Future Considerations 2014 NHL Draft Guide

Future Considerations 2014 NHL draft guide is out and here’s a look at their top-30 rankings and my thoughts about the publication (for the last two year’s go here and here).  In terms of accuracy here are their last three years (compared to ISS, Red Line Report, and Hockey Prospects, all of whom also predict the entire draft): 2013 68% (2nd out of 4), 2012 71% (3rd), and 2011 44% (4th).  Last year I considered their guide the best deal available for fans and we’ll see how this one holds up.

1). D Aaron Ekblad, Barrie (OHL), 6 ‘4, 215

2). C Sam Reinhart, Kootenay (WHL), 6 ‘1, 185

3). C Sam Bennett, Kingston (OHL), 6 ‘0, 180

4). RW William Nylander, MODO (SHL), 5 ‘11, 170

5). C Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert (WHL), 6 ‘2, 210

6). C Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (OHL), 6 ‘2, 180

7). LW Nick Ritchie, Peterborough (OHL), 6 ‘2, 230

8). LW Nikolaj Ehlers, Halifax (QMJHL), 5 ‘11, 165

9). D Haydn Fleury, Red Deer (WHL), 6 ‘3, 200

10). C Jake Virtanen, Calgary (WHL), 6 ‘1, 210

11). LW Brendan Perlini, Niagara (OHL), 6 ‘2, 205

12). C Jared McCann, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 6 ‘0, 180

13). LW Kevin Fiala, HV 71 (SHL), 5 ‘10, 180

14). C Dylan Larkin, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 6 ‘1, 190

15). C Robby Fabbri, Guelph (OHL), 5 ‘10, 165

16). LW Ivan Barbashev, Moncton (QMJHL), 6 ‘1, 185

17). LW Sonny Milano, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 5 ‘11, 185

18). RW David Pastrnak, Sodertalje (Allsvenskan), 5 ‘11, 170

19). RW Alex Tuch, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 6 ‘3, 215

20). RW Josh Ho ‘Sang, Windsor (OHL), 5 ‘11, 165

21). RW Conner Bleackley, Red Deer (WHL), 6 ‘1, 195

22). G Thatcher Demko, Boston College (NCAA), 6 ‘4, 180

23). RW Nikolay Goldobin, Sarnia (OHL), 6 ‘0, 175

24). D Jack Dougherty, USNTDP U18 (USHL), 6 ‘1, 185

25). C Jakub Vrana, Linkoping J20 (SuperElit), 5 ‘11, 185

26). RW Kasperi Kapanen, KalPa (SM JLiiga), 5 ‘11, 170

27). C Adrian Kempe, Modo J20 (SuperElit), 6 ‘2, 190

28). D Roland McKeown, Kingston (OHL), 6 ‘1, 200

29). D Anthony DeAngelo, Sarnia (OHL), 5 ‘11, 175

30). C Eric Cornel, Peterborough (OHL), 6 ‘2, 175

In FC‘s mock draft they have Ottawa selecting Marcus Pettersson in the second round, saying:

They need skilled defenders and a couple [of] high-end talents at the forward positions.

Last year they expected Ottawa to take Samuel Morin, but he was not available when Ottawa made their selection (Philadelphia picked him at 11th overall).

There’s no assessment of the various NHL organisations (or their scouting staffs), but they do offer a comment about the quality of this year’s draft:

The truth of the matter is, while there are no sure-fire ‘Next Great NHL Superstar’ types of talents available, there are a few kids who project to have very strong NHL futures ahead of them. Sure [many of] these prospects all have the potential to bust, but that potential is realized more than a handful of times in every draft class. The forward prospects are the real strength of this draft class with big power forwards, smaller skilled pivots and goal-scoring wingers deep into the third or fourth rounds. Also, add the odd agitating winger or two-way specialist into the mix and the forward position should be well represented in Philly. Plenty of strong goaltending prospects are also available this year. The list includes a couple calm and poised technical tenders, the bigger bodies with raw but potentially impressive upsides, as well as the more acrobatic types who are less blocker and more old school reflex stoppers. Defense is a weak area of this draft as there are very few guys who look like they can be developed into impact NHLers, but instead there appears to be a few blue-chippers and a bunch of guys who could be bottom-pairing contributors or career minor leaguers.

The guide contains profiles of varying extent for all 210 prospects listed and once again it’s very reasonably priced ($20.99).  I haven’t seen the other guides yet, but they are all more expensive than FC so it’s likely it will be the best bet for fans again this year.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Judging Player Production in Europe

In my last post I made fun of efforts at translating production from other leagues to the NHL–it’s not that I don’t laud the effort, but I have yet to see a formula that can be applied to basic stats that makes sense.  To illustrate the point, I decided to highlight top North American performers in European leagues using this season to provide some insight (I’ve given their stats from this past season and then their best NA results and career totals; their current age is also in brackets).

KHL
Brandon Bochenski (32) 54-28-30-58 (NHL 41-13-11-24 06-07; NHL 156-28-10-68)
Nigel Dawes (29) 54-26-23-49 (NHL 66-14-18-32 09-10; NHL 212-39-45-84)
Kyle Wilson (29) 49-17-27-44 (NHL 32-4-7-11 10-11; AHL 427-149-170-319)
Dustin Boyd (27) 49-18-20-38 (NHL 71-11-11-22 08-09; NHL 220-32-31-63)

None of the players here truly established themselves as NHL regulars (although Dawes and Boyd did get to 200 games); that marginal existence (or in Wilson’s case, strong AHL career) has carried over to being excellent KHL players.  Does Bochenski’s domination of the KHL mean other players who dominate the league are Bochenski’s?  He out produced Ilya Kovalchuk, who was nearly a point-per-game in his last NHL season (12-13), but clearly isn’t anywhere near as talented as the Russian, so how much do their numbers matter?

NLA
Brett McLean (35) 50-18-26-44 (NHL 82-9-31-40 05-06; NHL 385-56-106-162)
Robbie Earl (28) 46-20-18-38 (NHL 32-6-0-6 09-10; AHL 313-66-103-169)
Alexandre Giroux (32) 46-20-18-38 (AHL 69-50-53-103 09-10; AHL 771-368-336-704)
Ahren Spylo (30) 47-16-22-38 (AHL 50-25-11-36 04-05; AHL 137-43-25-68)

These players have a less distinctive background in North America, being primarily AHL stars.  Joe Thornton was slightly better than a point-per-game player in the NLA (04-05), but this doesn’t mean Brett McLean is just a notch below him.  Not to beat my point to death, but clearly raw numbers from the league aren’t particularly useful in translating their production at the highest level

SHL
Chad Kolarik (28) 53-30-18-48 (AHL 76-31-37-68 12-13; AHL 277-98-111-209)
Ryan Gunderson (28) 54-8-33-41 (AHL 74-5-20-25 09-10; ECHL 156-9-98-107)
Rhett Rakshani (26) 55-13-25-38 (AHL 66-24-38-62 10-11; AHL 120-44-69-113)
Ryan Lasch (27) 54-20-16-36 (AHL 30-6-4-10 12-13; NCAA 161-79-104-183)

These players are quite similar to those above and I won’t bother making the point I’ve already made twice above.

