MCKENZIE LIST OFFERS CLARITY

I came to this year’s entry draft late (playoffs!) and then had a helluva time getting this thing surrounded. Never fear, the Bob McKenzie list is out and gives us some clarity about what the draft might look like this weekend. (BM list)

UNUSUAL ITEMS

Among the things I noticed from Mr. McKenzie’s list:

  • 23 OHL kids, 21 WHL. It is close this year.
  • 18 USHL kids. This is the third junior league now.
  • The Oilers probably like this list. If they arrive at No. 22 overall with Josh Norris, Kailer Yamamoto and Isaac Ratcliff available, that’s a nice group to choose from.

MOCK DRAFT

I always like to run my list against the BM list, to see what my list values more than the consensus. Usually I end up with a large number of small skill forwards. Let’s have a look.

  • First Round: No. 22 overall—R Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). I have him at No. 11, McKenzie’s list slots him at No. 24. Terrific talent. Smart, elusive, offensive. NHLE (36.2) compares well to any in this draft.
  • Third Round: No. 82 overall (FROM ST. LOUIS—this is payment for Nail Yakupov)—RC Morgan Geekie, Tri-City Americans (WHL). I have him No. 30, Geekie is No. 86 on the McKenzie list. C w/2-way rep and emerging offense. This is his second year of eligibility but his spike offensively (90 points from 25 a year ago).
  • Third Round: No. 84 overall—LC Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). I have him No. 32, he is honorable mention on the BM list. Small skill C, terrific skills. He is small and not fast, but very productive.
  • Fourth Round: No. 115 overallLD Noel Hoefenmeyer, Ottawa 67s (OHL). I have him No. 40, McKenzie does not list him. Complete skills. Has good size and can defend well, and is a good passer. Unlikely to spend a lot of time on the power play, but the entire defense crop feels that way this year.
  • Fifth Round: No. 126 overall (FROM Vancouver—this is payment for Phil Larsen)RC Alexander Chmelevski, Ottawa 67s (OHL). I have him No. 56, he does not appear on the BM list. Impressive skills, outststanding Top Prospects game.
  • Sixth Round: No. 177 overall—F Andrey Altybarmakyan, St.Petersburg (MHL). I have him at No. 60. Undersized skill forward, his not being on the BM list should not come as a surprise. I think my list is the only one that has him this high.
  • Seventh Round: No. 208 overall—RD Artyom Minulin, Swfit Current Broncos (WHL). Big defender with emerging skills. I have him No. 68.

Once again I can get through my entire draft without passing my top 70. Once again my list ends up with  a giant group of small forwards. Don’t care. My list drafts Kailer Yamamoto, that means I win! We looked at Craig Button’s list in a similar fashion recently, and that is here. My final list is here.

COLLISION COURSE

We can see it coming from one mile away. The draft pauses at No. 22, with the Edmonton brass decided over Kailer Yamamoto and Isaac Ratcliffe. Who would you choose?

  • Brock Otten, OHL Prospects on Ratcliffe: He is a very interesting prospect that is available this year. I could see him being drafted anywhere from 15 to 50. He has some extremely alluring qualities to NHL scouts. First thing you notice is his size at 6’6. And he skates very well, with good speed and acceleration. But he’s also not even 200 lbs yet. As he fills out, I don’t think we truly know how good he could be. Ratcliffe’s other best quality is his shot. He has an absolute rocket of a wrist shot and I think he’s got big time scoring potential. Once he’s able to add that aforementioned strength, he’ll be able to generate more scoring chances for himself as he can protect the puck better and look to be aggressive in driving the middle of the ice. His physical game is inconsistent and that’s another area of his game that will need to improve. Ditto for discipline. Source
  • Ryan Biech, Nations Network, on Yamamoto: when to comes to actually selecting a player in the NHL Entry Draft, you have to be concerned about things like size. It’s not as easy as saying ‘he is really good, so let’s take him’. Yamamoto’s small stature has to be taken into consideration and is likely why he isn’t ranked higher. It will not be surprising to see the 5’8″ winger to be selected in the middle part of the first round or fall down a bit further. But there is no denying the talent that he possesses. He is easily one of the most talented players in this draft and if a team isn’t scared of that size risk, they may walk away with a top 6 forward that will just keep producing as he progresses up the ladder. Source

I am on team Yamamoto, have him No. 11 overall. It would be insanity to see him fall to No. 22, but that could be a major break for the Edmonton Oilers. We wait.

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75 Responses to "MCKENZIE LIST OFFERS CLARITY"

  1. Rondo says:

    LT,

    You pick two ends of the spectrum.

    Yamamoto 5’7.5 146lbs-

    Ratcliffe 6’6

  2. jtblack says:

    Team yamamoto. How are his boots? I think drafting small is one risk, but if the kids can motor that usually allows them to escape danger at the NHL level. If his boots are average, then trouble.

    I think the Oilers have plenty of size and can afford to draft small skill at #22.

    Can’t wait to see what happens!

  3. jtblack says:

    Size is an aphrodisiac for GM’s … Ratcliffe has Chris Dingman written all over him ….

  4. Lowetide says:

    JT Black: Re boots.

    Corey Pronman:
    He’s a plus skater, puck handler and passer. Yamamoto has great agility on his edges
    combined with a good top gear. 

  5. jtblack says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m In!

