Saturday, August 6, 2016

Early look at Europe's best for the 2018 NHL Draft

Some promising 2018 eligible players will also get their season underway at the upcoming Hlinka Memorial. Below we list our five favourite prospects playing in Europe two seasons away from their draft.

Based on what we’ve seen last season, the top 3 was pretty easily done.

Dahlin is an all-around Swedish defenseman whose name we believe will become much more popular once Rasmus gets more international exposure, and that might start to happen as soon as next week.

Alexander Svechnikov is instead an already well hyped name, thanks to his ability to score in bunches against his peers.

Filip Zadina is a late ’99 born winger who plays at a very advanced level for his age, so much so that he already dressed for a couple of Extraliga games.

Speaking of playing at an advanced level, his countryman Jakub Skarek is a goalie who already enjoyed some success playing against men last season. Him and steady defenseman Alexander Alexeyev round out our early top 5, edging out a number of other interesting prospects.


Rank

Name

Position

Nation

1. Rasmus Dahlin D SWE
2. Andrei Svechnikov RW RUS
3. Filip Zadina LW CZE
4. Jakub Skarek G CZE
5. Alexander Alexeyev D RUS

Friday, August 5, 2016

2017 Draft pre-season Rankings

The Hlinka Memorial Cup U18 tournament means the start of a new scouting season. With only three days left before the puck drops in Breclav and Bratislava it is time to set where we are at ahead of the first games of the 2017 Draft season, as they will bring a ton of new inputs into the evaluation of the 1999 class.

The ranking that follows is the result of the scouting we did in Europe throughout last season and only pertains to prospects who have been playing for European clubs in 2015/16 (which means players like Valimaki, Tolvanen and N.A. Popugayev do not get considered here).
However, to put things in perspective, we added an overall ranking appraisal. Even if we focus on prospects in Europe, we still have a grasp of how good the draft is supposed to be overall. At this stage, this year's North American crop seems to be a bit weaker than usual, allowing for more Europeans to potentially make their way into the 1st Round. 

Still, this should not be confused with a prediction. This is nothing like a Mock Draft, and the Overall Rank Projection column is just an indicator of where we currently feel these players belong overall. Should they confirm what we have seen so far, that's the range where we would recommend drafting them, which is different from suggesting where they'll eventually get drafted.

We think these players have shown the potential to be there for us next June, no matter where they are currently ranked by other resources. 
Obviously, like everyone else, we'll get a better handle as the season progresses and things will inevitably change, but here come our pre-Hlinka rankings for the 2017 Draft (which by the way are the first ever rankings we release as an independent source, under the "Draftin Europe" mark).


Rank

Player

Position

Nation

Ov. Rank Projection

1. Timothy Liljegren D SWE top 5
2. Nico Hischier C SUI top 5
3. Elias Pettersson C/W SWE top 5
4. Klim Kostin RW RUS top 15
5. Marcus Davidsson C SWE mid 1st
6. Dmitri Samorukov D RUS mid 1st
7. Urho Vaakanainen D FIN mid 1st
8. Kristian Vesalainen LW FIN 1st round
9. Lias Andersson C/W SWE 1st round
10. Daniil Tarasov G RUS 1st round
11. Henri Jokiharju D FIN late 1st
12. Martin Necas C CZE late 1st
13. Adam Ruzicka C/W SVK late 1st
14. Ukko-P. Luukkonen G FIN early 2nd
15. Miro Heiskanen D FIN early 2nd
16. Lukas Elvenes RW SWE early 2nd
17. Robin Salo D FIN 2nd round
18. Fabian Zetterlund RW SWE 2nd round
19. Jesper Boqvist C/W SWE 2nd round
20. Maxim Zhukov G RUS late 2nd