Scouting reports are like snapshots of people we don’t know. They hold our interest, we might pursue more information (or photos) but the bottom line is that nothing is as good as personal experience. So, when Central Scouting released their final list today, we must remember it’s a quick snapshot of a moment in time. It is a guide, it is not the bible. The bible arrives on draft day.

I’m always impressed with the intelligence of the NHL’s scouting community. These are hockey men with resume’s that date back to the 1960’s (and earlier in rare cases) and have documented thousands of games filled with prospects. I’m a stats guy–I remain stubbornly convinced that Sean Couturier should be inside the top 5–but these NHL scouts have trained eyes and something about the big man from Arizona has caught there eye and remains a problem.

Central Scouting releases 4 lists on their final release day: North American skaters, European skaters, NA goalies and the goalies from across the pond. CS has a website but no one goes there; instead, that monstrous list is published all over the place every year. TSN, nhl.com, hell it might be in tomorrow’s newspaper.

The important list this season is NA skaters. D Adam Larsson headlines the Euro list, but the lottery selections (Larsson aside) are extremely likely to be North American kids. So, let’s have a look at the top 10 players on CS’s NA list (final edition):

  1. Ryan Nugent Hopkins: The kid’s WHL team is in trouble now, but only because RNH can’t play goal. A stunning run from the Top Prospects game through last week has this young man in some rarified air. It’s likely even money now that he’ll be the #1 ranked prospect on the Bob McKenzie (it’s not the bible either, but he’s at least spoken to the authors by now) list from tsn. NHL dot com has a splendid quote from scout (former skill F) Peter Sullivan: “A couple of people high up in the Oilers organization– and not naming names — said Hopkins has the best vision since No. 99 (Wayne Gretzky). That’s the highest compliment you can get. But the other thing is the way he competes. He never takes a night off and he works as hard in his own end as he does in the offensive zone and that takes a special player with a special set of skills to do that.”  Quote is here.
  2. Gabriel Landeskog: An ankle injury appears to be hurting his final draft number, but he performed very well during the OHL regular season. I’ve nominated him in my own mind as the guy I’ll regret the Oilers not drafting, because his scouting report would fit wonderfully on the current roster. If Hall or Eberle ever move to center, my guess is this guy would be an ideal linemate. Sullivan again: "Gabriel does remind me of former Kitchener Ranger (and Philadelphia Flyers captain) Mike Richards. He sticks up for his teammates and is as strong at both ends of the rink as any player in the draft this year. He competes as hard if not harder than anybody. He’s got all the assets that you need to be a team leader and, for a potential No. 1 overall, that’s what you would want."
  3. Jonathan Huberdeau: He was coming on before the Top Prospects game, but a strong showing there and then a terrific scoring spree at the end of the season improved his final draft number. Quick hands, he’s played a lot on the wing although there are some scouting services that list him at center. Despite his impressive season, there’s been no hint that he’s under consideration by the Oilers.
  4. Dougie Hamilton: If I had a vote (and you should be glad I don’t) Hamilton is a guy who would be in my final four. This guy is an absolute load, plus he has has some skills too. You never know with these kids, but Hamilton’s size and skill combination suggest he’ll be a complete player should he continue to develop and avoid injury. He should be gone by #5.
  5. Nathan Beaulieu: I know a few draft followers who were hoping he’d slide, but a strong playoff in the Q means he won’t slide too long. I do believe this is a very high slot for him and would lay odds Beaulieu won’t be the first QMJHL player to be drafted. Favorite TV show is Jersey Shore.
  6. Sean Couturier: I keep wondering what we’re missing. It’s clear the scouts (and these are smart men) have found a hitch in his giddyup (skating, toughness are mentioned) but math adores him. Couturier gets a passing grade from scout (and former skill player) Chris Bordeleau: “At his size, he’ll be hard to pass up in the draft. He possesses a very good work ethic and he’s out there for every important faceoff. He’s very responsible in the defensive aspect of the game — a rare quality for such a young player in junior hockey." I still have him #1 on my list. No one in hockey has emailed requesting my list, however.
  7. Sven Baertschi: Undersized Swiss winger had all kinds of success in the WHL. I think it’s a bit of a reach to place him here, but there is a case ot be made for him. One of the things he accomplished in the second half of the season was to maintain his scoring pace. First half: 36gp, 21-26-47; after the WJ’s: 30gp, 13-25-38, and he continues to score for Portland in the playoffs.  
  8. Ryan Strome: Outstanding talent here, he’s got all kinds of ability. Kyle Woodlief from Redline Report: "He’s a guy who’s got just great puck skills; he dangles with the puck and has got great speed. Really, he doesn’t need any time or space to get his shot away. He has a knack for getting to open ice."
  9. Ryan Murphy: Ridiculous numbers for this puck mover tell the story. Murphy is going to slide a little because of size, but the offense is so good that some NHL team will reach up and grab him before the Oilers make their 2nd pick of the first round. Nashville doesn’t need him, so they’ll probably take him and we can watch him rip in the western conference for the next decade. 
  10. Duncan Siemens: Huge defender impressed with a fight at the Top Prospects game and he’s a guy the Oilers are probably eyeing closely should they trade up with the LAK pick. He’s big, strong and can skate, and those qualities in a stay-at-home type (he’s skilled but isn’t going to run your powerplay) are extremely valuable. 

