TSN’s Bob McKenzie has released his final ranking list for next week’s NHL Draft. McKenzie’s list, compiled entirely through a survey of scouts and general managers, is usually among the most accurate in terms of what will actually happen on draft day.
In what is really no surprise at this point, Michigan defenseman Owen Power is the runaway consensus to be selected first overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
Though he started the season among the favorites to be selected first overall, it was a slow build throughout the season for Power. After a fairly quiet first half of the season, Power began to tap into his enormous potential more in the second half of Michigan’s season. But, as McKenzie notes, it was Power’s last statement at the Men’s World Championships with Team Canada that put him over the top as the consensus #1 pick on nearly every list.
There’s a feeling that this year isn’t as strong as far as #1 overall picks go, but the fact that Power comes in not just with sky-high potential, but showing an upward trajectory in his development that suggests he is on his way to reaching it raises the excitement level considerably.
Farther down the list, Power’s Michigan teammate Matty Beniers is in the second overall slot. Michigan commit Luke Hughes is eighth—I still feel he would have gone considerably higher had he been able to play in the World U18s this spring—and Michigan’s Kent Johnson is ninth. Minnesota commit Chaz Lucius rounds out NCAA prospects in the top-10 at 10th overall.
Other NCAA-affiliated players to be listed as potential first round picks are: Matthew Coronato(Harvard) at 13th, Corson Ceulemans(Wisconsin) at 22nd, and Tyler Boucher(Boston University) at 29th.
There aren’t many big surprises in either direction on the list. The democratisation of scouting—everybody watched the same video feeds this year—seems to have led to a lot of consensus and groupthink, though I still suspect we’ll see some major surprises when it actually comes to draft day.