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.
- Bob McKenzie September 2010 is a list of 15 kids. Adam Larsson, Viktor Rask represent the Euro contingent.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.