Chasing the Draft – Consolidated Rankings

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

DRAFTTEAMPLAYERPOSHTWTGPGAPTS
1Blue JacketsConnor BedardC5’1018533394281
2DucksAdam FantilliC6’218722162339
3Black HawksLeo CarlssonC6’31943151318
4CoyotesMatvei MichkovRW5’1014814426
5SharksZach BensonF5’1015940254166
6CanadiensEduard SaleRW6’116833358
7CanucksBrayden YagerC6’016548203555
8BluesWill SmithC6’017236284169
9SenatorsDalibor DvorksiC6’1201274711
10Red WingsAndrew CristallLW5’1016536263662
11FlyersOliver MooreC5’1117637212647
12CanadiensCalum RitchieC6’218742192342
13IslandersColby BarlowLW6’118742362763
14SabresRiley HeidtF5’1117944194160
15CapitalsMikhail GulyayevD5’101701621618
16PredatorsAxel Sandin PellikkaD5’1118121131427
17Golden KnightsRyan LeonardC5’1118134252752
18KingsNate DanielsonC6’118545233355
19FlamesEthan GauthierRW5’1117644173148
20WildOtto StenbergF5’111812381220
21PenguinsMatthew WoodF6’31902791524
22RangersGabe PerreaultRW5’1117039354176
23JetsJayden PerronF5’815736151833
24OilersQuentin MustyLW6’220532123648
25AvalancheKasper HalttunenRW6’320724011
26LightningGavin BrindleyRW5’91572631417
27KrakenLucas DragicevicD6’218143134255
28RangersDavid ReinbacherD6’21873621719
29Maple LeafsCharlie StramelF6’321623549
30HurricanesDmitri SimashevD6’420115000
31DevilsCaden PriceD6’11814451924
32BruinsSamuel HonzakC6’318131172643

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.

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Chasing the Draft – January 27th Quick Update

By Bob Trask – With the NHL trade deadline only 36 days away a quick look at my initial draft order projections indicates that Montreal is in the #7 overall spot with their own pick and the #13 overall spot with Florida’s pick. The final order of draft, even if the clubs remained where they currently are, is still determined by the draft lottery. Two other major factors will influence how the Canadiens finish the season.

Cole Caufield’s season ending injury will have a big impact on an already anemic offense. The Habs are already the 4th worst team in xGF and subtracting a player who was on pace to score in excess of 40 goals could see them sink even further in the offensive rankings.

The trade deadline could also have a big impact. There is a chance that one veteran defenseman and two forwards could be plying their trade elsewhere in March and beyond. Teams will be looking to add productive players or highly desirable role players and if Montreal trades two or three of them it feels like the team would be weakened for the remainder of this year’s schedule.

The Habs also have the second toughest remaining schedule with only Buffalo facing stiffer competition for the remainder of the year.

One may be tempted to come to the conclusion that the Canadiens won’t put up points at the same pace as they did in the first half of the season. But other teams could similarly weaken their rosters in an effort to grab a high draft pick. When all is said and done, Montreal will have to stumble very badly to finish in the bottom 5. Anaheim, Arizona, Chicago and Columbus all look very weak. San Jose could climb in the standings if they could get some goaltending but the Vancouver situation is a mess and it remains to be seen if new coach Rick Tocchet can turn it around.

When it comes to Florida’s pick, it look less and less like it will be a top 10 choice. However, the Panthers are in a dog fight to make the playoffs and currently sit out of a wildcard spot. If they do miss the playoffs, the worst the Canadiens could do would be a #16 pick with a chance it could be better than that.

While there is always a chance in a lottery, Montreal is projected be choosing around #7 and #13.

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