Stock Watch: Burmistrov, Watson rising

Updated: March 23, 2010, 2:50 PM ET
By Gare Joyce

Making a good first impression is important in most walks of life, but for NHL draft prospects, nothing matters more than a good last impression -- something that sticks in scouts' minds.

As the CHL playoffs get underway, talent evaluators want to see potential draftees contribute in these late-season situations. They want to see if prospects can handle pressure, deliver in the clutch and endure the grind of a long season. This separates good B-prospects from first- and second-rounders.

Also, a long playoff run increases the chances a scout will see a given prospect. It might not seem fair, since some very talented kids are stuck on teams that will go out in four straight. But that's the reality of the situation.

The Barrie Colts are the top-ranked CHL team and they seem like a mortal lock to go at least to the league finals. A trip to the Memorial Cup would be at least a coin flip for the Colts against the Western Conference representative -- likely the Windsor Spitfires. We'll first take a look at two prospects from this series.

Alexander Burmistrov, C, Barrie

Burmistrov, the No. 7 North American Skater on the NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings, is a player who stands to benefit from a deep Colts' run. Burmistrov had a pretty auspicious introduction to playoff hockey, impressing scouts with two goals and two assists against Sudbury Thursday night. It didn't even take him a whole period to make his mark.