2014 NHL Draft: SBN College Hockey Mid-Term Rankings

Kootenay's Sam Reinhart is atop SBN College Hockey's list - Bruce Bennett

Comparing rankings with NHL Central Scouting

As part of my preparation for the NHL Draft, I began keeping a running list of draft prospects that I had seen play. With NHL Central Scouting releasing their own mid-term rankings today, now is a good time to release my own mid-term rankings as a point of comparison.

I limit my list to players that I've seen in the past year, and that I felt comfortable ranking.(I cheated a bit this year and added a few players from the World Juniors and Junior A Challenge that I watched enough of to feel comfortable ranking). Since I'm bound by financial and temporal restrictions the multi-person NHL Central Scouting staff doesn't face, my list isn't going to be nearly as extensive, but it's a good to compare my opinions with those that appear on the Central Scouting list.

So here's the list as I have as of January 13th, 2014:

  1. Sam Reinhart-F-Kootenay(WHL)

  2. Aaron Ekblad-D-Barrie(OHL)

  3. Nick Schmaltz-F-Green Bay(USHL)

  4. Sam Bennett-F-Kingston(OHL)

  5. Dylan Larkin-F-NTDP U18(USHL)

  6. Alex Tuch-F-NTDP U18(USHL)

  7. Jack Dougherty-D-NTDP U18(USHL)

  8. Jack Glover-D-NTDP U18(USHL)

  9. Thatcher Demko-G-Boston College(NCAA)

  10. Josh Jacobs-D-Indiana(USHL)

  11. Ryan Mantha-D-Sioux City(USHL)

  12. Anthony DeAngelo-D-Sarnia(OHL)

  13. Nikita Tryamkin-D-Avtomobilist Yekaterinaburg(KHL)

  14. Ryan Collins-D-NTDP U18(USHL)

  15. Lucas Wallwark-F-Lulea(SWE)

  16. Matt Mistele-F-Plymouth(OHL)

  17. Alex Nedeljkovic-G-Plymouth(OHL)

  18. Austin Poganski-F-Tri-City(USHL)

  19. Chase Phelps-F-Shattuck(MN HS)

  20. Jaden Lindo-F-Owen Sound(OHL)

  21. Jonathan MacLeod-D-US NTDP U18

  22. Nick Wolff-D-Eagan(MN HS)

  23. Maxim Letunov-F-Youngstown(USHL)

  24. Mitch Slattery-F-Hill-Murray(MN HS)

  25. Connor Chatham-F-Plymouth(OHL)

  26. Shane Gersich-F-NTDP U18(USHL)

  27. Steven Spinner-F-Eden Prairie(MN HS)

  28. Luc Snuggerud-D-Eden Prairie(MN HS)

  29. Tyler Sheehy-F-Waterloo(USHL)

  30. Jake Walman-D-Toronto Jr. Canadiens(OJHL)

  31. Travis Brown-D-Rogers HS(MN HS)

  32. Nolan Stevens-F-US NTDP U18(USHL)

  33. Dylan Malmquist-F-Edina(MN HS)

  34. Brett Hargrave-F-Owen Sound(OHL)

  35. Matt Berkovitz-D-Ashwaubenon(WI HS)

  36. Cullen Munson-F-Edina(MN HS)

  37. Cooper Watson-D-Appleton(WI HS)

  38. Tyler Nanne-D-Edina(MN HS)

  39. Anders Bjork-F-NTDP U18

  40. Karson Kuhlman-F-Dubuque(USHL)

  41. Charley Graaskamp-F-Team Wisconsin(WI HS)

  42. Logan Van Ruden-D-Minnesota Magicians(NAHL)

  43. Damir Sharipzyanov-D-Owen Sound(OHL)

  44. Zach Nagelvoort-G-Michigan(NCAA)

  45. Hunter Warner-D-Fargo(USHL)

  46. Louis Belpedio-D-NTDP U18(USHL)

  47. Janik Moser-D-Muskegon(USHL)

  48. Drew Vogler-G-Topeka Road Runners(NAHL)

  49. Evan Allen-F-Michigan(NCAA)

  50. Ryan Bliss-D-US NTDP U18

  51. Josh Wesley-D-Plymouth(OHL)

  52. Nathan Bilitier-D-US NTDP U18(USHL)

  53. Joe Wegwerth-F-US NTDP U18(USHL)

  54. Miguel Fidler-F-Edina(MN HS)

  55. Brendan Harms-F-Bemidji State(NCAA)

  56. Sam Kauppila-F-Austin(NAHL)

  57. River Rymsha-D-Wenatchee(NAHL)

  58. Edwin Minney-G-NTDP U18(USHL)

  59. Dylan Pavelek-F-US NTDP U18(USHL)

  60. Scott Savage-D-Boston College(NCAA)

  61. Will Hammer-F-St Cloud Cathedral(MN HS)

  62. Ara Nazarian-F-Malden Catholic(MA HS)

  63. Christopher Brown-F-Cranbrook Kingswood(MI HS)

  64. Jeremy Briscoe-D-Port Huron(NAHL)

  65. Dylan Woolf-D-Holy Family(MN HS)

  66. Alex Fredberg-D-Minnesota Wilderness(NAHL)

Notes:

-To give a point of reference, I think the top six names on my list are all first round draft picks. The cut-off mark for the end of the seventh round is likely somewhere between 40-45.

