NHL Draft Success (2005-08)

There have been a few articles reviewing draft accuracy over the years (like TSN’s Scott Cullen‘s awhile back) and as engaging as they are I’ve always had problems with the way they are constructed. Examinations of the draft that cover a long period of time fail to account for the changes in the league and the draft itself, so the comparisons just don’t work. When articles cover more recent drafts (Hockey Futures does them at five-year intervals) they are forced to make judgement calls on players whose futures are yet to be defined (for example, Colin Greening hadn’t started his pro career by that time; Carl Soderberg didn’t until he was 27). All this preamble is to make two key points: 1) the attitude and approach to the NHL draft changed seismically after the 2004-05 lockout (due to the cap), 2) the typical make-or-break moment for a draft pick varies considerably.  On top of that, the raw overview I’m about to give is simply a window into the study, since I can’t account for management changes or know how much money/emphasis is being allocated on scouting by each team, nor am I comparing the quality of those players beyond being useful at the NHL level.  What follows is a very broad examination of levels of success within the draft.  I’ve cut off at 2008 because even the ’09 draft class still hasn’t completed their cycle of development (even ’08 has a certain level of ambiguity).  All of this presupposes the importance of the draft, something that could not be assumed at certain points in NHL history.

My framework: what is a successful pick?  Any skater who has played 200+ NHL games (along with some judgement calls, particularly when it comes to goaltenders).  With that many games the player has managed at least two and a half seasons of NHL work and that’s a solid return on the investment.

2005 (here)

First Round
17 players have played 200+ games (I’m including Tuukka Rask), including 8 of the top-10 (Luc Bourdon tragically died and is the only exception).  Only 3 players never suited up in the NHL (Marek Zagrapan #13, Sasha Pokulok #14, and Alex Bourret #16); 6 other players (excluding Bourdon) played less than a full season, leaving 4 other players as middling returns with only Jack Skille (#7) likely to crest the 200 game barrier.
Second Round
8 players hit 200+ games (the best are James Neal #33 and Paul Statsny ##44), with 12 never suiting up and another 8 having yet to play a full season’s worth of games.  There are no players who seem likely to break that 200 barrier.
Third Round
4 players hit the mark (the best are Kris Letang #62 and Jonathan Quick #72); 12 never played, with another 10 not getting a full season’s worth.  Two players (Mark Fraser #84 and Ben Bishop #85) could break the 200 mark.
Fourth Round
6 players have reached the plateau (the best is Keith Yandle #105); 17 never played, with another 10 short a season; no one else will reach the barrier.
Fifth Round
4 players hit the mark (the best are Darren Helm #132 and Nathan Gerbe #142); 24 never played, with another 6 not reaching a full season; Ryan Reaves (#156) will make it 5 players next season.
Sixth Round
Only Matt D’Agostini qualifies, with Tim Kennedy having a slight chance to join him; 24 players never played with another 6 failing to get a full season.
Seventh Round
4 players reached the plateau (all serviceable players); 26 players never played, with another 4 not reaching a full season; Joe Vitale (#195) could hit 200 games.

Here’s the success by team (I’ve included those players destined to break the plateau):
4 – Columbus, Montreal
3 – Detroit, Dallas
2 – Pittsburgh, San Jose, Ottawa, Los Angeles, New York Rangers, Phoenix, Toronto, St. Louis, Nashville, Buffalo, Chicago
1 – Anaheim, Carolina, Minnesota, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Atlanta/Winnipeg, Colorado, Vancouver, Boston, New Jersey
0 – Washington, New York Islanders, Florida, Calgary, Tampa Bay

2006 (here)

First Round
19 players hit the plateau, including all of the top-ten picks; again 3 players did not suit up for an NHL game (Mark Mitera #19, David Fischer #20, and Dennis Persson #24), and 7 players did not play a full season; only Jonathan Bernier (#11) will achieve “success” status by my metric.
Second Round
9 players (I’m including Michal Neuvirth) hit the mark; 14 players never played, with another 6 never have played a full season’s worth of games.
Third Round
Only 3 players reached the plateau (Steve Mason #69, Brad Marchand #71, and Cal Clutterbuck #72); 16 never played, with another 5 not having hit a full season; it’s possible another player might hit the mark, but none are assured of it.
Fourth Round
Just 1 player (Matt Beleskey #112) meets the criteria, although I’ll include James Reimer (#99); 22 players never played, 6 others falling short of a season.
Fifth Round
No player has hit or will hit the 200 game-mark (or even 100); 23 never played.
Sixth Round
3 players hit the mark (Andrew MacDonald #160, Viktor Stalberg #161, and Mathieu Perreault #177); 23 prospects never played, with another 4 not getting a season’s worth of games.
Seventh Round
2 players qualify (Derek Dorsett #189 and Erik Condra #211); 24 players never played with another 4 not getting a season’s worth.

Here’s the success by team (I’ve included those players destined to break the plateau):
4 – Washington, Toronto
3 – Boston, Columbus
2 – St. Louis, New York Islanders, Minnesota, Ottawa, Los Angeles
1 – Pittsburgh, Chicago, Phoenix, Florida, Atlanta/Winnipeg, Vancouver, Colorado, Philadelphia, San Jose, Edmonton, Detroit, New York Rangers, Buffalo, Carolina, Anaheim
0 – Tampa Bay, Montreal, Calgary, New Jersey, Dallas, Nashville

2007 (here)
First Round
15 players hit the mark, including 8 of the top-ten; 5 picks never played a game (Alexei Cherepanov #17 died; Logan MacMillan #19, Angelo Esposito #20, Patrick White #25, and Nick Ross #30), with another 4 playing less than a full season; 4 players seem likely to reach the plateau (Tomas Hickey, Ian Cole, Riley Nash, and Brendan Smith).
Second Round
4 players have reached the plateau; 15 never played a game, with 9 more short a full-season.
Third Round
No player has reached 200 games yet, although 3 players have a good shot at it (Drayson Bowman #72, Yannick Weber #73, and Alex Killorn #77); 16 players never suited up, while 8 have yet to achieve a full-season.
Fourth Round
2 players qualify (Alec Martinez #95 and Matt Halischuk #117); 16 never played, with another 8 not achieving a full-season’s worth of games; Dwight King (#109) and Keith Aulie (#116) should join the other two after next season.
Fifth Round
1 player (Jamie Benn #159) reaches the mark; 23 have never played, while 5 have fewer than a season’s worth of games; Jake Muzzin (#141) seems likely to also hit 200 games.
Sixth Round
No one qualifies, although both Carl Hagelin (#168) and Nick Bonino (#173) will get there; 18 prospects never played, while 8 haven’t reached a season’s worth of games.
Seventh Round
2 players (Carl Gunnarsson #194 and Justin Braun #201) reached the mark; 25 have never played with another 2 not reaching a season’s worth of games.

Here’s the success by team (I’ve included those players destined to break the plateau):
4 – Los Angeles, Montreal
3 – San Jose, St. Louis
2 – Edmonton, Carolina, Colorado
1 – Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington, Columbus, Florida, Detroit, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Calgary, New Jersey, Dallas, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, Toronto
0 – Ottawa, Boston, Anaheim, Vancouver, Buffalo, Atlanta/Winnipeg, New York Islanders, Minnesota

2008 (here)
First Round
16 players have reached 200 games, including 9 of the top-ten; four prospects never played (Kyle Beach #11, Chet Pickard ##18, Anton Gustafsson #21, and Daultan Leveille #29), with another 6 having less than a season’s worth of games; Jake Gardiner (#17) will join the 200 club next season.
Second Round
2 players (Derek Stepan #51 and Travis Hamonic #53) have reached the plateau, with Vyacheslav Voinov (#32), Roman Josi (#38), Justin Schultz (#43), and Marco Scandella (#55) locks to join them (Patrick Wiercioch #42 should as well); 8 players have never suited up, with another 13 short of a full-season.
Third Round
Again 2 players (Zack Smith #79 and I’m including Adam Henrique #82); 19 prospects never made it, with another 6 short of a full season.
Fourth Round
No one has reached 200 games, although Dale Weise (#111), T. J. Brodie (#114), and Gustav Nyquist (#121) should get there and I’d count Braden Holtby (#93); 16 players never suited up, with another 9 falling short of a full season’s worth of games.
Fifth Round
Only Matt Martin (#148) has hit the mark, although Andrei Loktionov (#123) and Matt Calvert (#127) should join him; 18 prospects never played, with another 8 short of a full-season.
Sixth Round
1 player qualifies (Jared Spurgeon #156), but Cam Atkinson (#157) and Tommy Wingels (#177) will join him next season; 20 players never suited up, while another 5 are short a full-season’s worth of games.
Seventh Round
Only Jason Demers (#186) hits the mark; 23 have never played with another 4 without a full-season; I’ll include Anders Lindback (#207) as well.

Here’s the success by team (I’ve included those players destined to break the plateau):
4 – New York Islanders
3 – Los Angeles, Nashville, Ottawa, New York Rangers
2 – Buffalo, Anaheim, Washington, Columbus, San Jose
1 – Tampa Bay, Atlanta/Winnipeg, St. Louis, Toronto, Phoenix, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Edmonton, Minnesota, New Jersey, Calgary, Detroit
0 – Chicago, Carolina, Boston, Florida, Colorado, Montreal, Dallas, Pittsburgh


Here’s the round-by-round success rate:
First: 63/120 (52.5%)
Second: 28/123 (22.7%)
Third: 14/120 (11.6%)
Fourth: 16/124 (12.9%)
Fifth: 10/127 (7.8%)
Sixth: 9/123 (7.3%)
Seventh: 11/128 (8.5%)

The scaling between rounds is not surprising.  Of the 39 top-ten picks (excluding Bourdon for obvious reasons), only 4 were misses, making them 89.7% reliable.  Excluding the top-ten picks, the first round is still significantly stronger than the second round (28/79, 35%, excluding Cherepanov for the same obvious reason).  The third and fourth, and then fifth-seventh rounds are roughly all on equal footing in terms of results.  Given the lack of decline after the second round there are clearly missing factors in the way NHL teams scout (otherwise the trend should go downward each round consistently), albeit the above data is a small sample (just four years).

Team Performance
Los Angeles 11
Columbus 10
Montreal, San Jose, Toronto, St. Louis 8
Ottawa, New York Rangers, Washington 7
Detroit, Nashville, New York Islanders 6
Phoenix, Buffalo, Edmonton 5
Dallas, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Anaheim, Carolina, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Colorado, Boston 4
Atlanta/Winnipeg, Vancouver, New Jersey 3
Florida, Calgary, Tampa Bay 2

It’s difficult to imagine any scouting staff could completely whiff on an entire year, but awful organisations of the time are on display among the bottom-feeders here.  It’s interesting that LA is in the midst of benefitting from excellent scouting right now, whereas Columbus is experiencing much more modest gains from their success (here’s where the difference between quality of players manifests itself most clearly).  It seems like a good year for scouts is 2 NHL players (more than that is excellent), while there should always be at least one found.

