I always remember that I am French language first, and to write these words it is difficult for me, so be indulgent
How I proceed for my list: I'm little bit different from other scout. A lot of scout will look habit of each player(How he play defensively, short shift, hard, go to the net etc) and it a very big big part of the game. You want these info when you make a selection but these thing its not my thing. I'm not as good as other to evaluate that. I'm more concentrated on the skills package and HOW he do his thing. How he do his pivot? How he make his shot? Do he have a technical problem? Can we fix it? It that important? Example: We have a player with decent mobility, was able to do a breakout by himself. His IQ and Mobility was very very good, and habitually a I will fall in love with these player. But the way he hold on his stick produce a lot of turnover. His top hand was close to his body and his lower hand was in front. The good way his the inverse if you want to utilize your flex and if you want to have control. So he wasn't able to make hard pass, or receive hard pass. His shooting was poor, so he wasn't able to run a first PP. This thing is very hard to improved, so this player was a no for me.
#1 : I check about HOCKEY SENSE. How he can handle the SPACE. A bad player doesn't know where the space is. A good player is aware of where the space is and he can use it. a VERY VERY TALENTED PLAYER know where the space is and he can create and manipulate the SPACE to have more time. A player who can do this will rise and rise on my list.
#2 : athletic development potential : I will try to evaluate if the player is already at his ceiling of his athletic development. How he skate, how his angle flexion, how back arch etc. These thing is hard to explain, it's more about a feeling
#3 : Obviously, the skating. He his fast? Mobile? Use weight shift? Can make good fake with his feet like punch fake, Crosby etc. But this one his relate to hockey sense. If a player is very very fast but can't generate something on the ice, his speed is less attractive. I will prefer a low speed but with good mobility and the capacity to use his foot work to find space and create something. For defenders, the backward, pivot and t-push ability his a huge factor on the evaluation
#3 : Which individual tactic he utilise : Stickhandling player < Simple fake.
#4 : Finally, I look for one thing that the player will do in the NHL . I don't want a meh player. I want a good forechecker or a good half-board man in PP. I want a shutdown, I want a good first pass etc. I want a player who bring something special to the team
1-Tim Stutzle : This player is really something. He is my favorite prospect since Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar. The way he control the game is magazine. He is a breakout machine, he use always the punch turn or a punch cut back to gain the space behind and let the other player move in front on him for after controlling the puck and bring it in the other zone. He control is body language in a way that remind me some of Mathew Barzal. I think he will be a candidate for the player who have the most often the puck in a game. He reminds me also David Pasternak in the way he attack the space, always loaded and use a lot of weight shift to to encourage adverse D to go down for a block shoot. I don't know how much he will have a impact this year, probably lesser than Alexis Laf but I pretty certain that Tim Stutzle will be a offensive beast in 3 or 4 years from now. He play the same game as Mackinnon with the some of individual tactique of David Pasternak
2-Alexis Lafrenière : He will be dominant this season, he will be a guy that you want on your team in the Stanley cup finals but I think he is close to his ceiling while Sutztle is far away from it. Lafrenière as more Canadian Way type of play, very south to north with great fast pace IQ and great skating. He will generate more point in the OZP than Stuztle but lesser on the rush I think. They have the same mindset, but Laffy will have more physical impact. Why I love more Stuztle? Because I don't think Lafrenière will dominate the pace of the game, I don't think he has the capability do it like Patrick Kane, Mackinnon, Pettersson etc. I seem more in a way of Taylor Hall or Mark Stone, great player but I prefer to other one skillset. Lafy use a lot of body language fake, can sell that he doesn't know what happens but he surely know and manipulate the play with that. Great to make small fake on the rush to make defender stop and gain after it the down low. He posses one of the best tight turn in the league, he will be one of the best player in the bottom zone like Crosby.
