Analysis and Predictions for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

With the advent of the NHL salary cap after the 2004-05 lockout, it became paramount for all organisations to invest in their scouting operations and draft well.  Teams could no longer buy their way out of trouble or plug holes with expensive free agent talent.  Draft prediction has become a cottage industry for many hockey fans, but the wide variety is not created equal and few of those who provide their opinions will reflect on their subsequent accuracy.  It’s my purpose here to collate the best sources and provide insight into who will be selected in this year’s upcoming NHL entry draft.

Last year I wrote a series of articles for the now defunct Hockey Herald in preparation for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.  Using a variety of sources for comparative analysis, I was 26 for 30 in the first round (86%) and 152/210 (72%) for the entire draft (as detailed in “Assessing Draft Prognostication”).  What follows is a continuation of the same analysis.

My method is to take the sum of reliable sources and produce an aggregate number.  This gives me a broad overview of where players will be slotted.  I then engage in further comparative analysis—for instance, if player X has a higher aggregate score, but player Y is consistently ranked higher (ie, the higher median score), the latter is given the higher position.  Precise predictions (player X at pick #29) are almost impossible.  Last year the closest any of my sources came to exact positioning in the first round was TSN’s Bob McKenzie (6/30, or 20%)—there are simply too many variables to get that specific.  Instead, my aim is to assess which players will be selected in which round.

Determining my Sources of Data

While a wide variety of media and bloggers produce draft predictions (especially for the first round), not all are created equal.  My preference is the scouting community itself and those sources that they rely on.  For that purpose, The International Scouting Service (ISS), Kyle Woodlief’s Red Line Report (RLR), and Central Scouting (CS) are particularly weighty.  Central Scouting is the NHL’s scouting service, while ISS and RLR are independent scouting services used extensively within the NHL.  Another source, new to me, is Mark Edwards’ Hockey Prospect, which is also an independent scouting source whose audience is the public.

I always give TSN’s Bob McKenzie predictions a lot of weight.  His rankings serve as an excellent barometer for draft results.

Rounding out my sources are The Hockey News (THN) and hockey magazine Future Considerations (FC).  They provide extensive predictions and are put together by knowledgeable hockey people.  One of the reasons I use these final sources is because of inherent comparative problems with CS and ISS.  Central Scouting does not create a master list—players are divided into North American and European skaters, as well as being separated into goalie and skater categories.  This makes comparison virtually impossible, as there is no way to compare the #7 North American with the #7 European.  ISS is more inclusive, but also separates goalies into their own set of rankings.  Because of these drawbacks, loading up with additional data provides perspective.

Finally, it’s worth noting that there is a difference between assessing who the best player is versus who a team will draft.  Some publications give weight to the latter, while my sources do not.

Notes

Acronyms: ISS (International Scouting Service), CS (Central Scouting), RLR (Red Line Report), HP (Hockey Prospect), TSN (The Sports Network), THN (The Hockey News), and FC (Future Considerations).

Ranking depth: CS 392 (212 skaters and 30 goalies in North America along with 140 skaters and 10 goalies in Europe), RLR 312 (311 are listed, but there are two #246’s), ISS 220 (200 skaters and 20 goaltenders), HP 210, FC 200, THN 100, and TSN 60.

The analysis itself: the aggregate is the total score of the player divided by the number of sources ranking that player (this score does not include the CS ranking given the issues detailed above).  When I say a player beats another “head-to-head” I mean that when the scores are lined up against each other one has better overall rankings than the other even if the aggregate score goes the other way.