NHL.COM is the best place to view the lists, it is here.  I’ll follow this up later in the week once we know where the Oilers pick (1 or 2?) and we’ll have plenty of time to discuss it. PLENTY of time.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I remember that Hedberg, Nilsson and Sullivan line for the Jets, Sullivan had the quickest set of feet and hands on that line.

    I’m sure Peter and his dry sense of humor was making a joke about the higher ups in the Oilers org. The higher you go up, the less they know about kids like RNH.

  • 24% body fat

    I agree, what are we all missing that is dropping SC. Is it because his second half growth was not as good as two other players. Hubedreau was on a better team, Landeskogs numbers scare me (not elite), and RNH numbers are all on the PP. Yet despite there strong half SC still has the best ppg by a good margin. And size to boot. would be nice if he was still available at 8 and we could move the LA pick up. Assuming we havent allready drated RNH or Hubedreau.

  • Dan the Man

    I’m hoping Couturier slips as much as Fowler did last year and that the Oilers are able to trade up to get him.

    Kings first plus either Hemsky or Gagner maybe?

    • Pronger's Wife

      That’s what I’m hoping. What scares me is if we take all 160 pounds of RNH at 1st, how long before he’s ready to play in the NHL?

      Will he ever be big enough to be dominate in the NHL? Do we move Hall or somebody else to centre and take Landeskog instead?

    • 24% body fat

      We dont need to trade either of those two to move up ten spaces in the draft, maybe a LA first, edm second and third, would be nice. they could also have Cogliano.

    • stevezie

      I wouldn’t move Hemsky and a first for anything in this draft, myself. I also thtink the teams that would really be willing to roll the dice on Hemsky aren’t in the bottom eight right now, except for maybe CBS.

      I agree Landeskog’s numbers aren’t 1st overall, but that’s a perfect scouting report. I’m also wondering why those who question RNH’s size aren’t also red-flagging Huberdeau. NHL central has them at the same size.

  • 24% body fat

    RNH: projected goal scoring at age 25 will rank 120th in the league. No first overall pick should have any offensive stat be 120th. But goal scoring. to select him would be well nuts!

    Yeah great vision and the shot of a novice. maybe he can stare the puck into the net.

      • Lyxdeslic

        Nate my first game of junior hockey was in Flin Flon Manitoba in 68-69.

        RNH play. It is not his skill that scares me. It is the fact he get more than half his points on PP. They have real Pk guys in the NHL so he will get around 25% of his junior total. That takes him from .95PPG NHLE to around .65PPG While 55points is great. not for a #1 0r #2 pick.

        Second he gets only 30% of his points from goals so even if by some miracle he is the best PP forward in the last 30 years and is a .9ppg player That is 70 points. But goals win games and he projects to 22 goals at a 73 points season. At a 55 point season 17 goal season. So he will either be a 100th ranked goal scorer in the league or 150th ranked. Not numbers to be mentioned in a top 2 pick. !50th TSK TSK.

        Oh it gets better. I lloked at the last 20 years of top 15 picks. 300 players
        There have beenplayers with similiar 30 % of points from goals.
        Get ready for it:
        Daigle; Bonsignore; Kelly; Stefan; Niinimaki, Gagner.

        We compare players to historical trends. You look at hall relative to OHL history. % were busts and the last nhle said 90 points and he is around 60% of that.

        It gets better. So if you have a chance to pick a 50% of there points from goals player like Hubredeau or The playmaker like RNH (30%).

        It is asking would you take Hall (50%) or Gagner. (32%)

        Come on Tell Me your choice is Gagner! Nate! Nate! Nate!

