TLN Consolidated 2016 Draft Rankings: April 12, 2016

Between the CHL playoffs, the Frozen Four, the OHL Draft, and the U18s starting next week, we haven’t seen many new rankings released. Both Draftbuzz Hockey and Hockeyprospect.com are still on their February 29th rankings and only ISS and McKeenshave updated since our last look at the Consolidated totals on March 22nd.

With the season now beyond us, the draft lottery 18 days away, our prospect profiles now underway (read about Matthews and Laine before you check back for more), and the NHL CSS (Central Scouting) releasing their final draft rankings, it’s as good a time as any for a refresher, knowing full well that at least 4 services will drop new rankings tomorrow to spite me.

THE DRAFT ORDER

The draft order is now one step closer to being finalized…

draftorder

The lottery team order is now set for the second through seventh rounds, and we have the order based on team standings. Right now the Leafs would be picking 1st and 27th in the first round, and I’m sure absolutely everyone would take that trade off of a lower pick from the Pens if it meant getting the first overall as well. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, and in a best case scenario where all four of the top seeded playoff teams are eliminated in the first two rounds, the Pens pick can climb up to 23rd. If the Pens are eliminated in prior to the conference finals they are basically somewhere in the 23-26 range, which is a little disappointing considering a few weeks ago the Pens were on the bubble for a spot at all. 

I guess it’s important to remember the trade off in this. While the pick acquired for Kessel isn’t as high as we’d like it to be considering the player that was given up, getting rid of Kessel likely moved the Leafs own pick up from being a top 10 pick heading into the lottery to one having the best lottery odds. That will either provide some relief or none at all if a team like Colorado sneaks into the 1st spot with a low odd lottery win.

Draft Lottery Odds

The actual overall odds for the Leafs winning the lottery are a 20% shot at 1st, %17.5 shot at 2nd, a 15% shot at 3rd, and 47.5% shot at missing out and drafting fourth. Below are the odds readjusted after the first round pick and the best and worst case scenarios if the Leafs still haven’t been selected after the 2nd pick…

lotteryodds1

Not until a 3rd pick best case scenario (of two low seeds winning) do the Leafs even reach a 1 in 4 chance of being selected. While having the best odds is great, and it’s certainly a reason to be more excited for Matthews, Laine, or Puljujarvi than other fan bases are, it’s still very much a time for cautious optimism and a reason for doing homework on the cluster of prospects available from 4-12 who will make up the best of the rest crowd.

THE CONSOLIDATED RANKINGS

consolidatedrankingsapr12

There are a number of interesting takeaways with these rankings.

  • Dubois looks like a lock to pass Alexander Nylander very soon, though Tkachuk still has a pretty firm grasp on 4th overall. If the NHL CSS rankings start a trend, Dubois could be the favourite for 4th overall by June.
  • Jakob Chychrun better have a great U-18 tournament because missing the World Juniors and Sarnia’s early playoff exit are not making him popular when Juolevi and Sergachyov have boxcar stats that leap off the page in comparison to his
  • Both McKeens and ISS have dropped Dante Fabbro from their Top 30 this month, and he’s quickly becoming a wonderful pipe dream for the Pens pick because of that. As you’ll see below, that’s still longshot because he’s still very much a part of that top 21 group before it drops off to descending chaos, where 22-30 are the current favourites, but it opens up to about 30 different players potentially going at any time between the late first and the close of the 2nd round.

TIERS OF THE FIRST ROUND

draftdropoffsApril

Looking at the consolidated rankings in an easy to view graph form, you can start seeing where players are grouped a bit more clearly. 

The top three prospects are all very close, but since I haven’t waited the first pick, it doesn’t fully capture how far and way most rankings would put Matthews over the Finns, though via McKeens, the Laine as a close second take is picking up steam. 

The 4-12 pack seems to be divided between, the most commonly considered for potentially top five picks in Tkachuk, Nylander, Dubois, Chychrun, and with Juolevi now getting more consideration, and the secondary group of McLeod, Keller, and Sergachyov getting some consideration very high, but still having some services considering them only in top 20, if that. Tyson Jost seems to be along for the ride with this group despite never really having a high top 10 peak, but everyone considering him a solid option for the top 12. 

The next group of 13-21 is filled with the 13-19 group who are the last of the players to unanimously be ranked in the top 30 by all 9 of the rankings used here. Dante Fabbro, as mentioned above, and Max Jones are shockingly not in that unanimous group, but of those who ranked Fabbro, he has an average rank of 15th overall and for Max Jones, his average ranking is 18th overall, but coming in higher than Rubtsov, Brown, and Kunin.

Finally, it’s the best of the rest. Over the past five months 60 players in total have been ranked in the top 30, and at this point using the 9 different top 30 rankings there are 50 players that at least received some consideration. Players like Tufte, Asplund, DeBrincat and Laberge are all safe bets for the first round, but a player like Libor Hajek could easily pass him, as he was ranked in the top 20 by McKeens, but fell just outside when consolidating the rankings.

On the outside looking in are Nathan Bastian, Sam Steel, Tyler Benson, Will Bitten, and Kale Clague, all who were placed in the top 30 3 times, a better total than Dillon Dube, and equal to Logan Stanley and Samuel Girard. In the case of Bitten the U-18s could easily establish him higher after being off the radar on a disastrous Flint team.

IT’S MORE WIDE OPEN NOW

issmckeensupdate

You’d think that after seven months of viewing prospects that lists might stabilize a little, but that’s in no way the case. McKeen’s has a new number one (again). They’ve bumped Puljujarvi to fourth in favour of McLeod, who looks to be the second best center available in the draft, and they’ve added BCHL defenseman Dennis Cholowski to their list after dropping the more popular BCHL D-man Dante Fabbro.

