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.
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)