        • Great post…nice research. I swore off RNH through first half as exactly what we didnt need but have found myself wanting him the last month even knowing the pp pts %. BUT when you throw up the comparibles like that, yikes. Maybe ill go back to Landeskog. He’s the exact type of player the oilers need. If he’s a centre, its a no brainer IMO but he’s not so we have to pray that Tambo can trade up? I dont like banking on that but maybe it needs to happen or we STACK the wings, roll with what we got comin (Pitlick/Lander). See what we have next year and then start to package deals (2 for 1s ALA stewart/shatt for johnson or Neal/nisk for Gogs)

          This just proves that weve still got holes too big to fill by next year although I think weve got D comin (Marincin, Petry, Teubert, Plante – i know, but # 6 or 7 to go with Whitney, Gilbert, Teddy, Smid)

        • It is asking would you take Hall (50%) or Gagner. (32%)

          While I partially agree with your premise, this portion I have quoted is absurd. You can’t pick out one number and say that is what makes Hall better than Gagner.

          Wouldn’t you agree that it would be equally improper to turn it around and say:

          It is asking would you take Hall (50%) or Gretzky. (31%)

          It is asking would you take Hall (50%) or Messier. (37%)

          …or what about a guy like Couture who scored goals as about 35% of his offense prior to being drafted and now in his rookie season he is scoring goals for 56% of his offense?

        • Lyxdeslic

          Obviously you know your stats quite well, but we can’t draft based on stats alone. I personally have been leading towards Landeskog and Larsson as of late, but being from Red Deer i have watched NuHo plenty of times and he is just brilliant with the puck. What is more surprising is his two way play; after 9-1 and 5-0 losses to med Hat in the second round of the playoffs, NuHo is only -1. He is a shifty forward and creates space as well. If your worried about him only putting up points on the powerplay… Oilers are one of the worst powerplay teams in the leaugue, i just dont see this kid being a bust. Does he fit into the Oilers plans, yes (he is a top end centre) but his size is a MAJOR setback.

        • Nate my first game of junior hockey was in Flin Flon Manitoba in 68-69.

          Interesting. So apparently you were teammates with Bobby Clarke. Coincidentally he was a hall of fame player who, as an 18 year old junior player, only scored 30% of his points from goals.

  • I’d love the Oilers trade their LA pick and something else (perhaps the 31st pick would be enough) to get inside the top eight and pick, in addition to Larsson (who would be my choice at #1) a Strome, Hamilton or falling Courturier (who might be the best value pick of the draft, similar to Fowler, he might just be overscouted). I think the top of this draft is the last chance for the Oilers to build their current window of players before we start getting into the second wave. A fifth round draft pick that turns into a player gradually and plays at 24 in this draft will play on a team with a 25 year old Hall, a 28 year old Gagner, a 30 year old Omark…

    Granted, this team needs to build the second wave, but I think the high picks from this year, the players that will play next year or the year after are the last players that will hit their prime at the same time as the Gagner/Hall/Eberle/Omark/Petry/Peckham group, I would estimate.

  • 24% body fat

    All this talk about Hopkins and yet Larsson is still the one to beat. This is the year where the Oilers have to address their needs and not focus on the “best player available” (which is apparently Hopkins).

    Do the Oilers need a very good small centre or do the Oilers need a very good big defenseman?

  • Bank Shot

    Why are the Oilers talking up RNH so much before the draft lottery?

    If they lose tomorrow, then all the glowing praise weakens their hand if they want to attempt to trade for him on draft day.

    Perhaps they are using misdirection, but which other team is going to be swayed by the banter from the worst team in the NHL? Plus, I don’t think anyone in the Oilers org is savvy enough for a move like that.

    Where is the logic in pimping a prospect now?

    • Lowetide

      I think it’s one of those deals where everyone knows the kid has talent and 28 teams aren’t going to have a chance in hell anyway. So, if you’re the Oilers (and one assumes that the person saying it was fairly high up the food chain, the scouting staff doesn’t exactly do round table media conferences) there’s likely very little fear that statements made will alter the draft.

      If Ottawa has RNH #1 they’re going to have him there based on their own scouting, not some quote in a newspaper.

  • 24% body fat

    I’ve been wondering about how the scouting rankings stack up against where players actually get picked by NHL teams in terms of how players ultimately pay off.

    Whenever teams go off the board, either letting players drop from their expected draft position, or picking a player ahead of their projected draft position, I wonder if one group gets it right more often. For example: If central scouting, using wisdom of the crowd, ranks Cam Fowler at #3 in 2010, but he’s ultimately drafted at #12, which ranking is more correct (We’ll find out in a few years)?

