Any of Jon Merrill, Jack Campbell, Austin Watson or Ryan Johansen at #3 or top 5? It's a bit unlikely but would not shock me out of my gourd since I know that each is rated in the top 6 of at least one NHL team.
How do you know that they are rated in the top 6 of an NHL team, and which team?
I agree that Weal gets seriously underrated. Whoever drafts him probably gets really lucky.
I agree too, I don't understand how the scouts can rank Granlund so high, yet Weal gets the short end of the stick, when they are both like the same size, and have very similar skill sets, Weal is a much better skater, maybe it's because Granlund has played well in a men's league.
Gman- I used to be a scout in the NHL (and elsewhere) and actively involved at other levels with juniors. I still keep contact with a number of people in the biz. They give me some hints as to what their think of certain players on the (very strong) condition that I don't make the name of their teams public. As I said in the opening post, a very poor man's Bob M.
Regarding Gudbranson- I know that I have him going lower than most. If I were a betting man I'd say he'll go top 10 for sure but you know I haven't met anyone who's REALLY high on him so I'm not bsure where all those top 5 ratings are coming from (yes, I've seen them too). I see him as being a very reliable top 4 guy but not someone I'd use a top top end pick on.
Weal- Yeah, I (and others) may eat crow on this guy in a few years. He's one I could see rising way above his draft 'station'. But yeah, I prefer Granlund (IQ at the pro level already impressive) and Schwartz (Smartest player all around in the draft?).
I enjoy your writing and appreciate what you've done. The offer of a beer would apply to should you happen to get out Vancouver way.
Curious about your thoughts on a couple of players. I'm not sure that one can say that Mike Gillis has any patterns or tendencies, given that he's only been in the job for a couple of years and has, presumably, gone after the next guy on their board (something the previous group should perhaps have considered instead of reaching). I digress...
My hunch is that barring someone unexpectedly falling - like Schroeder last year - that they'll be looking at a defenceman subject to him being BPA. The two names I'm curious about who may be available around there are Dylan McIlraith and Jarred Tinordi. If it came down to a scenario like this and both still available, could you make a case for one standing out above the other? Are they both likely to develop similarly?
McIlrath and Tinordi both have that air of menace about them but McIlrath seriously scares other kids- he's a once-in-ten-years imtimidator. There is a big difference though. McIlrath keeps puck movement simple, very simple, and the question is will he able to advance that part of his game? Tinordi on the other hand, can try to do too much with the puck and play above his comfort zone. Although it leads to gaffes scouts sometimes like to see this as you learn from your mistakes. But if both are on the board when I pick I might go with McIlrath because he has that air about him and now that he has a rep he'll learn to use time and space better. But while I know Tinordi has leadership qualities I'd like to know more about McIlrath's personality- when you draft tough guys it makes a huge difference if you know they are rock-hard superhero types and not psychos on skates.
Smith will make the NHL but almost certainly as a hard-working 3rd or 4th liner. He's not pretty but he makes his presence known. Look up the word 'trenches' in the dictionary and you'll see his face. Martindale I would take later- he just seems to lack focus and intensity (and this seems to be a uniform complaint about him). I've seen too many good size/good skill/can score players who have little intensity plateau at the AHL level.
A real, real longshot to make the jump? I imagine it would be a hard-working two-way smart forward from the CHL, so how about Michael Bournival? Or Ryan Spooner- perhaps the player most similar to O'Reilly (and a better skater).
Great thread. What are your thoughts on Alex Petrovic? I would have thought he'd make the list of top 40. Do you think that his game may have plateaued this year in junior and he won't be able to make the next step up to play in the NHL? I'm thinking the Oilers may look at him early in the second round They could use a big tough defenceman who also happens to be a local kid.
Responses to the last few questions-
I see Petrovic as a tweener. He's a hard rock guy but it seems that he wants to be a distributor/carrier at times too and it leaves him exposed. He's physically capable and I hear that he gets top shelf character points but I think he has to find those balances in his game- he can look a little lost when he extends himself. Still, the NHL needs crease clearing, strong character types. Mid 2nd round?
