Senators News: June 29th

-Here are my predictions for who the Sens will draft.

-As expected, Daniel Alfredsson has decided to return for another season.  It would have been a surprise if he decided not to come back, so there’s no need to re-assess the Sens depth going into the fall.

Joe Yerdon believes Chicago’s buyouts of Rostislav Olesz (Jacques Martin’s best contract ever) and Steve Montador mean that Marian Hossa isn’t going anywhere.

-I agree with Lyle Richardson that Bryan Bickell and Pascal Dupuis are likely to be retained by their respective teams.

Adnan speculates on what defensemen the Sens could target if they decide to add a veteran to the blueline.  He throws out Varada-favourite Grant Clitsome, former Leaf Ian White, former Sabre Jordan Leopold, not-quite-NHL-calibre Adam Pardy, and Edmonton-reject Kurtis Foster.  Adnan sums up his list succinctly:

Not an overly fantastic free agent class this year.

That puts it mildly; I wouldn’t sign any of them.  All of these players are better than Mike Lundin, but that’s not the standard we want to keep.  Adnan prefers Leopold among the group, but if I had to pick I’d go with Clitsome.

Ryan Kennedy includes comments from scouts on 42 different draft-eligible players and I highly recommend reading them.

Brian Costello does a less sophisticated, first-round focussed source-blend for a new top-30 for the draft.

Allan Muir offers his mock draft and has the Sens picking Alexander Wennberg with their pick.

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)

Senators News: June 27th

-Today I posted my analysis and predictions for the 2013 NHL draft.  This is a detailed overview of the entire draft.  I will narrow the scope for just the Sens in a separate article, but I do include a preliminary look at who they might draft with each pick.

The Raaymaker jumps on Elliotte Friedman’s comment yesterday that the Lightning are trying to move Ryan Malone.  He makes a pitch for the Sens to get the 33-year old forward who is coming off a rough, injury-filled season.  Malone has one year left on his deal and if a pick is thrown in I’d be fine with the move.  I do have to wonder if the Lightning will part with him though–with both Lecavalier and Malone off the roster the team will have players like Nate Thompson and B. J. Crombeen on their second line…yikes!

Jamie Neugebauer believes the Sens will take Ryan Pulock with their first pick.

Matt Brigidi notes that Columbus is willing to move any or all of its first round selections (14, 19, and 27) via trade, but I’m not sure they pick high enough to interest the Sens.

Travis Yost takes a look at what stats actually matter in the NHL and he dismisses the traditional ones (raw hit numbers, PK percentage, etc) to say only puck possession really indicate how a team is doing.  He’s right that traditional TV media simply ignores Corsi and Fenwick numbers, either because it doesn’t fit the clichés they grew up with or some other reason.  It’s worth keeping in mind that many commentators aren’t exactly analytical (Hockey Night in Canada and Sportsnet in particular come to mind), and are generally on-screen to provide entertainment rather than insight (ala Don Cherry).

Larry Brooks writes about how the NHL closed a potential buyout loophole:

The league would deem re-signing a player following a trade and a subsequent amnesty buyout as circumvention, and thus would not register the contract. It is believed the Lightning and Maple Leafs had discussed such a maneuver regarding Vincent Lecavalier [bought out by Tampa today], who has seven years and $45 million remaining on his contract, with the buyout thus worth slightly more than $30 million. The clubs theoretically would have concocted a swap in which Tampa Bay would have sent an asset — perhaps a draft pick — to rolling-in-dough Toronto along with Lecavalier, who would have re-signed a more modest deal with the Lightning after being bought out by the Leafs.

-The Phoenix saga continues and it looks likely that the latest NHL agreement will be rejected by the city, although I’d take comments about Quebec from Bill Daly as simply an attempt to apply pressure ahead of that vote rather than some kind of commitment.

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 (, Kerby Rychel (, 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)

Senators News: June 26th

-The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, winning the series 4-2 and the game 3-2.  I didn’t have strong feelings over who should win the final, but stylistically I’m glad it was Chicago.

-As expected, RFA Louie Caporusso is the only player the Sens did not qualify.

Travis Yost talks about Milan Michalek getting the same treatment for his knees that helped NBA star Kobe Bryant.

-Speculation continues over whether Daniel Alfredsson will return for another season or not, but to me it has always seemed like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be back.  Alfie has promised the decision by Friday.

