Redline report is run by a guy named Kyle Woodlief, who used to be a scout for Nashville. Woodlief is long on confidence and seems to be the one scout on earth who realizes there’s a market for pre-draft scouting reports that are critical of young prospects.
To give you an idea about how Woodlief rolls, he one stated Ales Hemsky had “no balls” and that Rob Schremp was “selfish and petulant with an attitude of entitlement” and that Riley Nash was “a big, raw, naturally athletic kid who can skate, shoot and pass.”
So it’s with special interest that I look forward to Woodlief’s reports in the USA Today each month or so (the latest installment is here). I follow his stuff closely enough to know that he ranked the Tavares-Hedman race in that order.
You can imagine my surprise when I came across this item from NY Newsday. First of all I should tell you that lots of the very best pre-draft information comes from the New York media generally and fans/followers of the New York Islanders specifically.
The money quote in the Newsday article is this one from Woodleif: “I’ve always felt Hedman should be the No. 1 pick. The reason we flip-flopped Duchene and Tavares is due to the fact Tavares’ effort level has been underwhelming through the first two rounds of the [Ontario Hockey League] playoffs. Tavares may score 40 or 50 goals a season, but he’s one-dimensional. If he’s not scoring, he’s not helping. Right now, he’s the third-best draft-eligible forward on his own team behind Nazem Kadri and Phil Varone. Tavares (9-10-19) and Varone (10-8-18) have about the same number of points, but Varone is plus-16, and Tavares is even. London has a great power play, and Tavares is getting all his points on the power play. Five-on-five, Tavares has been nothing short of a liability. His attitude of entitlement stinks.”
I doubt very much that scouts and GMs are going to rank Tavares at #3 on any list, but this is the first report available that shows a crack in the Tavares armour.