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The May Consolidated Draft Rankings show a lot of consistency at the top followed by wide open 2nd and 3rd Rounds

A thing to do around this time of the year is to start looking at who are the top prospects heading into the NHL entry draft. This task is decidedly less fun when the team you follow isn’t picking until the 53rd overall pick over half way through the second round. The Kings, Ducks, Rangers, Hurricanes, Canadiens, and Senators are all currently scheduled to pick three times before the Leafs make their first selection.

The thing is, there’s not a lot of reason to believe the Leafs won’t be acquiring a draft pick or two. Maybe not in the first round, but it seems that with the need to shed salary and a lot of money being spent on the wing or about to be committed to the wing, the Leafs are going to deal some talent and talent tends to translate into first and second round picks.

We’ve got six more weeks to explore who is getting dealt and what they will bring in, so instead we’ll offer up the players that will motivate us to be supportive of the Leafs making trades for draft picks.

As I’ve done in the past, I’ve pulled together a number of draft rankings and gave the prospects a total score based on their ranking in those publications. This includes HockeyProspect.com, Future Considerations, ISS Hockey, The Hockey News, Dobber Prospects, McKeens, Sportsnet, and TSN’s rankings by both Craig Button and Bob McKenzie.

Rank Player POS Height League GP Pts NHLe PPG
1 Jack Hughes C 5.10 USHL 50 112 0.18
2 Kaapo Kakko RW/C 6.01 LIIGA 45 38 0.40
3 Vasili Podkolzin RW 6.01 MHL 12 8 0.11
4 Bowen Byram D 6.01 WHL 67 71 0.16
5 Dylan Cozens C/RW 6.03 WHL 68 84 0.19
6 Alex Turcotte C 5.11 USHL 37 62 0.14
7 Kirby Dach C 6.04 WHL 62 73 0.18
8 Trevor Zegras C 6.00 USHL 60 87 0.12
9 Matthew Boldy LW 6.02 USHL 64 81 0.10
10 Peyton Krebs C/LW 5.11 WHL 64 68 0.16
11 Philip Broberg D 6.03 ALLSVENSKAN 41 9 0.06
12 Cam York D 5.11 USHL 63 65 0.08
13 Victor Soderstrom D 5.11 SHL 44 7 0.10
14 Cole Caufield C/RW 5.07 USHL 64 100 0.13
15 Alex Newhook C 5.11 BCHL 53 102 0.13
16 Ryan Suzuki C 6.00 OHL 65 75 0.18
17 Raphael Lavoie C/RW 6.04 QMJHL 62 73 0.16
18 Arthur Kaliyev LW 6.02 OHL 67 102 0.24
19 Thomas Harley D 6.03 OHL 68 58 0.13
20 Moritz Seider D 6.04 DEL 29 6 0.06
21 Spencer Knight G 6.03 USHL 33 0.913 VOODOO
22 Matthew Robertson D 6.04 WHL 56 33 0.09
23 Bobby Brink RW 5.10 USHL 43 68 0.13
24 Ville Heinola D 5.11 LIIGA 34 14 0.19
25 Jakob Pelletier LW 5.09 QMJHL 65 89 0.18
26 Philip Tomasino C 6.00 OHL 67 72 0.17
27 Connor McMichael C 6.00 OHL 67 72 0.17
28 Ilya Nikolaev C 6.00 MHL 41 25 0.10
29 Simon Holmstrom RW 5.11 SUPERELIT 21 20 0.11
30 Brett Leason C 6.05 WHL 55 89 0.25
31 Samuel Poulin LW 6.01 QMJHL 67 76 0.15
31 Nils Hoglander LW 5.09 SHL 50 14 0.18

A few things to note…

  1. NHLe is particularly cruel to the US National Team Development Program. I’m sure Jack Hughes, Alex Turcotte, Matthew Boldy, Trevor Zegras, Cole Caufield, and Cam York are all having their results understated a little. Of course it’s also an incredibly deep USNTDP team and it’s difficult to gauge who is benefiting from who without a deeper dive. For now we’ll assume Hughes really is that good.
  2. Of the 31 players above, 18 of them appeared on all of the rankings. The top 17 and Moritz Seider were on every list, and it should also be noted that some rankings purposely do not include goaltenders in their player rankings, so there is reason to believe that Spencer Knight’s appeal is being understated.
  3.  In total there were 49 players across these nine rankings that received consideration for the first round. I mention that largely because of the Leafs picking 53rd and it seems likely that at least one player considered a first rounder by someone will fall to them in the draft. Use that to enjoy your day. A couple of interesting names near the bottom of that list are Nolan Foote, Albin Grewe, and Mikko Kokkonen.
  4. Brett Leason is a 6’5 overager, and that’s why his NHLe is as high as it is and he’s still at the bottom of the first. That’s not to say that someone shouldn’t draft him or he’d be a bad pick, but it does qualify that there is some risk associated with him that isn’t done justice by the simple table above.

That doesn’t really help me too much with the Leafs picks

If that’s what you’re thinking I’ve got good news for you. I’ve got a second set of consolidated rankings geared at the first three rounds. Consider it the stripped down version of the rankings relying on sites with publicly available rankings beyond the top 31. For these rankings I’ve used Scouching.ca, TheDraftAnalyst.com, Canucks Army, Dobber Prospects, and Craig Button’s rankings. In a couple of these cases the rankings are a little older and represent the midterm rankings, but also I’d say in the case of Scouching, CA, and Dobber Prospects, three of the key people I’d most trust for solid draft rankings are reflected in this list.

