Bender's TOP 50 (+ 10HM) - 2015 NHL Draft

Discussion in 'Colorado Avalanche' started by Bender, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Amidst the craziest draft day well...EVER, here are my rankings for this year.

    I'll add my evaluations for each player in 3 subsequent posts during the draft and later tonight.

    So, these are my top 50 (+10 honorable mentions) as I see them and not as I expected them to be drafted.

    Enjoy!

    TOP 50 - 2015 NHL Entry Draft


    Players in BOLD/BLUE denotes Darkhorse/Favourite.
     
  2. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Post reserved for Player evaluations 1-to-20 (to be added later tonight)

    #1 - Connor McDavid, C - Erie Otters, OHL

    Upside - Franchise Center

    Comparable - Sidney Crosby

    Report : Not sure what I can say that already hasn't been said: he's a franchise player who will be a very good player in the NHL likely from day 1. I don't know about generational talent but he'll end up 'Crosby-like'. Easy call for 1st overall.

    #2 - Jack Eichel, C - Boston University, NCAA

    Upside - Top line center / Franchise Center

    Comparable - Ryan Getzlaf

    Report : My comparable for Jack Eichel is Ryan Getzlaf because of the way he sees/thinks the game not because he's a 6'4" 220lbs power forward. To me his potential ranges from #1 center to franchise center and I'd probably lean towards the latter. An easy pick at #2 here.

    #3 - Lawson Crouse, LW - Kingston, OHL

    Upside - Top 6 Power Forward

    Comparable - Gabriel Landeskog

    Report : I have Lawson Crouse higher than most but that's because that the package that this particular player brings is pretty hard to find. Crouse made Team Canada's WJC Under 20 team at 17, a feat not easily accomplished but he actually stood out which is something I haven't seen in quite a while from a non-franchise-to-be type of player. My comparable for him is Gabriel Landeskog though, I'm not certain his offensive upside will be as high, I think he'll be more physical and even harder to play against. So while there are guys at #3 with more skill who can and may put up more points up in the NHL, for his overall package of what he brings and TO WIN in the playoffs, I easily and quite confidently put Lawson Crouse at #3. I feel that his FLOOR is 3rd line LW (he can probably play that position on a good portion of NHL teams starting next season) and his ceiling goes up from there.

    #4 - Noah Hanifin - Boston College, NCAA

    Upside - Top Pairing - 2-way D-man

    Comparable - Ryan McDonaugh

    Report : Phenomenal passer and puck mover to go along with a big frame and an excellent skater makes Hanifin the top d-man in this draft class. He didn't take as big of a step in his development as I was expecting and the reason why other highly rated d-men closed the gap but there is enough of a body of work to justify him being a top-5 pick. I see Hanifin in the same vain as Ryan McDonaugh in the sense that it might take him a bit longer to develop and his impact in the NHL probably won't come as instantly as other players but with every year he just keeps getting better and better until he's one of the top d-men in the league. Incredibly safe pick, at worst he's a middle pairing #3 d-man. Tons of upside with this kid.

    #5 - Matthew Barzal - Seattle, WHL

    Upside - Top 6 Playmaking Forward

    Comparable - Tyler Johnson

    Report : Barzal stood out as one of the better players as an underage player at the Under 18's in April 2014, it was pretty easy to see back then that this guy, as long as his development kept on the right track, would be a first round pick in this year's draft. Barzal played again in that very same tournament this year and flat out dominated. How he translates over to the NHL is another matter but I think his upside is top-6 foward for sure though it might take a few years to get there. He's an excellent playmaker who thrives on feeding his teammates, a very good skater, very elusive, good positioning. His defensive play could use improvement but at this stage in his career, is certainly not abnormal and nothing that isn't coachable, in my opinion. A pretty safe pick anywhere in the top 10. If a team selects him outside the top 10, it's a steal.

    #6 - Ivan Provorov - Brandon, WHL

    Upside - Top Pairing Offensive D-man

    Comparable - Sergei Gonchar (in his prime)

    Report : A smart cerebral player with very good positoning, very good at anticipating plays and closing gaps. Has A bit of an awkward skating stride or perhaps it's the way he holds his stick that makes him standout, you can tell when he's on the ice. Tough to find a flaw in his game, he makes outstanding reads due to a high hockey IQ. He's going to be an excellent 2-way d-man. Has a knack for making the smart, safe play and knows when it's time to jump. My comparable for Provorov is Sergei Gonchar in his prime. Earlier on in his career, Gonchar was a more run & gun type of player and he eventually settled down to play a solid 2-way game all the while putting up good numbers. That's the guy I'm comparing Provorov with.

