BLUE BULLET 60

This is the annual ranking by Brad McPherson, fondly referred to here and at HF as ‘Blue Bullet’ since forever. All the words are his starting now.

BLUE BULLET 2014 DRAFT RANKINGS

Well another draft is just around the corner and I could not be happier as I could use some sleep. This ranking took a little longer than normal, with a lot of that having to do with research into finding a number better than P/G to measure CHL performance, but I will get to the Bullet Number later. First, let us talk about the 2014 Draft class. While considered a weaker draft, I have come to like this draft in its own quirky way. What this draft has are many offensively skilled forwards who lack size which reminds of someone’s favourite hockey team, does it not? The skill level, at the top end of this draft, is very good and the first round will be filled with forwards most of them with top 6 potential. What this draft does not have, is the depth of the 2013 draft as well as it is lacking in d-men with top 4 potential. This year there are 23 forwards in my top 30, 6 defenseman and 1 goalie. We will get to the rankings but before the list let’s talk about the Bullet Number.

 The Bullet Number

So what is a Bullet number? Well first off, the Bullet number came about this year when I was wondering if there was a way to compare the statistical performance of a CHL player from league to league and draft year to draft year. To do this I only wanted a single number to represent their production but I wanted something better than points per game. I also wanted to look at this number with and without their powerplay production. So the first question that came to my mind is what is an assist worth?

Sorry Wayne Gretzky

I could have simply chosen to use points per game but I have never quite liked that stat because it values assists the same amount as goals. I needed a better number, so I attempted to find out what an assist was worth in the CHL. To do this I looked back at the amount of goals and assists scored each year in each of the 3 major junior leagues for the last 12 seasons. So using hockeydb.com, over the course of 12 WHL seasons, there were 56858 goals scored and 94179 assists. In the OHL, there were 55280 goals scored 90310 assists. In the QMJHL, there were 49615 goals and 81781 assists. So doing a little math, the average assist over the last 12 years in the WHL is worth 60.37% of a goal. In the OHL, it is worth 61.21% and in the QMJHL 60.67%. So I am sorry Wayne Gretzky, you are my childhood hero, but if an assist were worth the same as a goal, they would be the same amount given out.

Using Nate MacKinnon and Sam Bennett’s draft years as an example and taking their regular season and playoff stats combined, MacKinnon played 61 games and had 43 goals and 65 assists. Multiplying his assists by .6067 and dividing by his 61 games played gives MacKinnon a score of 1.35. Bennett played 64 games and had 41 goals and 59 assists. Using the OHL assist factor of .6121 gives Bennett a per game score of 1.20.

After figuring this out it brought about another question. If a goal was worth the same between the leagues than there would be the same amount of goals scored in each league?

 Not all Leagues are Created Equal

After figuring out what an assist is worth, I figured this would be simple and I would just take the goals scored in the league divided by the games and use the average goals scored per team to see how much a goal was worth between the leagues. Wrong! This totally disregards the fact that a league could have more goals simply because they have more shots. Therefore, off I went to figure out the league save percentage for each season for the last 12 years of each league. And since I was combining playoff and regular season points in my totals I decided to do the same for the save percentage (except for 2003-2010 QMJHL season as it was too difficult to find the playoff goalie stats for these seasons). I also had to remember to remove shootout goals from the totals.

To use the 2013 Q and 2014 OHL seasons as examples:

  • There was 4695 goals scored in the regular season and playoffs in the QMJHL in 2013 and there was 37611 saves giving the Q a .889 SA%.
  • There was 5244 goals scored in the regular season and playoffs in the OHL in 2014 and there was 46324 saves giving the OHL a .898 SA%.
  • Over the course of 12 years the WHL and OHL has a .899 SA% and the QMJHL has a .890 SA%.

So going back to our example it was actually easier for MacKinnon to score a goal in the 2012-2013 Q season than Bennett this year in the OHL. To normalize, I needed a base rate and used a .900 SA% in a league where a team averages 30 shots/game. Using these numbers the 2014 OHL league average goals/game per team would be 3.05 and the QMJHL would be 3.33. Therefore, a player in the 2012-2013 Q season has to score at a 9% higher rate to be considered equivalent to a 2013-2014 OHL player.

So for MacKinnon his number of 1.35 would be multiplied by the base rate of 3 and divided by the 3.33 goals/game giving him a new score of 1.22. Bennett’s new score is 1.18. MacKinnon’s production and Bennett’s production are not that far apart after you consider league SA%. So there was one last question on my mind, what factor does age account for?

Thank You Behind the Net

So in search of the age factor I came across this on behindthenet.ca where the work has been done for me. “This is very significant for the NHL Entry Draft. An entire year’s worth of players become eligible for the draft, but the players born earlier in the year have a peak value 35% lower than players born late in the year. This is obvious when you consider the difference that one year of physical maturity can make at age 17. In evaluating a player, it is critical to keep in mind his exact age, down to his month of birth.”

The last and final step than was to factor in age using the 35% rate as described above. Instead of down to the month, I did it down to the day so to continue our example lets factor in Nate MacKinnon and his Sep 1 b-day against Sam Bennett and his Jun 20 b-day.

For MacKinnon it would give him a factor of 1.34 and when you multiply that by his score of 1.22, he ends with a final Bullet score of 1.63. For Bennett it would give him a factor of 1.27 and when you multiply that by his score of 1.18, he ends with a final Bullet score of 1.50.Removing powerplay points, MacKinnon has a score of 1.06 while Bennett has a score of 1.04.

 Conclusion and Thoughts

So after having this score, I needed to look back and see how players compared year to year and I also needed to separate out their powerplay points. So here is a breakdown of over 250 forwards and 140 d-men from the last 12 CHL seasons. I am still adding to the list and would like to do this for other leagues for next season. Now since they have estimated TOI for CHL players I would like to incorporate that next year as well as look into other leagues. Finally some random thoughts:

Crosby smashes everyone with or without PP points. It’s not even close.  Gagner is 2nd overall but only 41st after you remove his PP points.  The Bullet score is more useful for evaluating forwards due to the fact offensive production isn’t as important a factor for evaluating d-men.  A low PP point total does not always mean untapped potential. In some cases like Bjorkstrand it does, but it other cases these players are not used on the PP due to lacking the skill set (e.g. Vincent Dunn).  There has definitely been a few players that have turned out much better than where they ranked on the Bullet list. Getzlaf, Perry, Weber, Giroux, Saad, Sutter and Lucic to name just a few.

Taylor Hall has the best score of the Oilers #1 picks.

RNH has a low number due to his horrible numbers through the first half of the year. The reason I picked RNH #1 in the rankings was his 2nd half production and if you look at his first 39 games his score is 1.03/0.42 while his 2nd 39 games is 1.52/.80. Combined score does not look like a #1 pick but his 2nd half production sure does.

The 2012 draft was a weak year at the top end and Yakupov’s score of 1.26/.73 suggests that in most draft year’s he would not have been considered a #1 pick.

So take a look at the Bullet list and see what you think and how the players compare. In my draft rankings I will be referencing their Bullet score for the CHL players. The first number will represent their total production while the second number removes powerplay points.

So now without further ado these are my top 30 selections for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Enjoy!

2014 TOP 60, BLUE BULLET

 

1(1). Sam Bennett

POS: C
DOB: 6/20/96
HT: 6’0.25”

WT: 178
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Kingston (OHL)
STATS: 64GP 41G 59A 100P +36 136PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.50

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 1.04 (69%)

Bennett is a heart and soul player, mentioned in the same breath as great hockey players like Toews and Gilmour. What Bennett brings is a complete toolbox with the speed, hockey sense, hands and ultra-competitiveness to be a star two-way centre for years and years to come. The only knock on Bennett is his average size and his ability to do a chin up but that is not enough to persuade me from taking him first overall.

His Bullet score of 1.50/1.04 puts him in the top 10 in both categories on the Bullet list. This puts Bennett in company alongside Crosby, Drouin, MacKinnon, Stamkos and Hall as the only other players to do this.

 

2(2). Aaron Ekblad
POS: D
DOB: 2/7/96
HT: 6’3.5”
WT: 216
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Barrie (OHL)
STATS: 67GP 25G 34A 59P 0 60PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.77

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.31 (40%)

Easily the best d-man in the draft and the only other player I was considering at the #1 spot. Combine the fact that Ekblad has good mobility for his size, along with his hockey sense and you have all the makings of a cornerstone d-man that plays in all situations. When deciding for the #1 spot, I had to consider the risk of taking a d-man first overall and the last time I did that was 2006 with Erik Johnson, which was a mistake. In the end, it should have been the heart and soul forward taken first overall (Toews) and in this year’s case Bennett.