First Round

1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1.00) – the consensus #1 selection, appearing as such in every source
2. Adam Larsson (2.50)
3. Jonathan Huberdeau (3.33) – a near dead heat with Landeskog, but edges him out
4. Gabriel Landeskog (3.83)
5. Sean Couturier (5.17) – solidly in the #5 slot
6. Dougie Hamilton (9.00) – his score hurt by his HP ranking (21), he easily beats everyone else otherwise
7. Ryan Murphy (7.17) – just ahead of Strome in almost every source
8. Ryan Strome (7.67)
9. Mika Zibanejad (9.17) – a lot of variety in his placement, but he easily beats out those below him
10. Nathan Beaulieu (13.00) – the last player with multiple top-ten selections
11. Duncan Siemens (15.00) – hurt by his low (24) ranking from RLR, but otherwise beats his competition
12. Mark Scheifele (20.00) – hurt by THN’s ranking (41)
13. Mark McNeill (15.67)
14. Sven Bartschi (16.67) – a wide variety of opinion about him (8-27)
15. Joel Armia (17.00)
16. Oscar Klefbom (19.67) – has a higher threshold than Oleksiak and Brodin
17. Jamie Oleksiak (18.50) – hurt by his low (28) ranking from RLR
18. Jonas Brodin (18.83)
19. Brandon Saad (21.33)
20. Matt Puempel (21.83) – beats Biggs head-to-head
21. Tyler Biggs (22.83)
22. Rocco Grimaldi (22.17) – there’s a strong diversity of opinion about him
23. Nicklas Jensen (23.33)
24. Ty Rattie (24.83) – hurt by my magazine sources (FC and THN rank him at 33)
25. J. T. Miller (28.00) – a higher threshold than Morrow
26. Joe Morrow (27.17)
27. Alex Khokhlachev (28.67) – beats Phillips head-to-head
28. Zack Phillips (28.17) – his score boosted by THN (9)
29. Vladislav Namestnikov (29.67)
30. Tomas Jurco (31.50) – the last player with four first round selections

Honourable mention:
Boone Jenner (29.33) – boosted by his HP (12) ranking
David Musil (33.33) – not highly considered by HP (58) , but beats out John Gibson head-to-head
John Gibson (30.80) – the last player with three first round selections

Also receiving first round rankings:
Dmitrij Jaskin (32.50) – beats Mayfield head-to-head
Scott Mayfield (31.33) – his score boosted by HP (14)
Connor Murphy (37.67) – two first round rankings
Brett Ritchie (42.00) – a wide variety of opinion (25-59), but two first round selections
Rickard Rakell (39.20) – one first round ranking (THN)
Victor Rask (41.83) – one first round ranking (ISS)
Mario Lucia (43.67) – one first round ranking (THN)
Stuart Percy (47.17) – mostly slotted as a mid-second rounder, HP likes him (19)
Christopher Gibson (50.00) – one first round ranking (THN)
Ryan Sproul (53.40) – boosted by HP (28)

Second Round

Note: Montreal receives a compensatory pick in this round (for being unable to sign 2006 first round pick David Fischer), making it 31 picks long.

31. B. Jenner (29.33) – boosted by his HP (12) ranking
32. D. Musil (33.33) – not highly considered by HP (58), but beats out John Gibson
33. John Gibson (30.80) – the last player with three first round selections
34. D. Jaskin (32.50) – beats Mayfield head-to-head
35. S. Mayfield (31.33) – his score boosted by HP (14)
36. C. Murphy (37.67)
37. B. Ritchie (42.00) – a wide variety of opinion (25-59), but he’s the last player with two first round selections
38. R. Rakell (39.20) – one first round ranking (THN)
39. S. Noesen (39.67)
40. V. Rask (41.83) – a dead heat with Catenacci, but he does have one first round ranking (ISS)
41. D. Catenacci (41.83)
42. M. Lucia (43.67) – a dead heat with Clendening, but he has one first round ranking (THN)
43. A. Clendening (46.67)
44. P. Danault (46.83)
45. S. Percy (47.17) – mostly slotted as a mid-second rounder, HP likes him (19)
46. C. Gibson (50.00) – beats Nieto head-to-head and has one first round selection (THN)
47. M. Nieto (49.00)
48. L. Lessio (50.00)
49. S. Prince (51.00) – a wide variety of opinion on Prince (31-72), who could slip to the third round
50. R. Sproul (53.40) – boosted by HP (28), despite differing opinions he’s the last player receiving a first round selection
51. N. Shore (52.40)
52. C. Jacobs (53.60)
53. S. Ambroz (55.40)
54. G. Hofmann (56.50) – his score suffers from ISS’ low opinion of him (85)
55. J. Edmundson (57.80) – suffers from RLR’s low opinion (86)
56. V. Trochek (59.00) – has four placements in the second round versus St. Croix’s two
57. M. St. Croix (56.60)
58. X. Ouellet (67.83) – his score is thrown by RLR’s rating (112)
59. S. Perhonen (59.20) – widely divergent opinions on the Finnish netminder (42-88)
60. M. Salomaki (69.50) – easily wins head-to-head comparisons with those who follow
61. R. Russo (63.20) – his three second round selections push him ahead of higher aggregate scores Ewanyk and Lowry

Honourable mention (players with three second round selections):
N. Kucherov  (70.17)
D. Honzik (74.50)
J. Binnington (81.75)

 Third Round

Notes: New Jersey loses its third round pick due to the Ilya Kovalchuk deal, making the round 29 picks long.  Three of Bob McKenzie’s final four top-60 selections remain in this round (the first three listed).

