ON THE BUTTON

Craig Button’s final list is out, and it’s an interesting Top 100. In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that Craig Button is a great interview and two drafts ago saved me in a big way. I was facing several hours of live radio in the face and he came through—I  don’t forget those things, or try not to. His track record in the draft has some major hits (Langenbrunner, Iginla, Turco, Morrow) and some major misses, and I think most former scouting directors are in the same boat.

Button’s scouting reports supplied for TSN are top drawer, really good thumbnail sketches about the player and his style. I find them to be a great ‘starting point’ in September and combined with the McKenzie bible are my go-to list.

Craig Button’s list? It’s kind of an acquired taste. Whereas McKenzie’s list hunts down consensus, Button’s list is kind of an ‘on the road’ ranking by a scouting staff of one. Throw it out? Hell no. Read it and learn, ask “why” and check for late breakers. But it won’t reflect the final final, because that wasn’t the design.

The list is here.

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Button has Sam Reinhart No. 1 overall, and I do think he’s the most talented offensive player in the draft.
  • Top 5 looks normal.
  • Travis Sanheim is trending, we talked about it the other day, but this (No. 8) is really something. He’s not going to bring you offense, so unless he’s Pronger this is a mistake. Sanehim is his Fucale for this season.
  • Vlad Kamenev is moving up, and I kind of feel that’s right. Not absolutely certain.
  • Fiala and Vranek rocket into the first round. Figuring out where to put Euro’s is a lost art. I think the NHL should have a NA draft and a Euro draft each season.
  • Who is Dominik Masin?
  • Jake Virtanen at No. 43 is this year’s “what??!” for Button.

A fun read, and I’m happy to have something new to look at as we roll toward the draft. I enjoy Button putting his list out there, and as with Corey Pronman this gives us a chance to disagree and continue the debate.

Seriously though, separate drafts. NA Friday night, Euro Saturday. Then switch the following year.
(Photo by Lisa McRitchie, all rights reserved)

 

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27 Responses to "ON THE BUTTON"

  1. Yak2 says:

    Virtanen at 43 is exactly why Button is a tool and shouldn’t be looked at as a reliable source for draft

  2. Rondo says:

    Now who are the Oilers top 6?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    Now who are the Oilers top 6?

    My guess?

    1. Aaron Ekblad
    2. Leon Draisaitl
    3. Sam Reinhart
    4. Sam Bennett
    5. Michael Dal Colle
    6. Nick Ritchie

  4. Henry says:

    Yak2: Jake Virtanen at No. 43 is this year’s “what??!” for Button

    Yak2,

    Maybe that is Button’s way of daring Burke to draft him.

    Honestly, I don’t want Bennett or Reinhart in Calgary. I really don’t.

  5. Rondo says:

    Last year Oilers said they like Nathan M, Barkov and Monahan, They did not really mention Lindholm

    This year they like Leon D and Sam Reinhart and have not mentioned Bennett.

    Don’t see the advantage or disadvantage on mentioning who the like. Yes they liked Ekblad and Jones.

    LT do you see any adv or dis?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    Last year Oilers said they like Nathan M, Barkov andMonahan, They did not really mention Lindholm

    This year they likeLeonD and Sam Reinhart and have not mentioned Bennett.

    Don’t see the advantage or disadvantageon mentioning who the like.Yes they liked Ekblad and Jones.

    LT do you see any adv or dis?

    I think a person could frame it both ways, don’t really know to be honest. We do know that, in the days before the draft, Craig MacTavish responded to a season ticket holder with a mic in front of him and fairly gushed about Nurse.

    Oilers like to excite the fanbase.

  7. Rondo says:

    Looks like future considerations has it’s new rankings

    http://www.mynhldraft.com/2014-nhl-draft-prospect-rankings/

    Now all that Bob McKenzie has to do is have Bennett at #1

  8. Nyeoseok says:

    Haydn Fleury at 7th seems a little high.

  9. regwald says:

    Lowetide: My guess?

    1. Aaron Ekblad
    2. Leon Draisaitl
    3. Sam Reinhart
    4. Sam Bennett
    5. Michael Dal Colle
    6. Nick Ritchie

    LT,

    Do you think Ritchie moves up so much from your list on Monday (10th) to be in the Oilers radar at 6 strictly because of his size and physical presence ?

    Seems like a bit of a jump.

  10. Lowetide says:

    regwald: LT,

    Do you think Ritchie moves up so much from your list on Monday (10th) to be in the Oilers radar at 6 strictly because of his size and physical presence ?

    Seems like a bit of a jump.

    Well my Monday list is my list, I wouldn’t take Ritchie. I also wouldn’t take Draisaitl at 3 (I have him No. 4 on my list).

  11. gogliano says:

    Lowetide: Well my Monday list is my list, I wouldn’t take Ritchie. I also wouldn’t take Draisaitl at 3 (I have him No. 4 on my list).

    Seems to be the big German is basically a consensus #4 at this point–a tier unto himself. A few have him a little lower but he is also almost always excluded from the top 3 on lists.