  6. Rondo says:

    Hockey Prospect has Ratcliffe #13 and Yamamoto not in the 1st round. Picks are all over the board. I’ll stick with my possibilities.

    Robert Thomas
    Klim Kostin
    Lias Andersson
    Erik Brannstrom

    Josh Norris
    Filip Chytil
    Kailer Yamamoto
    Ryan Poehling
    Isaac Ratcliffe
    Jason Robertson

  7. godot10 says:

    So I did my expansion draft:

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/71295

    Criticize away.

  8. Stud Muffin says:

    To many small forwards and to many overagers

  9. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Think VGK would flip Enstrom to the oilers for a pick?

    Coming off a tough season, may have an inexpensive pricetag. Probably makes sense for VGK to take Dano out of WPG though.

    Also, would be pretty hilarious in a sad way if Reinhart turned into a quality player in Vegas (if they picked him)

  10. godot10 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Think VGK would flip Enstrom to the oilers for a pick?

    Coming off a tough season, may have an inexpensive pricetag. Probably makes sense for VGK to take Dano out of WPG though.

    Also, would be pretty hilarious in a sad way if Reinhart turned into a quality player in Vegas (if they picked him)

    Hainsey can play both left and ride sides, and one can probably get him for cheaper on a one-year deal.

  11. digger50 says:

    Rondo:
    Hockey Prospect has Ratcliffe #13and Yamamoto not in the 1st round.Picks are all over the board. I’ll stick with my possibilities.

    Robert Thomas
    Klim Kostin
    Lias Andersson
    Erik Brannstrom

    Josh Norris
    Filip Chytil
    Kailer Yamamoto
    Ryan Poehling
    Isaac Ratcliffe
    Jason Robertson

    Although they say this draft class is average, the Finns say they have an excellent crop.

    From your list I would love to get Anderson.

  12. digger50 says:

    godot10:
    So I did my expansion draft:

    https://www.capfriendly.com/forums/thread/71295

    Criticize away.

    Psst.. did you forget about our deal to take Poulliot??

  13. leadfarmer says:

    Small and not fast. Sounds like a death sentence

  14. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Small and not fast.Sounds like a death sentence

    Still, third round I’d take him. Shaw could end up being an inexpensive help at the NHL level not so long from now.

  15. Scungilli Slushy says:

    When not picking in the lottery the odds of getting an impact player drop off rapidly. So I’m not a fan of choosing outliers with high picks because it lowers low odds. Too small, too big , things that speak to issues at the NHL level.

    If a player is that dominant and and obvious elite talent that is different. Those players are few each year.

    I looked through the reg season and playoff scoring leaders for curiosity for this year. The majority are near around 6′ and have some weight.

    It is because speed and strength are really important to be able to consistently handle the grind and get scoring chances. Height helps with reach and shooting angles. There are no absolutes of course.

    The last piece is tenacity. I’m hoping they get a shot at a skilled RC in those parameters. Skill, boots, enough height, responsible for age and assertive, good players make things happen.

    Given what seems the currency of the league I’d draft right centres and right defense heavily and hope to develop a surplus.

  16. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    -Great post LT! It just occurred to me that after 10 years of being a poor drafting & developing team, we are now at the stage where we need to draft and develop internal solutions

    – I mean we sucked for 10 years, and now that we don’t suck (mostly because of McD), we need good drafting to help us, when it wasn’t good drafting that got us here!

  17. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Seeing as you all brought up soccer, I’m passively watching the Germans take Australia apart. Two ‘point shots’ for goals.

    I’ve always thought Canada should do that, more like hockey and needs less overall skill in penetrating in close (don’t say it) defense which requires another level of game we don’t have yet, but will come with growth of the game in Canada.

  18. flyfish1168 says:

    I like Yamamoto skill. But the question is will he be able to bring it to the next level AHL and then the NHL. Not many players that size can turn out to be a Kane or Gaudreau.

  19. Dicky94 says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    I hope not. Watched a lot of Jets games the last couple of years. Oil fans would run him out of town.

  20. Rondo says:

    flyfish1168,

    Kane is 5’11

    Gaudreau is 5’9

    Yamamoto 5’7.5

    Listed heights.

  21. misfit says:

    I differ a bit fom the masses in that, in a draft that’s percieved as not as strong, I am more inclined to want to trade up rather than down to collect more picks. And the fact that teams may think they can still get their guy lower or that there’s not mubch difference between a few guys actually makes trading up something you can actually do without having to blow a guy away with an offfer.

    For example, I like Liljegren, and feel like he could fall, but it does us no good if he falls to 19 and gets taken ahead of us anyway. But the team that passed on him at 18 may have been willing to give up that pick to move into 22 than maybe they would have in another year where there’s more consensus. We could nab who I still believe will be the best D in the draft for the cost of a 3rd in a weak draft.

    I’d almost always prefer to trade up than down, but in weak draft years, I’m even more in favour of it.

  22. dustrock says:

    LT where do you have Thomas again? You pick him over Yamamoto?

  23. highgloveside says:

    I really like Yamamoto and the Oilers have lots of size to surround him so he would be less effective. He competes harder than anyone on the ice and is a ++ skater. With the Oilers not having their 2nd pick until #84 I could see them playing it a little safer as you don’t want to blow it. I think I would choos Norris over Ratcliffe myself but it is a toss up.