Liiga
Ben Maxwell (26) 49-16-26-42 (AHL 73-22-36-58 08-09; AHL 296-68-140-208)
Corey Elkins (29) 54-15-25-40 (AHL 76-18-26-44 10-11; AHL 173-43-48-91)
Dan Sexton (27) 39-16-21-37 (NHL 41-9-10-19 09-10; AHL 144-36-64-100)
Aaron Gagnon (28) 48-17-19-36 (AHL 78-27-31-58; AHL 328-74-98-172)

The caliber here is quite Similar to the SHL.

DEL
Adam Courchaine (30) 51-29-45-74 (ECHL 42-21-28-49 05-06; ECHL 45-21-30-51)
Kevin Clark (26) 60-32-40-72 (AHL 72-12-19-31 11-12; AHL 160-26-60-56)
Blaine Down (31) 48-26-25-51 (AHL 54-8-13-21 02-03; AHL 134-18-28-46)
Derek Hahn (36) 52-12-34-46 (CHL 64-35-79-114 05-06; CHL 238-124-201-325)

This is a significant fall-off compared to the leagues above, as middling AHL and top ECHL players can make a big impact in the league.

The point of this isn’t to suggest we should give up the effort of understanding how a player’s performance in Europe translates at the next level, but as it stands all we can say with certainty is that big numbers in the top leagues (KHL, NLA, SHL, and Liiga) do translate at the AHL level (as they do in reverse).  Whatever limitations various players from either side of the Atlantic have, it seems like success in those leagues (or the AHL) easily moves back and forth, but that production does not have an obvious ratio at the next level.  I’m not sure what the solution to the conundrum is, but the problem shouldn’t come as a big surprise: massive point totals from junior players rarely translate to the NHL, but sometimes they do–the only certainty is that an absence of production at a lower level guarantees it will continue at the next.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Behind the Numbers of Binghamton’s 2013-14 Season

I wrote about Binghamton’s season back in April and then graded the prospects a week ago, but I return to the topic because Manny has gifted us with analytics via Josh Weissbock for the AHL.  Weissbock’s methodology is not included in the blog (just a link to his Twitter), but by the power of Internet I went and found an article he wrote for nhlnumbers which gives us somewhere to start:

To create a proxy for possession in the AHL, I looked at all games that have been played so far this year, added up each teams Shots For and Shots Against and calculated their Shots For %. This means there are some obvious limitations. These numbers also include special teams (not just even strength) and don’t take account score effects. So this a very rough proxy for the possession numbers we usually use for the NHL.

There’s clearly more to it now, but it sheds some light on where Weissbock’s numbers come from (he did Tweet how he calculated TOI).  I’m not going to break down each player comparing my thoughts to Manny’s because the differences aren’t extreme enough for that.  Instead I’ll highlight differences and reinforcements that I consider significant.

Goaltenders

I thought Andrew Hammond was solid in net and the numbers agree, although Manny believes more is needed from him next season; conversely I thought Nathan Lawson was average that was far too kind to the UFA.

Blueliners

No surprises here at all; I didn’t think much of Mark Borowiecki‘s season, nor is it a surprise to know he faced the toughest opposition in the league–I still expected more from him.

Forwards

I didn’t think much of Darren Kramer, Wacey Hamilton, or Corey Cowick‘s seasons and their underlying numbers are awful.  The former two comes as no surprise to anyone, but I think the data here makes it clear that Cowick cannot effectively handle a checking role (he was also a drag for Derek Grant and David Dziurzynski).  Jean-Gabriel Pageau was a monster against the toughest opposition.  It’s worth listing Binghamton’s forwards by the level of competition they faced (the number in brackets is where they finished in points-per-game in scoring by forwards; I’ve bolded the top-scorers):
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (4)
David Dziurzynski (11)
Derek Grant (9)
Jim O’Brien (8)
Corey Cowick (12)
Mark Stone (2)
Cole Schneider (5)
Matt Puempel (7)
Darren Kramer (14)
Wacey Hamilton (13)
Stephane Da Costa (3)
Buddy Robinson (10)
Mike Hoffman (1)
Shane Prince (6)
It would have been nice to see where Andre Petersson fit here before he left, but while excluded from Manny’s list his name appears amongst the bubbles of QoT/QoC and he slots ahead of Schneider above.  It’s worth pointing out that I gave Puempel and Prince equal grades and it’s clear the former had a better season given his QoT; Grant warranted a bit more generosity as well.

The last thing I want to address is the NHL Equivalency number included in the final chart.  These numbers are derived from a now gone-from-the-web Gabe Desjardins article, but Manny got his formula via Justin Azevedo:

chart

I have no doubt Desjardins put a lot of work into this, but as a cautionary tale for taking this chart as gospel, it predicts that Brandon Bochenski (KHL) is a 72-point producer at the NHL level (hell, Nigel Dawes is a 61-point player); or, for an AHL-example, Martin St. Louis should have been a 42-point NHL player.  I don’t think there’s a useful way to take statistics from one league and apply them to another, although it’s still fun to try.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

European Free Agents of Interest

I’ve cast my eye on Europe the previous two years (2012 and 2013), and with the recent signing of DEL star David Wolf (Calgary) I thought I’d look again across the Atlantic and see what free agents might be worth pursuing.  The focus here isn’t aging veterans or former NHL players–I’m looking at lesser known, undrafted players who might make the jump.

