It's all about balance of size, speed, skill, grit & scoring ability. When you can get all of these things in one guy you have a very good NHL player. It's why I think smaller players (5'10" or less) are behind it right off the bat simply because they need to have exceptional talents to make up for their lack of size. But the same holds true for big guys that lack skills, however, they can sometimes to find their niche on the lower lines if they can skate & play well defensively.
This is one of the things I like a lot about how Murray is building this team with a good combination of size, skill, speed, scoring & grit. Zibanejad & Silfverberg seem to have a lot of those qualities, Stone lacks speed but has most of the other qualities. Grant, Dzuirzynski & Klinkhammer have some of those qualities but lack the elite scoring. It's why players like Rick Nash, Spezza, Malkin, Getzlaf, Ryan, Thornton are so valuable they have it all.
For his part, Chiarelli discussed how he learned in Ottawa’s front office that a young prospect’s weight is a better predictor of NHL success than height. The Senators contracted with a university biology professor to analyze the effect of height and weight on whether a player succeeds as a pro.