- At the very top of the draft, this could be one of the harder years to make the first overall pick because nobody has really jumped out and taken command of the spot. I think Aaron Ekblad might be the best overall player right now, but I would be hesitant taking a defenseman, especially one that projects as more of a defensive defenseman with the first overall pick. Reinhart played well enough at the World Juniors, and I think there's a little more upside there. Central Scouting went with Sam Bennett at the top spot. I saw Bennett play last year and was pretty impressed with him, but didn't know enough about him this year to rank him. Central Scouting also had Leon Draisaitl above Ekblad and Reinhart. Draisaitl had a really ugly World Juniors with a bad German team, so it was tough to really gauge where he was it. It's hard to shine as a great playmaker when you don't have anyone to pass to.

-I should point out that I didn't include NTDP F Sonny Milano, since he was injured when the saw the NTDPs play. By all accounts, he's played his way into the first round of the draft though.

-One of the bigger disparities my list has with Central Scouting is on Anthony DeAngelo. They put him pretty solidly in the middle of the first round, while I have him in more the second or third round range. He's in a very good situation for himself in Sarnia where he can run the whole show by himself and put up big numbers, but I'm less sold on how he'll fit into a more complete team, and I'm not convinced he'll hold up when he faces stiffer competition on the defensive end.

-Ryan Collins appears to have made a pretty big jump up Central Scouting's list. He made a big move up my list too after his game in St. Cloud.

-Nikita Tryamkin and Lucas Wallmark were two players that have been passed over in the draft before, but were really impressive at the World Juniors. Tryamkin's draft status is obviously quite dependent on being able to lure him away from the KHL.

- Central Scouting is a lot higher on some of the depth forwards on the NTDP team than I am.

-There were plenty of guys I'm a lot more excited about than Central Scouting as well. I've had Travis Brown pretty high on my list all year while Central Scouting has ignored him. I've got Ryan Mantha and Chase Phelps way higher too. I haven't dropped Austin Poganski as much as Central Scouting did yet, but he's certainly trending in that direction.

-Central Scouting rankings pretty much reflected what I wrote about Plymouth/Owen Sound this past November. Matt Mistele dropped from first round territory to 2nd/3rd round. They really liked Connor Chatham--I thought I had Chatham higher than most people do, but CS has him way higher.They also added Josh Wesley and Damir Sharipzyanov, who I thought were worthy of picks. The only disagreement we seem to have is that I haven't given up on Brett Hargrave yet.

-A couple interesting names on the Central Scouting list getting some attention after being passed over before: Western Michigan recruit Mat Iacopelli impressed me with Belle Tire last year, and has really scored with Muskegon this year. Didn't feel comfortable putting him on my list, but he should be drafted somewhere. Brett Beauvais was on my list early last year when he played in the NAHL. This year, he's been great in the BCHL and is now starting to get the attention he deserves. Omaha commit Jake Randolph, formerly of Duluth East HS, doesn't really play a pro style game, but has scored at such an insane rate in the USHL that he's starting to draw some attention too. St. Lawrence D Gavin Bayreuther should have been picked last year by multiple accounts, and according to Central Scouting, that should be rectified this year.

-A couple players I would have drafted last year got listed this time around. Neal Pionk was listed at 91, so he's appears to be the best bet to get drafted this time around. Michigan's Evan Allen was also thrown on at the very end of this list.
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