    I think Yamamoto can be better than Gaudreau, mostly because he would have more size around him. I also think he could score 35+ goals with McDavid in a couple years. With McDavids speed, Maroon or Lucic size, he would have lots of room to put the puck into the net.

  24. Ryan says:

    Rondo:
    flyfish1168,

    Kane is 5’11

    Gaudreau is 5’9

    Yamamoto 5’7.5

    Listed heights.

    Kane is only slightly below average height and an elite skater.

    Gaudreau was a forth round pick and an elite skater.

    I’d imagine 5’7.5 could do the job if a guy could skate like McDavid and make plays at full speed.

  25. Professor Q says:

    Rondo:
    flyfish1168,

    Kane is 5’11

    Gaudreau is 5’9

    Yamamoto 5’7.5

    Listed heights.

    Theo Fleury is 5’6″.

    Tyler Johnson is 5’8″.

    Cam Atkinson is 5’8″.

    Henri Richard, 5’7″.

    Mats Zuccarello, 5’7″.

    Bryan Gionta, 5’7″.

    Dionne, Lindsay, etc.

  26. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    LT where do you have Thomas again? You pick him over Yamamoto?

    I have Yamamoto at No. 11, Thomas at No. 14.
    http://lowetide.ca/2017/06/01/the-final-150-2017-draft/

  27. VOR says:

    I think we have reached the moment where some attention needs to be paid to how the players the Oilers’ draft will fit with the team.

    Before going any further I want to say I have nothing against smaller players like Kailer Yamamoto. I don’t think he will be there when the Oilers draft at 22nd OV. If he is I won’t be at all upset if they draft him. I will be surprised, happily surprised.

    But I think the risk reward profile for Yamamoto is different for the Oilers than it would be for other teams including some that are picking earlier. Yamamoto is a project on the defensive side of the puck. The Oilers seem to think they are in win now mode and that means no players who cheat for offence and bleed scoring chances against. I am sure Kailer Yamamoto will learn to play defense but he can’t do it right now. He needs to be in Arizona or Vegas or Vancouver where they will let him wheel and deal and not try to fit a round peg in a square hole.

    But now imagine that you are the Oilers and when you get to #22 the following players (and Kailer Yamamoto) are all still available:

    Issac Ratcliffe
    Josh Norris
    Kole Lind
    Robert Thomas
    Cal Foote

    Who do you take?

    All the forwards except Yamamoto have that tag: “200 foot game” somewhere in their scouting reports. All six players have high hockey IQs. Norris killed the combine. Ratcliffe did really well on some combine tests that predict skating ability at the NHL level. 6’6″ men who can skate and have wicked wrist shots are a bit uncommon. Thomas keeps getting compared to Bo Horvat and that is high praise indeed. Many scouts think Lind is a sure thing NHLer. Yamamoto is a speed demon scoring machine.

    All the players except Yamamoto have multiple ways they can make it to and stay in the NHL. In other words there is less risk in taking any of these players than in taking Yamamoto. Less upside probably as well but the Oilers can’t afford any lost opportunities at this time. They need to go super low risk. They need a clean double.

    That means Foote if he is still there at 22 and if not Lind.

    Why Foote? He is a big, smart, coachable, agile skater (yes he needs a bit of work on his acceleration), who is a great distributor of the puck. He is also dead calm with the puck, not prone to making errors and has way above average hockey IQ. And he is a right handed D. In other words a dead lock, barring injury, to make the NHL.

    Why Lind? He needs to shoot more, especially more consistently. But he has great wheels, great hands, is a sublime passer and is a human buzz saw. He hits everything that moves. And kills penalties. And knows what he is doing on a power play. And fore checks like a demon and back checks equally hard. His shot, while not great is effective because he knows how to get open, where to be open, and has a quick, accurate release. In other words like Foote, Lind will be an NHL player for somebody.

    Neither player has much chance of being a superstar. But the Oilers have superstars. Now they need sure thing role players and Foote and Lind fit that bill. That said, Norris and Thomas have many of the same positives, plus skaters, skilled offensive players, highly coachable with existing 200 foot games, and stunningly high hockey IQs. Five of the players are almost certain to spend significant years in the NHL. Sadly, Kailer Yamamoto who is easily the best player of the six right now is not one of them. He is boom or bust.

    Now lets rank the players in order of being a good fit for the Oilers:

    1. Issac Ratcliffe – big man with wheels, loves to crash the net, and is gifted enough and fast enough to play place and chase. Oh and he loves to hit people, he plays mean. Fits Peter Chiarelli prototype to a tee.
    2. Cal Foote – the Oilers like RHD. The Oilers like calm in their own end. The Oilers want puck movers who can dominate physically. The Oilers wanted Dougie Hamilton. Foote keeps getting compared to Hamilton for good or bad.
    3. Kole Lind – see my comment about human buzz saw. Chiarelli loves these guys. Lind’s motor never stops. Chiarelli loves these guys. Lind plays hard on all 200 feet of the ice. McLellan loves these guys. Lind learns on the fly from in game experience. Every coach loves these guys.
    4. Robert Thomas – McLellan will love him. Not as much a Chiarelli type as Lind. No future as an agitator. Never, ever going to cost you a game. Fills a major roster whole (RC, 2nd or 3rd line).
    5. Josh Norris – I am betting if McLellan was left along to make the decision it would be Norris. A fitness fanatic, a coach’s dream. Super smart all over the ice. Tremendous acceleration. Not a hitter. Not physically aggressive. Fits roster spot (LC, 2nd or 3rd line).
    6. Kailer Yamamoto – speed merchant, smells blood in the water and pounces. Has enormous offensive creativity. No idea where is own end of the ice is located. Not a Chiarelli or a McLellan type.