    Put differently, looking backwards, is there any evidence that going off the board and either passing over a player or drafting a player ahead of their projected number is a good or bad idea.

    Any thoughts?

  • Lowetide

    gongshow: Generally speaking, I think you can count on the best players being off the board by about #60. So, if a team does score a winner by going off the board they better be sure.

    Oilers drafting Niinnimaki is an example of it not working, and iirc Brent Burns was a reach that did work out.

      • Lowetide

        Burns went #20 in 2003, a very deep draft year. CSB had him #39 NA that year. Ordinarily that would put him about #50 when factoring in the goalies and north american skaters/goalies.

        I’d say that was a reach, and Niinimaki went 15th (not far from 20th).

  • 24% body fat

    I honestly think Hamilton will be the best D out of this draft group, Larsson might have him to start but within a 2-3 years Hamilton will be a force. I think he has more offensive upside then LArsson, I think Larrson is awesome and would not complain at all if the Oilers drafted him but I think RNH is the way to go and pray they could trade up for Hamilton. I would even make an argument to trade down from 1st overall to about 3 or 4 and pick up an extra pick and then use that with the kings pick and move into the top 10 (would take some extreme wheeling and dealing but it could be done)

  • Lowetide

    One thing I noticed in Oil Change was how Stu changed his mind from Hall to Seguin to Hall again through the course of the year. He looked at it from all angles. This is a huge sign IMO. It means that he is willing to change his mind. He is not an arrogant prick who picks a guy and then thinks he can do no wrong. It seems like in the past that is how the Oilers would pick players. Get a player in their head (Miknov, Nash, ), and then never do any more homework or look at other players.

    Maybe im just talking out of my ass, but I like the way Stu does things.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Can someone explain to me why so
    many of you always want to trade
    A proven NHL player such as Hemsky
    or Gagner for unproven kids?

    Hemsky when healthy and yes health
    has been an issue is close to a
    point per game player and Gagner is
    Only 21 and will continue to

    If you want to make a trade a player
    With Hemsky’s talent you need to
    Be getting a talented proven body
    Back, such as Zach Begosian

  • Can someone explain to me why so
    many of you always want to trade
    A proven NHL player such as Hemsky
    or Gagner for unproven kids?

    Hemsky when healthy and yes health
    has been an issue is close to a
    point per game player and Gagner is
    Only 21 and will continue to

    If you want to make a trade a player
    With Hemsky’s talent you need to
    Be getting a talented proven body
    Back, such as Zach Begosian

  • O.C.

    Oilers should draft a centre with their first pick.

    The second pick, also a first rounder, should be a centre.

    The third pick, first overall in round two, should be a centre.

    • Peterborough

      umm I know we need help in the middle. This might interest you:

      We have Horcoff Gagne and Cogliano as established Centres.

      Plus this what our propect pool looks like: (the value represents potential and the letter grade represents how close they are to realizing it ie A= already there)

      Left Wingers:

      Curtis Hamilton 7.0B Teemu Hartikainen 7.0D Drew Czerwonka 6.5D Hunter Tremblay 5.0C Kellen Jones 5.5D Kristians Pelss 5.5D Matt Marquardt 5.0D Philippe Cornet 5.0D Alexander Bumagin 4.5D William Quist 3.5D


      Tyler Pitlick 7.5C Anton Lander 6.5B Ryan Martindale 7.5D Chris Vande Velde 6.0C Ryan O’Marra 6.0C Tanner House 6.0C Mark Arcobello 6.5D Milan Kytnar 5.5D Robby Dee 5.0D

      Right Wingers:

      Jordan Eberle 8.5B Linus Omark 7.5C Toni Rajala 6.0C Cameron Abney 5.0D


      Alex Plante 7.5C Jeff Petry 7.5C Colten Teubert 7.0C Martin Marincin 8.0D Kevin Montgomery 6.0B Taylor Fedun 6.5C Brandon Davidson 7.0D Jeremie Blain 7.0D Johan Motin 6.0C Taylor Chorney 6.0C Kyle Bigos 5.0D Troy Hesketh 5.5F Jordan Bendfeld 4.5D


      Olivier Roy 7.5D Tyler Bunz 7.0D Bryan Pitton 5.0D

      Based on that do you still want three centres in this draft??? And why? It seems to me that they have other areas of need as well.

      • Lyxdeslic

        The reason you still chase Centermen in this draft is that the team is weak on top end pivots. Gagner = small 2nd line center at best, Cogs is a small 3rd line center, and Horcoff is an old 2nd, soon to be 3rd line, pivot that is in the decline phase of his career.

