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)