The Big Reveal: Our Staff’s Individual Prospect Rankings

"Oh, they finally revealed their individual lists?"
Image via Justin K. Aller/Getty Images.

One of my biggest pet peeves in sports is the fact that the voting for awards isn’t made public after the fact. I don’t know about you, but I’d take it much more seriously if I knew who was voting for what. If you’re going to have the right to vote, you should disclose it, own up to it, and face the music (which sounds an awful lot like the inevitable wrath of fans that don’t agree with you). So, for the sake of transparency, we’re releasing our individual rankings for all to see.

I know, I know, it’s long overdue. After all, our series concluded nearly two weeks ago. The plan was to actually hold off on disclosing them until Corey Pronman released his Top 10 for the Canucks. But we couldn’t wait any longer. Without further ado, they’re being presented to you on the other side of the jump.

The 5 rankers involved (Thomas DranceCam CharronJeff AngusPatrick Johnston, and myself) were essentially asked to put together their individual Top 20. Then, we combined all of the results into an aggregate score. In the case of a tie between two prospects, we put the player with the single highest ranking ahead (ex. Gaunce and Corrado technically both had the same aggregate score, but Cam’s #1 ranking of Gaunce put him ahead of Corrado, whose highest individual rank was #2, on our overall list). By that logic, shouldn’t Peter Andersson should have finished ahead of Sauve and Cassels, though? I guess so. But 3 of our 5 rankers didn’t even rank Andersson, which he was penalized for.

Prospect Dimitri Thomas Cam Jeff Patrick Aggregate
Brendan Gaunce 3 3 1 3 4 2.8
Frank Corrado 2 2 2 5 3 2.8
Bo Horvat 4 1 4 1 5 3
Nicklas Jensen 5 5 3 2 2 3.4
Hunter Shinkaruk 1 4 6 4 6 4.2
Eddie Lack 6 7 5 6 1 5
Jordan Subban 8 6 8 11 13 9.2
Joseph LaBate 9 8 9 8 14 9.6
Henrik Tommernes 10 11 7 7 17 10.4
Kellan Lain 7 NR 10 10 8 11.2
Joacim Eriksson 15 10 12 9 10 11.2
Alexandre Grenier 11 9 16 12 16 12.8
Alexandre Mallet 13 19 14 14 15 15
Darren Archibald 14 12 18 NR 11 15.2
Patrick McNally 12 20 15 13 NR 16.2
Joe Cannata 17 NR 19 16 9 16.4
Yann Sauve 16 18 11 20 NR 17.2
Cole Cassels 19 15 NR 19 12 17.2
Peter Andersson NR 16 NR NR 7 17.2
Alex Friesen 18 NR 13 18 19 17.8

 Also Receiving Votes:

Prospect Dimitri Thomas Cam Jeff Patrick Aggregate
Anton Cederholm 20 14 NR 17 NR 18.6
Evan McEneny NR NR 20 15 20 19.4
Adam Polasek NR 17 17 NR NR 19.4
Ben Hutton NR 13 NR NR NR 19.4
Ludwig Blomstrand NR NR NR NR 18 20.4

I’m sure there’s certain rankings that each of us would like to have back, and amend, but I can only speak for myself. I’d like to make the following changes to my personal list:

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  • I’m already on the record as saying that were I to redo my list, I’d have Blomstrand somewhere in the range of a Yann Sauve (16th). In fact, now that I think about it, I would probably just swap the two.
  • I’d also probably move Kellan Lain down a few spots. I don’t remember having him as high as I apparently did, but I guess I was drinking the kool aid at the time. 
  • I don’t put too much stock into something like the Young Stars Classic, and I often see people far too quick to jump to conclusions based off of its small samples. But one guy whose play did change my mind was Cole Cassels, a player I was initially skeptical of. However, after having watched him in Penticton, I’d feel inclined to bump him up a few spots. I was really impressed by his overall game. As Drance mentioned in his profile of him, he could be in line for a much bigger role in Oshawa, and certainly could find himself shooting up our rankings come next summer.
  • The biggest riser is Joacim Eriksson, who I’d probably move up into my Top 10. At the time I simply didn’t know very much about him, and obviously took a far too cautious approach in ranking him. He deserves to be neck and neck with Eddie Lack as far as I’m concerned (with a slight edge to Lack based on his performance in the AHL).
  • Bo Horvat very well could be a better prospect than Brendan Gaunce. I’m not bullish (no pun intended) on Gaunce by any means, and will openly conceed that I could certainly wind up looking foolish for having him ranked over Horvat in the near future. But I’m not necessarily sold on Horvat, either, and I think there’s a ton of recency bias with him. After all, he is the shiny new toy in Vancouver. Obviously the fact that Corey Pronman didn’t even have Gaunce in his Top 110 didn’t help matters, but I’ve got to stick by my decision. For now.