My hope is that others will dig a little deeper into the draft and glean a bit more the how and why behind the numbers–a few basic factors (poor coverage of Europe and the dismissal of smaller players) are clearly a factor (as explored here in a look at undrafted success stories).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Reviewing the 2013 NHL Entry Draft

In what was described as an average draft with a consensus on who the top-four players got jumbled as Seth Jones fell to the fourth-overall pick.  As per usual, precise picks (player X at position X) got hammered among the various draft publications (as well as myself), but there was also a dip in the overall percentage of players predicted to be selected in the draft.  Without further ado, here are the numbers.  Acronyms: EOTS (Eye on the Sens), TSN (Bob McKenzie), FC (Future Considerations), HP (Hockey Prospects), RLR (Red Line Report), THN (The Hockey News), ISS (International Scouting Service), McK (McKeen’s), CP (Corey Pronman), and THW (The Hockey Writers).

First Round
Player X at position X
THN: 1
Players picked for the round

This is pretty similar to last year, just slightly lower (although I improved).  The biggest surprise pick was Marko Dano (with Emile Poirer the next most).  Adam Erne was the most surprising player to fall out of the round.

Second Round
TSN: 3
All others: 0
TSN: 20
EOTS: 19
McK: 18
THN: 17
HP: 14
ISS: 12
CP: 9

A solid round (except for CP, who did not have a good draft day), but it was not a sign of things to come.  Given how few exact picks there are, I didn’t continue tracking them beyond this point.   The biggest surprise pick was Tyler Bertuzzi (Remi Elie the next most).

Third Round (minus TSN)
McK: 13
THN/HP: 10
FC: 9
THW: 5
RLR: 3

Overager Mattias Janmark-Nylen was the first unranked player taken in the draft (RLR did suggest he might go), with Kurtis Gabriel quickly following.  Highest rising ranked pick was Keegan Kanzig (Taylor Cammarata takes second in that category).  Oliver Bjorkstrand tumbled down to near the bottom of this round.

Fourth Round (minus THN)
McK/ISS: 5

Felix Gerard, Tobias Lindberg, and Stephon Williams were the unranked players taken.  Highest riser was Ryan Segalla (David Pope was the next highest).  Ryan Fitzgerald was finally taken at the back end of the round.

Fifth Round (minus McK and THW)
RLR: 7
HP: 6

Kristers Gudlevskis, Evan Campbell, Terrance Amorosa, Fabrice Herzog, and Matej Paulovic were unranked players taken.  Highest riser was Tucker Poolman (Blake Heinrich is the next highest).  Eric Roy tumbled down to the middle of this round.

Sixth Round
RLR: 1

A bucket-load of unranked players were taken here (10): Joshua Brown, Ben Storm, Emil Pettersson, Tim Harrison, Chris Leblanc, Merrick Madsen, Alan Quine, Santeri Saari, Mike Williamson, and Anton Blidh.  Highest riser was Zach Leslie (Tommy Veilleux was the next highest).  Blaine Byron fell to the back end of this round.

Seventh Round
FC: 5
RLR: 3
HP/CP: 2

Another pile of unranked players were taken (12): Aleksi Makela, Wade Murphy, Joel Vermin, Brenden Kichton, David Drake, Jedd Soleway, John Gilmour, Hampus Melen, Janne Juvonen, Emil Galimov, Anthony Brodeur, and Mitchell Dempsey.  No real high risers in the seventh round, but Greg Chase came close to falling out of the draft.

All Rounds (I’ve excluded TSN, THN, McK, and THW because they didn’t predict the entire draft)
HP: 66 (31%)
EOTS: 64 (30%)
FC: 62 (29%)
RLR: 58 (27%)
ISS: 54 (25%)
CP: 50 (23%)

Congratulations to HP which (in the four years I’ve done this) has never been ahead in this category (usually middle of the pack).  These are actually good numbers, although the bulk of them (as one would expect) are generated from the first two rounds.  Here’s the listed players taken in the draft irrespective of which round they were taken in (again, only using those who predicted the entire draft):
EOTS/HP: 146/211 (69%)
FC: 145/211 (68%)
RLR: 143/211 (67%)
ISS: 138/211 (65%)
CP: 135/211 (63%)

I managed to keep my streak of being first, albeit tied with HP.  The total represents a 6% drop from last year (but on par with 2011).  Excluding CP (who was not included in creating my raw numbers), ISS lagged behind everyone else for the second year in a row.  So who fell out of the draft?  Here’s a look at the top players who didn’t get picked:

89 Lucas Wallmark
97 Stephen Harper
102 Kurt Etchegary

CS NA Forwards
68 Alex Coulombe
72 Kurt Etchegary
76 Spenser Jensen

CS Europe Forwards
16 Lucas Wallmark
27 Victor Ohman
29 Fabio Hogger

CS NA Goaltenders
10 Austin Lotz
11 Michael Giugovaz
15 Shane Starrett

CS Europe Goaltenders
2 Ebbe Sionas
3 Luka Gracnar
5 Ivan Bocharov

58 Rinat Valiev
67 Sergey Stetsenko
68 Evan Allen

50 Lucas Wallmark
60 Kayle Doetzel
78 Stephen Harper

65 Viktor Arvidsson
81 Brendan Harms
90 Jamien Yakubowski

53 Pavel Koledov
72 Greg Betzold
79 Juuso Ikonen

46 Juuso Ikonen
55 Viktor Arvidsson
56 Sergei Tolchinsky

McK (152 picks)
80 Amil Krupic
87 Lucas Wallmark
88 Austin Lotz

THW (120 picks)
67 Lucas Wallmark
83 Kurt Etchegary
85 Roberts Lipsbergs

THN (100 picks)
71 Lucas Wallmark
85 Filip Sandberg
89 Kurt Etchegary

All of TSN’s picks were taken, which is no surprise given that only 80 were selected.  The most prominent name not taken is Lucas Wallmark and perhaps the reason he was left behind is his skating (RLR considered him the slowest player in the draft).  Kurt Etchegary also appears regularly above, but injury seems the main reason behind him not being selected.  CS’ European goaltending rankings continue to be largely ignored.  A lot of overage players were picked this year (the most since I’ve been doing this), which is either a comment on the quality of the first-timers or (more likely) that NHL teams prefer a safer bet with later picks.  There was also a significant uptick in the number of unranked/not ranked players taken (32 this year, as opposed to 23 in 2012).  Here’s the range of players picked by nationality (not league):
Canada 96
United States 57
Sweden 23
Finland 11
Russia 8
Czech Republic/Switzerland 4
Austria/Denmark/Slovakia 2
Latvia/Norway 1

In terms of highly ranked players from last year (link above) who went undrafted, Anton Slepyshev (3-88 Edmonton), Patrik Bartosak (5-146 LA), and Henri Ikonen (6-154 TB) were selected this time around (Andrei Makarov was signed by Buffalo as a free agent), while the other 13 players were not.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Ottawa 2013 Draft Predictions

Here are my predictions for Ottawa’s selections–I made rough guesses in my overall look at the draft, but with that leg work completed I’ve had time to take a closer look at who the Sens will take.  Ottawa is a difficult team to predict, regularly taking players who are off the radar (Emil Sandin in 2008, Brad Peltz in 2009, Marcus Sorensen in 2010, Jordan Fransoo in 2011, Tim Boyle in 2012, and so on).  The best fans can do is look at player rankings and pay attention to what the organisation is saying and doing beforehand.  This year the mantra of best-player-available has overwhelmed any notion of a positional preference (although they rarely pick goaltenders).  Last year when I went through this exercise I picked 2 of the 7 players selected–hopefully that can be improved upon, but it’s worth keeping in mind that if you predict 25% of the draft accurately (player X at position X) you’ve done very, very well.

The only firm trend the Sens have had under Bryan Murray is not picking from Europe unless it’s from Sweden.  I don’t think this is an actual “rule”, but clearly their scouting is strong in Sweden and circumstances have worked against Finnish or Czech or any other European league.  We can be assured there will be players from the CHL, US leagues, and Sweden taken, but not preclude other possibilities.

The only serious attempt I’ve seen at picking the entire draft comes from The Hockey Writers who, like I did last year, propose a likely candidate and then alternatives.  I’ll note their predictions as I go through my own.

1-17 – Mock drafts are all over the place for this selection, but we know Adam Erne (RW 6’1  QMJHL) and Kerby Rychel (LW 6’1 OHL) were part of a foursome brought to Ottawa and with the many rumours surrounding Samuel Morin (DL 6’6 QMJHL) I suspect he was part of that group.  At least one of the three should be available when the Sens make their pick (I actually think all three will be), but if all are available who do they like more?  I keep hearing Morin so I have to go with him.  THW offers five possibilities echoing only Erne above; the others are Hunter Shinkaruk, Alexander Wennberg, Frederik Gauthier, and Curtis Lazar.  They prefer Shinkaruk of the bunch, but I don’t think he, Wennberg, or Lazar will drop that far.
3-78 - Niklas Hansson (DR 6’0 Swe Jr), Carl Dahlstrom (DL 6’4 Swe Jr), and Gustav Olofsson (DL 6’2 USHL) are the possibilities for the Sens here by my estimation.  I think puck-mover Hansson is the most likely pick.  THW suggests Myles Bell, Matt Buckle, or Marc-Olivier Roy (preferring Bell).  I don’t think Roy will be available at this point.
4-102 – Kurt Etchegary (CL 5’11 QMJHL), Jared Hauf (DL 6’5 WHL), and J. C. Lipon (RW 6’0 WHL) are my options for this pick.  I think the Sens will go for the speedy Etchegary.  THW suggests Tyler Hill, Will Butcher, or Mason GeertsenHill is the only one I believe will be available this late.
4-108 – Cole Cassels (CR 6’0 OHL), Tyler Lewington (DR 6’1 WHL), and Ben Harpur (DL 6’5 OHL) are my options, with the nod going to the right-handed Lewington.  THW suggests Remi Elie, Gage Ausmus, Viktor Arvidsson, or Greg Chase, but of these I think only Arvidsson will be available.
5-138 – Blaine Byron (CL 6’0 OJHL), Kayle Doetzel (DR 6’2 WHL), and Jaimen Yakubowski (LW 5’9 WHL) are my potentials, with Smiths Falls’ own Bryon being my pick.  THW suggests Brendan Burke, Marcus Hogberg, Evan Cowley, Antoine Bibeau, or Evan Allen.  That’s four goalies and I don’t see the Sens picking one even if they are available, but Allen is an option for that pick.
6-161 – Brody Silk (LW 6’0 OHL), Luke Johnson (LW 5’11 USHL), and Nolan De Jong (DL 6’2 BCHL) are the potential picks, with De Jong getting my pick (the Sens like to pick long-term, college-bound players with later picks).  THW largely throws up their hands for this and the next pick, including some of the names above and adding in Peter Trainor, Jesse Lees, Miro Aaltonen, Steven Harper, Joose Antonen, Scott Oke, Albert Yarullin, Mitchell Theorot, and Brenden Kichton.  This list is so broad and non-specific it doesn’t warrant analysis.
6-168 – Jerret Smith (DR 6’2 WHL), Robin Norell (DL 5’11 SHL), and Jeff Corbett (DR 6’1 OHL) are my options, with Smith getting the nod.