Jan Kovar (LW/C), 24, 5’11 KHL Metellurg 54-23-45-68 (signed KHL; a player I highlighted in 2012)
The Czech player was second in league scoring, playing on a line with Sergei Mozyakin and Denis Zarpiov; he makes a lot of money in Russia and may not want to take the pay cut to get his shot in the NHL, but at some point he’ll pull a Roman Cervenka and take a year off to try it out

Sakari Salminen (RW/LW), 25, 5’11 KHL Torpedo 54-18-29-47 (signed KHL; player I identified in 2012)
Like most players who dominate in their domestic leagues, Salminen has made the transition to the KHL and enjoyed a great deal of success; leading Torpedo in scoring by nearly ten points (ahead of former NHLer Wojtek Wolski); I think there’s a good chance he’ll give the NHL a shot at some point

Dennis Rasmussen (C/LW), 23, 6’3, SHL Vaxjo 52-16-24-40 (signed SHL)
Enjoyed a career year leading Vaxjo in scoring; has good size which always makes GM’s happy; may not have an opt-out clause, but unless he goes for the money in the KHL he should land a deal with someone across the Atlantic [June 10th: Chicago signed him]

Michael Keranen (C/RW), 24, 6’1, Liiga Ilves 52-17-35-52 (signed, Liiga)
Nearly doubled his previous career high as he finished tied for the scoring lead in the Liiga; was nearly 20 points ahead of his nearest teammate–like Rasmussen above he’ll have to make the choice between the KHL and NHL, but undoubtedly he’s received calls from both [June 5th: Minnesota signed him]

Tommi Huhtala (LW), 26, 6’0, Liiga Blues 60-23-20-43 (signed KHL)
Locked into a KHL deal for the upcoming season; he lead the Blues in scoring while enjoying a career year; if he has a good season with Jokerit he might make the jump to the NHL, although at his age he may be beyond the point of wanting to play in the AHL

Julius Junttila (LW/RW), 22, 5’10, Liiga Karpat 56-19-15-34 (signed Liiga; a player I identified in 2012)
Set career highs with Karpat, where he finished fifth in team scoring; his numbers aren’t overwhelming, but he’s trending upwards and still very young

Borna Rendulic (RW), 22, 6’1, Liiga HPK 57-11-21-32 (FA)
Croatian national worked his way up through the Finnish junior system to establish himself as a Liiga-regular; he lead HPK in scoring

Ville Kolppanen (G), 21, 6’1, Liiga Ilves 2.18 .927
I believe he’s still eligible for the draft as an overage European, but I’ll include him here anyway; put up good numbers as Ilves’ starting goaltender

Players Signed from Previous Lists

Just a quick look back on those mentioned that appeared in previous versions of this list.  It’s worth noting the majority of players identified have not been signed.  There are far fewer European players who come over as compared to college, even though the dividends can be much higher (as you can see here).

Damien Brunner (RW) – signed with Detroit two years ago and after a strong rookie campaign struggled with New Jersey
Simon Moser (LW/RW) – signed an ELC with Nashville last season and spent most of the year in the AHL (48-8-18-26); he’s an RFA (I highlighted him in 2012)
Ronalds Kenins (LW) – signed by Vancouver last season to an ELC (I identified him in 2012), but was loaned back to Switzerland and enjoyed a career year (39-8-17-25); he should be in the AHL next season
Joel Vermin (C/W) – signed an ELC with Tampa last season (I highlighted him in 2013), but was loaned back to Switzerland where he struggled (49-6-12-18); his fate the following season is up in the air
David Wolf (LW) – signed by Calgary this week to an ELC (I identified him in 2012); DEL players tend not to translate well at the next level, although Marcel Muller was a decent AHL player

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Thoughts on Senators Prospects (Part Two)

The second installment of my look at the Sens prospects (you can find Part One here).  After covering prospects in junior, college, and the ECHL, I’m taking a look at AHLers.  I have left out players who I don’t believe will return (like Wacey Hamilton), while players who are through their ELC’s who have established what they are (like Mark Borowiecki) are treated a bit further below (as is Cody Ceci, who spent most of his season in the NHL).  As always, for players without significant time in the NHL it’s worthwhile viewing the scouting reports when drafted (many of which can be found via the link above).

Cole Schneider (FA NCAA 2012; 69-20-34-54; previous season 60-17-18-35; splits 10-4-1-5/10-2-6-8/10-6-8-14/10-3-3-6/10-1-4-5/10-3-5-8/9-1-5-6)
An excellent sophomore campaign with only a few periods of inconsistency; so far Schneider has been an excellent free agent signing and all that remains to be tested is his capabilities at the next level–he can clearly dominate in the AHL.  Does he need to be a top-six player to pan out at the next level?  I think that remains to be seen–if he’s a possession guy then the goals aren’t the only way for him to step up.

Chris Wideman (4-100/09; 73-9-42-51; previous season 60-2-16-18; splits 10-1-7-8/10-1-3-4/10-1-7-8/10-2-10-12/10-1-4-5/10-0-3-3/13-2-8-10)
A fantastic sophomore season, slowing a little in the second half (32 points in the first 40, 19 in the next 33); undersized NCAA grad will always have to do more to get his shot, but another dominant AHL-season is going to force Ottawa’s hand.  It’s very rare for a small blueliner to play a depth role, so he has to push for at least a 4-5, second unit powerplay spot to have a realistic shot.

Matt Puempel (1-24/11; 74-30-18-48; splits 10-3-2-5/10-3-2-5/10-3-1-4/10-5-2-7/10-5-2-7/10-5-3-8/14-6-5-11)
First-rounder’s rookie season improved over the course of the season (went from 0.46 points-per-game in the first 30 to 0.77 the rest of the way); sniper projects as a top-six player who can eat up powerplay minutes, but whether he’ll achieve that potential is still up in the air (his ability at the AHL-level is not in question).

Shane Prince (2-61/11; 69-21-27-48; previous season 65-18-17-35; splits 10-2-2-4/10-3-5-8/10-2-5-7/10-6-4-10/10-3-2-5/10-3-3-6/9-2-5-7)
Improved over last season; his primary issue is inconsistency, but his tracking the right direction; I don’t know if Prince has the chops for the next level, but that possibility remains (perhaps as a pesky top-nine player).

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (4-96/11; 46-20-24-44; NHL 28-2-0-2; previous season 69-7-22-29; splits 10-5-9-14/10-2-4-6/10-2-8-10/16-11-3-14)
While his time in the NHL was a disappointment, he dominated in the AHL and his future remains bright; he’s not a lock for the NHL roster next season, but that league is in his future (even if he never produces enough to escape a bottom six role).

Mark Stone (6-178/10, 37-15-26-41; NHL 19-4-4-8; previous season 54-15-23-38; splits 10-4-4-8/10-6-6-12/10-3-9-12/7-2-7-9)
Injury-prone, but there’s no questioning Stone‘s hands or instincts; it remains to be seen if his feet are fast enough to be an NHL-regular, but he’ll get an opportunity to show that sooner than later.

Buddy Robinson (FA NCAA 2013, 69-15-16-31; splits 10-2-1-3/10-4-3-7/10-1-1-2/10-1-2-3/10-2-3-5/10-1-3-4/9-4-2-6)
The big winger gradually became more consistent over the course of his rookie season, which echoed Cole Schneider‘s last year; NHL-potential hasn’t been tested yet, but at the least he’s going to be a good AHLer.