        As far as the other prospects go, Lander is projected as a 3rd liner along the lines of Jarrett Stoll, and Vande Velde looks like he will be a #4 to possible #3 centreman. Outside of that, Pitlick played right wing this season and may be better suited to that position. Martindale is rated higly in the ratings above, but based on the question marks surrounding him the odds are probably against him making the show.

        I have been a proponent of taking Larsson in the past, but have been swayed to thinking the team should take RNH at #1 overall despite his size issues and then try to trade up for Couturier or Strome with the King’s 1st rounder and Gagner. Couturier’s skating looked decent enough at the WJHC, and at his size even if all he does is replace Gagner as a #2 Centerman that is a huge bonus.

        • Peterborough

          I can the point but at the same time you can’t ignore other needs. Was our situation any different in the middle last year??

          When we took

          1 Hall LW 2 Pitlick C (think the team still projects him in the middle) 3 Marincin D 4 Hamilton LW 5 Martindale C

          I’m telling you now we will draft a D-man with one or more of our top 3 picks. There is no such thing as too many D-men as much better as our propects at D look this year over last its still a need to have if you are to build a winner.

          Also its going to be next to impossible to get a 1rst rounder in the 15 or higher here is the draft as it looks now:


          Thats right, only the Leafs gave a pick that high and after the fiasco that was the Kessel deal, it will be long before you see teams willing to deal these picks IMO.

          Even better luck getting a 1 or a 2 centreman with pick in the later prt of the first or early in the second and as you have said we seem have guys that are 3-4 types comming.

          BPA is still a better way to go and handcuffing the smartest man on the team seems silly to me.

  • Peterborough

    I don’t know if anyone as ever made a connection with RNH to another awesome centre from Burnaby, Joe Sakic. I looked at their stats, in 1988, Joe was 185 pounds with 78-82 for 160 points in the whl(mind you scoring back then was way different). I know RNH is 164 pounds (www.whl.com) and is 31-75 for 106 points. Everyone is talking about his vision and passing, hockey IQ etc. Joe was 19 when he started in the NHL, Ryan is only 17, another 20 pounds over the next couple years and he could be close to Joe in playing weight. If we could get him and he’s even half the player Joe was, I’d be happy.

    I really like RNH as a prospect and I am not saying he’ll be another Joe Sakic but I’d certainly be very happy with RNH. Mind you many of the top 10 would be nice fits, seeing as the Oilers have so many needs at center and defense. I trust in Stu to pick the right guy(s) The next few onths will be really exciting with the anticipation and discussions about picks.

    I really hope that we start trending up next year. This last year was hard to watch even though I made it to the bitter end. All I ask for is to at least threaten to make the playoff come next March/April.

  • Crash

    8.Ryan Strome: Outstanding talent here, he’s got all kinds of ability. Kyle Woodlief from Redline Report: “He’s a guy who’s got just great puck skills; he dangles with the puck and has got great speed. Really, he doesn’t need any time or space to get his shot away. He has a knack for getting to open ice.”

    Just curious of the thought process here compared to last year. It seems this player is almost a clone of Tyler Seguin, yet there’s little to no hype on him. Both players, same height, same weight, both right handed centers, both had 106 pts in the OHL in their draft year. Seguin had more goals, Strome more assists. Strome had more PIM.

    Does anyone have a theory as to why Ryan Strome isn’t talked about in the same light as Seguin was given that report above?

    • Lyxdeslic

      Ryan Strome is MUCH weaker then Seguin. Yes he is an offensive powerhouse but his two way play is much worse then Seguins. Seguin is also better on the face off dot, is a more powerful skater who is hard to knock around and his vision is also better. Everybody just looks at size, stats and a couple of quotes regarding the player and thinks that the player is the “Next Big Thing.” You must take into account leadership, TWO WAY PLAY, vision, growth, potential, locker room presence, stability, hockey sense etc. Ryan Strome is a great player but he is no Tyler Seguin!

  • hoil

    rickibear raises the legitimate PP points issue with RNH that has been brought up many times before. However, cherry picking past draft failures with poor goals/assists ratios is a bit misleading.

    There was no mention of Paul Kariya, a guy drafted with only 25 G to 75 A. He managed to drag his poor goals/assist percentage up to over 40% in the NHL, for over 400 goals, including 50 in his second year. 989 points in 989 games since 1994. Wonder why Kariya is left out of the examples?