62. N. Kucherov (70.17) – wins the head-to-head battle with the other triple-selected second rounders
63. D. Honzik (74.50) – hurt by his FC ranking (134)
64. J. Binnington (81.75) – three second round selections
65. R. Boucher (65.60) – edges out Ewanyk and Lowry head-to-head
66. T. Ewanyk (60.25)
67. A. Lowry (63.00)
68. J. Labate (69.75)
69. T. Rieder (70.20)
70. A. Quine (72.60)
71. T. Wotherspoon (73.40)
72. M. Mersch (74.00)
73. R. Scarlett (76.80) – beats Hudon head-to-head
74. P. Hudon (76.80)
75. K. Kessy (79.80) – beats Bengtsson head-to-head
76. R. Bengtsson (77.40)
77. J. Nermark (80.80) – beats Noebels head-to-head
78. M. Noebels (80.75)
79. N. Cousins (73.00) – his score boosted by HP’s ranking (33)
80. M. Bell (93.00) – his score is thrown by ISS’ ranking (195)
81. M. Paliotta (85.20) – beats Pedan head-to-head
82. A. Pedan (85.00)
83. S. Harrington (87.80)
84. P. Koudys (88.25) – not ranked by RLR
85. M. McKee (89.00) – scores all over the place (40-158)
86. M. Friberg (116.80) – low scores from RLR (178) and HP (195) throw his numbers
87. J. Boyce-Rotevall (101.00) – his RLR ranking (168) throws his score
88. A. Brassard (93.00) – beats Lowe head-to-head
89. K. Lowe (93.00)
90. M. Shalunov (108.80) – a wide variety of opinion (81-176)

Honourable Mention:
M. Granlund (98.20) – the only remaining player with three third (or lower) selections
M. Hellberg (81.50) – hurt by his fourth round ISS assessment

 Fourth Round

91. M. Granlund (98.20) – the only remaining player with three third (or lower) selections
92. M. Hellberg (81.50) – hurt by his fourth round ISS assessment
93. Z. Arzamastsev (97.80) – hurt by his FC ranking (146), he beats McColgan head-to-head
94. S. McColgan (97.00)
95. L. Shaw (92.00) – his score benefits from HP’s high assessment (62)
96. W. Karlsson (103.00) – hurt by his RLR ranking (151)
97. M. Tvrdon (103.67) – hurt by his ISS score (156)
98. S. Fogarty (74.50) – only ranked by two sources (RLR and FC)
99. Z. Larraza (101.00) – hurt by FC’s ranking (153)
100. O. Archambault (111.40) – heavily disliked by RLR (212)
101. D. Pribyl (96.50) – only ranked by two sources (RLR and FC)
102. Z. Yuen (103.75)
103. A. Fritsch (127.20) – hurt by his RLR ranking (220)
104. J. Cramarossa (106.25)
105. P. Placek (102.50) – only ranked by two sources (RLR and ISS)
106. M. Everson (107.75) – beats Leivo head-to-head
107. J. Leivo (106.67)
108. M. Machovsky (108.50)
109. D. Simpson (113.00) – beats those with better scores head-to-head
110. A. Zlobin (112.33) – beats Sullivan head-to-head
111. C. Sullivan (113.50) – beats Killian head-to-head
112. M. Killian (110.67) – boosted by his FC ranking (78)
113. J. Sefton (117.00) – huge variety of opinion, with two ranking him in the third round (ISS and THN) and two in the fifth (FC) or sixth round (RLR)
114. V. Arvidsson (131.00) – hurt by his FC ranking (171)
115. F. Simonelli (114.67)
116. J. Pageau (118.20) – a wide variety of opinion on him (61-176)
117. R. Tesink (117.50) – hurt by his RLR ranking (156)
118. J. Sundstrom (124.00) – either a third round pick (ISS and THN) or a sixth (FC) or seventh (RLR)
119. S. Kuraly (132.50) – the final player with two third round selections (ISS and HP), he suffers from his RLR ranking (264)
120. T. Vance (100.00) – only ranked by two of my aggregate sources (RLR and FC), but drops because of CS’ low rating (149NA)

