Here Comes the Sun 2018 (Final Edition)

Today I’m posting my final list for 2018’s draft. It’s miles before most of the other lists and shouldn’t resemble any other. I have a long list of things that factor into the rankings below, math is the number one component and then I tweak things based on things heard and seen about skating and other issues. I love doing this each year, hope you enjoy reading.

THE ATHLETIC!

Great playoff special! Try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. Offer is here. There’s a 7-day free trial and the cost for an annual subscription is less than one (or two) coffee per month, depending on where you buy your coffee. We have a mountain of good reading to come in the next 30 days at The Athletic Edmonton, including draft coverage, prospect updates and reaction to the deals of summer. Join us, for the Oilers coverage, stay for all of the other brilliant writing on the site.

THE FILTER

I use NHLE as a strong guiding light. I also use scouting reports from trusted sources and publications. I punish average to poor foot speed liberally. My list list rewards offense heavily, and the most gifted offensive players will be at the top. Players with a range of skills usually do well, but there is a fine line between a two-way player and a checking future (Allan McShane, Linus Nyman would have been higher on this list a few years ago). The list does not give high numbers to players who have a lot of their value tied up in the defensive side of the game. Goalies are graded (almost exclusively) by save percentage, although success over more than one season has terrific value.

I view Bob McKenzie’s list as the draft Bible. Corey Pronman has been an education for years now, his final list is hereScott Wheeler is a unique voice, his final list is here. His rankings include some hidden gems we’ll be tracking in the future. When the draft is completed, track back to his list and names like David Gustafsson. Craig Button’s list has high value for me, I like the fact he has the courage of his convictions. I pay attention to Red Line Report. Their scouting reports are the industry standard.

Simon Boisvert is a wonderful resource. He’s on the Lowdown often and he’s a very wise man. Steve Kournianos guides me through the draft season with his fantastic site and insight. I value McKeens, Grant McCagg, Tom Hunter, Brock Otten, Adam Sherren, ISS. I do have conversations with scouts in junior hockey and they are very helpful.

Mark Edwards Black Book is a brilliant reference. His release last year has been very useful for this year’s draft. Highly recommended. If there’s one publication I would suggest purchasing, it would be Edwards.

It is very rare for me to rank a defenseman No. 1 overall. Last time? Victor Hedman, 2009. Things have changed this year. This list uses math, previous draft trends (the CHL delivers enormous talent to the NHL), various pieces of anecdotal information volunteered by scouts and observers along the way, and an educated guess based on watching these things unfold since 1971. There was more late shuffling this year, European tournaments and tier two prospects moved up late on my list.

