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Old
12-21-2011, 07:24 AM
  #1
AtlantaWhaler
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HF finally updates our prospect rankings

Quote:
#1 Jonathon Blum, D
#2 Ryan Ellis, D
#3 Roman Josi, D
#4 Michael Latta, C
#5 Craig Smith, C
#6 Taylor Beck, LW
#7 Blake Geoffrion, LW
#8 Anders Lindback, G
#9 Austin Watson, RW
#10 Zach Budish, RW
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...lle_predators/

IMO, Smith, Lindback (still a prospect?) too low...Beck, Budish too high.

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12-21-2011, 08:44 AM
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Can't say I agree with C.Smith being ranked below Latta, considering Smith is actually putting up NHL points, while Latta is still in the AHL.

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Old
12-21-2011, 09:03 AM
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Marty Erat was rated a 5 on this site while Brian Finley was an 8.

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Old
12-21-2011, 01:06 PM
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Smith should easily top the rankings

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12-21-2011, 01:19 PM
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1. smith
2. blum
3. josi
4. lindback
5. ellis

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Old
12-21-2011, 01:26 PM
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Pekka Rinne was a 7.0C at one point. I specifically remember the phrase "his window is closing."

Har har, HF.

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Old
12-21-2011, 01:28 PM
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Just a guess: draft priority wings.

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12-21-2011, 02:15 PM
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Comical. The prospect ratings themselves are laughable as well.

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12-21-2011, 03:09 PM
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How about this for a line up of the Young Preds (>=1988 YoB)?

-- Forwards --
#7 Blake Geoffrion, LW ---- #5 Craig Smith, C ---- NR Colin Wilson, W
#6 Taylor Beck, LW ---- #4 Michael Latta, C ---- #9 Austin Watson, RW
________________ ---- NR Miikka Salomaki, F ---- #10 Zach Budish, RW
NR Matt Halischuk, W ----- NR Nick Spaling, C ----- __________________


---- ---- LD ---- ---- ---- RD ---- ----
#3 Roman Josi --- --- #1 Jonathon Blum
NR Mattias Ekholm --- #2 Ryan Ellis
________________ ---- ______________


-- G --
#8 Anders Lindback
NR Magnus Hellberg

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12-21-2011, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JawandaPuck View Post
How about this for a line up of the Young Preds (>=1988 BoY)?

-- Forwards --
#7 Blake Geoffrion, LW ---- #5 Craig Smith, C ---- NR Colin Wilson, W
#6 Taylor Beck, LW ---- #4 Michael Latta, C ---- #9 Austin Watson, RW
________________ ---- NR Miikka Salomaki, F ---- #10 Zach Budish, RW
NR Matt Halischuk, W ----- NR Nick Spaling, C ----- __________________

---- ---- LD ---- ---- ---- ---- RD ---- ----
#3 Roman Josi ---- ---- #1 Jonathon Blum
#NR Mattias Ekholm --- #2 Ryan Ellis
________________ ---- ______________


-- G --
#8 Anders Lindback
NR Magnus Hellberg
In all seriousness, that is an exceptional amount of talent. 4 legitimate defensive prospects that project as 2-4 type defensemen, two legitimate goalie prospects who project as potential starters, and a wide array of forward prospects both defensive specialists, two way players, and offensive threats. Why were we ranked so low by HF this year as an organization???

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Old
12-21-2011, 03:42 PM
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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.

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12-21-2011, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
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 08:20 PM.
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Old
12-21-2011, 07:42 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaWhaler View Post
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...lle_predators/

IMO, Smith, Lindback (still a prospect?) too low...Beck, Budish too high.
Agreed. Pay no attention to the insane HF ravings. I respect all of your opinions on hockey more than theirs.

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12-21-2011, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evgeny Oliker View Post
I'd like to give a quick reply to some of the comments on here since I wrote the top 20 article.

-snip-
That's fair. The way I see it as a Predators fan is that, while defensemen with top four potential may be harder to find, Nashville does not seem to have much trouble in that regard. Drafting offensively creative forwards has been an issue. For that reason, I would still argue Craig Smith is Nashville's top prospect. He is a piece that has been missing while Blum, Ellis, and Josi are not necessarily those pieces (but very good prospects in their own right).

Blum looked great in his first handful of regular season games and pretty good in the play offs. Of course, that was on a much more defensively responsible team with Rinne playing absolutely lights out. This year the team has not been the defensive team it has been in years past, and Blum's inexperience has shone through because of it. The same can be said for Josi, though his is a smaller sample size.

Ellis may have more upside, but I also think he has a much more difficult path to reaching that upside. His size is going to continue to be a concern. If he cannot find a way to be effective against bigger players then he will not be an effective top 4 defenseman. Rather, he will be used much like Franson was -- bottom pairing defenseman who specializes on the PP (of course, I think his offensive upside is faaaar better than Franson's).

Anyway, I appreciate the work. I know it must be tough to put together lists of prospects for every team, and you are right in saying there will always be disagreements. The sheer amount of effort involved is likely why these ratings come across as flawed.

