Redline Report draft guru Kyle Woodlief says the 2013 entry draft is so deep there are players ranked in the mid-40s this season who would have been well inside the first round just a year ago. Perhaps Steve Tambellini knew what he was doing when asking for a 2013 pick in exchange for Andrew Cogliano a couple of years ago.
Seth Jones impressed at the WJ’s and at the top Prospects game, but does he remain the #1 prospect on the Oilers Nation list for the 2013 draft? Lets have a look.
- D Seth Jones, Portland (WHL). Latest segment: 11, 2-8-10, +1 8pims. First segment: 28, 7-17-24 +25 21pim Overall: 39, 9-25-34 +26 29pim. I’m a believer in selecting forwards before blue (less chance of injury, less chance of looking foolish because D have a lower turnout rate), but in the case of Seth Jones there’s just too much. Big, strong, tough, terrific skater, good offensive instincts and the wingspan of a California Condor (although he’s from Texas). Franchise defenseman. Craig Button: ”He’s a unique defenceman. I consider him the most unique defenceman since Chris Pronger."
- L Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (QMJHL). Latest segment: 9, 9-10-19 15pims +8. First segment: 22, 15-28-43 +20 14pims Overall: 31, 24-38-62 28pims +28. Wonderful player showed Canadians a lot during the WJ’s and looks to be the rising star during the draft season. Kyle Woodlief: "Drouin has every conceivable elite offensive tool, has grown to an adequate five-foot-11, 182 pounds, and can elevate the play of those around him better than anyone else in this year’s class. Combine that with his advanced positional game, unreal hands and big-game mentality, and you have a pretty impressive package.”
- C Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL). Latest segment: 9, 4-10-14 +6 6pims. First segment: 28, 22-26-48 +27 33pims Overall: 37, 26-36-62 +33 39pims. 5-tool center with all kinds of good arrows based on scouting reports and could very well be a franchise player. He played more of a support, defensive role for Canada at the World Juniors but the boxcars in junior tell us he’s going to deliver offense. Almost 11 months younger than Jones, and that is a factor in evaluating the players.
- C Sasha Barkov, Tappara (SM-Liiga). Latest segment: 11, 4-7-11 0pims +6. First Segment: 30, 14-14-28 4ims +8 Overall: 41, 18-21-39 4pims +14. 6.02, 205 and Bob McKenzie (who’s draft show comes up tomorrow night on tsn) has mentioned the name Dale Hawerchuk as comparable in style to Barkov. That’s some nice company. Highly skilled with size and speed, not a lot about him that scouts don’t like. Went 6, 3-4-7 at WJ’s.There are whispers that he is the best Finnish prospect in a decade or more.
- C Sean Monahan, Ottawa (OHL). Latest segment: 16, 6-12-18 8 -8. First Segment: 24, 12-24-36 -3 8pims. Overall: 40, 18-36-54 -11 16pims. Team Canada coach Steve Spott on Monahan: "his hockey sense, in my mind, is at a National Hockey League level right now. He has elite hockey sense. He is just one of those players who can play in any situation – 5-on-5, 5-on-4, on your [penalty kill]. Sean has that innate ability. He is going to be an elite NHL player. There is no doubt about that."
- C Elias Lindholm (Brynas) (SEL). Latest Segment: 7, 2-4-6 0pims +2. First segment: 30, 5-13-18 2pims -3. Overal, 37, 7-17-24 2pims -1. Similar in style to Monahan, Lindholm has a nice range of skills, and Roger Ronnberg (Sweden’s coach at the WJ) sums up the player thusly: "He has the smartness and he has the grit to play–he hasthe most important combinations and that is both the will to compete and the smarts to be a really good player."
- R Anthony Mantha, Val D’or (QMJHL). Latest Segment: 17, 13-11-24 +4 18pims First segment: 30, 25-20-45 +12 37. Overall: 47, 38-31-69 +16 55pims. An emerging player because he’s such an interesting combination of things, combined with an outstanding season (13 goals in 17 games is a very strong month). Pronman: "Mantha is an intriguing package of tools as he is 6’4” with good speed, a heavy shot, and offensive instincts. I wasn’t all that sold on him last season, but he has developed well over the last six months or so"
- L Valeri Nichushkin, Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) 14, 2-2-4 (not listed in last top 10). Exceptional showing at the world juniors grabbed everyone’s attention and he jumps right into my top 10. Why? 6.02, 196, playing in the KHL. Corey Pronman takes it from there: "Nichushkin has a ton of upside between his elite skating, his great skill level, and a good power game. He has been playing in the KHL at 17 and had an impressive World Junior showing."
- D Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert (WHL). Latest Segment: 16, 5-5-10 E 28. First Segment: 31, 8-16-24 +12 37pims. Overall: 47, 13-21-34 +12 65pims. Morrissey is just average in size but gets a lot of attention because he’s such an outstanding skater. Expert puck mover, quality passer, he’ll need to work on playing a more aggressive defensive style but the tools are there. Corey Pronman: "Morrissey is a really fun player to watch due to his skating and offensive ability. His only real issue is that his physical game is just okay, leading to questions whether he can be a really effective defender."
- L Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (WHL). Latest Segment: 18, 9-7-16 20pims -9 First Segment: 28, 19-24-43 +3 12pims. Overall: 46, 28-31-59 32pims -6. Falls down from our December look but remains in the top 10. On pace to pass the 40 goal mark. Corey Pronman: "Shinkaruk is a dynamic offensive player who is a unique skater with high-end hands and finishing ability. He is a little on the small side, though."
- Pronman is such a great resource, his stuff is a must read for draft followers. Latest is here.
- McKenzie’s show is tomorrow night and should be exceptional. Bob’s list is the Bible of the draft because he gets the inside scoop from scouts and scouting directors. Industry standard.
- Button has very interesting takes and I enjoy his prose. While his lists are different from anyone else’s, I think that’s the point–or at least part of it–and it gives us an idea about just how differently teams see things in these young men.
- My original look at this year’s draft is here.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers may be drafting in the teens or twenties this coming entry draft–lets hope so! The next time we look at the draft it’ll be a top 20 and that’ll be end of February. For now, the top 10 has remained somewhat stable from December’s list.
There’s still miles to go, but plenty of opportunity to shine.