 THE 120 BEST PLAYERS IN 2018’S DRAFT

  1. (1) LD Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL). Impact player. The last time I ranked a defenseman No. 1 was another Swede (Hedman), Dahlin is more dynamic offensively. He scored at about the same clip in the SHL as Victor Hedman in his draft year, my belief is Dahlin will be a more dynamic offensive player. Franchise.
  2. (2) R Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL). Major talent. 40 goals in 44 games in the world’s best junior league, he plays a complete game. Had a 43.3 NHLE and averaged 3.95 shots per game in the OHL. If anyone is going to pass Dahlin as an NHL player, it’s Svechnikov.
  3. (3) L Filip Zadina, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Size, shooter, speed, skill. I like him (NHLE 33.5, 4.1 shots per game in the QMJHL) because he’s a shoot first option.
  4. (6) LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). Fast as lightning defender, smooth as silk. Breathtaking player whose ceiling might be the highest among the defensemen in this year’s draft. I moved him up on the final list partly because of his presence on the WHC team for USA, partly because it has been suggested he may well be NHL-ready.
  5. (5) LD Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Nice range of skills and impressive offense. I wrote about him at The Athletic and his comparables shine like a diamond. He’s an outstanding skater and has quality tools offensively (speed, passing, creative).
  6. (4) RC Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL)Sensational talent, emerging. I moved him up because the resume is strong and his release is exceptional. He might end up being the best goal scorer in the draft, if he was a faster skater I would have him ahead of Zadina.
  7. (8) L Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (NCAA). Rugged power winger with two-way skills. I like him a lot and believe the Oilers love him (based on Chiarelli’s own past). I have him here because the numbers suggest he’s going to be  a little shy of his brother offensively.
  8. (9) RD Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL). Big numbers, intelligent two-way D. He is a good skater and has a big shot, plus Bouchard can find seams and passing lines and hit them on the fly consistently. A very valuable prospect, Bob McKenzie’s latest has him inside the top 5 overall.
  9. (7) RD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SuperElite). Brilliant puck mover, chaos defense. With the puck on his stick, Boqvist is exceptional, highly creative and a nightmare for opponents. He should emerge as a top flight power-play defenseman and effective in moving the puck once he’s gained possession. I nicked him due to defensive issues, not just size but ability to impact the play (slowing progress, recognition).
  10. (12) RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). Two-way defenseman who has a big shot. Foot speed is good but he is not as dynamic with the puck as the players ahead of him. I get the sense scouts believe he is No. 6 among a strong group of quality defenders at the top of this year’s draft. As things currently stand, Edmonton is going to have at least one, maybe two, available to them at No. 10 overall.
  11. (14) LC Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Sm-Liiga). Smart, very skilled and he’s 6.02, 190. Value spiking due to WHC performance. I have him here, pretty sure he’s going top 10.
  12. (10) L Joel Farabee, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL)Speedy winger with legit skill, watching him at the U18’s he seems to be able to change gears and directions quickly. Appears to be a chance machine based on limited viewing, he’s been a force offensively at all levels that have been presented to him.
  13. (15) LC Barrett Hayton, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). Shooter owns a heavy shot and uses it liberally. Great skater, could be undervalued here.
  14. (11) LC Jacob Olofsson, Timra (Allsvenskan). Two-way center with skill, he’s an emerging player. I’m a fan because his numbers in Allsvenskan suggest real offensive ability. He moved down due to slight concerns about foot speed.
  15. (17) RD Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (OHL). Ridiculous offensive package. If you lined up all of the highlight reels Merkley’s would be in the top five. There is a lot of verbal surrounding him that is negative and that’s a factor. He’s also one dimensional. Five years from now he could be among the best players in the draft.
  16. (13) LC Joe Veleno, Saint-John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). Good size and speed, creative center. He has a two-way reputation but the offense is strong enough to hold this ranking.
  17. (18) RC Akil Thomas, Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)Undersized center with all of the tools, he scored 81 points in 68 OHL games (Steve Kournianos reports that leads all draft eligible OHL players). A complete skill set.
  18. (21) R Dominik Bokk, Vajxo Lakers (SuperElite). Elusive skater and a fine stickhandler. He’s a good shooter (first SHL goal was nice) and would be a great story if Edmonton drafted him (Bokk is German). Corey Pronman likes him a lot, Pronman is smart about these prospects.
  19. (16) LC Filip Hallander, Timra (Allsvenskan). Big, fast forward is an excellent puck transporter. He is effective in all three zones. I have him very high compared to others, and he might be merely a two-way center. There’s a lot of tools here.
  20. (22) RD Bode Wilde, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL)Has size, skill, skating ability plus can shoot the puck. He’s a two-way defender, the offense didn’t arrive until this season.
  21. (29) R Vitali Kravtsov, Traktor (KHL)Terrific skill obscured by playing in big league, he will be long gone by the end of the first round. I moved him up on the final list due to impressive KHL playoff (16, 6-5-11).
  22. (20) RD Calen Addison, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL). Creative player, can be described as a two-way defender. Excellent skater, great passer, I have him higher than most because of the speed/skill combination. Likely to go later and represent exceptional value.
  23. (23) RC Rasmus Kupari, Karpat (Sm-Liiga). Skilled center, offense is the big selling point.
  24. (26) L Grigori Denisenko, Yaroslavl (MHL). Shoots right, high-end skill and he’s a puck wizard. Great one-timer, he’s quick and can forecheck. Absolutely a first-round talent based on scouting reports, he might go higher.
  25. (19) LC Ryan McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL). Late ’99 has size, speed and skill. He is one of the oldest players in this draft, and at 6.02, 190 he is one of the biggest skill forwards available.
  26. (31) R Serron Noel, Oshawa Generals (OHL). Big power forward with improving speed, he’s an August 2000 birth date so has a year or close in development time available than some of the men around him. Absolutely a Chirelli-type, the size/skill combination will be very attractive to Edmonton.
  27. (44) R Jonatan Berggren, Skelleftea (SuperElite)Fearless two-way W, he is charging up the lists and should go inside the first round.
  28. (34) L Isac Lundestrom, Lulea (SHL). He is a burner, probably a little shy offensively. He is ranked much higher on most of the published lists (Button has him No. 17) and he’s advanced enough to play as a regular (16 minutes a night) in the SHL.
  29. (36) LD Rasmus Sandin, SSM Greyhounds (OHL). Smart, undersized skill defenseman. He has a first-round ranking on a lot of lists, Button had him No. 18 on his most recent list.
  30. (24) RC Cam Hillis, Guelph Storm (OHL). He’s a burner, has skill and has come a long way in one calendar year. It’s going to be interesting to see where he goes.
  31. (27) LC Allan McShane, Oshawa Generals (OHL). A wide range of skills, McShane’s offense (67, 20-45-65) is close to a point per game. I am especially fond of his passing skills and would be thrilled to see Edmonton take him in the second round.
  32. (25) LD K’Andre Miller, U.S. N. D. P. (USHL). Big defender who can skate and has a big shot. He has all kinds of skills, doesn’t translate yet on the ice but the offense is showing.
  33. (32) W Samuel Fagemo, Frolunda (SuperElite). Good boots and an excellent shot. He had a strong playoff and remains a favorite of mine. Not ranked on plenty of lists, could be a draft steal in later rounds. Speed and goal scoring is always a good bet.
  34. (41) R Jesse Ylonen, Espoo United (Mestis). Tall, thin skill winger who is both shooter and playmaker.
  35. (28) LC Linus Nyman, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)Strong two-way C with impressive offense, he’s a July 1999 so his drafting team will be getting a more mature player. He scored 50 points in 68 games last year, so his offense (85 points in 67 games ’17-18) is no fluke.
  36. (30) RD Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). A fine two-way prospect and a rare righty. Good skater, smart, player, he’s dropping down lists because the offense fell off in the second half of the season. He has a lot of value in the defensive side of the game and much of his offense will be situation dependent. A fine prospect.
  37. (33) LD Alex Alexeyev, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Big man, calm feet, has skill. He is aggressive with the puck on his stick, but lacks the offensive creativity of the men at the top of the draft. His size (6.03, 190) and speed are attractive defensively.
  38. (35) LC Phillipp Kurashev, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL). Intelligent two-way center, he’s very creative and can also play the wing.
  39. (38) RC Ty Dellandrea, Flint Firebirds (OHL). Skill center plays a rugged style, gained traction at the World Juniors and I think he’ll be inside the second round.
  40. (39) G Jakub Skarek, Jihlava (Czech)Huge goalie, quality resume. I’m not sure when the goalies start going but he’ll be one of the first names.
  41. (42) LC Alexander Khovanov, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). Unreal skill, Kournianos would like a better first step.
  42. (40) LC Nathan Dunkley, London Knights (OHL)Impressive young player with offensive ability. Works hard, starting now we’re into complementary offensive types.
  43. (37) LD Jared McIssac, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Powerful skater, emerging offense. He is ranked inside the first round on many lists.
  44. (45) L Jake Wise, U.S.N.D.T.P. (USHL). A burner with emerging offense, two-way potential.
  45. (46) RD Sean Durzi, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Puck mover, could be fantastic value.
  46. (47) L Cole Fonstadt, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Good hands, skilled.
  47. (59) LC Liam Foudy, London Knights (OHL). Skill center. Speed merchant.
  48. (48) L Martin Kaut, Pardubice (Czech). Big, strong, excellent skater. Offense unclear.
  49. (61) LC Blake McLaughlin, Chicago Steel (USHL). Undersized skill player. Rising.
  50. (43) LC Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). Two-way C with some skill.
  51. (49) LD Filip Kral, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Smart puck moving defender.
  52. (NR) L Adam Mascherin, Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Re-entry, great skill, small.
  53. (50) LC Jack McBain, Toronto Jr. Canadians (OJHL)Two-way C with size and skill.
  54. (51) L Jakob Lauko, Chomutov (Czech). Skilled winger with good speed. Offense a mystery.
  55. (52) LC Milos Roman, Vancouver Giants (WHL). A smart player in all areas of the ice.
  56. (53) L Albin Eriksson, Skelleftea (SHL). Big winger, plus speed, promising offense.
  57. (60) LC Matej Pekar, Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL). Playmaking Czech in USHL.
  58. (54) LD Jonathan Tychonick, Penticton Vees (BCJHL). Puck mover, creative, chaos.
  59. (55) L Alex Steeves, Dubuque (USHL). Smaller winger, speedy, physical.
  60. (56) G Oliver Rodrigue, Drummondville (QMJHL). Best NA goalie by consensus.
  61. (57) R Aidan Dudas, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). Small, very skilled forward.
  62. (64) RC Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Peterborough Petes (OHL). Playmaking center, growing buzz.
  63. (62) L Gabriel Fortier, Baie Comeau (QMJHL). Speedy winger with skill.
  64. (63) RD Axel Andersson, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Speedy blue with skill.
  65. (58) RC Kyle Topping, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)Impressive even-strength offense.
  66. (65) LC Jack Drury, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL)Chris’ boy, smart and skilled. (USAToday).
  67. (68) R Vladislav Kotkov, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL). Big, mobile offensive winger.
  68. (78) LD Mattias Samuelsson, U.S.N.D.T.P. (USHL). Shutdown skills, some offense.
  69. (69) LC David Gustafsson, HV71 (SHL). Two-way C with emerging offense.
  70. (83) RC Ivan Morozov, Mamonty Yugry (MHL). Solid two-way C, offense improving.
  71. (70) G Lukas Dostal, Brno (Czech). Fabulous numbers over the last two seasons.
  72. (75) L Sampo Ranta, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL). Skill winger with speed and a plus shot.
  73. (91) L Kirill Marchenko, Mamonty Yugry (MHL). Size, skill, spiking.
  74. (79) LD Nicolas Beaudin, Drummondville (QMJHL). Impressive puck mover, speed a concern.
  75. (93) R Niklas Nordgren, HIFK (Sm-Liiga). Undersized, skilled, ripped up U18’s.
  76. (66) R Riley Sutter, Everett Silvertips (WHL). A gritty winger with skill.
  77. (74) L Justin Almeida, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Good speed, two way ability, spiked offensively.
  78. (71) L Anderson MacDonald, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). Big W is talented scorer.
  79. (72) RC Ryan O’Reilly, Madison Capitals (USHL). Power forward with skill.
  80. (73) L Cedric Desruisseaux, Drummondville (QMJHL). Small, skilled.
  81. (67) R Kody Clark, Ottawa 67’s (OHL). Rambunctious PF with some skill.
  82. (76) L Johnny Gruden, U.S.N.D.T.P. (USHL). Good speed, two way acumen.
  83. (77) L Jack Randl, Omaha Lancers (USHL). Impressive scorer. Zero buzz.
  84. (80) RD Mac Hollowell, SSM (OHL). Undersized puck mover can skate.
  85. (81) R Pavel Gogolev, Peterborough (OHL). 30 goals in world’s best junior league.
  86. (82) R Arttu Nevasaari, Karpat (Jr. Sm-Liiga). Top-end skill.
  87. (84) RD Nils Lundkvist, Lulea (SHL). Speed and can pass plus transport the puck.
  88. (85) RC Jay O’Brien, U.S.N.D.T.P. (USHL). Skilled, undersized.
  89. (86) LD Justin Bergeron, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)M-A Bergeron 2.0.
  90. (94) L Jan Jenik, Benatky (Cze-2). Solid two-way prospect, size, skill.
  91. (87) R Yegor Sokolov, Cape Breton (QMJHL). Skilled power forward with good numbers.
  92. (88) LC Lukas Wernblom, MODO (SuperElite). Small, skilled, needs better results.
  93. (104) RD Jacob Bernard-Docker, Okotoks Oilers (AJHL). Great tools, unsure of offense.
  94. (89) R Dmitri Zavgorodny, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL). Small, effective goal scorer.
  95. (NR) LD Scott Perunovich, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA). Late developing, great passer.
  96. (90) LD Adam McCormick, Cape Breton (QMJHL). Smart D, excellent skater.
  97. (92) C-R Blade Jenkins, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)Scorer with size, better on the wing.
  98. (95) LD Danila Galenyuk, St. Petersburg (KHL). Strong two-way D, good skater.
  99. (96) LC Jason Willms, Barrie Colts (OHL). Two-way C, 1999.
  100. (97) RD Alec Regula, London Knights (OHL)Big two-way D with good mobility.
  101. (98) LD Marc Del Gaizo, Muskegon (USHL). Impressive skill defender.
  102. (119) L Oliver Okuliar, Dukla Trencin (Slovakia U20). Skilled, big U18’s.
  103. (NR) L Nikolai Kovalenko, Lokomotiv (MHL). Andrei’s boy. He’s a train.
  104. (NR) RC Tyler Madden, Tri-City Storm (USHL). Speedy center
  105. (99) L Karel Plasek, Brno (Czech). Skill winger with a plus shot.
  106. (100) LC Matthew Struthers, North Bay Battalion (OHL)Big two-way C.
  107. (101) LC Riley Stotts, Calgary Hitmen (WHL). Found his offense with the Hitmen.
  108. (103) L Gavin Hain, U.S.N.D.P (USHL). Intelligent player, terrific skater.
  109. (105) L Ryan Chykowski, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Throwback W, good shot.
  110. (106) L Paul Cotter, Lincoln Stars (USHL). Impressive athlete plus skills.
  111. (107) RC Chase Wouters, Saskatoon Blades (WHL). Nice range of skills.
  112. (NR) L Hudson Elynuik, Spokane Chiefs (WHL). Smart, skilled, huge. Re-entry.
  113. (108) LC Curtis Douglas, Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Giant center with skill.
  114. (109) LD Adam Ginning, Linkoping (SHL). Big D, good speed, shutdown type.
  115. (NR) RD Ondrej Buchtela, Pirati Chomutov (Cze U20). Puck mover, good speed.
  116. (111) RD Ty Emberson, U.S.N.D.P (USHL). Intelligent two-way player.
  117. (112) G Olof Lindbom, Djurgardens (SuperElite). Good size, rebound control, strong U18’s.
  118. (115) R Kirill Nizhnikov, Sudbury Wolves (OHL). Volume shooter, could spike.
  119. (116) RC Oscar Back, Farjestad (SHL). Strong start to U18 has him on the radar.
  120. (117) L Michal Kvasnica, Ocelari Trinec (Czech). Smart two-way winger.

OILERS MOCK

  • First Round—No. 10 overall—RD Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). It’s difficult to project No. 10 because things are shuffling as we speak (Dobson moving up, but how much?) as we enter the combine weekend. I’ll do a final mock on draft morning, that’ll be a little better guess. I also believe Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Ty Smith could go here. Steve Kournianos: Rangy, mobile defender with size and strong puck skills who sticks to his opponents like velcro. Dobson is a rare specimen for a teenage defender in that he is a big-bodied puck mover with speed who plays with poise in all three zones. He is one of the QMJHL’s top scoring blueliners thanks to his ability to run a power play, dictate the tempo of a game regardless of the situation and seize opportunities that nobody else was able to identify. Dobson is a strong, agile skater with a deceptively quick first step and the ability to make sharp directional changes in open ice. Getting the puck behind pesky opponents in the neutral zone can be done with either his wheels or with hard, crisp passes, but Dobson isn’t the kind of defenseman who lets his forwards take it from there — he loves to jump into openings and create or finish from areas close to the hashmarks. Dobson is a very strong one-on-one defender who maintains a very tight gap and is quick enough to stick with his man even after he circles the net with speed. Trying to take him wide is a decision most puck-carrying forwards end up regretting, as they either end up pasted onto the corner boards or gazing at the back of Dobson’s jersey as he powers up ice. (Source)
  • Second Round—No. 40 overall—R Jesse Ylonen, Espoo United (Mestis). This would represent ‘opposite Oilers’ at the draft, traditionally the club grabs a forward and then a defenseman. Ylonen is a fascinating prospect who appears to have room to grow. FinnProspects: Skating is the most intriguing part of his game. The forward has above average top speed but his ability to accelerate quickly, change the direction and at the same keeping the puck with him is an excellent asset. With his skill set, Ylönen could very well be selected in the first round in the forthcoming NHL Draft. (Source)
  • Third Round—No. 71 overall— L Sampo Ranta, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)Ranta is a buzzsaw who can help in a variety of ways. He’s skilled, a great passer, and is unafraid of high traffic areas. Great shot, he scored 23 goals in 53 USHL games and has a few ways he could make the NHL.
  • Fourth Round—No. 102 overall (Oilers acquired goaltender Al Montoya from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. Montoya covered the condition).
  • Fifth Round—No. 133 overall—L Justin Almeida, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). He’s an interesting player, spiked this season and delivered some impressive boxcars (43-55-98 in 72 games). He’s an overager (Feb 1999), 5.10, 178 and scouting reports suggest he is quick and can play in all three disciplines. I have him No. 77 but haven’t seen much love from anyone aside from Button. He might go much higher.
  • Sixth Round—No. 164 overall—RD Joey Keane, Barrie Colts (OHL). A draft re-entry, he’s a 1999 who played very well in a strong league during 2017-18. Brock OttenI look at Keane and see a defender made for today’s NHL. Smooth skater who can push the pace of attack, but also solid and dependable in his own end. He makes a great outlet pass and rarely seems to turn the puck over. Keane also has a bit of a mean streak and he makes himself difficult to beat in all one on one situations. (Source)
  • Seventh Round—No. 195 overall—  L Jacob Tortora, Boston College (NCAA). I had him No. 72 a year ago, he remains eligible. Speedy skill winger lacked size and little else. He scored 34, 6-7-13 in his freshman season.

