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The Unofficial CDC Prospect rankings


Bert Diesel

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The Unoffical Prospect Rankings

 

*To be considered a prospect a player must have less than 40 games of NHL experience. IMO

 

Based on feedback received in the original thread, i've decided to revise my original rankings to get a better picture of how CDC views Canuck prospects. In this discussion we are basing the rankings on a combination of current success in various leagues and trying to analyze what statistical and anecdotal information we can gather as an online community.

 

As others have pointed out, this is a pointless activity and has no real world validity, or perhaps any value whatsoever. I don’t pretend that it does. It’s Just an interesting way to look at how CDC perceives the prospects in the Vancouver system, and their potential as players and assets to the club.

 

I don’t pretend to be an expert, just a fan who has watched and followed the team carefully since Joel Otto kicked the puck in our net, I’ve read comments on the site for years but usually don’t like to post because of the incredibly short-sighted, emotional, and knee-jerk reactions people have about hockey in this city. I ask for informed rational analysis. I ask for thinking outside the box.

 

The rankings are based on who looks most likely to become an NHL regular in the future. This allows us to better evaluate players as trade assets as well as future Canucks.

We need to consider a number of factors for this to have any validity:

1. The Age of the player and the typical trajectory of a player drafted in their position.

2. The league the player plays in: Is it common for players to put up big numbers at their age in the given league?

3. Physical attributes: do they have outstanding physical attributes that make them more NHL likely?

4. Intangibles as well as statistics: leadership, intelligence, winning attitude.

5. Are they playing on winning/losing, offensive/defensive teams.

6. Are their statistics inflated/Deflated because of the team they play.

7. Reputation: A first round draft pick receives more benefit of the doubt when it comes to the rankings, they are perceived as having greater upside and value as an asset. A player who has performed at a very high level in Junior, must be given a period of adjustment to the professional game without falling down the chart too rapidly

8. What are scouts/ and people actually watching the games saying(anecdotal evidence)

9. Injuries a player has had

Examples: AHL statistics tend to translate well to the NHL. Players score less in the AHL, it is a very defensive league. Exceptions seem to be older players, the Jason Krog’s, who can score big in the AHL but not the NHL.

Canadian Junior leagues, more so the OHL and the QMJHL than the WHL, tend to be very high scoring and therefore the statistics should be taken with some measure. Particularly with overage players in Junior leagues, statistics can look impressive in Junior, but not actually be a great measure of success.

American college hockey tends to be more conservative and defensive. Players rarely put up huge numbers, so if they do, it is quite impressive.

European leagues tend to be a bit of a wild card. Hard to predict. We also don’t have much access to the games.

If people are interested, I will provide my rankings and update monthly based on the opinions I receive.

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1. Bo Horvat: physically built for the NHL, positionally sound, a safe bet for next season, possibly on Kesler's wing or 3rd/ 4th line center on a team that could give more substantial ice time to all four lines? The World Junior experience can make him more hungry. Unspectacular in the tournament but never looked out of position. Was a stabilizing influence on the team.

2. Hunter Shinkaruk: i'm still confident he has a high ceiling based on his early success. Hopefully he can rehab and get stronger in the off-season. His numbers in his first years of junior were exceptional, he performed excellently in U-18 tournaments and super series, and was great for an 18 year old in the pre-season. Will be called up and down from Utica next year. Needs to evolve more of a 2way game to stick with the Nucks.

3. Frank Corrado: Looking like a steady two-way defenseman in the mold of Tanev. His plus minus was good considering his minutes and role on a bad Utica team. Will get called up and down from Utica for the next season, a huge benefit when we have injuries, even if he is NHL ready next season , personally, I think we should keep him in Utica as long as possible getting big minutes, learning the system, ready for injury time(guaranteed to happen).

4. Jordan Schroeder: Unpredictable how he will fit into future Canuck plans. He has developed a solid defensive game with his long-apprenticeship and should be ready to fill in the 3C spot when fully healthy. His speed and agility somewhat replace his size which can be somewhat offset playing with Kassian and Booth.

5. Brendan Gaunce: improving foot speed, physically big enough for the NHL and positioning is good, probably two years away from a bottom six role. Stats in junior haven’t been overwhelming (34th in OHL scoring) but was solid on a bad team and now is a stabilizing force in Erie.

6/7: Nick Jensen/Alex Grenier: Grenier's emergence in the AHL shouldn't be overlooked. He has been one of the few consistent producers on a bad team. He is 6'5 and has speed. Still a bit on the scrawny side. He could be a good asset to develop and trade if he doesn't have a role on the big team. I agree that it’s too early to judge Jensen. I'm thinking we should re-evaluate our expectations for the kid. He may still be two years away,that will make him the same age Grenier is now. His previous strong play in Sweden and in junior prevent him from slipping farther down the list as he has had a miserable start.