3-Trevor Zegras : I like this player since day ONE! No WJ bias, he was in my top three at his draft class. I'm sur about his skating ability for the next 3 years, I really think that Trevor Zegras will have a hard time to adapt at the level. He love to lower the pace, but when you play in the biggest pace in the world, you have to adapt a little bit your individual tactic, but don't get me wrong, he will be a dominant player for long time because his brain is more than elite. Remind me of young Jason Spezza in the way he play. He use a lot and a lot of backward skating, something that I love. When you do backward skating, you skate est/ouest so the defender have to make a decision if he press you, if he continue to do backward skating or if he make a stop, and Zegras have the ability to take advantage of that. He also make the same move as Elias Pettersson, to just switch often the weight on their legs, so he always made the impression that he will gonna make a play so he gain a lot of space with that. He had the feel of the rhythmic and the timing of the game like a bandmaster. Love this player
4-Jamie Drysdale Brain,brain,brain. When a player have the head up, he always get more time on the ice because player are scary to press them because he see that the other play see. Drysdale have one of the best head up in my recent prospect memory. So in control of whatever he do. Machine of understanding the breakout, make always his scan, can manipulate the pace of the breakout or just beat 1 player to go behind the net and calm the play. Amazing in OZP, his fake on the blue line reminds me Jeff Petry who use a lot of edges. He will be a steady defenseman for a long time
5-Bowen Byram He his a interesting case. His skating is so so so so fluid. I had him very high 2 years ago, and last year he disappointed me. But I like the recent video and the WJ. I don't think is skating is dynamic you know like Sam Girard, but he have the fluid starting of Erik Karlsson. What I try to say, I think that Byram are not able to rush the play like a running back because of his lack of dynamic. He will do break-out from himself but not to generate offense just to breakout the puck. I don't think he will be a 1PP unit, his shoot is ok and he don't have in him, I think. But that the type of player that I wan't 25+min on ice like a Ryan Suter with a great skatingç
6-Jake Sandersen Biggest riser on my list. WOW! I love this player, so intelligent. He always know what happens around him, he move the puck so often to the middle in breakout, something that rare defender are able to do. Smooth skater, can be more dynamic with the puck, will not end up as great PP guys but certainly a defender who you can put him on the ice more than 25+ min a night
7-Kirill Kaprizov Kaprizov his a offensive dynamo with a great shot and very dynamic in his crossover. I like the way he want the puck and the way he compete. I'm sur that he will be a 70 pts player per year in the NHL and he is easily my favorite player for the CALDER.
8-Victor Sodestrom Smooth very smooth skater, Excellent edge with the puck but he have to work on his rush against. His gap is not very good. He had to work on his west-east backward skating. But I can see him become a dominant offensive defenseman in the NHL
9-Erik Branstrom I love Erik Branstrom since a long a long time. Terrific skating close space, I don't know how fast he is but it dosent matter in the way he play. He don't rush the puck but he beat player in close gap in all situation(breakout,OZP, regroup) had a decent clapper, excellent first pass and his gap is pretty good too. Love this player and I look forward to see it in the NHL. I know you guys will chalenge me in that but I'm very certain that his skillset will translate
10-Moritz Seider I know Detroit fans is more than high on him, and I know that you fan will find that he is too low. I know! But I was not a fans of him at his draft class, and I check a lot of clip of him, more than any player before posting this list. I try to find was I was not seeing in him. Yeah he look like Victor Hedman, I find that his gap a defensive ability is more than ELITE. He his a kill play defenseman, one thing that I find very attractive. But his offensive play his more 90's, simple pass on the breakout and offensively lot of shot quick. Not very attractive for me but some defender generate offensive like this these so he will fit in this seat.
11-Lucas Raymond Lucas Raymond reminds me Marian Gaborik in his good day. I don't think that he is close to make a impact in the NHL, his understanding of the space is not good as I see now. He's 3-4 first stride is amazing, his crossover combo on the rush is AMAZING and his tight turn in tight space is very quick. If he can more understand what going on around him when he have the puck and make his personal play, he will end up to be a dominant player because his puck skills and skating is too good. What he have to do now? Make more scan whit is head inside the play. He really had to work on that. He his more a driver south-north like Lafrenière.
12-Quinton Byfield : I'm not a big big fans of Quinton Byfield but I have to but him here. I think he is far away to have a NHL impact. There are holes in his offensive games. Very good downlow on the OZP, pretty strong in the corners, he can shield the puck for like 30 secondes vs two defenders but it generates nothing. I say often to my player: A bad player loose the puck, a good player keep the puck but a very very good player make play while he protect the puck and that's not the case of Quinton Byfield. He is good on the rush when he have time and when he have to make a play. He can see the offensive game when he have time but whit no time, it's hard for him. But I respect his ability for a big body but I don't think Quinton Byfield will have a clear offensive impact in the NHL
13-Cole Caufield I love this player, was in my top 5 on his draft day. I hate people who say wtf 5 point in the WJC and he's a scorer....Hey it's a 7 game tournament. I don't see often a goal scorer like him who MANIPULATE and CONTROL the play like him. Seriously, his hockey sense, the way he take advantage of the gap of his presser. He always hands up and ready to make a play. Like I explain before, a player who's he always loader with the puck, other team will be scary to make a press because his ready to make a player and I see the ice. His shoot is lethal and he will score his goal like Auston Matthews(25% of his goal his with a angle change) He switch leg often( shoot on his opposite leg) and when you a shot like these guy, it's very very dangerous. Lack of size, lack of speed, lack of 1 vs 1 win
14-Evan Bouchard : Little bit trash on the 1 vs 1, make a lot of guessing and pretty soft defensively when he is not involved in the 1 v 1, but his passing ability is top 3 with Zegras and Drysdale on this prospect list. Will be a one of the best in the league in futur year on the PP.