    I would be happy with any of the guys in the mix playing on the Oilers, but am not looking forward to watching him become a star elsewhere if we pass on him.

    Here is a link to a youtube video of a RNH 5-point night from a month ago. A hat trick and two assists, all of them showing some skill, but the one I like most is the last assist at about 1:35.


    RNH starts at the left point and starts moving towards the corner with the puck. He makes a quick pivot when the defenders split to cut him off and quickly snaps a cross ice pass through the gap he created with his spin move. Bang-bang, in the net. People make a big deal about “cheap” second assists, but that was as legitimate a point as any.

    Not taking anything away from the other front runners, but RNH is the real deal.

    • Lowetide

      Hotoil or Hoil?
      NHLE league value
      NCAA .45
      WHL .28

      I did not use Kariya because he was NCAA a much tougher league 1.6 times harder than CHL.
      However lets look:
      Kariya had 2.59
      RNH Had

      Kariya 2.59 PPG his draft year. At october 18 yr season which is nhle projected @ (.5*1.60) = .80 ; 2.59 X .8 ; nhle 2.0 ; Actual NHLE 1.30 The key is when you lok at the below #0% guys you get around .65 of NHLE. Unless you are points freak like Kariya or Gagner. Then good luck.

      RNH As a April 93 would have a .65 equivalency. So he would need 3.07 ppg in the WHL tp produce like Kariya.
      RNH 1.53ppg X .65 = .99ppg NHLE but what you have shown me is the NHLE reduction for Kariya is not as dramatic for NCaa guys. Howefer the best I have seen is a 35% reduction for Kariya and the best Chl reduction is Gagner.

      Gagner 2.2PPg X .7 = 1.44ppg this year 1.2ppg Actual .65ppg 45% reduction.

      So these low point from goal guys get 45% or worse reductions relative to NHLE.

      Jesus Hoil. you just made it look worse for RNH. based on this he will likey be worse than .65ppg.

      • Lyxdeslic

        Im sorry but you know nothing besides stats. Stats have nothing to do with heart, leadership, vision, potential, two way play or physical play, just to name a few. If you look just at stats, explain how someone like pisani who has never scored more then 18 goals in a single season score 14 in one playoff run? The previous stats aren’t there. Im not comparing Nugent Hopkins to Pisani, but it just proves stats can be totally useless! Nugent Hopkins vision is unbelievable and his lateral movement is stupendous, he is going to be a dynamite NHLer. Your stats are extremely selective and are nothing but a ploy to convert people against NuHo. Even if i wasn’t a Nugent Hopkins fan, i still would be totally against your argument. I hate when people just go off stats, why do you think scouts actually go to games rather then just compile stats…. Because stats are hollow; watch Nugent Hopkins play he finds and creates space like no one i have seen in a long while.

      • hoil

        I made it worse?

        By taking a specific argument you made about Goals to Assists being a predictor of future performance and pointing out ONE specific contradiction that you ignored because it didn’t help your case against RNH?

        Here’s another: Doug Wickenheiser and Denis Savard: which one had the better G to A ratio in their draft year? Hint: he was 3 inches and 26 pounds heavier.

        Then you changed the argument to something entirely different, NHLE by player’s background, took it to your own jury and amazingly won with yourelf as judge. Of course nobody outside yourself understood your post the way it is written, and I can do simple percentage guzintas thank you.

        I threw a dart at the 2001 draft to check out their NHLE. Chuck Kobasew NCAA NHLE should have given him 0.51 ppg according to your generic numbers (0.45), yet he has only managed 0.41 ppg in the big show. Only in his two best years did he meet and exceed his NHLE.

        The next forward in the dartboard with a WHL background was Colby Armstrong (another Rebel!). With your NHLE for WHL of 0.28 his NHL ppg should be around 0.30. But he manages to meet Chuck’s NHLE quite nicely.

        To find these nice stats, I simply picked a year, picked the first NCAA forward selected and went down the order to the next WHL player chosen. No doubt these two are statistical anomolies, but they work for my argument so I used them.

        The problem with any of these stats is averages are just that; averages. They do not account for statistical freaks who are outside of the bell curve. NHLE are a very useful tool for analysis, but they are far from being law.

  • hoil

    I am very hesitant to draft another undersized player, especially a centre. I haven’t seen RNH play much, but unless he is EXCEPTIONAL I don’t think the risk is worth taking for a team that is already impossibly small.

    Comparisons are out there, but Sakic was an exceptional junior for any year or era, and his scouting report (can’t find it) read exactly like how he played in the NHL. He was already a complete player, had no weaknesses, and although small, he was heavier than RNH. Is RNH an exceptional junior, or the best this year?