    In fact, his draft ranking and Dal Colle at 5 might be the most stable of all the slots this year.

  12. spoiler says:

    Well speeds’ DeAngelo does very well on Button’s list.

    Interesting to see to that Craig has two USHL and three Euro Dmen slotted in before McKeown at 51. Both he and Martin fell about 15 spots.

  13. spoiler says:

    Craig Button on TH2N:

    After 40 viewings, doesn’t think Virtanen’s game will translate into top 6 forward. Skill level more like Raffi Torres. Button notes Torres went 5th OV and expects Virtanen to go higher than he has him ranked.

    Sanheim: reminds Button of McDonagh, thinks CSS would have him higher if their list came out later, because he has improved every month this year.

  14. Yeti says:

    “I think the NHL should have a NA draft and a Euro draft each season.”
    But doesn’t having them together add to the fun?

  15. One-Timer says:

    About the dual draft idea: would the lottery winner get the top pick both times? That would seem a bit stacked.

  16. Rondo says:

    Re: Leon Draisaitl,

    Here are the most recent and final rankings of various agencies

    ISS Draisaitl, Leon #6 June 3rd Final

    Craig Buttons Draisaitl, Leon #4 June 3rd Final

    Future Considerations Draisaitl, Leon # 5 June 1st Final

    Corey Pronman Draisaitl, Leon #7 May 15th Final

  17. Mr DeBakey says:

    Off Topic:
    i don’t know if it was linked here previously, but Atlantic Magazine did a piece in April about the crappy idea Tanking is.
    The concept is discussed from a NBA perspective, but still:

    “The gospel of tanking is born from three big assumptions: that mediocrity is a trap; that scouting is a science; and that bad organizations are one savior away from being great. All three assumptions are common, not only to sports, but also to business and to life. And all three assumptions are typically wrong.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/hoop-dreams/358627/

    Cheers

  18. spoiler says:

    LT, I am surprised that Ehrhoff didn’t make the discussed defensemen list. Kulikov too. Pretty long article already though.

  19. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    LT, I am surprised that Ehrhoff didn’t make the discussed defensemen list. Kulikov too.Pretty long article already though.

    Yeah, I could do another article with another set of blue, to be honest. I’ve seen lots of Faynes and Stralmans lately, my idea in writing it was to point out they just aren’t playing 24 minutes a night. Add 6 more minutes and we have a new color.

  20. Mr DeBakey says:

    Trouble with Stralman is that his team is in the Cup Finals.
    240 minutes from a RING!
    And all sorts of people have noticed him.
    He’ll be pricey.

  21. VanOil says:

    I still think the draft rankings from all providers over rank Ekblad.

    The 5 years on indentured servitude (7 if you send them back to Jr) you receive makes the risk reward of taking a defenseman high in the draft poor. Doughty is the exception that proves the rule. Erik Johnson is the prefect case study. He is now not a bad player but he was a lousy player to risk a top pick on.

    In this years draft;
    Florida has new owners that want to win now, Ekblad does not help you win now.
    Buffalo already has young 2 defenders that ate Ekblads lunch at the WJC.
    Oilers have a 5 year window to win with Hall, Ekblad does not help Oilers win during Halls prime.

    So I think it is entirely reasonable that Ekblad falls to 4th. Unless one of the wild card GM’s trade up to get him. A wise GM just waits and signs the next Erik Johnson 5 or 6 years latter. Kulikov seems the smart bet this year.

    The consensus of scouts may favor Ekblad but that does not make it the rational decision for the GMs that do the picking.

  22. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I could do another article with another set of blue, to be honest. I’ve seen lots of Faynes and Stralmans lately, my idea in writing it was to point out they just aren’t playing 24 minutes a night. Add 6 more minutes and we have a new color.

    That has been my thought on them too. When I look at Fayne, it is to slot him with the same minutes he has now (or close to it)… which would likely be the case with Petry and Schultz on the squad. But he’s no saviour. If he can take a couple of ES minutes away from Shultz though, and calm whichever kid they pair with him, he’s helping.

  23. spoiler says:

    VanOil: The consensus of scouts may favor Ekblad but that does not make it the rational decision for the GMs that do the picking.

    Well rankings are not mock drafts.

  24. spoiler says:

    Mr DeBakey: Trouble with Stralman is that his team is in the Cup Finals.
    240 minutes from a RING!
    And all sorts of people have noticed him.
    He’ll be pricey

    Pricey is right. Right now, he’s Zsa Zsa Gabor.

  25. VanOil says:

    spoiler: Well rankings are not mock drafts.

    But we compare historic drafts against rankings not mocks.

  26. spoiler says:

    VanOil: But we compare historic drafts against rankings not mocks.

    Not sure what you mean. But your reasoning in the original post… what teams want, what their situations are, has to do with a mock draft not with a ranking. No scout is going to take into account that Buffalo (or whoever) is picking 2nd when they rank players. That’s all I was referring to.

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