Rank Player POS League
1 Jack Hughes C NTDP
2 Kaapo Kakko RW SM-Liiga
3 Dylan Cozens C/W WHL
4 Bowen Byram LHD WHL
5 Vasili Podkolzin RW VHL
6 Matthew Boldy LW NTDP
7 Kirby Dach C WHL
8 Peyton Krebs C WHL
9 Alex Turcotte C NTDP
10 Trevor Zegras C NTDP
11 Arthur Kaliyev LW OHL
12 Cole Caufield RW NTDP
13 Jakob Pelletier LW QMJHL
14 Alex Newhook C BCHL
15 Cam York LHD NTDP
16 Raphael Lavoie RW QMJHL
17 Ryan Suzuki C OHL
18 Victor Soderstrom RHD SHL
19 Philip Broberg LHD Allsvenskan
20 Bobby Brink RW USHL
21 Nicholas Robertson C/RW OHL
22 Thomas Harley LHD OHL
23 Matthew Robertson LHD WHL
24 Moritz Seider RHD DEL
25 Nils Hoglander RW SHL
26 Samuel Poulin LW QMJHL
27 Albin Grewe RW Superelit
28 Lassi Thomson RHD WHL
29 Connor McMichael C OHL
30 Ville Heinola LHD SM-Liiga
31 Mikko Kokkonen LHD SM-Liiga
32 Spencer Knight G NTDP
33 Nolan Foote LW WHL
34 Pavel Dorofeyev LW MHL
35 Anttoni Honka RHD SM-Liiga
36 John Beecher C NTDP
37 Ryan Johnson LHD USHL
38 Nathan Legare RW QMJHL
39 Brett Leason C WH:
40 Simon Holmstrom RW Superelit
41 Phillip Tomasino C OHL
42 Alex Vlasic LHD NTDP
43 Kaedan Korczak RHD WHL
44 Tobias Bjornfot LHD Superelit
45 Robert Mastrosimone LW USHL
46 Ilya Nikolaev C MHL
47 Vladislav Kolyachonok LHD OHL
48 Billy Constantinou RHD OHL
49 Daniil Gutik LW MHL
50 Maxim Cajkovic RW QMJHL
51 Marcus Kallionkieli LW USHL
52 Marshall Warren LHD NTDP
53 Patrik Puistola C/W Mestis
54 Shane Pinto C USHL
55 Artemi Knyazev LHD QMJHL
56 Michal Teply LW Extraliga
57 Jamieson Rees C OHL
58 Valentin Nussbaumer C QMJHL
59 Alex Beaucage RW QMJHL
60 Jake Lee D WHL
61 Hunter Jones G OHL
62 Dmitri Sheshin RW MHL
63 Dillon Hamaliuk LW WHL
64 Egor Afanasyev LW USHL
65 Henry Thrun D NTDP
66 Ryder Donovan C/RW HS-MN
67 Samuel Fagemo RW SHL
68 Matvei Guskov C/W OHL
69 Leevi Aaltonen RW SM-Liiga
70 Matias Maccelli LW USHL
71 Sasha Mutala RW WHL
72 John Farinacci C HS-MA
73 Henri Nikkanen C SM-Liiga
74 Judd Caulfield RW NTDP
75 Yegor Spiridonov C MHL
76 Harrison Blaisdell LW BCHL
77 Vladislav Firstov LW USHL
78 Nikola Pasic RW/C Superelit
79 Brayden Tracey LW WHL
80 Albert Johansson LHD Superelit
81 Drew Helleson RHD NTDP
82 Adam Beckman C WHL
83 Blake Murray C OHL
84 Oleg Zaitsev C WHL
85 Semyon Chistyakov LHD MHL
86 Luke Toporowski LW WHL
87 Lucas Feuk C/W Superelit
88 Case McCarthy RHD NTDP
89 Cole Mackay RW OHL
90 Mikhail Abramov C/W QMJHL
91 Ben Brinkman D NCAA
92 Martin Hugo Has RHD Jr. A SM-Liiga
93 Nikita Alexandrov C QMJHL

I’ve bolded the rankings where the Leafs are scheduled to pick.

Things that are particularly noteworthy here…

  1. Oh look a Zaitsev! First, there’s no relation to Nikita. Second, he wouldn’t be a terrible pick, but I’d rather have either one of the two players right in front of him a whole lot more, especially Blake Murray.
  2. Cole Mackay is an interesting player of note at #89, since he’s a Soo Greyhound, and the Leafs have some pretty strong ties to that organization and he should be available when the Leafs pick in the third round. He scored very highly on the Canucks Army midterm rankings, but only appeared on the Canucks Army and Dobber Prospect lists.
  3. Using different lists than what was in the top listing means this is going to have some different results, and one of the encouraging different results is that Ilya Nikolaev looks more attainable to the Leafs at 46 on this list. It’s still a bit of a reach, but some optimism exists.
  4.  If you are a draft for positional need type of person, the four right handed defensemen ranked around the Leafs draft spots are Billy Constantinou, Drew Helleson, Martin Hugo Has and Case McCarthy.

After the draft combine is completed, and scouting services have the chance to complete their final rankings we should both of these lists take on their final form. Using the first list, you can probably be fairly certain that the top 20 will remain the top 20 with a couple of small movements, and maybe a couple of new names added to Top 31, but nothing too shocking.

As for the the secondary list, the top 93, well, we can assume that changes from the midterm, as well as the inclusion of other rankings may give us a much clearer picture of who will be available to the Leafs at 53 and 84. As for now, it looks like decent options should be available.

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