    If Foote is there I think they take him (low risk, high reward). If not they will have a tough time picking between the immense promise of a possibly generational power forward (Issac Ratcliffe) that could bust or a third line agitator who kills penalties and score big goals and plays a thousand games in the NHL (Kole Lind). I think they go with the safe player.

  28. pocession charge says:

    Professor Q,

    Marty St.Louis

  29. Jaxon says:

    A CASE FOR CONOR TIMMINS

    I think people are underestimating Conor Timmins offensive abilities. He’s got decent size at 6’1″, 183lbs. Good skater.

    Since 2005 Draft, only 3 OHL D have scored at a higher Even Strength Primary Points per 60:
    Ryan Ellis 1.98
    Anthony DeAngelo 1.48
    Ryan Murphy 1.33
    Conor Timmins 1.32

    Lower on the list:
    Jordan Subban 1.23
    Cody Ceci 1.08
    Erik Gudbranson 1.01
    Alex Pietrangelo 0.96
    Olli Juolevi 0.96
    Olli Maatta 0.89
    Zach Bogosian 0.89
    Michael Del Zotta 0.89
    Aaron Ekblad 0.86
    Rasmus Andersson 0.85
    Mikhail Sergachev 0.84
    Calvin de Haan 0.84
    Darnell Nurse 0.82
    Ryan Sproul 0.79
    Jakob Chychrun 0.71
    PK Subban 0.65 (less than half)
    Colin Miller 0.62
    Darren Raddysh 0.61
    EDIT Timmins (2015-2016) 0.57**Rookie
    Nikita Zadorov 0.56
    Drew Doughty 0.55
    Dougie Hamilton 0.53
    Kyle Wood 0.43
    Cam Fowler 0.42
    Jacob Muzzin 0.36
    Marc Staal 0.33
    TJ Brodie 0.29

    “Kevin Wickersham – Dobber Prospects – May 9th: “The cerebral, poised Timmins plays an impressive two-way game featuring sharp intuition and vision that contribute to his skilled passing and playmaking. A great puck-mover and mobile skater that excels at quarterbacking the power play. He took great offensive strides last year with OHL Sault Ste. Marie, finishing with seven goals and 54 assists in 67 contests, far exceeding his previous 13-point campaign. He could add more muscle to beef up his already aggressive defensive game.”

    Bill Placzek (DraftSite): “Promising defense prospect who seems cool and collected in most on-ice situations. Sees, thinks, and reacts at a high level with his passes and attack strategies. A smooth skater and puck-handler who is very smart with where he directs it. Has a great touch and leads his teammates to where his pass is going. Can make the hard-up-ice blueline break-in from the neutral zone, or with sweet saucer passes from both sides of his stick.”

    He’s not slow, he’s not small, he’s not propped up by an offensive team around him, he’s a smart player. He’s right-handed, he’s a good passer.

    If he’s still available at #22, I think Edmonton cannot afford to let him go. If Ethan Bear, or Mantha or Benning don’t become that 2nd pair right-hander, then this is potentially an affordable way to fill that hole. And filling top 4 D holes is the hardest thing to do outside the draft. Even if they do go out and find a 2nd pair RHD (Hamonic, Savard, Faulk, Stone), if Timmins fills out and reaches his potential then they will be able to trade that player away for assets and fill the spot with a cheap ELC.

  30. Ryan says:

    VOR,

    Good stuff.

    What’s your opinion on the school of thought that dmen depreciate slower off the draft lot than forwards?

  31. pocession charge says:

    VOR,

    Nice breakdown of the prospects. I worry a bit about Foote’s big boots but would be happy with him. I would choose Thomas because of position and he’s RH.

  32. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Professor Q: Theo Fleury is 5’6″.

    Tyler Johnson is 5’8″.

    Cam Atkinson is 5’8″.

    Henri Richard, 5’7″.

    Mats Zuccarello, 5’7″.

    Bryan Gionta, 5’7″.

    Dionne, Lindsay, etc.

    The point isn’t that short light players can’t be good, it’s that they are rare, few have long high scoring careers, and few are so elite they are easy to spot draft picks. Almost exclusively they need top level speed, puck skills and mobility to succeed.

    Just the same as trying to draft Lucic. Using outliers as a draft model given low odds of drafting impact players to begin with decreases low odds.

    If a scout loves an outlier fine, do it after the second round when almost nobody makes much of a difference anyway.

    It’s simply logic, same as using Corsi and Fenwick instead of goals to predict future outcomes. The sample is too small to get a reliable bead on.

  33. pocession charge says:

    Jaxon,

    Also a good choice. Lots of nice options.

  34. Professor Q says:

    pocession charge:
    Professor Q,

    Marty St.Louis

    I meant to include him but got distracted! Thank you.

  35. VOR says:

    Jaxon,

    I love Conor Timmins. I debated putting him in my list. I didn’t because I really think he will go earlier and additionally he is another high risk player. He has only one year of excellence on his resume. He is a late birthday and exploded this year and that makes him very hard to project. I also am made deeply nervous by the idea of a player who last year struggled in the OHL and this year is being described as close to pro ready (which is how Brock Otten described him). D don’t develop in straight lines and I think it makes Timmins both one of the highest risk and one of the highest reward (as you so brilliantly pointed out) players in this draft. Exactly the kind of player the Oilers must avoid picking in the first round.

