Top 50 Under 23
It's worth mentioning Pronman had previously always ranked Hodgson ahead of Kassian in previous lists, but Hodgson only makes the honourable mentions this time around, falling behind Kassian.
1. Steven Stamkos, Center, Tampa Bay Lightning
It's Stamkos and then the pack in this discussion. He is one of the league's elite players, and while his raw possession output hasn't been elite, his tools are certainly all there and he has proven himself to be a once in a generation level finisher.
2. John Tavares, Center, New York Islanders
These next three players were hard to order, and I could see a legitimate argument for any of them to be #2. I ended up siding with Tavares because on a scouting level, I've always been blown away by him and I can't begin a Tavares write-up without remembering discussions I had with scouts in 2008 and 2009 referring to him as a generational prospect. He is a special talent with the kind of offensive sense you don't find often and has improved his skating since turning pro. The only argument against him right now would be that it would be preferable to see him produce at a high level without the high offensive zone starts, but the quality of teammates argument somewhat counteracts that.
3. Tyler Seguin, Center, Boston Bruins
In the Taylor vs. Tyler debate back in 2010, I saw these two as a coin flip with a slight lean to Hall, and now I would just say the reverse. Seguin took a significant leap forward this year and with his combination of skating, hands, and hockey sense, he is tracking right now to be one of the league's best.
4. Taylor Hall, Left Wing, Edmonton Oilers
Hall hit the ground running in the NHL and has quickly emerged into a top-tier possession player. He has so many tools in the arsenal to threaten defenders with along with a top grade work ethic. Injuries have been a slight concern, especially giving his style of play, but I'm not overly concerned in that area yet.
5. Drew Doughty, Defense, Los Angeles Kings
Drew Doughty has been a top-end defenseman for a number of seasons after entering the league logging tough minutes from the get-go. He has a ton of offensive ability between his skating and hands on top of being able to be a very quality defender. His impressive track record at such a young age to go along with his immense talent level makes him the top defenseman under 23 in the NHL.
38. Chris Tanev, Defense, Vancouver Canucks
Tanev is an extremely smart defenseman with good mobility, and he looks the part of a blueliner with significant value despite not being your ideal power play quarterback. His ability to be a positive possession player while playing tough minutes at his age has certainly been impressive.
48. Zack Kassian, Right Wing, Vancouver Canucks
I've been impressed with Kassian's development over the last year or so from a pure power forward into a player whose gotten quicker and has shown better offensive elements to his game. He was OK at best in the NHL, but if he comes together he could be a quality player.