Similarly, ISS has fallen in love with Cliff Pu, who most see as a mid round player at best, had a sudden change of heart for the better on Jake Bean, and tired of Logan Stanley and Dante Fabbro.

LEAFS PERSPECTIVE

The situation involving the Pens 1st being a little low, having the 31st overall pick in the second round, and the absolute depth of options available in the late first and second round is probably making a strong case for the Leafs to once again see what can be done in regards to trading down. It may seem crazy to acquire more picks in what is already a record setting year pick wise for them, but doing what ever they can to maximize their picks in the top 70 or so seems ideal. 

If the Leafs end up losing the lottery, they really have two standout options:

  • They can take the best of who’s left
  • They can trade down to a place in the top 10 that still sees them getting a shot a player of similar upside, while acquiring an additional asset.
April 30th begins to provide some answers, but for now it just looks like a hard draft for the Leafs to screw up.

  • MatsSundin#13

    If Edmonton keeps picking ridiculously high, since they’re guaranteed a 5th overall pick if they don’t WIN ONE OF THE LOTTERIES AGAIN, and they’re probably going to be guaranteed a high pick next year if they don’t do something with their blueline, how long do you think it takes before high end talents start pulling a Lindros and not reporting to the Oilers?

    • I’m amazed it hasn’t already happened. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in year where the top three picks can all stay in Europe making money on their pro teams instead of reporting to a team that’s done nothing to improve it’s situation over the past decade.

      • Pretty sure a guy like Laine or Puljujarvi wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to ride shot gun with McDavid, start their ELCs, and pad their stats for a new contract largely because of riding shotgun with McDavid.

      • BorealNinja

        Its going to become more frequent with the college free agents too. For example, Boeser is going back for another year of college and Demko is unsigned still, so poor Bumbling Benning could be left holding the bag.

  • “Jakob Chychrun better have a great U-18 tournament because missing the World Juniors and Sarnia’s early playoff exit are not making him popular when Juolevi and Sergachyov have boxcar stats that leap off the page in comparison to his”

    Chychrun has better boxcars than Juolevi (.79 ppg vs. .74 ppg and more goals), so I don’t know what leaps off the page about Juolevi (unless you’ve written all of his stats in brightly colored fonts).

    Sergachyov has a higher ppg than Chychrun (.85), but it’s not dramatic. Sergachyov had more goals, but Chychrun was one of the top shot generators for OHL D; some of that is shooting percentage.

  • Mpsenicka

    McLeod seems to be the guy that’s all over the place. Anyone here studied him live?? Hear his motor is most impressive.

    I like the fact that if the Leafs fall to 4 they have loads of options (C,W,D).. there’s 5/6 guys that are an option at 4. I’ll be very interested to see how picks 4-10 go down…

  • FlareKnight

    Definitely wouldn’t be surprised this time if they do trade back with the Pens pick. I’ll just expect that going into the draft really.

    Certainly it’ll be really darn easy to say who we pick if by some miracle we get a top 3 selection. Pretty well defined outside of….well basically one list.

    At 4….well it gets complicated. Though we’d still have the first crack at that wide group. Be pretty good with anyone that Hunter goes with since he does seem to know what he’s doing there. Though if I had to say I’d certainly lean with Dubois (for that skill and ability to play center) and Chychrun. Don’t think one tournament will really matter one way or the other, but hey if he has a good under-18s then that can’t hurt.

  • Out here in God’s country, G.M. Jim Benning the ex leaf failure was addressing the unwashed with his state of the union address. Now the Canucks have a couple of impressive college players who Benning suggested would consult with others including the parents to decide about whether they would return to college, turn pro or possibley wait it out and become free agents.

    I suggest leaf management send this state of the union address to Hobey Baker winner free agent Mr. Vesey who of course has a brother drafted by the leafs and his dad is a leaf scout. Got to concur with Jimbo that the youngster should listen to his family.

  • FerdaBerta

    According to Wikipedia (not a reliable source, I know) on the draft order. 30 is the winner of the stanley cup, 29 is runner up, 28 and 27 are conference finalists. Then the next teams are division winners, 26, 25, 24, 23. Then the remaining teams in opposite order of the standings. Blues at 22 and Pens (Leafs) at 21. Correct me if I’m wrong please, but is this not the best case scenario?

  • Gary Empey

    Take that number 9 from the Finnish team!

    Are you nuts?

    Next take a big Czech winger like Voracek/Jagr and a Russian centre like Datsyuk. A big Swede on D like Lidstrom, Kronwall, Ohlund, Samuelsson, would almost seal the deal imo.

    The rest will be history 🙂

  • BorealNinja

    there’s a consensus 9, and a consensus 22. the writer’s statements on this are wrong, because he adds weirdo lists. also, his adding weirdo lists presents the wrong 23-30. the weirdo lists that place mcleod or bean ahead of all other north america forwards/ defencemen, are like art critiques, who must see things that non-professionals cannot. omit these weirdos, and stanley goes 23. if the Leafs lose the lottery, they take 1.5 ppg 6’3 center DUBOIS, if pitts wins its 1st round, then loses to washington, the Leafs, at 25, may take 1.0 ppg in NCAA, 6’5 center THOMPSON, and at 31, Hunter can be expected to take 0.5 ppg in Alvanksken, center DAHLEN. maybe they could take 1.5 ppg in finland, 6’3 center BORGSTROM, in the 4th round.

  • So, with PIT making the playoffs the Leafs will get the Penguins 1st this year. Do the Leafs send back their 2nd rounder or the 2nd rounder PIT traded to us for Winnik? (which I assume is PIT’s pick later in the 2nd round)

    My fear is that the Leafs only move up a few spots with PIT’s 1st if the Leafs send back their own 2nd (#31).