eichel in Vegas, coming back from major neck surgery and missing the playoffs last season.
But he proved why Vegas was willing to pay a premium for him and why he's considered an elite center in this league.
FloridaHockeyNow: Sergei Bobrovsky is finally living up to his $10 million contract, leading the Florida Panthers into the Conference Finals.
SanJoseHockeyNow: Kings fans are going to see a lot of whoever the San Jose Sharks take at fourth overall in the future. Here's who the experts are predicting at number four.
WashingtonHockeyNow: We're keeping it draft-heavy today with another mock draft. This time looking at who the Washington Capitals might take at number eight.