Vancouver Canucks July 2016 Prospect Rankings

For something like this, there needs to be a lot of preamble. I find that, when it comes to prospect rankings, much of the debate is over the ranking method used, rather than the actual rankings, so I want to make sure my method is clear.

The prospect ranking formula that most are familiar with is the HockeysFuture model, where they give a prospect a number ranking, from 1-10, based on their upside, and a A-F ranking based on their likelihood to reach that upside.

I don’t like this model for a few reasons. Ranking players based on their maximum upside isn’t preferable because so few players actually reach their full potential. It’s more accurate, for ranking purposes, to look at their most likely projected outcomes. My 1-10 ranking is based mostly on various scouting reports, and tries to present an average of what those scouts and pundits think each prospect will become.

Note: This is what each player should become if their development goes as planned. Of course, most players won’t have their development go as planned, so this is not saying that every player is going to pan out. The rough sketch of what the scores mean is:

10= An elite player, perennial All-Star

9=A top pairing defenseman, a top line forward, or a top-10 goalie

8=A high-end second pairing defenseman or second line forward, or an above average starting goalie

7=A second pairing defenseman, second line forward, or average starting goalie

6=A third pairing defenseman, third line forward, or solid backup goalie

5=An extra defenseman, fourth line forward, or regular backupgoalie

4=A short-term NHLer at best

3=An NHL/AHL tweener

2=An AHL veteran

1=Not even an AHL veteran

 

The ranking of a prospect’s likelihood to reach their potential is also flawed, in my opinion. A prospect’s development is affected by so many external factors, like coaching and injuries, that it’s silly to put a number on this right after a prospect is drafted. Instead of this ranking, I’ll use a Projected NHL Arrival Date instead. This shows how close a prospect is from NHL action, and thus, how developed they currently are, and how much more development they’re likely to need. In a sense, this category also predicts how likely it is that a prospect has an NHL career, as those closer to the NHL now are obviously more likely to pan out than those that are far away.

My actual rankings of the players will weigh the two categories fairly evenly, but I’ll apply my own personal opinions here and there, too.

Finally, I am not considering any prospects that I consider to have solidified NHL positions. So Anton Rodin, Philip Larsen, Nikita Tryamkin and Ben Hutton won’t be appearing on this list, and nor will Jake Virtanen. Even though he might start in the AHL, Virtanen’s stay down there would certainly be temporary. Andrey Pedan is also not on the list, as his waiver-eligibility makes him a near-certain NHLer.

 

Without further ado, the list:

 

1) Olli Juolevi, D

Projected Outcome: 9

Projected NHL Arrival: 2017-18

Blurb: Perhaps not expected to be an elite defenseman, but a reliable, top-pairing minute muncher. Juolevi probably hits the NHL after one more year in junior.

 

2) Brock Boeser, RW

Projected Outcome: 9

Projected NHL Arrival: 2017-18

Blurb: Boeser has the look of a 30 goal scorer in the NHL. He should break directly into the league after one more college season.

 

3) Thatcher Demko, G

Projected Outcome: 9

Projected NHL Arrival: 2018-19

Blurb: At this point, very few goalies prospects look as good as Demko, and a good rookie pro season could have him backing up Markstrom as soon as next year, although the season after is more likely.

 

4) Jordan Subban, D

Projected Outcome: 7

Projected NHL Arrival: 2017-18 

Blurb: Subban had a great rookie pro season, but his defensive game still needs some work. Another solid season will get him some looks, but he is at least a year away from full-time status.

 

5) Brendan Gaunce, C/LW

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2016-17

Blurb: Gaunce doesn’t have the upside of other prospects, but he is NHL ready now,and should see significant time with the team this season.

 

6) Troy Stecher, D

Projected Outcome: 7

Projected NHL Arrival: 2018-19

Blurb: As an undrafted free agent, Stecher is entering his rookie pro season at a more advanced age, and thus is expected to advance more quickly. He has impressed at the summer prospect camp.

 

7) Guillaume Brisebois, D

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

Blurb: Brisebois has been traded to a better QMJHL team, which hopefully leads to a big development year for him. Should join the Comets next season.

 

8) Adam Gaudette, C

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: Gaudette had a great rookie NCAA season, and established himself as a two-way force. He seems like the kind of player that would benefit from 3 or 4 seasons in college, and so it may be awhile before he hits the pro ranks.

 

9) Alex Grenier, RW

Projected Outcome: 5

Projected NHL Arrival: 2016-17

Blurb: Grenier is running out of time to establish himself as an NHL player. If he doesn’t do it with the Canucks, another team might pluck him on waivers and give him a shot.