-The names of two prospects invited to Ottawa have come out (Adam Erne and Kerby Rychel), but four were invited.

-A pile of Sens draft-related videos have come out and Nichols has transcribed what interests him and starts with Bryan Murray (discussing bringing in a player via trade or free agency):

(A player) that can come in and play and contribute. Not just fill a spot. Not just be there because he’s a veteran hockey player that has been around. A guy that can come in and play in a definite role with this hockey team and contribute in that role.

Nichols see’s this as Murray finally giving up on cheap or broken down fill-ins, but his track record for the latter is quite long so I’m not so sure.  Next up is Tim Murray who had a lot of interesting things to say, beginning with what the team is looking for:

The same as every year – the best player available. We think we’re pretty deep in most positions. At seventeen, if you look back at past drafts, it’s tough to get an impact defenceman at that point, so I’ll let you guys figure that out. I would say that the percentages says that it will be a forward, but maybe a (defenceman) drops. Every year, a good (defenceman) is dropped, as we’ve seen in the last couple (of drafts), so (we’ll take) the best player available.

Goaltenders are not mentioned, so I don’t think we’ll see one taken with the Sens first pick.  As for the quality of the draft:

I don’t think it’s as deep as I’ve been told by you guys. But in saying that, I think the top end is good. I think the first couple of rounds are decent. I think at the top of the first round is very good, obviously. I think it’s a decent draft. This year, you could say there is the three top guys and then there is another five, and then there is another five and then another six.

So that’s four tiers in the first 19 players (with the Sens near the back of the fourth).  Could the Sens make a deal to move up?

There are teams out there that need NHL players – and they’ve stated it. There are teams out there that are very thin. We feel that we are very, very deep. We feel that we have a lot of young depth that we have drafted, we’ve developed that we like a lot, but we’re not shopping them. But, if that scenario came up, we feel comfortable helping another team out with NHL players.

This is a pretty clear distinction that the organisation is willing to give up roster players but not their top prospects.  Tim also talked about the process of deciding on their list (Nichols does not quote him, but his interview is up on the Sens website) and he said that there’s broad consensus through the first few rounds, but beyond that regional scouts make those decisions.  Next up is Pierre Dorion who talked about how long their list is this year:

This year, it’s 1 to 150, I think. And sometimes there are healthy discussions between 78 and 79 because maybe that’s our third round pick or maybe that’s our fourth round pick and we have to be prepared for that scenario.

Sylvain St-Laurent wonders if the 17th overall pick really matters since the player won’t be ready for two or three years.  I think that sentiment is pretty common among journalists who cover hockey, but for fans the answer is obvious: of course it matters.  It effects organisational depth and provides a look at what element will be added to the team down the road.

-There are rumours out that the Sens are looking to draft Samuel Morin in the upcoming draft.

Elliotte Friedman floats the idea that the Sens could pursue Marian Hossa, whose six remaining years on his contract might as well be a NTC (Travis Yost looks at the idea without deciding one way or another, but I just don’t see it happening).

-Speaking of rumours, the Hemsky for Smith deal has been shot down by Bruce Garrioch.

-Here’s my look at Bob McKenzie’s look at the 2013 NHL draft.

Eric T does an excellent job illustrating how quality of competition and player usage can be derived from the minimal stats (compared to the NHL) that the CHL, KHL, and other leagues provide.

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)

Senators News: June 24th

Hockey’s Future has yet another new writer for the Sens (Brian Fogarty, apparently replacing the one-and-done Jason Chen) and he offers up a draft preview for the team that isn’t so much a prediction as it is a state-of-the-union for the team beforehand.  He offers a brief overview of the organisation (he makes a minor error saying the Sens haven’t drafted Russians or Czech’s under Murray–I believe he means selecting from their respective leagues, given Jakub Culek and Ruslan Bashkirov are both Czech and Russian).  He provides a list of where the Sens pick this year and says the organisational weaknesses are replacing graduating players and adding skill on the blueline.  Let’s hope that Brian lasts a little longer than his predecessors and I look forward to more in depth pieces to come.