Alberthauser could be a surprise. He's better in IIHF play than in the Q. He's still awkward and gangly and on the verge of putting it all together. Late b-date too. Reminds me a bit of another big German in the Q recently, Dennis Riel. 3rd round?
Connolly at 15 is lower than most have him, I know. But I (and some others) are very wary of the fact that he lost almost a year of development so it's difficult to gauge how he has improved this year. I know that as a 16 year old he looked top 3-5 for 2010, but sometimes 16 yr olds drop in their draft year and we just don't know that about Connolly. Generally, you don't like to draft players based upon their 16 yr old sesaon using a top 10 pick.
It's always hard to rate draft quality overall or year-to-year because scouts are almost always comparing players inside the same year. I see it as a bit weaker than some recent drafts in 6-10. The eventual quality of this draft will be seen in whether, and how many, smallish guys make it from this collection- Granlund, Weal, Schwartz, Burmistrov, Skinner, Spooner, Hishon.
I think if Kuznetsov had played CHL this year you would have seen similar, or even superior, puck and playmaking skills and he's a little bigger than Burmistrov (who is quite physically underdeveloped). Also Burmistrov appears to be heading to the KHL this year so the Rusian factor affects him too. Note that most Russian watchers rate Kuznetsov ahead of Burmistrov and it would be hard to disagree if you looked only at international play.
Someone mentioned earlier that Weal's skating is 'much better' than Granlund's. I don't think so and I'm not sure the average fan is in position to make such a judgment and one veteran NHL scout I talked to agreed on this point. This scout said, "Weal is a good skater, a tricky skater but he's not explosive. He's not elite, although what he does have will expose the average WHL defenseman". Granlund, on the other hand... "Is not an elite skater but his skating is underestimated because he skates against seasoned pros. But he's very well-balanced and is strong on his feet, which are also quick in tight".
That sounds about right to me. This scout watched both play at the recent under 18s- one of the few times the two players have been anywhere near each other.
1. Beau Bennett - I have read that he is mainly a power play contributor and not much else. Have you seen him play? What do you think might be holding him back? What do you think is his potential in the NHL? top 6? 3rd liner?
2. Ivan Telegin - There is very little information around on him. Have you seen him play? What kind of skill set does he have? Who does he remind you of in the NHL? And again what kind of potential might he have in the NHL (top 6 or lower)?
3. Tom Kuehnhackl - Hard to find much on him as well. Have you seen him play? Do you feel he can make the NHL as a top 6 forward? What is his skill set?
4. Maxim Kitsyn - Again just would like to know more about him. Why do you feel he has consistency issues? What is holding him back? Does he have any outstanding skills? Do you think he is a legit top 6 NHL player in the future?
5. Can you name a few dark horse players that might still be around in the 3rd round? Maybe 1 North American forward and 1 European forward?
Tom Kühnhackl is the most underrated prospect in this draft. At least when it goes to the users here. He should be drafted at 15-25.
He will be a good 2nd line winger in soime years in the NHL, I am pretty sure.
Telegin- Buyer beware for me. When I saw him he was uncommited and always on the periphery, wating for scoring opportunities that others were trying to make. He looked like a less talented Mikhail Stefanovich.
Bennett- Actually he'll have to be the top 6 type. The guy can score. He has a great shot and a tremendous nose for the net. Uncanny at finding the open spots. Has that Tavares-like finishing quality. And he's a late and sudden riser.
Kuenhackl- Saw him only twice (at 4 nations). He seemed to be a very mature player, well-coached, well-rounded. He reminded me of Austin Watson. Actually, I was hoping for, or expecting, a little more flash.
Kitsyn- His commitment to playing outside of Russia is unknown. Russian ex-colleague says he plays better against weak competition and has not adapted as well against men despite having all the tools.
3rd round dark horses? I mentioned Bournival earlier. Q DF Gauthier-Leduc might be a good bet here too. Q players seem to mature later than O and W players (true of Finns it seems too) so a lot of Q players could be considered darkhorses. This makes the Q hard to scout (this is also a partial response to an earlier question). I'm betting that one of the goalies who is scheduled to go in this range will become a star but who? Maybe the Finn, Autik???? Also from Europe? Marcel Noebbels from Germany and Sorten Olden from Norway (playing in Sweden).