Fredrik Claesson (5-126/11, 75-3-26-29; previous season 70-3-8-11; splits 10-0-0-0/10-0-5-5/10-1-6-7/10-1-8-9/10-0-1-1/10-1-1-2/15-0-5-5)
Steady Freddy enjoyed a fantastic sophomore season; defensively dependable, there’s no question he could at least fill-in at the NHL-level, so the question now is whether he can be a regular or not.

Corey Cowick (6-160/09, 72-12-13-25; previous season 72-16-19-35; splits 10-1-1-2/10-3-1-4/10-0-2-2/10-4-4-8/10-2-1-3/10-1-1-2/12-0-3-3)
After a successful season riding shotgun with Jean-Gabriel Pageau, everything came crashing to earth for Cowick who, other than a short stretch in December, put up awful numbers (even for a checker).  He’s clearly someone who needs to be insulated to perform at his best and that doesn’t bode well for an NHL future, even if he’s now fully established as an AHLer.

Derek Grant (4-119/08, 46-12-10-22; NHL 20-0-2-2; previous season 63-19-9-28; splits 10-3-3-6/10-3-1-4/10-0-2-2/16-6-4-10)
His numbers marginally improved over last season and he spent a good chunk of the early season in the NHL; projects as a PK forward and the upcoming season is going to be make-or-break for him (I don’t think he’ll be on the Sens roster, but he should dominate in the AHL no matter where he’s played).

Michael Sdao (7-191/09, 61-5-6-11; splits: 10-1-0-1/10-1-2-3/10-0-2-2/10-2-1-3/10-1-0-1/11-1-0-1)
Drafted as the best fighter of the 2009 class, his rookie season saw him eventually push Ben Blood out of the lineup, but not do enough to dress in the playoffs; he projects as a 5-6 guy.  His numbers are actually quite decent and he can do more with the puck than someone who is just a goon–the question remains if he can translate that to the next level and at this point it’s too early to tell.

Darren Kramer (6-156/11, 45-2-2-4; previous season AHL 21-1-0-1/ECHL 19-3-7-10; splits 10-1-1-2/10-1-0-1/10-0-1-1/15-0-0-0)
The best fighter in his draft class, he was a full-time roster player in his sophomore season, but dressed for only just over half the games–despite appearing in the playoffs, it’s clear his skill level isn’t high enough for him to fill anything other than the role of a fighter, something I don’t see him translating to the NHL.

Older/NHL Players

Cody Ceci (1-15/12; NHL 49-3-6-9; AHL 27-2-17-19)
First-rounder was locked into Ottawa’s lineup for the same kind of WTF reasoning that keeps Chris Phillips in the lineup; like most young defenseman there’s a lot growth yet to come and a full season in the AHL would likely help; an offense-first blueliner, the future should be bright for Ceci–the only question is when he’ll be ready for full-time NHL duty.

Mike Hoffman (5-130/09; AHL 51-30-37-67; NHL 25-3-3-6; previous season AHL 41-13-15-28)
He has nothing left to prove at the AHL level, so the question remains whether or not he can be a regular NHL player; I think he can–he has the speed and hands to be useful even if he can’t translate his scoring–the only question is whether he does this in Ottawa or not, and whether he’s someone who plays for parts of a few seasons and then disappears.

Stephane Da Costa (FA NCAA 2011; AHL 56-18-40-48; NHL 12-3-1-4; previous season AHL 57-13-25-38)
This was the first season where Da Costa looked like a (potentially) useful NHL player; I’m still not sure how well his skills translate, since I don’t think he’s particularly useful in a depth role and his production might not warrant anything else, but given that after last year I thought his peak was the AHL, he’s become a more interesting asset.

Mark Borowiecki (5-139/08; AHL 50-2-6-8; NHL 13-1-0-1; previous season 53-4-10-14)
Heart and soul player had a poor season–too many penalties, too many fights, sub par production, etc.  There’s no questioning his worth ethic, but the more I see of Borowiecki the more I’m convinced his peak is a 6-7 blueliner who is as good as he’s going to get right now.

David Dziurzynski (FA BCHL 2010; AHL 68-13-12-25; previous season AHL 54-4-16-20; NHL 12-2-0-2)
There’s nothing left for Dizzy to prove in the AHL–he’s a well-established checking forward whose numbers have been almost ruthlessly consistent (points-per-game per season: 0.26, 0.38, 0.37, and 0.36); is he good enough to perform the same role in the NHL?  I thought he looked out of place with Ottawa two season’s ago, but that’s not to say he couldn’t fit on a line in the right situation–although I’m dubious he’ll get that chance with the Sens.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Thoughts on Senators Prospects (Part One)

The signing of prospect Mikael Wikstrand on Thursday got me thinking about what we can expect from Ottawa’s many prospects.  Given the great multitude this will be done in two parts.  I’m leaving out players like RFA Ben Blood (he won’t be retained), Francois Brassard (the organisation has made it known they have no intention of signing him), or the injured Jarrod Maidens.  Acronym of note for players in pro: ppg = points-per-game.  Players who will be playing pro next season have been coloured green.

CHL Prospects

It’s worth noting here that production (unless it’s bad) doesn’t mean much at this level; Tyler Donati was an OHL star and couldn’t manage to become an AHL-regular, so keep that in mind.  Scouting reports are much better guides to these players and you can find most of them by draft year: 20102011, 2012, and 2013.

Curtis Lazar (1-17/13; WHL 58-41-35-76; previous season 72-38-23-61)
The scouting consensus was that the first-rounder was a solid, well-rounded second-line player and nothing from this season would suggest otherwise.  His numbers were up from his draft year and he performed very well at the WJC.  The organisation has talked about him making the jump to the NHL next season, but there’s no reason (beyond budget) to rush him into the lineup.

Vincent Dunn (5-138/13; QMJHL 50-31-20-51; AHL 1-0-0-0; previous season 53-25-27-52)
Super pest dropped a long way in the draft; his numbers were essentially unchanged from the previous season and all the scouting reports project him as a pesky bottom six forward–nothing from this year has changed that estimation.

Ben Harpur (4-108/13; OHL 67-3-13-16; previous season 67-3-12-15)
Drafted primarily because he was big; a stay-at-home blueliner,  his limitations with the puck are going to make the transition to pro very difficult (his numbers did not improve over his draft year); I don’t believe the organisation will sign him when they have to make that choice next year.

Chris Driedger (3-76/12; WHL 28-14-7 2.64 .918; ECHL 1-2 3.92 .893; AHL no result; previous season 36-14-4, 2.51 .915)
Won the goaltending sweepstakes within the organisation by beating out sixth-rounder Brassard; scouting reports are all over the place and contradictory, largely because Driedger was not the full-time ‘tender in his draft year; his numbers have improved in each of the two season since he was drafted and he’s slotted in to play backup in the AHL (a backup at the NHL-level is where he projects out).