Ekblad’s score is 11th overall for d-men but only 27th when you remove his powerplay points as he racked up a lot of goals on the PP due to that big shot. His offensive totals do but him in the same offensive category as Hamilton .76/.36 and Pietrangelo .77/.43.

 

3(5). Leon Draisaitl
POS: C
DOB: 10/27/95
HT: 6’1.5”
WT: 204
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Prince Albert (WHL)
STATS: 69GP 39G 71A 110P +9 28PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.24

P/G(w/o PP): 0.79 (64%)

While Ekblad has the second spot locked up, due to his large upside, that is not too say that Draisaitl is too far behind as the big playmaking German centre has the potential to be a very good first line centre. The big thing Draisaitl has going for him is his skating for his size combined with great hands and vision that remind some scouts of Kopitar. With Draisaitl, one thing to consider is he may be further behind in his development having played mainly in a weaker German hockey system, until the last two seasons in the WHL.

Draisaitl’s Bullet score which ranks 30th overall, puts him in the same range as former 1st round picks B. Schenn (1.23/0.79), S. Couturier (1.17/0.81), J. Voracek (1.25/0.60), E. Staal (1.22/.86) and N. Horton (1.22/.88).

 

4(3). Sam Reinhart

POS: C

DOB: 11/6/95

HT: 6’0.75”

WT: 185

SHOOTS: R

TEAM: Kootenay (WHL)

STATS: 73GP 42G 86A 128P  +28 13PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.35

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.85 (63%)

For many scouts, Reinhart has the best hockey sense of this draft class and is the type of player who thinks the game a step ahead of everyone else like a Ron Francis and combines that with very good puck skills and skating. It was very close in choosing between Reinhart and Draisaitl, as I see different style players but with similar value, but I decided to choose the big German due to his size and potential growth in development.

Reinhart’s Blue Bullet score is top 20 for both scores and puts him in a range of other quality players that includes T. Seguin (1.44/0.88), J. Huberdeau (1.38/0.97), R. Strome (1.34/0.86) and R. Nugent-Hopkins (1.27/.61).

 

5(4). Michael Dal Colle
POS: LW
DOB: 6/20/96
HT: 6’1.5
WT: 182
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Oshawa (OHL)
STATS: 79GP 47G 68A 115P +8 34PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.40

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.78 (56%)

Dal Colle is the top winger in my rankings, due to the fact he brings the best blend of size, skill and hockey smarts out of the wingers available. With Dal Colle, I see a player that with more size added to his frame, could have a similar upside as Draisaitl. In the end, Dal Colle has similar potential to Reinhart or Draisaitl but you have to go with the centres over the winger.

Dal Colle’s Bullet score puts him 15th overall but he is only 33rd when you remove his PP points. These numbers put him in similar range as that of T. Seguin (1.44/.88), E. Kane (1.42/0.80), R. Strome (1.34/0.86) and B. Ryan (1.36/.88) though he does have the lowest even strength numbers of any of them.

 

6(11). Nikolaj Ehlers
POS: LW
DOB: 2/14/96
HT: 5’11”

WT: 162
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Halifax (QMJHL)
STATS: 79GP 60G 72A 132P +68 69PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.42

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.85 (60%)

As far as talent goes, Ehlers has the speed, creativity and hockey sense to be a star offensive winger, which he displayed in getting 92 points (28 in the playoffs) in his last 48 games of the year. While I love his top end skill level and elite puck skills which gives him the chance to turn out as the best player taken, Ehlers does not have the size or the all-around game to crack into a top five spot.

Ehler’s Bullet Score, like Reinhart buts him in the top 20 with or without PP production. In comparison to other small forwards they range from S. Gagner (1.81/0.74), P. Kane (1.74/0.88), J. Skinner (1.50/0.84), N. Petan (1.45/.94) to P. O’Sullivan (1.32/0.76).

 

7(6). William Nylander

POS: C/RW
DOB: 5/1/96
HT: 5-11
WT: 169
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Sodertalje (Allsvenskan), Modo (SEL)
ALLSVENSKAN STATS: 35GP 15G 12A 27P +2 16PIM

ALLSVENSKAN P/G: 0.77

SEL STATS: 22GP 1G 6A 7P -3 6PIM

SEL P/G: 0.32

In terms of individual skills, Nylander is considered by many to be the most talented player in the draft due to his great vision, skating and amazing puck skills. For all his offensive skills, it is not enough to make up for the holes in his game, like his play away from the puck and lack of size. In the end, I think Ehlers has almost as much talent as Nylander but uses his teammates more effectively which is why he slots ahead.

 

8(15). Robby Fabbri
POS: C
DOB: 1/22/96
HT: 5’10.25”
WT: 170
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Guelph (OHL)
STATS: 74GP 58G 57A 115P +61 67PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.39

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.92 (66%)

I’ve been on the Fabbri train for most of the season and with a strong performance, all the way to the Memorial Cup final, I’m glad to see others jumping on board. While he lacks in size, he makes up for in determination and skill level and can be a future first line forward. What Fabbri does not have is the elite puck skills of Nylander, who I think has the potential for greater upside than Fabbri.

Like Ehlers, Fabbri had a Bullet score in the top 20 but when you remove the PP production, Fabbri is actually 7th overall between Petan and Stamkos. He has been compared in style to former Storm Ryan Callahan but scores like Jeff Skinner (1.50/.84).

 

9(9). Haydn Fleury
POS: D
DOB: 7/8/96
HT: 6’2.5”
WT: 203
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Red Deer (WHL)
STATS: 71GP 8G 38A 46P +13 46PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.56

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.30 (54%)

The second best d-man in the draft, Fleury has the size, mobility, physical game and puck moving skills that you ideally want in a top pairing d-man. At this point in the draft I see Fabbri as a cut-off for my top skilled players that “drive the bus” and though I like Fleury’s skills and size, I think the players above him have more chance for star potential.

 His Bullet score puts Fleury in the top 40 with or without PP points and for players with his size it puts him in the same range as S. Koekkoek (0.58/0.35), R. Murray (0.55/0.29), D.Byfuglien (0.55/0.33) and D. Siemens (0.53/0.30).

 

10(7). Jake Virtanen
POS: RW
DOB: 8/17/96
HT: 6’0.75”
WT: 208
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Calgary (WHL)
STATS: 77GP 46G 29A 75P +21 104PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.09

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.83 (76%)

Virtanen brings an intriguing mix of size, skating and physical game alongside a great shot and is my pick as the best power winger available. With Virtanen, you get a player who has the upside to be a strong complimentary top six forward. However, it is Fluery’s all-around game that he brings to the table, in all three zones, that makes him the slightly more appealing player in my view.

For a Bullet score, Virtanen’s ranks 56th overall but is 22nd when you only consider ES and SH production. His score in the range of L. Couture (1.14/0.58), S. Monahan (1.09/.56), D. Brown (1.07/.64), G. Landeskog (1.05/.76), C. Stewart (1.05/.73) and P. Mueller (1.04/.58).

 

11(8). Nick Ritchie
POS: LW
DOB: 12/5/95
HT: 6’2.25”
WT: 226
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Peterborough (OHL)
STATS: 72GP 44G 40A 84P -1 160PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.01

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.72 (71%)

When it comes to eligible picks, sometimes not being the most conditioned athlete like Ritchie (13.6% body fat) can be actually a positive because you wonder what they could do when they get in shape. That is why when you think of an in shape Ritchie it is quite the attractive package, as it would improve his game and allow him to bring more speed to his physical power forward game. In the end, Virtanen’s skating is why I prefer him to Ritchie.

For his Bullet Score, Ritchie is not far below Virtanen and is in comparable range to those I compared with Virtanen or to others such as Jordan Staal (1.01/.53), B. Jenner (.98/.71) and A. Mantha (.98/.70).

 

12(10). Alex Tuch
POS: RW
DOB: 5/10/96
HT: 6’3.5”
WT: 213
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 61GP 29G 35A 64P +35 72PIM

P/G: 1.05

The muscle on the Milano-Eichel line is the first of three USNTDP players that I have ranked in my top 20. One of the big things I like about Tuch is the fact that he has shown he can produce with star players and has the hockey sense to keep up with them. It was pretty much a pick’em between Ritchie and Tuch as I value them the same. In the end I chose to gamble on Ritchie having more room for improvement due to his conditioning issues.

 

13(24). Dylan Larkin
POS: C
DOB: 7/30/96
HT: 6’0.75”
WT: 190
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 60GP 31G 25A 56P +23 56PIM
P/G: 0.93

What is most impressive about Larkin is that he had almost a PPG while playing second line centre behind Eichel. Larkin is the type of all around centre that does everything well and has all the makings of a very good two-way character centre. One of the most impressive stats about Larkin was his production in the USHL where he was a PPG player with only 4 of his 26 points coming on the powerplay. In choosing between teammates, Larkin and Tuch, the biggest determining factor in the end was size.

