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.

Reviewing Ottawa’s 2010 Draft (Hockey Herald)

[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].

The 2010 draft has wrapped up and the Ottawa Senators have come away with five new prospects.  The Sens followed their pattern of selecting an over-age player (Aneloski) and an unranked player (Sorensen).  In total they acquired or selected two defensemen (both right-hand shots) and three forwards (all wingers, one left and two right).  Here’s a look at what happened:

First Round

Traded their 16th overall pick to St. Louis (who selected Vladimir Tarasenko) in exchange for defenseman David Rundblad (the Blues 1st round pick, 17th overall, from last year).

Second Round

Had previously traded away both their picks (#46 to Carolina (subsequently moved to Edmonton, Martin Marincin) for Matt Cullen; #58 (from San Jose) to NYI (subsequently moved to Chicago, Kent Simpson) for Andy Sutton

The Sens tried to acquire a pick in this round, but were unable to do so

Third Round

Selected (76th overall) left-winger Jakub Culek from the QMJHL

Fourth Round

Selected (106th overall) right-winger Marcus Sorensen from the Super Elite league in Sweden

Fifth Round

Had previously traded away their pick (136th overall) to San Jose (Isaac Macleod) in the Dany Heatley deal

Sixth Round

Had previously traded away their pick (166th overall) to Edmonton (Drew Czerwonka) to select Michael Sdao in the 2009 draft

Selected (178th overall, San Jose’s pick) right-winger Mark Stone from the WHL

Seventh Round

Selected (196th overall) defenseman Bryce Aneloski from the USHL

The Players

David Rundblad (D-R, 6’2, YOB 1990, 47-1-12-13 SEL)

Signed by the Blues to his entry-level contract just weeks ago, he’d committed to one more year in Sweden (playing for Skelleftea).  Presumably he became expendable due to the glut of young defensemen in the Blues system.  The Sens believe he’s only a year away from being NHL-ready, having put up two solid seasons in the SEL (along with strong performances in the last two World Junior Championships).

Jakub Culek (LW, 6’3, YOB 1992, 63-13-34-47 QMJHL)

Ranked as high as #57 (McKeens) and no lower than #70 (Red Line Report), Culek slipped down to the Sens at #76.  He’s a big, rangy winger whom they envision as a third line player; probably 3-4 years away.
The ISS scouting report: “Culek was one of Rimouski’s better player’s night in and night out. He centered one of Rimouski’s top two lines plus played both PP and PK minutes. He finished the regular season with decent numbers. He possesses above average puck skills, puck protection and hockey sense. His skating has shown improvement from the start of the year, with added strength. He is a big project with third line upside.”  They list his size/strength, skating, and hockey sense as Very Good; his shot and puck skills as Good.
RLR says: “Big power winger has a good stride, but lacks balance.  Long wingspan that he uses to shield off defenders.  Has improved his puck skills dramatically since last season, when he was essentially a big body who played a rugged game along the walls.  Is a more confident puckhandlers – willing to carry through the neutral zone and make moves off the rush.  Nice release on wristers from the slot area, but is not a natural finisher around the net.  Creates his offence through hard work and aggression, banging and crashing down low and driving to the net with and without the puck.  Occasionally ridden off the puck too easily by smaller d-men he should be overpowering. Shows defensive awareness to cut off passing lanes and drop back to cover for rushing d-men.  Fine prospect if he continues to round off the rough edges and add pieces to his game.”  They project him as a rugged 3rd line winger optimistically compared to Ryan Malone.

Marcus Sorensen (RW, 5’11, YOB 1992, 27-7-10-17 SuperElit)

The Sens have a long history of making off-the-wall selections and this qualifies as one.  No scouting source had Sorensen listed.  On the surface the pick reminded me of Emil Sandin’s selection (199th in 2008)—a small, skilled player who had success in the Swedish junior system.  However, for the Sens to pick him this early means he’s more than just a flyer.  According to the Sens scouting staff, he’s a speedy player with good hands who needs to get stronger.  Like Culek he’s probably 3-4 years away.  Sorensen is slated to play for the Djurgarden junior team next year, but the Sens indicated that he may play in the CHL instead (assuming he’s picked in the Import Draft, June 29th).

Mark Stone (RW, 6’2, YOB 1992, 39-11-17-28 WHL)

Ranked as high as #88 (THN) and no lower than #118 (ISS), the Sens may have scored picking Stone at #178.  Stone is a power forward who missed significant time due to a thumb injury and a concussion.  The scouting staff believe his numbers were down because he played on a stacked Brandon team.  He’s a couple of years away from turning pro.
The ISS scouting report: “A native of Winnipeg, Stone has been one of the more successful players in Manitoba hockey in the past few seasons. The simple fact is that teams with Stone on their roster make it to big games and Stone generally is one of the major reasons for this. A big winger who isn’t going to stickhandle his way through many defences, Stone protects the puck well, is a pain to handle around the net and can be looked to provide reliable defensive support. Stone needs to improve his skating and deception skills. He can telegraph his intentions sometimes with the puck and is better suited away from the puck.
RLR says: “Big winger has nice hands, but skating issues drop him on our list.  Stride saw improvement this season, but is still a problem – heavy footed and has a short stride.  Has good hands in close and a decent passing touch, but tends to be a garbage goal scorer and we’ve only seen rare glimpses of an accurate shooting touch.  Makes accurate passes and is especially adept at finding linemates in transition. Very good at protecting the puck, but skating keeps him from being able to drive the net with authority.  Despite good size and decent strength, doesn’t use the body at all.  Tends to be a bit timid in board battles and doesn’t initiate much contact.  Progress stalled this season due to broken thumb and concussion.”  They project him as a fourth-liner with hands, optimistically compared to Steve Bernier.

Bryce Aneloski (D-R, 6’2, YOB 1990, 60-15-39-54 USHL)

Unranked as an overage player, he was passed over in the last two drafts (#157 North American with Central Scouting in 2008).  The Sens would have seen a lot of Aneloski, as he played the past two seasons with Jeff Costello (#146 in 2009).  According to Aneloksi, who lead the USHL in blueline scoring, the biggest difference this season was his conditioning (http://mckeenshockey.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1096508).  Ottawa (and the Islanders) talked to Aneloski before the draft, so he wasn’t completely off the radar.  He’s committed to the NCAA and is viewed as a long-term prospect (perhaps staying the full four years).

So what are we to make of this year’s draft?  The Sens followed their principal of picking the best player available (rather than drafting for need).  Not surprisingly, the picks are all long-term prospects (it’s not surprising due to the number of prospects who are turning pro this year and next).