Red Line Report released their May piece for USA Today, and has always, there are some interesting nuggets worth debating. A few thoughts on the piece...
1. I agree with their (rather harsh) assessment of UConn's Tage Thompson. The big freshman had a nice rookie year, but I really think a lot of that was a product of playing with Max Letunov, who I think is a terrific player. I don't have as big an issue with the +/- because UConn is still an undermanned team in Hockey East. I have the same concerns about his skating though. Thompson is more of a mid-round pick to me than a candidate for the first round.
2. I'm pretty sure Red Line was at the U18s for the first week of the tournament. Risers Boris Katchouk and Filip Gustavsson were two players that had a good first week and kind of struggled in the medal round.
3. If Tyson Jost "dominated the field" at the U18s, then what do you call what Clayton Keller did? There's a bit of irony about a piece complaining about scouts overlooking superlative skill while omitting Keller from their top-10.
One person who has joined me on the "Pick Clayton Keller fourth overall" bandwagon is ESPN draft analyst Corey Pronman. He released his top 100 draft prospects list yesterday, which is sadly paywalled behind ESPN Insider, but if you have a subscription, it's a good read.
Though Draft lists are mostly set at this point, there are still a few teams playing and some players are still making a strong case for themselves, as Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News points out:
Nice draft push by USHL Dubuque's Michael O'Leary: seven points in nine playoff games, two of those points shorthanded. Saints in final now— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) May 13, 2016
Central Scouting stubbornly refused to rank O'Leary all year--a combination of not meeting sky-high expectations and playing in a tough league, I would guess--but I think he's a player teams might look at later in the Draft.