TSN’s venerable Bob McKenzie has just revealed his final roster ahead of the 2023 draft. It’s not a mock draft, but a ranking of the top prospects following a secret ballot among ten NHL scouts or team managers.
This list constitutes a reference in the field. There is a certain margin of error, of course, but it has the advantage of allowing us to read the mind of the average recruiter well.
If an Alex Turcotte is consensus in the middle, as in 2019, for example, this list will not allow us to warn us of the trap, but will give us a good overview of the rank where the player will be drafted.
The list of Craig Button, of TSN him also, differs. Button, the former Calgary Flames general manager, specializes in the draft and offers his own opinion. His roster has the advantage of going off the beaten path on occasion, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
The NHL Central Scouting list gives us a general overview of prospects, but is probably the worst reference tool in the industry. There was too much difference between their classification and reality for us to make it a reliable tool. It does not produce an overall ranking, but rather separates players on the North American circuits from the rest of the world.
McKenzie’s ranking was pretty much true to draft order, though Caufield and Krebs were left out of the top ten despite being there on our analyst’s list.
Button was bold in ranking Caufield fourth. He was far from the end result, but the recruiters should have listened to him! Alex Turcotte was also in tenth place on his list, five places less than on the list of his colleague, who nevertheless guessed the trend.
Both were wrong in the case of defender Moritz Seider. McKenzie dumped him midway through the opening lap, Button 26th. Detroit drafted him in sixth place and will have been right. If the draft were to be redone today, Seider would be a top-five pick.
NHL Central Scouting dared to rank Arthur Kaliyev ahead of Cole Caufield and Matt Boldy. Kaliyev was drafted in the second round. A certain Ilya Mikolaev was ranked ninth on their list of international players. He was never picked up…
Again, McKenzie’s rankings are getting closer to reality in 2018. The top ten picks on his list were drafted into the top twelve. Jesperi Kotkaniemi was ranked fifth on both lists. It was therefore not so far in the final rankings, contrary to what some still suggest today.
Button loved Filip Zadina to the point of putting him third on his list, ahead of Brady Tkachuk, which McKenzie did not. He adored Akil Thomas and ranked him 17th and was not so infatuated with Martin Kaut, seeded in the second round. We should have listened to it in the case of Kaut, not Thomas…
Another aberration of the Central, a certain Adam Ginning ahead of Jesperi Kotkaniemi among international players, just like Kravtsov and Kaut, moreover, Serron Noel in tenth place among North Americans, Sampo Ranta 18th. Noel was drafted 34th overall and spent part of the season in the ECHL, Ranta was drafted 78th overall, and he’s still trying to crack the Avalanche roster after several seasons in the AHL.
McKenzie once again offers a portrait extremely consistent with reality. The first four names on his list were drafted in the same order. However, it should not be relied upon to assess the talent of the players in question since Nolan Patrick and Michael Rasmussen, among others, were disappointments even if they were drafted in the top ten.
Button once again acted as a free electron. We can blame him for having sown Heiskanen, who has become one of the best defenders of his generation, a little too far in fifth place, among others behind Cody Glass. Ryan Poehling was 12th on his list, the Canadiens drafted him 25th overall.
He placed Robert Thomas 46th on the second lap. Thomas was drafted 20th overall and became one of the best in his class. McKenzie had it 21st. But Button ranked Rasmussen 21st. The Red Wings should have listened to him.
The Central is still covered with ridicule in the ranking Nolan Patrick in first place, ahead of Nico Hischier, and Cale Makar in tenth place, among North Americans. Combining the two rankings, North American and International, Makar probably wouldn’t have been a top 15 pick.
Internationally, Klim Kostin, drafted 31st overall, is first on his list, ahead of Elias Pettersson, Lias Andersson and… Miro Heiskanen. Kostin and Andersson in front of Heiskanen. ” My word ! », as Pierre Houde would say.
Bedard, Fantilli and Carlsson are unanimous on both lists. On the other hand, Button dares to rank Will Smith sixth, behind defender Axel Sandin Pellikka, fifth, but fourteenth on McKenzie’s list.
McKenzie ranks right-handed defender David Reinbacher, who could be of interest to CH fifth, in eighth place, but Button sows him 20th. Ryan Leonard, the flavor of the month in Montreal since Kent Hughes compared his fighting spirit to those of the Tkachuk brothers, is ranked sixth by McKenzie, but twelfth by Button. He was not put to sleep by the smokescreen launched by Hughes, but McKenzie relied on his recruiters, who generally like this type of player.
Forward Eduard Sale comes seventh on Button’s list, but 26th on McKenzie’s. Will Button regret it in a few years?
La Centrale ranks Dvorsky and Sale ahead of Reinbacher in its ranking of international players. They are entitled to it, it is their list…
Not only do the Chicago Blackhawks hold the first overall pick in 2023, which will allow them to draft Connor Bedard, but they also have the 19th, obtained from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Brandon Hagel. Tampa does not regret this transaction, however, since Hagel amassed 64 points, including 30 goals, last year.
The Coyotes finished higher than expected in the standings, but will still draft sixth overall, with their own pick, and then twelfth, with the Ottawa Senators’ acquired pick Jakob Chychrun. Two advantageous places. Senators GM Pierre Dorion has therefore sacrificed in just under a year a seventh overall pick and a twelfth pick to acquire Alex DeBrincat and Jakob Chychrun, in addition to three second-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026 ) and one from the third round (2024).
Detroit will draft 9th and 17th, Philadelphia 7th and 22nd, Nashville 15th and 24th, Montreal 5th and 31st and St. Louis has three picks, 10th, 25th and 29th.
Ottawa, NY Islanders, Tampa, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Toronto, New Jersey, Boston, Dallas and Florida have no first-round picks. Ottawa, Tampa, Toronto and Boston don’t have second-round picks either.
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