    #7 - Jakub Zboril - Saint John, QMJHL

    Upside - Top 3 - 2-way D-Man

    Comparable - Marc-Edouard Vlasic

    Report : He is hands-down my favourite prospect in this years draft. I see him as a home run pick. Fantastic puck moving d-man, with great skating ability who can anticipate and read plays with a bit of a mean streak. I see his FLOOR as a #4 guy and he could become a top pairing guy who's hard to play against. I don't expect Zboril to be a top-10 pick but the team who ends up getting him (likely between #11-20) should be thrilled because they are getting top-10 value, in my opinion. My comparable for him is Marc-Edouard Vlasic because I see the same type of solid 2-way play eventually from a kid like Zboril.

    #8 - Zach Werenski - Michigan, NCAA

    Upside - Top 3 - 2-way D-Man

    Comparable - Cam Fowler

    Report : - Zach Werenski flies somewhat under the radar, a bit like my comparable did during his draft year by most, especially with the Top D available in this draft but he's absolutely a sure-fire top-10 pick, in my opinion. When you combine the fact that he's a great skater and excellent puck mover, two qualities that are at a premium in today's NHL, with his size and ability to read plays, he'll hear his name called before long at the draft. His defensive game could use some improvements but that's more of a normal part of his development rather than a flaw. It's a coachable thing and I have no doubts he'll get where he needs to be. Great pick for whoever drafts him and like Fowler who was highly rated and dropped a little, Werenski is going to have a big impact on an NHL team sooner rather than later.

    #9 - Mitch Marner - London, OHL

    Upside - Top 6 Offensive Forward

    Comparable - J. Eberle / C. Giroux

    Report : Mitch Marner has grown on me. It took me some time to warm up to this player, I must admit. He reminds me of a cross between Jordan Eberle and Claude Giroux, so the upside is certainly there. His playmaking is top-notch, he's got good wheels, is a solid forechecker, makes great reads. However, he's clearly not the biggest player and while he's elusive and doesn't shy away from the physical stuff, that's likely not going to be his game at the NHL level. He should turn out to be a solid point-producing top-6 forward within 2-3 years. While a solid top 10 pick in this year's very deep draft, this pick does come with some question marks. I do think Marner does end up getting there though, whether he makes an almost instant impact like Eberle/Giroux or takes a longer road like Daniel Briere did, he should be a top 6 forward in the not too distant future.

    #10 - Mikko Rantanen - TPS, SM Liiga

    Upside - Top 6 - 2-way Forward

    Comparable - James Van Riemsdyk

    Report : Rantanen is a big, skilled player who plays a solid 2-way game and doesn't shy away from physical play. He has a very nice skill set and there are not a lot of flaws to his game. From everything I've seen from Rantanen, I get the feeling watching him play that there is still a lot more to come from this kid. That said, when talking about upside with a player like this, I find it more difficult to say that he'll for sure top out as a 1st line player. He very well might, if he keeps on the same development path but there is a good chance that you end up with a 2nd line winger, which is still pretty darn good.

    #11 - Sebastian Aho - Karpat, SM Liiga

    Upside - Top 6 Offensive Forward

    Comparable - Jaden Schwartz

    Report : I had no idea what to expect when I first saw this guy play but it's pretty hard not to like the way this kid plays the game. Hard worker, excellent skater, very good at reading plays, probably an underated playmaker as well. What I like most about his game is his vision. He has the ability to find seams and get players the puck on their stick unlike very few in this draft. I have him ranked higher than most because he shows flashes of what he's capable of doing while playing against tough competition. He's going to need to get stronger to make an impact but If he continues to develop and gain confidence, he's going to be a one hell of a player. He's very underated in my opinion. My comparable for Aho is Jaden Schwartz, a player by the way, who was ranked as an early 2nd round pick by most in 2010. Shrewd talent evaluator Jarmo Kekäläinen thought enough of Schwartz to select him 14th overall (I had Schwartz 15th in 2010) so before you scoff at this ranking, let that sink in. I don't expect a team to use a 1st round pick on him but watch out for Columbus in the early second round (#34 or #38), I wouldn't be surprised if Jarmo jumped on him then.

    #12 - Pavel Zacha - Sarnia Sting, OHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd line Forward

    Comparable - Alexander Barkov / Radek Bonk

    Report : Pavel Zacha has all of the tools and skills to be a very good player in the NHL. He's versatile, can play wing or center and doesn't shy away from the physical stuff. He's a pretty good skater and has an excellent shot. For whatever reason, I just don't see star potential with this player. I think he plays the game a lot like Aleksander Barkov which is my comparable in this case. (I didn't believe in Barkov as a Top 3 pick back in 2013 - ranked him 13th) and from what I'm seeing, Zacha probably shouldn't be in the top 10 in this draft. However, that doesn't mean he still can't be a very solid top-6 or top-9 guy. Picking him in the 11-20 range should be really good value. He also kind of reminds me of Radek Bonk.

