By Bob Trask – With another Saturday night in the books, the projected draft order of the teams continues to change as do the rankings of various players expected to go in the first round. Elite Prospects provides a consolidated ranking of the players that I will match up with my projected draft order to create a hypothetical scenario of how things could play out at the draft table
|1||Blue Jackets||Connor Bedard||C||5’10||185||33||39||42||81|
|3||Black Hawks||Leo Carlsson||C||6’3||194||31||5||13||18|
|10||Red Wings||Andrew Cristall||LW||5’10||165||36||26||36||62|
|16||Predators||Axel Sandin Pellikka||D||5’11||181||21||13||14||27|
|17||Golden Knights||Ryan Leonard||C||5’11||181||34||25||27||52|
|29||Maple Leafs||Charlie Stramel||F||6’3||216||23||5||4||9|
A word of caution when comparing offensive statistics. Some of these players are competing in high level men’s leagues like the KHL, the SHL and Liiga. Others are playing against junior A competition, major junior competition or in the NCAA.
Having said that, even if you exclude Bedard and Fantilli, there seems to be some offensive gems at various positions who could be available when the Habs turn at the podium comes up. A name like Lucas Dragicevic jumps off the page as a RD who creates offense. It makes you wonder if he would be a player the Habs would target if they could acquire one more mid to later 1st round pick. Another is RW Gabe Perreault who is scoring at nearly a goal per game pace in the USHL. While it’s not the strongest competition for draft eligible players, it still impressive.
A name that doesn’t appear on this list or in many first round rankings is 6’6 goaltender Michael Hrabal. The Czech native is currently playing in the USHL and if the Habs happened to draft him, they would have 4 more years before they would need to sign him.
As mentioned, this draft order is matched up against the consolidated rankings on Elite Prospects. There are many other services including FC Hockey, Bob McKenzie, Craig Button, Grant McCagg, McKeens, Dobber Prospects, Smaht Scouting and others that rank the players differently.
Check out Elite Prospects Draft Center for the top 32 picks that the various scouting services have on their boards and compare the rankings to your favourites.