    Letang’s scouting report read the same way (can’t find it) – a complete player good at all aspects of the game. I think there is something to be said for drafting players that have the game down, instead of hoping they can develop an aspect to their game that is missing or weak.

    Or banking on some obscure abitlity that may not pan out in the bigs. The great players are almost always great (and dominant, like Hall, Sakic, Crosby, Stamkos, etc) at every level of play.

    The only player this year showing real dominance is Couturier, and I would really like to know what is up with him and the scouts.

    • hoil

      What is RNH weakness? He is probably a better 2 way Center then Couturier, I have seen him a couple times and he is everywhere hard on the forecheck and back check. The only knock on him is he is small and puts up a lot of PP points, he is still over 6 feet and just turned 18 that is plenty of time to fill out and with his skating at 6 feet 185 he would do more then hold his own as he is strong on the puck and almost impossible to hit.

      Plus what is the complaint of all the power play points I get the ratio and everything but if you saw him play you see why it is high, their powerplay went through him and he made for some really easy goals, plus with all the powerplays now days I wouldnt complain with 40 powerplay points from him. He could get 90 powerplay points and 10 even strength its still 100 points.

  • hoil

    RNH is listed at 6′-1/2″.

    Landeskog is listed at 6′-1/2″.

    I realize that Landeskog weighs 40+lbs more and would obviously be much stronger, but adding 20 lbs of muscle to a guy that just 18 isn’t unheard of. And, it’s more likely than banking on a guy developing first-line NHL speed and skills.

    Actually I like Landeskog a lot and would love to have him on the Oilers.

    • @Oilfan00
      Couturier is so far ahead of his team mates (and I think others) in +/- that the last player was Crosby I believe, that had such a gap. He has the best numbers in even strength play, lots of goals, etc. and size this year. There is something the scouts aren’t liking however.

      Players that rack up PP points in junior and don’t score goals don’t fare as well in the bigs. This is the concern with RNH, and of course he’s unusually slight for an NHL’er.

      The other scary thing is of the 6 low goal high draft guys ricki mentioned who did not become dominant NHL players (Gagner is not going to be dominant), 3 were Oiler drafts.

      “Vision” doesn’t necessarily translate to the NHL level, goals scored by the player himself does. It’s the difference between former linemates Kane and Gagner, Crosby and Pouliot.

      When you add in issues with a player’s game it gets worse, like that Kane skates really well and Gagner doesn’t, Gagner has a weak shot etc..

      There is more of a gamble with RNH – could be a superstar, could bust with the size thing and his weak shot. Couturier is going to be at least a good player because he has size and plays all aspects of the game really well already.

      • hoil

        I didn’t mention Courturier when I was pointing out that the Hopkins wasn’t exactly tiny. Personally, I am pretty surprised that a big centre with all of those great stats has slipped so much in the rankings. It would be interesting to hear some of the scouts explain it. I would hate to see him end up here and get chewed up by the fans because he has the big guy “looks slow” syndrome and fails to meet expectations. Let’s face it, none of the guys in the mix are up to the Taylor Hall level.

        I don’t know how much of the game the Rebels play has to do with RNH’s heavy PP points, and how he is used in their system to exploit the PP. I do know that he doesn’t have a problem with his defensive game (respectable +/-), skates better than most and has uncanny hockey sense and skill.

        He needs a bit of muscle and could improve his shot, but those are things that can be improved on with time, diet, excercise and practice. The say you can’t teach size, but you can’t teach speed & vision either.

  • Lyxdeslic

    Draft Wiz: I know whta it is like to were my countries colors on my back!

    I know the two years of preperation.

    I know what is like to train up to 5 times a day.

    I know what it is like to run 3000M on top of the Rink, do fartleks, then stairs and walk over to the puke bucket at the end.

    I know what is like to sit in front of the tele and do 3000 sit-ups.

    I know whay it is like to Do triathalete set in the gym using 100 to 500lbs.

    I know what it is like to break a mans Jaw, Leg, Arm, balls to win a game.

    I know what it is like to make plays you know only ten players in the world can make.

    I have played with a broken ankle, Cheek, Hand.

    I know the beauty Oxegenated blood being put in your body and the altimate adrenalin ruches that occur doing performnces the next week.

    I have made decisions for the sake of sport that has messed my body at a young age.

    I know from natinal testing there are not many who haven gotten there body to the level I achieved.

    So please do not question my heart. Just know this.