 

10) Cole Cassels, C

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2018-19

Blurb: Cassels had a very disappointing AHL debut, but was coming off some difficult injuries. A lot is riding on his ability to bounce back this year.

 

11) Dmitri Zhukenov, C

Projected Outcome: 7

Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

Blurb: Zhukenov is a bit of a boom or bust prospect. He will either play a scoring role in the NHL or not make it at all. Either way, he has a lot of development to go before he gets close.

 

12) Tate Olson, D

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

Blurb: Olson will return to the WHL this season, and won’t be considered for a pro contract until 2017-18 at the earliest. Despite an impressive post-draft year, Olson will need a lot of polish before ever seeing NHL time.

 

13) Carl Neill, D

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

Blurb: Olson and Neill are similar prospects, it seems, and both will likely be battling each other for opportunities for awhile. Neill’s path should be very similar to the one described above.

 

14) William Lockwood, RW

Projected Outcome: 7

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: Lockwood may have a lot of untapped offensive potential, but his game is quite raw. He will need a lot of development, first at the NCAA and then AHL level, before having a chance at an NHL career. A project player.

 

15) Borna Rendulic, LW/RW

Projected Outcome: 4

Projected NHL Arrival: 2016-17

Blurb: It’s hard to know where to rank Rendulic. He’s ready for some NHL time, but it is unlikely that he ever fulfills a meaningful role at that level. Likely an AHL lifer or Europe-bound.

 

16) Jakob Stukel, LW

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

Blurb: Drafted as an overager, so his window of opportunity is shorter than that of others. Stukel had quite the upward trend after being traded in the WHL, but that will need to continue if he has any hope of making it.

 

17) Mike Zalewski, C/LW

Projected Outcome: 5

Projected NHL Arrival: 2016-17

Blurb: Like Grenier and Rendulic, Zalewski is ready for some NHL time now, but will only get a brief chance to showcase himself as a long-term talent. The odds are certainly against him.

 

18) Lukas Jasek, RW

Projected Outcome: 7

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: Jasek is another boom or bust talent, and him not being picked in the CHL import draft was disappointing. The challenge will be giving Jasek enough opportunity in North America to keep him from pursuing a European career.

 

19) Cole Candella, D

Projected Outcome: 6

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: Candella has been drafted into a system suddenly flush with defense prospects, and will have to do something special to make himself stand out amongst them.

 

20) Michael Garteig, G

Projected Outcome: 4

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: With Demko entering the pro scene, Garteig may never get a realistic shot at NHL time. His best course is to seek the AHL starting job after Demko ascends and go from there.

 

21) Yan-Pavel Laplante, C/LW

Projected Outcome: 3

Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

Blurb: Signed as an undrafted free agent, Laplante won’t have much time to earn himself an NHL opportunity. Laplante can definitely fight, but it remains to be seen if he can do anything else at the pro level.

 

22) Michael Carcone, LW/C

Projected Outcome: 2

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: I admittedly don’t know much about the recently signed Carcone, but his profile seems to paint him as a typical AHL lifer. Of course, he could surprise.

 

23) Joseph Labate, RW/C

Projected Outcome: 3

Projected NHL Arrival: 2019-20

Blurb: Labate has one thing going for him: size. He started to throw his weight around for the Comets last year, and that will be his one and only ticket to an NHL audition.

 

24) Ashton Sautner, D

Projected Outcome: 2

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: The system is just too clogged for Sautner to ever get a real chance at NHL time.

 

25) Rodrigo Abols, C

Projected Outcome: 3

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: Abols has some raw skills, but they’re unlikely to develop into anything.

 

26) Evan McEneny, D

Projected Outcome: 2

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: Like Sautner, McEneny is soon to become a victim of the numbers game.

 

27) Mackenze Stewart, LW/D

Projected Outcome: 2

Projected NHL Arrival: 2021-22

Blurb: Stewart fills a niche that doesn’t really exist in the pro game anymore.

 

28) Tom Nilsson, D

Projected Outcome: 1

Projected NHL Arrival: 2021-22

Blurb: Nilsson doesn’t seem to have a ton of upside, and is likely to have a short stint in North America.

 

29) Brett McKenzie, C

Projected Outcome: 1

Projected NHL Arrival: 2022-23

Blurb: Like most 7th rounders, McKenzie has limited upside.

 

30) Kyle Pettit, C

Projected Outcome: 1

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: When you’re a faceoff specialist at the OHL level, a pro career is not in the cards for you.

 

31) Anton Cederholm, D

Projected Outcome: 1

Projected NHL Arrival: 2020-21

Blurb: It doesn’t look like Cederholm will even progress beyond the ECHL level.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s