    Ryan,

    I think D, because of their long development curves hold their draft value in terms of trades much longer than forwards and slightly longer than centers. I can’t prove it, and hate committing to anything without evidence but I suspect it is true. I keep meaning to get around to checking for myself.

  36. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Draft elite scoring or 5 tool right handed centres and defense and your golden! They can be traded for value because every team needs more, and the Oilers especially need RHC, who can be moved to RW and also LW if needed. Most of the teams with envied youth have done this. Somebody hit the easy button! Somebody hit the gong for years of the Oilers not understanding this.

  37. Diablo says:

    Love the passion with which you put these draft posts together LT! Thanks for all you do.

    I’m with VOR in that I can’t see a Chia team going with Yamamoto with the first round pick – 5’7″ is really small – he hasn’t put up the kind of elite offence to suggest that his talent is so overpowering that he can overcome his small stature … an NHL of 36 just isn’t impressive enough. And his speed doesn’t rate as elite either.

    The thing that strikes me about Professor Q’s list above – most of those small players who made it were drafted much later or not at all …. I would not be surprised if Yamamoto falls right out the the 1st round.

    On the other end of the spectrum, but for similar reasons, I would like them to pass on Ratcliffe – too raw, with too much bust potential – a kid that big should be crushing junior. We already have that rare unicorn Lucic … there’s no reason to keep flushing high picks looking for another one … seen that movie several times, and each time it sucked.

    If the Oilers keep the pick, then they should aim to pick more of a sure thing – a forward who is projectable on the roster in 2-3 years – Lind, Thomas or Norris – or D prospect that they can groom for 3-4 years down the road – Foote, or Brannstrom.

  38. N64 says:

    I think Vegas is interested in IR cap hits but would want too much to take active players like Fayne.

    So my question is what would you pay for Vegas to claim Pouliot?

  39. VOR says:

    Pocession Charge,

    I am going to quote Ryan Pike to start with:

    “The best description I’ve heard of Foote is “incredibly smart.” The kid has very strong instincts of what to do and where to go on the ice, to the point where it’s almost spooky. Because of these instincts, he’s incredibly steady and doesn’t get caught out of position a lot – which gives his teammates the ability to “cheat” sometimes to create odd-man rushes. He’s an effective passer and shooter who anticipates well. He’s arguably not elite at any one thing, except perhaps his ability to think the game, but he doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses either.”

    His skating is rather odd for a big man. He is very agile, mobile, and has good edges. He isn’t fast, and doesn’t accelerate well but we aren’t talking Alex Plante or David Musil by any manner of means. The exact opposite of a pylon actually. Think of him as a big right handed Charlie Huddy. A kid who would benefit from Verkoshansky style plyometrics.

  40. Jaxon says:

    VOR:
    Jaxon,

    I love Conor Timmins. I debated putting him in my list. I didn’t because I really think he will go earlier and additionally he is another high risk player. He has only one year of excellence on his resume. He is a late birthday and exploded this year and that makes him very hard to project. I also am made deeply nervous by the idea of a player who last year struggled in the OHL and this year is being described as close to pro ready (which is how Brock Otten described him). D don’t develop in straight lines and I think it makes Timmins both one of the highest risk and one of the highest reward (as you so brilliantly pointed out) players in this draft. Exactly the kind of player the Oilers must avoid picking in the first round.

    Ryan,

    I think D, because of their long development curves hold their draft value in terms of trades much longer than forwards and slightly longer than centers. I can’t prove it, and hate committing to anything without evidence but I suspect it is true. I keep meaning to get around to checking for myself.

    Here’s an interesting stat on Timmins. You mentioned that he didn’t have a great season in his rookie OHL year. I think that is mostly because of a lack of icetime, most likely from being blocked by veterans as sometimes happens. But in his 16 year old rookie season his Even Strength Primary Points per 60 was 0.57, which is still better than Doughty, Hamilton, Fowler, etc. Doughty and Fowler were only 2.5 months younger than Timmins in their draft seasons, therefore he outscored them last season when he was 9.5 months younger than their 2nd year in his rookie year. (sorry for the convoluted sentence, I hope it made some sense).

    He’s only 2 months and about 12 days older than highly ranked Hague. He’s only 3 months older than Ceci was, and about 3 months 10 days older than Ryan Ellis was on draft day.

  41. flyfish1168 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: The point isn’t that short light players can’t be good, it’s that they are rare, few have long high scoring careers, and few are so elite they are easy to spot draft picks. Almost exclusively they need top level speed, puck skills and mobility to succeed.

    Just the same as trying to draft Lucic. Using outliers as a draft model given low odds of drafting impact players to begin with decreases low odds.

    If a scout loves an outlier fine, do it after the second round when almost nobody makes much of a difference anyway.

    It’s simply logic, same as using Corsi and Fenwick instead of goals to predict future outcomes. The sample is too small to get a reliable bead on.

    Thanks for understanding my point. At lower levels small players can bring it on and excel. It’s when you move up where strength, battling along the boards and corners start to be more important and becomes more difficult for small players. They need to have very high level of skating and stickhandling and IQ to compensate. Its rare since there is so little open ice and systems that are used. Thats why it is a little easier to succeed on the bigger ice surface.