    The one thing I am most certain of is Stats do matter!
    I know Psat player history is used as a measure of the future.

    Seeing Daigle, Bonsignore, Kelly, Stefan as markers and you not being scared tells me all i need to know about you r sports knowledge.

    Passion counts for something. but results count more. I am not using the 1st pick an any risk. and RNH is the biggest Since Gagner.

    • Peterborough

      Stats do matter. Big time. But their are anomilies , it happens. Like Pisani, that magical run re had on our magical run. But thats why they play the games. Stats will be right over the long hall most of the time.

      It’s like poker: you put your money in with top set and when some A-hole hits his runner runner flush keep playing you’ll take his money 19/20.

      I’m okay with those odds.

      PS If anyone who reads this isn’t, its not too late to book a spot in this weekends big game!!!

      PPS Bring a LOT of cash!!!

    • Lyxdeslic

      Congratualtions on being in such physical shape and making it nowhere, you must of lacked what Nugent-Hopkins as an extreme abundance of…. hockey sense and vision.

      Ps. Anyone can be anything they want to be on the internet, so without further adieu congratulations on playing for team Canada.

      As for the risk factor, yes i agree his size is a risk, but he powerplay points has extremely no effect on me. Quite frankly the Oilers powerplay BLOWS and we need someone to step up and create offense on it. This powerplay success just demonstrates his incredible talent to find holes in defense.

      As for my hockey knowledge, I come from a family of 5 and all of us boys played either Juinor A or some form of post secondary hockey. My brother is currently a hockey trainer in Edmonton and works with players from bantam AAA to the Oil Kings, i have another brother who currently plays for Cornell. I ended my hockey career 2 years ago and since then have been eating sleeping and breathing any form of hockey.

      Being from Red Deer/Sylvan Lake Area I also became great friends with Brooke Sutter (brent Sutter’s daughter) and have had the privelage to spend time with him and some of the people in his organization. (yes i hate the flames but who wouldn’t want to talk to someone in the NHL buisness) I got to talk to meet Tod Button (director of scouting) and asked who he thuoght was the best player in the draft, he simply said “Hopkins” stating that he vision is unmatched in the last 3-4 drafts. So im not an expert on the situation, but i dont think im out to lunch by any means.

      I understand stats are important, but ive said it before, you are selective in your stats and base all opinions on stats rather then watch them play.

      When its unanimous on all draft rankings that you are the number one player in the draft… the risk is probably not all that much.

  • When its unanimous on all draft rankings that you are the number one player in the draft… the risk is probably not all that much.

    Is it really unanimous though when the favorite to go number one changes 86 times during the season? Will you change your mind in 2 weeks when someone puts Larsson at the top of their list? I doubt it, but it’s too close to be so sure about it.

    • Lyxdeslic

      ISS -Nugent-Hopkins
      Craig Button- Nugent-Hopkins
      Central Scouting- Nugent-Hopkins
      Bob Mckenzie- Nugent-Hopkins
      Every mock draft on NHL.com, Adam Kimelman, Mike G Morreale and Steven Hoffner’s Mock drafts – Nugent-Hopkins
      (all the most recent updated draft lists)

      Yes someone else might be taken 1st but im making point that NuHo cant have that much risk with these draft rankings the way they are.

      • Right… technically it’s unanimous.

        …but the term unanimous generally implies more of a dominating sense than his current situation. A player who has only been the #1 favorite for a fraction of the season doesn’t really meet the expectation that come from using the term. Just think, if the season happened to end a month ago he would probably not been ranked #1.

        So yes, technically it is unanimous, but only a month or so ago he was considered #2. Hardly an overwhelming vote of confidence. I do agree that earning the #1 ranking does indicate a good chance that he can play however…I’m just having a hard time convincing myself he should go first overall.

        • Lyxdeslic

          yes i do see where your coming from, but even last year Stu Mcgregor changed his mind is a couple of time whether or not Hall or Seguiin should be taken first overall. So im not too concerned with his late claim of the number one spot.

          I understand that point aswell, i too have some worries after watching this playoff series against Med Hat but once again, the vision he has is unbelievable and i have faith in scouting especially Stu Mcgregor, and right now NuHo looks on top of the scouting charts.

  • Seeing the new order of the top dozen or so in the draft order, several of the teams in our potential sweet spot for trading up with our LA pick (and getting an Oleksiak, Siemens, McNeil, or Zibanejad…) are division rivals:

    10. Minny
    11. Col
    13. Cgy

    No one will be doing us any favours….