This is Sean Couturier. He is the number one prospect for the 2011 entry draft. ISS, Redline, Bob McKenzie, they’re all on board with the big man at #1.
Why then do I get the feeling that the Oiler fanbase views Couturier as the modern Doug Wickenheiser?
Saw. him. good.
Couturier did not impress many at the World Junior championships. I think it’s a lesson in what must be the most dangerous thing in scouting: too much emphasis on one viewing. Couturier had no control over how he was used and he certainly did not have the kind of WJ’s enjoyed by people like Taylor Hall in their draft year.
If I was trying to prove Couturier remained the best prospect on the 2011 list, where would I start. I believe the best way to do this is by laying groundwork based on past entry drafts. If certain things were true a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, then surely it would weigh heavily on one’s decision for this coming season.
Gabriel Desjardins is a smart guy. His NHL equivalncies teach us that the average Canadian junior retains 29% of the CHL offense when making the transition. 29% seems somewhat random, but the man has run the numbers and honestly it’s kind of eerie how well this toy works. Why just last season he told us that Taylor Hall had the highest offensive outer marker, that Jeff Skinner could score 20 goals and that Cam Fowler was miles ahead of other junior defensemen. He also told us about those two Russian kids too. It’s all here.
All at no cost to us the consumer. I’d like to buy Gabe a beer one day, that would be cool. Maybe the night San Jose wins the Stanley and the Oakland Seals finally make the grade.
With that as the backdrop, here are the NHLE’s for the top 30 ISS players for the 2011 draft (per 82gp).
- Ryan Strome (#9) 15-23-38
- Sean Couturier (#1) 12-25-37
- Gabriel Landeskog (#4) 19-16-35
- Matt Peumpel (#12) 16-17-33
- Sven Bartschi (#26) 14-18-32
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (#2) 6-26-32
- Alexander Khokhlachev (#14) 13-18-31
- Ty Rattie (#30) 10-21-31
- Daniel Catenacci (#29) 13-17-30
- Joel Armia (#7) 18-10-28
- Brandon Saad (#5) 15-12-27
- Mark McNeill (#15) 10-17-28
- Shane McGolgan (#25) 9-19-28
- Vladislav Namestnikov (#19) 8-15-23
- Tomas Jurko (#22) 11-11-22
- Colin Jacobs (#27) 10-8-18
I was unable to do an NHLE for the following: Victor Rask (Sweden); Dmitri Jaskin (Cze Jr); Matt Nieto (USHL); Rocco Grimaldi (USHL); Maxim Shalunov (Rus Jr); Tyler Biggs (USHL).
Interesting numbers for Couturier as well as Strome and Landeskog. We have a long way to go, but I think those three names might end up being the class of the draft. Their NHLE’s are similar to Tarasenko and Skinner from a year ago. Not Taylor Hall-Steven Stamkos levels, but these kids are going to have an impact at the highest levels.
- Ryan Murphy (#6) 12-23-35
- Dougie Hamilton (#11) 3-18-22
- Adam Larsson (#3) 2-16-18
- Myles Bell (#17) 7-9-16
- Duncan Siemens (#8) 2-12-14
- David Musil (#13) 3-10-13
I was unable to establish a reasonable NHLE for Robbie Russo (USHL); Scott Mayfield (USHL). Gabe and I have had discussions about the USHL number over the last couple of years, but I’m not comfortable posting numbers in this regard.
Based on these numbers, Ryan Murphy might be the most underrated player in this draft. Lordy. He is the reincarnation of Reijo Ruotsalianen.
Based on all these numbers, my current top 5 are:
- Sean Couturier
- Gabriel Landeskog
- Adam Larsson
- Ryan Murphy
- Ryan Strome
And you know what? We need to look very closely at Ryan Murphy. He might be something special.