    #13 - Kyle Conor - Youngstown, USHL

    Upside - 2nd line Offensive Forward

    Comparable - Nikita Kucherov

    Report : Has phenomenal straight-away speed and acceleration, is crafty and elusive. Is a player that works hard and is defensively aware even though you can tell he's just thinking about the next opportunity he can use his speed to break up the ice again. He can check though he's not particularly efficient in that regard. This is the type of player who's future success would be best served on the philosophy of the team that drafts him. A team that places speed and game-breaking ability at the forefront would be the best fit for sure. Probably tops out as a 2nd line forward.

    #14 - Thomas Chabot, Saint John, QMJHL

    Upside - Top 4 - 2-way D-man

    Comparable - Keith Yandle

    Report : Thomas Chabot is a smooth skating, 2-way puck moving d-man who compares really well to a player like Keith Yandle. He's got decent size, though he probably needs to fill out a little. I think this kid is a safe bet to be selected in the first round and I'd be pretty surprised if he wasn't taken between #12 and #20. I'd say his upside is probably that of a #2 d-man and his floor is probably that of a #5. I'd be surprised if he didn't end up somewhere in the middle after it's all said and done.

    #15 - Jansen Harkins - Prince George, WHL

    Upside - Top 9 - 2-way Forward

    Comparable - Zemgus Girgensons

    Report : I am a big fan of Jansen Harkins. I'm generally tougher on 2nd generation guys since I believe their road up to this point, could be thought of as 'easier' in certain situations (thanks to 'connections'). Regardless if that was the case or not for Harkins, his solid 2-way play totally won me over. He's the kind of player that can probably slot in anywhere in your top-9 and still play an excellent, defensively responsible game. My comparable for him is Zemgus Girgensons and I see him very much as that type of player. Harkins will need to work to improve his skating at the NHL level to be truly effective but I don't see it as something that will necessarily hold him back either. A really safe pick.

    #16 - Dylan Strome - Erie, OHL

    Upside - Top 9 Offensive Forward

    Comparable - Patrick Berglund

    Report : What's this? The top scorer in the OHL, who is draft eligible who EVERYONE has in their top-10 if not top-5 is listed at #16?? Yes, he is. I didn't know what to expect when I first started watching Dylan Strome, I was expecting him to be a lot like his brother. It could be a big coincidence but every single time I've watched him, I came away unimpressed. It's not that he doesn't have offensive ability, he has that part of the game down pat. It's everything else that has me questioning whether this kid is really a top 10 in this draft. Everytime I've seen him, he's been a step behind...whether that's getting into the correct position in the defensive zone or coming back and taking his man or checking down low on the cycle. Some of that can be taught, sure but there's also some of it that's directly related to 'compete' and that scares me if you're talking about a top-5 or even top-10 pick. To me, Strome has a higher bust % than anyone else I have rated going 1 through 15. I compare him to Patrick Berglund because he's the type of player that has very good size, is a pretty good skater and would appear to be the complete package but can never consistenly put it all together to be a force in the NHL. Is it possible that Strome puts everything together and becomes a talented #1 center? Yes. Is it possible that he struggles to put it all together and becomes a 3rd line center like Berglund. Yes. Is it possible that he struggles even more than that to make the NHL? Yes. That's the reason for my 'lower' ranking but I fully expect an NHL team to pick him in the top 10.

    #17 - Vince Dunn - Niagara, OHL

    Upside - Top 4 - 2-way D-man

    Comparable - Niklas Kronwall

    Report : Another one of my favourites from this draft, I really like what this kid brings. A very good skater who makes excellent decisions with the puck and moves the puck very well. These kinds of defensemen are at a premium in the NHL nowadays. While his upside is probably not as high as top pairing, he has an excellent chance at becoming a solid middle pairing d-man in the NHL. His style reminds me of Niklas Kronwall.

    #18 - Evgeni Svechnikov - Cape Breton, QMJHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd line 2-way Forward

    Comparable - Alex Burmistrov

    Report : I think the comparable in this case is very, very appropriate as there is a body of work with this player that you can see that if he puts it all together, he could really be something special. I always felt the same way about Alex Burmistrov but for some reason, he always seems to leave you wanting a bit more. From what I've seen from Svechnikov this year, he would likely top out as a 2nd or 3rd line center and there's still really good value in that in the 2nd half of the first round where he's very likely to be selected.

    #19 - Timo Meier - Halifax, QMJHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd line Scoring Winger

    Comparable - James Neal

    Report : Timo Meier is an interesting an interesting prospect. I've seen this kid for a couple of years now and I was actually surprised to find out that he was 6'1 and over 200lbs. For whatever reason, I thought he seemed smaller than that. Regardless, he's got some really good skill and a lot of ability but I tend to have a bit of an issue with his intensity. I don't see top line upside but he could still make an impact as a top-9 guy.