    A friend that does some scouting gave me an example about Curtis Lazar being much stronger than most players his age and was able to get away with ok power forward moves in junior hockey. But now that he is in the NHL where he is no longer stronger than most players he can’t dominate his opponents anymore with the same moves. He lost his edge.

  42. Diablo says:

    N64:
    I think Vegas is interested in IR cap hits but would want too much to take active players like Fayne.

    So my question is what would you pay in picks for Vegas to claim Pouliot?

    Really hard to say – there are so many moving parts with respect to this expansion draft, that its hard to pin down just how much McPhee values any of our exposed players.

    He might pick Pouliot without us having to give up anything.

    First, none of Reinhart, Khaira, or Brossoit figure to play prominent roles for LV … there are much better players available at their positions. If McPhee picks one of those three, then there is a decent chance they end up on waivers come September. Its unlikely that he could get much more than a 2nd round pick for Reinhart, and no one is going to pony up much of anything for Khaira or Brossoit.

    Pouliot may have the biggest upside for them – he’s a damn good PKer, and if he recovers his offence next season, McPhee could fetch a 2nd at the trade deadline (especially if LV eats some his salary). There’s no concern about waivers with Pouliot cause its unlikely anyone puts in a claim given the size of his contract.

    At this point, if I was Chia, I wouldn’t trade much more than a 3rd round pick to McPhee.

  43. Diablo says:

    Just noticed that the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets is none other than Gator!

  44. dustrock says:

    VOR:
    Jaxon,

    I love Conor Timmins. I debated putting him in my list. I didn’t because I really think he will go earlier and additionally he is another high risk player. He has only one year of excellence on his resume. He is a late birthday and exploded this year and that makes him very hard to project. I also am made deeply nervous by the idea of a player who last year struggled in the OHL and this year is being described as close to pro ready (which is how Brock Otten described him). D don’t develop in straight lines and I think it makes Timmins both one of the highest risk and one of the highest reward (as you so brilliantly pointed out) players in this draft. Exactly the kind of player the Oilers must avoid picking in the first round.

    Ryan,

    I think D, because of their long development curves hold their draft value in terms of trades much longer than forwards and slightly longer than centers. I can’t prove it, and hate committing to anything without evidence but I suspect it is true. I keep meaning to get around to checking for myself.

    Timmins is a Sept 1998 birthday. Heiskanen is a July 1999 birthday.

    My worry with Timmins is he is zooming being one of the oldest prospects.

    Yamamoto’ s equivalencies are at #1 pick level. I know, size,but man he can score.

  45. JDI says:

    Brad Hunt is available:

    Canucks Now‏ @CanucksNow

    Jim Benning on potentially drafting a defenseman: “We need a true PP defenseman – a guy that can score and put up 50-60 points.” #Canucks

  46. Ducey says:

    JDI:
    Brad Hunt is available:

    Canucks Now‏ @CanucksNow


    Jim Benning on potentially drafting a defenseman: “We need a true PP defenseman – a guy that can score and put up 50-60 points.” #Canucks

    Maybe Chia can trade him Larsen again.

  47. Dominoiler says:

    For a list that penalises lack of speed, it was surprising to see you #3 pick..

    “Third Round: No. 84 overall—LC Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). I have him No. 32, he is honorable mention on the BM list. Small skill C, terrific skills. He is small and not fast, but very productive.”

    Especially when you’ve got yamamato in the first round, a slow less skilled mini mouse gets a big pass from me.. showing a little too much commitment to being the smartest guy in the room, imho..

  48. Jaxon says:

    dustrock: Timmins is a Sept 1998 birthday. Heiskanen is a July 1999 birthday.

    My worry with Timmins is he is zooming being one of the oldest prospects.

    Yamamoto’ s equivalencies are at #1 pick level. I know, size,but man he can score.

    See my response to VOR above. Even in his Draft-1 rookie season as a 16 year old, Timmins outscored Doughty and Fowler and Hamilton in their Draft+0 season. DeAngelo was only 1 month younger, Fowler 2 months, 12 days, Doughty 2.5 months, Ceci 3 months, Ellis 3 months, 10 days, Gudbranson 3.5 months, Sproul 3 months, 20 days, Pietrangelo 4 months. These are not huge differences in age and he outscored them all except Ellis and DeAngelo.

    Would you be worried about #1 ranked Nolan Patrick’s age because Patrick and Timmins are born a day apart, Sept 18 & 19?

  49. JDI says:

    Ducey,

    Either way, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a 50 – 60 point defender!

    😆

  50. VOR says:

    Dustrock,

    The convention, per Malcolm Gladwell (and no I don’t agree with his thesis and think the evidence contradicts it), is:

    An early birthday is a player born January through March.

    A late birthday is a player born September through December.

    Without getting into a long discussion about the significance of birth date as a predictor of NHL success late birthday players who explode in their draft year need to be viewed with some degree of suspicion.

    These players (like Timmins) are now older than their NHL draft class mates and some people think this matters. The argument is younger is better. The data tying age at draft to later NHL success is actually very weak so I am not sure this true. But late blooming combined with a late birthday (ie. being older at time of NHL draft) is definitely a red flag. Thus my comment about Timmins.

    In other words I agree with you.

