2016 NHL Entry Draft Consensus Rankings – May 9, 2016

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Jon Steitzer may be moving on from the Nations Network, but his consolidated draft rankings were such a useful little tool for looking at where exactly all of the top prospects stand in the eyes of the scouts that I knew I had to keep the tradition going.  So I made my own.

To do this, I took seven different top 30 lists from prominent publications – Damien Cox of Sportsnet, Craig Button of TSN, International Scouting Services (ISS), Future Considerations (FC), McKeen’s Hockey, Draftbuzz Analytics (DB), and the Draft Analyst (DA) and looked at who was ranked where on their various lists.  Then I put all the lists together by assigning a prospect ranked 1st 30 points, a prospect ranked 2nd 29 points, a prospect ranked 3rd 28 points, and so on.  Naturally, a prospect ranked 30th received 1 point.  A prospect not ranked received no points.

The method may not be totally perfect, but it still gives us a fairly good look at what the consensus opinion is on all of the top prospects for the draft.

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I should also note that, in order to keep up with constantly-changing rankings, only lists published since the start of March were taken into consideration.  That means the lists of Bob McKenzie, Corey Pronman, and Hockey Prospect have all been excluded, as none of them have released a new list consisting of at least 30 players since the start of March.

So without further ado, here’s the list:

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Our list aligns closely with Bob McKenzie’s recent post-lottery top 15.  This isn’t surprising given that McKenzie polls a range of scouts and puts the lists together – in other words, he uses a consensus draft rankings of his own.

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Just for fun, here’s what our list would look like if we applied it to the top of the first round:

1. Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets

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3. Jesse Puljujarvi – Columbus Blue Jackets

4. Matthew Tkachuk – Edmonton Oilers

5. Pierre-Luc Dubois – Vancouver Canucks

6. Alex Nylander – Calgary Flames

7. Jakob Chychrun – Arizona Coyotes

8. Olli Juolevi – Buffalo Sabres

9. Mikhail Sergachyov – Montreal Canadiens

10. Clayton Keller – Colorado Avalanche

11. Michael McLeod – New Jersey Devils

12. Tyson Jost – Ottawa Senators

13. Logan Brown – Carolina Hurricanes

14. Jake Bean – Boston Bruins

15. Luke Kunin – Minnesota Wild

16. Julien Gauthier – Detroit Red Wings

Here’s the specific breakdown of each publication’s list:

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First and foremost, these rankings essentially back up the idea of a “top three” consisting of Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, and Jesse Puljujarvi.  There also looks to be a second cluster of three right after them consisting of Matthew Tkachuk, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Alex Nylander.

Also of note is the fact that there’s a fairly big drop-off after the 12th-ranked Tyson Jost, with a lot less consensus on which players belong where starting with Logan Brown (granted, Craig Button’s uncharacteristically low ranking of Brown skews this a bit).

We also see that, at this point, there only appears to be 20 or so real consensus first-rounders.  The variance among the publications about who deserves to be seen as a top 30 players in this draft is wide, with 48 total players being ranked within the top 30 – and that’s using only seven lists.

Here are the players that didn’t crack the top 30 that were ranked at least once on these lists:

  • Brett Howden (16 points, ranked two times)
  • Sam Steel (15 points, ranked three times)
  • Dillon Dube (14 points, ranked one time)
  • Libor Hajek (14 points, ranked three times)
  • Boris Katchouk (10 points, ranked two times)
  • Taylor Raddysh (9 points, ranked two times)
  • Jonathan Dahlen (7 points, ranked one time)
  • Adam Mascherin (7 points, ranked one time)
  • Mitchell Mattson (7 points, ranked one time)
  • Nathan Bastian (6 points, ranked one time)
  • Kale Clague (6 points, ranked two times)
  • Tyler Benson (5 points, ranked two times)
  • Carl Grundstrom (5 points, ranked two times)
  • Ben Cholowski (4 points, ranked one time)
  • Adam Fox (4 points, ranked one time)
  • Lucas Johansen (3 points, ranked one time)
  • Jacob Moverare (2 points, ranked one time)
  • Cam Dineen (1 point, ranked one time)

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how these lists changes as the various publications prepare to release their final rankings with the NHL draft only a month and a half away.  In particular, for better or for worse, things like the World Championships, the Memorial Cup, and the Draft Combine are all bound to shape various opinions in subtle ways.

Whatever the case, it should be a very fun few weeks leading up to arguably the most important two-day period on the NHL calendar.

