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Draftin Europe September Ranking

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10-06-2016, 11:57 AM
  #1
nki
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Draftin Europe September Ranking

These September rankings were published on September 20th (time of publish can be verified via our twitter), we took some time to set up a basic webpage and finalize some things before announcing the rankings today. Our rankings only pertain to prospects playing in Europe (i.e. they work in a similar way to Central Scouting's Europe list). Since this particular ranking was released just when NA leagues were about to start with regular season play, Hischier, Samorukov, Jokiharju and Ruzicka managed to make their final appearance on our list.

As of now, we feel there isn't a clear cut #1 from Europe and clearly you'd be better off not expecting a Matthews or a Laine level of player this year. In fact, in our eyes the best prospect coming out of Europe is eligible for next year's draft. Rasmus Dahlin was already our top rated prospect for 2018 based on last year's showings and this season's viewings only further cemented his status.

However, the depth of this year's Europe-based class seems to be more of a strength. Players like Martin Necas (a player we already had as a 1st rounder on our pre-Hlinka ranking) should add some additional firepower to the draft, playing in a league that doesn't have a 1st rounder selected since Tomas Hertl in 2012.


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10-06-2016, 11:58 AM
  #2
nki
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To introduce ourselves... some of you might already be familiar with me from my 2015 scouting thread, some might not. Either way, after completing that season-long project I worked to gain additional experience and also placed a bigger emphasis on live viewings. I consider Hockeyprospect.com the best scouting service out there, so that's where I directed my interest. Throughout 2015-2016 I had the pleasure of helping out their staff and doing some live scouting in Europe. Obviously they had other experienced scouts to rely on in that area and I believe having the opportunity to cooperate and exchange opinions with them allowed me to further improve as a scout.

That's where I also met Mik Portoni who has been a key European scout for them over the last couple of seasons. Based on my experience working with Mik, he possesses great depth and attention to detail when assessing player strengths and flaws and I am excited to start this new project with him. Our aim is to focus specifically on Europe-based prospects. Those are the ones we will also have the chance to scout live and we felt in the past prospects in Europe hardly received scouting coverage on-par with their NA counterparts.

Draftin Europe will produce a Europe-only publication, meaning we only scout prospects who have played in Europe. Our rankings of Euro based prospects are put together straight from the same people who did the extensive scouting on them throughout the season, which we think is significant. The rankings are a product of in-depth discussions that generate further analysis when differences arise in our evaluation. Safe to say they won't be rushed or lightly compiled.

At some point we will have a free midterm release which will provide a preview of what the final publication will look like. The mid-term preview is also when we expect to provide a major update of our current rankings. The final version of the publication will be released in June and will be available for purchase in order to make this a viable and sustainable project.

If you are interested in viewing our most recent 2018 top 5 or pre-Hlinka 2017 rankings, both can be accessed via our webpage or our twitter account/profile. That's about it for our introduction, we look forward to continue scouting prospects playing in Europe for the 2016-2017 NHL draft season.

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10-06-2016, 04:27 PM
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Ah, nevermind.

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10-06-2016, 06:57 PM
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Patmac40
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Enjoyed your work a couple years ago nki. Looking forward to seeing how they progress. Can't say I hate seeing Hischier first.

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10-06-2016, 10:31 PM
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ulvvf
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Hischier do not play in europe this season, so little confuse, is this a error or will you include european players that play in NA?

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10-07-2016, 01:12 AM
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Patmac40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulvvf View Post
Hischier do not play in europe this season, so little confuse, is this a error or will you include european players that play in NA?
From the first paragraph:
Quote:
Since this particular ranking was released just when NA leagues were about to start with regular season play, Hischier, Samorukov, Jokiharju and Ruzicka managed to make their final appearance on our list.
So they're on this list but won't be going forward.

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10-07-2016, 04:28 AM
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Interesting project, always cool to see more focus on european guys as they're very underscouted for the most part (in terms of actual media/mainstream coverage that is).

What makes you guys rate Hischier and Pettersson over Liljegren? You acknowledge both Hischier and Liljegren had an underwhelming Hlinka tournament yet Hischier gets propelled to the top while Liljegren sinks to #3? Pettersson has had a strong start to the season but I still think Liljegren is #1, at least for a little while ahead.

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10-07-2016, 04:30 AM
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Hischier over Liljegren is interesting to say the least.

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10-07-2016, 06:36 AM
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Davidsson over both Andersson and Vesalainen, i do not get. Andersson have been better than Davidsson at all level (superelit, shl and internationally).

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10-07-2016, 01:43 PM
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nki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmac40 View Post
Enjoyed your work a couple years ago nki. Looking forward to seeing how they progress. Can't say I hate seeing Hischier first.
Thanks, weíre looking forward to seeing how they progress as well.

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Originally Posted by ulvvf View Post
Hischier do not play in europe this season, so little confuse, is this a error or will you include european players that play in NA?
As mentioned, Hischier and others who are now playing in NA are featured for the last time on our rankings, since the ranking was released just at the time NA leagues were starting. This gave us an opportunity to rank some of the players weíve viewed for a long time, before they started their NA career.

Re specific player questions: Iíve been dealing with our internal database for most of the day, so Iíll get to the Liljegren, Andersson and any other player questions tomorrow. Happy to elaborate once I'm finished with DB work though.

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10-07-2016, 01:46 PM
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Where's Tolvanen?

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10-07-2016, 02:07 PM
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ulvvf
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Where's Tolvanen?
He plays in NA and will not be on this list

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10-07-2016, 03:11 PM
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Interesting list, thanks for sharing, surprised to see Liljegren slipping now.

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10-07-2016, 05:31 PM
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Patmac40
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Interesting list, thanks for sharing, surprised to see Liljegren slipping now.
Wouldn't put much emphasis on that. Was injured to start the year, has 2 goals to start J20

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10-08-2016, 04:31 AM
  #15
nki
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Originally Posted by sydion View Post
Interesting project, always cool to see more focus on european guys as they're very underscouted for the most part (in terms of actual media/mainstream coverage that is).

What makes you guys rate Hischier and Pettersson over Liljegren? You acknowledge both Hischier and Liljegren had an underwhelming Hlinka tournament yet Hischier gets propelled to the top while Liljegren sinks to #3? Pettersson has had a strong start to the season but I still think Liljegren is #1, at least for a little while ahead.
Weíre taking a look at their entire body of work, certain things we see in certain viewings or tournaments add to playerís file, what they do on ice usually either confirms or rejects certain notes we have on them and impacts their overall projection (and thus ranking).

First regarding Pettersson. We actually strongly considered placing him at the top, he has been a favorite of both me and Mik for a long time even before the season began. In terms of disagreements over either placement or evaluation, he has been one of the least contested prospects internally. Pettersson only really started producing at a high-clip after this ranking was released anyways, so his recent points production didnít play much of a factor in his ranking.

Regarding Liljegren. I have been a bigger proponent of placing him #1 on our pre-Hlinka lists than Mik who already had certain questions about his game. The first time I saw some quirks in his game I didnít like was at the U18s last year, but it wasnít enough to warrant displacing him from the top in my mind. His Hlinka performance and an additional pre-season live viewing we had confirmed certain things that we already had noted as concerns in our notes. Overall, he was taking too many risks and it flared up his at times questionable decision-making process. The one million dollar question, especially in light of his mono (it didnít impact our ranking, since it was published earlier than the news got out), is how much of these issues were due to him trying to do too much. Weíve seen him play much better, rankings-wise we could give him more time, but we also had some decision-making process question marks in his file even before his recent struggles happened. So thatís the big picture we had before making the #3 decision.

Hischier I have seen less than Mik who has seen tons of him and went to bat for him, but he is another player we both like. We feel he is a bit safer in terms of reaching his upside (which tops out as a very good player in his own right) than Pettersson or Liljegren at this point and as mentioned in our blog, he seems to have taken a step forward in terms of size and strength, which leading into this season were a bit of a concern.

Thereís a distinction between scouting whether a playerís performance shows something that impacts the long-term projection or whether itís just a momentary playing form that didnít bring any additional concerns. Overall, we had what we feel is a top 3 since before the season and at this stage we still view those players as very close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulvvf View Post
Davidsson over both Andersson and Vesalainen, i do not get. Andersson have been better than Davidsson at all level (superelit, shl and internationally).
If we had to pick one to win a game tomorrow, we would go with Andersson, but obviously thatís not what this is about and we believe Andersson is closer to the final product, physically as well.

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10-08-2016, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nki View Post
We’re taking a look at their entire body of work, certain things we see in certain viewings or tournaments add to player’s file, what they do on ice usually either confirms or rejects certain notes we have on them and impacts their overall projection (and thus ranking).

First regarding Pettersson. We actually strongly considered placing him at the top, he has been a favorite of both me and Mik for a long time even before the season began. In terms of disagreements over either placement or evaluation, he has been one of the least contested prospects internally. Pettersson only really started producing at a high-clip after this ranking was released anyways, so his recent points production didn’t play much of a factor in his ranking.

Regarding Liljegren. I have been a bigger proponent of placing him #1 on our pre-Hlinka lists than Mik who already had certain questions about his game. The first time I saw some quirks in his game I didn’t like was at the U18s last year, but it wasn’t enough to warrant displacing him from the top in my mind. His Hlinka performance and an additional pre-season live viewing we had confirmed certain things that we already had noted as concerns in our notes. Overall, he was taking too many risks and it flared up his at times questionable decision-making process. The one million dollar question, especially in light of his mono (it didn’t impact our ranking, since it was published earlier than the news got out), is how much of these issues were due to him trying to do too much. We’ve seen him play much better, rankings-wise we could give him more time, but we also had some decision-making process question marks in his file even before his recent struggles happened. So that’s the big picture we had before making the #3 decision.