 

14(17). Brendan Perlini
POS: LW
DOB: 4/27/96
HT: 6’2.75”
WT: 205
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Niagara (OHL)
STATS: 65GP 34G 38A 72P -4 24PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.05

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.52 (50%)

With Perlini what statistically jumped out at me was that half his offensive game was coming on the PP. However, players like him remind me it is not all about stats as Perlini has the size, skating and shot to be a top 6 forward and has shown a huge growth in development. When choosing between Perlini and Larkin, I do like Perlini’s size and potential upside but I prefer the intangibles in Larkin’s along with his physical game.

Perlini’s score is 75th overall but without the PP points he ranks 165th. This puts him in a range of players that include Jordan Staal (1.01/.53), S. Monahan (1.09/.56), P. Mueller (1.04/.58) and R. O’Marra (1.03/.55).

 

15(18). Ivan Barbashev
POS: C

DOB: 12/14/95
HT: 6’0”
WT: 180
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Moncton (QMJHL)
STATS: 54GP 27G 46A 73P -9 35PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.04

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.65 (62%)

It must feel like a backhanded compliment when Barbashev is told that he doesn’t play like the prototypical Russian player due to the fact that he is a character, hard working two way forward with top six potential. While Barbashev is similar to Larkin in many ways, he is not as physical and in this case, he does not have quite the intangibles to slot him above Perlini’s potential.

Barbashev’s Bullet score puts him in the range of such players as P. Bergeron (1.05/.66), P. Mueller (1.04/.58), D. Bolland (1.06/.60) and K. Rychel (1.06/.62).

 

16(30B). Kevin Fiala
POS: LW
DOB: 7/22/96
HT: 5’10”
WT: 180
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: HV71 (SEL)
SEL STATS: 17GP 3G 8A 11P -2 10PIM

SEL P/G: 0.65

J20 STATS: 27GP 10G 15A 25P +10 40PIM

J20 P/G: 0.93

A talented puck possession player, Fiala proved that he could play well against men in the top league in Sweden as well as light up his own age at the U-18 tournament for the Swiss. When ranking Fiala, it is tough as his upside and skill level is above some players I ranked higher but you have to consider the risk factor of a small 5’10 player reaching his upside. While Fiala has the greater potential upside, I would take the safer pick in Barbashev as he brings skill combined with a better rounded game.

 

17(13). Sonny Milano
POS: LW
DOB: 5/12/96
HT: 5’11.5”
WT: 183
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 58GP 29G 56A 85P +35 25PIM

P/G: 1.47

He may be the last and the smallest of the three forwards from the USNTDP in my top 20 but Milano is also the most skilled and talented of them. However, when looking at the production of Milano, you always wonder how big the effect of playing with a major talent like Eichels inflated it. Milano is known for his great puck skills and his flashy offensive game and like Fiala has a high offensive upside but I chose the Swiss player, as he seems to be a stronger player on the puck.

 

18(12). Kasperi Kapanen
POS: RW
DOB: 7/23/96
HT: 6’0”
WT: 180
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: KalPa (Liiga)
STATS: 47GP 7G 7A 14P -8 10PIM

P/G: 0.30

There are a few second-generation talents in the draft this year and Sami Kapanen’s son is a chip off the old block with the speed and individual skills that he brings to the table. Where he needs to improve, to be more like his old man, is in his consistency in effort towards the rest of his game. While I like what Kapanen brings to the table, I am sold more on Milano and Fiala’s pucks skills and offensive potential and have more questions about Kapanen’s top end offensive upside.

 

19(NR). Travis Sanheim
POS: D
DOB: 7/8/96
HT: 6’3”
WT: 181
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Calgary (WHL)
STATS: 73GP 6G 25A 31P +30 20PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.34

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.24 (69%)

Sanheim was not even on my radar at the start of the season but his development from playing Midget AAA last year to being Canada’s best d-man at the U-18s has shot him up the rankings. He is still a raw d-man at this point and has big upside to be a potential top pairing d-man however if I am going to gamble on a player, I will take a risk on the high end offensive potential of Fiala, Milano and Kapanen before Sanheim.

His Bullet score only puts him top 100 but it is 60th overall without the PP points. Other players in this range include J. Cowen (.34/.16), D. Musil (.34/.24), M. Stall (.32/.18), S. Morin (.36/.22) and M. Vlasic (.37/.21).

 

20(23). Jared McCann
POS: C
DOB: 5/3/96
HT: 6’0.25
WT: 179
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
STATS: 73GP 29G 40A 69P +8 55PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.90

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.53 (59%)

Like Perlini, McCann does not have the even strength production that jumps off the page and if I looked at just the stats I would think McCann is more likely to be a third line centre. However, the scouting reports praise his skating, shot and hockey sense suggesting he could have similar second line two-way upside similar to that of Barbashev and Larkin. In the end, I would rather take a chance on a few players such as Sanheim before the safe pick in McCann.

McCann’s Bullet score puts him outside the top 100. Players like J. McGinn (.88/.54) and C. Clutterbuck (.87/.45) as well as M. Scheifele (.91/.46) are in that range.

 

21(29). Jakub Vrana
POS: W
DOB: 2/28/96
HT: 5’11”
WT: 185
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Linkoping (SEL)
STATS: 24GP 2G 1A 3P -2 2PIM

STATS: 24GP 14G 11A 25P +6 26PIM

SEL P/G: 0.13

J20 P/G: 1.04

The U-18 tournament I believe has a bigger effect for the European players’ rankings, as it is a chance for all the scouts and GMs to finally see them and in the case of Vrana, he had a very good showcasing with 8 goals in 7 games. Vrana has proven to be a goal scorer, at the junior level, and has the skills and speed to be a talented top six player. So when comparing Vrana with McCann, both players have good skills and bring a good shot but McCann brings more to the rest of his game.

 

22(28). Nikita Scherbak
POS: RW
DOB: 12/30/95
HT: 6’1”
WT: 175
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Saskatoon (WHL)
STATS: 65GP 28G 50A 78P -6 46PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.99

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.66 (67%)

There are three talented Russian forwards in my first round and they are all playing this year in a different Canadian junior league. Scherbak is the one that is playing in the WHLand has strong offensive skills to go along with a good lanky frame that needs to fill out. With Vrana and Scherbak you are getting a skilled offensive player that need to round out the rest of their game and in the end I preferred Vrana’s just slightly due to his goal scoring ability.

Scherback sits above the middle of the pack with a top 80 ranking when you look at non-powerplay production. Players with similar scores include V. Zykov (.99/.72), A. Esposito (.98/.62), E. Brophey (.97/.63) and S. Noesen (.95/.66).

 

23(14). David Pastrnak
POS: RW
DOB: 5/25/96
HT: 6’0”

WT: 167
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Sodertalje (Allsvenskan)
STATS: 36GP 8G 16A 24P +7 24PIM

P/G: 0.67

 When it comes to offensive upside, Pastrnak has top 6 potential similar to those players I ranked in the 16-18 range and is described as a speedy and shifty puck possession player. The reason Pastrnak ranks lower than the 16-18 range is my concern over his physical side of the game, as he is mentioned as a player who does not like the rough stuff. When choosing between Pastrnak and Scherbak, they both have holes in their all-around game but Scherbak has a better frame and uses his size more effectively.

 

24(NR). Thatcher Demko
POS: G
DOB: 5/25/96
HT: 6’3.75”

WT: 192
GLOVE HAND: L
TEAM: Boston College (NCAA)
STATS: 24GP 2.24 GAA .919 SA%

My top goalie and the only one to crack the first round, Demko had an impressive freshman season taking the #1 starting spot with an impressive .919 SA%. When you read the scouting reports, the two areas that jump out about Demko is that he has great technique and is very poised and mentally tough in net. While the upside is huge for Demko, as he has all the makings of a future starter, goalies can be a bit of a crapshoot so I think it is a less risky pick taking the skilled forward in Pastrnak.

 

25(26). Roland McKeown
POS: D
DOB: 1/20/96
HT: 6’0.75”
WT: 195
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Kingston (OHL)
STATS: 69GP 12G 35A 47P +44 69PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.53

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.32 (61%)

Depending on what you value in a d-man will effect your rankings and count me a fan of the all-around smooth skating game of McKeown. Where McKeown lacks in is that he is only average sized and not as physical as you like for a d-man, however he makes up for it with his smarts and mature play. While a safer pick than Demko, I think the goalie has too much upside to pass over at this point.