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    • McRib

      Clearly they are unaware of the fact that McLeod went pointless in first 10 games without Alex Nylander in the lineup who was away at World Juniors over Christmas. Nylander carried McLeod offensively. McLeod doesn’t have Top. 20 finish, but because he can skate like the wind some sucker team (Colorado, etc) will take him way too early,

  • King Quong

    I don’t claim to be any expert but this looks like one of the strongest drafts in recent memories. Regardless of how the Canucks choose to spin it we are re-building and if we can get another 1st round pick that would go along way to moving things along. If the Canucks could trade Hansen and our 2nd round pick for 10th – 15th in the first round and pick up DuBois and Sergachyov that would help us a lot in the long term

    • Smyl and Snepsts

      Not sure why you would get so many trashes. Actually makes a lot of sense although I would hate to lose Hansen as he is a consistently hard worker and a great example to the young kids.

  • Hockey Warrior

    It’s good to see that there is a “second tier” of players after the top three. I had feared that there would be a crap-shoot of players from about 4-12.

    It looks like the Canucks will do well with either Pierre Luc DuBois, or Matthew Tkachuk, whose ranking has been remarkably consistent throughout the year. Hoping for Du Bois, but would be happy with Tkatchuk or even Nylander.

      • McRib

        Alex Nylander is not a “perimeter” player, you are stereotyping him because he’s not as greasy as some of the other guys on this list (and perhaps because he’s European). Essentially, you are holding against him his off-the-charts playmaking ability, incredible speed and instinct to get open and otherworldly shot in favour of Derek Dorsetty types. No thank you, give me the guy who will be a top 10 NHL scorer and leave the glorified grinders for someone else.

  • Burnward

    nice work, but how many of these lists are prepared by dedicated followers of junior hockey based on their own scouting/analytics versus overworked sportswriters who are all polling the same sources and looking over their shoulders at what everyone else is doing/saying?

    also, has anyone ever compared these annual rankings over the years to actual draft position to actual player performance? it would be great to see what everyone’s track record is on both counts.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    This is probably the best analysis I have seen so far. It captures the most up to date rankings and factors In some of th most recent jumps. I am not sure that I see that gap between Mathews and Laine. As well I feel Keller and Brown should be in the top 10 for the final rankings. Both dominated in the U18 Championships and received spikes because of it. This analysis really illustrates the respective tiers. Nylander is a few points behind Tkachuk and Dubouis partially due to a shorter playoff.

    Tkachuk is showing that he can raise his game in the playoffs. I think Nylander is exactly what we need at #6. I am not adverse to going off the board slightly by selecting Brown or Keller yet there is a degree of risk. There is a reason why everyone feels Nylander is worthy of the second ledge. All those publications could not be wrong. Tough to pass on a player that is likely going to get 30 goals per season either playing with Sam or Johnny.

    Tkachuk and Dubois would be nice but they are no better than Nylander just bigger and grittier. One of the best things Nylander offers is a Dad that is adept at coaching, training, and managing his sons to be the most prepared and complete NHLers. Calgary needs to get this right but not over think the decision.

    • McRib

      DraftBuzz complies everyone else’s list and passes it off for their own work. Hockeyprospects.com does the same thing, both rank where they think players will go from hype and from talking with teams, not who will become the best player down the road. Between the two I have more respect for DraftBuzz, he is trying to get away from the media hype in his rankings. DraftBuzz has improved in recent years, but also explains why both these publications do well (Buzz, HP) in an article, which is essentially doing the same thing.

  • Burnward

    What i find interesting is the list of 30 that were on the list but no longer are at the end of the year.

    So at 33rd, my preference would be for Benson, but Brett Howden and or Libor Hajek would be cool too. On the surface of things anyway, cuz i’m no scout.

    • Cageyvet

      Watched Howden all season long. Minus the injury time, this kid is the real deal. When Brayden Point went down to injury this 17 year old carried the team and impressed. He is a leader, and should be a top 10 pick. Too bad most of these teams seem to be watching college, highschool, and other lower tiered junior leagues now a days. Hoping my Hurricanes can grab him late in the first round.

  • Juan Valdez

    The question BT should be asking himself is what player will give us the best chance at beating Anaheim in their building. It was the 1-0 game we lost against them when they were struggling early on that set the stage for the rest of the season.

    Flames need a big-bodied possesion type player like Logan Brown that can wear down the opposition. This is the type of player we need to beat teams in our division.