This should go without saying, but, I still feel the need to implore you to keep the comments section civil, please. Disagreeing with the rankings of any of our writers is totally fine. In fact, you should, since they were mostly subjective rankings. We always encourage thoughtful discussion and back-and-forth banter. But personal attacks and childish name-calling will not be tolerated, so don’t even bother.

With all that said, I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds below, since I’m sure that it’ll get heated. Have at it!

  • I know you’re saying you don’t put much into one rookie tournament, and that the stats are predicting Bo Horvat will be terrible blah blah blah.

    It’s easy to see in even limited viewings how much better Horvat is as a hockey player than Gaunce is.

    They’re the same type of player but Horvat is closer to NHL ready and everyone is saying it. I think there’s a bias on your part because you want predictive stats to be true, so in order for that to happen Gaunce must be the better prospect. (I guess?)

    It’s not like Gaunce is a scoring star in Junior, he had a PPG and most of those points came with him playing the point. Gaunce isn’t a bad player by any means, but he’s definitely not better than Hunter and Bo. (though it was good to see you had hunter at #1, a better case could be made for hunter over bo in my opinion)

  • Great idea posting this, you guys. My takeway from your rankings (since it is still subjective and based on your opinion) is that there are clear “groupings” of prospect rankings, based on the aggregate scores.
    There is the clear top 6, then a group at 7-12 (Grenier clinging on by a hair there), then 13-16 then 17-20.

    Hopefully when CA readers see this, it will make a little more sense, as far as the rankings go… Instead of “GAH! GAUNCE AT #1! YOUR AN IDIOT!!” /flip table

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    I find these types of things rather comical. There is no way anyone can make predictions about players, at this stage, that they can guarantee. Not a chance.

    Don’t worry too much about rankings etc. Most of these guys are a couple years away (if they make it at all). It’s nice to see some good performances but take it all with a grain of salt.

    The Canucks don’t have much room in their lineup for top 6 players. I would like to see Horvat, Shinkaruk, Jensen and Gaunce develop more. Chances are none of them become impact players or they could become great NHLers. Only time will tell.

  • I went to Penticton and saw a game and a practice. Based on what i saw only Corrado and Jensen have a shot at playing in Vancouver this year. Horvat is a better prospect than Gaunce. Shinkaruk is a good prospect but at least two years away. Both Cassels and Subban were good draft picks for where they were drafted this year as they both have enough upside to end up in the Canucks lineup someday if they develop or grow in Subbans case. My top five;

    If Subban has a late growth spurt and makes it to 6 feet tall as per the rest of his family we got a steal in the fourth round.

  • Thank you guys for making those write-ups and rankings, they were fun to read but really that’s all they are: fun reading. For all the guys taking this too seriously and squabbling over the exact rankings I have two words for you: Alexander Daigle. Prospects are a crapshoot. Horvat could end up a career 4C, Cassels could end up being the future face of the franchise. So let’s all just talk to eachother respectfully about the team we love and not lash out at the writers. Everybody except NM00, that guy sucks.

  • “In the case of a tie between two prospects, we put the player with the single highest ranking ahead…”

    I know nitpicking this tiny portion of the process is fairly insignificant but “reward the outlier” seems a strange method of tiebreaking.

    Instead, since you had an odd number of rankers, maybe tie goes to the player who had more higher place votes from each ranker? For example, Corrado was ranked ahead of Gaunce by 3 of 5 rankers so tie would go to Corrado in this case (and just think of the credibility you would have salvaged there).

    P.S. I love these prospect write-ups. Informative stuff that really gets me excited for our prospects’ futures. Keep up the (mostly) good work!