Talent Left on the 2015 Draft Floor

Every year at the NHL Entry Draft a number of teams make really smart decisions on their picks (Islanders, Jets) while other teams seem to fall on their face (Bruins).  At the end of the 210 picks, inevitably there are players every year who are not chosen despite showing potential to be better than average picks.  This makes these players currently Unrestricted Free Agents and available to be signed to contracts by teams who feels they have potential.  

Looking back at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, MoneyPuck used PCS to look back at those players who had a high chance of success at the NHL level.  (Un)surprisingly many were invited to teams camps and many went on to become important players on their teams, invited to World Juniors, and some were even signed to NHL teams.

With a current baseline of 8% of forwards and 5.6% of defencemen drafted move on to become NHL regulars, we can use PCS to look back at the 2015 draft and see players who should be invited to camps and are good bets to spend an ELC on.

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Lucas Carlsson

  • Age at the Draft: 17.97
  • Team: Brynas (SHL) – 1 assist, 16 games
  • Position: Defencemen
  • Height: 6’0″
  • PCS%: 23.08%
  • PCS Pts/82: 29.3

Despite being unranked and unscouted by almost every scouting service, Lucas Carlsson has a number of statistical positives that suggest that he has a high chance of success.  He was very young this season, he played a large number of games at the senior professional level in the SHL and he even scored a point, a hard feat for such a young defencemen playing third pairing minutes, at 10:38 a game, with little to no special teams.  With a PCS% of 23.08% – a number suggesting almost 1 in 4 of his comparables became NHL regulars, Carlsson has a high chance of success and as of right now he has been invited to Washington’s development camp.

Kay Schweri

  • Age at the Draft: 18.49
  • Team: Sherbrooke (QMJHL) – 12 goals, 56 assists, 53 games
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Height: 5’10”
  • PCS%: 21.70%
  • PCS Pts/82: 37.6

Coming out of the QMJHL, playing for the average possession, and below-average offensive generating team in Sherbrooke, Kay Schweri has done everything but be bigger to be noticed.  Being 2 inches below average height scouting reports call him invisible on the ice, because he is such a blur.  Qualitatively there is little negative said about him.  He is one of the better goal creators on his team which helps elevate some of the concern about his high assist to goal ratio.  With a CS% of 21.70% over 1 in 5 players similar to him went on to long NHL careers and he has the potential to be a crafty middle 6 winger with high offense.  At this point it is unknown if he has been invited to any camps. 

Pius Suter

  • Age at the Draft: 19.09
  • Team: Guelph (OHL) – 43 goals, 29 assists, 61 games
  • Position: Centre
  • Height: 5’11”
  • PCS%: 16.41%
  • PCS Pts/82: 33.7

Kay Schweri’s World Juniors teammate, Pius Suter, is next on our list.  Despite being in his second year of the draft, he was passed over a second time, despite a PCS% more than twice the average of an average prospect.  Suter was ranked by a couple scouting organizations to go in the third to fourth round but was passed over all together.  Suter played on the Guelph Storm – a below average possession team and an average offensive generator.  He was playing as the 2nd line centre behind Robbi Fabbri and is second in nearly every statistic on the team behind Fabbri including Even-Strength Points/Game and Goals Created per Game.  One strong signal in his data is that Suter has always been playing up in leagues going all the way back to his 11-year old season where he was playing in U15 leagues.  Suter has not been invited to a development camp but is currently signed to play in Switzerland next season.

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Nathan Noel

  • Age at the Draft: 18.01
  • Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) – 24 goals, 38 assists, 66 games
  • Position: Centre
  • Height: 5’11”
  • PCS%: 15.09%
  • PCS Pts/82: 41.5

Nathan Noel is another young small centre who was passed over in the rankings despite scouting organizations suggesting he would go anywhere in the 2nd to 4th rounds.  He has a PCS% nearly double that of average and a PCS Pts/82 suggesting potential for high end talent. His playing statistics show Noel lead his team in nearly all offensive categories (points, goals created etc) – a positive signal towards success.  He was invited to the CHL Top Prospects Game and made Team Canada in the World U18 Championships and now he has been invited to Anaheim’s development camp.

    Tyler Soy

    • Age at the Draft: 18.37
    • Team: Victoria (WHL) – 28 goals, 35 assists, 69 games
    • Position: Centre
    • Height: 6’0″
    • PCS%: 13.90%
    • PCS Pts/82: 36.9

    Playing on the very inept Victoria Royals, Tyler Soy is an average sized centre who went undrafted and unnoticed by scouting ranks.  Victoria was one of the worst teams in the WHL this year both in their ability to generate any offence and in their possession statistics.  Soy had second-line centre duties behind a few older players and despite that he was one of the better players on the team.  He mostly stands out at Even-Strength where he had the 2nd best ES rel Gf%.  Despite not playing on the main power play he was still nearly a point a game player.  Tyler Soy was at the Edmonton development camp this past weekend.