NCAA/USPHL

College scoring is more predictive at the minor pro level than that of the CHL, but it’s still not the best guide.  The various US junior systems are as potentially misleading as those in CHL.

Tim Boyle (4-106/12; USPHL 37-5-16-21; previous season NCAA 15-0-2-2)
The Sens surprise pick of the 2012 draft, Boyle left the NCAA after a year at Union College to go back into the US junior system; his numbers were good, but not dominant (ala former Sens prospect Bryce Aneloski who did the same thing); there’s a lot of time left for him to develop so it’s too early to judge him, but there’s a lot for him to prove.

Ryan Dzingel (7-204/11; NCAA 37-22-24-46; AHL 9-2-5-7; previous season 40-16-22-38)
Left college early (after three seasons) to turn pro; another skilled player who fell in the draft (his second) because of his size and lack of physicality; after dominating at Ohio State he did not look out of place in his short debut with Binghamton; is he another Ryan Shannon, or is he something more than that?  It’s difficult to judge at this point.  The challenge for all top scorers when they turn pro is can they do anything else if their scoring doesn’t translate.

Max McCormick (6-171/11; NCAA 37-11-24-35; previous season 40-15-16-31)
Teammate of Dzingel and drafted in the same year; he has been very good at Ohio, albeit not quite as electric as the above; he”ll finish up his college career before turning pro; he’s a hard-working player who projects as a depth, energy player.

Garrett Thompson (FA 2013; NCAA 43-16-16-32; AHL 7-1-2-3; previous season NCAA 37-11-15-26)
Free agent signee from Ferris State I don’t know enough about to project–he was not on the radar when he was draft eligible and has been described as a meat and potatoes type of player, so projects as a depth forward.

Robert Baillargeon (5-136/12; NCAA 35-10-17-27; previous season USHL 55-18-23-41)
Lead Boston U in scoring in his rookie season, benefitting from a more settled season than his last in the USHL; his stock fell at the draft due to a lack of “toughness”, but all the things that actually matter (speed, skill with the puck) are present and were demonstrated this season.  I think to his the highest level he’ll have to become an Erik Condra; a depth player with good possession numbers.

Quentin Shore (6-168/13; NCAA 33-7-18-25; previous season 39-10-9-19)
A solid season at U Denver; drafted as a two-way player and something of a gamble, we’re still a few years away from judging him.

Chris Leblanc (6-161/13; NCAA 23-6-6-12; previous season EJHL 44-13-20-33)
A surprise draft pick enjoyed a solid rookie season with Merrimack; there were no scouting reports on him beyond the organisation describing him as a “big two-way player”; he’s a long way away, but projects as a depth player.

Europe

Much like the CHL above, production does not mean much except in absence here.

Mikael Wikstrand (7-196/12; SHL 19-4-7-11; Alls 27-4-16-20; previous season Alls 45-11-14-25)
Benefitted the previous season from playing with lockout players like Anze Kopitar, but this year he not only maintained but improved his production in the absence of NHL superstars.  Scouting reports when drafted all indicated he was a good, two-way player (his 3 points in his draft year seem the primary reason he nearly fell out of the draft), but his performance as a powerplay quarterback eluded everyone (including the Sens organisation).  He should do well in Binghamton this upcoming season, although the usual switch to smaller ice might lead to a slow start.  He was projected as a bottom-pairing NHL player, but if his offense translates he might also be a second unit PP guy.  Time will tell.

Tobias Lindberg (4-102/13; SuperElit 38-7-15-22; Alls 3-0-0-0; previous season SuperElit 43-9-13-22)
An off-the-wall pick last year, Lindberg‘s numbers improved only slightly from his draft year (ppg went from 0.51 to 0.57) and I think his future is heavily tied into how he does next season.  I have a suspicion he’ll wind up being Marcus Sorensen (4-106/10)–an energy player whose skills don’t quite translate outside of Europe.

Marcus Hogberg (3-78/13; Alls 5-8-0 2.93 .892; SHL 4-0-0 1.08 .960; previous season SuperElit 2.77 .906)
Scouts struggle to figure goaltenders out (have some fun and scan goaltending picks from any draft), so what little was said about Hogberg at the draft was all over the place; his numbers weren’t great this season for Mora in the Allsvenskan, but he was fantastic in the SHL and one wonders how much of his stats are dependent on the defense in front of him.  He’ll spend another year in Sweden, but I’d expect him to come to Binghamton in 15-16.

ECHL Prospects

Elmira just finished a disastrous season (24-40-8, third worst in the league), which is their last season in affiliation with Ottawa (no official replacement has been named for the Sens).  The Jackals produced the second fewest goals in the league and allowed the second most–it was an unmitigated disaster and that’s worth keeping in mind for the players below.

Troy Rutkowski (FA WHL 2013, ECHL 41-0-9-9 PPG 0.21; AHL 12-1-0-1; ECHL splits 10-0-3-3/10-0-2-2/10-0-1-1/11-0-3-3)
The disaster that is Troy Rutkowski makes it clear why Colorado walked away from him (5-137/10) last year.  Now, it’s possible that he could turn into a decent AHL player (and certainly he might have a future bouncing around Europe), but NHL-calibre players don’t struggle in the ECHL.  With plenty of opportunity in Elmira, the offense-minded blueliner was unable to translate his CHL success.  Yes, the Jackals had a terrible season and a bad team, but that didn’t prevent other prospects from performing adequately.  There was no sign of evolution of his play over the season (his production did not increase).  Ottawa is stuck with Rutkowski‘s contract for two more seasons and given the thinness of their blueline in Binghamton he’ll probably get one more try before they attempt to move him.

Jakub Culek (3-76/10; ECHL 49-8-22-30 PPG 0.61; AHL 7-0-0-0; ECHL splits 10-3-6-9/10-1-5-6/10-4-5-9/10-0-4-4/9-0-2-2)
Enjoyed a moderately successful rookie season in Elmira, although he faded badly down the stretch (18-0-4-4).  I don’t think there’s any NHL potential in him (when drafted he projected as a depth, checking forward), but he could become a solid bottom-six forward in the AHL.

Ludwig Karlsson (FA NCAA 2013; ECHL 39-11-13-24 PPG 0.61; AHL 8-0-0-0; ECHL splits 10-2-2-4/10-2-5-7/10-2-4-6/9-5-2-7)
Did not perform as expected (you don’t sign a college free agent to play in the ECHL), but at least in Elmira he was decent (other than the games immediately after his injury).  His season was derailed early and he got stuck behind a huge logjam at forward–next season will be make-or-break for the Swede.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

2010 NHL Draft (Hockey Herald Article)

[I’m re-posting my old Hockey Herald article here as I believe the site is defunct–it hasn’t produced new content since November of 2011].