    #20 - Travis Konecny, Ottawa, OHL

    Upside - 2nd line Scoring Winger

    Comparable - Bryan Little

    Report : Konecny seemed to have had an up and down year. After watching him play for Canada as an underager in the 2014 Under 18 tournament, my expectations were sky high for him. He's still got the talent to be a first round pick and while his road to the NHL might take longer than some of the other talent in this year's draft, the wait should be well worth it for a team looking for a sniper. You're probably not looking at a top line guy but 2nd - 3rd line scorer is likely where he ends up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  3. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    #21 - Jeremy Roy - Sherbrooke, QMJHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing Offensive D-man

    Comparable - Ryan Ellis

    Report : Jeremy Roy is a very good prospect who could be an excellent pick in the 1st round. He's an undersized guy but makes up for it with his excellent puck moving abilities. I think the comparable in this case, Ryan Ellis is a good one as I see them to being very similar. I would expect Roy to take a while to develop just as Ellis did and end up a solid middle pairing guy.

    #22 - Filip Chlapik - Charlottetown, QMJHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd Line Forward

    Comparable - Cody Eakin

    Report : Chlapik reminds me of Cody Eakin. Like Eakin, he's a solid player who does a lot of little things right that can sometimes go unnoticed but he's got a great 2-way game. I don't think he ends up a top line forward but he's got a higher floor than most of the guys around this range. I see him as a 2nd or 3rd line player and that's good value in the later part of the first round.

    #23 - Nikita Korostelev - Sarnia, OHL

    Upside - Top 9 - 2-way Forward

    Comparable - Wayne Simmonds

    Report : Another one of my favourites in this year's draft. People seem to have a wide variance of opinion on Korostelev but to me, he's one of a handful of players who's game will really translate over to the pros. His upside is tough to gauge because he's really raw as a prospect but I see a guy who will likely fit anywhere on a team's top-9. He will likely need more development time and while I expect him to be a lower pick (anywhere from low 2nd to 4th round pick). In the end, I see Korostelev ending up on a 2nd or 3rd line, providing a solid 2-way game while being hard to play against.

    #24 - Jordan Greenway - US NTDP, USHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd Line Power Forward

    Comparable - Kevin Hayes

    Report : I'm a big fan of Jordan Greenway. He's a big kid who's shown enough to suggest that they is still a lot more to come. He's a decent skater with good size who will engage the physical play. I feel he's got underrated playmaking abilities. I do believe he's a ways away though so anyone expecting him to make an impact soon, would probably be disappointed. I feel this player has good upside, likely tops out as a 2nd line winger but can probably adapt and play anywhere in the lineup and that's where the true value is.

    #25 - Brendan Guhle - Prince Albert, WHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing D-Man

    Comparable - Alex Goligoski

    Report : I'm surprised at how low this player is generally ranked, I think he's better than his ranking. While he may not have top pairing upside, by watching the way this player skates and moves the puck, I think he definitely has a shot at being a top-4 d-man in the NHL at some point if his development stays on par for the course. He will likely be picked anywhere from 2nd to 4th round but I think he'll be a steal. One of my favourites.

    #26 - Ilya Samsonov - Magnitogorsk, KHL

    Upside - Starting / Backup Goaltender

    Comparable - Semyon Varlamov

    Report : I really liked what I saw from Samsonov during the U18 tournament. He reminds me of Varlamov since he's pretty athletic and has good size. He also seems to rebound well after letting in a goal and not let him get him down which is pretty important. I expect a team needing a goaltender to take a chance on him in the first round. Goaltenders are tough to gauge though but he seems to have everything you'd want in a starter.

    #27 - Colin White - US NTDP, USHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd Line 2-way Forward

    Comparable - Craig Smith

    Report : There are a lot of people who are extremely high on Colin White, I've seen a lot of him and I'm not seeing the kind of upside that a lot of people seem to. However, that doesn't mean this kid can't be a solid NHL player. Like the comparable I have for him, Craig Smith is much unheralded but he does his job and is a valuable part of that Nashville team. I see Colin White becoming that kind of player. Good value for late 1st round.

    #28 - Oliver Kylington - Farjestad, SHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing D-man

    Comparable - Michael Del Zotto

    Report : Kylington is an intriguing prospect. There is a lot to like and there is also a lot to be wary of when you're talking about this guy. He's an excellent skater and pretty good puck mover. Defensively though, he needs a lot of work and I think that's the main reason why he's dropped so much over the past year. If he can shore up that part of his game significantly, the value is fantastic in the later part of the 1st round. I see him as a guy who likely tops out as a middle pairing guy but could end up anywhere between a #3 to a #6 on the depth chart.

    #29 - Brock Boeser - US NTDP, USHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd Line Sniper

    Comparable - Brad Boyes

    Report : He's a big time goal scorer for sure and has a knack for finding the back of the net, depending on who selects him and what kind of playmaking center they can match him up with, it could be a dynamic combination. My comparable is Brad Boyes because that's who he reminds me of when he sets up in the offensive zone...a lot of similarities there. Opinions are pretty much across the board on this guy but for a team looking for a pure sniper, there is good value late in the first round. I think he's got a shot as a top-6 guy but it's really not guaranteed. He could adapt his role and be a valuable 3rd line player.

