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Draft Options: Defensemen | June

(With the Draft just a day away (excited aren't ya) let's look at the top three defensemen the Islanders could/should take with the fifth overall pick. And away we go........)

Erik Gudbranson: The 6-3, 195lbs Gudbranson began his OHL career with Kingston Frontenacs in the 08-09 season. During his rookie year he put up 3 goals, 19 assists and 22 points in 63 games finishing the season a -16. In his 09-10 season, Gudbranson tallied 2 goals, 21 assists and 23 points in 41 games and finishing the season a +11. During Kingston's playoff series Gudbranson put up 1 goal, 2 assists and 3 points before his team was knocked out in seven games. He Captained team Ontario during the U-17 championship and was a member of team Canada for the U-18 championships. Gudbranson was also named the OHL's Scholastic Player of the year this past season.

What the Scouts Say

E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting: "Gudbranson to me is a guaranteed long-term NHLer. In my opinion, Gudbranson is another Chris Pronger-type, what he brings that (Pronger) really didn't do much of, though, is he'll fight. He is some kind of tough. Chris Pronger is mean and will hit you; Gudbranson will hit you and fight you. Pronger is three inches taller than Gudbranson, so maybe Dion Phaneuf would be an even better comparison" (NHL.com)

Hockey's Future: "Gudbranson is a talented defender with enough of a mean streak to keep opponents on their toes. His game is a combination of skill, toughness and leadership that most teams desire in a defensive prospect."

Bob McKenzie: "No fewer than two scouts told TSN they now rate the Kingston Frontenacs' hard-rock defenceman ahead of Fowler. And he wasn't able to play in the CHL Prospects Game because of an enlarged spleen as a result of a bout of mononucleosis." (TSN.com)

Brandon Gormley: Gormley has spent the past two years with the Wildcats of Moncton in the QMJHL. Gormley Stands at 6-1 and 175lbs, smaller and lighter than the other two kids on this list. During his rookie season with Moncton, 08-09, Gormley put up 7 goals, 20 assists, 27 points and finished a +9 in 63 games. During Moncton's play off run that year he tallied another goal, 3 assists, and 4 points. He was named Moncton's rookie of the year in 08-09 as well. In 09-10, he scored 9 goals, 34 assists, 43 points and finished +31 in 58 games. As well as playing a key role in guiding Moncton to a QMJHL Championship, scoring 2 goals, 15 assists and 17 points. Gormley Played for TeamCanada at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and played for team Orr at the 2010 CHL Top prospect game. He was also the only 17 year old to attend the 2010 World Junior evaluation camp for team Canada.

What the Scouts Say

E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting: "He is what a lot of teams are going for, he's a good defenseman who can score and handle the puck, smart. Gormley has got the whole package. He's got a good shot from the point, an accurate shot, low and can be deflected." (NHL.com)

Hockey's Future: "Poised is the best way to describe this 18-year-old defenseman. Always making the safe play in his own zone to effortlessly break up chances and rarely making a poor decision when contributing offensively, Gormley's steady play is an integral part of Moncton's success. Though he is thought of as primarily a defense-first player, Gormley's ability to read the play makes him a key part of the Wildcats power play as well."

Bob McKenzie: "One scout surveyed has the Moncton Wildcats blueliner as the No. 1 defenceman, ahead of both Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson." (TSN.com)

Danny Flynn, Moncton Wildcats head coach: "He's got a laid-back personality. He's got the maturity of a 30 year old. Take away hockey -- he's just a rock-solid young man. He's got a number of great qualities. He's got really good size, he's 6-2, headed to 6-3, and starting to fill out. He's got outstanding hockey sense. He's got that poise, that innate ability to recognize when he has time and when he doesn't have time. ... He plays a Nick Lidstrom style of game, he's smart and skilled and poised with the puck. The type of game he plays is similar to his. As you watch him and see how efficient he is you grow to like his game." (NHL.com)

Cam Fowler: A native of North Ville, Michigan, Cam Fowler is an offensive defensemen who spent last OHL season competing along side OHL superstar Taylor Hall. During the 08-09 season, Fowler spent time competing with the U.S. NTDP U-18 team. He won a gold medal at the 2008 U-18 Four Nations Cup and led all defensemen in scoring. He earned another goal medal at the 2009 World Under-18 Championship in Fargo, North Dakota as a member of Team USA. He also earned a spot on the tournament all-star team and was named best defensemen. In his rookie season with Windsor, this past season, he scored 8 goals, 47 assists, 55 points and was a +38 in 55 games. During Windsor's playoff run, he added 3 goals, 11 assists and 14 points on the way to Windsor capturing the OHL Championship. Fowler also was a member of the gold medal winning team USA at this past World Juniors.

What the Scouts Say

E.J. McGuire, Director of NHL Central Scouting: "He's your prototypical offensive-defenseman. He's your (quarterback) on your (power-play), he's your great skating offensive-defenseman and he controls the puck with his skills. If you're looking for a comparison, think of Kaberle with the Maple Leafs. But in sticking with his country, maybe even a future Leetch or Housley." (NHL.com)

Hockey's Future: "Fowler is an offensively oriented defenseman in the mold of a Scott Niedermayer. He is an excellent skater and puck handler, and his instincts and hockey sense are as good as any defenseman in his draft class. Fowler isn't all offense, however, as his play in his own end is usually solid."

Bob McKenzie: "To no one's surprise, Hall's Windsor teammate is the consensus No. 3 on the TSN list, but his status as the top defenceman is being seriously challenged by Erik Gudbranson and Brandon Gormley."

Bob Boughner, Windsor Spitfires head coach: "Cam's vision, skating and passing are his greatest assets. He gets himself out of trouble with his feet and his mobility makes it very difficult for opposing players to get by him. Cam has good size and once he fills out, he will anchor an NHL club's back end for many years."