As the NHL draft approaches it’s time to take a look at where players are ranked.  All the major scouting publications and websites (except TSN) have produced their rankings, and by using that as a data set I think we can determine the best talent in the draft and a sense of when they will be selected.

I’ve used the following sources: the International Scouting Service (ISS), Red Line Reports (RLR), The Hockey News (THN), ESPN, Future Considerations (FC), McKeens, The Hockey Writers (THW), and for reference Central Scouting (CS).

Most of these reports create their lists via the best talent rather than when they will be drafted.  They also vary in how deep they go into the draft.  ESPN and THW have only posted a top-30 list, while FC is a top-60.  McKeens and THN cover the top-100 picks, while ISS hits 200 and RLR goes all the way to 300 (90 players beyond the 210 to be picked this year).

Round One

There is unanimity about the first two picks—I think CS embarrassed themselves suggesting Seguin was the best possible first round selection.  That’s not to say I definitively know Hall is the better player, but there’s no question what the sentiment is around the league and the rest of the scouting community.  I get the feeling CS just wanted to make a splash by pulling a different way.

That being said, things get messier the further you move away from the top picks.  There are only 14 players who made every other list in the first round, so nearly half the players chosen are up for debate.  Of the remaining 14 spots, 7 players appear on 6 of those lists (a total of 46 different players appear in the top-30).

In creating my rankings I’ve taken the predictions and produced their aggregate numbers (these are indicated in brackets next to the player’s name).  This is a broad look at overall standings.  I then looked at where each player was slotted—if, for instance, a player was in one range for most of the predictions I ignored the free radical and selected accordingly.  These rankings are not based on team needs or expectations, just the talent level of the players as seen in the hockey community as represented by my sources.

  1. Taylor Hall (1.0) – the consensus #1
  2. Tyler Seguin (2.0) – the consensus #2
  3. Cam Fowler (4.29) – and the only player picked multiple times (3) for this position
  4. Erik Gudbranson (6.14) – although he’s not fourth on aggregate, his number is thrown off by RLR (who have him at #14), and he’s picked more often at the lower position than Gormley
  5. Brandon Gormley (5.57) – given the tightness of predictions surrounding him he’s clearly seen as a safe choice
  6. Nino Niederreiter (7.86) – narrowly beats out Connolly because he has more top-ten selections (6)
  7. Brett Connolly (7.57) – a better aggregate score than Niederreiter, but Connolly is seen as a riskier pick, appearing in the top-ten slightly less (5 times)
  8. Ryan Johansen (9.43) – a consistently narrow range (8-12), Johansen represents another safe pick
  9. Vladimir Tarasenko (9.71) – suffers a bit from the Russian flu, as he has just as many top-ten selections as Johansen (5), but the other predictions are well below that and push him down
  10. Mikael Granlund (10.71) – the comparison with Skinner below is quite close, but he just edges him out
  11. Jeffrey Skinner (12.29) – suffers in part from a dreadful rating from THN (#25), but even with that thrown out he’s slightly lower than Granlund
  12. Jack Campbell (9.17) – with goalies not included in ISS rankings it’s hard to decide on Campbell, but he’s the only goalie to appear in all other sources so this seems like the logical position for him (his score is high because McKeens has him at #3)
  13. Derek Forbort (13.00) – another safe pick given the uniformity of his placement
  14. Alexander Burmistrov (13.57) – as expected the Russian’s range is broad (6-21), but he’s clearly considered high end talent
  15. Emerson Etem (15.00) – taking THW out of the equation (at #10) his range is as narrow as Johansen’s (14-18); so he represents another safe pick
  16. Austin Watson (16.14) – consistent range (12-19) makes him a safe pick
  17. Nick Bjugstad (19.14) – extremes on either end, with THN seeing him as a top pick (#9) and McKeens out of the first round (#33); with those cut out he nestles in at 14-21
  18. Mark Pysyk (20.71) – little liked by RLR (#41), but his range is narrow otherwise (16-22) and puts him ahead of McIlrath even though he’s behind him on aggregate
  19. Dylan McIlrath (20.43) – his stock has been rising for awhile, but he isn’t picked as consistently high as Pysyk
  20. Jonathan Merrill (21.71) – a very similar range to McIlrath, but just a touch behind
  21. Evgeny Kuznetsov (22.14) – there seems to be a divide between the professional scouts and the journalists on him, likely a product of the Russian factor
  22. Riley Sheahan (22.83) – the first player not to be listed by all my sources (ESPN did not rank him in their top-30), he’s well liked otherwise (15-28)
  23. Jaden Schwartz (24.00) – consistently a mid to late first rounder (18-30)
  24. Quinton Howden (24.14) – listed out of the first round by two sources (RLR and McKeens), he still handily beats Tinordi on aggregate based on his upside
  25. Jarred Tinordi (25.67) – considered yet another safe pick for the blueline
  26. John McFarland (28.29) – low-balled by ISS and RLR, he’s well regarded otherwise (20-29)
  27. Brock Nelson (33.17) – a high aggregate number born of McKeens (#62), which when taken out leaves him with four first round rankings; THW did not list him in their top-30
  28. Tyler Pitlick (28.83) – not listed by THW, he settles in as a borderline first rounder
  29. Alexander Petrovic (31.50) – not listed by THW, he earns three top-30 rankings
  30. Calvin Pickard (25.50) – winds up at the end of the round largely because of a shortage of comparative analysis (not incorporated into ISS rankings nor listed by THW or ESPN)

Honourable mention (other players (16) to get first round selections):

Tyler Toffoli (4, THW, McKeens, FC, and ESPN, aggr 35.00)
Stanislav Galiev (3, ISS, FC, and THW, aggr 34.67)
Beau Bennett (2, RLR and McKeens, aggr 28.60)
Charlie Coyle (2, ISS and McKeens, aggr 33.60)
Teemu Pulkkinen (2, McKeens and THW, aggr 40.33)
Ludvig Rensfeldt (2, ESPN and ISS, aggr 41.67)
Kirill Kabanov (1, THW, aggr 37.33)
Brad Ross (1, RLR, aggr 38.20)
Calle Jarnkrok (1, THN, aggr 40.80)
Johan Larsson (1, ISS, aggr 41.67)
Ryan Spooner (1, RLR, aggr 41.80)
Justin Faulk (1, RLR, aggr 44.20)
Jason Zucker (1, ISS, aggr 49.60)
Maxim Kitsyn (1, THW, aggr 52.83)
Greg McKegg (1, RLR, aggr 57.60)
Troy Rutkowski (1, FC, aggr 62.60)

This article completes my update of draft rankings incorporating TSN and SI’s lists.

