How far will the Rangers get this season?

Possible First Round Pick: Tomas Jurco

Tomas Jurco (Via

Tomas Jurco (Via

The Rangers currently have five defensemen under the age of 28 on their roster and two more top prospects on the way, so it’s very likely New York will be looking to add some offensive firepower with its first-round pick, No. 15 overall in the NHL Draft.

Between now and June 24th, we’ll take a look at some of the forwards that the Rangers might be thinking about taking on draft day.  Today, we look at… 

Tomas Jurco

HT: 6-2

WT: 193

Pos: RW

Shoots: L

Birthday: 12/28/92

Team: Saint John, QMJHL

2009-2010 stats: 26g, 25a, 64gp, 24PIM, +34

2010-2011 stats: 31g, 25a, 60gp, 17PIM, +46

2010-2011 playoffs: 6g, 12a, 19gp, 8PIM profile > 



The Hockey News: 28

CSS: 20 Midterm Rank: 24


TSN: 29 Midterm Rank: 36 

TSN (Craig Button): 20

The Scouting Report: 38 Midterm Rank: 24 

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: 35

Corey Pronman: 35

ESPN: 16


Highlight Reel > 


What They’re Saying:

THN – “When it comes to junior kids on YouTube, it was the Year of Jurco.  The Slovakian-born winger dazzled at the CHL top prospects skills competition with fancy stickwork that quickly went viral, though goalies in the Quebec League found all year long he’s just as deadly during regular game play.  As a member of the high-powered Sea Dogs, Jurco had plenty of talent surrounding him, but still managed to carve out a niche in the draft class.  ‘Unbelievable hands and great moves,’ said one scout.  ‘You don’t always see him, but then he has two goals and two assists at the end of the game.  Top-end player, all-around.’  Another scout thought Jurco looked heavy, but acknowledged that the sniper still manages to get around in quick order.  The sophomore was prone to offensive dry spells, but always rebounded with spectacular runs of points and that carried over into the post-season.”

The Scouting Report – "Jurco is relatively comparable to Oshawa Generals forward Nicklas Jensen, in that he has that rare game-breaking ability that is extremely rare amongst prospects. He’s a player that can absolutely fly and has all the dynamic puck moves you would want to accompany that level of speed. He’s a fairly good finisher, although he could probably stand to take opportunity on more of his chances, but the talent is there. Jurco’s issue has been finding consistency, however, as he can go through spells where he can’t generate much of anything on the scoreboard. He might remind you a lot of Michael Grabner, and maybe an NHL team will step up in round one hoping that Jurco can eventually find that type of success in the NHL as a game-breaker."

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch –"If scoring goals is all about the feet and hands, then there is no denying that this Slovak is right up near the head of the class. His puckhandling skills border on the obscene. If there was some kind of unearthly substance that had a magnetic effect on rubber, we'd think that Jurco was the one who discovered it. He can dangle with the absolute best of them and scored a vintage breakaway goal early in game 1 of the Memorial Cup against Mississauga when he broke in alone on J.P. Andersonand buried it after some dazzling moves. He has a quick burst and some deceptive speed with the agility to turn defenders and make opponents look silly. In the open ice, he's absolutely deadly- a quick fake and flick of the stick and he's effortlessly around those who don't take the proper angle or maintain an effective gap. Now for the bad news: Jurco's defensive game is subpar and his compete levels uneven. He scored 31 goals on a stacked team, but was streaky with long stretches of unproductive play. On the right team, you're looking at a guy who can kill the opposition with a timely goal. However, without a creative and talented supporting cast, Jurco will be forced to try and do too much. He's skilled, but seems to lack that element of sense and simplification that leads to him getting too cute instead of making the high percentage plays. Medium risk player but high reward if he can raise the consistency. He's going to go higher than where we have him because of the sick hands and upside."

Corey Pronman - "Tomas Jurco is one of the most skilled puck-handlers in the 2011 draft class with well above-average puck skills. He is a very coordinated player who shows refined technique and impressive hand-eye coordination. Jurco is a very hard player to check one-on-one as aside from the flash he shows with the puck, he shields it well and once the defender commits one way to try and go after the puck, he has the agility to slide out and into open ice and he has the balance to handle physical contact. His speed is average but there are times when it seems below that level. There doesn't seem to be anything mechanically wrong with his stride and because of how well he turns and eludes checkers it doesn't seem to be a liability for him. Jurco has the ability to be an above-average goal scorer in regards to his shot and finishing ability, but he needs to find ways to get more opportunities in the high percentage areas. His effort level is wavering as he shows good effort on the forecheck and when he has the puck, but outside of the offensive blue line he looks disinterested. Jurco has a top half first round skill set in some aspects, but the hockey sense and drive need to take a few steps forward before his prospect stock can get to the next level." – “’He does different things at practice,’ Gallant said. ‘Some guys would view it as being cocky, but Tomas does it because he wants to score a goal doing it. I just tell him to do what he feels comfortable doing. We're not here to show up anybody, but if that's the move you think you could score a goal with, do it. He's done pretty well in shootouts … he has stick handling and eye coordination to make those great plays.’” 

ESPN – “The top prospect in the Minnesota high-school ranks. Shares the puck with linemates, although he’ll look to use a strong wrist shot. Good work along the boards and in dirty areas of ice. An August 1993 birthday, so he's practically a year behind most of the players on the board, but size is not an issue. And given his age, he's probably still growing.”

Jess Rubenstein – “One of the Fab 4 (Saint John players expected to go in the first).  If you look at Glen Sather’s track record you will find he never uses a 1st on a player from the QMJHL. Jurco is a Slovak kid who has size, but scary as it sounds but I am with Sather on using 1st-round picks on Q players.”


Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – 18 

Mike Morreale, – N/A 

Steven Hoffner, – 13

Deven Persaud, - 28 – N/A 

Gary Joyce, ESPN – 21 

Mark Seidel, CBC – N/A 

Hockey's Future - 30

The Hockey News - 28


Thoughts: Jurco’s highlight reel goals and incredible hands are tantalizinog, but remember that Wojtek Wolski is quite the YouTube star in his own right.  The ability to puckhandle is a tremendous asset, but it does not make a player on its own.  Jurco has gone through slumps in the QMJHL, which isn’t a great sign.  His skill-set is rare, and there’s a chance that he could turn into a superstar, but Jurco could also be a huge bust.  Jurco is frequently described as one-dimensional and little mention is made of his defensive responsibility.  His work ethic has been called into question at times, so there are certainly caution signs here.

This is a classic boom or bust pick.  The Rangers desperately need to unearth some elite talent, but using a first-round pick on Jurco could be a giant risk.

As Jess Rubenstein points out, the Rangers haven’t taken a QMJHL player in the first round under Sather, and the organization hasn’t taken a “Q” player in the first since 1977.


Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >

Spotlight On Brandon Dubinsky >

Spotlight On Marc Staal >

Spotlight On Steve Eminger >

Spotlight On Henrik Lundqvist >

Spotlight On Wojtek Wolski >

Spotlight On Sean Avery >

Spotlight On Dan Girardi >

Spotlight On Erik Christensen >

Spotlight On Ryan McDonagh >


Possible First Round Pick:

Zack Phillips >

Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >

Mika Zibanejad > 

Mark McNeill >

Brandon Saad >

Joel Armia >

Nicklas Jensen >

Alexander Khokhlachev >

Tyler Biggs >

Matt Puempel >

Rickard Rakell >

Mario Lucia >

Tomas Jurco >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | May 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm

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