Comparing our Prospect Rankings to those of the “Experts”

Where do the four guys above come in on Pronman’s Top 10 list? (Image via Jas Kang)

With no hockey for what seemed like ages we were relegated to using this platform to discuss the team’s pool of prospects for a hefty chunk of the summer. And thank god for the series that spanned the entirety of August, because it did an admirable job of taking our minds off of the fact that the noteworthy Vancouver Canucks news was few and far between.

We’ve already been back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth (and back and forth one more time, just for good measure) about our Top 20. As with any subjective list, people took issue with certain rankings (most notably Brendan Gaunce, of course). It created healthy discussion, though, serving its purpose.

Well the summer is pretty much over, and with the preseason underway, meaningful hockey is well within reach. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we can just forget the topic of prospects, since it’s looking like a few of them could play meaningful roles on the team in the coming months.

Corey Pronman (of ESPN Insider and Hockey Prospectus) released his Top 10 list for the team, which surely paints a much clearer picture of the prospect landscape considering he’s as dialed in as it gets on the matter. Read on past the jump to see how his list (and the one Hockey’s Future put together) compares to ours.

Below is a compilation of our rankings, along with those of Pronman and Hockey’s Future:

Prospect Canucks Army Rank Pronman Rank Hockey’s Future Rank
Brendan Gaunce 1 5 3
Frank Corrado 2 3 4
Bo Horvat 3 2 2
Nicklas Jensen 4 4 1
Hunter Shinkaruk 5 1 5
Eddie Lack 6 8 n/a
Jordan Subban 7 6 17
Joseph LaBate 8 9 8
Henrik Tommernes 9 7 13
Kellan Lain 10 n/a n/a
Joacim Eriksson 11 13 6
Alexandre Grenier 12 12 10
Alexandre Mallet 13 n/a 11
Darren Archibald 14 14 18
Patrick McNally 15 10 7
Joe Cannata 16 n/a 9
Yann Sauve 17 n/a 12
Cole Cassels 18 n/a 15
Peter Andersson 19 15 n/a
Alex Friesen 20 n/a 16

When we put together a similar compilation of rankings last year, we laid out some of Pronman’s methodology when it comes to evaluating prospects:

"He places the largest emphasis on "possession skills" (a combination of puck skills, hockey sense, and puck-moving skills) which makes sense, because I hear that it’s an important trait for a successful hockey player to have. He also places less importance on goaltenders and defensemen, given the volatility that accompanies those positions." 

A few more notes to keep in mind when comparing the lists:

  • Pronman had Cederholm – a guy that didn’t crack our Top 20 – as his 11th ranked prospect. Amongst our rankers, Drance had him 14th, Angus had him 17th, and I had him 20th.
  • Pronman is notoriously low on goaltenders, which he explains quite thoroughly here. The fact that he included two goaltenders speaks volumes to both the team’s lack of depth, and their abilities to stop pucks. 
  • Speaking of the team’s depth, when he released his organizational rankings back in July Pronman ranked the Canucks farm system as the 20th best in the league.
  • Pronman only went up to 15 on his list. Slacker. For what it’s worth, he told me that he had Ludwig Blomstrand, a favourite amongst our readers, somewhere in the 16-20 range.
  • Hockey’s Future had Adam Polasek ranked 14th. Amongst our rankers, Drance and Charron were the only two include him in their individual lists (both at number 17).
  • Hockey’s Future, for whatever reason, doesn’t count Eddie Lack as a prospect. They did, however, include Jordan Schroeder and Anton Rodin on their Top 20 list. Bizarre. Anyways, it’s why you’ll notice their list goes up to only 18.

Anyways, I strongly recommend reading his full write-up, because there are some fascinating nuggets in there about all the players he ranked. Of particular note is that amongst players under 22 years old, he had Zack Kassian between Horvat and Corrado, and Jordan Schroeder lodged between Jensen and Gaunce. Some food for thought.

Our Prospect Profiles Series: 

    • Then why include Jordan Schroeder? Hockey Future is notoriously inconsistent and an almost literal definition of ‘Amateur Hour.’ They employ unpaid writers who are not authorities. I would not take anything they say with a grain of salt.

      Pronman on the other hand. Talks to scouts, has experience as a Jr. Level scout. Very consistent with his methodology and sticks to his guns in the face of hype and it’s opposite. I’m a big fan of his work. 😀

  • I have been impressed by Shinkaruk and Gaunce. They seem to be adjusting to the NHL game better than Horvat and Jensen. Kassian is looking good and just needs to get some regular time in with the Sedins to make the magic happen (we hope).

    I still hope none of these guys start the year with the Canucks. They need a bit more seasoning. Lain and Archibald also looked like very serviceable 4th line guys who could become more.

    At the end of the day, there is not much room for new players in the lineup so the younger guys can develop. Maybe give the older prospects a shot with the Canucks. I think Richardson has the 3C spot and maybe Lain or Schroeder can take line 4C.

  • Seems like we could have most of our top 6 (CA rated) up next year. Corrado and Lack have a decent chance this year, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see 2 of the rest up next year.

    If things go unrealistically well, we could have:





    Gaunce could come in at LW or centre somewhere, if say Booth doesn’t work out. (obviously not in line 1,2,3,4 order, just offensive 1,2 defensive 1,2).

    Interesting that Pronman ranked Schroeder above Gaunce. Thinks he can still be a top 6 forward. Can’t see it working out in Vancouver – he’s hardly going to push Kesler to the wing (although Kesler could really use a playmaker on his line).