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  • #46
    Also most teams seem to have five or seven what I would consider good prospects: those with a reasonable chance to play in the league and realistic - however small - chance to be stars. I have Toronto and Columbus with six, Vegas with four. The Sens have at least ten.

    On a different note, if I were to update my top 25 list now, I would cut Eric Comrie and Juuso Valimaki, replace them with Dillon Dubé and Jeremy Bracco, and Necas and Bemstrom would move up the list. Rasmus Sandin and Alexandre Texier look like they should probably be on there somewhere as well. I would probably consider Hart and Jokiharju graduated.

    Jumping all over the place here, but looking back at Nedeljkovic's trajectory makes me a lot more hopeful for Gustavsson. Nedejkovic also struggled immensely in his rookie pro season, with a 3.40 GAA and .880 SVP, but after steady progression over the next two seasons, he's one of the top goalie prospects in the world again.
    Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-01-2019, 10:35 AM.


    • #47
      Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
      K when Josh pointed out the possibility of bias in my top prospects list, I wondered if he might be right, now I'm not so sure.

      Looking for bluechip talents, prospects with with a high chance to be NHL players, and a reasonable chance to be star players.

      Toronto has three in Ian Scott, Rasmus Sandin, Jeremy Bracco. Columbus has four, Emil Bemstrom, Alexandre Texier, Liam Foudy, Danil Tarasov. The Rangers have three, Vitali Kravtsov, Lias Andersson, K'Andre Miller. Vegas has Cody Glass and Nic Hague.

      The Sens have at least five, in Batherson, Bernard-Docker, Brannstrom, Brown and Norris. I would include Gustavsson, despite a rough year. This is fairly objectively verifiable. All were first round picks from within the past three drafts (Gustavsson a second, close enough for a goalie) who have not failed to show the signs of progression proper to a pick of that status, plus Batherson.
      I would add at least one player to each of those teams - Mac Hollowell for Toronto, Trey Fix-Wolansky for Columbus, Nils Lundkvist for the Rangers, and both Ben Jones and Dylan Coghlan for Vegas. On the topic of your list though, I'm curious where you'd slot in any of the 2019 draft's prospects. Are you sure enough on Lafreniere to even stick a 2020 player in?


      • #48
        Hmmm. The good news is, we're not that far apart here. All of those prospects you mentioned except for Fix-Wolansky, I have near the top of their team's lists - I'd consider them "good" prospects. Nils Lundkvist is the only one I'd probably agree about giving "bluechip" status though.

        I see the reasoning behind Jones and Wolansky, but I've just seen too many 19 year olds put up 100 points in junior, only to go on to do nothing at the next level. You'll also notice there are almost no junior players on my top 25 list, except for the three who played WJHC. It's not that I have anything against the CHL, of course it is a great development league, but the quality of competition is so low compared to the NHL, 100 points there don't mean much.

        Of course, if a late round pick progresses every year and scores 100 points at 19, for sure that is a positive sign, but until they show something at a higher level, I'm not convinced. And if you look at prospects like Batherson, Dube and Logan Brown, who would establish themselves as bluechip prospects after turning pro, they played WJHC at 19, so there were signs outside of their CHL numbers.

        One guy this year, for instance, who was a late round pick and plays in junior, but has established himself as a bluechip prospect and would be on my top 50 for sure, is Sasha Chmelevski, based on his dominant WJHC performance. Also their World Junior performance was what put Barret Hayton so high in my top 25, and Evan Bouchard so low.


        • #49
          As for 2019 prospects, I'm not sure. Part of my method is just looking at the prospect's draft ranking and consider whether they've raised or lowered their value. Everyone in my top 25 has increased their value, and most were already high picks, so would be tough for undrafted or newly drafted prospects to break that list. That said, yeah I would have no problem putting Hughes, Kakko and Lafrenniere in the top five, and Lundell in the top ten. Whatever is the tier above bluechip prospect, these guys fit it. "Generational" gets thrown around too easily now days. I guess I'll call them "franchise" prospects.