  • Dirty30

    Hey Shawn,

    Would the Wilcoxon ranked sign test provide any enlightenment with respect to the draft order from various scouts and pundits?

    My thought is that while assigning values to rank in various draft simulations is a consistent measure, it is also somewhat skewed by higher numbers when simply added together.

    if instead, values were assigned by rank for each mock draft and then compared in ranked pairs, you might get an interesting result or find no result, which means we can simply ignore all the results.

    One other thought — given the top three have no change in any mock draft, what happens when you throw those out and rank 3-33 instead?

  • Baalzamon

    So evidently the consensus opinion is that Benson’s development was irreparably damaged by his injuries. Interesting.

    IMO looks like someone is going to get a major steal in the second round.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I played against Benson, Steele, and Clague. And comparing Benson and Steele personally I think Steele has more to offer. If they are both available in the second round I don’t think you could go wrong with either

  • BlueMoonNigel

    so where do people predict the leafs penguins pick is going to be and who they’ll take? i’m hoping fabbro somehow drops or we trade up to the mid-teens.

  • Hockey Warrior

    Jesus H Christ – EVERY post on this blog is about the ‘lotto’ draft – WHY?

    I guarantee you Trader Jim is going to pck Keef Tkachuk’s boy and other than the top three NO ONE will play in the NHL next season so *ffs* END OF STORY

    Now, how about focusing on what really matters in the impatient world of Canucks hockey (if you don’t win now we will not support the team – the fans)… FREE AGENTS and UFAS available through trades and cap space to make the team better NOW!

    I’ll start off with…

    STAMKOS (team needs a proven superstar to put bums on seats and keep the Hongcouver press in jobs)

    Milan Lucic (see above)

    Jamie McGinn (quality depth available at decent price)

    Rasmus Ristolainen (ALREADY a top two D with offensive upside YES will cost plenty but well worth it)

    Dan Hamhuis (hometown hero and all around good guy/mentor to the grunts)

    Friends and bloggers forget the lotto draft and TRADE picks and players because in todays NHL especially in Vancouver, there is no time for the future – the future is NOW!

    • Lonny Bohonos

      Probably cause it would be a short and boring piece:

      Stamkos – Not gonna happen.

      Lucic – Better not happen.

      McGinn – Who cares?

      Ristoleinen – Why not through out the name of every desirable young player in the NHL that we don’t have the pieces to acquire. Doughty? Hedman? Kane? Mackinnon? Why stop at Risto? Let’s play dream-time-fairy-make-believe-land all summer long!

      Hamhuis – Ya probably worth an article or two but honestly who cares, it’ll be what it’ll be. We know what he is and what he gives us if he’s back. Unless you’ve been sleeping through Canuck games the past 6 years the article probably isn’t necessary.

      By comparison give me another hundred draft articles over any of the above crap and pipe dreams.

  • CMpuck

    Like every name on that up to 23, hope one will fall to Pittsburgh’s pick.

    I’m a bit surprised at this site, everyone drooled over Marner last year and celebrated getting Bracco but no push for Debrincat?

    The **** how is he not an internet darling?

    • Gary Empey

      It seems that Leaf Nation can’t get past first overall pick.

      No one likes Alex Debrincat’s 51 goals and over 50 assists he put up in both of the last two years.

      Leafs may draft him in the second round.

      They could put a line of Debrincat – Marner – Bracco together.

      We would need to come up with a special name for them.

  • Hockey Warrior

    @ GeezMoney

    Plenty of great BC lads to be traded for or signed through draft picks/free agency = with the right smarts ANYTHING IS possible… but of course Canucks fans are waiting for the next Kane/Toews or Crosby/Malkin to walk into town through the draft LOL which is why i promise you we will NEVER see a Stanley Cup winners banner at the Rog in our lifetime – FACT!

    @ Canafan

    Thank you for clearly showing the IGNORANCE and ARROGANCE that personifies why Vancouver is the most hated franchise and fanbase in the NHL pal

    ANY of the players I mentioned would be an upgrade on the plugs (Granlund, Sbisa, Etem, MCann, Pedan) and overpaid over-the-hill has beens (Miller, Sardines, Burrows, Edler, Dorsett etc) that finished the 27th worst team in the league!

    Sheeple – as you’ve already been told on CBC/Sportsnet only the top three players in the draft will play in the NHL next season – the rest are a total crapshoot to ever make the step most won’t… so who CARES about this lottery!