To summate: Samuel Morin, Niklas Hansson, Kurt Etchegary, Tyler Lewington, Blaine Byron, Nolan De Jong, and Jerret Smith are my picks (so three changes from my big draft article, with Morin replacing Morrissey, Lewington replacing Cassels, and De Jong replacing Silk).  If my predictions are correct the Sens would leave the draft with five defensemen and two forwards–a seemingly unlikely combination, but it would shore up a soft spot in their depth.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Analysis and Predictions for the 2013 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 simply buy their way out of trouble or plug holes with expensive free agent talent.  That change has helped drive the cottage industry that is draft prediction, but the wide variety of sources are not created equal and few of those who provide their opinions will reflect on their subsequent accuracy.  It is my purpose here to collate the best sources and provide insight into who will be selected in this year’s upcoming NHL entry draft.

This is my fourth year predicting the draft (beginning with the now defunct Hockey Herald back in 2010).  That year I picked 72% of the entire class (well ahead of other sources), while in 2011 I picked 70% (well ahead of my nearest source, which was ISS), and 75% in 2012 (two points up on Red Line Report).  What follows is a continuation of the same analysis.

My method is to take the sum of reliable sources and produce an aggregate number (so player X is ranked 15, 24, and 32, by different sources, those numbers are then averaged).  This gives me a number I can use to compare that player to others.  I then engage in further comparative analysis—for instance, if player X has a higher aggregate score, but player Y has the higher median score, the latter is given the higher position.  Precise predictions (player X at pick #29) are much more difficult (I was 27% last year, which topped my sources).  The first round remains the easiest to predict in terms of who will be picked.

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 professional 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 own scouting service, while ISS and RLR are independent scouting services used within the NHL.  I also give TSN’s Bob McKenzie predictions a lot of weight, as his rankings prove an excellent barometer for draft results.  Unfortunately Bob only focusses on the first two rounds which limits his utility.

Rounding out my sources this year are The Hockey News (THN),  Future Considerations (FC), Hockey Prospects (HP), and McKeen’s (McK).  They provide extensive predictions and are put together by knowledgeable hockey people.  I’ve also looked at Corey Pronman and The Hockey Writers‘ listings as reference points (the reason the latter two aren’t incorporated is that Pronman’s de-emphasis on defensemen and goaltenders isn’t echoed by NHL teams, while the last time I used THW their predictive success lagged well behind everyone else).  These latter sources (along with CS, for reasons explained below) are not used to create the aggregate number (that comes from the other seven sources).

It has to be noted that both ISS and CS have inherent comparative problems.  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.  ISS separates their goaltenders into a separate ranking (these at least can be loosely incorporated into an aggregate number by using the round they are slotted into).  These drawbacks are part of the reason I load up with the additional data.

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 other sources do not.  My purpose here is to slot players where they will be picked rather than assessing who is the best.


Acronyms: ISS (International Scouting Service), CS (Central Scouting), RLR (Red Line Report), HP (Hockey Prospect), TSN (The Sports Network, specifically Bob McKenzie), THN (The Hockey News), FC (Future Considerations), (McK) McKeen’s , (CP) Corey Pronman, and THW (The Hockey Writers).  I have not designated CS as NA or E, not gone to NAG or EG for goaltenders–those designations apply, but the specifics don’t seem particularly relevant for the purposes of the list.

Ranking depth: CS 385 (210 skaters and 35 goalies in North America along with 130 skaters and 10 goalies in Europe), RLR 315, CP 250, ISS 220 (200 skaters and 20 goaltenders), HP 210, FC 210, McK 120 (plus 32 honourable mentions/sleepers), THN 100, and TSN 75 (plus 5 honourable mentions).  Combined, 379 individual players are considered worthy for selection (so 44% will not be chosen).

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” or on aggregate I mean that he has a better median score.  This year I’ve also tried to include vagaries like “honorable mentions” and “sleepers” (where they aren’t already part of a numbered list) by slotting them where it seems appropriate (for McKeen’s I put the honourable mentions in the 5th round and the sleepers in the 6th, while I slot Bob McKenzie’s honourables in the 4th round).  I feel this inclusion helps round out the likelihood of players being drafted.

There is an extra 2nd round pick this year as Winnipeg receives a compensatory pick for not signing 2008 1st-round pick Dalton Leveille.  This means the draft (just like last year) will select 211 players.

A final comment: the most obvious struggle for accurate scouting assessment remains players in Europe, who are underrepresented in lists for the obvious reason that it’s more expensive to cover Europe.  A smaller issue is the hard-on some in the scouting community have for players on the US National Development Team.

Ottawa and the Draft

The Sens have the following picks: 1-17, 3-78, 4-102 (acquired in the Ben Bishop trade), 4-108, 5-138, 6-161 (acquired via the Sergei Gonchar deal), and 6-168.  The Sens lost their 2nd round pick when they traded for Bishop, while their 7th round pick was lost in acquiring Rob Klinkhammer.  If there are no trades and the list below is exactly how the draft plays out the Sens would draft: Josh Morrissey, Niklas Hansson, Kurt Etchegary, Cole Cassels, Blaine Byron, Brody Silk, and Jerret Smith.  That would mean four forwards and three defensemen.  The mock drafts from professionals have the Sens picking the following players in the first round: Max Domi (NHL.com), Kerby Rychel (NHL.com), Curtis Lazar (THW), Josh Morrissey (RLR), Alex Wennberg (RLR), Samuel Morin (FC), or Andre Burakowsky (ISS)–with so many names, someone is bound to be right.

First Round

1. Nathan MacKinnon (1.86) – he is not the consensus pick and loses to Jones on aggregate and head-to-head, but given Colorado has said they will not select the blueliner with the first overall pick MacKinnon winds up in first
2. Seth Jones (1.43) – the champ statistically (although only slightly, as 4 out of 7 sources have him first), but with the Avalanche’s public decision he can ascend no higher
3. Jonathan Drouin (2.71) – RLR and THN are the only two sources who see him above this position (no one has him lower); anomalously, CP has him 1st overall
4. Aleksander Barkov (4.71) – despite the close aggregate score with Nichushkin below, he’s ahead by all measures (the Russian factor doesn’t hurt either)
5. Elias Lindholm (5.71) – I am playing the Russian card here as Lindholm loses to Nichushkin on aggregate and head-to-head
6. Valeri Nichushkin (5.00) – Russians typically drop and I’m assuming a slight dip here; he’s the last player whose selections are all in the top-ten
7. Sean Monahan (7.71) – only McK’s (11) has him outside the top-ten and he’s comfortably ahead of Nurse
8. Darnell Nurse (8.86) – only HP (16) has him outside the top-ten
9. Nikita Zadorov (10.71) – solidly slotted here, but the Russian factor has to be kept in mind
10. Max Domi (12.57) – ISS (25) is not a fan of the diminutive forward, but even throwing out that score he falls behind Zadorov
11. Rasmus Ristolainen (13.71) – although he loses out to Wennberg on aggregate he beats him head-to-head; low scores from THN and McK are at odds with my other sources
12. Bo Horvat (13.86) – he also loses out to Wennberg on aggregate, but he has a higher threshold and head-to-head it’s a virtual dead heat; FC lowballs him (23)
13. Alexander Wennberg (13.57) – solid marks across the board with a very tight range (11-19)
14. Hunter Shinkaruk (16.71) – this is a bit of a gut feel because Lazar wins on aggregate and head-to-head, but the more professional sources see him ahead (RLR, CS, TSN, with only ISS putting Lazar just one spot up); FC ranks him in the top-ten (9)
15. Curtis Lazar (15.86) – gets one top-ten nod (THN)
16. Ryan Pulock (17.71) – pretty consistent ratings except for HP’s (30)
17. Josh Morrissey (19.29) – one of the last players to only get first-round selections, his number are hurt by TSN (28)
18. Samuel Morin (21.00) – widely varying scores (10-35), with a pair of second-round slots from ISS and FC; he’s the last player on this list with a top-ten selection (McK)
19. Adam Erne (21.57) – one second-round selection (ISS 37), while RLR puts him just outside the top-ten (11)
20. Anthony Mantha (22.43) – a second-round pick by RLR (33), TSN has him highest (15)
21. Kerby Rychel (23.43) – the last player with only first-round selections, his range is very narrow (20-28)
22. Valentin Zykov (23.57) – despite the close score with Rychel above he loses head-to-head; he does have a higher range (HP is his peak at 13), but he also has two second-round rankings (THN and McK)
23. Zachary Fucale (24.14) – the top-ranked goaltender in the draft, like Zykov above him he has two second-round selections (RLR and FC)
24. Frederik Gauthier (24.29) – a virtual dead heat with Fucale above, he still loses out head-to-head; only one second-round vote for Gauthier (RLR)
25. Andre Burakowsky (26.43) – his score is thrown off by HP (46), he has a pair of #16 picks from ISS and McK; both RLR and HP see him in the second round
26. Ryan Hartman (26.71) – boosted by RLR’s high ranking (14), he has two second-round picks (ISS and McK)
27. Robert Hagg (27.57) – a virtual dead heat with Mueller below. but RLR’s low ranking (49) is a big reason why; THN has him at 12, while ISS, HP, and the aforementioned RLR put him in the second round
28. Mirco Mueller (27.86) – wide divergence of opinions on him (16-40) with TSN, THN, and McK ranking him highly while ISS, FC, and HP have him in the second round
29. Morgan Klimchuk (32.57) – although he loses to Bowey on aggregate he has more first round selections (4) and his number is thrown off by ISS’ low ranking (47); THN and McK also see him as a second-rounder
30. J. T. Compher (34.29) – behind both Bowey and Petan on aggregate, his number is hurt by McK’s low ranking (56) whose elimination puts him ahead of the former, while I think Petan’s size is going to drop him out of the first round; Compher has three first-round rankings (RLR, ISS, and FC

There are 18 players who appear on everyone’s list with a wide divergence thereafter, but none of the potential first rounders are truly off-the-wall (which is as expected).  Honourable mentions: Madison Bowey’s score would normally have included him above.  Here are the other players who also had first round selections (a total of 13 players):
Four (1): Nic Petan (HP, FC, ISS, RLR)
Three (3): Chris Bigras (HP, McK, ISS), Emile Poirer (RLR, McK, HP), Ian McCoshen (THN, ISS, McK)
Two (5): Madison Bowey (HP, ISS), Steve Santini (ISS, RLR), Jacob de la Rose (TSN, THN), Michael McCarron (ISS, THN), Tommy Vannelli (RLR, McK)
One (4): Shea Theodore (FC), Dillon Heatherington (ISS), Connor Hurley (FC), William Carrier (RLR)
Bowey (at 15 from HP) is the highest ranking among the players not included in my first round list.  The biggest outlier among the players is Carrier whose aggregate is well behind the others.  For CP, Pavel Buchnevich and Artturi Lehkonen are also first-rounders, while THW has Laurent Dauphin on their list.

