Every year there's a lot of hype made by various bloggers and media outlets on various players with a fairly good chance to be a bust in the NHL.
Why is this? To give desperate Canadian hockey fans a fantastical pot of gold chance at the end of the undersized rainbow? Or do the players themselves lobby on speed and skill factors to try to climb in the draft? Who knows.
All I know is that there should be a no-nonsense, cut the bull edition of draft rankings put out there so we educated fans can make the correct call and then judge their teams' performance accurately when they once again fail to make the correct call.
As it pertains to the Canucks, well, this is the start of the Trevor Linden era in Canuck management. With that comes a lot of hype, and a lot of expectation. If Linden's first pick is another dud, then that is certainly not a good start to his tenure here.
But no doubt the Canucks will be hyping up whoever they pick, regardless of what his actual, legit NHL upside is. How do we cut the bull when that time comes? Well, let's just do it. Let's make a comprehensive list based on the information readily available out there on all the top prospects today. Let's forget about all the 'well the undersized player can possibly grow' bs and add that factor in. Let's look at players that certain media outlets and bloggers have been underrating or even totally ignoring for some strange reason. Cut the bull.
On that note, here's my top-15 rankings, no-nonsense edition:
1. RD Aaron Ekblad b
2. RC Sam Reinhart a
3. LW Sam Bennett a
4. LC Michael Dal Colle bp
5. LC Leon Draisaitl bsn
6. RW Jake Virtanen bep
7. LW Brendan Perlini b
8. RW Alex Tuch bp
9. LW Nick Ritchie odp
10. LD Haydn Fleury b
11. LC Dylan Larkin a
12. RW Kasperi Kapanen u
13. LW Nikolaj Ehlers u-e
14. LW/LC Willie Nylander u-
15. LW Sonny Milano a
s Slow but skilled
d Dumb penalty-taker
e Elite speed
n Not a big gamer
1. Based more on NHL central scouting and ISS, combined with legit upside, not a fantasy/preseason upside.
2. Frankly, i'm astounded as to how the americans are being largely ignored on cdc. They're good.
3. There are a lot of decent players to select from that don't carry an amazing amount of risk with them. The Canucks would be better suited to start picking those prospects up.
4. Nylander, the girlie-looking powerplay specialist wildcard, will drop that far because of his attitude problems.