          So think of the old HF rating system. 10 would be generational, 9 would be "franchise", 8 would be "bluechip" and 7 would be "good". So just for fun, let's try this:

          1. Jack Hughes - 9C - Not as proven at higher levels as Kakko, but higher upside, so the scouts say.
          2. Alexis Lafreniere - 9.5D - All the potential in the world, but has only proven it in junior. Struggled amongst the best juniors in the world at U20s.
          3. Kaapo Kakko - 8.5B - I don't like to make guarantees, but... Already WJHC golden goal. Better draft year in Liiga than Laine, Rantanen, Aho. Barkov's was better. But Kaako with gold now at U18, U20 and WHC, and led his team in goals at the men's level...
          4. Cale Makar - 9C - showed a glimpse of it at the highest level and it was fun to watch.
          5. Barret Hayton - 8.5C - Can't wait to see him either at the U20s or in the NHL next year.
          6. Kristian Vesalainen - 8B - Has proven himself an effective player in three of the best leagues in the world as a teen, the AHL, KHL and SML.
          7. Erik Brannstrom - 8B - Was a top three defenseman on his SHL team at 18 and a top pairing defenseman in the AHL at 19.
          8. Anton Lundell - 8.5C - Assist on the golden goal at U20s. Looks pretty special.
          9. Quinn Hughes - 8.5C - Ridiculous upside, but has only proven it in college: was good but not great at WJHC.
          10. Thatcher Demko - 8B - looks set to start his NHL career as a backup, and he's been an all-star every level he's played.
          Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-03-2019, 12:15 PM.


          • #50
            Sorry to sound like a broken record, but then does Alex Turcotte fall outside the top ten? And do you still have Drake Batherson just outside that list as well?


            • #51
              Hmmm. Yeah probably Batherson still next. But yeah there's gonna be a few more top notch prospects whose upside will be enough to put them ahead of some more established ones. Probably after the draft, and after I do my team rankings, I'll try to put together a longer, more comprehensive, league-wide rankings. Top 50 or maybe top 75 if I'm feeling ambitious.


              • #52
                I did a mock draft.

