TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: The Reader Vote

readers

When we kicked off our Top 20 Prospects summer series last month, one of the new features we introduced for this year was the ability for readers to have their say in the process. Throughout the list of profiles, there wasn’t much talk about those reader responses; but here we are, ready to break down the results of what 376 of you had to contribute. Let’s take a gander at the results:

fanvote

Unsurprisingly, Auston Matthews also runs away with the #1 seed here, and much like our staff, there was a lot of debate over 2 and 3, with Mitch Marner getting the ultimate look as the one true converted right winger. Interestingly, people kept voting for Josh Leivo despite being ineligible, to the point where he would have finished 23rd (and surely higher if he was actually on the list). Fabrice Herzog, who has skill to burn but is likely never coming back to North America, finished last in the rankings.

Here are the high-low swings for both the readers and the writers. For the readers, I did the range while using a minimum 5 votes threshold, and again using 10. Here’s the result of that:

Rank Readers Hi5 Lo5 Hi10 Lo10 Writers Hi Lo
1 Auston Matthews 1 2 1 2 Auston Matthews 1 1
2 Mitch Marner 1 3 1 3 Mitch Marner 2 3
3 William Nylander 2 3 2 3 William Nylander 3 3
4 Nikita Zaitsev 3 11 4 9 Nikita Zaitsev 4 8
5 Connor Brown 4 14 4 12 Kasperi Kapanen 4 15
6 Kasperi Kapanen 4 14 4 11 Connor Brown 4 14
7 Nikita Soshnikov 4 15 4 13 Andreas Johnson 5 16
8 Dmytro Timashov 4 17 4 14 Dmytro Timashov 4 20
9 Travis Dermott 4 19 5 15 Travis Dermott 7 14
10 Andreas Johnson 4 19 5 17 Nikita Soshnikov 6 N/R
11 Zach Hyman 4 19 6 19 Jeremy Bracco 6 20
12 Brendan Leipsic 6 20 7 17 Brendan Leipsic 8 N/R
13 Jeremy Bracco 6 20 7 19 Zach Hyman 7 N/R
14 Andrew Nielsen 5 20 6 19 Carl Grundstrom 9 N/R
15 Yegor Korshkov 6 20 7 20 Andrew Nielsen 11 N/R
16 Rinat Valiev 9 20 10 20 Tobias Lindberg 8 N/R
17 Carl Grundstrom 8 20 12 20 Yegor Korshkov 12 N/R
18 Tobias Lindberg 11 20 11 20 Adam Brooks 6 N/R
19 Martins Dzierkals 11 20 13 20 Kasimir Kaskisuo 7 N/R
20 Frederik Gauthier 12 20 12 20 Garret Sparks 14 N/R
21 Viktor Loov 9 20 14 20 Frederik Gauthier 10 N/R
22 Joseph Woll 12 20 15 20 Jesper Lindgren 16 N/R
23 Garret Sparks 11 20 16 20 Joseph Woll 15 N/R
24 Adam Brooks 13 20 14 20 Antoine Bibeau 15 N/R
25 JD Greenway 15 20 17 20 Viktor Loov 11 N/R
26 Antoine Bibeau 17 20 10 20 Rinat Valiev 13 N/R
27 Jesper Lindgren 17 18 N/R N/R Martins Dzierkals 18 N/R
28 Nikita Korostelev 18 19 N/R N/R Justin Holl 17 N/R
29 Kasimir Kaskisuo 17 20 N/R N/R JD Greenway 19 N/R
30 JJ Piccinich 19 20 N/R N/R Nicolas Mattinen 20 N/R
31 Jack Walker 19 20 N/R N/R Nikita Korstelev 20 N/R
32 Vladimir Bobylev N/R N/R N/R N/R Vladimir Bobylev 20 N/R
33 Stephen Desrocher 18 18 N/R N/R Dakota Joshua N/R N/R
34 Justin Holl N/R N/R N/R N/R Dominic Toninato N/R N/R
35 Keaton Middleton N/R N/R N/R N/R Fabrice Herzog N/R N/R
36 Nolan Vesey N/R N/R N/R N/R Jack Walker N/R N/R
37 Dominic Toninato N/R N/R N/R N/R JJ Piccinich N/R N/R
38 Dakota Joshua N/R N/R N/R N/R Keaton Middleton N/R N/R
39 Pierre Engvall N/R N/R N/R N/R Nilolai Chebykin N/R N/R
40 Nikolai Chebykin N/R N/R N/R N/R Nolan Vesey N/R N/R
41 Nicolas Mattinen N/R N/R N/R N/R Pierre Engvall N/R N/R
42 Fabrice Herzog N/R N/R N/R N/R Stephen Desroscher N/R N/R

As you can see, in both our staff’s case and in the eyes of the readers, there’s a lot of consistency as far as opinions of Matthews, Marner, Nylander, and Zaitsev go, but it all goes crazy after that.

Armed with this data, I did decide to have one fun experiment. I wanted to see if there was any difference in rankings immediately after the big three based on whether someone put Mitch Marner or William Nylander at the second seed. Here were the top 5 most likely players to be ranked 4-6 by each side:

MARNER AT 2 Count % NYLANDER AT 2 Count %
Nikita Zaitsev 168 24.1 Nikita Zaitsev 97 24.5
Connor Brown 138 19.8 Connor Brown 78 19.7
Kasperi Kapanen 126 18.1 Kasperi Kapanen 67 16.9
Nikita Soshnikov 71 10.2 Nikita Soshnikov 45 11.4
Dmytro Timashov 48 6.9 Andreas Johnson 26 6.6

Honestly, the difference wasn’t very significant, but you do notice a couple of margin of error things. For example, the list of players who got off-the-board votes from the Marner camp included JJ Piccinich, Garret Sparks, and despite their ineligibility, Kerby Rychel and Connor Carrick. Camp Nylander, on the other hand, had off the board votes for players like Rinat Valiev and Nikita Korostelev.

As well, Travis Dermott gets much more love from Camp Marner, while Camp Nylander takes the Andreas Johnson risk more frequently. All this gives you the illusion that there might be some birthplace bias at play here, but if there is, it’s not significant; the North American influence in Camp Marner is at 33.9% while Camp Nylander only had 1.6% more European votes.

Similar goes for where they played last year; Camp Marner favours the AHL and CHL a bit more, while Camp Nylander likes European Leagues. Again, it’s a 1.5% gap, which could straight up be margin of error.

Either way, it was a fun experiment, and we’re really grateful that so many people took the time to respond to our survey. We may have another one coming in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.