Varada takes a look at Ottawa’s blueline (in the midst of which he calls Nick Foligno a good top-six forward, which I hope is tongue-in-cheek) and points out that Patrick Wiercioch played some of the softest minutes in the league this season.  He reasons this means Patty can’t handle much more than that, which is an interesting assumption for a young player.  Can he play tougher minutes and have success?  I have no idea, but this season Paul MacLean didn’t trust that he could.  A better question might be how much do the Sens need Wiercioch to play a lot more tough minutes?  Varada transitions his reasoning into the Sens taking a run at free agent Grant Clitsome, who at age 27 (now 28) had his second full season (is a lockout year a full year?) as an NHL-regular.  Clitsome is an undersized defenseman who plays the left side and while he had a decent year with Winnipeg (44-4-12-16 +10; he was 63-4-13-17 -9 in 11/12) I don’t quite follow the reasoning that he can come to Ottawa and play those tough minutes.  This is an NCAA grad who needed three years before he could crack the Columbus Blue Jacket blueline.  It’s all damning with faint praise and I’m not sure one mediocre half-season is enough to entice Bryan Murray to slot him into the lineup in place of someone else.  I will say this though: he is better than Mike Lundin.

Travis Yost tackles the Ales HemskyZack Smith trade rumours and believes the Sens would throw in another piece to get the Oilers to eat some of Hemsky‘s salary.  He also thinks the trade would hinge on an extension for the Czech winger with Ottawa.  I’d reject the idea behind the trade outright if Murray didn’t have a track record of bringing in broken down veterans.  Hemsky hasn’t played 70+ games since 08-09 and his production has slipped the past two seasons even when healthy.  Senschirp suggests that deal may be part of the puzzle that see’s the Sens grab the Oilers first round draft pick, but until more information comes from more reliable sources it remains entertaining speculation.

-In the same article Yost kicks the tires on the Sens picking up Marc-Andre Bergeron (pass), Jared Spurgeon (Wild would match), and Tom Gilbert (pass), none of which seem realistic or (in the first and third cases) particularly helpful.

Darren M believes the Sens will take Ryan Pulock as their first round selection.  No draft source I’ve seen has him at that position, but Red Line Report is the closest with him at 18th.  Most of the draft guides (six of eight) have him picked prior to the Sens selection.

Jared Crozier believes the Sens will pick Robert Hagg with their first round selection.  The only draft guide that comes close to this is McKeen’s, which has him 19th, while only The Hockey News has him that early (picking him 12th); three of the guides consider him second round material.

Jesse Spector rakes the Leafs over the coals for the Jonathan Bernier trade and really, unless Bernier becomes a great #1 goaltender there’s no question in my mind that it was a bad deal.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: June 23rd

-Today marks my second anniversary of Eye on the Sens and I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the fact.  I’ve published 861 articles (including this one) over that time, with the most popular remaining those about the NHL draft and the Sens prospects (either profiles or things like the development camp).  The coverage of prospects in the blogosphere has marginally improved since I started (greatly so in regards to the development camp), but local media remains far behind.  The site’s traffic is largely via search engines or people re-posting on HFboards (along with a solid core of regulars who come here every day–thanks to you folks, especially Sensfan90 and T-Money, who comment most frequently; Lachy buddy, who was here first, wherever you are I hope things are going well).  Here are a few things from the past two years that stand out for me:
-Lyle Richardson (the man behind Spector’s Hockey) coming to the site after I jokingly suggested he was drunk for agreeing with Don Brennan’s roster speculation back in 2012
-I used to chide The Silver Seven‘s Bobby Kelly on some unforced errors in his articles (to which he responded with good humour); he’s become that site’s best poster
-Speaking of chiding, WTYKY‘s Varada did not take kindly to some good-natured ribbing from me back in February when he was discussing the Sens rebuild; I haven’t heard from him since, but both he and WTYKY are well worth checking out so I encourage you all to do so
The 6th Sens Scott got very agitated with me back in November when I took Marc Spector to task for a sloppy opinion piece on the lockout; all three of us (five including the NHL and NHLPA) have managed to survive
Twitter followers were slow to accrue until my friend Brianne went to bat for me–anyone who doesn’t follow her should
-Back in the beginning of the blog The Silver Seven‘s Peter Raaymaker told me he was going to reference the site…and then had to be reminded of the fact a number of times before he did so; may his vowels grow like the mighty oak
-Periodically someone will find my undrafted success stories article and a slew of non-Sens fans will flood the site to check it out, which is gratifying
-The draft remains the most fun thing that I do here; I’m proud of my predictive success and I enjoy the process that goes into it–this year’s addition awaits Bob McKenzie’s list before appearing
-Lastly, there’s no point in a site like this unless people are reading it–thanks to all of you

Back to the usual Sens news:

Nichols echoes the point I made on Wednesday that there’s nothing new about Bryan Murray discussing the possibility of moving up in the draft and I like his point that Murray has taken a page out of Joe Sakic’s playbook:

At the very least, Murray’s following the Colorado Avalanche’s lead in using the mainstream media as a mechanism to let teams know they’re interested and open to making a move.