                1. New Jersey Devils - Jack Hughes, C, USNDP.
                2. New York Rangers - Kaapo Kakko, RW, SM-Liiga.
                3. Chicago Blackhawks - Bowen Byram, D, WHL - Stan Bowman has picked out of pretty well everywhere in the first round... except for Russia.
                4. Colorado Avalanche - Vasili Podkolzin, RW, VHL - Sakic has shown he doesn't mind picking out of relatively obscure areas. Not a lot of top five picks have come out of Russia's second tier league, but not many came out of the AJHL like Makar did either.
                5. LA Kings - Kirby Dach, C, WHL - Kings have picked mostly CHL in the first round during Blake's tenure there, although in his first draft as top dog last year he picked Rasmus Kupari out of Finland.
                6. Detroit Red Wings - Dylan Cozens, C/RW, WHL - No high picks out of USNDP during Yzerman's tenure in Tampa. Last two first rounders out of the Dub, Foote and Howden are both looking pretty good so far.
                7. Buffalo Sabres - Alex Turcotte, C, USNDP - Botteril picked out of USNDP in the second round of his first draft as head GM last year.
                8. Edmonton Oilers - Peyton Krebs, C/LW, WHL - Holland has picked a lot out of the Q lately, but Lavoie isn't expected to go this early. Both Holland and the Oilers have a few first rounders out of the Dub in recent years. I couldn't find a single instance of Holland picking USNDP.
                9. Anaheim Ducks - Victor Söderstrom, D, SHL - I remember doing Bob Murray's draft tendencies a few years ago, and nothing has changed. First round will be CHL or Sweden. Another Swedish defenseman seems too obvious though, right?
                10. Vancouver Canucks - Matthew Boldy, LW, USNDP - Not many USNDP picks for Benning either, but these players are too good to pass up.
                11. Philadelphia Flyers - Trevor Zegras, C, USNDP - Chuck Fletcher had some tremendous success at times picking non-CHL early, mainly out of Sweden and USHL.
                12. Minnesota Wild - Cole Caufield, RW, USNDP - No idea what Fenton might do in his first draft as head GM. Maybe he'll want to make a splash and swing for the fences. Someone is bound to take a flyer on this kid earlier than expected; numbers are off the charts.
                13. Florida Panthers - Ryan Suzuki, C, OHL - Dale Talon is another GM who who will pick high from mostly anywhere, but more often than not it is CHL.
                14. Arizona Coyotes - Arthur Kaliyev, LW, OHL - So far most of Chayka's first rounders and high picks have been CHL. But there was Keller from USNDP.
                15. Montreal Canadiens- Raphaël Lavoie, RW, QMJHL - While the majority of Marc Bergevin's high picks have been CHL, he's gone outside Canada more frequently in recent years. Not a ton of success out of Sweden, junior A or USNDP though, so Broberg, Newhook, York, might have to keep waiting.
                16. Colorado Avalanche - Alex Newhook, C, BCHL - Again Sakic picks from a non-obvious source in the BCHL.
                17. Vegas Golden Knights - Philip Broberg, D, Allsvenskan - McPhee has always liked picking out of Sweden in early rounds, so Broberg/Söderstrom seem likely here.
                18. Dallas Stars - Thomas Harley, D, OHL - Jim Nill has never once picked out of USNDP as head GM, so York continues to fall.
                19. Ottawa Senators - Cam York, D, USNDP - Dorion has shown no hesitation to draft out of USNDP, so if York really does fall this far, this one is a no-brainer.
                20. New York Rangers - Spencer Knight, G, USNDP - So far Gorton's first rounders have been Sweden, Czech, Russia, USNDP, Sweden.
                21. Pittsburgh Penguins - Brett Leason, RW, WHL - Decades of data on Jim Rutherford available. Almost all high picks are from WHL, OHL and USNDP. I also remember reading an interview where he said he doesn't like drafting D in the first round because they take too long to develop. Well here's a forward out of the Dub already a year into his development.
                22. LA Kings - Moritz Seider, D, DEL - I was waiting to find a GM who has a history drafting Germans, but it just isn't common enough to make a tendency out of, and someone has to pick this kid soon. The Kings actually have a German scout on staff, Stefan Ustorf.
                23. New York Islanders - Bobby Brink, RW, USHL - Lamiorello goes mostly to Sweden and USA Hockey for the first round. And let's not forget, this is the guy who picked Brian Gionta and Zach Parise (Brink is 5'8). Nils Höglander would be my next guess here.
                24. Nashville Predators - Ville Heinola, D, SM Liiga - Poile consistently picks from anywhere and everywhere.
                25. Washington Capitals - Lassi Thomson, D, WHL - Honestly McLellan hasn't had much success at the draft thus far, which makes it hard to know where he might pick, as generally I expect GMs to go back to the well they found water.
                26. Calgary Flames - Matthew Robertson, D, WHL - Treleving's best successes thus far have come from WHL and OHL.
                27. Tampa Bay Lightning - Samuel Poulin, LW, QMJHL - No true data on Brisebois' draft record, as it is all technically Yzerman's, but every year he was there they picked CHL first round.
                28. Carolina Hurricanes - Connor McMichael, C, OHL - Early in his career Don Waddell picked from all over the place in early rounds; in later years he went mostly with CHL and had decent success with the OHL.
                29. Anaheim Ducks - Kaedan Korczak, D, WHL.
                30. Buffalo Sabres - Nils Höglander, LW - Botteril with a bunch of picks out of Sweden and Finland in his first draft.
                31. Boston Bruins - Antoni Honka, D, SM Liiga - Still a short draft résumé for Sweeney, but perhaps he'll return to the pond he found Vaakanainen in.
                Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-08-2019, 11:58 AM.


                • #53
                  Fuck, there are gonna be more Russians picked in the first round, aren't there?


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
                    Fuck, there are gonna be more Russians picked in the first round, aren't there?
                    Hard to say, but I think things are trending that way.


                    • #55
                      Well, I just checked. Four in 2015, two in 2016, one in 2017 (31st), four in 2018.

                      I'm also having some doubts Edmonton will pick Krebs. That franchise, given its recent history and current shape, a -50 player just seems like a bad look.

                      And considering I was already expecting someone will take Caufield high, after seeing Button has him ranked fourth, I'm thinking probably someone will take him in the top ten at least.

