Photo Credit: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT

2018 NHL Draft: Consolidated Industry Rankings for December 2017

It’s almost World Junior Championship time, which means that for a brief period, the hockey world is going to take a much more intent look at young prospects, the future of the game. For the most part, the focus is on older prospects, but there are plenty of draft eligible players to look at as well. That brings some increased interest in rankings for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Today we’ll look at how the various public services are ranking the prospects available next June. This is the first time I’ve done this so far this season, and I’d like to go over a few things before you get into it.

These consolidated rankings are strictly to lay out how the prospects are perceived by the public scouting industry at large. They do not count as Canucks Army’s rankings, nor do they significantly influence my individual rankings. After the kerfuffle last season with Draftbuzz, I feel compelled to inform or remind readers that consolidated rankings are for the benefit of the readers – we are plenty capable of coming up with our own lists. In fact, if all goes according to play, I plan on publishing my personal list for December within the next few days.

With that out of the way, let’s get into those lists. Here are the ten services that have been included:

Service Future Considerations Hockey Prospect ISS Hockey McKeen’s TSN Industry TSN Craig’s List Sportsnet The Athletic ESPN Dobber Prospects
Author Staff Staff Staff Staff Bob McKenzie Craig Button Sam Cosentino Cory Pronman Chris Peters Peter Harling
Date Nov 6th Nov 7th Dec 6th Dec 8th Sep 17th Nov 14th Dec 6th Sep 17th Oct 31st Oct 3rd

Some of them are either partially (HockeyProspect.com) or fully (The Athletic) behind pay walls, and so I won’t be revealing the specific rankings of those players that haven’t been posted for free, but they are still included in the averages.

Feast your eyes on the consolidated top 31 prospects as of December:

Between now and Christmas, I’ll get into some of these prospects in greater detail, including some that I think are overrated and underrated as of now, and of course I’ll drop my own individual list (you can see my last version, from August, here). For now, we can make note of a couple of trends.

Even though I haven’t published a consolidated ranking yet this season, I have still been keeping track. That’s why you see an October ranking in the second column of the above chart, and the movement from then until now. Most of the movement is pretty minor, but there have been some big jumps, as there often is early in the season.

The biggest jump in this grouping is clearly QMJHL defenceman Noah Dobson, jumping up 17 spots since October’s average. Up to 31 points in 32 games so far this season, Dobson has exploded onto the draft scene and is now ranked as high as 6th (Sportsnet) while averaging a rank of 16.8 across the six services that listed him (the four lists that didn’t have him in their top 31 were all from September and October). He’s not just making fans among the traditional scouts either. He’s 11th in SEAL adjusted scoring by first time eligible defencemen, has a pGPS expected likelihood of success of 35%, a 5-on-5 goals-for percentage of 62%, and is averaging four shots on goal per game (that’s 128 shots already this season). He is a legitimate mid-first round candidate at this point.

Now let’s take a look at how the first round is tiered so far.

Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov are the clear top of the class, virtually untouched at their respective positions. Dahlin is ranked first across the board, and just one list had Svechnikov lower than second – that would be known-hot-taker Craig Button, who has Svechnikov 3rd and Adam Boqvist at no. 2 in his stead.

Speaking of Boqvist, he leads a second tier that is also populated by Brady Tkachuk, Filip Zadina and Quinton Hughes. Zadina is trending upwards at the moment; the Czech forward is having a dominant rookie season in the QMJHL. Inversely, Tkachuk was trending downwards a little bit, getting off to a bit of a slow start on a stacked Boston University team in the NCAA, but has put up four goals and nine points in his last nine games. Having turned 18 on September 16th, Tkachuk is one of the oldest players available in the draft.

The next several tiers are cut pretty roughly, and the players are still fairly interchangeable at this point. USDP standout Oliver Wahlstrom, U17 hero Rasmus Kupari, and former CHL exceptional player Joseph Veleno comprise the third tier, along with Ty Smith, a WHL defenceman who is shooting up the rankings following a highly productive start to the season with the Spokane Chiefs.

We’ll get more into this class in the coming weeks, with more content coming shortly. Stay tuned, and drop your initial thoughts on this class in the comments below.

  • Burnabybob

    I love these. One of the few pleasures of following a rebuilding team like the Canucks is the draft.

    Just hoping against hope that the Canucks get a break in the draft lottery. Since that probably won’t happen, my second hope is that somebody comparable to Chychrun or Liljegren filters down to the Canucks, as happened in the past two draft years.

  • Steamer

    Good article – would be better with goals/assists listed alongside ranking. Do not get Brady Tkachuk, seems even slower than Matthew – if that is possible? Can’t count on finishing place anymore with lottery hijinks, but some nice D prospects, just like two years ago when there was Chychryn & Sergachev & the Canucks took…Juolevi…


    Keep Benning away from the draft table. Had a chance to take Liligren, best right hand offensively talented D-man. He will help the Leafs win multiple Stanley Cups, he would look great on our power play.