Second Round

31. Madison Bowey (31.57) – has two first-round selections (HP with the high of 15) and handily beats everyone below head-to-head (the low is THN at 44)
32. Nic Petan (33.14) – the pint-sized prospect has four-first round picks (HP has the high of 25), but I think his second round score is correct as smaller players almost always slide in the draft (McK with the low of 46)
33. Chris Bigras (34.71) – handily ahead of the players behind him, has three first-round picks (HP with the high at 26; RLR the low at 48)
34. Emile Poirer (40.71)- his rating is thrown off by ISS (79); he has three-first round rankings (RLR with the high of 21)
35. Jacob de la Rose (36.86) – loses to Santini on aggregate, but beats him head-to-head; TSN and THN have his high (29) while FC has the low (53)
36. Steve Santini (36.71) – well-regarded by ISS (17) he gets a third-round slot from THN (65)
37. Ian McCoshen (43.71) – his score is thrown off by FC’s ranking (84); he’s the last player to receive three first-round picks (THN with the high of 26)
38. Michael McCarron (40.43) – loses to Theodore on aggregate, but his score is thrown by RLR (79); ISS has the high (23)
39. Tommy Vannelli (47.43) – the final player with two first-round selections (RLR with the high at 28), his score suffers from ISS (who puts him in the fourth round at 96)
40. Shea Theodore (38.57) – riding high on FC’s ranking (20), McK’s has the low (49)
41. Jason Dickinson (41.14) – gets a third-round slot from RLR (64), but otherwise comfortably fits in the second round (TSN with the high at 31)
42. Dillon Heatherington (43.14) - score is hurt by RLR (62), ISS puts him in the first round (27)
43. Laurent Dauphin (42.14) – loses on aggregate to Buchnevich, but beats him head-to-head; THN has him in the third round (66), while HP has the high (36)
44. Artturi Lehkonen (46.57) – his score is thrown off by RLR (77); THN has the high (36)
45. Pavel Buchnevich (42.00) – anomalously excluded from THN’s list, he gets a high of 34 (ISS) and a low of 76 (TSN)
46. Connor Hurley (46.86) – gets a first-round nod from FC (30) with a low from TSN (57)
47. Justin Bailey (47.57) – comfortably ahead of everyone who follows; high of 34 (THN), low of 74 (HP)
48. Zach Nastasiuk (57.43) – his score is thrown off by RLR (106); his high is 39 (THN)
49. Linus Arnesson (57.43) - his score is thrown off by FC (97); his high is 38 (McK)
50. Marc-Olivier Roy (58.57) – his number is thrown by HP’s ranking (102); has a high of 39 (RLR)
51. Tristan Jarry (53.43) – loses to Bjorkstrand on aggregate, but ahead in all the most serious sources; high of 36 (RLR), low of 68 (THN)
52. Oliver Bjorkstrand (52.00) – a high of 32 (HP), with a low of 67 (ISS and FC)
53. William Carrier (59.29) – the last player with a first round selection (RLR 25), his score is hurt by ISS (100)
54. Jimmy Lodge (53.86) – a high of 38 (FC) and a low of 68 (McK)
55. Nick Sorensen (54.71) – loses to Comrie on aggregate, but has more second-round picks (5); high of 42 (RLR), low of 71 (FC)
56. Eric Comrie (54.57) – high of 32 (THN), low of 67 (HP)
57. Nick Baptiste (57.86) – high of 45 (FC), low of 74 (TSN)
58. Marko Dano (58.86) – high of 43 (THN and McK), low of 81 (ISS)
59. Keaton Thompson (63.57) – three second-round selections with a high of 33 (FC), low of 85 (McK)
60. Brett Pesce (67.43) – three second-round selections with a high of 52 (THN), with a low of 90 (ISS)
61. Peter Cehlarik (67.80) – not picked by either THN or TSN, and a late selection for RLR (111), but he has three second-round selections (a high of 48 from HP)

Honourable mentions for the round (14): Jordan Subban (ISS, FC, McK), Eric Roy (FC, THN, McK), Zach Sanford (FC, THN, McK), and Jonathan Diaby (THN, McK, TSN), all have three second-round selections, while Ryan Fitzgerald (RLR, FC), John Hayden (ISS, FC), Philippe Desrosiers (RLR, TSN), Anthony Duclair (RLR, THN), Mike Downing (HP, TSN), Adam Tambellini (RLR, HP), Spencer Martin (THN, TSN), Hudson Fasching (ISS, THN), Ryan Kujawinski (RLR, HP), and Jan Kostalek (THN, McK) all have two second-round selections.  Twelve other players received at least one second-round pick.  CP has a number of off-the-wall second-rounders shared by no one else: Viktor Arvidsson, Cole Ully, Juuso Ikonen, Sergei Tolchinsky, Anton Slepyshev, Will Butcher, and Taylor Cammarata.

Third Round

62. Jordan Subban (67.71) – the diminutive brother of Malcolm has three second-round picks with FC having the high (54) and RLR the low (85)
63. Eric Roy (73.29) – three second-round selections, his score is thrown by HP (109), THN provides the high (54)
64. Jonathan-Ismael Diaby (75.86) – three second round slots, but his score is thrown off by RLR (126), McK’s gives the high (45)
65. Zach Sanford (75.33) – ISS does not rank him, but three second-round picks can’t be ignored; McK’s has the high (53) with HP the low (93)
66. Ryan Fitzgerald (66.14) – a high of 52 (RLR), with a low of 83 (McK)
67. Philippe Desrosiers (66.50) – beats Hayden head-to-head; high of 41 (TSN), low of a fourth-round ISS selection; THN did not include him in their list
68. Anthony Duclair (67.14) – beats Hayden head-to-head; high of 43 (RLR), low of 85 (FC)
69. John Hayden (66.29) – loses on both above players head-to-head; high of 43 (ISS), low of 82 (HP)
70. Adam Tambellini (69.57) – despite losing to Downing on aggregate he beats him head-to-head; high of 50 (RLR), low of 93 (ISS)
71. Mike Downing (69.00) – high of 51 (HP), low of 94 (ISS)
72. Spencer Martin (70.00) – high of 55 (TSN), low of 89 (FC)
73. Ryan Kujawinski (71.71) – less erratic rankings than Fasching; 59 (RLR) is his high, while 73 (McK) is his low
74. Hudson Fasching (71.00) – rankings all over the place, from RLR’s (105) to ISS (40)
75. Jan Kostalek (83.71) – the last player with two second-round rankings; high of 59 (THN and McK), low of 110 (HP)
76. Yan-Pavel Laplante (77.00) – among the last players ranked by all sources; high of 59 (ISS), low of 92 (FC)
77. Carl Dahlstrom (90.29) – second last player to appear on all lists, ISS’ ranking (150) throws his number out of whack; highest rating from THN (61)
78. Niklas Hansson (89.67) – ranking is thrown by ISS (128), FC and HP have his high (69); he gets no ranking from TSN
79. Nick Moutrey (82.50) – benefits from a high HP rating (49); McK’s has the low (109); TSN does not rank him
80. Jackson Houck (80.67) – his score is inflated by RLR (40); his low is HP (116) while TSN does not rank him
81. Gustav Olofsson (67.00) – despite the high aggregate score he has no second-round selections; high of 63 (HP, McK, TSN), low of 80 (THN)
82. Remi Elie (98.29) - he beats Paquin-Boudreau head-to-head; HP has the high (45), while FC buries him (173)
83 Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau (95.29) – appears in all sources, but just an “honourable mention” from TSN; wildly varied rankings (high of 61 from RLR, low of 124 from ISS and HP)
84. Matt Buckles (103.33) – his number is thrown off by HP (192); he’s not included by TSN; FC has the high (61)
85. Juuse Saros (96.40) – an undersized goaltender who could fall further (Jean Auren, CSE #4 last year, did not get picked); not selected by THN or TSN; high of 71 (HP), low of the fifth round (ISS)
86. Victor Crus-Rydberg (98.50) – ratings all over the place, from 59 (HP) to 147 (RLR); not part of TSN’s list
87. Wilhelm Westlund (120.40) – RLR doesn’t like him (250), but has three third-round selections (ISS with the high of 63); not picked by TSN or THN
88. Michael Wheaton (108.50) – three third-round selections, but loses to Westlund head-to-head; high of 66 (ISS), low of 139 (RLR); not picked by TSN
89. Lucas Wallmark (113.67) – has a second-round (ISS 50) and two third-round selections; score is hurt by RLR (278); not picked by TSN
90. Rushan Rafikov (113.00) – last player with three third-round selections; high of 81 (THN), a low of 196 (RLR); neither TSN nor THN included him
91. Greg Chase (98.00) – the next player on aggregate; high of 70 (RLR), low of 114 (McK); not picked by THN or TSN

Honourable mentions (12): Mason Geertsen (THN, McK), Sven Andrighetto (HP, THN), Gustav Possler (FC, HP), Anthony Florentino (ISS, FC), Stephen Harper (ISS, THN), Will Butcher (RLR, ISS), and Austin Lotz (ISS, McK) all have two third-round selections, while Carter Verhaeghe (ISS), Eamon McAdam (ISS), Gage Ausmus (ISS), Rinat Valiev (RLR), Kayle Doetzel (ISS), and Pavel Koledov (HP) all have a single second-round selection.  Most of CP’s off the wall second-rounders remain as well.

Fourth Round

[Only one of TSN's honourable mentions remains to be listed;  THN's list only goes a little way into the fourth so I haven't noted when a player was not selected by them.]

92. Mason Geertsen (99.50) – a high of 74 (THN) and a low of 117 (HP)
93. Gage Ausmus (111.50) – rankings all over the place, from a low of 50 (ISS) to a high of 178 (FC)
94. Carter Verhaeghe (102.80) – although lower than Andrighetto on aggregate, for a variety of factors (expressed below) I see him ahead; his high is 52 (ISS) while his low is 112 (RLR and HP)
95. Sven Andrighetto (102.00) – an older, smaller player, he could slide much further; a high of 76 (McK) to a low of 147 (ISS); FC does not list him
96. Anthony Florentino (114.00) – two third-round selections, with the high 77 (ISS) and the low 179 (RLR)
97. Stephen Harper (114.33) – among the few players left picked by six sources, his high is 78 (ISS), his low 166 (RLR)
98. Gustav Possler (111.25) – second last player with two third-round selections, he was not ranked by RLR; high of 82 (FC) and low of 105 (ISS)
99. Will Butcher (119.60) – the undersized American is the second last player with two third-round selections; high of 69 (RLR) to a low of 137 (HP)
100. Anton Cederholm (107.20) – the Swede inexplicably goes unranked by RLR, but appears in five sources nonetheless; high of 89 (HP), low of 134 (FC)
101. J. C. Lipon (103.80) – the overager comes out next on aggregate; high of 91 (ISS), low of 146 (HP)
102. Kurt Etchegary (110.50) – ranked by all six remaining sources, 89 (THN) is his high, 130 (ISS) the low
103. Eamon McAdam (106.20) – among the last player with a second-round placement (ISS), his rankings are all over the place (HP the low at 144)
104. Jared Hauf (110.40) – next on aggregate, high of 86 (ISS), low of 119 (FC)
105. Sean Malone (110.80) – HP is not a fan (160), but his other rankings are very consistent (RLR the high at 92)
106. Vincent Dunn (111.50) – appears in all six sources with a high of 87 (THN) and a low of 130 (RLR)
107. Ben Harpur (112.50) – not ranked by McK, he has a high of 84 (ISS) and a low of 136 (RLR)
108. Cole Cassels (120.83) – one of the last players in all six sources he has a wide range, with an 84 (THN) and a low of 133 (RLR)
109. Bogdan Yakimov (108.20) – hurt by his RLR score (148) and has the Russian factor hanging over him; HP has the high (81)
110. Austin Lotz (131.20) – the last player with two third-round rankings, his high is 88 (ISS and McK), his low 191 (HP)
111. Tyler Lewington (133.33) – second last player in all six sources he also has a wide range of rankings, with a 90 (McK) high to a 179 (ISS) low
112. Brendan Harms (123.40) – the best score among players with a third-round and at least two fourth-round selections; high of 81 (FC), low of 202 (HP); not picked by ISS
113. Avery Peterson (126.20) – also has a third (78 RLR) and two fourths; low of 176 (HP)
114. Jesse Lees (126.75) – as above; his score is thrown off by HP (197), the high is RLR (86); not picked by McK
115. Tyler Bertuzzi (127.20) – the last player with both a third and two fourths, his score takes a hit from RLR (172); high is 87 (ISS)
116. Jeremy Gregoire (128.17) – the final player listed by six sources, THN is the high (92), while RLR is the low (162)
117. Nicholas Paul (116.75) – high of 82 (ISS), low of 142 (RLR); not ranked by McK
118. Jake Guentzel (118.0) – undersized, he gets a high of 74 (FC) and a low of 151 (ISS)
119. Viktor Arvidsson (114.25) – could fall right out of the draft as an overage, undersized forward; high of 65 (FC) and low of 153 (RLR); not ranked by HP
120. Sergey Stetsenko (91.00) – only picked by two sources (RLR 67, ISS 115), but they are the stronger sources; THW has him at 167
121. Colby Cave (127.25) – three fourth-round selections; a high of 112 (ISS), a low of 165 (FC); HP does not list him