                      But oh well, I don't think I'm gonna make any more changes. Overall I'm fairly confident with it, as far as mock drafts go.


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by matchesmalone View Post
                        I was waiting to find a GM who has a history drafting Germans, but it just isn't common enough to make a tendency out of, and someone has to pick this kid soon. The Kings actually have a German scout on staff, Stefan Ustorf.
                        Ok, I looked into this a little more deeply.

                        Dean Lombardi, currently a senior advisor in Philly, picked Marco Sturm, Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc, all out of Germany.

                        George McPhee picked Philip Grubauer out of the OHL, so that hardly counts.

                        Ray Shero picked Tom Kuenhackl out of Germany.

                        Doug Wilson picked Tomas Greiss out of Germany and has gone back a couple times without success.

                        David Poile drafted the best German player of all time, Olaf Kolzig, all the way back in '89, but it was out of WHL. Anyway, he turned to Germany a few times since, without success, except Alexander Sulzer was looking like he might be a player for a minute there.

                        Jim Rutherford has picked out of Germany every now and then for years, and has never hit on one.


                        • #57
                          I always find it interesting that you do your mock drafts based on GM tendency. I did a quick top-13 on a best-player-available basis (except in Florida's case, as they badly need a young goalie). The only trade-offs between our lists are Broberg and Knight on mine for Söderstrom and Suzuki on yours. I have Turcotte and Caufield each 4 spots higher than you do, while you have Krebs 4 spots higher than I do. Mine was nowhere near a full analysis, mind you.

                          My top 13:

                          New Jersey – Jack Hughes
                          Rangers – Kaapo Kakko
                          Chicago – Alex Turcotte
                          Colorado – Dylan Cozens
                          Los Angeles – Bowen Byram
                          Detroit – Kirby Dach
                          Buffalo – Vasili Podkolzin
                          Edmonton – Cole Caufield
                          Anaheim – Trevor Zegras
                          Vancouver – Philip Broberg
                          Philadelphia – Matthew Boldy
                          Minnesota – Peyton Krebs
                          Florida – Spencer Knight (G)

                          Your top 13:

                          New Jersey – Jack Hughes
                          Rangers – Kaapo Kakko
                          Chicago – Bowen Byram
                          Colorado – Vasili Podkolzin
                          Los Angeles – Kirby Dach
                          Detroit – Dylan Cozens
                          Buffalo – Alex Turcotte
                          Edmonton – Peyton Krebs
                          Anaheim – Victor Söderstrom
                          Vancouver – Matthew Boldy
                          Philadelphia – Trevor Zegras
                          Minnesota – Cole Caufield
                          Florida – Ryan Suzuki


                          • #58
                            I like some of your picks. I seriously contemplated Turcotte as high as three. And Bowman has picked a ton out of USHL and USNDP, many in the 3rd and 4th round, but only once in the first round with Nick Schmaltz, but that was from a league team, not the NTDP. So I could easily see them picking Turcotte.

                            But I think his numbers might be deceiving. The U18 team only plays about 25 games a year in USHL, the rest are tournament games and against NCAA teams. I noticed in Turcotte's stats on EP that he had 34 points in 16 games in USHL, but "only" 62 in 37 total, which makes for 28 points in the remaining 21 games. 9 in 7 of those were at U18s, which leaves a remainder of 19 in 14.

                            Hughes had a slightly worse ppg with 48 points in 24 USHL games. But he had a ludicrous 64 in the remaining 26. 20 of those came in 7 games at U18s, which leaves 44 in 19 at the two Five nations tournaments and against college teams. The main U18 tournament is one thing, because there are some weaker teams to rack up points against, but these games against 20-23 year old college players and at the Five Nations against elite competition in Finland, Sweden, Czechs and Russia, those are the difference. Their stats were about even in the USHL, but in the games against higher levels of competition, Turcotte with 19 in 14, and Hughes with 44 in 19.

