Monday, August 7, 2017

Blue Dispatch #2 - We got you covered

The Blue Dispatch second issue is available here
It offers a closure on the 2016/17 season (our first one as Draftin Europe) and provides a bridge to the new one and future drafts.

The first aim of this new release is to cover all the prospects that were selected out of Europe at the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago.
Not all of them were profiled on our draft guide, and this Review provides scouting reports especially for those drafted players that for whatever reasons didn’t find their way in the previous release. This Blue Dispatch issue No.2  is meant to be complementary to issue No.1 (the Draft Guide).

These are the contents that come available with it for just 11.90€:
- breakdown per country of the draft tendencies of the last few years
- write-ups on all the 67 prospects drafted out of Europe
- top 5 NHL teams at the 2017 draft
- a look into the 2017 Import Draft
- a whole section (INTO THE FEUTURE) dedicated to future drafts, offering:
         > Top 5 with prospects' profiles for the 2018 Entry Draft
         > Top 5 with prospects' profiles for the 2019 Entry Draft
         > Top 5 with prospects' profiles for the 2020 Entry Draft
         > A look into 2021 eligible prospects
         > Outlines of as many as 30 players for the 2019, 2020, 2021 drafts
         > Stats comparison with past prospects

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blue Dispatch draft guide release

Our first ever Blue Dispatch draft guide is available here:

Provides Top 80 and Top 20 rankings of prospects playing in Europe for the 2017 and 2018 Entry Drafts, along with in-depth scouting reports.

All top 60 prospects for this year's draft have their dedicated page with, among other things, ratings on 7 categories we consider when projecting a player and statistics from the last couple of seasons, including time on ice (whenever available).

Breakdowns are also included for some prospects.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Player's profile page sample

With the free preview in April we anticipated the look of the player's profile pages in our upcoming draft guide, but as we move (not fast enough!) closer to the release it’s time to provide a little update on that. 
What follows is the enhanced final version that will be available for the top 60 prospects, to form the core of the publication.  

For each player that earned his dedicated page, along with his profile and 
in-Europe final ranking you will get (all in one place):
  • a season rankings table to see how the player has been trending throughout his draft year
  • our overall ranking assessment and draft day expectations
  • info on the amount of viewings
  • a small NHL projection sector
  • the ratings we think he deserves in seven categories that we consider relevant when projecting a prospect's future success. Each category is comprehensive of different elements that go into it and is defined inside the guide
  • the player’s stats from the last two seasons, including a comparative (in-league) rank and time on ice whenever available

 -- Draftin Europe

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Draftin Europe's Blue Dispatch draft guide: FREE Preview

Below you can find available for download a free preview of the Blue Dispatch draft guide that we will release in June. This preview provides a glimpse of what the final release will look like. It also includes our new rankings: the 2017 list becomes a top 30 and the top 5 for 2018 is updated for the first time since September. Inside the preview you can also find a little guessing game (along with instructions), the winner of which will get a free copy of the final Blue Dispatch draft guide.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Liljegren breakdown - part II

In part I of our breakdown we took a look at Liljegren's decision-making coming out of his zone and his defensive coverage. In part II we will now tackle his skating, transitions and offensive blueline play, which are some of the stronger points in his game.


One of the assets in Liljegren's arsenal is obviously his skating. Liljegren uses his skating to be a factor all over the ice and combines it with quality puck-handling when moving the puck forward as well as when trying to pull off 1 on 1 moves. He can also use his skating in defensive situations, which is where we'll start off part II of our breakdown.

Example 1 shows off Liljegren's ability to quickly recover backwards and close gaps down in a hurry if/when necessary. We can see Liljegren starting on the offensive blueline facing forward, yet he manages to retreat backwards and recovers towards the middle of ice in time to close down the play. More impressively, a forward pass was made by opposition in frame II, but Liljegren still managed to catch up to the play with his skating. To top it all off, in the last frame, he is already positioned for a D-to-D pass, opening himself up as an option for his partner.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Liljegren breakdown - part I

So far, it has been a complicated season for 2017 NHL Draft eligible defenseman Timothy Liljegren. He has appeared at three different levels of hockey: mostly in SHL with Rogle BK, but he has also seen time in Allsvenskan on a short loan to Timra and has (at the time of writing) logged 12 games at the J20 level again with Rogle. He has also been a regular for Sweden's U18 team internationally and has dealt with a case of mononucleosis earlier in the season that sidelined him for some time. Safe to say, he has seen a bit of everything in his draft eligible season.

We received some heat for placing Liljegren as the third best 2017 NHL Draft eligible prospect coming out of Europe (behind Nico Hischier and Elias Pettersson respectively) back in September and more recently still receive questions about his "stock" as a draft eligible prospect. That has prompted us to offer an extensive breakdown that should illuminate how we see Timothy Liljegren's game.