McKeown is 44th overall on the Bullet list for d-men but 25th when you look at his production without the PP. This puts him in the same range as X. Ouellet (.52/.36), S. Elliott (.58/.30), J. Morrissey (.57/.30), R. Murray (.55/.29) and R. Pulock (.55/.28).

 

26(16). Josh Ho-Sang
POS: RW
DOB: 1/22/96
HT: 5’11”
WT: 175
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Windsor (OHL)
STATS: 71GP 33G 55A 88P +16 54PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.04

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.74 (71%)

Ho-Sang has amazing puck skills and is one of the more talented players in his class with an offensive upside that warrants him being up there with Fiala. However, many reservations about Ho-Sang’s size, play without the puck, use of his teammates and maturity give doubts to him reaching his potential. Therefore, while forwards tend to be the safer bet, in this case I think Ho-Sang is the riskier pick than McKeown and I would go with the mobile all-around d-man with top 4 upside.

Ho-Sang is in the top 50 for Bullet scores when you remove PP points while top 90 overall and puts him with a range of players including S. Prince (1.01/.80), H. Shinkaruk (1.03/.61), T. Ennis (1.02/.64), B. Hughes (1.02/.62) and T. Rattie (1.01/.78).

 

27(21). Julius Honka
POS: D
DOB: 12/3/95
HT: 5’10.75”
WT: 180
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Swift Current (WHL)
STATS: 68GP 18G 40A 58P +5 58PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.67

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.37 (56%)

Honka brings great skating, smarts and puck moving ability that makes you believe that despite his size, he has a chance to be an offensive d-man that can play in your top 4. Where there is a concern with Honka is more to do with the defensive side of the puck and his lack of size. When choosing between Ho-Sang and Honka, I see them having similar upside so in those cases I lean towards the forward.

Honka has strong scores that put him in the top 20 with or without his powerplay points. This puts him in an offensive category with O. Maata (.67/.41), D. Thrower (.65/.39), M. Rielly (.74/.38), S. Theodore (.66/.33) and J. Morrow (.67/.33).

 

28(19). Nikolay Goldobin
POS: RW
DOB: 10/7/95
HT: 5’11.75”
WT: 178
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Sarnia (OHL)
STATS: 67GP 38G 56A 94P -30 21PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.08

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.76 (70%)

The talented Russian Goldobin put up amazing numbers on a weak squad due to his strong puck skills and soft hands. While Goldobin has the talent to be a top 6 forward and has the skill level to turn out better than where I rank him, he needs to round out the rest of his game and engage more physically. While I have said I would normally take the forward, I prefer the consistent effort in Honka’s game to that of Goldobin.

While his Bullet score is top 60 overall, it moves to top 40 when you remove PP points. M. Boedker (1.13/.53), A. Khokhlachev (1.13/.75), J. Eberle (1.10/.63), G. Brule (1.09/.69) and M. Zagrapan (1.08/.60) are all in this range.

 

29(20). Anthony DeAngelo
POS: D
DOB: 10/24/95
HT: 5’10.5”
WT: 175
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Sarnia (OHL)
STATS: 51GP 15G 56A 71P -34 90PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.99

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.50 (51%)

DeAngelo is a great skating offensive rover type of d-man who had an incredible offensive production this season with over an assist a game and was second in team scoring behind his teammate Goldobin. However, for all of his offensive skills, there are many concerns about DeAngelo’s size, defensive game and attitude issues on the ice that I would rather take his teammate Goldobin over him.

DeAngelo’s Bullet score is one of the best ever at 3rd overall and puts him at the top of the d-man along with R. Ellis (1.21/.57), R. Murphy (1.06/.44) and M. Dumba (.82/.52).

 

30(22). Adrian Kempe
POS: C/LW
DOB: 9/13/96
HT: 6’1.5”
WT: 187
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: MODO (SEL)
SEL STATS: 45GP 5G 6A 11P +5 12PIM

J20 STATS: 20GP 3G 16A 19P +6 32PIM

SEL P/G 0.24

J20 P/G: 0.95

Kempe is a player that has had some comparisons to Paajarvi, as he is a player that has good size and skating but questionable scoring touch. While there is a question as to whether Kempe is a top 6 or top 9 forward, he seems to be better than Paajarvi at being consistent physically and using his size. At this point in my rankings, the majority of the players I consider as the high-end talent rank ahead of Kempe so he is the player I consider the best of the rest.

 

31(25). Conner Bleackley
POS: C
DOB: 2/7/96
HT: 6’0.25”
WT: 192
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Red Deer (WHL)
STATS: 71GP 29G 39A 68P +3 48PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.84

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.56 (66%)

 

32. Vladislav Kamenev
POS: C/W
DOB: 8/12/96
HT: 6’2”
WT: 203
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Magnitogorsk (MHL)

STATS: 20GP 5G 8A 13P +7 16PIM

P/G: 0.65

 

33. John Quenneville
POS: C
DOB: 4/16/96
HT: 6’0.5”
WT: 182
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Brandon (WHL)
STATS: 70GP 30G 41A 71P +7 81PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.94

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.64 (68%)

 

34. Brendan Lemieux
POS: LW
DOB: 3/15/96
HT: 6’0.25”
WT: 206
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Barrie (OHL)
STATS: 76GP 34G 29A 63P -6 161PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.79

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.52 (67%)

 

35. Sebastian Aho
POS: D
DOB: 2/17/96
HT: 5’9.25”
WT: 165
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Skelleftea (SWE-JR)
STATS: 27GP 7G 16A 23P +11 18PIM

P/G: 0.85

 

36. Ville Husso
POS: G
DOB: 2/6/95
HT: 6’3”

WT: 205
GLOVE HAND: L
TEAM: HIFK (FIN)
STATS: 41GP 1.99 GAA .923 SA%

 

37. Alex Nedeljkovic
POS: G
DOB: 1/7/96
HT: 5’11.75”

WT: 190
GLOVE HAND: L
TEAM: Plymouth (OHL)
STATS: 66GP 2.99 GAA .923 SA%

 

38. Brayden Point
POS: C
DOB: 3/13/96
HT: 5’9.75”
WT: 160
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Moose Jaw (WHL)
STATS: 72GP 36G 55A 91P -27 53PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.13

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.65 (58%)

 

39(30A). Nick Schmaltz
POS: RW
DOB: 2/23/96
HT: 5’11.5”
WT: 172
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Green Bay (USHL)
STATS: 59GP 19G 47A 66P +3 48PIM

P/G: 1.12

 

40(27). Anton Karlsson
POS: LW
DOB: 8/3/96
HT: 6’1.25”
WT: 187
SHOOTS:L
TEAM: Frolunda (SWE-JR)
STATS: 31GP 12G 12A 24P +3 90PIM

P/G: 0.77

 

41. Ryan Donato
POS: C
DOB: 4/9/96
HT: 6’0.25”
WT: 174
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Dexter School (HS-MA)
STATS: 30GP 37G 41A 78P

P/G: 2.60

 

42. Jake Walman
POS: D
DOB: 2/20/96
HT: 6’0.5”
WT: 170
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Toronto (OJHL)
STATS: 43GP 7G 26A 33P 87PIM

P/G: 0.77

 

43. Dysin Mayo
POS: D
DOB: 8/17/96
HT: 5’11.75”
WT: 181
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Edmonton (WHL)
STATS: 84GP 10G 40A 50P +29 60PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.54

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.35 (65%)

 

44. Jayce Hawryluk
POS: C
DOB: 1/1/96
HT: 5’10.25”
WT: 190
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Brandon (WHL)
STATS: 67GP 29G 47A 76P +21 58PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.95

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.71 (75%)

 

46. Chase De Leo
POS: C
DOB: 10/25/95
HT: 5’9”
WT: 178
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Portland (WHL)
STATS: 93GP 49G 51A 100P +66 42PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.89

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.68 (76%)

 

46. Dominik Masin
POS: D
DOB: 2/1/96
HT: 6’2”
WT: 189
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: HC Slavia Praha (CZE JR)
STATS: 44GP 3G 20A 23P +1 135PIM

P/G: 0.52

 

47. Ondrej Kase
POS: RW
DOB: 11/8/95
HT: 6’0”
WT: 165
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: KLH Chomutov (CZE)
STATS: 54GP 7G 7A 14P +1 10PIM

P/G:0.26

 

48. Vladimir Tkachev
POS: LW
DOB: 10/5/95
HT: 5’9”
WT: 141
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Moncton (QMJHL)
STATS: 26GP 17G 22A 39P +5 28PIM

BULLET SCORE: 1.12

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.70 (62%)

 