      • beers after

        “Keep Benning away from the draft table.”
        Benning drafted what appears to be four potential FIRST rounders in the 2017 draft.
        If Palmu makes it that’s five NHL’ers.
        DiPietro would make six.
        One draft class.
        We shouldn’t be surprised as Demko will make five NHL’ers from 2014.

        • Whoa whoa whoa, Palmu as a potential first rounder? That’s too much. But I did read that if Jonathan Dahlen was drafted in 2017 rather than 2016, his skill set would have put him in the 1st round so Benning did a good trade for Burrows.

          • beers after

            No,Palmu is not a potential 1st round re-ranking candidate.
            Petterson-top 3
            Lind-first rounder
            Gadjovich-first rounder(Brackett)
            Rathbone-potential first
            That makes four.
            We’ll be happy if Palmu and DiPietrro become NHL’ers.

    • Wise Canuck

      Agreed, Rasmus Dahlin, Boqvist or Tkachuk picked by another GM please.

      Petterssen is still unproven and playing as a winger, and while Boeser is decent, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Fluke pick.

      The fact remains that Benning chose McCann, Virtanen and Juolevi over absolute NHL studs like Larkin, Nylander, Ehlers, Tkachuk, Sergachev, Tuch, Keller and McAvoy too name just a few, any of which would have changed the face of our franchise. Not a good look whatsoever for a so called draft guru.

      Can’t accept the truth?… do one.

    • I hate 5th round draft picks that average 1.44 points per game and get tied for 8th in NCAA scoring. I also hate Canuck draft picks who get invited to world junior training camps. We never gave Libor Polasek a fair shake.

  • NeverWas

    Drafts are a gamble… it’s all about probabilities and rolling the dice. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. The goal is to win more often than you loose which I think Benning has done. Is katchuk > jovie? Maybe… but that doesn’t mean jovie has a bad pick. Hes found some beauties and his 2017 draft looks to be the best work by any GM in the league… let’s just hope he is as savvy with the 2018 draft

  • DB1282

    I’m thinking another number 5 pick is in the cards, the Canucks crap luck rules out a number 1 pick, with the season going down the toilet now might as well accumulate draft picks at the deadline if there anyone healthy enough
    to trade

  • priored

    First thing that the list reveals is there are no Canadians in the top 7. Canucks need to trade vets for more 1st 2nd and 3rd round picks. We need a couple top Offensive D men and at least one of them that is a R hand shot.

    • Bud Poile

      “Petterssen is still unproven and playing as a winger.Not a good look whatsoever for a so called draft guru.Can’t accept the truth?” DUD

      The truth is you have zero hockey credentials nor credibility,DUD.
      I’ll defer to a former pro scout with industry integrity.Thanks.
      Malloy on Pettersson:
      “Once he gains some muscle, there’s a potential number one centre and I don’t say that very often. He’s been very impressive this year.”
      ✔@TSN1040 .@ShaneMalloy on Pettersson:
      “His hockey sense. His ability to create plays make plays under duress and do it instantly. His ability to make plays at speed, and use the give-and-go so effectively to create space. The sky’s the limit for this kid. ”

      There’s a DUD here and it ain’t Benning.

      • Wise Canuck

        Who are you calling ‘dud’ you silly little crab!?… YOU are the site ‘dud’ pal, Jackson even dedicated a whole post game headline to (Bud the) ‘DUD’.

        Tut tut, more hypocritical mixed message trolling from you Bi-polar Bud… can you explain these hilarious contradictory comments for us Dud…

        “this parting with very good nhl and ahl prospects has me less and less interested in this team.” – Bud P

        “Last year Marner, Tkachuk, Provorov, Matthews, Nylander, Laine,etc. jumped straight from the draft table into making an impact at the highest level.” – Bud P

        ” The Canucks need players that can contribute out of the gate. I would take Liljegren or Heiskanen. Glass or Vilardi if they go for the future. Hopefully it’s a player that is close to NHL ready come September” – Bud P

        No MENTION of Petterssen whatsoever?! – there’s two DUDS here pal… YOU and the soon to be canned failure BENNING>>>>>> got it.

    • Puck Viking

      They should trade lots of players basically any not in the future plans and use this draft to totally rebuild the blue line. Our defense is not good at all and lack any prospects with top 4 up side other than OJ.

  • jaybird43

    It would be extremely help if the Canucks found a stud defenceman at their likely draft position this year (now that Bo is out for so long), of eighth to 14th. Unlikely though; stud D’s are usually in the top 4, rarely mire than 8th. Fingers crossed …