15-Dylan Cozens : I was high on Dylan Cozens last year and my recent view had disappointed me. Yeah I know that he had put a lot of point in the WJ but I don't think he will be a dominant offensive player in the NHL. He doesn't use crossover or other combo on the rush, only straight forward skating. He will be pretty easy to play in the on the rush I think. He his still very intelligent when I have time(more than Byfield) and he his a beast close to the net(I give value for that) Lack of individual tactic
16-Barrett Hayton Not the fastest skater, it's the type of player that you will not see offensively in two periods but when he have time he is ready to make the right player. Good shooter, good passer, a future 2C with some good moment on the PP when he have time
17-Marco Rossi : I don't think he have the capacities of controlling the game. I think he will end up of a MEH player in the offensive zone. Good skater, good passing ability and good shoot too but nothing extraordinary but he his reliable and play a good 200 FT Game. Don't have a big physic impact too. Good player but not exciting or great player. I think he is close to his ceiling
18-Ville Heinola Good defenseman, nothing to say particularly bad about him. Smooth skater and great two way game
20-Matias Norlinder If you want a player who can manipulate the play and make breakout by himself, you want the skillset of Matias Norlinder. He a had such a understanding of the forchecker that he can manipulate them to create the space that he need to make a difficult breakout. When he take a puck with closer Forchecker, he will never rim it or give shit at one of his teammate. He will take this puck for a fun puck and he will end up to beat everyone. His shooting ability is not good, and like Joe Veleno for instance, he have difficulty to make the right play at the right time offensively
21-Rasmus Sandin Great skater and great IQ. Always love his simple game but I feel he can do more offensively. His decision on blue line is so inoffensive for a guy with big tools like him.
22-Filip Zadina Was not sur in his draft class, but now I like the player. He his more and more dynamic since two years ago, and he have the offensive skills set of Cole Caufield.
23-Vitali Kravstov Big body, can go to dirty area. Was a big fans of him at his draft, he looks different and special. Lack of seeing play recently but his stats looking great and I hope he can find his game again. He's good when he use simple fake to go fast to the net.
25-Alex Newhook Dynamic skater, very good one the rush. Utilise some combo on the crossover to go est-west for after slowing down. the pace and finding his line mates. Very good 2-3 first step but he lose lot of 1 vs 1.
26-Matthew Boldy MIN Riser. More intelligent that I thought
28-Vasili Podkolzin Little Brad Marchand. Dynamic. His ceilling his not that high but his floor is maximum a very good third liner.
29-Hendrix Lapierre This guy is the definition of passionate, young brain man. His combo of crossover will be dominant in the off the rush. He has to work on his shoot again and again but he had make a major impact since last year. Puck skills is impressive
30-Drake Batherson Love this player. Reminds me a young Mark Stone. Reliable, strong forchecker, drive the net and have a good shot.
33-Cole Perfetti Not a great skater, lethal shoot. Lack of individual tactic to create more space for himself.
35-Nils Lunkvist Reminds me Andrei Markov. Make a lot of fake shot, to create space for passing play. Great skating ability in tight space.
43-Kaiden Guhle Biggest riser...His gap...Wow. Take a lot of it in forward skating to make sure to kill the play very soon. Very impress.
44-Alex Holtz Lethal shot but not a great 5 vs 5 guy. Lose the puck often, I don't find his speed very good. He will have to be carry by two player. Lesser he have the puck, more good he will be. Tomas Vanek type of guy, but it's not necessary bad, but he have to understand that he have to give the puck and only have the puck at the right time.
46-Alex Turcotte Sorry, I'm not a fans. I don't think that he will end up with a great offensive career. He has a great speed, great hands, and I think that he understand well the 5 vs 5 game but his IQ game at one on one is terrible bad. He his not able to see the space or create it. Projection? Great third liner with a good second production on a team.
47-Timothy Liljegren Still believe that he has everything to be a solid top 4 defenseman
48-Ty Smith NJ
49-Tyler Madden LAK
50-Joseph Veleno DET I always like his skating ability, his crossover combo. not good in the OZP but a very good 200ft player. I believe that he will end up a 2C and a terrific dynamic center
Elmer Soderblom RISER