49. Jack Dougherty
POS: D
DOB: 5/25/96
HT: 6’1”
WT: 186
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: USA U-18 (USNTDP)
STATS: 57GP 7G 14A 21P +33 65PIM

P/G: 0.37

 

50. Spencer Watson
POS: RW
DOB: 4/25/96
HT: 5’9.75”
WT: 170
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Kingston (OHL)
STATS: 72GP 34G 39A 73P +35 16PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.96

BULLET SCORE(w/o PP): 0.79 (82%)

 

51. Joshua Jacobs
POS: D
DOB: 2/15/96
HT: 6’1.75”
WT: 193
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Indiana (USHL)
STATS: 68GP 8G 20A 28P +39 48PIM

P/G: 0.41

 

52. Andreas Englund
POS: D
DOB: 1/21/96
HT: 6’3.25”
WT: 189
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Djurgarden (SWE J20)
STATS: 33GP 5G 5A 10P +3 26PIM

P/G: 0.30

 

53. Alexis Vanier
POS: D
DOB: 12/21/95
HT: 6’4.5”
WT: 215
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)
STATS: 61GP 15G 21A 36P +11 52PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.47

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.22 (48%)

 

54. Eric Cornel
POS: C/RW
DOB: 4/11/96
HT: 6’1.5”
WT: 186
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Peterborough (OHL)
STATS: 79GP 29G 40A 69P -1 29PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.80

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.59 (73%)

 

55. Brett Pollock
POS: LW
DOB: 3/17/96
HT: 6’2”
WT: 182
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Edmonton (WHL)
STATS: 92GP 36G 38A 74P +29 46PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.75

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.50 (66%)

 

56. Marcus Pettersson
POS: D
DOB: 5/8/96
HT: 6’4”
WT: 167
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Skelleftea (SWE J20)
STATS: 40GP 4G 14A 18P +4 40PIM

P/G: 0.45

 

57. Juho Lammikko
POS: LW
DOB: 1/29/96
HT: 6’2.5”
WT: 189
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Assat (FIN Jr)
STATS: 48GP 20G 30A 50P +18 60PIM

P/G: 1.04

 

58. Nick Magyar
POS: RW
DOB: 5/29/96
HT: 6’1.75”
WT: 194
SHOOTS: R
TEAM: Kitchener (OHL)
STATS: 66GP 20G 26A 46P -18 20PIM

BULLET SCORE: 0.67

BULLET SCORE (w/o PP): 0.49 (73%)

 

59. Oskar Lindblom
POS: LW
DOB: 8/15/96
HT: 6’1.25”
WT: 191
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Brynas (SEL J20)
STATS: 50GP 19G 21A 40P +6 34PIM

P/G: 0.80

 

60. Noah Rod
POS: RW
DOB: 6/7/96
HT: 6’0”
WT: 188
SHOOTS: L
TEAM: Geneve (Swiss Jr)
STATS: 33GP 16G 22A 38P 87PIM

P/G: 1.15

written by

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

78 Responses to "BLUE BULLET 60"

  1. Ducey says:

    TSNRyanRishaug: Sources say the Oilers have also reached out to Engellands camp, and will likely have further discussions.

  2. Racki says:

    Oskar Lindblom sounds like the love child of a few wonderful defensemen. Too bad he’s a LW. FAIL.

  3. Racki says:

    Ducey:
    TSNRyanRishaug: Sources say the Oilers have also reached out to Engellands camp, and will likely have further discussions.

    Call me crazy but I think MacTavish still has a trade for a D man in mind and is exploring Fayne and Engelland to help round the D out. If he actually managed to get Fayne plus a top pair D I will be pretty happy.

  4. Rondo says:

    LT ,

    Do you think there is much distance between Bennett and Draisaitl ?

    I think it was you who once said everything being equal you would take size for Oilers.

  5. Rondo says:

    OT:

    Has anyone looked at Kesler’s numbers in the second half of 2014 season.

    He may have been elite centre but look at the assist totals.

  6. book¡je says:

    Public Service Announcement

    Broccoli is good for you!

    (edited now that LT put the header on the article)

  7. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT ,

    Do you think there is much distance between Bennett andDraisaitl ?

    I think it was you who once said everything being equalyou would take size for Oilers.

    No, I don’t. Inasmuch as No. 1 is better than No. 3, my list is Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl. Having said that, if Edmonton picks Draisaitl at No. 3 I won’t jump off a bridge.

    However, I’m also not the smartest guy in the room, and know it. There’s a bunch of thing about these three young C’s that are not available to us. It would be folly to assume we are wiser than the men with all of the injury information, background reports and intel about the weaknesses of these men.

    You know, we were all 20 once. And I’ll tell you as a young man I was derailed a time or two by demon liquor, demon women (not really, but hell they’re not reading this) and demon stupid fun.

    You want the best player, but you also want the Nuge. There’s a guy who already knows nothing good happens at 3am.

  8. LadiesloveSmid says:

    So it’ll be pretty disappointing when Edmonton passes on Bennett for the big German, with the next 3 years and pull-ups in mind?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Oh yes, what Bookje said. I didn’t do an intro because it’s a long (but excellent) article. Brad does this every year.

  10. nycoil says:

    OT: Lincecum one out away

  11. OilClog says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    So it’llbe pretty disappointing when Edmonton passes on Bennett for the big German, with the next 3 years and pull-ups in mind?

    If the big German is the German Gretzky or even as low as a Kopitar clone.. Fkuc Bennett, disappointing is Steve Kelly.

  12. nycoil says:

    Thank you, BB for doing this every year. Thank you, LT for posting it.

    If we pass up on Toews but take Kopitar, given we have the Nuge already, I’d be okay with that. Each comparable has two Cups! I’ll take it.

  13. blainer says:

    Nobody has a crystal ball. LT, you sure are making a strong case for bennett. He would have to go back to Junior but by next year he is up to 200 lbs and rhen has NHL strength.. watch out. The thing is though I believe the oilers want that NHL ready player now..so welcome LD…

  14. spoiler says:

    Ducey: TSNRyanRishaug: Sources say the Oilers have also reached out to Engellands camp, and will likely have further discussions.

    Sounds like we are one of 6 teams interested in him, from a prior twit or tweet.

  15. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: You want the best player, but you also want the Nuge. There’s a guy who already knows nothing good happens at 3am.

    Ha! Never trust the innocent looking kid flying like a stealth fighter under the radar. It’s frightening what they actually get up to (although they usually handle it with more aplomb too).

  16. nycoil says:

    Nikitin-Petry
    Marincin-Fayne
    Ference-Schultz
    Engelland

    OKC:
    Klefbom-Simpson
    Gernat-Fedun
    Musil-XXXX

    Better

  17. blainer says:

    Racki: Call me crazy but I think MacTavish still has a trade for a D man in mind and is exploring Fayne and Engelland to help round the D out. If he actually managed to get Fayne plus a top pair D I will be pretty happy.

    Ya this situation kinda reminds me of the Dubnyk and Fasth trade. First he makes the Dubnyk trade followed by the trade for Srivens…Me thinks something big is on the horizon if Fayne is signed..I mean trade wise…Like Klefbom and Gags Or Klef and Yak for the big center…or first or fifth overall and Bailey…just a hunch..

  18. Ducey says:

    nycoil: OKC:Klefbom-SimpsonGernat-FedunMusil-XXXXBetter

    OKC is more likely to be:

    Klefbom – Simpson
    Musil – Davidson
    Gernat – Oesterle
    Hunt

    Fedun is a UFA and likely will go elsewhere.

  19. Ca$h-Money! says:

    blainer:
    Nobody has a crystal ball. LT, you sure are making a strong case for bennett. He would have to go back to Junior but by next year he is up to 200 lbs andrhen has NHL strength.. watch out. The thing is though I believe the oilers want that NHL ready player now..so welcome LD…

    Why does Bennett get to add 20 lbs but Draisaitl doesn’t? Maybe Leon will end up 235 when Bennet is 200 (which is what Gagner apparently weighs).

    I understand what people are trying to say when they make the argument that big players in Junior have an advantage that won’t be present in the NHL, but the reality is the only way to be big and dominant in the NHL is to be big and dominant in Junior, short of an act of god. It’s like when people argue that Ekblad should be discounted because he’s big, a man among boys….

    Newsflash: Shea Weber was big in Junior too… that’s the idea.

  20. nycoil says:

    Jimmy Murphy ‏@MurphysLaw74 8m
    To follow up on possible Habs-Panthers trade talks, one NHL source did claim Panthers shopping Kulikov again but not sure Habs interested.

    Kulikov is back on the market. But Oilers don’t really have spare goal-scoring wingers of similar value? Perron perhaps but that isn’t ideal.