My sources: the International Scouting Service (ISS), Red Line Reports (RLR), TSN, The Hockey News (THN), ESPN, Future Considerations (FC), McKeens, The Hockey Writers (THW), Sports Illustrated (SI), and for reference Central Scouting (CS).

In creating my rankings I’ve taken the predictions and produced their aggregate numbers (these are indicated in brackets next to the player’s name when there are at least three sources).  This is a broad look at overall standings.  These rankings are not based on team needs or expectations, just the talent level of the players as seen in the hockey community as represented by my sources.

Round Two

31. Tyler Toffoli (34.00) – loses to Petrovic and Coyle on aggregate, but has the most first round selections (5) of the players remaining
32. Alexander Petrovic (32.14)
33. Charlie Coyle (33.33)
34. Stanislav Galiev(35.42)
35. Brad Ross (37.66) – rising
36. Calle Jarnkrok (39.5) – rising
37. Kirill Kabanov (38.14) – sinking
38. Ludvig Rensfeldt (41.00)
39. Joey Hishon (41.00) – sinking
40. Ryan Spooner (41.33) – slightly behind Pulkkinen on aggregate, but beats him head-to-head
41. Teemu Pulkkinen (41.14)
42. Justin Faulk (41.83) – slightly behind Straka on aggregate, but beats him head-to-head
43. Petr Straka (41.80)
44. Johan Larsson (42.50) – could slide into the first round
45. Jordan Weal (42.50) – not as much room to slide up as Larsson
46. Kevin Hayes (47.50)
47. Jason Zucker (48.66)
48. Stephen Johns (50.00)
49. Matt MacKenzie (50.60)
50. Ivan Telegin (51.17)
51. Martni Marincin (51.60) – sinking
52. Patrik Nemeth (52.80)
53. Maxim Kitsyn (53.71) – sinking
54. Tom Kuhnhackl (57.00)
55. Gregg McKegg (58.66)
56. Devante Smith-Pelley (60.00)
57. Ryan Martindale (61.60) – strong feelings about him either way
58. Jakub Culek (62.17) – although not next on aggregate, he has the better overall selections
59. Brock Beukeboom (62.17) – rising
60. Jared Knight (61.40)

Round Three

61. Troy Rutkowski (62.60)
62. Brandon Archibald(63.75)
63. Justin Shugg (63.80)
64. Michael Bournival (65.83)
65. Oscar Lindberg (81.75) – suffers from a horrible RLR ranking (#169)
66. Phillipe Grubauer (66.75) – slightly behind Visentin on aggregate, he appears in far more sources so gets the nod
67. Mark Visentin (66.67) – rising
68. Ryan Gardiner (67.20)
69. Julian Melchiori (68.00) – loses to Bulmer on aggregate, but is ranked more frequently
70. Dalton Smith (68.40) – loses to Bulmer on aggregate, but is ranked more frequently
71. Brett Bulmer (67.25)
72. Mark Alt (68.60)
73. Justin Holl (68.60) – rising
74. Kevin Sundher (69.00) – falling
75. Danny Biega (69.00) – falling
76. Kent Simpson (71.25)
77. Pat McNally (73.25)
78. Jerome Leduc (76.00) – rising
79. Curtis Hamilton (77.40) – rising
80. Connor Brickley (78.40)
81. Stephen Silas (79.20)
82. Andrew Yogan (79.75)
83. Steven Shipley (80.17)
84. Joe Basaraba (80.60)
85. Bill Arnold (85.50)
86. Morgan Ellis (87.67)
87. Joonas Donskoi (89.60)
88. Christian Thomas (89.69)
89. Mathieu Corbeil (57.00) – only ranked in two sources
90. Maxime Clermont (75.00) – only ranked in two sources

Round Four

91. Johan Gustafsson (90.30) – beats B-D head-to-head
92. Louis Boileau-Dominque (90.33)
93. Kevin Gravel (94.00) – hurt by his ISS (#116) rating
94. Marek Hrivik (95.67) – beats Aronson head-to-head
95. Taylor Aronson (94.00)
96. Bohumil Jank (94.33) – wild card (#56-#132)
97. Michael Chaput (94.67) – hurt by RLR (#122)
98. Alex Marchenko (94.67) – wild card (#51-#138)
99. Alex Theriau (99.00)
100. Adam Pettersson (125.25) – hurt by RLR (#243)
101. Austin Madaisky (101.75) – beats Stone head-to-head
102. Mark Stone (101.00)
103. Brendan Ranford (105.67)
104. John Ramage (106.00)
105. Antonin Honejsek (109.33)
106. Max Reinhart (111.67)
107. Louis-Marc Aubry (116.50)
108. Nick Mattson (118.33) – hurt by RLR (#173)
109. Tyler Bunz (128.00)
110. Geoffrey Schemitsch (128.67)
111. Bryan Rust (128.67)
112. Johan Alm (129.67)
113. Sami Aittokalio (162.00)
114. Pathrik Vesterholm (166.33) – the last player to appear in 3 sources
115. Vladislav Kartaev (242.00) – makes McKeen’s list (#94)
116. Sam Brittain – highly regarded by RLR (#52)
117. Jonathan Johansson – hurt by ISS (#145)
118. Martin Ouellette
119. Sondre Olden – rising
120. Fredrik Wentzel

Rounds five through seven are unchanged (other than the few players who have entered the top four; Bryce O’Hagan and Adam Polasek fall off the charts); listing them:

121. Konrad Abeltshauser
122. Jason Clark
123. Ryan Harrison
124. Brian Billett
125. Joey Leach
126. Freddie Hamilton
127. Marcel Noebels
128. Victor Ohman
129. Mike Perriera
130. Kevin Clare
131. Adam  Janosik
132. Radko Gudas
133. Sergei Barbashev
134. Mikael Salmivirta
135. Nate Schmidt
136. Petr Mrazak
137. Matthew Bissonnette
138. Brendan Woods
139. Nikita Zaytsev
140. Brandon Davidson
141. Josh Shalla
142. Kenneth Agostino
143. Petter Granberg
144. Sam Carrick
145. Lukas Cingel
146. Casey Thrush
147. Brooks Macek
148. Luke Moffatt
149. Phillip Lane
150. Alex Emond
151. Jonathan Ilahti
152. Patrick Cehlin
153. Michael Parks
154. Jesper Fasth
155. Mirko Hoflin
156. Jonathan Brunelle
157. Benjamin Conz
158. Samuel Carrier
159. Lars Volden
160. Eamonn McDermott
161. Michael Sgarbossa
162. Alex Guptill
163. Kevin Lind
164. Austin Levi
165. Aaron Harstad
166. Raman Hrabarenka
167. Caleb Herbert
168. Stephen MacAuley
169. Daniel Gunnarsson
170. T. J. Tynan
171. Adam Krause
172. Zach Hyman
173. Ben Marshall
174. Nikita Gusev
175. Jacob Fallon
176. Craig Cunningham
177. Kendall McFaull
178. Tyler Stahl
179. Josh Nicholls
180. Joel Vermin
181. Yasin Cisse
182. Gregg Sutch
183. Garnet Hathaway
184. Alain Berger
185. Michael Reardon
186. Brandon. McNally
187. Jeremie Blain
188. Mathieu Brisson
189. Charles Inglis
190. Tomas Filippi
191. Colin Campbell
192. Etienne Boutet
193. Adam Sedlak
194. Brian Ward
195. Vitaly Zotov
196. Brody Sutter
197. Christian Isackson
198. Sawyer Hannay
199. Daniel Brodin
200. Ondrej Havlicek
201. Joe Faust
202. Craig Bokenfohr
203. Petteri Halinen
204. Jacob Berglund
205. Blake Gal
206. Sebastian Wannstrom
207. James Mullin
208. Joakim Nordstrom
209. Patrik Naslund
210. Brandon Hynes

