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12-21-2011, 06:49 PM
Evgeny Oliker
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Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
Hockey's Future prospect ratings are notoriously flawed. I think you can make a case for Smith being the top prospect in the organization since Blum has already had to be sent down, and last night looked like he is still needing to work on his game. Ellis hasn't even made it up yet. Same with Latta. And I don't think Lindback can still be considered a prospect. He has been on the roster for a full season and then some even if he hasn't played a ton of games.

I'd like to give a quick reply to some of the comments on here since I wrote the top 20 article.

1. C.Smith - HF does not just rank based on NHL production. We also focus on the player's long term upside. In terms of that, I believe, and so do many other HF staff members, that his upside is that of a solid 50-60 point top 6 forward.
Even if you go by his NHL stats alone, after a very quick start he only has 2 assists in his last 6 games. I don't believe that 33 NHL games is enough by itself for him to become #1 on this list.
-The reason why he is below Blum, Ellis and Josi is because all 3 have top 4 upside. A top 4 defenseman is typically harder to find than a top 6 forward and they are very valuable in the NHL.
-Blum being sent down does not mean he is all of a sudden a bad player. Prospects often get sent down and recalled multiple times in their first few NHL seasons, its normal. They also often go through sophomore slumps.
-Ellis and Latta not playing in the NHL yet does not mean they won't eventually(both should).
-The reason why he is below Latta is because Latta brings more intangibles to the table. Latta is a better playmaker, better defensively, and more physical. In terms of points they should be close.

2. Lindback - According to HF rules he is still a prospect. He has not played in 45 NHL games and he is not 24 yet either.
-He was a hot topic among the HF staff. An argument could be made that he should be higher, yet he was moved up 2 spots already. However, he needs to play more NHL games to show what he is really capable of at the NHL level. Thus far his NHL stats are those of a backup...yet he does have some #1 upside.

While I am new to the HF staff, I still remember fondly not agreeing with some top 20 lists on HF. However, what I realize now as an HF staff member is that creating these lists is not easy. A lot of time and research goes into it. Also, keep in mind that this list was discussed in detail with all HF staff. I did move players around on this list many times before finalizing it since some of the input from other HF staff members was very valuable.

So while I appreciate the criticism, keep in mind the rankings are not a perfect science and there will ALWAYS be disagreement. Considering the main disagreement here is about 2 players(C.Smith,Lindback) out of 20, that's not too bad actually.

Also keep in mind that C.Smith moved up more spots than any other Predators prospect...from 13th to 5th. There is nothing that says he can't move up more in the future...

Last edited by Evgeny Oliker: 12-21-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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