    #30 - Parker Wotherspoon - Tri-City, WHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing Defensive D-man

    Comparable - Karl Alzner

    Report : I was thrilled with his play as a 16 year old playing top line duties for the Tri-City Americans. While I still very much like this player and what he's shown, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the strides he made this year in comparison to all the other prospects in the draft. I guess I was just expecting a bit more from him but he's still likely going to end up a very solid 2nd round pick who has some real upside to possibly become a middle pairing d-man.

    #31 - Nick Merkley - Kelowna, WHL

    Upside - 3rd line Playmaking Forward

    Comparable - Steve Downie

    Report : A lot of people see 'star' value with Nick Merkley and I will admit that he's an intriguing prospect. To me it just comes down to the fact that I don't see him translating into a top-6 forward at the NHL level. Could he be a really good, 2-way playmaking winger on a 3rd line on some team at some point? Absolutely but I don't believe in selecting players I've identified as topping out as 3rd-4th line upside in the first round. Merkley really reminds me of Steve Downie and no, not the 'cheap shotting Steve Downie' but the underrated playmaker Steve Downie. The guy who can be physical, get under opponent's skin all the while setting up a teammate for a tap-in goal. (At least, that's what he was with the Avalanche) I see Merkley a lot like that, without the cheap stuff. I think that he ends up in the NHL but I think his upside is limited.

    #32 - Joel Eriksson Ek - Frolunda, SHL

    Upside - Top 9 - 2-way Forward

    Comparable - Eriksson-Ek reminds me of Michal Frolik and I think there's a good chance that he ends up with the same kind of career path. A lot was expected of Frolik as a top 10 pick in 2006 and he had to adjust his game but now is widely considered one of the best 3rd line forwards in the NHL. I could really see Eriksson-Ek become that kind of player. I'm not certain his offense translates over to become a top-6 guy but I think he's got all it takes to adapt his role and become an important player in the top-9.

    #33 - Jacob Larsson - Frolunda, SHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing D-man

    Comparable - Andrej Sekera

    Report : Could be a late bloomer, he has all the size and skating ability you need to be successful, he just seems to leave you wanting more. He's a bit of a tough one to gauge because if is he just a bit behind in his development, this is the kind of player that could leave everyone wondering what the hell scouts were thinking and how come he was only a 2nd round pick. Very much a boom or bust player, he's either what you currently see is what you get or he takes off and becomes a 2nd round steal. He reminds me of Andrej Sekera and if he ends up with the same career path, he could be a huge steal in the early 2nd round.

    #34 - Brandon Carlo - Tri-City, WHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing Defensive D-man

    Comparable - Matt Greene

    Report : Oh you know some team is going to jump on Brandon Carlo early on June 26th, it's going to happen. There is too much of a body of work for some team dreaming of a home run kind of pick for it not to happen. Doesn't mean it will be the wisest of decisions but it could still turn out to be pretty good. I think some scouts could very well see Carlo as a big, mean, nasty version of Shea Weber and decide to make that pick, between #12 and #20 in my estimation. While I really like what Carlo brings, I'm not sure how much more he will develop. My comparable for him is Matt Greene, who is a steady d-man ranging anywhere from #4 to #6 on most teams rosters and I think that's a likely scenario for Carlo. I will say that this players' floor is higher than most, meaning that the chances he makes the NHL even as a bottom pairing guy are excellent.

    #35 - Caleb Jones - US NTDP, USHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing 2-way D-man

    Comparable - Trevor Daley

    Report : I am a pretty big fan of Seth's little brother even though he doesn't really play a lot like his big bro. I think that overall Caleb Jones is underrated. He plays a solid, 2-way game and while he'll likely never wow anyone with his offensive skills, he still makes smart plays and is a pretty good defender. I feel like he's at the very start of his development and there is still a lot to go. He will likely end up a 3rd of 4th round pick but I think he'll eventually make the NHL in some capacity. My comparable is Trevor Daley because he's about the same size and is a very good skater like Daley. I think his upside is probably middle pairing to depth d-man.

    #36 - Daniel Sprong - Charlottetown, QMJHL

    Upside - Top 6 Winger or Bust

    Comparable - Ales Hemsky

    Report : Daniel Sprong is a pretty solid prospect but to me he's pretty much the epitome of the classic boom or bust prospect. He's got a lot of skill, he can score, he can setup his teammates although he doesn't use his teammates enough, in my opinion. The guy can flat out fly, he reminds me of Phil Kessel when he skates though that's likely where the comparisons end. I think it's top-6 forward or bust with this guy and there is certainly some risk with this pick. Early second round is pretty good value at this point though. My comparable is Ales Hemsky, a guy with tons of talent who always seems to leave you wanting more. Not convinced Sprong ends up as good as Hemsky though.