  51. VOR says:

    Jaxon,

    I am not sure those age differences aren’t significant. While the evidence is weak that age at draft correlates with future NHL success I have coached enough young athletes to know that a few months can turn an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. It is this very phenomenon that causes me concern when trying to project Timmins.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Dominoiler:
    For a list that penalises lack of speed, it was surprising to see you #3 pick..

    “Third Round: No. 84 overall—LC Mason Shaw, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). I have him No. 32, he is honorable mention on the BM list. Small skill C, terrific skills. He is small and not fast, but very productive.”

    Especially when you’ve got yamamato in the first round, a slow less skilled mini mouse gets a big pass from me.. showing a little too much commitment to being the smartest guy in the room, imho..

    It’s my list up against the McKenzie list, so first man up who could reasonably be taken. No attempt to be “smartest man in the room” but an interesting exercise in things NHL teams undervalue. Shaw in the third round would be a good pick, that much I know.

  53. Rondo says:

    VOR,

    Another opinion by Corey Pronman insider article

    http://www.espn.com/blog/nhl-draft/insider/post?id=832

    “Since I started doing work in the hockey prospect arena, the issue of late-birthdate prospects confounded me. After years of dealing with prospects, and doing recent research on the matter, I am convinced it is one of the most important quantitative factors that can go into prospect evaluations.”

  54. VOR says:

    dominoiler,

    Actually I think Mason Shaw is an inspired picked in the third round. Shaw is another later birthday, November 3rd, and that and his size are causing NHL teams to undervalue him. His lack of elite skating is just the icing on the cake as it were.

    However, think about this, a lot of players ranked ahead of Shaw are bigger or faster than their draft mates. Their success in junior is based on their physical advantages. Those advantages will disappear at the NHL level for the most part.

    Shaw’s success is based on puck skills and a stunning hockey IQ. He out thinks his opponents and then uses his extraordinary puck skills to generate offence. Unlike Yamamoto he also plays sound defense and is diligent about looking after his own end. His high end is Adam Oates and in the third round all teams should start taking players with lots of risk but tons of reward. Mason Shaw fits that model perfectly.

    LT, has simply swung for the fences.

  55. VOR says:

    Rondo,

    As I tried to say before, like Pronman the issue of late-birth date prospects has confounded me. My own experience as I said in my response to Jaxon is that a few months can make a gigantic difference – ie. I still agree with Pronman. My problem is that the math is really not showing a big correlation (well basically any correlation) between birth date and future NHL success. So my eye tells me one thing and the math tells me another.

    This leaves me nervous about Timmins and for that matter Shaw (though less Shaw because of where we would be drafting him) based on my own experience and thinking I am being silly based on the math.

  56. VOR says:

    Rondo,

    This paper makes the case most powerfully.

    “Supporting the hypothesis of selection bias, the percentage of total productivity achieved by players born in the third and fourth quarters was far greater than the percentage of players drafted from these quarters (Fig. 2). For example, although 14.5% of draftees were born in the fourth quarter, these individuals played 20% of the games (477,000) and scored 19% of the points (209,000) accumulated by draftees in our sample. By contrast, those born in the first quarter dramatically under-produced, given that they constituted 36% of draftees.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584041/

  57. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Mason Shaw isn’t fast?

    What?

    He’s very very fast. It’s his primary skill.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Mason Shaw isn’t fast?

    What?

    He’s very very fast. It’s his primary skill.

    I have a couple of scouting reports saying different. More along the lines as described above.

  59. Ducey says:

    VOR:
    dominoiler,

    Actually I think Mason Shaw is an inspired picked in the third round. Shaw is another later birthday, November 3rd, and that and his size are causing NHL teams to undervalue him. His lack of elite skating his just the icing on the cake as it were.

    However, think about this, a lot of players ranked ahead of Shaw are bigger or faster than their draft mates. Their success in junior is based on their physical advantages. Those advantages will disappear at the NHL level for the most part.

    Shaw’s success is based on puck skills and a stunning hockey IQ. He out thinks his opponents and then uses his extraordinary puck skills to generate offence. Unlike Yamamoto he also plays sound defense and is diligent about looking after his own end. His high end is Adam Oates and in the third round all teams should start taking players with lots of risk but tons of reward. Mason Shaw fits that model perfectly.

    LT, has simply swung for the fences.

    I respect your opinion a lot but this sounds like a lot of wishcasting.

    From what I have read he spends a lot of time on the perimeter. And it’s just as likely that his hockey IQ will neutralised by experienced NHL players and systems, and that his puck skills will be diminished by larger physical players.

    Sounds a little like Linus Omark or Robbie Schremp.

    But as you say, if we are talking 3rd round maybe you take a shot. I’d be more inclined to grab a toolsy guy that skates well and hope he puts it together. Someone from the Kharia tree.

  60. VOR says:

    CA$H-MCMONEY,

    It is fair to say Mason Shaw is a strong skater, but not elite.

    Draft Analyst for example says:

    “Playmaking two-way center with a strong feel for the game who simply knows what to do with the puck on his stick. Shaw is undersized from a physical standpoint, but his heart and effort quickly make you forget he’s under six feet tall. Shaw is an elite passer and phenomenal stickhandler who uses quick movements within tight spaces to earn enough time to carve up a congested zone. He plays with bite and is one of the draft’s better options to bolster a power play. Shaw, who led all first-year CHL draft eligibles in assists (67) and primary assists (43), isn’t a fast skater but his edges and balance are strong enough to keep him on his feet while maintaining full control of the puck. Always looking to attack, Shaw can thread the needle from distances well over the dimensions of a specific zone. His shot is accurate and deceptively quick, and uses a variety of ways to score. Nevertheless, he’s a pass-first center who will defer to a set-up rather than take a low percentage shot.”

