Putting a Bow on the 2014 Edition of the Prospect Series: Our Individual Rankings

“Care to comment on the one voter that didn’t have you #1?” [via CDC]

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In the past month to the day, we have published 20 articles – spanning nearly 40,000 words by our writers and another 406 additional reader comments –  which collectively aimed to count down towards what we deemed to be the best prospect in the Vancouver Canucks system. 

Those numbers doesn’t include this post, which will hopefully put a neat bow on the series as a whole by providing the individual rankings of everyone that had a say in the consensus. That, and a few other notes on what has morphed into a whale of a project over the years just past the jump.

As you’ll note below, the committee that partook in the project this summer featured a few different voices than the one that now-infamously anointed Brendan Gaunce with the top spot:

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Prospect Dimitri Thomas Cam Rhys Patrick Josh Aggregate
Bo Horvat 1 1 1 1 2 2
Hunter Shinkaruk 2 4 5 2 5 1 3.17
Jake Virtanen 3 2 6 4 3 5 3.83
Frank Corrado 6 3 3 8 1 3 4
Nicklas Jensen 5 7 4 7 4 4 5.17
Jared McCann 4 5 8 3 10 6 6
Brendan Gaunce 7 6 2 5 6 10 6
Ben Hutton 9 10 7 6 9 7 8
Cole Cassels 8 9 9 10 8 8 8.67
Jordan Subban 10 8 10 9 7 9 8.83
Alex Grenier 11 11 12 11 12 13 11.67
Dane Fox 13 17 NR 12 11 12 14.33
Thatcher Demko 14 15 16 17 14 11 14.5
Joseph LaBate 12 12 14 18 NR 17 15.67
Henrik Tommernes 18 18 13 NR 15 15 16.67
Gustav Forsling 16 13 19 16 18 19 16.83
Nikita Tryamkin 15 14 20 13 20 NR 17.17
Evan McEneny 19 19 NR 14 13 18 17.33
Mike Zalewski NR NR 11 15 16 NR 17.5
Anton Cederholm 20 16 15 20 19 NR 18.5

Also receiving votes:

Prospect Dimitri Thomas Cam Rhys Patrick Josh
Ronalds Kenins 17 20 NR NR NR 14
Peter Andersson NR NR NR NR NR 16
Mike Williamson NR RN 17 NR NR NR
Patrick McNally NR NR NR NR 17 NR
Ludwig Blomstrand NR NR 18 NR NR NR
Jeremie Blain NR NR NR 19 NR NR
Alex Friesen NR NR NR NR NR 20

There are a few housekeeping notes that we should get to:

There has been some deserved angst in the comments sections throughout regarding the criteria for what does and doesn’t constitute a “prospect” by our estimations. The plan was to crack down with a stingier cutoff this go-around, setting it to include only players under the age of 24 by the time we had started collecting the votes earlier in the summer. 

In hindsight, it was probably a miscalculated decision on our part. Particularly in the case of someone such as Joacim Eriksson, who readers have been clamouring for a profile of. We’ll amend this for feature renditions of this series, shifting to a criteria that simply includes every player that’s still Calder-eligible at the time (that being fewer than 25 games in any single preceding season and under 26 years old by September 15th of that coming year). The one silver lining here for now is that there quite frankly isn’t much we could’ve added to Josh’s all-encapsulating review of Eriksson’s ’13-’14 campaign in Utica, anyways.

The other common question has had to do with Linden Vey, who also didn’t appear in the rankings. His exclusion was far more premeditated; with the Canucks having to expose Vey to waiVeyvers should they wish to send him down to the AHL at any point, it’s essentially a guarantee that he’ll start the upcoming season with the big club. As a result, we decided early on to postpone his write-up for an extensive position-by-position lineup preview we’ll be running as we move closer to the start of the season.

Beyond that, it should be pretty straightforward. Everyone compiled their own Top 20, which we added up and sorted based on aggregate score. There was only one tie this year, with Jared McCann edging out Brendan Gaunce for the 6th spot by appearing higher on 4 of the 6 individual lists. 