    When an intelligent employer is hiring for skilled jobs they don’t take risks on unproven KIDS that MIGHT pan out in five years they hire PROVEN WINNERS with EXPERIENCE and proven ability to deliver NOW! Simples…………. UFAs RFAs and trades all the way.

    • Lonny Bohonos

      Gee, you really think Stamkos would be an upgrade Granlund? Such stunning insight. Please send me a link to your blog.

      Man reading comprehension is not a strength of yours eh? I never said Stamkos, Ristoleinen, etc wouldn’t be an upgrade – any idiot including you can see that they would be – but merely that they aren’t coming here whether by UFA or trade so why waste electrons talking about it?

      Lucic would be a massive waste of time and money so if you are pushing for that soon-to-be-washed-up troglodyte then I guess we do have a difference of opinion.

      And re: McGinn, ya I guess he’d be a solid add and maybe an upgrade Bartowski but my comment of “who cares” was literally that … who cares? I sure as heck don’t need to read a 700 word blog treatise on the pro’s and cons of acquiring a third liner when our lineup is literally hemmoraging similar type players and totally bereft of anyone who can score a goal or make a nice play. Hmmm, I wonder where we can get such a player? At the top end of the draft you say? Well by jove why don’t we talk about that instead 😉

  • BlueMoonNigel

    I’d be surprised if the Oilers pick a forward instead of a defenseman unless they unload some of their talented young forwards for an established defenseman before the start of next season.

  • King Quong

    I think Benning goes Tkachuk or Dubois. Both seem like good adds. Tkachuk could be a steal if he improves his skating via pro-development.

    I think the only free agent add I’d like to see is McGinn on the 4th line (depends on price).

    I would try and deal Hansen for a late 1st or Hansen + for a mid-1st round pick.

    Let Hamhuis go. We need room to let the kids play. The only way we keep Ham is if Benning deals Edler or Sbisa. I don’t see that happening.

    If McGinn signs then we can also look at dealing Dorsett but then again he is a solid team guy.

    • Cageyvet

      Not sure why so many thumbs down, for what it’s worth I agree with every point. I’m not necessarily shopping Hansen hard, but you nailed it on what my price would be, if I could get either of those deals I would do it.

      The Canucks need to add as many young potential core players as possible. All these names we could pick up should be in our minds after another 2 years, I think we would be wasting their talents at this stage.

      Let the kids spread their wings, Hockey Warrior has his head up his arse, most fans I know want us to rebuild. Finishing 28th in a league of 30 tells you we’re a ways away still from thoughts of winning now in a meaningful way.

  • Cageyvet

    notice that tkachuk only gets ranked 4th by one agency, but he fits edmonton’s needs better than dubois, and dubois fits vancouver’s needs. there’s a consensus 3, 6, 9, ‘lottery’ teams 14, and 21/22 [22 = tufte. asplund and thompson are usually 23-24, then debrincat and hajek, 25-26, but howden has risen, 27 and stanley has solidified his place in the 1st round, laberge is always there 29. so only one non-consensus for the top 30/1st round. probably a WHL player – steel, clague, johansen, benson. I would take mascherin, let him have the honour of 1st rounder, OHL league-leading shots and best shot, and dineen, OHl league leading defenceman in scoring, gets his shots through to the net. I’d assume dahlen, somppi and day are still there at 60-61, give Day the honour of 2nd round, give him 3 years to develop the mental part, in a structured setting, somppi had 75% faceoff at U18 against 1st liners, or let dahlen develop in the SHL for a couple of years,like johnson did.

  • McRib

    The fact that Damien Cox was considered into the formula of rankings, ensured I didn’t read the entire article. He honesty just steals other scouts work, he is a writer not a scout.

  • McRib

    Julien Gauthier is such a stiff (1.07 PPG last year, 1.05 PPG this year) if it weren’t for Hockey Canada, no one would even consider him a Top. 15 pick (then obviously media types Bob, Cox, Button overhype). Point totals regressed in his late birthday season and he only had 16 Assists this year!?!?! I’ve never seen a more selfish Junior player in my life. Not to mention he dominates because of an overdeveloped frame for age, once others continue to fill out in draft class he loses that edge. 10% Chance he ends up as next Ryan Getzlaf, 90% Chance he ends up as next Huge Jessiman. Sorry, Colorado won’t draft McLeod like I mentioned earlier they will draft Gauthier. McLeod has more upside.