NOTES

  • This is the final list, although there are some re-entries above and if those men sign today I’ll add in Toni Utonen and Kristian Tanus (the next men up).
  • Based on what we know, the Oilers (among defensemen) are probably going to get a very good look at one of Noah Dobson, Evan Bouchard or Adam Boqvist. I think they would absolutely grab Dobson or Bouchard, less sure about Boqvist. They are likely to get a look at Ty Smith.
  • Among forwards, I think there’s a slight chance Oliver Wahlstrom falls, a good chance Jesperi Kotkaniemi is there and a certainty Barrett Hayton will be on the board.
  • In order for one of each (defense and forward) to fall to No. 10, Edmonton would need a Thomas Hickey. It seems unlikely.
  • I think the Oilers might want Evan Bouchard or Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Will they trade up? At what cost?
  • I remain convinced Ty Smith will be the best value at No. 10 overall, but will the Oilers take him? We’ll see if I’m right in five years (or sooner).
  • The goaltending situation is a muddle, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Edmonton take one in later rounds.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday and a fun show, we get started at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. What’s the best save by a goalie Steve’s witnessed? Is Canadian hockey broadcasting stale?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. The CFL preseason rolls along, what is a reasonable expectation for the Eskimos?
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. The SCF has been wildly entertaining, plus NHL free agency.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

118 Responses to "Here Comes the Sun 2018 (Final Edition)"

  1. russ99 says:

    Surprised that Veleno dropped further, what’s the reason? He did pretty well in the postseason. Grading scoring on a curve due to the Q?

    I could see him going in the top 10, or to the Isles at 11.

  2. Lowetide says:

    russ99:
    Surprised that Veleno dropped further, what’s the reason?He did pretty well in the postseason. Grading scoring on a curve due to the Q?

    I could see him going in the top 10, or to the Isles at 11.

    I moved Kotkaniemi up because of the U18’s, moved Hayton ahead based on a conversation about his offense and moved Merkley past him because there’s just too much there. So, not really anything Veleno did, just three late pieces of evidence came my way.

  3. dustrock says:

    Think Bokk could be this year’s Pasta.

    Smith is being underrated.

    Wilde is a tough one – he’s scoring slightly above McAvoy and Trouba I believe but people mention concerns about his toolbox. He could be a home run pick for someone or he could turn out like Bogosian I think.

  4. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Awesome stuff, LT. Hoped I wouldn’t get as invested into the draft a year ago, but here we are and your analysis is always fantastic.

    You and the underlying numbers are warming me up to Smith in a big way. Think I prefer him to Dobson & Bouchard. I thought Bouchard was just an OK skater…?

    I hope they stay put at 10 and don’t go off the board with a Veleno/Hayton. Feels like everyone in that top 10 fills a need.

  5. Pink Socks says:

    Thank you LT, this is great stuff. I would draft Sampo Ranta just for the name.

    That and as a thank you for him for posting this pic on twitter in 2014.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhABj3xIgAE_3fs.jpg

  6. Mr DeBakey says:

    This list uses math, previous draft trends (the CHL delivers enormous talent to the NHL),

    The Top 15 CHL “5v5 P1/GP” draft eligibles are:

    Andrei Svechnikov ** 1.00
    Filip Zadina ** 0.82
    Linus Nyman ** 0.76
    Ryan McLeod ** 0.74
    Serron Noel ** 0.68
    Allan McShane ** 0.52
    Pavel Gogolev ** 0.52
    Matthew Struthers ** 0.52
    Aidan Dudas ** 0.51
    Curtis Douglas ** 0.50
    Nathan Dunkley ** 0.48
    Blade Jenkins ** 0.47
    Akil Thomas ** 0.46
    Evan Bouchard ** 0.45
    Benoit-Olivier Groulx ** 0.44
    Cole Fonstadt ** 0.44

    This list does not contain many d-men for obvious reasons.
    Spell-Check doesn’t think eligibles is a word, it prefers dirigibles.

  7. Brantford Boy says:

    Excellent work LT… been looking forward to your final rankings for a few weeks… all smiles seeing Dobson for your moch choice… sadly I feel he’ll be gone several picks before us… cheers!

  8. €√¥£€^$ says:

    LT, do you include 2nd and 3rd year eligibles on your lists?

    I think Joey Keane will be a substantial NHL D man, RHD to boot. He would be a 4th or 5th round steal. In his first OHL season out of the USHL in his 18 yr old season he was -28, this past season he was +45. That is a massive improvement in one year, I want this guy in my prospect pool!!

  9. Jaxon says:

    I think Merkley, Noel, Gruden, and Kravtsov will be the players who most outperform their draft position in the future. I think they’re all severely underrated.

  10. Jordan says:

    LT suggested earlier this month that Keith as a scouting director may be more inclined to target skill in a draft, and to some extent that’s validated by selections of his organizations.

    Based on what he’s posted here, it appears he think the Oilers will see picking Ty as a risky selection, due (I beleive) to size, and his ability to defend against NHL behemoths.

    We’ve also heard A LOT of talk about how important the Oilers Management team feel it is to get a very high-end PP QB, with an empasis for a RD.

    QUESTION OF THE DAY:
    If you were the one walking up and making the pick for the Oilers and had the choice of Boquist, Bouchard, Dobson or Smith, who would you pick? Does handedness play into the selection? Please explain. (LT, I’d love your take on this too)

  11. jonrmcleod says:

    LT, have you ever thought of doing a live Oilers draft, using your rankings? I realize we can just look at the highest rated player and plug him in after the draft. But I’m thinking if it’s live, there might be a few guys available with each Oilers’ pick who are somewhat equal in your eyes, so you could choose best fit for the Oilers in your opinion.

  12. Jaxon says:

    Mr DeBakey: This list uses math, previous draft trends (the CHL delivers enormous talent to the NHL),

    The Top 15 CHL “5v5 P1/GP” draft eligibles are:

    I’ll add this to your data. Top 15 CHL and 7 USHL Expected 5-on-5 Primary Points Adjusted for Age, for league and for Median Top6 Minutes:

    Name “EXPECTED AGE ADJ NHLE 5-on-5 P1@TOP6TOI”
    Andrei Svechnikov 38.80
    Joel Farabee 32.23
    Oliver Wahlstrom 28.79
    Jonathan Gruden 27.62
    Filip Zadina 23.90
    Serron Noel 23.70
    Jake Wise 22.05
    Aidan Dudas 21.63
    Allan McShane 21.52
    Curtis Douglas 21.06
    Brady Tkachuk 20.48
    Blade Jenkins 20.41
    Tristen Nielsen 19.94
    Barrett Hayton 19.46
    Jack Randl 19.27
    Matthew Struthers 19.06
    Pavel Gogolev 18.98
    Nathan Dunkley 18.44
    Reid Perepeluk 17.88
    Logan WIll 17.65
    Cedric Desruisseaux 17.64
    Akil Thomas 17.53

  13. McSorley33 says:

    I view Bob McKenzie’s list as the draft Bible
    ********************************************************************
    Same.

    And Bob has explained the top 9 is pretty well looked after.

    Kotkaniemi is not in the top 9.

    Yes, a team may grab him because of his position ( remember that debate earlier in this
    forum ? )

    I vote we let the draft come to us…maybe someone from the top 9 does fall to us.

    If the top 9 goes according to Bob – I am on LT’s bandwagon with Ty Smith.

    If there is a surprise – I say Zadina falls a bit.

  14. RonnieB says:

    Jordan: choice of Boquist, Bouchard, Dobson or Smith, who would you pick? Does handedness play into the selection?

    Good question. I would put Bouchard and Dobson ahead of the others, simply because they both have the size and other attributes i could see developing into a complete top pairing defender. In my mind they are so close that it would probably be down to a coin flip. However, since i don’t have a coin on me at this time i would lean slightly towards Bouchard in the hope he is a year closer to being NHL ready.

  15. deardylan says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Would love to see a Live LT Draft List! Did this happen before?

  16. Rondo says:

    #3 MTL will have to make a decision between Zadina and Kotkaniemi
    #6 Kotkaniemi or ?
    #8 Chicago will have interest in Kotkaniemi and Hayton.

    Bouchard, Dobson, and Hughes all have been the #2 D-man taken in the mock drafts.

    Boqvist probably rated the lowest of the top 5 D in the draft on average. Could fall out of the top 10

  17. who says:

    Jordan:
    LT suggested earlier this month that Keith as a scouting director may be more inclined to target skill in a draft, and to some extent that’s validated by selections of his organizations.

    Based on what he’s posted here, it appears he think the Oilers will see picking Ty as a risky selection, due (I beleive) to size, and his ability to defend against NHL behemoths.

    We’ve also heard A LOT of talk about how important the Oilers Management team feel it is to get a very high-end PP QB, with an empasis for a RD.

    QUESTION OF THE DAY:
    If you were the one walking up and making the pick for the Oilers and had the choice of Boquist, Bouchard, Dobson or Smith, who would you pick?Does handedness play into the selection?Please explain.(LT, I’d love your take on this too)

    I would go Dobson, Bouchard, Boqvist then Smith.
    I’d go with the bigger rightys first because I think they are safer bets and the Oilers can’t afford to miss here. They can draft small and skilled at 40OV. Dobson over Bouchard cause he’s younger and I’ve actually seen him play.
    Boqvist over Smith simply because he’s a righty. They seem to have similar size and skill sets.
    If the righty dmen are gone at 10OV I bet the Oilers take Kotkaniemi. Maybe Farabee.

  18. PennersPancakes says:

    €√¥£€^$,

    I personally haven’t seen any tape on Joey Keane (99 birth year) but as a late rounder could be intriguing. Its tough going off only stat lines and what others have to say.

    His draft season was the first in the CHL so maybe that had a hard part in transitioning but holy what an improvement this year. He was the Colts highest scoring Dman while playing more games than other over agers T.J Fergus (97) and Justin Murray (98). I would be interested to see how many points are primary and/or if his assists are just feeding it to Svechnikov to do his thing. Id take a flyer either way in the later rounds.

