TSN’s Bob McKenzie released his list of the top 93 prospects for this weekend’s NHL Draft.
As McKenzie noted last week on his podcast(always an entertaining show, and this was particularly informative on the Draft), he’s not necessarily a great mind when it comes to draft prospects, but he definitely knows a lot of people that are, and this list, compiled by a consensus of ten NHL execs, most of whom are handling their respective teams’ draft, is one of the best rankings heading into the draft every year.
No surprise, Rasmus Dahlin remains the overwhelming favorite to be selected first overall by Buffalo, with former Muskegon Lumberjack Andrei Svechnikov solidifying himself as the consensus number two.
Things get murkier at third overall, where Boston University’s Brady Tkachuk passed Filip Zadina for the third spot, though there isn’t a strong consensus there.
Other NCAA-affiliated players to make the projected first round include: 8. Quinn Hughes(Mich), 9. Oliver Wahlstrom(TBD) 17. Joel Farabee(BU), 24. K’Andre Miller(Wisc) 25.
Bode Wilde(Mich), 31. Mattias Samuelsson(WMU)
A couple of my thoughts on the list for discussion:
-I like Brady Tkachuk a lot as a player, but if I was picking at third overall, I’d probably lean towards Zadina. Tkachuk is the better all-around player and the little things he does are valuable, but picking that high, I want somebody that scores goals and I’ll take my chances finding somebody that does the little things later on in the draft. I’ve consistently been impressed by Zadina’s ability to get into good positions and put the puck in the net. I think that is tough to pass on.
-My knowledge is admittedly shaky-to-non-existent on a lot of the guys listed to 10-16, but Joel Farabee feels very under-rated at 17th overall. Comparing to some past drafts, I think he’s a borderline top-10 talent, and if he does last that long, I think he’ll eventually out-perform his draft position.
-I’m less sold on the three NTDP defensemen ranked late in the first round. Like above, these ranking positions don’t exist in a bubble. If you move somebody down, you have to move somebody up, and maybe there aren’t 30 kids out there to put ahead of them. But while I think everyone can agree on the high ceiling all three have, I didn’t really see enough progression throughout the year to suggest a higher likelihood of reaching that potential.
-Blake McLaughlin looks like a potential steal at 51 on the list. I really like his game and its’ potential to translate at the next level. I think he’s closer to the tail end of the first round or early in the second round.
-The bottom third of the list seems pretty uninspiring. This doesn’t look like a particularly deep draft, and we could see a lot of surprises and off-the-board picks as we get into Day 2 of the Draft.