We will start this breakdown with what we feel is the biggest question-mark in Liljegren's game and also one of the main reasons for why we dropped him all the way back in September. His biggest flaw this season has been decision-making. With that said, let us continue with visual examples and their analysis.

This sequence starts with Liljegren actually doing a good job evading the forecheck, as he turns and loses the Canadian forward he is left with quite some time to make a decision on how to move the puck forward. In frame III, it becomes fairly obvious that the right option to take is to pass along the green arrow, that said there is still a less than ideal orange path to take which would serve more just as an outlet to get rid of the puck not necessarily move the play forward in a productive way. Seeing as Liljegren isn't under pressure, it's not a particularly good option in this scenario. While Liljegren does not pass immediately, he still has ample amount of time to execute the green option pass in frames IV and V. Yet, Liljegren fails to do so and eventually loses the puck to the forechecker. In this sequence, we see something that has been fairly common in our viewings this season and that is the failure to make decisions that use obvious positive passing lanes (and simple quality options in general).

Saturday, January 28, 2017

2017 Draft - Midterm Ranking

It’s been a long time since we released our previous list for the 2017 NHL Draft on September 21st, part of the reason for that is simply the fact that we felt comfortable enough with our list for the past few months without feeling the urge to make major changes.

In the meantime a few things have happened. Scouts in North America have been able to appreciate how good our previous #1 Nico Hischier really is. Central Scouting has moved Elias Pettersson (our ensuing #1 since Nico started his North American season and therefore stopped being eligible for our list) from a B rate in October to the #2 spot in Europe.
Timothy Liljegren was diagnosed with mononucleosis the day after our September ranking was released, leaving him sidelined for some time, while big forwards Kristian Vesalainen and Klim Kostin have struggled to produce.

Even before their production issues, we didn’t have Vesalainen that high in our list nor as a top 10 pick overall and we didn’t have Kostin close to the top in the overall projection either. Similarly, we have also already dropped Liljegren from the top spot in Europe in September just before the news about mono came out. In light of that diagnosis, even if his level of play this season would suggest so, we’re now keen to wait a bit more before dropping Liljegren any further, especially when not many other prospects made a case to replace him in the 2nd spot of our list. Still, the Swede will probably need to pick up his game in the second part of the season to retain a spot that is basically the byproduct of what he showed last season.

Now, with the WJC in the books an updated ranking is definitely due, no matter if injuries and some performances have not really helped the process. Kostin is the other big name whose draft season has been a struggle and unlike Liljegren he won’t have any chance to redeem it after undergoing surgery last week on the shoulder that reportedly has been bothering him for a while. We still have him in the same tier as some of the prospects ranked ahead of him on our new list, but healthier players like Necas and Heiskanen who were already enjoying a much better season than him get the edge in the ranking.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for the chance to see Russian goalie Daniil Tarasov play this season, so the waiting game goes on with the hope to see him back 100% healthy at some point before the final part of the season.

Our #1 Elias Pettersson also missed time recently after a WJC where he didn’t have much luck in terms of production. He didn’t play the bronze medal game after his head hit the hard dash of the side boards as a result of a pretty hard bodycheck suffered in the 3rd period against Canada, and was then reportedly out with the flu for the first few Allsvenskan games played by Timra once he was back in Sweden. He has appeared in four games since getting back in action on January 20th, producing at a point per game ratio like he did in the first part of the season.

Among the few guys that have improved their stock with us in recent months are Filip Chytil and Alexei Lipanov. The latter sat just out of our September ranking and had a strong WJAC in December. Chytil is a kid barely eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft who seems to be coming into his own lately and who has been able to get quality ice-time in the top Czech league.

Robin Salo who has also been playing well domestically was an unexpected cut from Finland’s WJC team. Just as surprisingly, in an underwhelming Finnish tournament performance, the coach was sacked midway through the event as it became obvious Finland would have to tackle Latvia to avoid relegation.





Ov. Rank Projection

1. Elias Pettersson C/W SWE top 5
2. Timothy Liljegren D SWE top 10
3. Martin Necas C CZE top 10
4. Miro Heiskanen D FIN mid 1st
5. Marcus Davidsson C/W SWE mid 1st
6. Klim Kostin RW RUS mid 1st
7. Lias Andersson C SWE 1st
8. Kristian Vesalainen LW FIN 1st
9. Daniil Tarasov G RUS 1st
10. Urho Vaakanainen D FIN 1st
11. Ukko-P. Luukkonen G FIN early 2nd
12. Robin Salo D FIN early 2nd
13. Filip Chytil C/W CZE 2nd
14. Alexei Lipanov C RUS 2nd
15. Lukas Elvenes RW SWE 2nd
16. Jesper Boqvist C/W SWE 2nd
17. Jonas Rondbjerg C/W DEN 3rd
18. Emil Bemstrom C SWE 3rd
19. Joni Ikonen C FIN 4th
20. Sebastian Walfridsson D SWE 4th