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As you can gleen from the chart above, I’d say we were collectively on the same page in a lot of regards. Obviously not everywhere though, as could’ve been expected. After all, as calculated and thoughtful an approach as we all respectively took, when it comes down to it it’s still a thoroughly subjective procedure. Certain people will be higher on certain players because of how they proportion their expectations and values; perceived upside, risk, place on the developmental curve, and positional factors are all examples of things that needed to be weighed against one another when evaluating something as fluid as prospects ultimately are.

Disagreement and thoughtful discussion are a byproduct, and that’s a great thing. Hopefully you not only got something out of this series, but were also able to use it as at least a passably entertaining bridge during the doldrums of the summer. 

Thanks for indulging us and following along! 

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    Well, it’s nice to see that Cam still loves him some Gaunce.

    Patrick’s list is just weird all over, to me. I would love to hear his rationale.

    • Hey guys

      My basic rationale was, ‘what are the odds we see this guy in a Canucks jersey and will they have impact?’ and then rank from there. The guys below 10 were pretty much a crap shoot for me; other than Demko all those guys really have the odds stacked against them.

      Looking at it again, I’d probably flip Subban and Fox and move McCann above them.

      What sources did I use? More like, what didn’t I use?
      I read pretty far and wide, talked to a few people in the know, and then looked at things like age & physical maturity, what’s their production looking like, what roles were they playing in and how were they performing in them, what were the players they were being compared to, how major are the current flaws in their game, things like that.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    No angst from me. A great read over the otherwise agonizingly boring August-early September Hockey deprived time period.

    My thanks for all of your hard work.

    Cam is really red-headed step child of the group isn’t he?

  • Interesting rankings on Kenins. I wouldn’t mind Cam/Rhys/Patrick providing reason for him not being ranked, and what do you like so much Josh?
    Personally, and without live viewing, I’d place him in about the same spot as Dimitry.
    And Cam, are you maybe overreacting with Fox as the 21st pick? I can understand disagreeing about the hype around an overages playing on a stacked team… But I think he is much more likely to turn into a third liner with offensive ability than Cederholm is to turn into a top-four D.

    • We know that a players’ peak is around 24-25 years old. If they’re not literally kicking the door to the NHL down by around 22, they’re not full-time NHL calibre. Kenins (this goes for Tommernes too) is 23. He’s not a prospect.

  • SedinX2

    I am curious to know if the writers agreed on what is “best”, is it prospect with most potential, most NHL ready, or most valuable everything considered.

    I don’t understand why Brendan Gaunce is always rated so high when he looks destined to be a marginal 4th line player at best at the NHL level. A guy who hasn’t improved much offensively 2 years past draft year, and scored just a bit over point per game in his draft + 2 year screams bust. Players at his age should be dominating in the OHL if they are to be impact players at the NHL. It feels like he gets rated higher because the chance of him reaching his expected role of a depth player is high, but in the end, depth players (i.e tanner glass types) don’t hold much value in the NHL. I’d say prospects such as demko and hutton with higher ceilings and maybe lesser % of reaching there is still worth far more than a sure fire 4th line player. Another way to put it, demko was considered a relative good pick at 36th…i wouldn’t give up a 36th pick for a guy destined for the 4th line.

  • SedinX2

    Awesome series and thanks for the individual rankings. Interesting to see that Zalewski didn’t get ranked in the top twenty at all by three of you.

    Great reading for a slow late summer

  • SedinX2

    Kudos to you and the other writers on the transparency.

    When was the last time (ever?) that the top end of our prospect pool has been this promising? It bodes well for the years ASB (After Sedin Brothers)…

    • SedinX2

      Yes, the transparency is nice. Well done. However, based on what I see, I’d love to hear the rationale from each guy on their picks. I really think there are a ton of really, really odd rankings. Can you tell us which resources you guys consult to come up with each of your rankings?