The Process of Draft Discovery

In the comments section below, Rondo writes “how is it with all these rankings in the draft, how do players move up and down without playing for weeks?” I think I can help some.

The lists–even Bob McKenzie’s–are strong on the North American kids during the season and then suss out the Euro’s come spring.

  1. Bob McKenzie September 2010 is a list of 15 kids. Adam Larsson, Viktor Rask represent the Euro contingent.
  2. Bob McKenzie January 2011 is a much bigger list–60. Larsson is #1, and 9 European kids made the list (Klefbom makes his first appearance at 45). Still about the same number in terms of per cent–15–but at least we’re getting to know the names.
  3. Bob McKenzie’s final list gives us a stronger feel for the Euros. There are 10 E’s on it–again about 15%. Adam Larsson is #2, Mika Zibanejad is #9, Jonas Brodin is #10, Joel Armia is #14, Klefbom has moved up to #21, Dmitri Jaskin is #35, Viktor Rask has fallen to #40, Samu Perhonen was #51, Mikko Salomaki was #52, Nikita Kucherov was #56.

In the actual top 60, here’s how the Euro’s did:

  • #4 Adam Larsson
  • #6 Mika Zibanejad
  • #10 Jonas Brodin
  • #16 Joel Armia
  • #19 Oscar Klefbom
  • #38 Magnus Hellberg
  • #41 Dmitri Jaskin
  • #42 Viktor Rask
  • #45 Markus Granlund
  • #50 Johan Sundstrom
  • #51 Alexander Ruutu
  • #52 Mikko Salomaki
  • #53 William Karlsson
  • #58 Nikita Kucherov
  • #59 Rasmus Bengtsson

15 Europeans were considered to be among the 60 best players in the world. Now, it goes without saying that some of the kids drafted from North American leagues were also European by birthplace but that’s not what we’re studying here.

So, a couple of conclusions:

  1. There will be some risers from the Euro side in the next few weeks. Bob McKenzie’s draft lottery list showed some Euro movement and his final list will show more.
  2. Even Bob McKenzie–and he’s the gold standard–underrated the European group based on this one season look-see. And not by a little–BM’s estimates had about 15% of the top 60 being from Europe and the final number was 25%.

If you love to follow the draft, paying close attention to the movers and shakers on the list from now to draft day is important. They didn’t suddenly get better, but they are coming from a more obscure area for draftniks to follow. It is especially evident that NHL teams value these young men highly.

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18 Responses to "The Process of Draft Discovery"

  1. Maverick says:

    If some of the Euros come over to participate in the NHL combine it allows for more viewing by scouts and the public. If small player X can bench press more than bigger player Y or player X shows more ability or built like a tank up close it changes where they are ranked in any of the draft rankings. As seen on Oil Change the comment from Simon Bennett about Taylor Hall’s physique couldn’t have hurt his placement on the Oilers’ list.

    First the NHL combine then the draft interviews and then the (Euro Cup of soccer, starts June 8th) and then the NHL draft June 22. Wow! busy month ahead.

  2. Rondo says:

    Thanks for the reply.

  3. VOR says:


    If you are out there perhaps you should know that Parenteau and Moulson (two of the three guys you listed as waiver claims) were signed as free agents not waiver claims by the Islanders. Please feel free in fact to find any evidence they were claimed on waivers period.

    Grabner was definitely a waiver pick up. He is not, and this is important, a center. Not now, not in the future. 10 face offs the last two years combined.

    Of course neither of the other guys is either. Moulson has 14 faceoffs in two years, Parenteau 56 in two years. Now your asset management replaces a center with guys who have never played the position and would be disasters in that role. That is assuming you actually understand that center is more difficult to play than right or left wing. Maybe you don’t know that much about hockey.

    Then you compound everything by saying that anyone can do what Gagner can do given the chance. Parenteau and Moulson are the wingers for this guy John Tavares. Pretty good player actually. He’d love to play with his good friend Gagner. I’m betting playing the total minutes P.A. and Matt get and doing it all with Tavares Gagner’s numbers would sky rocket. Isn’t that your whole argument, other guys with his minutes would do better? So why wouldn’t Gagner do better with more minutes and better linemates?

    So lets go back to the challenge finding that mythical guy who can replace Gagner as a 2C. One you can apparently claim on waivers. Find me a 2C who is top forty offense, top fifty relative corsi, top sixty competition.

    Your argument about opportunity doesn’t hold up. Gagner gets more points in all disciplines than his minutes suggest he shoud. You haven’t offered any evidence for a center who can replace him except Ryan Poltuny. Poltuny marginally outplayed Gagner in 2009-2010. Gagner is a lot better player now. In fact, it isn’t close.