                            Now I know nobody is saying Turcotte over Hughes, but I think it can be tempting to look at how relatively close the per game numbers were, and suppose that Turcotte shouldn't be too far behind, whereas I think these numbers show that Hughes is on another planet entirely. I could definitely imagine Turcotte going third, but I'm not really sold on the idea. I just need to figure out what is the difference in QoC from USHL to CHL, because two points per game in a major junior league is still bloody insane. But is it the same as Strome's or Marner's 2 per game in the OHL in their draft years? In my tentative league rankings I have them pretty darn close actually.

                            But then the quality of Turcotte's teammates also diminishes the 2 p/g. This team rolls over opponents in that league. Check out the USHL top scorers organized by p/g. It is worth a lark I think.

                            But on the other other hand, he is essentially a second line center, although he gets top PP minutes.
                            Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-10-2019, 12:12 AM.


                            • #59

                              The other thing I like on your list is Caufield in top 10. I'm starting to think that seems likely. But if that happens, I bet it will be Buffalo. I doubt he'll go to Edmonton. I know it seems like a perfect fit with their centers, but seriously no USNDP picks for Holland. None, let alone a first rounder, let alone 8th overall. Colorado and Chicago fit as far as GM tendencies, but I can't really imagine him going that high, and LA and Detroit at 5 and 6 don't seem terribly likely. Buffalo looks like a prime candidate to me.

                              But! That is where I have Turcotte, so Caufield gets bumped. I can't imagine Anaheim at 9, but then 10-14 looks like prime conditions for a string of NTDP players. Probably I'll be off a pick or two there.


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Josh View Post
                                I always find it interesting that you do your mock drafts based on GM tendency.
                                The original reasoning was just out of what I considered necessity. Everyone does these mock drafts and nobody ever gets anything right. And as fans we hardly see these kids play, so we're just going off various rankings. The most accurate mock drafts will typically be the fans who have figured out which draft rankings to follow most seriously. I needed something more objectively measurable for us as fans.

                                But now days I'm thinking more and more that GM tendencies is the way to go. GMs don't watch a lot of prospects, so have to trust their scouts, so naturally in the first round they go to the scouts they trust the most. And after keeping track of them for years, I have come to realize that GM tendencies are real, and highly pertinent. It cannot possibly be mere coincidence that Bob Murray picks from the CHL or Sweden every year like clockwork, or George McPhee picks Sweden and Russia time after time, or all the GMs who have been at it for years and have never picked outside the CHL in the first round.

                                I was wondering if maybe I was trusting the tendencies too much, in that I never have any GM picking from a place they don't usually pick from. Obviously there are going to be some instances where GMs picks outside their tendencies, especially those without a lot of experience, because that's how tendencies are established in the first place.

                                But there is a way to account for this, which I've tried to use, but closer research could have been done in many cases. If a team has never picked out of a given region, then it means they probably don't even have scouts that scout there regularly enough, or something. But there must be some reason, if it is a consistent tendency for an extended time period.

                                But if a GM has picked from a region in later rounds, but never the first, it is more likely they might pick there in the first round in the future, particularly if they've had success there. GMs will test the waters with new scouts, giving them late picks, and once they've proven themself, then they get more say on higher round picks. Of course multiple scouts from a given team will have seen the first round players, but it is the scouts in that players' region doing the heavy lifting.

                                Looking at a couple early picks (which of course I researched a bit more thoroughly) we can take Stan Bowman for instance, he's picked a lot out of USNDP and USHL over the years, and has found guys that played games, Stephen Johns, Tyler Motte, John Hayden, Vinnie Hinnestroza, Nick Schmaltz. So I wouldn't be the least surprised if they go USHL, but I personally think Byram looks like the BPA here. He just checks off all the boxes for me.

                                Then Sakic, he's never picked out of Russia in the first round, but he has a few times in later rounds, five in the past two drafts, and while none is looking like a home run, most have made some progress. So I'm not terribly confident on this pick, but it seems within reason.

                                The first GM in the draft order we find with a real keen record out of Russia is Yzerman, so even though he almost never picks outside the CHL in the first round, he did take Vas out of Russia, so I'd be willing to guarantee* that Podkolzin doesn't fall past Detroit at six.

                                *assign a very high probability to the proposition
                                Last edited by matchesmalone; 06-10-2019, 02:02 PM.