The organisation has worked hard to downplay the chances of moving up, but I’m sure the speculation will remain ripe well into draft day.

-After missing more than a season and a half due to post-concussion syndrome, Sens prospect Jarrod Maidens (3-82/12) will be ready to play in the OHL next season.  Much like Mark Stone in 2010, Maidens slide far down the draft due to injury–will he pay off in the same way?  It’s hard to say given how a player’s performance after a serious concussion is difficult to predict, but (according to the article) much like Sidney Crosby many of his issues are neck-related and that at least is being treated.

-There are still a few Sens bloggers clamoring for the team to pick up Daniel Briere and I remain mystified why they think his game is suddenly going to improve (even Don Brennan doesn’t like the idea).

Scott Burnside examines the NHL’s goofy approach to officiating and offers the following:

This from an NHL team executive with ties to the NFL competition committee: An NFL referee relays a story from a preseason meeting in which the message to football’s on-field officials was this: Don’t officiate the games like they do in the NHL, where calls change based on the time of season and situation in the game. In other words, enforce the rules regardless of calendar, clock or score.

Maybe the game isn’t the worse for this if players and coaches are on board. But here’s the problem: If it’s OK with coaches and players (and, presumably, the league), it merely adds to the notion for the casual or novice fan that hockey is an impenetrable fortress.

It’s the ultimate in passive aggressiveness to say we don’t want referees to interfere with the game and yet by not interfering referees of course sometimes play an integral role in the outcome.

It would be nice if, someday, fans didn’t have to adjust their sensibilities when watching the playoffs, just as it’d be nice for officials not to reset their meters once the puck drops in the postseason. And it would be nice if, someday, the league weren’t held up as a negative barometer by other pro sports leagues.

I’m not sure what more needs to be said, although articles like this will continue to be produced year after year because internally the NHL prefers this system.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: June 21st

Scott Cullen offers his off-season plan for the Sens and opens with the following:

While it would be unreasonable for the Senators to expect their goaltender to be as great as they were in 2013, there are reasons for optimism, including the team’s strong possession stats and a league-worst shooting percentage. How does it benefit the Senators to have scored on just 7.0% of their shots? Well, it’s unlikely that they will have the worst shooting percentage again next season, particularly in a season that should include a healthy Spezza and Karlsson. “We need to score more goals,” GM Bryan Murray said at his season-ending press conference. “We have to find a way to create a little more offence and that may mean trying to find a player out there that will do that.” But part of it also will be counting on a couple of the younger players that showed they can play in the league to step up and do a little more with the puck than they were capable of or able to do this year.” He’s right, the Senators do need to find more scoring. The good news is that they are in position to address that need so that they are poised to be a playoff contender for years to come.

It’s a thorough, well-written article with only one tiny error (Kassian was not a waiver pick-up, but was acquired by trade–I can understand why Cullen would assume the former however).  He thinks the Sens need a top-six forward and a top-four defenseman (which is hard to argue with, although patience with younger players is another option).  Cullen believes Jim O’Brien and Cory Conacher are trade bait–I agree with the former, but I’m not sure the Sens would move the latter just after acquiring him.

Ryan Classic rates the Sens forwards (as with the previous articles I’ve ignored players who have departed the organisation): Pageau (A), Alfredsson (A-), Erik Condra (B+), Kyle Turris (B+), Mika Zibanejad (B), Colin Greening (B), Jakob Silfverberg (B), Jason Spezza (B), Milan Michalek (C), Zack Smith (C), Chris Neil (C), Cory Conacher (C), Jim O’Brien (C-), David Dziurzynski (C-), and Matt Kassian (C-).  The grades are reasonable for the most part, although Ryan’s explanation for each player varies considerably in terms of the depth of his analysis.