  4. Esa10 says:

    Whose everyone’s dark horses in the draft?

    I would like Phil di Giuseppe with the 32nd (should have made wjc)

    3rd picks: h.samuellsson and Dan blujus

    Also: Esa Lindell.


  5. dulock says:

    I think another part of it is that European scouts don’t show up in North America until after the European season is done. Their opinions influence the major media sources and they have more of an opportunity to push the merits of European players.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Whose everyone’s dark horses in the draft?

    I would like Phil di Giuseppe with the 32nd (should have made wjc)

    3rd picks: h.samuellsson and Dan blujus

    Also: Esa Lindell.


    I like Lindell, but am still reading up. Busy couple of weeks of reading.

  7. VOR says:

    Just before I move on topic, I want to clarify. I have read numerous places that Moulson and Parenteau were availabe on the waiver wire now of which give a source. On the other hand I can’t find any proof they ever were on waivers. I assume it must be true because so many people say so, but finding an original source has proven difficult.

    As for the undervaluing of Europeans in the draft and why they rise both in number and postion as you get closer to draft day I posit that it is very hard to get reliable statistics out of Europe (TOI, quality comp, etc.). This means that many “authorities” go on word of mouth coming mainly from European scouts and coaches. This takes time to build to critical mass. It certainly remains easier to pick off a good European nobody has heard of than to do that with a kid who plays here in North America. I’d guess the gap is closing with more and more people (regular fans turned scout posting on you tube and elsewhere) but that there is still an information gap.

  8. Lowetide says:

    I’m not saying these kids are undervalued by NHL teams, clearly they have tremendous value. But the sources we fans rely on are “late to the party” in informing us about them. Oscar Klefbom wasn’t as famous as he should have been a year ago draft day and that’ll be true of another one of these guys this season.

  9. VOR says:

    You want a European sleeper that Stu might love? Try Pascal Zerressen of Germany. He is a bit older, 19 now but as I understand it still draft eligible, huge D man, can skate, and in their junior league he was a great offensive talent. This year as an 18 year old playing against men his offence has disappeared, though apparently his hitting and shot blocking remained. That is a tough transition and maybe the offence returns. Probably a good late round sleeper.

    In the top tier prospects the oddest (it seems likely we are missing critical information) is Sebastian Collberg who can’t seem to produce any offence at all at home playing against men but is amazing on the world stage against kids his own age (or older). He is very small but has blinding speed and an NHL+ wrist shot (accurate, hard, with quick release). What happens in the SEL is a total mystery. Anybody with that much talent should at least score now and again.

  10. Ribs says:

    Frk is till my dark horse. I just can’t get over seeing him good two years ago.

    If only Bobo Mckenzikov and our beloved Bob could get together and hammer out some rankings every year. Then we’d be golden!

  11. gd says:


    Has anyone done a study on the relative value of draft picks from the various leagues and countries? A quick look at the last few years would seem to indicate that Swede Dman have been the best value and the most busts have been from the WHL.

  12. ehuisman says:

    Miikka Salomäki, not Mikko.

  13. Oilertown says:

    Lowetide what are some good sites to read up on draft prospects

  14. Lowetide says:

    Miikka Salomäki, not Mikko.

    Thank you!

  15. Lowetide says:

    Lowetide what are some good sites to read up on draft prospects

    I’m very impressed with Corey Pronman.

  16. regwald says:


    LT, did you see his tweets about Oilers prospects and stuff about Reinhart ?

    Corey Pronman ‏@coreypronman

    Bunz RT @madeincanada83: @coreypronman bunz or Roy?

    Marincin RT @GenoReda: @coreypronman Marincin or Musil?

    Marincin RT @madeincanada83: @coreypronman marincin vs. Gernat?

    Id take Galchenyuk RT @NateInEdmonton: @coreypronman Galchenyuk > = < Gagner ?

    Hall RT @Hope_Smoke: @coreypronman Yakupov, Hall or RNH?

    Physical game: Trouba, Reinhart Shot: Dumba, Murray RT @slgold7: @coreypronman Of your top 9 defenders, any have "60" Shot or physical game?

    Trouba is high end, Reinhart below average. RT @RobParker_JR: @coreypronman How well do Trouba and Reinhart skate? Who has advantage?

  17. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, I follow him on twitter. Great read, too. Good writer. He’ll be on Oilers Nation this Saturday if you have any questions.

  18. regwald says:


    Sure, ask him to rank the Oilers dman prospects:

    Klefbom, Marincin, Musil, Gernat

    And also any more background info about the Hall, Yakupov, RNH comment from above.

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