  21. Blue Bullet says:

    If you need to find the complete Bullet List it can be found here http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?p=86944309#post86944309

  22. nycoil says:

    Ducey,

    Sure. As long as the blue chip prospects were getting top 4 minutes on the farm, the rest didn’t really matter so much.

  23. Big Dan says:

    Random thoughts…

    MacT may have played part of his draft card with the Fayne chase. Fayne’s a RD and so are Petry and Schultz. That means he is not planning on picking up ready-for-NHL RD Ekblad.

    (Of course, we already knew he wanted a center when he talked about three scoring lines.)

    If MacT would have known Hextall loved Umberger so much, would he have traded Gagner for Umberger and then flipped RJ for Hartnell? That would have been a coup for Edmonton having Perron and Hartnell on the 2nd line.


    I’ve read that Nikitin=Smid. No. He’s better, much better. He was just usurped by a really strong young D (Prout, Savard, Murray).

    Worth $4.5M? Of course not but it’s a great move to sign him short-term and buy Nurse and Klefbom (or Simpson, Marincin) time.

    Even if you thought those two D were equal, then we’re paying an extra $1M/ of Katz’s money for the next two years in exchange for Roman Horak (future Pisani) and Laurent Broissoit. All in all, a great deal.

  24. Blue Bullet says:

    Ca$h-Money!: Why does Bennett get to add 20 lbs but Draisaitl doesn’t?Maybe Leon will end up 235 when Bennet is 200 (which is what Gagner apparently weighs).

    I understand what people are trying to say when they make the argument that big players in Junior have an advantage that won’t be present in the NHL, but the reality is the only way to be big and dominant in the NHL is to be big and dominant in Junior, short of an act of god.It’s like when people argue that Ekblad should be discounted because he’s big, a man among boys….

    Newsflash:Shea Weber was big in Junior too…that’s the idea.

    I agree. Reinhart and Bennett are both players I think will end up in the 200 lb range but Draisaitl looks like he could end up more like a 220 lb player with his frame.

  25. Lowetide says:

    BB: I’m sure that’s true. Draisaitl is a bigger man, despite the height similarity. Bennett and Reinhart aren’t yet men, but neither is the German.

  26. Jon K says:

    I really wonder if there is a deal to be made with the Islanders for the 5th overall. They need to compete for next year, surrendering a lottery pick in the McDavid draft would certainly get Snow fired, and reportedly a 1st line LW is their primary need.

    Would Perron fill that need? He’s signed for a few years yet, reasonably priced, and could reasonably slot into the top line on Tavares’ flank.

    I know that LT discussed this over at ON, but I wonder, what would people be willing to give in order to get the 5th overall? If I’m the Oilers I don’t know if I move Klefbom, Marincin, or Nurse.

    Perhaps Perron, Musil/Gernat, and Pitlick? One can dream.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Renaud Lavoie ‏@renlavoietva 34s

    Talks between Rangers and Anton Stralman are not going as expected. We’ll see if it’s gona change in the next few days. #tvasports

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Sorry to pop in and out. I’ll be back to read through all this.

    thanks for posting again Blue Bullet. I WILL read this through carefully after I’ve spent some time with the wife. she has a cold.

    Spent several days working on this (that’s probably embarrassing to admit). please read it.

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/06/top-ten-draft-ranking/

  29. Big Dan says:

    Jon K,

    Keep Perron. You don’t trade terrific players like him for prospects. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    If Aaron Ekblad somehow drops to #5, I offer Yakupov + for it. Otherwise, there is no point. We will have got our C in Draisaitl or Reinhart.

  30. RexLibris says:

    With Ekblad likely going 1st overall, that means that Calgary gets one of either Bennett or Reinhart, because I’m pretty certain at this point that the Oilers are taking Draisaitl.

    Burke would grin like the butcher’s dog (or really, in his case, grimace less) if he were able to select Reinhart. And he has said that he loves Bennett.

    The interesting thing is, if the Oilers took Draisaitl and the Flames took Reinhart, the two teams would have comparable talents at approximately similar ages as their 1st and 2nd line centers – Monahan to Draisaitl and Reinhart to Nugent-Hopkins.

  31. RexLibris says:

    Jon K:
    I really wonder if there is a deal to be made with the Islanders for the 5th overall. They need to compete for next year, surrendering a lottery pick in the McDavid draft would certainly get Snow fired, and reportedly a 1st line LW is their primary need.

    Would Perron fill that need? He’s signed for a few years yet, reasonably priced, and could reasonably slot into the top line on Tavares’ flank.

    I know that LT discussed this over at ON, but I wonder, what would people be willing to give in order to get the 5th overall? If I’m the Oilers I don’t know if I move Klefbom, Marincin, or Nurse.

    Perhaps Perron, Musil/Gernat, and Pitlick? One can dream.

    Snow is on the hot seat. He has painted himself into a corner with the Vanek debacle.

    If he is talking to the Oilers about the 5th overall, and there is someone there they like (Fleury, Dal Colle, etc) then the pressure isn’t on the Oilers to make the deal. It is on Snow. He has proven to be less than competent and is now arguably in a position of weakness.

    MacTavish could dangle Gagner, Perron, or Yakupov. He doesn’t have to start the negotiations at the top of the pay-scale.

  32. Ducey says:

    RexLibris: Snow is on the hot seat. He has painted himself into a corner with the Vanek debacle.If he is talking to the Oilers about the 5th overall, and there is someone there they like (Fleury, Dal Colle, etc) then the pressure isn’t on the Oilers to make the deal. It is on Snow. He has proven to be less than competent and is now arguably in a position of weakness. MacTavish could dangle Gagner, Perron, or Yakupov. He doesn’t have to start the negotiations at the top of the pay-scale.

    I don’t understand why the Oilers would do that. Is who they take at #5 likely to be any better than Gagner, Perron or Yak?

  33. RexLibris says:

    Ducey: I don’t understand why the Oilers would do that.Is who they take at #5 likely to be any better than Gagner, Perron or Yak?

    Neither do I, but the point is MacTavish doesn’t need to immediately sweeten the pot to get Snow interested.

    The ball is in the Islanders’ court. If they want to move the pick to get a body because they are desperate there is no need for the Oilers to overpay.

  34. nycoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Renaud Lavoie ‏@renlavoietva 34s

    Talks between Rangers and Anton Stralman are not going as expected. We’ll see if it’s gona change in the next few days. #tvasports

    This is reportedly why the Rangers are kicking the tires on Boyle. 4 x $4m from NY isn’t going to cut it with the Stralman camp and that is their preferred landing spot. The Oilers will have to offer one or two more years and $1M more per year, in all likelihood, to join the conversation. Makes sense to see if Fayne is a better fit as well, but hopefully they’re kicking the tires on both.

    Wouldn’t mind if the Oilers also stole Pouliot from under the Rangers’ noses as well. He has been on one-year deals as well and would probably welcome a 3 year deal. The only thing is I warn all the Oiler fans, you are going to pull your hair out at his lazy o-zone penalties, penchant to toe-drag/over-dangle at times, and seeming ability to turn every breakaway into a shot into the crest. That said, he is a pest, good defensively and has good size. He’d be a nice “Perron-lite” on the 3rd line.

  35. RexLibris says:

    From TSN

    Are the Edmonton Oilers in pursuit of a centre?

    Dreger: Yes, they’re looking for a centre and a defenceman and they’re very active. They’re throwing out some considerable assets as well; we know that the Oilers’ third overall pick is very much in play. And Sam Gagner’s name seems to surface annually at the draft, he’s also trade bait for Edmonton.

    And the Oilers are still in the game for the first overall pick with Florida.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=455711

    Interesting. I had heard that the Oilers were kicking tires on the 1st overall, but not that they were this serious.

    Also, could this be a watershed moment? Trade talks reported by Eastern media that…don’t…involve Yakupov!

  36. nycoil says:

    LT,
    Sail on Sam post at ON? I’d prefer to try him out at RW first with a good 2-way C like Grabo. Can never have too much C depth anyway. Avs moving ROR this year to the wing to play with Duchene for example. If he can recover some value through better numbers then we can get more for him in a trade.
    The people throwing out Gagner + Yakupov for Bailey and 5 are scaring me. That package should be worth 1st overall in the real world, and I think #1 is worth more than Bailey and 5.

    Isles’ bloggers have been talking about buying out Bailey because they think he has negative value at his cap hit and won’t fetch anything worthwhile in a trade.

  37. nycoil says:

    RexLibris,

    Hasn’t Dreger either been “late to the party” or a bit off, lately? I think you’re right that the Oilers’ pursuit of #1 has moved to the back-burner. Pretty confident those rumored Vancouver and Winnipeg offers are a lot more than MacT is willing to pony up considering a great player is going to be available at 3 (as opposed to 6 or 9). Or so I hope.