Hischier I have seen less than Mik who has seen tons of him and went to bat for him, but he is another player we both like. We feel he is a bit safer in terms of reaching his upside (which tops out as a very good player in his own right) than Pettersson or Liljegren at this point and as mentioned in our blog, he seems to have taken a step forward in terms of size and strength, which leading into this season were a bit of a concern.

There’s a distinction between scouting whether a player’s performance shows something that impacts the long-term projection or whether it’s just a momentary playing form that didn’t bring any additional concerns. Overall, we had what we feel is a top 3 since before the season and at this stage we still view those players as very close.


If we had to pick one to win a game tomorrow, we would go with Andersson, but obviously that’s not what this is about and we believe Andersson is closer to the final product, physically as well.
Great read. Haven't really seen Hischier play but I agree with everything regarding the Swedish players you mentioned. What's your take on Dahlin? I know it's early, but where in the 2018 draft can you see him being picked?

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10-08-2016, 09:55 AM
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nki
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Great read. Haven't really seen Hischier play but I agree with everything regarding the Swedish players you mentioned. What's your take on Dahlin? I know it's early, but where in the 2018 draft can you see him being picked?
We have him at #1 for 2018 Euros. Overall as it relates to the entire draft, it's hard for me to say before getting a better read on NA crop, in a vacuum he feels like a top 3 pick to me. I can say we are both extremely high on the kid, to the point where if he were eligible this year, we'd easily rate him as the top prospect in Europe.

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11-24-2016, 06:15 PM
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As we're getting close to December, we felt it would be time to provide a little update of how things are playing out so far.

This review takes a look at rankings released by us, the NHL scouting consensus through the Bob McKenzie's list (as you know his list is derived by polling actual NHL scouts' opinions) as well as the service NHL Central Scouting provides.

Quote:
Since our last ranking was published almost two months ago, many other lists for the 2017 NHL Draft have come out, including Bob McKenzieís first of the season and NHL Central Scouting's preliminary assessment of this year's class.

Bobís list came out the day after ours and provides a benchmark for what the supposed scouting consensus was at the start of the CHL season.

When looking at those names the main thing that struck us was two players were missing from Bob's list: Nico Hischier and Elias Pettersson were right on top of our ranking but nowhere to be found there.
draftineurope.blogspot.com/2016/11/starting-points-review.html

You can read the whole review (where we talk several high-end Euro prospects) by clicking on the link above.

Certain early indications, like Nico Hischier and Elias Pettersson's level of play since we placed them as #1 and #2 respectively on our last released ranking back in September, lead us to believe we are on the right track. Their case, or Dahlin's whom we had as top 2018 pick before Hlinka even started, seem to suggest that our commitment to specifically scouting Euro-based prospects can help not only for more obscure prospects but also in properly weighing top talent.

As mentioned before, we will put out a free mid-term release including our updated rankings, tentatively scheduled for late January. The season is still long and the scouting notes we collect from our viewings keep growing thicker. You won't find those notes on the blog, but obviously they will form the core of our publication.

We look forward to what the next pair of months will bring to us as we keep working to provide a quality scouting service for Europe-based players.

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11-24-2016, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nki View Post
As we're getting close to December, we felt it would be time to provide a little update of how things are playing out so far.

This review takes a look at rankings released by us, the NHL scouting consensus through the Bob McKenzie's list (as you know his list is derived by polling actual NHL scouts' opinions) as well as the service NHL Central Scouting provides.



draftineurope.blogspot.com/2016/11/starting-points-review.html

You can read the whole review (where we talk several high-end Euro prospects) by clicking on the link above.

Certain early indications, like Nico Hischier and Elias Pettersson's level of play since we placed them as #1 and #2 respectively on our last released ranking back in September, lead us to believe we are on the right track. Their case, or Dahlin's whom we had as top 2018 pick before Hlinka even started, seem to suggest that our commitment to specifically scouting Euro-based prospects can help not only for more obscure prospects but also in properly weighing top talent.

As mentioned before, we will put out a free mid-term release including our updated rankings, tentatively scheduled for late January. The season is still long and the scouting notes we collect from our viewings keep growing thicker. You won't find those notes on the blog, but obviously they will form the core of our publication.

We look forward to what the next pair of months will bring to us as we keep working to provide a quality scouting service for Europe-based players.
Didn't realize before that you guys are formerly (or may still be associated) with HockeyProspect. I'll be paying closer attention to these from now on.

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11-24-2016, 10:06 PM
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nki you always had the most interesting analysis in regards to prospects than anything you usually get from this site glad to see you've followed through with an obvious talent

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11-25-2016, 09:53 AM
  #21
nki
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Didn't realize before that you guys are formerly (or may still be associated) with HockeyProspect. I'll be paying closer attention to these from now on.
Far from us wanting to distance ourselves from HockeyProspect, but we're not associated anymore. As you may have read already in the second post of this thread, Mik had been with them for the last few years and I worked with them last season. Obviously the work we did last year also came in handy when putting together our first rankings for Draftin Europe in August.

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nki you always had the most interesting analysis in regards to prospects than anything you usually get from this site glad to see you've followed through with an obvious talent
Thanks, really appreciate it!

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