Travis Yost looks at Bryan Murray’s desire to move up in the draft and suggests (correctly I believe) that the glut of forward prospects is the most likely pool of players he’ll look to in order to acquire a higher draft pick (assuming anyone is willing to trade).  Yost thinks the Sens should look to draft a blueliner if they get a higher pick, but I’m not that attached to the position so long as it’s a great prospect.  It’s worth noting Murray isn’t the only GM trying to move up in the draft (Buffalo’s Darcy Regier is another).

Varada speculates on potential players the Sens could target for trade and opens with David Booth of all people.  He goes from the injury-prone, disappointing forward to Ryan Malone (I don’t see him waiving his NTC for Ottawa), Joe Pavelski (don’t see it; he’s coming off a strong playoff performance and has a reasonable contract), Devin Setoguchi (hard to imagine the Wild giving up on him, especially at his price), Dustin Brown (!), Derrick Brassard (unlikely given that the Rangers just acquired him), Ales Hemsky, Scottie Upshall, Mike Cammalleri, Chris Stewart (hard to believe the Blues would give up on the RFA), Radim Vrbata (has an NTC he won’t waive for Ottawa), Blake Wheeler (another RFA), Bryan Little (RFA), and Alex Burmistrov (not sure how high Murray is on enigmatic Russians these days).  Most of the players on the list seem very unlikely to me, but someone like Hemsky (big price tag, injury prone, on the downside of his career) is a possibility.

Ken Campbell looks at the situation in Phoenix with the Coyotes and believes they will move to Seattle (despite a variety of arena issues that exist there).  Whether that move is for this season or the next remains to be seen, but it’s how things look at the moment.  Presumably the NHL wants a big fat expansion fee payday from Quebec City rather than simply moving an existing team there.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: June 19th

Bryan Murray talked about potentially making a trade to move up in the draft:

I will call a number more [of GMs] and see if anybody wants to move. There are certain reasons to move fairly high and if you don’t do that, then maybe we’re OK where we are. I have talked and nobody has really gotten back to me. I don’t suspect that anybody will be willing to move down, but you never know. We might have an asset that would address a need. Where we are right now (at No. 17) I don’t think we’ll get the Top 6 guy, but maybe that’s a possibility if we’re patient enough in three or four years. We might be able to get a better player if we want to move up, but you have to be willing to pay a price for that as well.

I don’t think this approach is anything different from Murray’s norm–he’s kicking the tires to see what shakes out, but as he admits it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to move up.  The other thing I’d take from his comments is that he doesn’t see the offensive depth at forward in the short term among the prospects the Sens have now.

Ryan Classic grades the Sens defensemen (I’ve skipped the departed Sergei Gonchar and Mike Lundin): Marc Methot (A), Erik Karlsson (A-), Patrick Wiercioch (B), Chris Phillips (B), Andre Benoit (B-), Eric Gryba (C+), and Jared Cowen (C).  There’s some variance from my own grades, but my only real problem with his assessment is Phillips, who by Ryan’s own standards was as good as Gonchar this season (which makes no sense at all).

-Former Sen and Jeremy Milks/Don Brennan favourite Zenon Konopka may be on his way out of Minnesota as the Wild attempt to move money to be cap compliant for next season.  The gritty center produced zero points in 39 regular season and playoff games.

Hockey’s Future has posted its mock draft for the NHL entry draft (with their first pick apparently off-target already after Joe Sakic said he’s leaning towards not picking Seth Jones) and have Sens selecting Chris Bigras with the 17th overall pick, saying:

Ideally, the Senators want someone who can play both ends well, as current defensive prospects Cody Ceci and Patrick Wiercioch are considered more offensive-minded defensemen. Mirco Mueller, Shea Theodore and Bigras all improved their draft stock, but Bigras has the better two-way game and plays close by in Owen Sound. If there is a forward with good offensive upside that is available with the 17th pick – perhaps Andre Burakowsky, whose father played for the Senators in the 1990’s – then Ottawa may take him. But with a wide cast of forward prospects breaking through this season and in the near future, the more pressing need is defense.

A couple of notes: this has Bigras taken well ahead of every draft resource I’ve seen (the closest is Hockey Prospects who have him at #26), secondly, the Sens drafting philosophy is to take the best player available, which makes HF’s notion of need questionable.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)