  38. Rondo says:

    RexLibris,

    And I was waiting for Ekblad to fall to #3 and Leon to fall to #5 and Oilers make a trade with NYI

  39. David says:

    While I disagree with a few of Blue Bullets rankings (doesn’t really need to be said, everyone has their own rankings) what I am loving about his report is the expectations. Yesterday people here were talking about Draisatl being a 40-50 point guy and seemed like most of the draft were bums.

    This is not a weak draft. It will produce several very good first liners and several players that pump out 60-80 points.

    I’m very interested in Ehlers, Fiala, and Fabbri. I don’t really think these three can go too high. They have very high potential. Any of them fall to the late teens I would do what it takes to get the next pick to grab them. Of course the Oilers won’t. But I can dream.

  40. Younger Oil says:

    I was going to ask this on LT’s article on ON, but the people here are usually more helpful with obscure questions. Does anyone know where to find a list of the worst +/- of active NHLers? I know Gagner is second worst in Oilers history, but I’m curious as to how he stacks up against the rest of the league currently.

    I know +/- is far from the most reliable stat, I’m just curious.

  41. nycoil says:

    David,

    I like this draft, too. Just tempering expectations because these days 80pts in the NHL is very tough. These top end guys aren’t in the Hall range of NHLEs, but they are there around the Nuge’s mark.

    If Ehlers falls to the teens, I’d be absolutely shocked. Would be the steal of the draft, in my opinion. I think he could go #5 or #6.

  42. David says:

    nycoil,

    I don’t see Ehlers falling but Fiala and Fabbri might be pushed outside the top ten.

  43. David says:

    Ultimate saw him bad for me of this draft was Fleury. It was one game. But it was Brutal. I can’t separate that memory from him.

  44. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Brad. Finally had a chance to go through your ample rankings.

    Very interesting.

    I’m curious to know if you’ve looked into NHLEs at all or Rhys J’s work using the very same BTN age adjustment formula? Or any of the extraskater info?

    It’s an exciting time to look at the draft. And I agree, this year looks better to me than people are suggesting. I think the issue really stems from people not finding giant canadians leading the scoring races.

    Fiala, Fabbri, etc. these guys don’t send shivers up legs like they would if Ritchie came within an inch of their scoring totals.

  45. Ice Sage says:

    Thank you Blue Bullet for sharing your extensive and methodical work.

    Putting Draisaitl in the same sentence as Kopitar is raw meat to the wolves here but at least it’s not comparing him to an old-tyme Oiler.

    The intrigue for this draft is pretty high

  46. anonymous says:

    If huge overplays for short tern is the strategy they should try 2yrs/15m with Statsny, maybe a bit more. Try to sell him on the cap skyrocketing. Would fit Mact’s linemate for Yak perfectly.

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    anonymous:
    If huge overplays for short tern is the strategy they should try 2yrs/15m with Statsny, maybe a bit more.Try to sell him on the cap skyrocketing. Would fit Mact’s linemate for Yak perfectly.

    Stasny can bank pretty big money and term. He’s the Queen of the UFA ball.

    but, I like your line of thought.

  48. anonymous says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yes most likely but the trade market is littered with cheaper options contract wise. I wonder how high Mact would go for Statsny ?

  49. sliderule says:

    It seems like every year I hear this draft is weak but next year will be great.

    Crap

    This draft among the first five is excellent and there are players in next five who will be very good .

  50. FastOil says:

    The only way to approach any UFA that is high end is winning. The top teams don’t have a lot of roster spots or cap necessarily. If a player is more into money than future avoid them. The difference between 25 million and 50 million is hardly noticeable compared to 15 and 30 $ per hour.

    MacT has said this, sell the future, sell the hockey environment. Edmonton and prairie cities may be boring but have community, passion for the sport, and are nice to live in. If a player is looking for lifestyle, avoid them at all costs. There are passionate hockey loving players still, who are happy being set for life no matter what with their insane salaries, and the Oilers need to drop man crushes and find them.

    A committed group is far more powerful than a few stars and others.

  51. prairieschooner says:

    So with the Nikitin signing we are up to only one NHL d man less than last season (Smid & Schultz )

  52. Caramel Obvious says:

    Lowetide,

    Wow, very surprised by the inclusion of Watson and Goldobin. Those are two guys whose even strength scoring numbers should put them in the top 10 or 15. They won’t go anywhere near that high. I’d put them near the top of a sleeper list.

    Teams should draft for offense only. It’s the only thing that matters with young players. Want to find a good defensive player? Pick the best scorer. This is almost universally true.

    So I don’t want to hear about size, or commitment, or two-way game or any of that stuff. Watson may not have those things now and he may never get them. But at least he has a fighting chance. Some guy who can’t really score in junior has no chance at all.

    Take the points. Every time.

  53. Zangetsu says:

    Might be a little late to the party, but I’ll give my 2cents anyway. I don’t really like the bullet numbers. I can’t fault the logic, but I don’t think they paint a great picture of year to year and league to league. It’s a very hard thing to quantify, especially if there is a boom bust cycle of talent over time.

    Bennett just seems to keep coming out on top. I hope he’s there at 3, and Draisaitl and Eckblad are off the board, because the oil are old fashioned. I like those two, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s foolish to take a dman high, and that Bennett is better than Draisaitl. I also fear the wrath of oiler fans and msm when they realize that their big 2line centre doesn’t hit everything that moves. Gagner is only about 5 pounds lighter, and quite honestly might be more physical. I love those penner possession types, but time and time again we see not everyone thinks that way.

  54. Zangetsu says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I agree with this to an extent. I would rather draft an offensive guy and hope he learns defence than a defensive guy and hope he gets bit by a genetically enhanced super spider. That said, guys like nuge and Datsyuk have a special intelligence that makes them good at defence. That is a valuable asset.

  55. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Lowetide,

    Wow, very surprised by the inclusion of Watson and Goldobin.Those are two guys whose even strength scoring numbers should put them in the top 10 or 15.They won’t go anywhere near that high.I’d put them near the top of a sleeper list.

    Teams should draft for offense only.It’s the only thing that matters with young players.Want to find a good defensive player?Pick the best scorer.This is almost universally true.

    So I don’t want to hear about size, or commitment, or two-way game or any of that stuff.Watson may not have those things now and he may never get them.But at least he has a fighting chance.Some guy who can’t really score in junior has no chance at all.

    Take the points.Every time.

    I agree on the players.

    Watson and Goldobin are both under-rated as far as I’m concerned.

    BUT… I think concerns about play without the puck are real and legit.

    Not legit enough to brush aside their even strength scoring (esp. Goldobin… going through the draft class, it’s crazy to me how low most people rate him), but legit enough to raise questions.

    They can’t all be Fabbris.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Lowetide,

    Wow, very surprised by the inclusion of Watson and Goldobin.Those are two guys whose even strength scoring numbers should put them in the top 10 or 15.They won’t go anywhere near that high.I’d put them near the top of a sleeper list.

    Teams should draft for offense only.It’s the only thing that matters with young players.Want to find a good defensive player?Pick the best scorer.This is almost universally true.

    So I don’t want to hear about size, or commitment, or two-way game or any of that stuff.Watson may not have those things now and he may never get them.But at least he has a fighting chance.Some guy who can’t really score in junior has no chance at all.

    Take the points.Every time.

    For me, Goldobin could in fact go well inside the first round, and that makes him overrated. Watson played on a very good line and I’d suggest at least some of that offense is inflated.

    It’s a tough draft to rank in terms of overrated, because it’s all over the damn place. I like all 10 players, but think each could go 5-10 points too high.

  57. Caramel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Of course there are questions. But there are questions about every player, even at the top. By #15 there are serious questions about every player. There is a reason only a handful of players in each draft have meaningful careers.

    I know you get this, so I’m just speaking to the choir here. But most of these guys aren’t going to make it. Pointing out that someone like Watson has weaknesses doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know. The relevant point is that he is strong in the single best predictor of NHL success.

  58. Caramel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I checked out your piece at oilersrig. I enjoyed seeing what someone who ruthlessly trusts the numbers comes up with.

  59. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: For me, Goldobin could in fact go well inside the first round, and that makes him overrated. Watson played on a very good line and I’d suggest at least some of that offense is inflated.

    I don’t know. Goldobin is a mystery to me. As are most of the Europeans. When we are getting to that point in the draft, I think the range of error on the players available is pretty wide.

    We know from the published lists that there’s a wide range of opinion on any given player by this point, even top guys like Virtanen, to talk about post 1st round Euros…

    Edit: I guess what I’m saying is that I can see a team or two falling in love with this player.

