Shameless self-promotion: NHL draft roundup

Some of the junior-hockey work I do showed up in others’ draft coverage this year. A list:

* Possibly an exaggeration.
*** Doesn’t “Central Scouting” sound like a Soviet thing? Is Don Cherry aware of this?

I also thought I’d collect my real-time observations on various drafted players here, where “observations” mostly means the two or three most-similar players from past draft years according to 5v5 scoring statistics, quality of competition faced, playing time, and age. Here those are:

Nathan MacKinnon
Most similar player to MacKinnon from past drafts: NOBODY. There are none. Serious comparison: MacKinnon’s accomplishments/competition are most similar to Sean Couturier (but, um, better).

Sean Monahan
Matches to Alexander Khokhlachev, Brayden Shenn, a bit of Justin Shugg in there too.

Darnell Nurse
Hard to find a comparison for Nurse, but Scott Harrington is the best we can do at this time. Nobody similar has been drafted as high.

Josh Morrissey
Morrissey’s comparables from past draft years are mostly undrafted and forgotten. I’ll assume the comp system isn’t meant for him. That said, Morrissey’s No. 5 comp is Marc Staal … you just have to go through still-CHL and now-CIS players to get there.

Ryan Pulock
Ryan Pulock’s selection reminds me of one of Brandon League’s original nicknames: the Brandon Heat King. (He was more impressive then.) Pulock’s comparables from past drafts: Ryan Murray, Stuart Percy, Joey Leach.

Mirco Mueller
Mirco Mueller, notable for facing very tough competition this year, matches up with Tim Billingsley and Nick Crawford.

Kerby Rychel
Rychel, top-10 among draft-eliglbles in the Skinners, matches to Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Phillip Danault, Dale Mitchell.

Anthony Mantha
Anthony Mantha, out of impossible-to-type-quickly-Val-d’Or, matches to Ryan Strome, Sean Couturier, Zack Phillips.

Hunter Shinkaruk
Ranked 4th among draft-eligibles in Skinner rankings, 7th overall. Was 2nd-highest left behind Petan at time of draft. Ranked 29th in Skinners in 2010-11, and 2nd behind MacKinnon last year. Good pick. 2nd-toughest competition among Medicine Hat forwards. Comparables: Boone Jenner, Ryan Martindale.

Ryan Hartman (sort of)
I like the Ryan Hartman pick for Chicago at 30. Though if you’re going to draft a high scorer’s linemate, Free Jaedon!

Keenan Kanzig
The reason I wasn’t using draft position in my most-similar-players definition can be summed up by Keegan Kanzig. Though, really, I could just ignore CGY picks and the problem would go away. Of Kanzig’s 10 most-similar players from 2010 and before, more have gone to CIS hockey than ever turned pro.

Sven Andrighetto
Is there another Sven Andrighetto or did Montreal just draft a 20-year-old?

Anthony Duclair
Like the Rangers’ pick of Anthony Duclair. Young for his draft class, 10th overall in Skinners, ranked 50ish. Got him at 80.

Carter Verhaeghe
69th among draft-eligible players in the Skinners, 215th overall. NHLe of 18.7. Faced tougher competition than Strome did this year on Niagara. Pretty similar to Bo Horvat, really, once you isolate on 5v5 time, which kind of make me wonder why Horvat went 9th and Verhaeghe 82nd, but obviously there are many things I don’t know about this process.

Cole Cassels
82nd among draft-eligibles in the Skinner Rankings, tied for 256th overall. Doubled his scoring year-over-year (and then some, when you look at his total points, not just 5v5) but he was starting from a very low base. Among his most three common opponents was Ryan Murphy, but overall, he faced by far the weakest competition on the Generals (and was 7th in ice time among their forwards by my estimate). A little underwhelmed, if I can say that with a straight face about someone I don’t even know. Most-similar: Darian Dziurzynski (2009), Samuel Schutt (2012), Jean-Sebastien Dea (2012).

Jaedon Descheneau, who went undrafted
JAEDON MUST BE AVENGED. Interested parties who can swing a sack of doorknobs are invited to join. But you gotta bring your own knobs.

I’m not even going to pretend I can say who had a good draft and a bad draft, but I will point out the players I liked (other than FREE JAEDON DESCHENEAU). Hartman (30, CHI) is one, Shinkaruk (24, VAN) another, Taylor Cammarata (76, NYI) a third. Morgan Klimchuk (28, CGY, in one of their non-bizarre choices) and Mirco Mueller (18, SJS) both played against very tough competition this year and I was pleased to see both go in the first round.

Beau McCue didn’t get ranked at all, let alone drafted by anyone, but by some measures he compares favourably to the 28th, 29th, 48th, and 69th picks this year so I don’t know what’s going on there. I would not be surprised if there exists a bias against players a) born in Montana and/or b) playing on U.S.-based CHL teams.

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