Honourable mentions: a large number of single third round selections remain, so rather than list them all I’ll note the three second-round picks still outstanding (Rinat Valiev (RLR), Kayle Doetzel (ISS), and Pavel Koledov (HP)), as well as high aggregate players who have not yet appeared because they are selected by only two sources: Jaimen Yakubowski (RLR, FC), Blaine Byron (RLR, McK), and Atte Makinen (ISS, HP).  Most of CP’s unique second-rounders also still remain.

Fifth Round

[One TSN selection remains along with a handful from THN; McK's dwindles as well so I haven't noted their non-selections.]

122. Dylan Labbe (119.25) – beats Brodzinski head-to-head; high of 79 (FC), low of 146 (RLR)
123. Michael Brodzinski (119.00) – RLR is high on him (63), while HP is not (174); ISS and McK’s don’t list him
124. Cole Ully (119.75) – high of 91 (McK), low of 155 (FC); ISS doesn’t list him
125. Matt Murphy (121.75) – high of 72 (RLR), low of 157 (HP)
126. Tyler Motte (130.80) – third round selection for ISS (80) as he is for CP (74); undersized player gets a 177 from HP
127. Myles Bell (122.00) – his third trip through the draft, the converted defensemen gets a high of 102 (ISS) and a low of 147 (FC); HP does not rank him
128. Alexandre Belanger (120.33) – goaltender gets a third-round nod from ISS with a 162 from HP; FC does not rank him
129. Greg Betzold (122.00) – not ranked by RLR, but gets a 72 from HP; 200 from ISS
130. Roberts Lipsbergs (131.00) – overager gets two fourth-round nods; high of 96 (RLR), low of 171 (FC)
131. Martin Reway (131.67) – undersized player also has two fourth-round picks; high of 102 (RLR), low of 175 (HP); FC did not rank him
132. Evan Cowley (134.00) – two fourth-round rankings; high of 112 (McK), low of 183 (HP); RLR does not rank him
133. Fredrik Bergvik (131.67) – two fourth-round picks; McK with the high (117), FC the low (160); ISS and HP don’t rank him
134. Eric Locke (136.00) – another overage player with two-fourth round selections; high of 98 (RLR), low of 200 (HP); ISS does not rank him
135. Jean-Sebastien Dea (136.25) – final player with two fourth-round picks; high of 101 (FC), low of 179 (HP)
136. Rinat Valiev (120.00) – RLR loves him (58), but his other rankings aren’t remarkable (ISS with the low, 159); FC doesn’t rank him
137. Kayle Doetzel (123.60) – ISS is a big fan (60), but all the rest of his numbers are in the fifth round (RLR with the low at 165)
138. Blaine Byron (101.50) – only appears in two sources (RLR gives him 84, McK 119)
139. Jaimen Yakubowski (99.00) – FC likes the overage, undersized player (90), but RLR is the only other source to rank him (108)–that includes CS and CP (but not THW who have him at 158)
140. Marcus Hogberg (123.25) – a third-round pick from McK (71), RLR and FC slot him in the fifth (159 from RLR); ISS does not rank him, but he’s the last player TSN includes
141. Teemu Kivihalme (126.00) – a third-rounder for HP (78), he fits into this round for everyone else (low of 149 from ISS)
142. Calvin Petersen (123.25) – Mck has the high (95), with RLR (140) the low; ISS doesn’t rank him
143. Evan Allen (133.20) – RLR is very high on him (68), but he’s pummelled by HP’s 178
144. Kyle Burroughs (133.00) – RLR has the high (89), with FC the low (142); HP doesn’t rank him
145. Atte Makinen (118.50) – HP slots him at 96, while ISS has him at 141; RLR and FC don’t rank him
146. Nikolai Glukhov (125.00) – both ISS and HP have him at 125, but RLR and FC don’t rank him
147. Ryan Graves (131.67) – universally picked in the fifth round (RLR high at 122, FC the low at 138); HP doesn’t rank him
148. Juuso Ikonen (135.20) – a third-round selection for HP (79), FC has him in the sixth (167)
149. Sergei Tolchinsky (136.40) – undersized player is an RLR favourite (71), while ISS has him at 173
150. Dominik Kubalik (139.00) – ISS has him in the third-round (83), while FC puts him at 197
151. Markus Soberg (147.75) – wildly varied opinions, with ISS (61) at the high end and RLR (238) on the low; HP doesn’t rank him

Honourable mentions: Pavel Koledov (HP) is the only second-round selection still outstanding; Filip Sandberg (THN), Connor Clifton (HP), Robin Norell (ISS), Andrei Mironov (ISS), Anton Slepyshev (RLR), Jeff Corbett (HP), Alexander Henriksson (RLR), Keegan Kanzig (ISS), Joose Antonen (HP), Luke Johnson (ISS), Brian Pinho (HP), Blake Heinrich (FC), and Amil Krupic (McK) are the remaining players with a third-round ranking.

Sixth Round

152. Connor Clifton (139.80) – a high of 86 (HP) with a low of 170 (FC)
153. Andrei Mironov (141.00) – a high of 72 (ISS), a low of 193 (RLR); Russian factor can’t be ignored
154. Connor Rankin (142.50) – generally thought of as a fifth rounder; high of 129 (RLR), low of 166 (HP)
155. Alexander Henriksson (147.50) – wide range, with an 81 from RLR and a 189 from FC (ISS does not rank him)
156. Taylor Cammarata (144.00) – pint-sized forward gets a 115 from HP, but a 176 from ISS
157. Tyler Hill (147.75) – a high of 124 (RLR), low of 164 (HP)
158. Brent Pedersen (152.25) – little-regarded by RLR (185), he tops out with HP (135)
159. Marc McNulty (154.40) – listed by five sources, his high is 99 (McK), to a low of 190 (HP)
160. Luke Johnson (164.40) – suffers from RLR’s 274, his high is 62 (ISS)
161. Brody Silk (167.50) – FC is a fan (128), but RLR is not (203)
162. Nolan De Jong (168.00) – ISS see’s him in the fourth-round (111), but RLR isn’t a fan (198)
163. Spenser Jensen (169.00) – suffers from RLR’s 253; high is ISS’ 92
164. Blake Heinrich (171.00) – RLR isn’t a fan (261), but FC has him in the third-round (FC)
165. Brendan Burke (180.60) – gets a fourth-round nod from ISS, but RLR buries him (264)
166. David Pope (182.80) – high of 103 (McK), low of 294 (RLR); he’s the final five-source player
167. Robin Norell (140.00) – wide range over the three sources who include him; 70 from ISS, 202 from RLR; FC does not rank him; CP has him at 141
168. Jerret Smith (144.00) – from a high of 131 (FC) to a low of 161 (RLR)
169. Jeff Corbett (144.67) – bit of an odd duck, with an 85 from HP, a 92 from McK, but the only other ranking is RLR’s 257
170. Ty Stanton (147.00) – high of 116 (McK), low of 164 (RLR); ISS and FC don’t include him; CS has him at 78
171. Kyle Platzer (150.00) – high of 101 (HP), low of 213 (RLR); FC does not rank him; CP has him at 151
172. Wiley Sherman (151.25) – high of 118 (HP), low of 192 (FC); not ranked by ISS
173. Mackenzie Weegar (153.67) – RLR gives the overager a 95, while ISS puts him at 198; FC does not rank him
174. Trevor Murphy (154.00) – undersized player gets a 97 from THN (one of the last players in their list remaining), while ISS puts him at 191; FC does not rank him
175. Keegan Kanzig (156.50) – from an ISS third-rounder (74) to RLR putting him as the last pick in the draft (211); FC does not rank him
176. Maxime Gravel (163.25) – RLR buries him (258), while ISS has him in the fourth-round (114); HP does not rank him; CP puts him in the fourth round (115)
177. Louis-Philip Guindon (163.33) – an ISS fifth-rounder to RLR’s 180; FC and HP do not rank him
178. Jackson Whistle (163.67) – high of 135 (RLR) to a low of 186 (FC); ISS and HP don’t rank him
179. Macoy Erkamps (173.33) – high of 127 (RLR) to a low of 206 (FC); ISS does not rank him
180. Gabe Guertler (176.33) – undersized prospect gets a 167 from RLR, but a 183 from ISS; HP does not rank him
181. Hunter Garlent (189.25) – pint-sized player is one of the last with three sources putting him in the draft; high of 173 (HP) to a low of 247 (RLR)

Honourable mentions: I focussed on players who had the most selections above, so many players picked by just two sources are on the outside looking in.  The highest ranked are: Filip Sandberg, Ruslan Pedan, Erik Bradford, Eddie Ellis, Anton Slepyshev, Vyacheslav Leschenko, Antoine Bibeau, Emil Djuse, Anthony DiFruscia, Clint Lewis, and Dmitry Yudin.

Seventh Round

[At this stage I'll just list all sources who rank a player and reference non-aggregate sources for context.]

