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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 61GP 29G 35A 64P +35 72PIM
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
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 60GP 31G 25A 56P +23 56PIM
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
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
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
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
TEAM: USA Under-18 (USHL)
STATS: 58GP 29G 56A 85P +35 25PIM
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
TEAM: KalPa (Liiga)
STATS: 47GP 7G 7A 14P -8 10PIM
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
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
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
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
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
TEAM: Sodertalje (Allsvenskan)
STATS: 36GP 8G 16A 24P +7 24PIM
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
TEAM: Magnitogorsk (MHL)
STATS: 20GP 5G 8A 13P +7 16PIM
33. John Quenneville
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
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
TEAM: Skelleftea (SWE-JR)
STATS: 27GP 7G 16A 23P +11 18PIM
36. Ville Husso
GLOVE HAND: L
TEAM: HIFK (FIN)
STATS: 41GP 1.99 GAA .923 SA%
37. Alex Nedeljkovic
GLOVE HAND: L
TEAM: Plymouth (OHL)
STATS: 66GP 2.99 GAA .923 SA%
38. Brayden Point
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
TEAM: Green Bay (USHL)
STATS: 59GP 19G 47A 66P +3 48PIM
40(27). Anton Karlsson
TEAM: Frolunda (SWE-JR)
STATS: 31GP 12G 12A 24P +3 90PIM
41. Ryan Donato
TEAM: Dexter School (HS-MA)
STATS: 30GP 37G 41A 78P
42. Jake Walman
TEAM: Toronto (OJHL)
STATS: 43GP 7G 26A 33P 87PIM
43. Dysin Mayo
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
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
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
TEAM: HC Slavia Praha (CZE JR)
STATS: 44GP 3G 20A 23P +1 135PIM
47. Ondrej Kase
TEAM: KLH Chomutov (CZE)
STATS: 54GP 7G 7A 14P +1 10PIM
48. Vladimir Tkachev
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
TEAM: USA U-18 (USNTDP)
STATS: 57GP 7G 14A 21P +33 65PIM
50. Spencer Watson
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
TEAM: Indiana (USHL)
STATS: 68GP 8G 20A 28P +39 48PIM
52. Andreas Englund
TEAM: Djurgarden (SWE J20)
STATS: 33GP 5G 5A 10P +3 26PIM
53. Alexis Vanier
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
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
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
TEAM: Skelleftea (SWE J20)
STATS: 40GP 4G 14A 18P +4 40PIM
57. Juho Lammikko
TEAM: Assat (FIN Jr)
STATS: 48GP 20G 30A 50P +18 60PIM
58. Nick Magyar
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
TEAM: Brynas (SEL J20)
STATS: 50GP 19G 21A 40P +6 34PIM
60. Noah Rod
TEAM: Geneve (Swiss Jr)
STATS: 33GP 16G 22A 38P 87PIM