  60. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: I don’t know. Goldobin is a mystery to me. As are most of the Europeans. When we are getting to that point in the draft, I think the range of error on the players available is pretty wide.

    We know from the published lists that there’s a wide range of opinion on any given player by this point, even top guys like Virtanen, to talk about post 1st round Euros…

    Oh yeah, no quarrel there. I’m not even certain how many sure things there are beyond No. 8 or so.

  61. Deadman Waiting says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Pointing out that someone like Watson has weaknesses doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know.

    You are modelling weakness as a black box while giving Schremp/Omark full value. The problem with this player type is that their weakness makes them damn near impossible to slot into the line-up while they sort their weaknesses out. A guy you can comfortably slot onto the fourth line during a rough patch can fight through his black box battles without exporting his growing pains to the rest of the team.

    Marincin brings a huge puck retrieval radius even on the nights where he’s not clicking.

    I’m extremely negative on one-gear ponies, even if it’s the gear of the century.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    What I don’t get about Goldobin is this.

    We have a group of highly skilled players with size and defensive questions surrounding them (I don’t give a damn about the former and take the latter seriously, but only to a point).

    Nylander
    Ehlers
    Fiala

    All 3 inside the top 11 for McKeen’s, Pronman and Red Line (BM and ISS both have Fiala out of range)

    In the case of both Nylander and Fiala we have fairly small sample sizes for projecting to the NHL (I realize we can and should be looking at their play outside the SHL, I know I do).

    In Goldobin’s case, we’ve got two years of OHL data that shows he’s a prolific even strength scorer. An NHLE that suggest he can play an impact role at some point. And, he’s on the comically bad Sting (literally the worst team in the OHL).

    And… he’s not without champions among the scouting trade.

    Morreale of NHL writes: “Goldobin is considered a very creative player with a solid two-way game.”

    And he quotes Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards:

    [Goldobin] has a high energy and is smooth out there. He’s got good playmaking ability and he probably would have a lot more points if players were able to finish for him. He doesn’t always need the puck, but he sets up linemates.

    He’s the type of kid who receives a lot of ice time because he plays a complete game.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=693428

    “solid two-way game”

    “plays a complete game”

    ———
    I don’t think two scouts round off the rough edges of the consensus that he’s rough in his own end, but I think it angles us closer to a more realistic picture of the player.

  63. Lowetide says:

    Goldobin via OHL Prospects

    http://ohlprospects.blogspot.ca/2014/05/my-final-top-50-ohl-players-for-2014_22.html

    As consistent as his offensive production was this year, his play in every other facet is anything but consistent and productive. There were several games of Sarnia that I saw this year where Goldobin looked completely disengaged away from the puck. A floater, if you will. He’s never going to be the type of player who excels in the corners, but he needs to increase his intensity level in order to find success in the NHL. If there’s one thing that history has taught us, it’s that offensive players who sit back and let others get the puck for them, tend to not have long careers. I also found him to be a perimeter player at times, choosing to stay to the outside instead of attacking the net. As an offensive player, he’s not going to be able to put up consistent numbers at the next level by living on the outside. For as talented as he is, there are definite red flags about whether his skill set will translate to the NHL.

    Goldobin on Red Line

    An exceptional puckhandler with eye-popping moves.
    Is a tremendous pure offensive talent. Quick hands and is lighting
    fast with an extra separation gear. A natural goal scorer. Spotty work ethic.
    Engaged and interested when the puck is on his stick, but tends to disappear
    for long stretches and loses interest away from the puck. Not
    strong in puck pursuit, either.

    Goldobin on ISS

    Defensively weak at times and does
    not involve himself physically but has the
    talent to win games single handily”.

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide,

    haha. indeed!

    we could go all night on the same theme. they don’t see it. I get that. I take it seriously.

    But, what if we read this:

    Defensively, there is no easy way to put this, Fiala is a train-wreck. He misses assignments and seems incapable of playing the system his team does, whether that is at the under-18 level, or at the World Juniors. We get the same reports out of Sweden, that defense is a major issue with him in the SHL. He chases the puck all over the ice, and leaves his man open as a result. He flies the zone as soon as his team gets the puck and does not try to set up a proper breakout. It seems like he is a player who will need to mature, and understand that the game is more than just about offence, or he will not see ice time with most NHL coaches.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/05/01/2014-nhl-draft-profile-30-kevin-fiala/

    Fiala sees the ice incredibly well and can make the pin point pass or launch a fast shot past the goaltender. He’s also guilty, like many at this age, of trying to be too fancy. While sometimes it looks good it also can go wrong and lead to a turnover and an opposition chance.

    His defensive play isn’t anywhere near the level of his offensive game and he can be caught out trying to cheat on the breakaway. Fiala size means that he’s never going to deliver the bone crunching hits and it also limits his effectiveness in his own zone.

    http://www.defendingbigd.com/2014/6/20/5826960/2014-nhl-draft-profile-scouting-report-kevin-fiala-dallas-stars

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Not known for his defensive play, as he still needs to learn what it means to stick to a game-plan or doing exactly what the coach has told him.

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=87971

    He can turn the puck over though trying to avoid physical play

    http://futureconsiderations.ca/playerprofiler/Kevin-Fiala/

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I think worries over not just defensive acumen, but also tenacity on the puck, willingness to engage physically to win puck battles, to drive to the net, etc. are all valid.

    Goldobin’s got issues. And, it’s hard to tell if they will prevent him from working out at the NHL level.

    But, I don’t think he’s alone in these issues. And, he does have something that’s pretty special. All that even strength scoring.

  67. kooler says:

    So if Ekblad and Draisatl are gone 1, 2 for some reason…which Sam do the Oil pick. LT looks like you have Sam B number one.

    On the dreamer side….Gagner and Yak for number 1 and Kulikov? Then trade Perron for 5….trade 5 for Anahiem 10 and 24. LT has Virtanen at 10….trade 24 to Buffulo for 39 and 49.

    Gone
    Yakapov
    Gagner
    Perron

    Add based on LT draft order
    Kulikov
    Draisatl
    Ekblad
    Virtanen
    Smaltz
    Dougherty

  68. kooler says:

    Actually I would fill the gaps with the Smaltz and Dougherty slots. Another big centre and a maybe trade up a 1 for 2 deal in the 3rd round.

    Back to reality.

    Wish the Oil the best of luck at the draft.

  69. Pouzar says:

    Off topic:

    The Coyotes will be moving on from Derek Morris, GM Don Maloney: “We wanted to change our mix.”

  70. russ99 says:

    Pouzar,

    Interesting, I’d be all over that if I were MacT.

    This is winter sports futures heaven – NBA draft tonight, NHL draft tomorrow. Can’t wait.

    I’ll suspend my disdain for the Bennett hype for a few days – to see who gets him.

  71. Pouzar says:

    russ99: Pouzar, Interesting, I’d be all over that if I were MacT.This is winter sports futures heaven – NBA draft tonight, NHL draft tomorrow. Can’t wait.I’ll suspend my disdain for the Bennett hype for a few days – to see who gets him.

    Seems that Fayne may command 4-5 years so thinking Morris on a 2 yr deal may be decent but I defer to the experts here. Seems he can still play and has the mean streak for the Mark Fraser people out there,

  72. RexLibris says:

    Minus the “Russian Factor” there seems to be some similarities between the scouting reports on Goldobin and what I recall of Slepyshev.

    I doubt Goldobin gets passed over, but he could yet fall dramatically in the draft.

    Recall how this year’s trade deadline saw some head-shakingly low player values, I wonder if we see something similar at the draft in terms of teams making great reach picks and off the board selections while others go unselected entirely.

  73. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar: Seems that Fayne may command 4-5 years so thinking Morris on a 2 yr deal may be decent but I defer to the experts here. Seems he can still play and has the mean streak for the Mark Fraser people out there,

    Not to mention single-handedly adding about 8000 games-played of experience to the Oilers’ blueline at a stroke. :)

  74. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: Not to mention single-handedly adding about 8000 games-played of experience to the Oilers’ blueline at a stroke.

    There’s that. :)

  75. nycoil says:

    Wasn’t it Morris who lost his sh.t at Yak after he scored?

    If we’re going short-term on an old fogey, how about Mike Weaver for the bottom pairing? I know he is small but he is loved everywhere he goes and can make a pass and block a shot.

  76. Rondo says:

    Zangetsu,

    Have you look at this guys rankings kinda of a mock of mock guy. Using the best mock sources in his opinion. He does have a good track record

    http://eyeonthesens.com/2014/06/26/analysis-and-predictions-for-the-2014-nhl-entry-draft-2/

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca