Congrats to Richard Nedomlel as he has joined fellow Broncos 1993 born prospects Reece Scarlett and Adam Lowry on Central Scouting’s final NHL Draft Rankings for North American skaters. Scarlett and Lowry have been a part of all of these lists so far while this is the first time to my knowledge that Nedomlel has found himself ranked. While 205th is near the bottom of the list, it still shows his stock is rising.
I know a lot of scouts were high on his tools and curious about how he would develop. He’s 6’4, 202lbs, strong as an ox, mean, confident and shows signs of really developing a complete game. He went from showing very little offensively early on to manning the point on the top power play unit in the final month of the season. The results for Nedomlel were immediate as he put up 5 of his 10 points on the season in the final month.
I know there was a period during the season before and after Christmas where the big Czech struggled to find his game a little. I think there was a transition for him from the runaway train he was early to improving his decision-making and knowing the right time to get physical. He also wasn’t used to playing nearly as much as he did this season. Once he got through that valley though he really came into his own.
Nedomlel clearly played his best hockey in the last two months of the year and was rewarded by the coaching staff with a ton of ice time. He still played hard and physical, but he wasn’t taking unnecessary chances that left his team to deal with an odd man rush.
As I mentioned before, Nedomlel plays with a mean streak. He had to leave Europe because his style was just too aggressive over there. Even though he’d never fought before he embraced the idea in his handful of opportunities this past season. He talks a good game but is also willing to back it up. That kind of “on the edge” attitude is a terrific thing to have for a big defenceman as long as they know the right time and place.
You can’t teach mean and you can’t teach size. Nedomlel has both of those things and other physical tools that makes him a potential steal in the late rounds of the draft. He is still a raw talent, but how many players in the 5th-7th rounds have his upside? I think someone has got to be thinking of taking a very logical flyer on him.
As for Scarlett and Lowry… well you know the deal here. I’ve talked about each guy extensively as these rankings come out at different times throughout the season. It just so happens that now they’re actually ranked right next to one another. Scarlett comes in at 58th while Lowry is 59th. That’s a 7 spot drop for Scarlett and a 4 spot increase for Lowry.
It’s not really a surprise to see Scarlett drop slightly. I’m not saying he deserves to, but as the minuses piled up in the 2nd half of the year that has an impact on some people’s view of him. Fair? I would say not. As I said when I talked about Scarlett getting named to the U18 team I think Scarlett was put in a no-win situation and delivered admirable play considering. How many 17-year-old d-men are asked to be the #1 guy on a struggling team without high-ranking veteran to take some of that pressure off? As the team bled goals Scarlett’s +/- were bound to take a hit because he was on the ice half the game!
I’d instead say that this was a really positive year for him in a lot of ways. He got a ton of experience for a player his age. He was put in situations almost no 17 year is going to be put in and will come out a better player for it. He also took his point production up significantly despite the Broncos taking a couple of steps back offensively. I guarantee you he’d be ranked higher if he was surrounded by veteran guys like Elliot and Zahn, but I think he is a better player for what he has experienced in this trial by fire with the Broncos.
Lowry goes up slightly in the rankings as he took his offensive game up a couple of notches in the second half of the season. He showed on nights like when he scored all three Bronco goals in a win over Calgary that he can take over games. He’s dominant down low and his long reach gives him a great edge around the goal. Lowry is another guy who would be ranked higher under different circumstances. For him it was more about starting the season with mono and missing out on a lot of training camp. It took him longer to get going and get as strong as he needed to be. He gained 2 inches in height in the off-season but couldn’t catch up to it with muscle at first due to the mono weakening him at a key time.
He’s a guy that is built for the NHL game and certainly has the bloodline. I think we’ll see a whole lot more out of Lowry, Scarlett and Nedomlel. They are going to be huge pieces of the puzzle for Swift Current as they continue a transition next season. That’s the core of 93s which is their strength right now. Add the likes of Graham Black, Tanner Muth and Graeme Craig and that’s a pretty strong age group for the team to build around.
Will any of the others get a look on draft day? They’re not on the rankings but I could see it. Craig again has that size you can’t teach and he made some good steps in the last couple of months. Muth plays a good all-around game and certainly had some scouts talking. It’s too bad injury really broke up his season. Black played midget last year so I would think he’ll has to prove himself at the junior level before the NHL interest comes.
Where will Lowry, Scarlett and Nedomlel get picked? It’s impossible to say for sure. 57th and 58th among North American skaters would indicate that we’re looking at a 3rd or 4th round selection for Lowry and Scarlett. Nedomlel’s ranking would put him on the bubble so he’d be a late round selection if at all. It’d be a mistake if someone didn’t grab him.
Congrats to all three Broncos for deservingly making the list.
There are some other news tidbits to get to but I’m pretty busy with flood coverage as it stands right now. I’ll have more later tonight hopefully.
In case you didn’t know Swift Current is dealing with some rising water levels and the possibility of significant flooding. It has already started. Follow our coverage on the radio and at Swift Current Online.
Here is how things looked this morning and it is only getting worse…
Thanks to everyone who is putting in countless hours to protect the city. You all deserve special recognition for that.