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Photo Credit: NHL.com

CANUCKSARMY’S 2018 NHL DRAFT PROFILES: Omissions

With the Top 100 prospects for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look at other angles of the draft class.

There had been quite a few comments of players that we excluded that were found in other rankings. First off, our goal is to find prospects that are underrated or overlooked in other rankings and then combine qualitative and quantitative angles to profile the best players available. This results in us straying from consensus regularly in terms of the placement of players and then other players falling out completely.

This year was a little different, as we did 100 separate profiles, thus increasing the workload from previous years.

Furthermore, there were some mitigating factors that delayed our process as most of the rankings were submitted in mid-May. For me personally, I submitted my list on May 8th and then started to go through the data more in-depth after that. Had I waited until this week, I feel that my list would’ve been more complete and through. It’s the nature of the beast when trying to organize such a large project.

Given those disclaimers, there were a couple of players that people mentioned as ‘misses’ and thus figured it was worth quickly exploring those omissions a bit.

Kevin Bahl (D)

PLAYER POS NAT AGE BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE HT HEIGHT WT SH LEAGUE TEAM GP G A P INV% 5v5 Pr INV% 5v5 eP160 SEAL Sh/GP Sh% eTOI GF% GF%rel GD60 rel XLS% XPR xVAL
Kevin Bahl D CAN 17.22 27-Jun-00 Mississauga ON Canada 6.06 6’6″ 225 L OHL Ottawa 67’s 58 1 17 18 9.60% 4.30% 0.7 0.44 1 2% 16.3 36.80% -11.70% -1.41 23% 15.4 2.1

The most common name brought up was Ottawa 67’s defenceman Kevin Bahl.

He is big – measuring in at 6’6″ and 230 lbs – with many pointing to him being a possible sleeper in this draft class. The draft profile on The Hockey News has a quote saying, “You can’t teach size” and that’s the problem. That is his biggest redeeming quality and uses that to be somewhat physical. He has a long reach but lacks mobility and struggles with speedy and skilled forwards.

Bahl has flashed some offensive chops at the Top Prospects Game and U18’s but that isn’t his game – he was limited to 18 points in 58 games with Ottawa. He doesn’t shoot the puck very often despite some scouts suggesting he has a bomb of a shot.

What is concerning is that he is labelled as being a defensive defenceman but posted a GF% 36.8% and GFREL% of -11.7%. His pGPS creates an inflated 23.0% success rate due to his size, which creates a smaller pool of matches.

Other public services are excited about Bahl because of his defensive acumen and size but he lacks mobility, doesn’t produce offence, and struggled to keep the puck out of the net.

Ultimately, I personally had Bahl ranked in the late 3rd round but since others did not, he fell out of the top 100. It isn’t an issue that a team will inevitably select him, it’s more suggesting that he is a top 40 pick and could be a sleeper. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where he is the best player available at any point in 2nd round.

Semyon Der-Arguchinstev (RW)

A player that I suggested to keep an eye before this season began, he ended the year with 51 points in 68 games with the Peterborough Petes. Given that is 5’10” and 160 lbs winger and is the youngest player in this draft class, it’s fair to suggest that he’s likely a long-term project that has some risk given that size.

I like his game as a playmaker and his defensive game saw tangible improvement throughout the season. He is quick, elusive, and has fantastic vision.

Ultimately, his size was an issue as he struggled when leaned upon or when focused on. He was a player that I had ranked just outside of my top 100 and given that one else had him listed, he didn’t make the cut. He will likely get selected at some point, and maybe earlier than 100th, and it’s defensible. He has a good offensive game overall and understands what he needs to work on to make it to the next level. He may be a long-term project that pays off and in hindsight, I should’ve thrown him in the latter parts of my top 100.

Jacob Bernard-Decker (D)

Another player that people mentioned as a ‘miss’ for us. He has seen his stock rise as the season wound down but was still ranked as the 33rd best North American skater in this draft class by NHL Central Scouting Services. He ended the season with 21 goals and 20 assists in 49 games with the Okotoks Oilers in the AJHL. The issue with evaluating him is the fact that he remained in the AJHL, which has seen a low rate of success over the history of prospect pipelines.

It’s flawed to say that the league hasn’t produced players, so Bernard-Decker presents a low success rate and then dismissing him as a prospect. But on the flip side, the QoC does play into it.

I liked his game overall but have some concerns about his impact, with that in mind, I ranked him 85th in my rankings that were submitted in early May. Given that I had him that low and Jeremy relied more on a more data-driven approach, Bernard-Decker fell out. He is ranked in the mid-second in the majority of prospect ranks but that may still be a little too high given that he presents a ceiling as a two-way defender with a reasonable offensive upside.

After reviewing some more games of his over the last six weeks, I would likely move him up to the early parts of the 3rd round.

He is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season.

Filip Johansson (D)

PLAYER POS NAT AGE BIRTHDATE BIRTHPLACE HT HEIGHT WT SH LEAGUE TEAM GP G A P INV% 5v5 Pr INV% 5v5 eP160 SEAL Sh/GP Sh% eTOI GF% GF%rel GD60 rel XLS% XPR xVAL
Filip Johansson D AIK 17.48 23-Mar-00 SWE 6.01 6’1″ 187 R Superelit Leksands IF J20 29 4 5 9 2.40% 4.20% 0.32 0.2 0.7 6% 9.9 54.50% 8.40% 0.59 3% 25.5 0.3

Filip Johansson is another defenceman coming from Sweden this year that is known for his two-way game. He played most of his season in SuperElit but saw 23 games in the Allsvenskan. He was held to one goal in that limited action, which is why he fell below a couple other defencemen of the same ilk.

He has been ranked as high as 49th in public rankings and I can understand why. He is a skilled puck mover who plays a good two-way game. The right-handed defender was effective in keeping the puck out of his zone and sending it in the right direction.

Johansson fell out of the top 100 for a few reasons – the main one being the limited offensive production at SuperElit and Allsvenskan levels. He performed well at the U18’s and is likely why his stock has risen. For me personally, there were just a couple other defenders I liked more and he fell out. His 3% success rate with pGPS is another reason why he didn’t crack that Top 100.

Goalies

Since we don’t have an effective way to evaluate goaltenders for draft purposes, they easily fall down our draft boards. Jakub Skarek and Oliver Rodrigue were included in the top 100 because I had them ranked within my list. I also had Lukas Dostal and Olof Lindbom within my original rankings and Bob McKenzie has both of them included in the top 72.

There is some talent here and there will be a run of them at some point in the second and third rounds with Dostal and Lindbom being included in that group.


There were plenty of players that were mentioned being excluded from the top 100, some of those include-  Alec Regula, Tyler Weiss, Ruslan Ishakov, Giovanni Vallati, Ivan Morozov, and Kirill Marchenko.

It can be hard to figure out how the draft board will unfold and how other rankings will shake out once they come out. Given the process that we had to go through, it’s understandable why there will be some perceived ‘misses’ in our top 100. With that being said, all 100 players that we profiled had something to like about their game, whether that is from an eye-test or data driven mindset.

It’s also important to remember that NHL draft lists are different from public rankings in the sense that they don’t always go the top 100 players – there are organizational needs, preferences, and other mitigating factors that alter the draft board. One NHL team will have a player as a ‘do not draft’, while another team has that player as a first-round talent.

Everyone will have misses or mistakes, including us, but one of the best parts of the draft season is the discourse generated from differing opinions and we feel we accomplished that.

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