  19. leadfarmer says:

    If we get Hughes or Wahlstrom I would be ecstatic
    If we get Boqvist or Koktanghskjsfhsdkfhsdjfhskjfhs I would be very happy
    Just need some teams to show up Boston drunk to the draft

  20. dustrock says:

    https://theathletic.com/373852/2018/06/01/brown-a-data-driven-comparison-of-evan-bouchard-and-noah-dobson/

    Brown has been compiling stats on the top draft eligibles and it’s been fascinating.

    One of the things that had me down slightly on Bouchard was his NZ and preventing entries percentages were really low.

    Brown seems to suggest that is because of London’s neutral zone trap and also likely Bouchard pacing himself for playing 30 minutes a night.

    I’m honestly fine with any of Hughes, Boqvist, Dobson, Bouchard or Smith at this point.

    Smith’s advanced stats look really, really good. It is possible he is the best player available at 10.

    https://theathletic.com/369644/2018/06/01/brown-explaining-the-chl-data-tracking-project/

  21. Stud Muffin says:

    3 overagers? That’s not a recipe for success imo, just let them go through again and sign them. Take first year eligible’s 90% of the time and watch them progress.

  22. Jaxon says:

    Depending on the interviews and what the Oilers scouts tell them, I would also put Merkley in that conversation and maybe even draft him ahead of them. I think the negative press has taken on a life of its own. His speed, creativity and high IQ with the puck suggests that he can think the game at a very fast pace, and he is hardworking and passionate from what I’ve read (it has gotten him in trouble). If he is coachable, and they feel he will mature, then he might be the 2nd or 3rd best D in the draft (seems Hughes has jumped up the rankings to take over 2nd best D).
    Boqvist, Bouchard, Dobson, Merkley?

  23. --hudson-- says:

    leadfarmer:
    If we get Hughes or Wahlstrom I would be ecstatic
    If we get Boqvist or Koktanghskjsfhsdkfhsdjfhskjfhs I would be very happy
    Just need some teams to show up Boston drunk to the draft

    One question I have on Wahlstrom – where would he be ranked without the Jack Hughes effect? (Pronman ranks Jack Hughes as the second best prospect in the last 5 years, only behind McDavid.) I hope Wahlstrom’s the real deal and not playing Sam Gagner beside Patrick Kane.

    Even if after adjustment he’s a top 10 pick, drafting him would mean 3 first round right shot wingers in a row. It will be a tough choice to make.

  24. stevebergeron97 says:

    So have they announced Mascherin is an Oiler yet?? 👌😃

  25. slopitch says:

    A player will drop on draft day. Its a guarantee. Sometimes it works out ie Barzal, Klefbom and sometimes it doesnt Angelo Espisito, I think I remember MPS dropping. Trust your board and lets nail this pick. I be happy with Koteniemmi, Dobson, Bouchard, Tkachuk, Smith, Whalstrom or Merkley. Hoping the Oilers can trade up for Svechnikov but I suspect the ask is too dear.

    Like the list LT, appreciate the time you put in.

  26. PennersPancakes says:

    –hudson–,

    I really hope they go with the dman even with Wahlstrom available, might just be the Sam Gagner PTSD talking though. I think you raise a huge point about the Hughes effect that I don’t think is discussed enough.

    I feel RHD and top 6 wingers are both needs but might as well draft the dman first if theyre available just for timing sake (still considering equalish talent levels/not reaching). Defense traditionally taking longer to develop means theyre at least 2+ years away from being a potential impact NHLer but that’s a constant that wont change when we need a RHD in 2019, 2020, etc. etc. I’ve seen some posters talk about needing help now and shying away from drafting defense but I am in the opinion that is very short sighted.

    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

  27. leadfarmer says:

    –hudson–,

    Well Jack Hughes is thought so highly because of his age as hes got another year before he is drafted.
    So I dont think its quite at the same level as Kane in his draft year

    I see more similar to this year where Matthews, Roslovic and Tkachuk were the top 3 players and Quinn Wahlstrom, and Farabee are the top 3 players
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0065622015.html

  28. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Matthew Tkachuk also seemed to be a by-product of Matthews/Marner&Dvorak

    I’d take Wahlstrom in a heartbeat

  29. stephen sheps says:

    €√¥£€^$: 18 yr old season he was -28, this past season he was +45.

    reason 3572 why traditional +/- isn’t a great stat, especially for individual players:
    the 2016-17 Barrie Colts had a record of 17-44-0-7, whereas this year’s model a far more respectable and competitive 42-21-0-5 -> a worst to first turnaround. Might have something to do with the massive goal differential as a team (going from -99 to +68 year over year). Svechnikov being on that same team this year might also have something to do with it.

    I’m not necessarily suggesting that Keane isn’t a worthwhile prospect – I know nothing about the kid at all and he could be great – just that the reasoning you presented for his potential goodness indicates that there’s more to the story here about Keane’s own turnaround, particularly when one looks at the team’s turnaround.

  30. digger50 says:

    Great work on your list LT

    Thanks

  31. PennersPancakes says:

    Good points on Matthews/Tkachuk comparison. I’m sure Wahlstrom will still be a great player and a great pick I think its just where on the scale of Elite-first liner-second liner he falls. Guess we’ll just see draft day whos really available at #10.

    Side tangent: This is all based on the last USHL season before draft so some players like Eichel were 16 for their respective season.

    Walhstrom (17) put up 1.73 PPG, J. Hughes (16) did 2.17 PPG!! Whoever wins the lottery next year is getting a hell of a player. In comparison to other notable draftees:

    Matthews (16): 2.00 PPG
    Eichel (16): 1.88 PPG
    Keller (17): 1.61 PPG
    Tkachuk (16): 1.38 PPG
    Q Hughes (16): 1.00 PPG (as a Dman)

    This may be an easy question but is there any reason for only some players leaving the USHL for the CHL/Swiss/University in Matthews case. Is it just a matter of proving everything you can at that level?

  32. stephen sheps says:

    Jordan: QUESTION OF THE DAY:
    If you were the one walking up and making the pick for the Oilers and had the choice of Boquist, Bouchard, Dobson or Smith, who would you pick? Does handedness play into the selection? Please explain.

    Well seeing as Hughes isn’t included because there’s no way he’ll drop down to 10 (or, if PC does manage to trade up, I don’t think he’s the team’s actual target), my order would be Bouchard, Boqvist, Smith, Dobson. I don’t personally care too much about handedness, given that by the time these prospects make it to the show (should they be developed properly – by which I mean with patience), it’s possible that Ned Flanders’ shop may be a little less stocked than it currently is, but I think a RHD is more valuable today and in the short-term future.

    Bouchard Seems like the most complete player based on the various scouting reports I’ve read and highlights I’ve watched. London wasn’t the usual Knights juggernaut this season and it’s unusual to see a D-man lead his team in scoring, which suggests to me that he’s very good at both his primary job (defending) and in producing elite offence from the back end. As he’s an older draft eligible player (turned 18 in October), I would expect a significant performance spike from him in his draft year and he delivered. I’d take him first, but it’s close.

    Boqvist is chaos, but also I think has the highest ceiling in the modern D-man variety, a bit of Karlsson in him according to many scouting reports but as he’s a younger prospect (won’t turn 18 until August), he’s still got all kinds of room to grow and will likely need a couple years to marinate, hopefully in Europe.

    Smith, despite the LHS is blue-chip. That’s it. He’s a solid albeit safe pick. I wouldn’t be upset with the pick at all, but I wouldn’t be as excited about him as the previous 2.

    Dobson is my least favourite of the 4, and part of that comes from my own sort of implicit bias against the Q. It’s just not as good a development league as it once was. I don’t have a rational, math based argument against him and I’m sure he’s a fine player, but relative to the other 3 (and Hughes), he’s just not who I want the Oilers to draft. That said, if PC calls his name, I’ll cheer like hell for him and hopefully eat my words in a couple years time.

  33. digger50 says:

    Here is a question about draft rankings.

    What happened to Jessie P? How is he ranked in a top three tier that is supposed to be another level above the rest?

    I’m careful to say “what happened” not “what went wrong” with Jessie as I’m not implying that is something is wrong or we have a failure in the player.

    I’m curious if we seem to have a failure in the system. It’s as if once those top players are set, nobody wants to challenge them. Were there indicators (with hindsight) that should have been seen that may have affected this view of the clear top three in the draft?

    Talking about scouting, not liking on Jessie.

  34. --hudson-- says:

    leadfarmer:
    –hudson–,

    Well Jack Hughes is thought so highly because of his age as hes got another year before he is drafted.
    So I dont think its quite at the same level as Kane in his draft year

    I see more similar to this year where Matthews, Roslovic and Tkachuk were the top 3 players and Quinn Wahlstrom, and Farabee are the top 3 players
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0065622015.html

    Here’s a bit of breakdown a quick google revealed:
    Steve Kournianos

    @TheDraftAnalyst
    Follow Follow @TheDraftAnalyst
    More
    Oliver Wahlstrom before Jack Hughes (9/16 – 12/19/17)
    26gp-16g-15a-31pts-120 SOG

    Oliver Wahlstrom after Jack Hughes (12/20/17 – 3/30/18)
    28gp-24g-28a-52pts-123 SOG
    https://twitter.com/TheDraftAnalyst/status/986268966967496707

    So before Jack Hughes was on the team he’s a 1.19 ppg player and with Hughes he’s at 1.86 ppg if those splits can be trusted. It would be unfair to expect him to be the 1.86 player without Hughes and more than possible for him to be better than the 1.19 ppg with more development time.

    Thanks for the link on the 2014-15 team. It seems like the hockeydb page only lists a subset of the stats whereas eliteprospects lists both regular season and tournament play. Elite prospects has Matthews, Tkachuk and Bracco as the top 3 scores.
    https://www.eliteprospects.com/team/1864/u.s.-national-u18-team/2014-2015?tab=stats

    Will be interesting to see in a few years if Wahlstrom is the Tkachuk (1.46ppg), Bracco (1.45ppg), or Roslovic (1.22ppg).

  35. Jaxon says:

    PennersPancakes: I feel RHD and top 6 wingers are both needs but might as well draft the dman first

    I’d also say that although wingers are needed, you draft the best forward available. If that’s a center, all the better as it gives the team extra flexibility as a C can almost always play wing. It doesn’t work the other way around as often. so if there are two similarly ranked players and one is a C and one is a winger, then I think you take the C.

  36. monsterbater4 says:

    –hudson–,

    Thanks for compiling this. The only thing I’d say in mild rebuttal is that if he’s scoring like that with jack Hughes, imagine what he could do with mcdavid!

  37. Rondo says:

    At #10 and guessing who is definitely gone.

    1 Dobson
    2 Hughes
    3 Bouchard
    4 Kotkaniemi
    5 Hayton
    6 Boqvist

  38. Andy Dufresne says:

    Stauffer at the Combine…….Adam Boqvist the player most mentioned as on the bubble to fall out of the top ten.

  39. Andy Dufresne says:

    digger50:
    Here is a question about draft rankings.

    What happened to Jessie P? How is he ranked in a top three tier that is supposed to be another level above the rest?

    I’m careful to say “what happened” not “what went wrong” with Jessie as I’m not implying that is something is wrong or we have a failure in the player.

    I’m curious ifwe seem to have a failure in the system. It’s as if once those top players are set, nobody wants to challenge them. Were there indicators (with hindsight) that should have been seen that may have affected this view of the clear top threein the draft?

    Talking about scouting, not liking on Jessie.

    Just as a reminder of how a set list of top ten can deliver hits and misses….look no further than the 2012 Entry Draft……there were alot of Dmen in that draft as well. 7 dmen went in the top 10

    Heres the order they went in:

    2) Ryan Murray
    4) Griffin Reinhart
    5) Morgan Reilly
    6) Hampus Lindolm
    7) Matt Dumba
    8) Derrick Pouliot
    9) Jacob Trouba

    For shits and giggles….Remember how pissed so many Oilers fans were that Samuelsson was not there when we picked at 32 and we took Moroz….when Matt Finn was still available….haha….all that fuss for nothing…….these guys played a net total of 3 NHL games between them……Can you say..”East Coast Hockey League?!”

    Perhaps its not a question of is he a coke machine?….perhaps the correct question is….does the coke machine dispense coke?

    Anyway just to leave on a positive note….2012 was also the year that the Calgary Lames chose Franchise Talent Mark Jankowski with their first round pick

  40. leadfarmer says:

    –hudson–,

    More impressively how many future NHLers can one team have. That entire top 10 roster has some very good talent. I’m surprised more teams arent drafted higher from USHL USNDT. The top tier of the league is top notch. Doesnt have the depth of OHL but its a gold mine of top talent.

  41. trencan says:

    QUESTION OF THE DAY:
    If you were the one walking up and making the pick for the Oilers and had the choice of Boquist, Bouchard, Dobson or Smith, who would you pick?Does handedness play into the selection?Please explain.(LT, I’d love your take on this too)

    I would run to pick Boqvist. I really like what I saw on Hlinka Memorial.
    I would be also happy with Smith/Dobson.
    I prefer some C like Veleno/Kotkaniemi over Bouchard.

  42. Lowetide says:

    trencan:
    QUESTION OF THE DAY:
    If you were the one walking up and making the pick for the Oilers and had the choice of Boquist, Bouchard, Dobson or Smith, who would you pick?Does handedness play into the selection?Please explain.(LT, I’d love your take on this too)

    I would run to pick Boqvist. I really like what I saw on Hlinka Memorial.
    I would be also happy with Smith/Dobson.
    I prefer some C like Veleno/Kotkaniemi over Bouchard.

    I would pick Smith, as he is the top player available on my list. Although a RH defenseman is a team need, this might be the last top 10 pick we see for the next decade. I want the most talent available in one player.

  43. Andy Dufresne says:

    trencan:
    QUESTION OF THE DAY:
    If you were the one walking up and making the pick for the Oilers and had the choice of Boquist, Bouchard, Dobson or Smith, who would you pick?Does handedness play into the selection?Please explain.(LT, I’d love your take on this too)

    I would run to pick Boqvist. I really like what I saw on Hlinka Memorial.
    I would be also happy with Smith/Dobson.
    I prefer some C like Veleno/Kotkaniemi over Bouchard.

    Id walk up to the podium wearing a short afro orange wig……and announce “with the 10th pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, my dad and I….uhh…..I mean….The Edmonton Oilers….are PROUD to select …from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey Leaque…..Evan Bouchard!”

    Bouchard and Dobson are close……Dobson a better skater and better in the nuetral zone (closes fast)….but much to my surprise Bouchard is the better PP Manager….walks the line better….changes the angles better…handles the puck better….and shoots better….than Dobson….

    Yes handedness matters to me……and when 2 guys are close in stats, stature and skill…..Choose the one from the O over the one from the Q every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    When your team is lead by Conner McDeity choose the least risky pick……Boqvist and Merkley look incredible in the highlight reals…and have POTENTIALLY higher ceilings offensively…..but why assume that risk when #Conner……

  44. John Chambers says:

    Hey LT,

    Was chatting with some friends in Lethbridge this morning who are pretty high up on Calen Addison. Addison of course is a 5’10” right D who put up nearly a point per game on a rather mediocre ‘Canes club. The ugly side of the ledger shows addision at -20, for those who believe in the importance of that stat.

    Comparing Smith to Addision there really isn’t much, beyond plus minus, to distinguish between those two undersized, offensive D. What is the asset that Smith possesses, in your opinion, that legitimizes him as a top-10 pick?

  45. John Chambers says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    I really think Bouchard could play in the league as early as 2019. I don’t think he can become Alex Pietrangelo like Dobson may, but I think he’s going to have a career very similar to Keith Yandle which would be a nice add for Edmonton at this time.

  46. Andy Dufresne says:

    Lowetide: I would pick Smith, as he is the top player available on my list. Although a RH defenseman is a team need, this might be the last top 10 pick we see for the next decade. I want the most talent available in one player.

    Is this a lefty to backfill for when they trade Oscar for a righty?? 🙂

  47. Lowetide says:

    John Chambers:
    Hey LT,

    Was chatting with some friends in Lethbridge this morning who are pretty high up on Calen Addison. Addison of course is a 5’10” right D who put up nearly a point per game on a rather mediocre ‘Canes club. The ugly side of the ledger shows addision at -20, for those who believe in the importance of that stat.

    Comparing Smith to Addision there really isn’t much, beyond plus minus, to distinguish between those two undersized, offensive D. What is the asset that Smith possesses, in your opinion, that legitimizes him as a top-10 pick?

    Smith’s skating is outstanding, that would be his main asset.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Andy Dufresne: Is this a lefty to backfill for when they trade Oscar for a righty??🙂

    Lol. No. I would say it’s akin to the Oilers passing on Zach Parise because they had Mike Comrie. Things change, sometimes in a quick hurry.

  49. PennersPancakes says:

    –hudson–,

    Hopefully you guys can forgive my ignorance but how does the USDP work I’m looking at 2 different stat pages for the same team same year? 25-26 games on hockey db vs 60 games on elite prospects. Is it a situation where the all starts play interleague or something?

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0065622015.html

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/team/1864/u.s.-national-u18-team/2014-2015?tab=stats

    Must be different “regular seasons”?

  50. leadfarmer says:

    PennersPancakes,

    The National Team Development Program (NTDP) was started in 1996 by USA Hockey as a way to identify elite ice hockey players under the age of 18, and centralize their training.[1] There are two teams in the program: under-17 and under-18. Both teams teams are based in Plymouth, Michigan. The stated goal of the NTDP is “to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on the U.S. National Teams and success in their future hockey careers. Its efforts focus not only on high-caliber participation on the ice, but creating well-rounded individuals off the ice.”[1] While enrolled in the NTDP, players stay with billet families.

    From its founding until 2014–15, the program was based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, playing games at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. However, following that season, the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL relocated, freeing up the what was then known as the Compuware Arena. USA Hockey purchased the facility from Peter Karmanos, renamed it the USA Hockey Arena and moved the NTDP to Plymouth.[2]

    The under-17 and under-18 teams play games domestically against opponents in the United States Hockey League (under-17 and under-18 teams) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (under-18 team), as well as three international tournaments for each team plus occasional friendlies. Wikipedia

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/league/ushl

    The 60 games is the USHL schedule

  51. LadiesloveSmid says:

    John Chambers,

    Smith has something like a ridiculous +18.6% GFrel in Spokane, read on the canucks army draft rankings

  52. trencan says:

    Andy Dufresne: Id walk up to the podium wearing a short afro orange wig……and announce “with the 10th pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, my dad and I….uhh…..I mean….The Edmonton Oilers….are PROUD to select …from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey Leaque…..Evan Bouchard!”

    Bouchard and Dobson are close……Dobson a better skater and better in the nuetral zone (closes fast)….but much to my surprise Bouchard is the better PP Manager….walks the line better….changes the angles better…handles the puck better….and shoots better….than Dobson….

    Yes handedness matters to me……and when 2 guys are close in stats, stature and skill…..Choose the one from the O over the one from the Qevery day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    When your team is lead by Conner McDeity choose the least risky pick……Boqvist and Merkley look incredible in the highlight reals…and have POTENTIALLY higher ceilings offensively…..but why assume that risk when #Conner……

    Bouchard isnt fast skater at all, top speed is probably worst among top D prospects on draft and his footwork needs some work.
    Dobson is faster, backward skating is his strenght, belongs to better skaters among top D prospects.
    Bouchard has powerful shot, scores from everywhere but I dont think it will be possible for him to do the same thing in NHL, mainly because of his skating.
    Dobson doesnt shot so often, but is accurate, mostly scores from blueline as typical defender. Both have really good vision.
    Defensively, Bouchard is often beaten in 1on1 battle by speedy and agile forwards.
    Dobson plays better defensively, wins more board battle. Both have NHL size and have good puck protection. I believe Bouchard is more NHL ready than Dobson, but Dobson in my opinion has bigger potential. Skating means a lot today in NHL, thats the main reason I like Dobson more than Bouchard. But it is only my opinion, we all can see things differently.

  53. trencan says:

    Lowetide: I would pick Smith, as he is the top player available on my list. Although a RH defenseman is a team need, this might be the last top 10 pick we see for the next decade. I want the most talent available in one player.

    I personally expect Oilers in Draft Lottery game also next year. Probably on 12-15 position. So you never know, we can win the lottery 🙂 The hockey world will hate us even more. I expect playoff positions since 19/20 season.

  54. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Heart and Soul LT! I know in another life you should have been a scout. Thanks for this, and you should be very proud of this work. Probably for the Expos, drafting Tim Raines!

    – One of the many things that makes this place special (but this list is the most special thing IMO)

    * one year it would be nice to be drafting at the bottom of the 1st round, where there is a whole bunch of meh!

  55. jtblack says:

    John Chambers:
    Hey LT,

    Was chatting with some friends in Lethbridge this morning who are pretty high up on Calen Addison. Addison of course is a 5’10” right D who put up nearly a point per game on a rather mediocre ‘Canes club. The ugly side of the ledger shows addision at -20, for those who believe in the importance of that stat.

    Comparing Smith to Addision there really isn’t much, beyond plus minus, to distinguish between those two undersized, offensive D. What is the asset that Smith possesses, in your opinion, that legitimizes him as a top-10 pick?

    Wasnt addressed to me but I will chime in.

    Glad to know you have friends in my hometown!

    In General, Smith is better overall. Defensively and 5×5 for sure. A few things to note.

    Smith played most of the year with exceptional forwards (JAD & YAMMY). Addison did not.

    Addison had the most PP points in the League for Defensman. That means with any time and space, he is Deadly.

    I would put Addison’s skating and skill right up there with Smith. Addy def needs to manage the defensive side of the game better, but I beleive he can be taught a lot of that.

    I hope Addy falls to #41 and we can snag him. Perhaps we get Smith and Addison this year!

  56. commonfan29 says:

    trencan: Bouchard isnt fast skater at all, top speed is probably worst among top D prospects

    Well it’ll be nice when we know for sure after they all get timed at the combine.

    Oh, wait – they don’t even bring skates or sticks to the combine. That would make too much sense.

  57. JimmyV1965 says:

    trencan: Bouchard isnt fast skater at all, top speed is probably worst among top D prospects on draft and his footwork needs some work.
    Dobson is faster, backward skating is his strenght, belongs to better skaters among top D prospects.
    Bouchard has powerful shot, scores from everywhere but I dont think it will be possible for him to do the same thing in NHL, mainly because of his skating.
    Dobson doesnt shot so often, but is accurate, mostly scores from blueline as typical defender. Both have really good vision.
    Defensively, Bouchard is often beaten in 1on1 battle by speedy and agile forwards.
    Dobson plays better defensively, wins more board battle. Both have NHL size and have good puck protection. I believe Bouchard is more NHL ready than Dobson, but Dobson in my opinion has bigger potential. Skating means a lot today in NHL, thats the main reason I like Dobson more than Bouchard. But it is only my opinion, we all can see things differently.

    I’m not advocating Bouchard, but I’ve read blogs and heard on podcasts that his skating issues are greatly overblown. While skating is not a strength, it’s not awful either. How do you conclude he’s amongst the worst skaters? Honest question. Not being a jerk.

  58. stephen sheps says:

    trencan: Bouchard isnt fast skater at all, top speed is probably worst among top D prospects on draft and his footwork needs some work.

    JimmyV1965: I’m not advocating Bouchard, but I’ve read blogs and heard on podcasts that his skating issues are greatly overblown. While skating is not a strength, it’s not awful either.

    Did either of you watch the videos in the athletic link dustrock posted above doing the direct comparison? (this of course assumes y’all have subscriptions – if you don’t, please disregard). Based on both video evidence and other reports I’ve read, Bouchard’s skating isn’t an issue, he’s just not as explosive as Dobson.

    Here’s a mighty fine quote that illustrates what the video evidence suggests:

    “Bouchard’s style is more methodical and creative. Rather than bursts of speed, Bouchard relies on give-and-goes with teammates. He has that little extra in terms of puck skills that enable him to make fakes and jukes to gain the zone in ways that Dobson can’t…. I don’t think either player is a dynamic rush creator, but both are highly capable of leading or joining the rush. They’re both high-end to elite puck movers in the data set, and I fully suspect their puck-moving ability will be their strongest traits in the NHL.”

    The article also suggests that Bouchard’s passing is elite, and his ability to distribute the puck smartly to create scoring chances is what sets them apart.

    One last quote:
    “In this way, I think of Bouchard as more of a multi-dimensional threat offensively. He might lack the skating of Dobson, but he’s every bit as good of a shooter, a better playmaker, and has more creativity. I think they are noteworthy traits.”

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    Adam Mascherin will re-enter the draft.

    Surprised they weren’t able to consummate a deal with a team he was willing to sign with.

  60. John Chambers says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    John Chambers,

    Smith has something like a ridiculous +18.6% GFrel in Spokane, read on the canucks army draft rankings

    Nice stat. Even better handle. I’ve been an admirer of your handle since the days of Laco.

  61. LadiesloveSmid says:

    John Chambers: Nice stat. Even better handle. I’ve been an admirer of your handle since the days of Laco.

    Haha. I ran into Laddy outside of a club, just about this time last year in Calgary! He said he didn’t want to go back to the Czech leagues and that Calgary screwed him. Also didn’t want the girls he was with to know he raked in $3.5M for 4 years, I guess the Ladiesloved Smid regardless.

  62. trencan says:

    stephen sheps:
    Did either of you watch the videos in the athletic link dustrock posted above doing the direct comparison? (this of course assumes y’all have subscriptions – if you don’t, please disregard). Based on both video evidence and other reports I’ve read, Bouchard’s skating isn’t an issue, he’s just not as explosive as Dobson.

    Here’s a mighty fine quote that illustrates what the video evidence suggests:

    “Bouchard’s style is more methodical and creative. Rather than bursts of speed, Bouchard relies on give-and-goes with teammates. He has that little extra in terms of puck skills that enable him to make fakes and jukes to gain the zone in ways that Dobson can’t…. I don’t think either player is a dynamic rush creator, but both are highly capable of leading or joining the rush. They’re both high-end to elite puck movers in the data set, and I fully suspect their puck-moving ability will be their strongest traits in the NHL.”

    The article also suggests that Bouchard’s passing is elite, and his ability to distribute the puck smartly to create scoring chances is what sets them apart.

    One last quote:
    “In this way, I think of Bouchard as more of a multi-dimensional threat offensively. He might lack the skating of Dobson, but he’s every bit as good of a shooter, a better playmaker, and has more creativity. I think they are noteworthy traits.”

    Unfortunately I dont have subscription to Athletic. I make my opinion based on blogs, videos or international tournaments (unfortunately very small sample size of games)… But really thanks for this info, Stephen…

  63. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not advocating Bouchard, but I’ve read blogs and heard on podcasts that his skating issues are greatly overblown. While skating is not a strength, it’s not awful either. How do you conclude he’s amongst the worst skaters? Honest question. Not being a jerk.

    The biggest risk factor in taking a defensemen high in the first round is skating ability. Bouchard is “Bogosian”-ish. Dobson is “Pieterangelo”-ish. Dahlin is “Doughty”-ish. With the undersized guys, it is a bit of a crapshoot as ti who can adjust to playing against men and who can’t.

  64. stephen sheps says:

    trencan,

    happy to provide. I haven’t seen either play, so I have very little skin in the game or first-hand evidence to prefer one over the other. I think we probably gather our information in pretty much the same way, though you’ve likely watched more jr. games than I have this season.

    I don’t think there is much separating the 4 defenders discussed today and we all have our own prospects we tend to fall for. I’d be happy with any of them – they all seem like they have the potential to have good to great careers. But of the 4 names suggested, my pick is Bouchard. That said, I’ve been wrong before and definitely will be again.

  65. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Thing about Bouchard that makes me wary is his rate of allowing zone entries. Not sure if he’s Kris Russell-esque or playing to the team’s systems. I’d prefer Dobson from what I’ve seen/read (between the two).

  66. Andy Dufresne says:

    trencan: Bouchard isnt fast skater at all, top speed is probably worst among top D prospects on draft and his footwork needs some work.
    Dobson is faster, backward skating is his strenght, belongs to better skaters among top D prospects.
    Bouchard has powerful shot, scores from everywhere but I dont think it will be possible for him to do the same thing in NHL, mainly because of his skating.
    Dobson doesnt shot so often, but is accurate, mostly scores from blueline as typical defender. Both have really good vision.
    Defensively, Bouchard is often beaten in 1on1 battle by speedy and agile forwards.
    Dobson plays better defensively, wins more board battle. Both have NHL size and have good puck protection. I believe Bouchard is more NHL ready than Dobson, but Dobson in my opinion has bigger potential. Skating means a lot today in NHL, thats the main reason I like Dobson more than Bouchard. But it is only my opinion, we all can see things differently.

    I agree with all of this, especially about the part where its OK to have a different opinion.

    A month ago, I was under the impression that Bouchard was the better Dman and Dobson the better Offenisve Dman…..maybe it was skating…..maybe it was the league they play in…..not sure……But recently Ive been reading (like you point out) that Dobson being the better skater backwards and forwards, is actually better in the neutral zone and preventing zone entries.

    They are about equal in creating positive zone entries with possession.

    Bouchard is arguably a better PP Dman.

    It gives the impression that Dobson is the better of the two at defense and Bouchard is the better of the two at offense…..by slim margins…..which is different than I first thought. One question for me is, how much of this is due to the teams they play on and the leagues they play in?

    Will be interesting to see where they go and to who…..

  67. VOR says:

    digger50:
    Here is a question about draft rankings.

    What happened to Jessie P? How is he ranked in a top three tier that is supposed to be another level above the rest?

    I’m careful to say “what happened” not “what went wrong” with Jessie as I’m not implying that is something is wrong or we have a failure in the player.

    I’m curious ifwe seem to have a failure in the system. It’s as if once those top players are set, nobody wants to challenge them. Were there indicators (with hindsight) that should have been seen that may have affected this view of the clear top threein the draft?

    Talking about scouting, not liking on Jessie.

    Digger,

    It is my contention that at the top of the draft NHL GMs frequently under estimate the risks associated with the players they have their eye on. Independent Scoutsand scouting organizations make no allowance for which team may pick a player. So a player may be the third best talent available in the draft but not the best fit for the team picking 3rd OV.

    This link, written pre draft is filled with warning bells that Jesse and the Oilers would be a poor fit.

    https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2016/6/5/11795448/jesse-puljujarvi-highlights-draft-profile-scouting-report-2016-nhl-draft-rankings

    Notice the consensus that Puljujarvi is as much if not more of a play maker than a scorer. Obviously not a kid who can be a star with plugs for linemates. Then there is the certainty by the writer that Puljujarvi needed at least another year in Finland. So not a player who can help right away. Then there is the terrible English problem. Clearly a kid who needed excellent English instruction.

    I contend the Oilers should have known he was a massively bad fit.

    Read the article and tell me the Oilers sound like a good home for the kid the article describes? So Jesse was a third OV talent but not the right fit for the Oilers. Fit matters.

  68. who says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Stauffer at the Combine…….Adam Boqvist the player most mentioned as on the bubble to fall out of the top ten.

    I think thats a good guess. Probably the biggest bust potential in the consensus top 10.

  69. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Adam Mascherin will re-enter the draft.

    Surprised they weren’t able to consummate a deal with a team he was willing to sign with.

    Florida should just draft him again. That will teach him.

  70. Lowetide says:

    who: I think thats a good guess. Probably the biggest bust potential in the consensus top 10.

    He is not a terribly able defensive player, that puts him behind all of the top end guys who have more complete skills. Still a fabulous prospect however.

  71. sliderule says:

    By my eyes at the U 18 tournament Farabee was the best pick for a forward.

    At the memorial cup Dobson was the best draft prospect by performance.

    At the top prospect game Dobson and Smith were the top skaters in testing even beating out almost all the forwards in most categories.

    If Dobson is there I would run to pick him.

    If history is any lesson the oil won’t pick Farabee but after one year of college he will be in NHL.

  72. JimmyV1965 says:

    stephen sheps:
    Did either of you watch the videos in the athletic link dustrock posted above doing the direct comparison? (this of course assumes y’all have subscriptions – if you don’t, please disregard). Based on both video evidence and other reports I’ve read, Bouchard’s skating isn’t an issue, he’s just not as explosive as Dobson.

    Here’s a mighty fine quote that illustrates what the video evidence suggests:

    “Bouchard’s style is more methodical and creative. Rather than bursts of speed, Bouchard relies on give-and-goes with teammates. He has that little extra in terms of puck skills that enable him to make fakes and jukes to gain the zone in ways that Dobson can’t…. I don’t think either player is a dynamic rush creator, but both are highly capable of leading or joining the rush. They’re both high-end to elite puck movers in the data set, and I fully suspect their puck-moving ability will be their strongest traits in the NHL.”

    The article also suggests that Bouchard’s passing is elite, and his ability to distribute the puck smartly to create scoring chances is what sets them apart.

    One last quote:
    “In this way, I think of Bouchard as more of a multi-dimensional threat offensively. He might lack the skating of Dobson, but he’s every bit as good of a shooter, a better playmaker, and has more creativity. I think they are noteworthy traits.”

    Thanks for the report. I wonder how much his skating is affected by playing so many minutes. Conserving energy.

  73. stephen sheps says:

    JimmyV1965: Thanks for the report. I wonder how much his skating is affected by playing so many minutes. Conserving energy.

    I wonder about that as well. He does play a boatload of minutes.
    As to the report? Happy to provide, though credit to Dustrock for the link – I merely copied a few choice quotes for the benefit of all.

    godot10: Bouchard is “Bogosian”-ish.

    Where are you getting the Bogosian comp from? That doesn’t quite line up with anything I’ve read or watched about him so far. The other two comps you made seem pretty spot on though.

  74. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    VOR,

    Interesting take from the linked article.

    Who do you contend is the best fit for the Oilers at #10? Most likely available? Most likely drafted… because Oilers?

    And if you’re feeling charitable, how about the 41 overall pick as well?

  75. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: The biggest risk factor in taking a defensemen high in the first round is skating ability.Bouchard is “Bogosian”-ish. Dobson is “Pieterangelo”-ish.Dahlin is “Doughty”-ish.With the undersized guys, it is a bit of a crapshoot as ti who can adjust to playing against men and who can’t.

    Well put. To me skating is what keeps Larsson from being considered a league top D. He has everything including offensive acumen, but he lacks the advantage of fluid skating that would open up more offense for him.

    He’s not a really heavy guy either, Vor needs to train him.

  76. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I’m not to concerned about which D is a strong PP player because in the NHL things change and as WG and Dellow have pointed out the PP using a big shooter at the point is a thing of he past.

    Any player with good passing and hockey sense and the ability to get smart shots through is the key.

    With how competitive things are with a cap I don’t think teams can hide one dimensional players, especially high paid players racking up points on PP, they need to bring value 5v5.

    That makes me lean to Dobson, Hughes, Smith. Skill and already showing 200 ft. Bouchard maybe but if he isn’t a strong skater (opinions vary, not that he’s bad) he might be very much like Larsson.

    Not bad, but you hope for more of a true #1 out of the D in this draft at # 10, as opposed to more of a defensive player at the NHL level.

    Unless they make a trade I say take RD. It’s much easier to fill holes at forward when you have your top 2C.

  77. Scungilli Slushy says:

    leadfarmer: Florida should just draft him again.That will teach him.

    Ha!

  78. who says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I’m not to concerned about which D is a strong PP player because in the NHL things change and as WG and Dellow have pointed out the PP using a big shooter at the point is a thing of he past.

    Any player with good passing and hockey sense and the ability to get smart shots through is the key.

    With how competitive things are with a cap I don’t think teams can hide one dimensional players, especially high paid players racking up points on PP, they need to bring value 5v5.

    That makes me lean to Dobson, Hughes, Smith. Skill and already showing 200 ft. Bouchard maybe but if he isn’t a strong skater (opinions vary, not that he’s bad) he might be very much like Larsson.

    Not bad, but you hope for more of a true #1 out of the D in this draft at # 10, as opposed to more of a defensive player at the NHL level.

    Unless they make a trade I say take RD. It’s much easier to fill holes at forward when you have your top 2C.

    What’s wrong with another Larsson.? I would consider it a home run if we drafted another Larsson at 10OV .

  79. Scungilli Slushy says:

    who: What’s wrong with another Larsson.? I would consider it a home run if we drafted another Larsson at 10OV .

    Larsson is great, I would hope for a player with a better overall game. In the draft you hope to get the players you can’t get otherwise. The next Doughty for example.

    Players with limitations such as less offensive or less defensive are the types you sometimes can get. It’s the ‘does it all’ types to shoot for.

  80. who says:

    Lowetide: He is not a terribly able defensive player, that puts him behind all of the top end guys who have more complete skills. Still a fabulous prospect however.

    Yes.
    Very high end upside. But not a sure thing as a top 4 dmen. Too risky for my tastes but if he’s the one left at 10OV I think they have to take him. The Oilers have been looking for a right shot, puck moving, powerplay quarterback forever. And that is exactly his skill set.
    Makes me nervous cause the Oilers need to add to the Mcdavid cluster with this pick. The pick doesn’t have to turn into a star but he needs to be a top 6 forward or top 4 dman. We already have our stars.

  81. who says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Larsson is great, I would hope for a player with a better overall game. In the draft you hope to get the players you can’t get otherwise. The next Doughty for example.

    Players with limitations such as less offensive or less defensive are the types you sometimes can get. It’s the ‘does it all’ types to shoot for.

    I’m guessing Larssons scouting reports looked a lot like Bouchards and Dobsons do right now. He was a 4OV pick after all.
    He would be great value at 10OV this year.

  82. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide: Lol. No. I would say it’s akin to the Oilers passing on Zach Parise because they had Mike Comrie. Things change, sometimes in a quick hurry.

    Thanks for all you do LT! Your site and insight are excellent. I am not sure your example is quite the same. I am on record as to the smart play taking a high level right shot D. My choice would be Boqvist or Dobson in that order. I like the idea of having three right shot D we could call the killer (B’s)! The team is set both now and in the future as I see it on left D. The value when moving a left shot D is less than a Right shot D. The way things stand now if the Oilers drafted Smith in two years they would have to move an AHL left D to give him room to play. Given our other needs I do not see where this would not be counter productive! Things are not moving in a quick hurry in an upward progression.

  83. Lowetide says:

    On Larsson scouting reports, from summer 2011

    In November we heard this from an NHL scout: “I think Adam Larsson plays a safer game (than TBay’s Hedman). I certainly think he has the same potential as Hedman. He’s every bit as good with the puck and he might be a touch tougher. Hedman is a little bigger, but they’re both unbelievably good skaters. I think I would take Larsson over Hedman if I could, based on what I’ve seen the last three years.”

    Kyle Woodlief offered this in an interview with Kirk Luedeke: “I always had Hedman as a notch above him and even frankly, Oliver Ekman-Larsson I think has more long-term upside than Adam Larsson does because of his unbelievable skating ability. I know a lot of people over in Sweden think that he has that sort of (cornerstone) potential. I think that he’s going to be a really strong, solid defenseman in the NHL for a long time. But I don’t know if I would ever see him as a true number one defenseman. I see him more as a number two who’s going to eat a lot of minutes and be maybe a 40-45-point scorer. I don’t see him being that number one guy who’s going to come in and get 60-70 points and really lead a top power play. He makes a great first pass out of his own end. He plays solid, he plays physical. I’d like to see him, with his big body, to play physically a little more consistently along the walls and in front of the crease where he just kind of has a tendency to just lean on guys instead of getting aggressive with them. I think he’s a legitimate 15-year NHL player and number two guy who, on a poor team, will maybe play as a number one from time to time. But I don’t see him having that highest end that a Hedman or an Ekman-Larsson has.”

  84. Scungilli Slushy says:

    who: I’m guessing Larssons scouting reports looked a lot like Bouchards and Dobsons do right now. He was a 4OV pick after all.
    He would be great value at 10OV this year.

    IIRC Larsson was supposed to have Hedman’s ceiling. That was the talk.

    Hedman is huge, Larsson is a typical height D listed by the Oilers as 210 lbs. so he’s not large for D so doesn’t have the advantage like Hedman.

    What hindered him from what scouts thought IMO was not being a strong skater. It’s even more important now.

  85. Gerta Rauss says:

    Thanks for the time and effort you put into your draft rankings LT

    I know it’s a labor of love but it’s greatly appreciated by your readers

    I’d give anything to not be discussing the top end of the draft, but we are here, again

  86. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Scungilli Slushy: IIRC Larsson was supposed to have Hedman’s ceiling. That was the talk.

    Hedman is huge, Larsson is a typical height D listed by the Oilers as 210 lbs. so he’s not large for D so doesn’t have the advantage like Hedman.

    What hindered him from what scouts thought IMO was not being a strong skater. It’s even more important now.

    LT posted while I typed. He was seen by the first guy as a strong skater which he is, but Woodlief saw what I see now in his game, he’s not a fluid or effortless skater like my Doughty example.

    That skating ability to me seperates players. It’s why Connor can play so much, he’s spending less energy to play. Right now it’s hurting Leon and Lucic.

  87. Lowetide says:

    New at The Athletic: For the Oilers, success in the third round means no more walkabout https://theathletic.com/377187/2018/06/01/lowetide-for-the-oilers-third-round-success-means-no-more-walkabout-selections/

  88. VOR says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    VOR,

    Interesting take from the linked article.

    Who do you contend is the best fit for the Oilers at #10? Most likely available? Most likely drafted… because Oilers?

    And if you’re feeling charitable, how about the 41 overall pick as well?

    Of all the players that highly likely to be available at 10 and 40 Joel Farabee and Sean Durzi are the best fit. But I can see either Bouchard or Dobson sliding to 10 and both are near perfect fits for the Oilers.The worst fit is Adam Boqvist – long way away, small, defensively suspect and hugely gifted offensively. Round peg square hole.

    In my heart of hearts who do I think the Oilers will draft at #10, Adam Boqvist, and at 40 Calen Addison. This is no knock on either player. The right team could cash big time on either one.

    If Evan Bouchard is there

  89. pts2pndr says:

    The killers Bees: Bear, Berglund and Boqvist!

  90. Harpers Hair says:

    VOR: Digger,

    It is my contention that at the top of the draft NHL GMs frequently under estimate the risks associated with the players they have their eye on. Independent Scoutsand scouting organizations make no allowance for which team may pick a player. So a player may be the third best talent available in the draft but not the best fit for the team picking 3rd OV.