182. Filip Sandberg (139.00) – listed by THN and HP; THW 210, CP 82, CS 37
183. Emil Djuse (155.00) – listed by RLR, FC, and McK; THW 144, CP 98, CS 22
184. Amil Krupic (188.33) – a third-rounder for McK, RLR has him out of the draft (313); ISS also ranks him; CP 173, CS 102
185. Joose Antonen (163.33) – a third-rounder for HP (90), RLR has him out of the draft (260); ISS also ranks him; THW 151, CP 152, CS 51
186. Erik Bradford (139.50) – listed by HP and RLR; THW 163, CP 203, CS 145
187. Eddie Ellis (141.00) – listed by FC and RLR; CP 208
188. Vyacheslav Leschenko (147.00) – listed by RLR and HP; THW 179, CP 180, CS 32
189. Antoine Bibeau (148.50) – listed by RLR and HP; the overage goaltender is well-liked by CS (9)
190. Anthony DiFruscia (158.00) – listed by RLR and ISS; CS 197
191. Clint Lewis (159.50) – listed by ISS and RLR; CP 182, CS 181
192. Dmitry Yudin (160.50) – listed by HP and ISS; CS 41
193. Ruslan Pedan (139.50) – listed by FC and RLR, but warrants no mention from either CS or CP
194. Brian Pinho (169.33) – third-rounder for HP (80), while RLR has him out of the draft (241); FC also ranks him; THW 124, CS 109
195. Miles Liberati (173.67) – a fourth-rounder for HP (107), RLR has him out of the draft (221); FC also ranks him; THW 183, CP 197, CS 150
196. Tim Bender (185.67) – hurt by RLR (245), he gets a fourth-round nod from HP (105); FC also ranks him; THW 173, CS 108
197. Josh Burnside (169.00) – fourth-round from ISS (117), out of the draft from RLR (254); HP also ranks him; THW 186, CP 181, CS 123
198. Alex Fotinos (203.33) – hurt by RLR (298); fourth-rounder for ISS; FC also ranks him
199. Jordan Maletta (195.67) – like so many he’s hurt by his RLR score (268); FC has him at 126; ISS also ranks him
200. Tobias Liljendahl (197.33) – as above, with RLR (297) and HP (138); ISS also ranks him; CS 101
201. Patrik Bartosak (166.00) – overage goaltender is ranked by HP and RLR; THW has him at 153; CP 221, CS 8
202. Tyler Kelleher (175.00) – ranked by RLR and FC; CP 97
203. Jaedon Descheneau (177.00) – ranked by RLR and FC; CP 154
204. Zach Hall (190.33) – overager hurt by RLR (230), gets a 149 from HP; ISS also ranks him; CP 102, CS 158
205. Parker Reno (167.50) – RLR and ISS rank him; CP 218, CS 140
206. Frederik Tiffels (168.50) – ISS and HP rank him; CP 227
207. Ross Olsson (168.50) – RLR and HP rank him; CP 249, CS 186
208. Vinni Letteri (172.00) – diminutive player is ranked by ISS and FC; CP 237, CS 209
209. Jayden Hart (176.50) – ranked by RLR and FC; THW has him at 166; CS 134
210. Ville Husso (177.00) – goaltender ranked by ISS and FC; THW has him at 201; CS 6
211. Zach Gilenke (187.33) – RLR has him out of the draft (215), but ISS puts him in the sixth round (162); FC also ranks him; CS 160

Honourable mentions: Anton Slepyshev is the highest rated player who does not appear above–I left him out because unless he’s changed his mind about coming to North America he will remain undrafted just like last year.  Tommy Veilleux is the only other player who appears in three sources (all his selections were in the seventh round).  Eight other players had at least two sources that put them in the draft that did not make my cut.  Here are their scores (including the aforementioned pair):
Anton Slepyshev (142.25)
Stephen Nosad (180.50)
Tim McGauley (187.00)
Timotej Sille (188.00)
Tucker Poolman (189.00)
Andrei Sigarev (190.00)
Ryan Segalla (193.50)
Tommy Veilleux (194.33)
Luca Fazzini (199.00)
Michael Giugovaz (213.33)
Here are the highest ranked players excluded from my list (including the non-aggregate sources, excluding the above where applicable):
Ebbe Sionas (2 CS) - no one else ranked the goaltender
Luka Gracnar (3 CS) – as above
Ivan Bocharov (5 CS) – as above
Fabio Hogger (27 CS) – no one else ranked him
Victor Ohman (29 CS) – undersized forward was also ranked 167 HP, 166 CP, and 175 THW
Pavel Koledov (53 HP) – CP was the only other source to rank the Russian defender (228)
Anthony Louis (77 CP) - only THW (187) also has the 5’6 forward on their list
Arturs Kuzmenkovs (81 CP) - no one else has the overage defender ranked
Miro Aaltonen (86 CP) – FC (127) and CS (40) also have the overage forward ranked
Jan Stencel (88 CP) – other than CS (44) no one else ranked the diminutive Czech defender
Ahti Oksanen (92 CP) – no one else ranked the overage NCAA blueliner
Connor Crisp (97 HP) – no one else ranked the big forward
Ty Ganley (98 HP) – CP (206) and CS (166) also ranked the blueliner
Ben Betker (99 THN) – other than CS (147) no one else ranked the rugged blueliner
Daniel Nikandrov (99 HP) – CS (135) and THW (199) were the only other sources to rank the defensively-minded forward
Matt Needham (99 THW) – ISS (123) and RLR (265) are the other sources who rank the diminutive forward
Dean Kukan (100 CP) – no one else has the overage blueliner making the cut
Victor Baldayev (103 ISS) – CS (47) was the only other source to rank the Russian defender
Arvid Lundberg (111 McK) – no one else ranked the Swedish defender
Vladislav Lysenko (116 FC) – no one else had the Russian defender make the cut
Troy Josephs (120 ISS) – no one else had the overager make the cut
Also not included are some older Europeans who are still eligible for the draft (cited by RLR): Viktor Antipin, Mattias Janmark Nylen, and Tomas Nosek.

My list consists of 118 forwards, 74 defensemen, and 19 goaltenders; 121 are from the CHL, 46 from US leagues, and 44 from European leagues.  RLR has the strongest feelings throughout the draft, but these impact the latter rankings the most.  This is not a new trend and predictively they were the best among my sources last year–we’ll see if that continues.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Bob McKenzie’s 2013 NHL Draft Rankings

Tonight TSN’s Bob McKenzie has broadcast his list of the top prospects in this year’s draft.  McKenzie has a stellar record for draft predictions (here is last year’s list) and here are his top-30 rankings along with my thoughts.

1. Nathan MacKinnon
2. Seth Jones
3. Jonathan Drouin
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Elias Lindholm
6. Valeri Nichuskin
7. Sean Monahan
8. Rasmus Ristolainen
9. Darnell Nurse
10. Max Domi
11. Nikita Zadorov
12. Alexander Wennberg
13. Bo Horvat
14. Hunter Shinkaruk
15. Anthony Mantha
16. Mirco Mueller
17. Samuel Morin
18. Curtis Lazar
19. Zachary Fucale
20. Adam Erne
21. Kerby Rychel
22. Frederik Gauthier
23. Ryan Pulock
24. Andre Burakowsky
25. Valentin Zykov
26. Ryan Hartman
27. Robert Hagg
28. Joshua Morrissey
29. Jacob De La Rose
30. Morgan Klimchuk

This year Bob expanded his list to 75 players plus five more “honourable mentions” (given that they weren’t just slotted as #76-#80, I have to assume they are later round selections).  There are no radical selections made as his picks are echoed elsewhere (the closest I can come are Philippe Desrosiers at #41 and Spencer Martin #55, both of which are a little higher than the rest).  When it comes to the first round Bob is an incredibly good barometer of which players will be picked, so while the placement may vary most of the players above will be picked early.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Looking at Ottawa’s Draft Success (2005-08)

There are many articles reviewing draft accuracy (like TSN’s Scott Cullen‘s last year) and as engaging as they are I’ve always had problems with the way they are defined and presented. Examinations of the draft that cover a long period of time fail to account for the changes in the league and the draft itself, so the comparisons often aren’t apt. When articles cover more recent drafts (Hockey Futures does them at five-year intervals) they are forced to make judgements on players whose futures are yet to be defined (for example, Colin Greening had not started his pro career by that time). All this preamble is to make two key points: 1) the attitude and approach to the NHL draft changed seismically after the 2004-05 lockout, 2) the typical make-or-break moment for a draft pick varies considerably, with the most basic level depending on what league they were drafted from. To expand on the second point: CHL draftees generally take five-years to develop (allowing for two more years of junior and then the full length of their ELC); college-bound players can take six to eight years, depending on how much time they spend in the NCAA; European players used to be even more varied when teams kept their rights forever, but with transfer deals signed with the DEL, SEL, and the SM-Liiga (where rights are only retained for two years) their usual range is now like the CHL (five years), but there are exceptions (like the KHL or players like Carl Soderberg who didn’t sign with Boston until he was 27).

Given the above, how have the Sens done with their selections? I think I can make judgements on John Muckler’s last two drafts and Bryan Murray’s first (along with a look at his second). How am I defining a successful pick?  Any skater who has played 200+ NHL games (along with some judgement calls; goaltenders are particularly difficult).  With that many games the player has managed at least two and a half seasons of NHL work and that’s a decent return on the investment.  So, without further adieu:

Muckler clearly had a hard-on for international tournaments, as every player except the one still with the Sens (Greening) played in those tournaments. Pre-KHL Muckler gambled on taking Russians who slid down the draft, but only one (Zubov) ever suited up for the organisation. It was not a great draft for the Sens by any standard. A few stats: there are 49/230 (21.3%) number of regular NHLers from the draft (you can judge for yourself here). By round: 1st 19/30, 2nd 8/31, 3rd 5/30, 4th 6/34, 5th 5/36, 6th 1/31, 7th 5/36. Players who have played over 200 games: 36 (15 1st, 7 2nd, 4 3rd, 6 4th, 2 5th, 1 6th, 3 7th); played 100-199 games: 19 (5 1st, 2 2nd, 2 3rd, 1 4th, 5 5th, 1 6th, 3 7th).