Honourable Mention:
V. Berglind (117.50) – enjoys a high CS ranking (22E)
A. Marchenko (117.33) – slips behind Berglind because of his lower CS ranking (25E)
A. Reid (127.00) – suffers from his FC ranking (179)
J. Vesey (115.50) – only ranked by two aggregate sources (RLR and RC), but has a low CS rating (150 CSNA)
B. Serville (142.20) – suffers from his RLR ranking (252), he is the last on Bob McKenzie’s top-60 list

Fifth Round

121. V. Berglind (117.50) – enjoys a high CS ranking (22E)
122. A. Marchenko (117.33) – slips behind Berglind because of his lower CS ranking (25E)
123. A. Reid (127.00) – suffers from his FC ranking (179)
124. J. Vesey (115.50) – ranked by two aggregate sources (RLR and RC), he has a poor CS rating (150 CSNA)
125. B. Serville (142.20) – suffers from his RLR ranking (252), he is the last on Bob McKenzie’s top-60 list
126. N. Nesterov (120.00) – beats his competition head-to-head
127. G. Meurs (119.25) – beats Kichton and Franko head-to-head
128. B. Kichton (118.67)
129. C. St. Clair (138.00) – a wide variety of opinion, with some seeing him as a third rounder (ISS and THN) and others seeing him as a sixth (RLR and FC) or seventh (HP) rounder
130. Z. Franko (119.00)
131. B. Benson (126.25)
132. J. Racine (137.50) – another player with a wide variety of rankings, with ISS and HP placing him in the third round, but FC has him in the sixth and RLR the seventh
133. D. Broll (135.20) – hurt by his HP ranking (196)
134. K. Johansson (130.50) – very highly regarded by CS (15E)
135. M. McNeely (128.67) – hurt by his RLR ranking (164)
136. M. Curtis (129.67) – hurt by his HP ranking (162)
137. M. Mahalak (134.00) – a wide variety of opinion on him (94-182)
138. D. Straight (134.25) – beats Griffith head-to-head
139. S. Griffith (130.00)
140. K. Dahlbeck (136.50) – enjoys a high CS ranking (23E)
141. L. Lockhart (138.25) – a great diversity of opinion on him, with two third-round selections (ISS and HP)
142. H. Ruopp (122.50) – only ranked by two sources (ISS and HP)
143. S. Salminen (123.00) – only ranked by two sources (RLR and ISS)
144. E. Wittchow (130.00) – only two sources, RLR is very high on him (80)
145. R. O’Gara (135.00) – only two sources, RLR is very high on him (73)
146. J. Forsberg (139.60) – beats Smith head-to-head
147. C. Smith (139.00)
148. F. Claesson (142.00) – highly ranked by CS (27E)
149. M. Le Sieur (149.33) – hurt by his RLR ranking (221)
150. A. Sergeev (147.00) – the last player appearing in five sources

Honourable Mention:
M. Morrison (159.00) – a wide variety of opinion on him, with ISS and FC seeing him as a second-rounder, but RLR and HP in the sixth
K. Komarek (147.33) – hurt by his RLR ranking (185)
A. Ruuttu (106.00) – highly regarded by CS (16E), but only ranked by ISS
J. Dirk (101.00) – only ranked by RLR
M. Peca (130.00) – only ranked by two sources

 Sixth Round

151. M. Morrison (159.00) – a wide variety of rankings, with ISS and FC seeing him as a second-rounder, but RLR and HP in the sixth
152. K. Komarek (147.33) – hurt by his RLR ranking (185)
153. A. Ruuttu (106.00) – highly regarded by CS (16E), but only ranked by ISS
154. J. Dirk    (101.00) – only ranked by RLR
155. M. Peca (130.00) – only ranked by two sources
156. A. Yarullin (153.75) – diverse rankings, but he is the last player with two third-round rankings (ISS and THN)
157. M. Reilly (142.75) – one of the last players with a third-round ranking (FC), he beats Galansky head-to-head
158. T. Galansky (141.00)
159. A. Welinski (149.00) – suffers from a poor RLR ranking (229)
160. G. Cloutier (159.50) – the last player with a third-round ranking (THN)
161. S. Soberg (143.00)
162. P. Ceresnak (154.33) – hurt by his RLR ranking (188)
163. M. Backman (164.00) – hurt by his RLR ranking (219)
164. A. Czarnik (143.50)
165. S. Dyk (144.00)
166. L. Froberg (144.00) – highly regarded by CS (13E)
167. J. F. Leblanc (144.00)
168. B. Pietila (146.75) – beats Veilleux via his higher CS ranking (105NA)
169. Y. Veilleux (146.75)
170. S. Grist (149.00)
171. A. Wuthrich (149.67) – beats Houser head-to-head
172. M. Houser (147.00)
173. J. Jokipakka (152.50) – highly regarded by CS (38E)
174. M. Elliot (156.00) – hurt by his FC ranking (196)
175. D. Willick (156.33) – beats Dietz head-to-head
176. D. Dietz (153.00) – beats Trutmann head-to head
177. D. Trutmann (152.00)
178. B. Andrews (160.00) – hurt by his RLR ranking (208)
179. C. Wyszomirski (160.33) – hurt by his HP ranking (202)
180. G. Bjorklund (164.00) – hurt by his FC ranking (194)