    Steve Kournianos

  61. VOR says:

    Ducey,

    I get what you are saying. I love speed. But there is a point where you have to ask yourself do the tools the slower player have make up for a lack of flat out speed?

    Shaw is a toolsy sort of guy. He stick handles like a dream, has elite passing, plays outstanding defense, and is a bit of a prick, oh and by most accounts has high end hockey IQ and vision, oh and possesses a variety of ways to score including a quick accurate shot. That is quite the list of tools.

    Now, his skating speed given he has fine mechanics, can be increased by the appropriate exercise regime that increases his explosive power. So how much of a factor should speed be for a strong skater with tons of other tools? I think Shaw is one of those exceptions that proves the rule that I believe both you and I would ascribe to, ‘draft speed.”

  62. Dominoiler says:

    VOR:
    dominoiler,

    Actually I think Mason Shaw is an inspired picked in the third round.

    LT, has simply swung for the fences.

    Thanks LT and VOR.. with all the emphasis placed on skating over the last few months (year), league getting faster, I’ve taken to writing off prospects that don’t have good boots.. it would be interesting to see the results wrt Shaw and compare it with your hypothesis (and the NHLEs).. I’m fairly sure we’ll have forgotten about this player by then, but i do have a soft spot for high hockey IQ players so would be happy to see you proven correct..

    Bias is hard to shake, tho.. skilled, but slow and small is the schremp model (no one said Shaw is “slow”, just my interpretation of ‘not fast’), so is this really swinging for the fences?.. bias, tough to shake even in the face of reason..

    Edit – sounds like his wheels aren’t too far off where they’d need to be, so hopefully outpacing the schremp-mobile..

  63. Bruce McCurdy says:

    VOR:
    Rondo,

    This paper makes the case most powerfully.

    “Supporting the hypothesis of selection bias, the percentage of total productivity achieved by players born in the third and fourth quarters was far greater than the percentage of players drafted from these quarters (Fig. 2). For example, although 14.5% of draftees were born in the fourth quarter, these individuals played 20% of the games (477,000) and scored 19% of the points (209,000) accumulated by draftees in our sample. By contrast, those born in the first quarter dramatically under-produced, given that they constituted 36% of draftees.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584041/

    Good discussion. I wrote a pair of posts about what I called the Birthday Bias back in my Copper & Blue days that you might find of interest.

    https://www.coppernblue.com/2009/9/13/1028887/whats-in-a-birthdate

    https://www.coppernblue.com/2010/1/24/1263981/a-solution-to-the-birthday-bias-in

  64. VOR says:

    Dominoiler,

    I hear you on the bias thing.

    I think skating remains widely misunderstood.

    At completely different ends of the prospect pool neither Shaw or Foote are fast, but both are strong skaters. They aren’t elite because of a lack of flat out speed. That isn’t to say they aren’t above average skaters and that it isn’t contributing to their success.

  65. Dominoiler says:

    VOR,

    Again, thanks for your replies!.. cheers

  66. VOR says:

    Bruce,

    Thanks for the links. I am a December birthday and I know exactly how your son felt. In my case it wasn’t compounded by playing with kids ahead of me in school because I started school early. But I was physically immature. I became a goalie simply because I was smaller than the other kids (the bigger kids bullied me into it) and it was the only way I was going to get to play (very few kids wanted to play goal). Sadly, I was also less coordinated than the other kids so I was not a very good goalie. The years I would play with older kids I would suffer repeated injuries which didn’t help me get better.

    I loved your idea for eliminating the birthday bias.

  67. stush18 says:

    Mann unreal talks tonight. Missed a good night of prospect talk.

    Two cents. If debrincant fell to the second round, I cannot see Yamamoto going in the first round either.

    Like VOR says, he’s boom or bust.

  68. Ribs says:

    I remember glancing at the NHL Combine results the other day and noticing Yamamoto’s name near the top of many of the lists. Interesting player.

  69. theDjdj says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Seeing as you all brought up soccer, I’m passively watching the Germans take Australia apart. Two ‘point shots’ for goals.

    I’ve always thought Canada should do that, morelike hockey and needs less overall skill in penetrating in close (don’t say it)defense which requires another level of game we don’t have yet, but will come with growth of the game in Canada.

    Australian?

    Our team is genuinely woeful. Play a back four and still get sliced
    through like bloody soft butter.

  70. John Chambers says:

    stush18:
    Mann unreal talks tonight. Missed a good night of prospect talk.

    Two cents. If debrincant fell to the second round, I cannot see Yamamoto going in the first round either.

    Like VOR says, he’s boom or bust.

    It’s a weak draft. Call him this years DeBrincat, and drafting at #22 is similar to #36 last year.

  71. Scungilli Slushy says:

    theDjdj: Australian?

    Our team is genuinely woeful. Play a back four and still get sliced
    through like bloody soft butter.

    I’m not Australian. Canada needs to do what the Oilers needed to do, speed up the tempo and make a clean pass to someone that has a second to make a play instead of getting swarmed. And a lot of other things.

  72. Professor Q says:

    Have we all given up on Popugayev?

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