Final NHL Central Scouting Rankings Reaction

Bruce Bennett

Looking at underrated/overrated players in the Final Central Scouting Rankings

As always, NHL Central Scouting did a great job assembling their final rankings, but these things are highly subjective--even moreso than most people assume--so there's always going to be disagreement. Here's a look at a few players that I thought were rated too low and were rated too low by Central Scouting.

I would have had them higher:

1. Nathan MacKinnon(#2 NA Skater)- No offense to Seth Jones, but I still think you get way better value out of a forward drafted that early compared to a defenseman.

2. Tyler Motte (#84 NA Skater)- He hasn't developed into the player some thought might when he was younger, and his size is an issue, but I still love the grit he plays with and he brings a good deal of skill to the table. A strong U18 tournament--which wouldn't have been counted in these rankings--should help his rise too.

3. Andrew Copp (#142 NA Skater)- Normally I'm pretty strongly opposed to taking an NTDP alum in his second year of eligibility, since they're so heavily scouted in their draft year, but Copp is a little different situation, since he was basically a local fill-in. He's a great athlete that played QB in high school, and in his first year completely dedicated to the sport at Michigan, he was about the only Wolverine to acquit himself well over the season, working his way up to the top line and being voted an alternate captain for next year. There's a ton of huge positives there, and I think he goes much higher on draft day.

4. Taylor Cammarata(#193 NA Skater)- Cammarata finally made a Central Scouting list, and all it took was for him to score about a thousand points in the USHL. There's always going to strong disagreement about his long-term potential because of his size, and style of play, and I'll fully admit there's risk involved in selecting him, especially high, but no more so than 100+ other players ahead of him on the list.

5. Gabe Guertler (#208 NA Skater)- Again, not a very big player, and some questions about his attitude and maturity have raised some red flags, but he's not a player that is going to back down from anyone despite his size, and he has a boatload of skill to along with it.

I would have had them lower:

1. Jimmy Lodge(#21 NA Skater)- He's got some nice upside, and maybe I just haven't seen him enough, but I don't see him as a likely first round draft pick.

2. Teemu Kivihalme (#64 NA Skater)- Lots of upside as a puck-possession defenseman, but I was a little underwhelmed by his performance down the stretch of the high school season.

3. Will Butcher (#87 NA Skater)- He hasn't had a really strong year, and that sort of downward trajectory from where he once was usually indicates a long slide on draft day.

4. Dakota Mermis (#95 NA Skater)- He was struggling to see ice on a Denver blue line, that frankly, was disappointing this year. Did he really get that much better going to London, or did the level of competition he was playing drop?

5. Grant Besse (#106 NA Skater)- He had a nice enough year, but if a team didn't draft him last year, I don't think he proved anything new that would force a team to draft him this year.

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