    Alexandre Goulet

    • Age at the Draft: 19.22
    • Team: Charlottetown (QMJHL) – 35 goals, 26 assists, 65 games
    • Position: Left-Wing / Centre
    • Height: 6’2″
    • PCS%: 12.92%
    • PCS Pts/82: 28.9

    Charlottetown was a terrible defensive team this year, combined with their inability to convert shots it’s no surprise they did not have much success.  There is little talent in the team but at the top is a guy name Daniel Sprong (who you might have heard of) and playing on his left wing was draft+1 Alex Goulet.  It’s no surprise that Goulet was second on the team in every sort of offensive generating statistic.  This summer he will be given two chances at earning a contract as he has been invited to show off his talent with both New Jersey and with Buffalo.

    Dmitri Yudin

    • Age at the Draft: 19.90
    • Team: SKA St Petersburg (KHL) – 1 goal, 6 assists, 47 games
    • Position: Defencemen 
    • Height: 6’2″
    • PCS%: 11.86%
    • PCS Pts/82: 25.8

    Dmitri Yudin is one of the older players in this draft but what makes him stand out is that he has been playing nearly the last two full seasons in the KHL, a senior-professional league.  The KHL has a much higher talent level and a much higher level of success for projecting to the NHL.  To make things look better on his part Yudin he played for Russia at the World U20 Championships and had third pairing minutes for SKA St Petersburg – the best KHL team this past season.  His PCS statistics suggest a player who has twice the chance of success compared to your average draft-eligible defencemen and that his Pts/82 suggest he can become a good player.

      Sebastian Olsson

      • Age at the Draft: 18.3
      • Team: Skellefteå (SHL) – 1 goal, 1 assist, 10 games
      • Position: Centre
      • Height: 5’9″
      • PCS%: 9.90%
      • PCS Pts/82: 32.8

      The last forward we have ranked here, who met the PCS% above the baseline was Sebastian Olsson.  Olsson is a small and young centre who has spent most of his career in the Superelit but finally managed to get a taste of the SHL in his U18 season.  His cohort success has not had a great chance of success, but if he makes it he could be in the mold of a Sean Bergenheim.

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      Justin Lemcke

      • Age at the Draft: 18.36
      • Team: Belleville (OHL) – 9 goals, 14 assists, 64 games
      • Position: Defencemen
      • Height: 6’2″
      • PCS%: 6.99%
      • PCS Pts/82: 18.9

      Over the past year we’ve chronicled how abysmal the Belleville Bulls and that Jordan Subban was their most important player.  The Canucks must have seen something in Justin Lemcke, one of Subban’s teammates playing on the second pairing of Belleville, to invite him to the development camp this week.  I am quite excited about him, he has the size to be successful, the scouting reports suggest he is good, and PCS% is most likely under-valuing him as his Quality of Teammates were so bad.  If the Canucks signed Lemcke, it could be a bet that might work out quite well for the team.

              • Koolmoedee

                Newsflash : Sbisa has just outsourced his minutes to Lemcke at a rate of $10/hr . Quoted, “The canucks were so generous to me that I can afford to be generous to someone else”

              • Dirty30

                Not a lot of talent left, and Canucks have made their team worse than it was last season. Sedins are getting older, prospects not ready and management had no idea re trades and draft picks. So, welcome to the land of basement dwellers, you will be there for many seasons to come. How does it feel to be in the wasteland of the NHL – no cups? no hope? no upcoming talent? I LOVE IT. No one deserves it more than the Canucks.

                • Dirty30

                  While I generally agree this coming season will be a most difficult one for the reasons you outlined, I prefer to look at the bigger picture that is in play. We will be drafting in the top ten and have a good chance of getting Logan Brown. He is a six foot five center that can skate, pass and has superior hockey intelligence. He will be the heir apparent to Hank. With an abundance of cap space, we will offer sheet Seth Jones. The offer will drive Nashville back to the days of the acoustic guitar! There is no way they will match as they are already paying Shea ten per year. With a number one defenceman in tow and a number one center, along with Demko in goal, Jake and Brock scoring on the wings, our future looks bright.

                • Dirty30

                  Haha. Poor Oilers fan that finally has a ray of hope, despite the incompetence shown by Lowe and his hand picked team. How long has it been? 10 years of wandering in the NHL desert wasteland which is reserved for teams that keep missing the playoffs? Thank your lucky stars that you back into McJesus as well as all those Top 10 picks from years past. Heck… Even the Leafs would have made the playoffs sooner with all that bounty of talent. Now crawl back into your mama’s basement. Sheesh….

              • Dirty30

                Canucks had two shots in the fifth round to take David Cotton – a big centre who put up points last season. Otherwise, they did OK and will be better than you think in 15-16. JB not done on the trade front.

              • Dirty30

                “Playing on the very inept Victoria Royals, Tyler Soy is an average sized centre who went undrafted and unnoticed by scouting ranks. Victoria was one of the worst teams in the WHL this year both in their ability to generate any offence and in their possession statistics.”

                Um, almost none of this is true (I don’t have anything on possession numbers here, so I’ll leave that alone).

                But Victoria finished 5th in their conference, and 3 points out of 4th. They made it to the second round of the playoffs where they lost to eventual WHL champions Kelowna. None of that would seem to justify describing them as “inept”, much less “very inept”.

                Secondly, the Royals were 3rd in their conference in Goals For, and Top 10 in the WHL for Goals For. I mean, 14 of the WHL’s 22 teams had less Goals For than Victoria did! So how would that make them “one of the worst teams in the WHL” in terms of generating offence?!