    #37 - Gustav Bouramman - Sault Ste. Marie, OHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing Power Play Specialist

    Comparable - Anton Stralman

    Report : I only had a few viewings of Gustav Bouramman but I liked what I saw. He played on a very deep team, so sometimes it can be misleading. He's a little undersized but doesn't really look like it on the ice. His style reminds me of Anton Stralman so while he's not really flashy he certainly gets the job done. He's fairly good skater and efficient puck mover. He's excellent on the power play. I think he'll end up as a 2nd or 3rd round pick and his upside is likely a #4-#6 d-man.

    #38 - Nicolas Meloche - Baie Comeau, QMJHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing 2-way D-man

    Comparable - Jeff Petry

    Report : Has a Brent Seabrook type of style but to make that kind of comparison at this point would be a pretty big stretch. He really needs to improve his speed and footwork and keep developing and if that happens, teams could be looking at a steal, likely in the 2nd round with Meloche.

    #39 - Ryan Pilon - Brandon, WHL

    Upside - Middle Pairing / Bottom Pairing 2-way D-man

    Comparable - Marco Scandella

    Report : I've seen Ryan Pilon ranked in the 1st round on some lists but I think that's a bit of a stretch. He's a pretty good defender though when it comes right down to it. My comparable for Pilon is Marco Scandella and I think that's a pretty good fit. Plays a solid, safe and consistent game and that's what I think a team drafting Pilon will get if continues on and develops the way he should.

    #40 - Paul Bittner - Portland, WHL

    Upside - 3rd / 4th Line Power Forward

    Comparable - Jordan Nolan

    Report : To me Paul Bittner is your prototypical 3rd line, big power winger. I don't think his skills will translate into a top-6 forward but his floor is relatively high in the sense that's a pretty safe bet to make an NHL roster at some point. At this point in the draft, picking a guy who has a pretty good shot at the NHL that can skate with that size is good value.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  4. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Post reserved for Player evaluations 41-to-HM (to be added later tonight) (make that tomorrow morning, too tired)

    #41 - Jake Debrusk - Swift Current, WHL

    Upside - 2nd / 3rd Line Offensive Forward

    Comparable - Jiri Sekac

    Report : I'm certainly not as high on Jake Debrusk as many apprear to be. I think he's a solid pick up as a 2nd round pick but I’m not sold on him being a first round pick, not in this draft. Debrusk has a good combinaion of hands and offensive ability but I don't see it translating to the NHL. Perhaps it does but there's a fairly good chance it doesn't and the element of risk with this particular player in my opinion is why he's a better pick in the 2nd round. I see him as having an outside shot at a top-6 role and I'm not certain he'd adapt very well beyond that.

    #42 - Thomas Novak - Waterloo, USHL

    Upside - 2nd Line Playmaking Center or Bust

    Comparable - Antoine Vermette

    Report : Thomas Novak is a very good skater and an even better playmaker. I think he tops out as a 2nd line center and that's if he makes it. I don't see him as a depth player so it's either he makes it in that role or he doesn't. A lot of things will need to go right for him to develop into that, first and foremost he needs to get bigger and stronger. I won't be surprised if someone takes him in late in the first round. Decent risk to take at this point in the draft.

    #43 - Roope Hintz - Ilves, SM-Liiga

    Upside - 3rd / 4th Line Defensive Forward

    Comparable - Chris Kelly

    Report : One of the best hockey names in the draft. This guy is a really good skater and plays a hard, north-south game but to me he flags more as a depth forward on the bottom 2 lines than a top-6 guy. He could end up a valuable utility player that could slot in on the 2nd line if injuries occur. He'll likely be picked as a late 2nd-early 3rd round pick but I think he's got a pretty good shot at the NHL.

    #44 - Christian Jaros - Lulea, SHL

    Upside - #4 to 6 - Depth Defenceman

    Comparable - Mark Fayne

    Report : I really like this kid and I think he's fallen under the radar quite a bit. Passed over in last year's draft, he's still a few years away from the NHL spot but has good upside. He'll never put up a ton of points but could be a solid #4-6 guy in 3-4 years.

    #45 - Nicolas Roy - Chicoutimi, QMJHL

    Upside - 3rd / 4th Line Defensive Forward

    Comparable - Brandon Sutter

    Report : The epitome of North-South player who may not have top 6 upside but is a big bodied presence who is solid on faceoffs, a good skater and checker. A player that is hard to play against, could end up as a solid 2-way 3rd line center.

    #46 - Erik Foley - Cedar Rapids, USHL

    Upside - 3rd / 4th Line 2-way Forward

    Comparable - Chris Higgins

    Report : Foley is another prospect who could surprise if he continues to develop. He's a pretty good skater and good all-around player. I don't see top-6 upside with this player but if he's the kind of guy that can adapt to being a 3rd or 4th line player, he could be a pretty good pick at this spot.