Honourable Mention:
T. J. Tynan (155.67) – highly regarded by RLR (102)
C. Duininck (160.50) – hurt by his RLR ranking (192)
M. Topping (159.00)
T. Boyd (160.00)

 Seventh Round

Note: at this point all of TSN and THN’s selections are gone.  I give increasing importance to the higher end ISS, RLR, and CS sources (along with multiple selections).

181. T. J. Tynan (155.67) – highly regarded by RLR (102)
182. C. Duininck (160.50) – hurt by his RLR ranking (192)
183. M. Topping (159.00)
184. T. Boyd (160.00)
185. B. Goodrow (161.00)
186. H. Auvinen (165.67) – hurt by his RLR ranking (184)
187. T. Hyka (161.50) – hurt by his RLR ranking (196)
188. T. Fiddler (160.50)
189. C. Suellentrop (162.00)
190. L. Liston (167.00) – beats Williams head-to-head
191. J. Williams (165.00)
192. J. Mustonen (167.50) – hurt by his RLR ranking (203)
193. K. Cutting (168.00) – highly regarded by CS (87NA)
194. M. Gernat (165.00)
195. P. Noren (168.50) – highly regarded by CS (45E)
196. S. Noreau (167.50)
197. S. Michalek (175.00) – hurt by his RLR ranking (211)
198. A. Blomqvist (182.33) – hurt by his RLR ranking (272)
199. D. Wruck (177.75) – highly regarded by CS (99NA)
200. A. Camara (178.00) – opinions about him are divided, with ISS seeing him as a fifth rounder
201. B. Thomson (169.00)
202. J. Pavelka (212.00) – hurt by his RLR ranking (274)
203. D. Kukan (227.00) – highly regarded by CS (36E)
204. S. Windle (204.00)
205. G. Bourret (206.00) – the last player on all five remaining lists
206. S. Oke (183.67) – highly regarded by CS (44NA)
207. D. Donnelly (175.33) – little regarded by ISS (199)
208. K. Rau (183.67) – highly regarded by FC (138)
209. L. Sedlak (191.00) – a solid ranking from CS (57E)
210. L. Brossoit (195.00) – seen as a fourth-rounder by ISS

Honourable Mention:
P. Netterberg (98.00) – RLR is a fan, but he is otherwise unranked (CS gives him a 123E)
E. Palenga (114.00) – RLR is a fan, but he is otherwise unranked
S. Guerra (134.00) – an ISS pick (CS gives him a 41E)
S. Shmelev (152.00) – CS is a fan (28E), but ISS is the only other source that ranks him
L. Hultstrom (158.00) – an RLR pick (CS gives him a 78E)
D. DeMelo (169.00) – highly regarded by HP (114)
N. Lieuwen (170.33) – HP see’s him as a fourth rounder (117)
T. Pavelka (184.50) – a decent ranking by ISS (160), he’s otherwise little regarded
A. Pettersson (185.00) – ranked highly by CS (29E), but ISS is the only other source that ranks him
J. Gaudreau (185.00) – not enough rankings or a high enough threshold to make it in
M. Pereira (190.00) – a fifth-rounder in HP eyes (128)
H. Liedes (194.50) – ranked highly by ISS (128), he’s otherwise little regarded
B. Conz (196.00) – the fourth ranked European goalie from CS
A. Bertaggia (198.00) – ranked highly by CS (30E), but RLR is the only other source that ranks him
J. Nielsen (198.50) – highly regarded by ISS (104)

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2 Comments

  1. It looks like a lot of work. Good luck in your predictions.

  2. [...] talent Tomáš Jurčo. Podrobný tip na kompletní pořadí draftu najdete např. na blogu Eye on the Sens Tip Hokejového týdne na výsledek draftu pro české [...]


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