Ryan Murray Supplants Mikhail Grigorenko on Central Scouting’s Final Rankings

If the Oilers do indeed end up with the second overall pick at this year’s draft, and want to land defenseman Ryan Murray, they may be well-advised not to trade down. The NHL’s Central Scouting Service released their final list this morning, and it came with a bit of a surprise: Ryan Murray has leapfrogged Mikhail Grigorenko into the second overall position.

Central Scouting doesn’t provide a unified list; rather, they have four separate ones: North American skaters and goalies, and European skaters and goalies. Here are links to the lists:

Realistically, the Oilers’ selection is going to come off one of the top two lists, and unless they have a real affinity for Filip Forsberg, it’s probably going to be made off the top one.

While Murray’s ascendance over Grigorenko is interesting – and will probably help shield the Oilers from the ‘they didn’t take the best player available’ charge if they land Murray at Number Two, simply because Central says something doesn’t make it so.

Most scouting services have Murray and Dumba vying for the title of top defenseman. Central does not – in fact, they rank Dumba as the seventh-best North American defender, behind Murray, Morgan Rielly, Cody Ceci, Olli Maatta, Jacob Trouba and Griffin Reinhart.

If that lineup sounds at odds with what we’ve been hearing from various hockey insiders, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Central’s final rankings don’t typically reflect the final rankings of NHL teams.

There’s a line in Gare Joyce’s book Future Greats and Heartbreaks that explains why. I can’t find it at the moment but the gist is basically this: NHL teams look at Central’s preliminary lists when they’re deciding who to go and look at. They look at the mid-term lists to see if there’s somebody they’ve missed or who Central has ranked far differently; then maybe they go back and take another look. By the time the final rankings come out, teams have firm opinions of these players, and those opinions typically differ from Central’s.

It also shouldn’t be a surprise that NHL teams typically do a better job ranking players at the draft than Central does in their rankings. These are 30 highly competitive, typically well-funded scouting services, each going head-to-head and under intense pressure to identify the best players. Central has less manpower, less funding, and one voice. All else being equal, one head scout simply isn’t a match for 30 head scouts.

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  • aeiouY

    if the oilers can’t use there second round pick to move up in order to draft one of the much talked about defence men.

    I would love to see them draft malcolm subban if he is still available. I didn’t think it was possible to have more confidence and swag than his older brother. But he does. I think he could end up being a stud goalie down the road
    Wouldn’t hurt in trying to lure P.K over here either

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I saw Gaunce on TSN this morning. Very impressive character. He’s ranked at #13 and might be a sleeper IMO. Do you trade #2 to Washington for #11 and #16 and Orlov (or Clarkson)?

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I would feel better drafting Ryan Murray than Grigorenko. There are way too many conflicting reports on Grigorenko but I haven’t seen many negative reports on Murray. I think he has more offense than he’s given credit for too. He was the best skater both forwards and backwards at the Top Prospects game and I believe also had the second hardest shot. That and he makes a good first pass. He played on a brutal team in Everett and basically carried them to the playoffs. Put him on the PP with guys like Eberle, RNH and Hall and watch his numbers go up.

  • bazmagoo

    No more trading players/prospects for picks, those days are over. The only guys who could potentially be traded for picks this summer are Omark and Peckham, and they will get you a 3rd round pick at best.

  • This is a weak draft compared to previous years.
    The top picks are decent but there is not much depth.
    There are a number of defense men in this draft in the top 10
    This is a weak draft.
    Gambling on the unknown and longshots is not a good business decision.
    The Oilers have had more recent success drafting from the WHL because they can usually check off, Canadian and work ethic
    Let Stu work his magic in the later rounds.
    Ryan Murray posted incredible numbers on an overmatched Silvertips team he looks like a very good choice

  • Wax Man Riley

    I can see the value in trading depth players for high picks, but if you are trading all your depth, then all you are left with are picks. The (I dislike this term very much) “magic beans.”

  • Wax Man Riley

    Congrats Burke can get a late first rounder, Burke isn’t that great of a GM he got handed a great team with the Ducks and he hasn’t done much with the leafs, sure he can shake things up and he is not afraid to speak his mind to the media but in reality I would take Tambo’s lack of initiative and RNH, Hall, and 2nd overall to Burkes ballsy moves with Kessel.

    The dude can’t even tie and tie!

  • Reg Dunlop

    Grig or Murray? Can’t decide? How about neither. Trade our 1st to Cbus for their 1st next year. They want results now, the chance to pick 1 and 2 is attractive. I don’t doubt Cbus finishes last again next year so we have a shot at a real potential game changer in the Crosby mode[N Mac]. This years draft shapes up like the ’99 draft[crappy] and I think N Mac can be one of those generational players.

    Go ahead, tell me I’m nuts…

  • Reg Dunlop

    If somehow some way the oil could find a way to get a second pick in the top ten. Jacob Ttrouba would be a dman to target. This guy has that sand paper we so desperately need. So looking forward to seeing our leader at the tsn draft lottery.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Boy, I’m glad I’m not Stu.

    What about Forsberg. He could be the wildcard that bails us out.
    If the scouts think he is that good, we should take him. He’s a big winger with hands.
    Hasn’t JG and JW said somewhere that we could use one of those?