1-9 Brian Lee (DR, US high school/USHL; WJC) – NHL (Tampa Bay); 209 NHL games played; marginal NHLer (6-7 d-man)
An enigmatic player who still hasn’t defined what kind of pro player he is (if he is one). He’s big, but not physical. He makes a solid first pass, but is unable to produce offensively. He can play a limited role in the NHL, but does not dominate in the AHL. His career, for however long it goes, will likely remain on the margins. Many Sens fans groused about Lee because of the fantastic players taken after him (Anze Kopitar and Marc Staal in particular), but he’s not the worst player taken in the first round (3 never played a game, 6 more played less than 50), and one can argue whether he’s better or worse than Jack Skille who was taken by Chicago at #7. To me, the pick isn’t a complete failure, but it’s several steps removed from what it could or should have been.
3-70 Vitali Anikeyenko (DR, Russia tier-3; U-18) – deceased (Lokomotiv plane crash); bust
Other than attending one development camp (in 2005), the Sens didn’t get a sniff of Anikeyenko, who spent the bulk of his career playing for Lokomotiv (which tragically cost him his life). Whether he had NHL potential or not remains an open question, but judging by his KHL numbers I’d suggest he projected at best a bottom-pairing defender. Naturally there were better picks available, including Conn Smyth winner Jonathan Quick (#72), but between his selection and the Sens next pick, only 3 (of 24) NHL regulars were selected. The pick has to be viewed as a failure, both for the Sens inability to anticipate the problems of signing Russian players and also for not ascertaining just how interested Anikeyenko was in coming to North America.
4-95 Cody Bass (CR, OHL; U-18) – two-way contract (Columbus); 48 NHL games; AHLer
He spent four years in the Senators organisation where he helped Binghamton win a Calder Cup, but Bass remains a fringe player. Not productive or durable enough for full-time fourth line duty in the NHL, he’s destined to bounce back and forth between leagues as a “character guy”. Players like Bass are good for their organisations, but not the kind that’s worth a draft pick. In terms of who was available between his pick and the Sens next there was depth blueliner Chris Butler (#96). In terms of style of play, the Sens would have been better off picking Jared Boll (#101).
4-98 Ilya Zubov (C/LW, Russia tier-2; U-18); – KHL (Moscow); 11 NHL games; AHLer
The most successful of Muckler’s Russian picks, he spent two years in the organisation where he established himself as a productive AHLer. Like Bass he probably could have stayed in North America and been an occasional call-up, but he clearly did not have the talent to become a regular NHLer. There were 5 regular NHL players over the next 17 picks (the best is Keith Yandle at #105), so plenty of better talent was available.
4-115 Janne Kolehmainen (LW, SM-Liiga; WJC) – SM-Liiga (KalPa) – bust
The last Finn selected by the Senators organisation, there’s never been any interest expressed by the Sens to sign the big winger, whose performance flatlined the year after he was drafted. If there’s any solace in the wasted pick it’s that only 1 NHL regular was selected over the following 21 picks (Darren Helm at #132).
5-136 Tomas Kudelka (DL, Czech junior; U-18) – Czech Elite League (HC Vitkovice) – marginal AHLer
The second-last Czech picked by the Sens (Jakub Culek was the last), he was a solid junior player in the WHL who did not excel in his three years in the AHL. In a lot of ways he is a less-talented Brian Lee, as he has good size, but isn’t overly physical and his offensive game did not translate at a higher level. There are 5 NHL regulars over the next 50 picks, but none of those players match the talent of those missed earlier.
6-186 Dmitri Megalinsky (DL, Russia tier-3; WJC) – KHL (Novokuznetsk) – bust
Here again the Sens can be criticised for not doing their homework, because unlike Anikeyenko (one development camp) or Zubov (two years in the AHL) they never got a sniff of Megalinsky, who became a KHL regular. There were 2 NHL regulars selected through the next 18 picks and Sergei Kostitsyn (#200) certainly would have been a better role of the dice. Whether Megalinsky had the chops to play in the NHL remains an unresolved, but doubtful proposition.
7-204 Colin Greening (C/LW, CISAA) – NHL (Ottawa); 150 NHL games – NHL regular (top-9 forward)
The final role of the dice was the only true payoff in the draft. I suspect Greening is the only player drafted right out of Upper Canada College. He spent five years developing before joining the organisation and the result is more than could have been expected, as Greening will have a long career as a solid top-nine forward. Two other NHL regulars came after his selection, with the best being the last (Patric Hornqvist at #230).

Muckler’s last draft. He broke his obsession with international tournament players and Russians, with all North American selections save Daugavins. In Ottawa terms this is a much better draft with potentially 3 regular NHLers coming out of it. A few stats: there are 39/213 (18.3%) number of regular NHLers from the draft (you can judge for yourself here). By round: 1st 19/30, 2nd 10/33, 3rd 3/30, 4th 2/30, 5th 0/30, 6th 3/30, 7th 2/30. Players who played 200 or more games: 31 (18 1st, 6 2nd, 3 3rd, 1 4th, 2 6th, 1 7th); played 100-199 games: 10 (1 1st, 5 2nd, 1 3rd, 1 4th, 1 6th, 1 7th).

1-28 Nick Foligno (LW, OHL) – NHL (Columbus); 394 NHL games – NHL regular (top-9 forward)
Arguably the second best pick of the draft from that point onward (behind Milan Lucic at #50), he also trumps a number of players taken before him (3 never played in the NHL, 5 have played fewer than 30 NHL games and he’s clearly better than James Sheppard (#9)). Given that, he is a very successful selection despite his inability to firmly nail down a top-six role.
3-68 Eric Gryba (DR, USHL) – NHL/AHL (Ottawa/Binghamton); 31 NHL games - NHL prospect (5-6 D)
The big blueliner spent four full years in the NCAA before graduating and helping Binghamton to their first Calder Cup. He is on the horizon for full NHL duty coming into next season, with Mark Borowiecki as his biggest competition on the depth chart.  Three regular NHLers were picked over the next 23 selections, with Brad Marchand (#71) the best.
3-91 Kaspars Daugavins (LW, Belarus; WJC) – NHL (Boston); 91 NHL games – marginal NHL prospect (fourth-liner)
It has been a long road for the undersized forward to get to the NHL. He spent three season in the CHL and then two more in Binghamton before becoming a marginal roster player. His upside is limited. Only two NHL regulars occur over the next 30 picks (James Reimer at #99 and Matt Beleskey at #112).
4-121 Pierre-Luc Lessard (DL, QMJHL) – CIS (Trois-Rivieres) bust
A high-scoring blueliner from the Q, he was never offered a contract and only had a cup of coffee as a pro (ECHL). He’s a complete miss as a pick, but none of the next 30 selections have become regular NHLers.
5-151 Ryan Daniels (G, OHL) – CIS (Laurier) – bust
A rare goalie selection for the Sens, he is another player who was not offered a contract, but unlike Lessard didn’t even get that professional cup of coffee. There are three regular NHLers over the next 30 picks, with Viktor Stalberg (#161) being the most prominent.
6-181 Kevin Koopman (DR, KIJHL) – ACHA II (Brown) – bust
The scouts did not do their homework here, as Koopman retired to become a doctor before the Sens could think about offering him a contract. One NHL player was selected over the next 30 picks (Derek Dorsett at #189).
7-211 Erik Condra (RW, NCAA) – NHL (Ottawa); 152 NHL games – NHL regular (bottom-6 forward)
The third last pick of the draft, he finished up his college career and then earned rookie of the year honours in Binghamton before becoming a solid addition to the NHL lineup. Even though Condra has limited upside, to get a roster player this late in the draft is clearly a home run.

Muckler was fired two weeks before the draft, so while this is nominally a Bryan Murray draft it’s basically following Muckler’s scouting philosophy. Not surprisingly, Murray traded away the team’s late round picks so that the next draft could fully follow his direction. Less time has passed to truly assess how many hits and misses this draft had, but it’s clearly a weak draft.  Only Jim O’Brien might be a regular NHL player from Ottawa’s selections and even that is no guarantee.  A few stats: there are 31/211 (14.6%) number of regular NHLers from the draft (you can judge for yourself here). By round: 1st 16/30, 2nd 4/31, 3rd 1/30, 4th 5/30, 5th 1/30, 6th 2/30, 7th 2/30. Players who played 200 or more games: 17 (11 1st, 4 2nd, 1 5th, 1 7th); played 100-199 games: 15 (5 1st, 1 2nd, 2 3rd, 4 4th, 2 6th, 1 7th).

1-29 Jim O’Brien (CR, NCAA; U-18) – NHL (Ottawa); 63 NHL games – marginal NHLer (fourth-liner)
After two mediocre years in the WHL and a terrible rookie season in the AHL, many thought O’Brien‘s days were numbered. However, he turned his game around in the minors, won a Calder Cup, and managed to earn himself a one-way contract. The sample size is small, but it appears as though he can take a regular shift with the big boys, albeit in a supporting role. Compared to the players taken before him, 5 have never played in the NHL (keeping in mind that Cherepanov tragically died), and 6 have played fewer games thus far. Three regular NHLers were taken over the next 31 picks, with P. K. Subban (#43) the best of them.
2-60 Ruslan Bashkirov (LW, QMJHL) – VHL (Ryazan) – bust
The only Russian taken by Murray at the draft, Bashkirov is such a bust that he can’t even play in the KHL. This is the definition of a bad pick with Wayne Simmonds taken immediately after him (#61).
3-90 Louie Caporusso (C/LW, OPJHL) – ECHL/AHL (Elmira/Binghamton) – bust
Despite a strong NCAA resume Caporusso struggled at the AHL level. He may have it in him to become a regular AHLer, but his NHL potential seems non-existent. There may be as many as five NHLers taken over the next 30 picks, making the pick look much worse.
4-120 Ben Blood (DL, USUS) – ECHL/AHL (Elmira/Binghamton) - AHL prospect
There was a long wait for Blood, as he spent a year in the USHL and then four more at college before turning pro. He was thought to have the potential to be a bruising bottom-pairing NHLer, but was unable to be a regular AHLer in his rookie year. As Ottawa’s last pick in the draft he has to be compared to the rest of the selections (91 picks), where Jamie Benn (#129) stands out as the biggest miss.

Bryan Murray’s first true draft and it was a good.  Emil Sandin is the only pick unsigned and all the rest of the players have played at least one NHL game.  It’s too early to fully vet the success of the draft overall, so I’ll simply list players who have played the most thus far (for the list go here). Players who played 200 or more games: 17 (13 1st, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, 1 5th, 1 7th); played 100-199 games: 11 (4 1st, 3 2nd, 1 3rd, 2 4th, 1 6th).

1-15 Erik Karlsson (DR, SuperElit) – NHL (Ottawa); 233 games – NHL star
The Sens sent a pair of picks to Nashville in order to move up to take Karlsson; the slender Swede has a Norris trophy under his belt and as long as he can stay healthy should drive the offence for years to come.  The first definitive home run by Murray
2-42 Patrick Wiercioch (DL, USHL) – NHL (Ottawa); 50 games – NHL regular (top-four)
It might be a little early to call him a regular, but after two mediocre AHL seasons the gifted blueliner seems to have finally made the transition to the pro game; other prominent selections prior to the Sens next pick include Justin Schultz (#43) and Derek Stepan (#51)
3-79 Zack Smith (C, WHL) – NHL (Ottawa); 200 games – NHL regular (bottom-six)
Gritty center had been passed over in the previous draft but has proven a solid investment by the Sens (only two other players taken after him have played more games); the best player over the next 30 picks is Adam Henrique (#82)
4-109 Andre Petersson (RW, SuperElit) – AHL (Binghamton); 1 game – NHL prospect (top-nine)
Small Swedish forward was a solid WJC performer who enjoyed a good rookie season in the AHL last year, but injury cost him his sophomore campaign; between he and the next Sens pick Dale Weiss (#111) and T. J. Brodie (#114) stand out
4-119 Derek Grant (C/LW, BCHL) – AHL (Binghamton); 5 games – NHL prospect (bottom-six)
Lanky tier-2 pick left college early to turn pro and has been solid (if unspectacular) in his first two AHL seasons; the twenty picks between he and the next selection include Gustav Nyquist (#121), Andrei Loktionov (#123), and Matt Calvert (#127)
5-139 Mark Borowiecki (DL, CJHL) – AHL (Binghamton); 8 games – NHL prospect (5-6 D)
Gritty blueliner has all the intangibles, but hasn’t been ready for prime time just yet; among the next 60 picks are Matt Martin (#148), Philip Larsen (#149), Jared Spurgeon (#156), Cam Atkinson (#157), and Jason Demers (#186)
7-199 Emil Sandin (LW/RW, SuperElit) – Allsvenskan – bust
The diminutive forward was a late round flyer coming off an excellent season in the SuperElit, success he translated into an SEL contract with Brynas.  Unfortunately, he could never fully adjust to the Swedish premier league which meant he had no chance whatsoever at the NHL level and he went unsigned.  He currently plays in the Allsvenskan.  His story is almost exactly the same as 2010 draft pick Marcus Sorensen.  The only pick worth mentioning after this is Anders Lindback (#207)

Although the verdict on 2008 can’t be fully made yet, the contrast between the value of Muckler’s drafts versus Murray’s is stark.  It will be interesting to see (going forward) how the Murray era prospects success unfolds.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

The Hockey Writers NHL 2013 Draft Collection

The Hockey Writers website provides a smorgasbord of draft information and I thought I would post both their top-30 list (they provide the top-120 on the site), latest mock draft, as well as their attempt to blend Central Scouting‘s four-pronged rankings into a sensible, single list.  I haven’t used THW as part of my draft analysis for the last couple of years after they bombed out on the 2010 draft (ranking as the least accurate predictor for that season), but that doesn’t mean their opinions aren’t worth looking at (and as a free source, it’s handy for draft fans).