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Old
12-21-2011, 08:22 PM
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Smith is on pace for 60 points....as a rookie....on an offensively challenged team....with a pure defensive system. He is making the jump straight from college, and anyone who has seen a handful of games would note he is one of our three best forwards.

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Old
12-21-2011, 10:59 PM
  #16
Evgeny Oliker
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thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
That's fair. The way I see it as a Predators fan is that, while defensemen with top four potential may be harder to find, Nashville does not seem to have much trouble in that regard. Drafting offensively creative forwards has been an issue. For that reason, I would still argue Craig Smith is Nashville's top prospect. He is a piece that has been missing while Blum, Ellis, and Josi are not necessarily those pieces (but very good prospects in their own right).

Blum looked great in his first handful of regular season games and pretty good in the play offs. Of course, that was on a much more defensively responsible team with Rinne playing absolutely lights out. This year the team has not been the defensive team it has been in years past, and Blum's inexperience has shone through because of it. The same can be said for Josi, though his is a smaller sample size.

Ellis may have more upside, but I also think he has a much more difficult path to reaching that upside. His size is going to continue to be a concern. If he cannot find a way to be effective against bigger players then he will not be an effective top 4 defenseman. Rather, he will be used much like Franson was -- bottom pairing defenseman who specializes on the PP (of course, I think his offensive upside is faaaar better than Franson's).

Anyway, I appreciate the work. I know it must be tough to put together lists of prospects for every team, and you are right in saying there will always be disagreements. The sheer amount of effort involved is likely why these ratings come across as flawed.
Those are very valid points.

I do agree that Nashville's strong suit as of late has been drafting great defensemen like Weber and Suter (they do pretty well with goalies too of course). However, it is also hard to predict what the future will hold. Let's say they are unable to re-sign one of Weber or Suter in the off-season. Then developing a few more top 4 defensemen sooner rather than later does become more important.

If you take a look at ice times, Weber and Suter average over 26 minutes per game. The next defenseman in ice time is Klein, with a 6 minute drop off to just 20 minutes per game. The next defenseman in ice time is Bouillon at 19 minutes. However, he is 36 years of age and a free agent to be in the off-season. So lets say for next season you take out Bouillon and one of Weber or Suter. That leaves you with the need for 2 top 4 defensemen to fill 45 minutes! Then developing one or two of Blum, Ellis or Josi to pick up those minutes becomes very critical.

So while I did try to take into consideration the Predators lack of highly talented forward prospects, I still feel the performance and upside of the prospects is more critical than just current team needs.

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Old
12-21-2011, 11:17 PM
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correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
Smith is on pace for 60 points....as a rookie....on an offensively challenged team....with a pure defensive system. He is making the jump straight from college, and anyone who has seen a handful of games would note he is one of our three best forwards.
I'm well aware of all of this sir.

However, a few things to keep in mind:

60 point pace - While that is correct, it does not mean he will finish with 60 points. For instance, in his first NHL game Derek Stepan had a hat trick and went on at a point per game pace for about 10 or so games. Immediately some assumed he would have some amazing 60-80 point rookie season. He finished with 45 points, which is decent but not 60. We all know what happened to Brunnstrom, who also had a hat trick in his first NHL game.
My point is its a long season and we can't assume much yet about C.Smith. In his last 6 games, Smith only has 2 points and if he continues at that pace, he won't hit 60 points.

Top 3 forward - I agree with that, he is top 3 on the Predators(1st in points among their forwards!). However, its on the Predators. You are talking about a team who does not have a single forward with 10 goals yet. So on Chicago or Philly for example he would be only #5 among forwards in points.

I want to point out I'm not trying to diminish what he has done. For any rookie to come in and lead his team's forwards in points is very impressive!

I am just pointing out that we can't assume too much from 33 games. We also have not seen Latta or Ellis in the NHL yet. Once we do, the picture will become a bit clearer. I believe by the end of this season these rankings will make a lot more sense...

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Old
12-21-2011, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evgeny Oliker View Post
In his last 6 games, Smith only has 2 points and if he continues at that pace, he won't hit 60 points.
2 assists in 6 games. 1 point per every 3 games. That's a nice, even cutoff.

Make that 7 games and it's 3 assists.

8 games, and it's a goal and 3 assists. 1 point per every 2 games.

9 games...that's 1 goal, 6 assists. 7 points in 9 games. Which is on pace for 64 points.

See...I can manipulate numbers, too.

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Old
12-21-2011, 11:38 PM
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...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
2 assists in 6 games. 1 point per every 3 games. That's a nice, even cutoff.

Make that 7 games and it's 3 assists.

8 games, and it's a goal and 3 assists. 1 point per every 2 games.

9 games...that's 1 goal, 6 assists. 7 points in 9 games. Which is on pace for 64 points.

See...I can manipulate numbers, too.
My point was not to manipulate numbers. It was to point out that rookies go through ups and downs in their rookie seasons. Even guys like Tavares had slumps during parts of their rookie seasons. Therefore, for C.Smith to reach 60 points this season, while not impossible, its not guaranteed.