8. Anton Rodin: Scoring at nearly a point a game in the top Swedish league. Best point per game average on his team(a good team).

9. Dane Fox: 2nd in the OHL in scoring. Only slightly older than Gaunce. Looks like a late bloomer who has finally broken out. Still we need to have caution not to overrate his chances. Plays on a high scoring team but has kept producing even while McDavid has been at the WJC.

10. Darren Archibald: Needs to show more offensive upside. Certainly looks physically built for the big leagues. May yet be a 4th liner in the NHL.

Heres where it gets hard because of lack of information:

11. Cole Cassels: 38th in OHL scoring. Good offensive upside by all accounts.

12. Joacim Ericson

13. Ben Hutton: 4th in scoring for defenceman in his league

14. Jeremy Welsh: is 25 years old and still not subject to waivers. Still has a chance to be a decent 4th liner.

15 Patrick Mcnally: back playing at Harvard after cheating scandal.

16. Henrik Tommernes: making an adjustment to North American hockey. 9 points in 25 games in Utica.

17. Jordan Subban: 30 points in 38 games, good numbers for a D man. Size is hard to overlook though, he'll have to be really quick to avoid getting crushed in the NHL.

18. Kellan Lain: good size and defensive awareness, not much offensive upside yet.,

19. Joseph Labate: Decent stats in College hockey and good size

20. Ronalds Kenins: wildcard playing in Swiss league. Good size.

H.M. Alex Mallet, Evan Mceneny, Anton Cederholm

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Well for what its worth here is mine:

1) Bo Horvat. He is a blue chip who has no real weakness. If he improves his quickness , he will be an all star.

2) Frankie Corrado . He is ready to be a 3rd pairing right now but we are very fortunate to be over stacked on D

3) Jordan Schroeder . He is ready but needs to prove it now. Has the speed and skill needs to prove his stamina and ability to handle the bigger players.

4. Hunter Shinkurak . He has perhaps the highest ceiling of all, but his injury and nagging reports of his attitude slip him from 2nd on my list to 4th.

5. Nick Jensen . Has the size, speed and skill to be a 2nd line winger but is mired in confusion . Give him another year to figure the small ice out.

6. Dane Fox. Would put him behind Horvat and Shinkaruk but hes an overager so we have to take it with a grain of salt right now.

7 Brendan Gaunce. Has a good all around game. I think he will have problems keeping up to the pace of the NHL .

8. Cole Cassells. I would put him much higher but I have a wait and see attitude with his newfound gear we never knew he had.

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Heres where it gets hard because of lack of information:

11. Cole Cassels: 38th in OHL scoring. Good offensive upside by all accounts.

12. Joacim Ericson

13. Ben Hutton: 4th in scoring for defenceman in his league

14. Jeremy Welsh: is 25 years old and still not subject to waivers. Still has a chance to be a decent 4th liner.

15 Patrick Mcnally: back playing at Harvard after cheating scandal.

16. Henrik Tommernes: making an adjustment to North American hockey. 9 points in 25 games in Utica.

17. Jordan Subban: 30 points in 38 games, good numbers for a D man. Size is hard to overlook though, he'll have to be really quick to avoid getting crushed in the NHL.

18. Kellan Lain: good size and defensive awareness, not much offensive upside yet.,

19. Joseph Labate: Decent stats in College hockey and good size

20. Ronalds Kenins: wildcard playing in Swiss league. Good size.

H.M. Alex Mallet, Evan Mceneny, Anton Cederholm

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I've offered a method of evaluation in case you didn't bother to read the post. That was the critcism of the last one. If you're so fed up of these types of posts don't read or comment on them. Someone tries to write something well thought out and this is your sad, dismissive response. Go away.

This has been beat to death over the past few days. I don't see the point of a new thread unless it offers something the others havn't.

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The Unoffical Prospect Rankings: Updated Monthly

*To be considered a prospect a player must have less than 40 games of NHL experience. IMO

The rankings are based on who looks most likely to become an NHL regular in the future. This allows us to better evaluate players as trade assets as well as future Canucks.

We need to consider a number of factors for this to have any validity:

1. The Age of the player and the typical trajectory of a player drafted in their position.

2. The league the player plays in: Is it common for players to put up big numbers at their age in the given league?

3. Physical attributes: do they have outstanding physical attributes that make them more NHL likely?

4. Intangibles as well as statistics: leadership, intelligence, winning attitude.

5. Are they playing on winning/losing, offensive/defensive teams.

6. Are their statistics inflated/Deflated because of the team they play.

7. Reputation: A first round draft pick receives more benefit of the doubt when it comes to the rankings, they are perceived as having greater upside and value as an asset. A player who has performed at a very high level in Junior, must be give a period of adjustment to the professional game without falling down the chart too rapidly

8. What are scouts/ and people actually watching the games saying(anecdotal evidence)

9. Injuries a player has had

I can only claim so much expertise. There are simply not many junior and semi pro games in Oz.

But, albeit non hockey related, I have a long coaching background. And understand how concepts like talent, size and athleticism weigh in. I recall playing ball against decathlete Michael Smith growing up. He played ball, was ordinary, but was offered scholarships in basketball anyway, track and field, pro football contracts... Eventually recruited by the Olympic program because he was an astonishing athlete. And they were right.

I also recall influence of the early eastern european coaches who introduced sports science by and large. They determined what levels of energy could be sustained for what period. Example an average person can sustain 60% of their max exertion for prob 2 hours, but a trained athlete, say a marathon runner can push that limit to 80% or higher? At the next level 200M sprinters can achieve 90 or 95% of max exertion for up to 30 seconds (important as this is the fundamental norm in hockey). 100 % or higher (some exceed their bodies limits) can only be held by most for 6 to 7 seconds. But it takes 9 & 1/2 seconds to win a 100M race so the champion has to be a truly exceptional.

That central category was clinically critical to hockey. European coaches introduced the 30 second shifts that are now common in the late 70's, early 80's. And started kicking the tar off otherwise more talented Canadian hockey players. Playing 90 and 120 second shifts which were the norm, they simply could not match the exertion level of fresher faster and stronger players in shifts within their capacity. Not to mention all their training was geared around exertion at that level. Wayne Gretzky OTOH, generally not considered an elite athlete (elite talent, but not the speed, strength or power of others) was in fact a freak of nature. He was tested as being able to achieve extremely high VO2 exertion output levels and maintain them for record periods nearing 2 minutes. He could simply hang on until everybody was dragging their knuckles, still had energy, and then toy with them.

A cpl of years ago the Sedins scored (by memory) 1st and 3rd in the league in such testing. They are not that far behind Gretzky, so be careful who you think is actually the best athlete. Most fans don't rank the Twins all that high. Santorelli beat them in the publicized 2km race put up by Torts this year. And look how they can hound the puck until guys fall off...

1) As such Bo Horvat stands out. He is RIPPED. And he is big, and adds hockey talents. Plus intangibles of leadership, gamesmanship, work ethic.

2) Corrado is second to me. And I also whole heartily agree with him playing top minutes in Utica, Tanev before him. Normally it takes years before a defender can adjust to the higher strength needed in the NHL, but still be trained where they can play 22, 24 26 and 30 minutes as top D at the exertion level needed. Pushing Getzlaf off the puck, and bursting to speed to match Selanne is different than junior. That he could handle that at 18, even for 15 min a game in the play off's, and still have the breath, physical talent and mental composure to make plays last year was exceptional.

3) Gaunce is 3rd. In his draft year he blew everyone away at the draft combines on his physical testing. And still has the talent to have been a first round pick. By my observation he plays a controlled effort game though (as does Schroeder). And it is the explosive (100% exertion, for short bursts, 6 to 7 seconds) he scored highest on (same with Schroeder). He may / will have to adjust his training. He probably plays the controlled game because he has been caught out exhausting himself playing too explosive. And is working at finding a game pace where he can compete for 30 second shifts and find his place. But near 220 lbs with those skills and test scores is alluring, As mentioned by many PF's take longer. Its cuz it takes more energy to get more weight up to speed explosively, and then you are spent faster. The training and diet has to be extremely precise unless you are very gifted. Some never learn this, but based on such high fitness scores, I think he will just take time to adapt and add that endurance.

4) Shinkaruk. I'm nervous about this rating. Shink has the best hands not named Sedin in our system, dynamite speed and explosiveness plus hockey smarts. He's score up high because he got 91 points in 66 games at age 17. Clearly he has the hockey. I did not rate him higher because he has shoulders like Wellwood. Do not panic, I did not say belly! I also have not watched him play. I do understand that he has several gears beyond most, and that also prob means he outlasts others as well. He just needs to put on some muscle to compete. IMO guys that are being drafted should know this. He is however, the prospect with the highest ceiling IMO.

5) Schroeder. Guys here are excited by him. See my notes on Gaunce. As fast as he is, I see a controlled game. I dont see a guy who routinely bursts onto the ice and goes hell bent for someones balls. I also watched him play in junior, live at the WJC's against Tavares, Hodgson, Eberle and the boys. He did not stand out. Heard he did the next year? Anyway, Schroeder is 3 years older than Gaunce, and IMO should have figured that out, even though similarly he has the explosiveness strength and speed. Gallagher, Giroux St Louis play hell bent hockey! Small guys have less mass to get up to speed, and it takes less energy. They should be skating circles around guys as a strategic advantage. I just don't see it. I am very nervous having him this high. I dont like the controlled game!

6) Cedarholm off the charts early. As u can tell i am hard for athletes! A draft age guy that has the physique, explosiveness and endurance that he does? Ridiculous. And he plays PP, PK, 5 on 5 and tough minutes for his junior team. I like him!

7) Dalpe looks like he has speed and puck skills, and a touch of dash. Perhaps he is waiting on a chance with more talented players? But our 4th looks dangerous. And he is back checking, fore-checking and going to the net and boards like he wants to make the most of a bit limited opportunity. And has the energy to do it... much better than the beginning of the year.

8) Cassells. He makes plays with the puck when I watch him.

9) Eriksson. I am not really qualified to gauge goaltenders. Just a guess here based on his Swedish playoff record.

10) Archibald. Big and powerful, has better intensity, but not Kassians speed or skills? I suspect he will hang around the NHL a while anyway.

11) Grenier

12) Fox

13)Subban

14) Hutton

15) Lain

16) Welsh. Should I have him higher?

McNally, Tommerness, Labate, Cannata

Gotta run Will edit an ad some notes and finish tonight.

edit > did I really miss Jensen? Just after Dalpe.

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Canucksurfer, Great post, some outstanding insights! Vo2 max certainly is one of those overlooked but essential attributes that fans forget about. Hamphus Lindholm was drafted high in the 1st round by Anaheim largely due to his prowess in that area. I like your unconventional thinking in terms of player evaluation.

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Canucksurfer, Great post, some outstanding insights! Vo2 max certainly is one of those overlooked but essential attributes that fans forget about. Hamphus Lindholm was drafted high in the 1st round by Anaheim largely due to his prowess in that area. I like your unconventional thinking in terms of player evaluation.

Thanks.

I could only add 2 things. Scouting, IMO should center more on skills and athletic ability. Even more so than results, perhaps after the first ten picks anyway. Hodgson for example had / has talent off the charts, and went nuts in junior. But he did not have the athletic, speed and explosiveness. Against bigger stronger pro's is a different animal without superior athletic genes.

Topics as discussed relate to why a D man (who expend more energy in a game) and PF's take longer often to develop. It does take more energy to move a larger mass. So teaching that body to have both explosiveness, and the endurance requires careful rest, training, diet etc... Some guys, even very talented guys, never teach their bodies how to exert energy at the levels required and retain ability to perform skills when gassed.

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6) Cedarholm off the charts early. As u can tell i am hard for athletes! A draft age guy that has the physique, explosiveness and endurance that he does? Ridiculous. And he plays PP, PK, 5 on 5 and tough minutes for his junior team. I like him!

I'm not sure we can rate Cederholm quite so high yet. He does have an NHL body but plays on a good team with a Team Canada defenceman(Pouliot). Still only 10 points in 40 games.

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My totally uneducated list

1) Bo Horvat- IMO the Canucks only "blue chip" prospect. Has potential to be another Ryan Kesler type of player. Scouts seem to love this kid and so should Canucks fans.

2) Hunter Shinkaruk- taken a bit of a step back this year due to injuries but still was one of the last cuts on the World Jr. team. Has the potential to be a game breaker but a bit further away from reaching his NHL potential then Corrado and Horvat are.

3) Frank Corrado- cool. clam and collected. By far our best D prospect. Known as a defensive Dman but still puts up decent numbers. IMO he is ready for the NHL already but big minutes in the AHL aren't hurting him and the Coments sure need his help. The Canucks best player in the AHL this year.

4) Gaunce- IMO the smartest player in the Canucks system. The kid seems to always be the right place at the right time on the ice despite his below average skating. Looked great in the preseason and is having a good season in Erie. Should be a huge lift for the Comets next year.

5) Jordan Schroeder- looked great in the World Jrs years ago but seemed to have droped off since then. For a small guy he has a decent defensive game but IMO he needs to score more to be an NHLer. Needs to improve his offensive game at the pro level.

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7) Dalpe looks like he has speed and puck skills, and a touch of dash. Perhaps he is waiting on a chance with more talented players? But our 4th looks dangerous. And he is back checking, fore-checking and going to the net and boards like he wants to make the most of a bit limited opportunity. And has the energy to do it... much better than the beginning of the year.

edit > did I really miss Jensen? Just after Dalpe.

I didn't include Dalpe because he's played more than 40 NHL games. I'm not sure where he fits in the teams long term plans.

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