In their most recent mock draft Carl Maloney has Ottawa picking Curtis Lazar, writing:

A polished two way product, Lazar is effective in all three zones. He’s also an excellent skater with a high hockey IQ. Thought at one point to be a top ten pick, he brings character and intangibles as well and could eventually be a steal at #17. Projects as a solid, second line centre for the Sens down the road.

Their top-30:

1. Seth Jones
2. Nathan MacKinnon
3. Jonathan Drouin
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Elias Lindholm
6. Sean Monahan
7. Rasmus Ristolainen
8. Nikita Zadorov
9. Hunter Shinkaruk
10. Darnell Nurse
11. Max Domi
12. Frederik Gautheir
13. Alexander Wennberg
14. Bo Horvat
15. Ryan Pulock
16. Josh Morrissey
17. Valeri Nichushkin
18. Anthony Mantha
19. Curtis Lazar
20. Samuel Morin
21. Adam Erne
22. Andre Burakovsky
23. Valentin Zykov
24. Steve Santini
25. Kerby Rychel
26. Ryan Hartman
27. Madison Bowey
28. Mirco Mueller
29. Laurent Dauphin
30. Jacob de la Rose

There are differences between THW’s list and most others (Valeri Nichushkin is far lower than all other lists), although there’s no radical selections included (players with low rankings elsewhere appearing in their top-30).

Finally, Christopher Ralph‘s attempts to create a master list from the four-part mess that is Central Scouting‘s draft rankings.  The effort is laudable, but his methodology could use some work–here it is:

For the two rounds I took TSN’s Bob MacKenzie’s mid-term draft rankings and inserted the player from the European or Goalie rankings where Bob MacKenzie’s ranking suggested. For the remaining rounds, I simply inserted 5 European skaters and 2-3 goalies per round based on the average for the 2011 and 2012 drafts.

MacKenzie is a good source to use for smoothing out the disparate lists (although there’s no way to know how well his opinions mesh with those at CS), but I wish there was more to it than that.  If there’s one thing CS provides that’s a poor indicator of players being picked it’s their European rankings (3 of their top-20 Euro’s were not drafted last year, for instance), but that has no bearing on where they would select a player.  There’s no rhyme or reason for where European players are inserted into the list once Ralph has finished with MacKenzie’s picks, although given what he has to work with it’s likely as good as anyone can do.  Here’s his combined top-30:

1. Seth Jones
2. Nathan MacKinnon
3. Jonathan Drouin
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Valeri Nichushkin
6. Darnell Nurse
7. Elias Lindholm
8. Sean Monahan
9. Hunter Shinkaruk
10. Rasmus Ristolainen
11. Alexander Wennberg
12. Valentin Zykov
13. Frederik Gauthier
14. Andre Burakovsky
15. Mirco Mueller
16. Anthony Mantha
17. Shea Theodore
18. Ryan Pulock
19. Zach Nastasiuk
20. Chris Bigras
21. Bo Horvat
22. Zachary Fucale
23. Ryan Hartman
24. Kerby Rychel
25. William Carrier
26. Jacob de la Rose
27. Max Domi
28. Curtis Lazar
29. Robert Hagg
30. Jimmy Lodge

It’s an interesting list, albeit can’t be definitive until CS finally combines its rankings.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Assessing NHL Draft Guides

With all the major hockey draft guides out it’s time to compare what they offer versus their cost.  Each guide has two common elements: players listed numerically along with player profiles (sometimes comprehensive, sometimes selective).  The guides may have mock drafts, organisational comments, and/or a look at eligible overage players and European free agents.  Other elements often included are a look at top players for the 2014 and 2015 drafts, but I don’t put much stock in them as I don’t see the value in that information.

I’ve arranged the guides by their cost:

ISS $59.95
Players listed: 220 (divided between skaters and goaltenders)
Player profiles: all
Organisational assessment: yes, but only as a grade and a list of “top prospects”
Mock draft: yes
Overage eligible/European free agents: no

RLR $50.00
Players listed: 315
Player profiles: top-115
Organisational assessment: yes (comprehensive)
Mock draft: yes (two of them)
Overage eligible/European free agents: yes

Hockey Prospects $39.99
Players listed: 210
Player profiles: all (including additional players who do not make their top-210)
Organisational assessment: no
Mock draft: no
Overage eligible/European free agents: no
Other: includes game reports on players

McKeen’s $30.00
Players listed: 120 (plus 32 honourable mentions or sleepers)
Player profiles: all
Organisational assessment: no
Mock draft: no
Overage eligible/European free agents: no

Future Considerations $19.99
Players listed: 210
Player profiles: all
Organisational assessment: no
Mock draft: yes
Overage eligible/European free agents: no

The Hockey News $4.99
Players listed: 100
Player profiles: top-60
Organisational assessment: yes
Mock draft: no
Overage eligible/European free agents: no

Red Line Report lists the most players (315), while The Hockey News has the fewest (100).  Hockey Prospects has the most player profiles (more than ISS’ 220), while THN has the fewest (60).  RLR has the most comprehensive organisational analysis and the most mock drafts (2).  Only RLR looks at eligible overage draft players or European free agents, while only Hockey Prospects includes actual game reports as analysis.  When it comes to pure cost for value Future Considerations is the best bargain while McKeen’s provides the least amount of value for the cost.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Red Line Report’s 2013 NHL Draft Guide

Red Line Report’s 2013 NHL draft guide is out–here’s a look at their final top-30 rankings along with my thoughts on the publication (for last year’s go here and for their predictive success go here):

1. Seth Jones
2. Jonathan Drouin
3. Nathan MacKinnon
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. Valeri Nichushkin
6. Sean Monahan
7. Elias Lindholm
8. Darnell Nurse
9. Max Domi
10. Bo Horvat
11. Adam Erne
12. Hunter Shinkaruk
13. Rasmus Ristolainen
14. Ryan Hartman
15. Samuel Morin
16. Nikita Zadorov
17. Josh Morrissey
18. Ryan Pulock
19. Alex Wennberg
20. J. T. Compher
21. Emile Poirer
22. Curtis Lazar
23. Kerby Rychel
24. Steve Santini
25. William Carrier
26. Valentin Zykov
27. Morgan Klimchuk
28. Tom Vannelli
29. Mirco Mueller
30. Nic Petan

RLR lists 315 players eligible for the draft (more than any source other than Central Scouting), providing scouting profiles for the top-115.  The guide isn’t intended for fantasy fans, as RLR is a professional scouting source and their list represents how they assess the talent rather than where they see the players being picked (they include a list of players they think will be picked higher or lower than their own assessment; it’s worth noting RLR puts more value on players in the States than any other source).  There are two first round mock drafts, in the first they have the Sens picking Josh Morrissey:

Durable two-way defender may have just average size, but his skating, hockey sense and physical edge remind the Sens of another player they have on the blue line by the name of Karlsson.

In the second mock draft they have the Sens picking Alex Wennberg:

Have you taken a look recently at the success Ottawa has had with Swedes in the top rounds? And this kid’s style is a nice fit on their club.

They also offer organisational analysis and for Ottawa write:

Erik Karlsson just turned 23, and really nothing else needs to be said. In Karlsson, Kyle Turris, Jared Cowen, Robyn Lehner, Patrick Wiercioch, Mika Zibanejad and Jacob Silfverberg, the Senators have a fascinating core of younger players who are going to contribute more as they mature. Like most teams, the Senators could use more scoring, and a Daniel Alfredsson retirement would make that need more acute. But GM Bryan Murray has enough assets to add some goals. Defenceman Sergei Gonchar wants to play a couple more seasons, and the Senators may not want to pay his price tag – so the Sens could be shopping in the veteran defenceman market. Tim Murray, Bryan’s nephew, is responsible for drafting much of the young nucleus.

Like McKeen’s RLR includes sleeper picks, but those players are also part of their overall rankings which makes their selection easier to assess.  They include three overage European players eligible for the draft who aren’t part of their master list: Viktor Antipin (he of the Andrey Osadchenko-based Sens rumour in January), Martin Janmark-Nylen (presumably they mean Mattias Janmark Nylen from AIK), and Tomas Nosek.

They also have a list of top European free agents (11 are listed): Antti Raanta (signed by Chicago), Reto Berra (signed by Calgary), Jakub Svoboda, Ilari Melart (signed by Columbus), Juhamatti Aaltonen, Joacim Eriksson (signed by Vancouver), Jerome Flaake, Denis Hollenstein, Jimmie Ericsson, Dick Axelsson, and Reto Suri (signed by Tampa).

Red Line Report is an excellent product, but it’s expensive (only ISS costs more) and while entertainingly written it’s not aimed at casual or fantasy fans–it’s a serious resource for serious draft nerds.  The one comparative criticism I’d offer is that RLR contains fewer scouting profiles than every other draft guide other than The Hockey News.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Hockey Prospect’s 2013 NHL Draft Guide

The Hockey Prospect’s 2013 NHL draft guide is out and here’s a look at their top-30 rankings along with my thoughts about the publication (for last year’s go here and for their accuracy go here):

1. Nathan MacKinnon
2. Seth Jones
3. Jonathan Drouin
4. Valeri Nichushkin
5. Aleksander Barkov
6. Sean Monahan
7. Elisa Lindholm
8. Nikita Zadorov
9. Rasmus Ristolainen
10. Max Domi
11. Bo Horvat
12. Alexander Wennberg
13. Valentin Zykov
14. Zach Fucale
15. Madison Bowey
16. Darnell Nurse
17. Joshua Morrissey
18. Samuel Morin
19. Anthony Mantha
20. Ryan Hartman
21. Curtis Lazar
22. Adam Erne
23. Morgan Klimchuk
24. Hunter Shinkaruk
25. Nicolas Petan
26. Chris Bigras
27. Emile Poirier
28. Kerby Rychel
29. Frederik Gauthier
30. Ryan Pulock

This is the so-called “Black Book” edition from Hockey Prospect‘s (their smaller, less expensive version is sold out–or so I presume, as I never saw it as ‘in stock’ on their website) and it has more girth than any other draft publication (nearly 700 pages).  It does not include any specific organisational material or a mock draft.  The bulk is made up of scouting profiles (for all 210 players listed and more) and lengthy scouting reports from various games and events.  The game reports are the one unique element for the product which is something that will appeal to a small slice of the fandom.  The product is a little more expensive than Future Considerations‘ guide, but cheaper than ISS, so among the full-listing guides it’s the kind of thing that is only going to appeal to hardcore draft fans.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)


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