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12-22-2011, 12:16 AM
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jesus, some of you are taking these rankings a bit too personally. I appreciate one of the guys who did the list actually showing up to discuss, and we are treating him like trash. bunch of wise guys here i guess.

anyway I am curious as to why the large gap between geoffrion and bourque? both seem destined for bottom 6 work.

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12-22-2011, 12:23 AM
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I agree, very good job coming here and discuss how rankings were done. Anyway, no matter how you look at them, short term, long term, Craig Smith should be number 1. He is great already and he will get better. He will be our top line player for many many years.

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12-22-2011, 12:46 AM
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thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by token grinder View Post
jesus, some of you are taking these rankings a bit too personally. I appreciate one of the guys who did the list actually showing up to discuss, and we are treating him like trash. bunch of wise guys here i guess.

anyway I am curious as to why the large gap between geoffrion and bourque? both seem destined for bottom 6 work.
Thank you sir! It really was not easy trying to create this list and it's fluid (the top 20 changes over time). It took a lot of time, research and debate(among HF staff).

Geoffrion vs. Bourque - First, I do agree that both are destined for bottom 6 roles. There are a few reasons why Geoffrion is a bit higher:
1. Size - Geoffrion is 6'1. Bourque is 5'9. Bourque is feisty and not afraid of physical play but will he be able to sustain that kind of play against much bigger and stronger players in the NHL (if so, would that lead to injuries?) ? NHL teams often prefer to have players with size in their bottom 6. It doesnt mean Bourque won't make the NHL. I just think Geoffrion has an easier path to getting there.
2. Production - We can't compare their NHL numbers yet since only Geoffrion has played in the NHL. However, comparing AHL numbers, Geoffrion has a clear edge. Geoffrion has 38 points in 48 AHL games(.8 per game). Bourque thus far has 49 points in 102 AHL games(.48 per game). This season Bourque only has 2 goals.

In general, I really like both players. Both are tough customers with some talent. Geoffrion is just more of the ideal bottom 6 forward in that he has the size to go with his physical play...


Last edited by Evgeny Oliker: 12-22-2011 at 12:52 AM.
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12-22-2011, 03:40 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever View Post
Pekka Rinne was a 7.0C at one point. I specifically remember the phrase "his window is closing."

Har har, HF.
To follow up my own post (and because I really want to rub this in), Rinne was actually a 6.0 C prospect.

As for the rankings themselves, I vehemently disagree with putting Latta ahead of Smith. Latta's AHL production is nice, but his scoring upside doesn't match Smith's. Smith has outstanding vision and puck skills that you simply cannot teach. I also disagree with the placement of Budish, who has lost two years of his development and been bypassed on the depth chart at Minnesota by several underclassmen. He has a lot left to prove. Geoffrion also should not be in the top ten. He has been projected as a productive third line player for most of his development curve, and this year has taken a serious step backwards. That doesn't strike me as a top ten prospect in many organizations, with the noted exception of Calgary, who never seem to have grasped the concept behind the draft.

I also would not have put Pickard in the top 20 at all, and probably not Roussel, either, certainly not ahead of Hellberg and Ekholm. Ekholm is the TOI leader for the #3 team in the Elitserien and might see his first WC duty with Sweden this spring, where Roussel is a mediocre over-ager in the Q. Ekholm has shown far more potential to this point and even got a taste of the NHL when Roussel couldn't even get himself an AHL job. That's pretty telling for a player's status within the organization. Pickard has been so utterly horrendous that he might not even get qualified this summer, and Hellberg is splitting starts on a mid-table Elitserien club and holding his own. He's only 22, but Pickard's upside has pretty much evaporated, where Hellberg is still developing and just now starting to hit his groove at 20.

Nashville has really done an incredible job of scouting Sweden. Hornqvist could almost be attributed to dumb luck as much as talent evaluation, but when a team has a group of prospects like Ekholm, Lindback, Hellberg, Cehlin, and Karlsson, that's a bang-up job of scouting. I would assume Janne Kekalainen is due a good chunk of the credit for that.

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12-22-2011, 04:05 AM
  #24
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I appreciate the reply, but can we honestly say that Craig smiths ceiling is what he is on pace for in his rookie year, on a defensively minded team, with a defensive coach who is notoriously rough with rookies, and who has made a jump straight from NCAA to the NHL? I find that hard to accept especially given his play at last years world championship. Further isn't this a potential rating? Is Craig smiths max potential 50-60 points 2nd line forward? Again, it bears noting he is already on top line producing at that pace. *shrug* put this guy on Toronto or Detroit or Chicago or an equally big market and I severely doubt he grades out so harsh.

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12-22-2011, 06:57 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by token grinder View Post
jesus, some of you are taking these rankings a bit too personally. I appreciate one of the guys who did the list actually showing up to discuss, and we are treating him like trash. bunch of wise guys here i guess.
This. If you agree or not, it's great that you're sticking around to explain. Biggest HF pet peeve of mine is when someone creates a thread or proposal and doesn't explain.

I do agree with Enoch's opinion of Smith. I think his performance in his ROOKIE has put him in #1, 13 spaces or not. No way he's already topped out.

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