    This link, written pre draft is filled with warning bells that Jesse and the Oilers would be a poor fit.

    https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2016/6/5/11795448/jesse-puljujarvi-highlights-draft-profile-scouting-report-2016-nhl-draft-rankings

    Notice the consensus that Puljujarvi is as much if not more of a play maker than a scorer. Obviously not a kid who can be a star with plugs for linemates. Then there is the certainty by the writer that Puljujarvi needed at least another year in Finland. So not a player who can help right away. Then there is the terrible English problem. Clearly a kid who needed excellent English instruction.

    I contend the Oilers should have known he was a massively bad fit.

    Read the article and tell me the Oilers sound like a good home for the kid the article describes? So Jesse was a third OV talent but not the right fit for the Oilers. Fit matters.

    Magnus Pajaarvi v2.0

  91. pts2pndr says:

    VOR: Of all the players that highly likely to be available at 10 and 40 Joel Farabee and Sean Durzi are the best fit. But I can see either Bouchard or Dobson sliding to 10 and both are near perfect fits for the Oilers.The worst fit is Adam Boqvist – long way away, small, defensively suspect and hugely gifted offensively. Round peg square hole.

    In my heart of hearts who do I think the Oilers will draft at #10, Adam Boqvist, and at 40 Calen Addison. This is no knock on either player. The right team could cash big time on either one.

    If Evan Bouchard is there

    Berglund looks like he may come over next year and fill the 2nd pairing right D and if not Bear could be ready! There is time to marinate Boqvist and he will have adequate mentorship with the Swedish contingent already in place! We are fnally approaching the ability to slow play our D ! That is a good thing! I know it really isn’t an Oiler thing!
    ,

  92. Professor Q says:

    Plus, isn’t the new verbal on Larsson that when he plays loose he IS offensively decent? Like in the Worlds?

    Maybe not to Hedman levels but second to Hedman is still good.

    And then seeing the D prospects, I’m not as afraid as some here. Even hope on the F front (and could add more).

  93. frjohnk says:

    Harpers Hair: Magnus Pajaarvi v2.0

    I think you are wrong but if JP busted that hard, it would a huge blow for this organization moving forward.

    We really need JP to become an impact player if we are ever to compete for the Cup.

  94. Harpers Hair says:

    Paajarvi had better boxcars than JP early in his career. I can’t see any evidence that JP will be better.

  95. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Paajarvi had better boxcars than JP early in his career. I can’t see any evidence that JP will be better.

    MPS issue is he was quite passive on ice. JP has more gumption.

    All players that make the NHL are good hockey players. The difference is latent ability, confidence and drive. MPS wasn’t the same level of player as JP when drafted

  96. Harpers Hair says:

    Scungilli Slushy: MPS issue is he was quite passive on ice. JP has more gumption.

    All players that make the NHL are good hockey players. The difference is latent ability, confidence and drive. MPS wasn’t the same level of player as JP when drafted

    The Gumption Coefficient is still under development.
    Their European stats in their draft years are almost identical.
    Pretty much the same player.

  97. Professor Q says:

    MPS and Puljujärvi aren’t even close to being the same player. Saying such a thing is incredibly disingenuous.

  98. Harpers Hair says:

    Professor Q:
    MPS and Puljujärvi aren’t even close to being the same player. Saying such a thing is incredibly disingenuous.

    What separates them in your mind?

  99. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: What separates them in your mind?

    Puljuarvi can score off the rush, with his shot and his skill. He’s also a giant. I’m not convinced JP will score 35 a year but MPS was a far more complementary player than Puljujarvi is even now.

  100. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: Puljuarvi can score off the rush, with his shot and his skill. He’s also a giant. I’m not convinced JP will score 35 a year but MPS was a far more complementary player than Puljujarvi is even now.

    Pajaarvi is 6’3” 206.
    Puljjuarvi is 6’ 4” 211.
    About the same.
    One of these players scored 17 goals in his first two NHL seasons and the other has scored 13.
    If Magnus is a complimentary player, then Jesse is a cut below.

  101. who says:

    Harpers Hair: Pajaarvi is 6’3” 206.
    Puljjuarvi is 6’ 4” 211.
    About the same.
    One of these players scored 17 goals in his first two NHL seasons and the other has scored 13.
    If Magnus is a complimentary player, then Jesse is a cut below.

    I don’t think MP was even in the league yet at the age JP has completed his first two seasons. There’s your difference.

  102. Harpers Hair says:

    who: I don’t think MP was even in the league yet at the age JP has completed his first two seasons. There’s your difference.

    Paajarvi played his first season in the NHL at the age of 19.
    Jesse is already 20.

  103. hunter1909 says:

    Harpers Hair: Paajarvi played his first season in the NHL at the age of 19.
    Jesse is already 20.

    Pajaarvi took a NHL sized hit and never recovered his shattered confidence. He was the epitome of a “rushed” player and another reason the Oilers are doomed for so long as Lowe+MacT are still on the Oilers payroll.

    JP is a tank. Opposition players have tried time and time and time again to go after him, but they simply bounce off him.

    Aside from shared ethnic origin the players are totally different. Aside from JP’s career being similarly in peril, thanks to the Lowe+MacT effect that perpetually plagues this pathetic franchise.

  104. Harpers Hair says:

    hunter1909: Pajaarvi took a NHL sized hit and never recovered his shattered confidence. He was the epitome of a “rushed” player and another reason the Oilers are doomed for so long as Lowe+MacT are still on the Oilers payroll.

    JP is a tank. Opposition players have tried time and time and time again to go after him, but they simply bounce off him.

    Aside from shared ethnic origin the players are totally different. Aside from JP’s career being similarly in peril, thanks to the Lowe+MacT effect that perpetually plagues this pathetic franchise.

    Other than being rushed, I cant see any discernible difference between the two players.
    Big, fast and ineffective.

  105. hunter1909 says:

    Harpers Hair: Other than being rushed, I cant see any discernible difference between the two players.
    Big, fast and ineffective.

    …aside from the fact MPS got top 6 minutes gifted to him, while JP gets shafted every which way.

    Essentially, you’re probably right.

  106. Harpers Hair says:

    hunter1909: …aside from the fact MPS got top 6 minutes gifted to him, while JP gets shafted every which way.

    Essentially, you’re probably right.

    JP gets shafted because he didn’t deliver and force his way into the conversation.

    Tkachuk, Keller and DeBrincat, among others, are eating his lunch.

    While I agree MPS had an advantage, neither player has delivered on their draft position.

  107. jtblack says:

    Kyle Woodlief nailed the Larsson scouting report(and OEL & HEDMAN).. Does he have a list. Or a list of Euro skaters?

  108. pts2pndr says:

    Paajarvi was fully capable in English and had already been living on his own. He was not jerked around to the extent as Jesse has been Jesse goes to the net hard and in my opinion is a better passer. His defense is far better at this age. If you wish to see the glass as half full fill your boots. Check back in one ore year and we will all know a lot more than we do now!

  109. who says:

    Harpers Hair: Paajarvi played his first season in the NHL at the age of 19.
    Jesse is already 20.

    JP played his first season at 18.
    You really don’t know what JP will become. Neither do I. But I’m not writing him off at the age of 19. I hope the Oilers don’t either.

  110. hunter1909 says:

    I can’t imagine a more parochial sports franchise than the Edmonton Oilers, yet they insist on drafting non-Canadian players who they then proceed to screw up by the mere fact that the clods running the team haven’t got a clue about other cultures and then they all mostly bust.

  111. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair: JP gets shafted because he didn’t deliver and force his way into the conversation.

    Tkachuk, Keller and DeBrincat, among others, are eating his lunch.

    While I agree MPS had an advantage, neither player has delivered on their draft position.

    You mean like Bennett is eating Draisatl’s lunch?

  112. leadfarmer says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Would you like to bet a Woodguy that JP will get more points than Paajarvi next season?
    Of course you wont.
    Now back under the bridge troll

  113. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    He makes a great first pass out of his own end.

    I know. I know. He can. He can pass really well. I dont get it. Its like he doesnt want to. I wonder if playing him with a better defenseman might unlock it again. A year ago he played sweeper behind Klefbom and this year wasnt much better

  114. JimmyV1965 says:

    Looking at the numbers of MPS, he seems very unique. His production looks like it has dropped slightly every year in his prime. I don’t think you see that very often.

  115. Munny says:

    hunter1909: …aside from the fact MPS got top 6 minutes gifted to him, while JP gets shafted every which way.

    Essentially, you’re probably right.

    Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, I remember people criticizing the Oil for placing kids in top 6 roles before they were ready. 😉

    I think of the way Hertl was brought along by the Mudsharks, they remind me a bit of each other…. Pujo is better. But he needs time to get there. I think the second half of next season will be most enjoyable. 20 goal season, first of many.

    The Oil need to show patience now because he’s close… and when nova happens, no one knows where it ends, till it does.

  116. €√¥£€^$ says:

    stephen sheps: reason 3572 why traditional +/- isn’t a great stat, especially for individual players:
    the 2016-17 Barrie Colts had a record of 17-44-0-7, whereas this year’s model a far more respectable and competitive 42-21-0-5 -> a worst to first turnaround. Might have something to do with the massive goal differential as a team (going from -99 to +68 year over year). Svechnikov being on that same team this year might also have something to do with it.

    Stephen,

    I get it. I’ve been coming to this place for 8+ years now, so I understand how imperfect +/- is, but on this team his +45 really stands out, so at face value it is significant, at least as a starting point. What it does demonstrate, IMHO is that he is a substantially improved player, granted on a much better team. And what it really speaks to, I think, is that he has arrived as an NHL prospect.

    Digging deeper into his resume, he played as a very effective 2nd pairing Dman as a 16 yr old in the USHL. The stats don’t readily show his defensive acumen, which arrived much sooner than his offense. The other part to it is that he isn’t using superior size and strength, he is legitimately skilled.

    I’ve also read that he is a very good skater (and viewed some video) and even as a 16 year old, albeit with not many points to show for it , he drove the play. My bold prediction is that he will be a good player in the NHL and definitely worth a 4th round selection. He will a very interesting player to follow next year when he probably sees substantial PP time. This season he had 3 PP goals and 4 PP assists; I don’t know what he had for primary point totals.

  117. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: You mean like Bennett is eating Draisatl’s lunch?

    Don’t forget that Skinner is better than Hall too……

  118. stephen sheps says:

    €√¥£€^$,

    as I said in my reply yesterday, I know nothing about the kid and I’m sure he’s a legit prospect, but unless we have some numbers that show how he performs relative to his teammates (wowys and the like), +/- doesn’t tell the whole story.

    You’re probably right though – he seems worth it in the 3rd or 4th round. Why not?

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca