Thursday, April 12, 2007

Draft Preview: Educated Guessing

My first and foremost disclaimer is that I am no prospect expert and am simply going by ISS reports, Mr. Bugg at HfBoards, and my estimation of team need. My second is that I posted this at HF and I apologize if you're reading it twice - I was wondering if it might reach different readers at this venue.

What I have done is taken the top 6 teams heading into the 2007 draft (Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Washington, and Edmonton) and done my best to get an inventory of what they currently have in their system prospect-wise. I then used this information to do a mock draft of the top 6 teams to see what I felt Edmonton would be looking at.

My criteria for prospects was that Hockey's Future ranked them at 7.0D or better while my criteria for a current NHL player with top potential was that one of TSN.ca or myself thought the player would someday be capable of filling the role of a top-six forward or top-four defenseman.

I coupled this information with the most recent version of the ISS top prospects list as best as I could. From here I combined team need, prospect availability, and my best guesswork to choose a player for that team. I have no personal knowledge of the players involved other than what is provided on these boards, nor am I sure that I made the perfect choice with my 7.0D Hockey's Future system. And finally, I ignored the latest rumours (such as Philly being bent on choosing JVR) and went only with ISS and my estimation of team need.

Here goes!



Chicago



Prospects rated 7.0 or better:

F:

Jonathan Toews
Dave Bolland
Martin St. Pierre
Jakub Sindel
Jan-Mikael Juutilainen
Jack Skille
Dan Bertram
Igor Makarov
Troy Brouwer

D:
Danny Richmond
Dimon Danis-Pepin

NHL Players under 25 with high-end potential:

F:
Tuomo Ruutu
Michael Blunden

D:
Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Cam Barker

-I think we can safely rule out Karl Alzner.
-Few forward prospects that are truly high end,
both at and below the NHL level.
-Excellent established NHL youth on D.
-If I had to guess? Jakub Voracek

Philadelphia



Prospects rated 7.0 or better:

F:

Steve Downie
Claude Giroux
Stefan Ruzicka
Andreas Nodl
Matt Ellison

D:
Braydon Coburn
Ryan Parent

NHL Players under 25 with high-end potential:

F:

Jeff Carter
Mike Richards
Ryan Potulny
RJ Umberger

D:
Joni Pitkanen

-Good top-end D prospects despite lack of depth
-Good young NHL forwards, despite lack of prospect depth
-If I had to guess? Patrick Kane

Phoenix



Prospects rated 7.0 or better:

F:

Peter Mueller
Martin Hanzal
Alexei Kaigorodov
Blake Wheeler
Enver Lisin

D:
Keith Yandle

NHL Players under 25 with high-end potential:

F:
Fredrik Sjostrom

D:
Keith Ballard
Zbynek Michalek

-Not a deep group of youth
-Two potentially excellent NHL d-men in Ballard and Michalek
-Impressive top-end talent, despite lack of depth, may allow for a gamble
-If I had to guess? Alex Cherepanov

Los Angeles



Prospects rated 7.0 or better:

F:

Patrick O'Sullivan
Brian Boyle
Lauri Tukonen
Matt Moulson
Dany Roussin
Trevor Lewis

D:
Jack Johnson
Richard Petiot
Joe Ryan
Peter Harrold
Johan Fransson

NHL Players under 25 with high-end potential:

F:

Dustin Brown
Michael Cammalleri
Alex Frolov
Anze Kopitar

D:
none

-Stunning number of high-end forward youth
-Outside of Jack Johnson, defensive prospects lack severely
-If I had to guess? Karl Alzner

Washington



Prospects rated 7.0 or better:

F:

Nicklas Backstrom
Tomas Fleischmann
Chris Bourque
Eric Fehr
Francois Bouchard

D:
none

NHL Players under 25 with high-end potential:

F:

Alexander Ovechkin
Alexander Semin
Jakub Klepis

D:

Steve Eminger
Milan Jurcina
Shaone Morrisonn

-Set for years with elite forwards
-Not as bad off on D as I had thought, though still sorely lacking for depth
-If I had to guess? James Van Riemsdyk

Edmonton



Prospects rated 7.0 or better:

F:

Robert Nilsson
Andrew Cogliano
Slava Trukhno
Ryan O'Marra
Rob Schremp
Alexei Mikhnov
Dragan Umicevic
Frederik Pettersson
Chris Vande Velde
Colin McDonald

D:
Denis Grebeshkov
Taylor Chorney
Jeff Petry
Tom Gilbert

NHL Players under 25 with high-end potential:

F:

Ales Hemsky
Joffrey Lupul
Marc Pouliot

D:
Ladislav Smid
Matt Greene

-Lots of prospect forward depth with some players at a reasonably high level
-Impressive array of potential top 4 defensemen
-Lack of sure-fire high-end talent outside of Ales Hemsky
-If I had to guess? Kyle Turris

ISS Top Remaining Players Until #15

Sam Gagner
Maxim Mayorov
Keaton Ellerby
Logan Couture
Angelo Esposito
Colton Gillies
Nick Petrecki
Joakim Andersson
Alex Plante

3 Comments:

Blogger RiversQ said...

How about some of those prospect names rated higher than 7.0 on HF? Just fucking ridiculous.

Not your fault of course SH, it's just funny when you see them collected like that.

How much will teams consider need for their first round pick?

I imagine one or two will, but most will not. Based on BPA and based on what I've read I rather doubt that Turris falls out of the top five. I also doubt that Alzner is a BPA in the top 7-8 players. I guess he'll be a pretty good indicator for the team that is drafting for need.

4/12/2007 1:36 pm  
Blogger speeds said...

We know the Oilers will draft for need because Prendergast specifically said so, when commenting on the selection of Dubnyk in the 2004 draft.

Myself I look at "highly skilled F" as the biggest organizational need, but who knows if the Oilers would agree with that assessment.

At this point I would guess Voracek and Kane are 1-2, with Turris, Cherepanov and JVR 3-5, leaving EDM with a choice of Alzner, Couture, Ellerby, Esposito, Gagner, etc. But it's still pretty early, the U-18's will alter the rankings (and picking this early, a shift of a spot or two could make a difference for the Oilers with reagrd to who is left to select).

4/12/2007 9:24 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Interesting stuff SH - it does sound like Philly has JVR in their sights. I think he's a big kid, no - remember that old saw - to be a Flyers' pick you have to be able to take dump in the back of a pickup truck while standing flat footed on the ground.

I think the consensus is that it will be forwards in the top five but I look at the Kings and Caps and I could see both picking Alzner. Seems both have a need on the back end.

Also interested to see what will be around when they pick next - they might be able to trade up a spot or two and pick up an interesting guy at that point.

4/13/2007 6:57 am  

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