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone so that we can now take a look and see how successful scouts and reporters were in predicting its outcome.  In fairness to the scouts, the lists I used to compile rankings were based on their assessments of the best players, not where they would go in the draft.  Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile to take a look at how publications placed prospects and where they wound up in the actual draft.

The first round is the both the most predictable and the most predicted.  Here’s how each source I used did at the end of the day:

Round One
Aggregate Scores posted here – 26/30 (5 exact placements)
TSN – 25/30 (6 exact placements) – Bob Mckenzie once again has impressive accuracy (83%)
SI – 25/30 (4) – an excellent job by SI
ISS – 22/30 (3) – given how often their rankings are dismissed elsewhere, this is an excellent job by ISS
The Hockey News – 22/30 (3)
McKeens – 22/30 (3)
ESPN – 21/30 (4)
Red Line Report – 20/30 (4) – a lot of strong opinions pushed down their accuracy
Future Considerations – 20/30 (4)
The Hockey Writers – 19/30 (3) – an interesting result given how much THW talks about their accuracy

Rather than break the rest of the draft down as above, I’ve compared the aggregate rankings (posted in earlier articles) to the results.  I choose to follow this path because fewer and fewer of the above sources go deep into the draft.

Round Two

In total the sum of the predictions yielded a 20/30 result.  The following players were listed later in the draft: Dalton Smith, Christian Thomas, Sebastien Wannstrom, Connor Brickley, Philip Lane, Mark Alt, Justin Holl, Oscar Lindberg, and Kent Simpson.

Round Three

The results decline the deeper we go, but it’s still 50-50 (15/30).  Only two players (Scott Wedgewood and Max Gaede) did not make the aggregate list (both were listed by Central Scouting, while Wedgewood appeared in RLR at #217 and Gaede in ISS at #166).

Round Four

The precentages were a little better in this round (19/30).  Two overage players were selected (Tye McGinn and Rob Flick), one who didn’t make the top-210 list (Ben Gallacher, #197 for ISS), and two Europeans who were not ranked at all (Marcus Sorensen, who I hadn’t seen anything written about, and Jani Hakanpaa, who RLR had put on a “watch” list but not ranked).

Round Five

The list became largely irrelevant this round (9/30), with a number of overage players selected (Tony DeHart, Jason Wilson, Justin Florek, and Luke Walker), players who didn’t make the top-210 (Christopher Wagner (#177 RLR), Cody Ferriero (#186 ISS), Tim Heed (#288 RLR), Mike Ferland (#187 ISS), Cody Beach (#181 CSNA), Isaac Macleod (#133 CSNA), Petr Mrazek (#82 RLR), Adam Polasek (#161 RLR/#193 ISS), and Brendan Gallagher (#160 ISS)), and one unranked European (John Klingberg, who I believe was on the RLR “watch” list).

Round Six

Things improve a bit here (16/30).  A few overage players were taken (Dalton Prout, Anthony Bitetto, and Alex Friesen), along with some who didn’t make the list (Joe Rogalski (#200 RLR), Corey Durocher (#199 RLR), Brendan O’Donnell (#195 CSNA), Andreas Dahlstrom (#24 CSE), Zane Gothberg (#154 RLR), Sebastien Owuya (#189 ISS), Reid McNeill (#183 RLR), Cedrick Henley (#279 RLR), Nicholas Luukko (#150 CSNA)) and two unranked players  (Tanner  Lane and Drew Czerwonka).

Round Seven

The final round was, as expected, the least reliable (7/30).  A large number of overage players were selected (Cody Rosen, Teigan Zahn, Randy McNaught, Brett Perlini, Maksim Chudinov, Bryce Aneloski, Joonas Rask, and Kellen Jones), along with those who didn’t make the list (Kristians Pelss (#218 RLR), Ronald Boyd (#230 RLR), Frederik Andersen (#165 RLR), Lee Moffie (de-listed #255 RLR), Dylen McKinlay (#156 CSNA), Macmillan Carruth (NR), Patrick Holland (#162 ISS), David Elsner (#56 CSE),  Peter Stoykewych (#88 CSNA), Chris Crane (#203 RLR), Mauro Jorg (#63 CSE), Ricard Blidstrand (#58 CSE), Riley Boychuk (#296 RLR), and Zach Trotman (#191 ISS)), with only one unranked European (John Westin).

So through 210 selections in the draft only six players who were selected were not ranked, making it clear just how thorough scouting services are (especially in North America).  A total of 17 overage players were taken (beginning in the fourth round).  The tiny amount of truly “off the board” picks is interesting, as it illustrates that no matter how much scouts may disagree on which player is better than another, their opinions on who warrants selection are very close.

To fully illustrate the point, let’s review the numbers (NL=Not Listed, Ov=Overage, NR=Not Ranked):

Round One: 26/30 (86%)
Round Two: 20/30 (66%)
Round Three: 15/30 (50%) (2 NL)
Round Four: 19/30 (63%) (1 NL, 2 Ov, 2 NR)
Round Five: 9/30 (30%) (9 NL, 4 Ov, 1 NR)
Round Six: 16/30 (53%) (9 NL, 3 Ov, 2 NR)
Round Seven: 7/30 (23%) (14 NL, 8 Ov, 1 NR)
Top-210 List: 152/210 (72% accuracy)
Listed Players: 187/210  (87%)

Kuddos to the scouting services and the rankings they provide.  Clearly, whatever various NHL teams do in their own scouting, ultimately their opinions on what makes a player an NHL prospect are the same.