Red Line Report, an independent international scouting service, is known in part for its edgy reviews on NHL draft prospects. The 2012 crop, which includes multiple players with ties to the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team, is no different.
The final edition of RLR before the entry draft, scheduled for June 22 and 23 in Pittsburgh, came this week and included some biting analysis.
Example: Jordan Schmaltz, a defenseman from Verona who has signed with North Dakota and is projected as a first-round pick at No. 23, is described as "pretty with the puck, pretty worthless without it.''
Example: Nic Kerdiles, a left winger and freshman-to-be at UW who is projected as a second-round pick at No. 47, is described as "looks like he should be a player, but may not be.''
In addition to Kerdiles, defenseman and sophomore-to-be Jake McCabe is ranked at No. 60, which is right on the fringe of the second round. "Definition of a steady, reliable defensive d-man,'' is RLR's thumbnail assessment on McCabe.
Other UW-related players in the ranking are winger Grant Besse, a commited recruit for 2012-13/13-14, is No. 139, and defenseman Tim Davison, a commited recruit projected for 2013-14, is No. 277.
RLR identified Besse as a player that would go higher than its ranking and put Kerdiles on a list of prospects with "$5 million skills/10 cent heads.''
Kerdiles, who led the U.S. National Team Developmental Program in scoring and had the rare distinction of winning two gold medals with Team USA in the under-18 world championships, is described as "Rip Van Winkle, slept through the season.''
Sounds harsh, but that's how Red Line rolls.