    #47 - Rasmus Andersson - Barrie, OHL

    Upside - #4 to 6 - Depth Defenceman

    Comparable - Marek Zidlicky

    Report : My comparable for Rasmus Andersson is Marek Zidlicky and he would be extremely fortunate if he could follow the same career path. If you remember, Zidlicky started out as an offensive d-man that gradually adapted his game and his role to that of more of a 2 way guy. I'm not as high on Andersson as a lot of people and I'm not convinced his offensive abilities will translate over to the pros. At the middle part of the 2nd round though, it's a good gamble.

    #48 - Travis Dermott - Erie, OHL

    Upside - #4 to 6 - Depth 2-way Defenceman

    Comparable - Nick Leddy

    Report : I think Dermott improved his draft stock with Erie's fantastic season this year. I've seen him rated in the first round and I can't really get behind that but later in the 2nd round seems like decent value. I see his upside anywhere from #4 to #6 but I find myself leaning more towards depth d-man.

    #49 - Alexandre Carrier - Gatineau, QMJHL

    Upside - #4 to 6 - Depth Puck Moving Defenceman

    Comparable - Jared Spurgeon

    Report : Undersized but is a very good puck mover - his game needs more maturity but could be a shrewd selection if he continues to develop the right way.

    #50 - Anthony Richard - Val D'Or, QMJHL

    Upside - 3rd / 4th line Forward

    Comparable - Brad Marchand

    Report : He isn't very big but gets into the dirty areas to score. Out of all of the smaller players rated in 2nd-3rd rounds, I can see him scratch and claw his way into an NHL lineup at some point. Has good skills and elevates his game in the playoffs.

    HM - Jeremy Bracco, US NTDP, USHL

    Upside - 2nd Line Forward or Bust

    Comparable - Jordan Schroeder

    Report : With some players, size is less of an issue depending on how they play the game, with Bracco I do believe it will hold him back. I see him a lot like Jordan Schroeder and I think his NHL upside is limited. However, he's an outstanding playmaker and an extremely smart player so it certainly is possible but I don't see it.

    HM - Anthony Beauvillier, Shawinigan, QMJHL

    Upside - 2nd Line Forward or Bust

    Comparable - David Desharnais

    Report : I was actually surprised to find out that Beauvillier is actually 5'10" or 5'11" because I thought he looked a bit shorter than that after watching him play. He's got a lot of skill to be sure and I think he'll be a really good pro player but I'm not at all convinced that will be at the NHL level. To me he's got "top AHL scorer and NHL call-up" sort of feel to his game. I'm sure, a lot of people would disagree with that assessment but I gotta call 'em like I see 'em.

    HM - Noah Juulsen - Everett, WHL

    Upside - Bottom Pairing 2-way D-man

    Comparable - Jonathon Blum

    Report : Juulsen is a solid player with a good combination of skills, however, I see his upside as a depth defenceman, hence the honorable mention rating.

    HM - Radovan Bondra - HC Kosice, Slovak

    Upside - 3rd Line Forward or Bust

    Comparable - Milan Michalek

    Report : Radovan Bondra is a huge winger who reminds me of Milan Michalek in terms of playing style. This is another kind of boom or bust player at this point.

    HM - Vladimir Tkachev- Quebec, QMJHL

    Upside - 2nd Line Offensive Forward or Bust

    Comparable - Steve Sullivan (in his prime)

    Report : "Vladdy Hockey" (a play on Johnny Gaudreau's nickname of "Johnny Hockey") as he acquired that nickname this past season, is a player I just love. It's pretty impressive to see a kid his size play the way that he does and actually control and dictate play as much as he does during games. He's got tons of skill and is a fearless competitor. I don't usually advocate using a high pick on 19-20 year olds and I really doubt he gets picked before the 3rd round but this guy could be a gamble that pays off in spades. He will likely require more time than the average prospect and will need to put on some weight and gain some strength but if this kid can stay healthy, he's got a really good shot at making the NHL and being a pretty good player as well. My comparable is Steve Sullivan and I think it's a good one in the sense that it took Sullivan some time to work his way into an NHL lineup and given top-6 responsibilities but when he did, he ended up carving a really nice career for himself.

    HM - Erik Cernak - HC Kosice, Slovakia

    Upside - Bottom Pairing 2-way D-man

    Comparable - David Savard

    Report : Like his comparable David Savard was, Erik Cernak is a bit of a project. He's still got a lot to work on but when you watch him, there is definitely something there. He's still very raw and still has a lot of developing to do but if he reaches his full potential, he could be an excellent pick. There's definitely a projection to be made with this player...pretty much a boom or bust prospect.

    HM - Alexander Dergachyov - St.Petersburgh, MHL

    Upside - Top 6 Scoring Forward or Bust

    Comparable - Valeri Nichushkin

    Report : There are no ifs ands or buts, this guy is huge and has a ton of ability. Will he be bringing his game to the NHL? Good question. He could drop way down to lower rounds if teams aren't sure he'd make the move. Great player though, I like him the most out of the other higher ranked Russians (Guryanov, Gavrikov). Pretty much a boom or bust guy. If he makes it and reaches his potential, look out!

    HM - Michael Spacek - Pardubice, Czech

    Upside - 3rd Line Center or Bust

    Comparable - Mike Fisher

    Report :Another player I was really excited about having watched him as an underage player in the U18 in 2014. Seeing him this year, it just seemed like the rest of the field kind of caught up to him. Still, there is a lot to like with this guy and I think he could be a later round steal. Like my comparable for him Mike Fisher, Spacek is a player who is pretty much good at everything but doesn't excel at any particular part of the game. If he reaches his potential, he could be a very good yet unheralded player.

    HM - Dennis Yan - Shawinigan, QMJHL

    Upside - 3rd Line Winger or Bust

    Comparable - Clarke MacArthur

    Report : Dennis Yan is a pretty good all around player who should end up a 2nd or 3rd round pick. He's an excellent skater and solid offensive contributor. He's definitely going to need to fill-out to make an impact at the pro level.

    HM - Mitch Vande Sompel - Oshawa, OHL

    Upside - Bottom Pairing Puck Moving D-man

    Comparable - John-Michael Liles

    Report : He's a very good puck mover but is undersized for a d-man which could very well limit him at the next level. He reminds me of John-Michael Liles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  5. Avs_19

    Avs_19 Registered User

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    Always enjoy these. Usually some against the norm but you've been proven right with those before.
     
  6. Jayevs

    Jayevs Formerly avsman

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    Well you must be friggin ecstatic the Avs might get Crouse at 10
     
  7. VikingAv

    VikingAv Mediiic!!

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    Balls, man. Balls. Glad to see that stil exist in today's world of scouting.

    Got a short comment on Guryanov?
     
  8. dahrougem2

    dahrougem2 Registered User

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    Couldn't agree more on Strome. I don't buy that he'll be a great forward in the NHL one bit.
     
  9. Nihiliste

    Nihiliste Registered User

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    Nice list. I agree on Zboril and Korostelev. The fact that people have Korostelev ranked in the 2nd and sometimes even 3rd round is mindblowing to me - hopefully we can steal him in either one.
     
  10. henchman24

    henchman24 Mr. Meeseeks

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    Good to see we are high on similar players (Hintz, Harkins, Crouse, Chlapik, Korostelev, Zboril). :yo:

    White is too low though. ;)
     
  11. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Tons of skill but seems enigmatic to me...seems to play only when he wants to. Could be an excellent player but admittedly I have issues with players that seem to have everything going for them as far as the complete package (size, skating, IQ) but don't put forth that's required consistently.

    Watched him at the Under 18s and in particular that game against the Swiss where the Russians were beaten soundly 5-0 and I was watching him closely, hoping for him to show me something, anything and the only guy on that team that seem to give his full effort was the goalie Samsonov.

    I'd pick Dergachyov ahead of Guryanov but that's just me.
     
  12. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    I figured you might say that...wait for my write-up though and I think you'll get more where I'm coming from...though you still might not agree with me. lol
     
  13. R S

    R S @avs_tweets

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    Huh.

    Guhle as a 1st rounder? Definitely don't see that. He's 20th on my WHL list let alone 25th overall.
     
  14. S E P H

    S E P H @SEPH_WHL

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    I am a HUGE Finnish Aho fan, but that is crazy for him being a top 20, let alone just outside of top 10.

    Fortunately I like crazy.
     
  15. henchman24

    henchman24 Mr. Meeseeks

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    I don't think you'll find many people as high on him as me (though I know realistically where he should go)... I know I am biased. :nod:

    Ryan Callahan 2.0
     
  16. StayAtHomeAv

    StayAtHomeAv Registered User

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    Good job man. Really like some of the "ballsy" picks- Strome, Meier, Chlapik, Greenway, Hintz, Dergachyov

    I must say though, I think you missed big time with Guryanov and Roslovic by not having them in the top2 rounds.
     
  17. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Thanks for the comments, I have completed the individual player reports. (above)
     
  18. Jarey Curry

    Jarey Curry Avalanche of poop

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    Would you have interest in doing a revisit for 15' draft class top 10?
     
  19. Bender

    Bender TheHockeyProspector

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    Others can have fun doing that if they want, I don't really see the purpose. Guys will develop at different rates and not all will have the same opportunity because of the teams that drafted them.

    While you can sometimes get a 'feel' for the way things are trending for certain players 1-2-3 years after they are selected, it is still far too early to know what you have until much later on, imo.
     
  20. dahrougem2

    dahrougem2 Registered User

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    I think the Aho prediction is coming alone nicely.
     
  21. Avs_19

    Avs_19 Registered User

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    Damn. Bender might have nailed the Aho ranking. Looks like he belongs closer to the top 10 than where he was drafted. Nicely done.

    Hopefully your Jost ranking for the 2016 draft ends up looking correct as well. :naughty:
     

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