Timothy Liljegren is moving backwards in our updated top 20.
Considering we already had him in the same tier with our next two prospects in early August (see previous ranking), the change is not as big as the drop in the rank might suggest, but so far this season Liljegren's play has nourished some concerns with his decision-making ability. That's an area of strength for both Hischier and Pettersson, and at this point in time we like their long term projection a bit better. Before the draft comes around Liljegren will have plenty of opportunities to address those concerns and to show he can use his obvious tools to his advantage without taking unnecessary risks too frequently.
Nico Hischier didn't have a particularly successful Hlinka Memorial tourney, but had some impressive moments. He seems to have taken a step forward in his physical development and has been more willing to use his good shot than in the past, something that should help him in his transition to the QMJHL. The fact he is about to start his North American season means this is the last time he appears on our rankings, as they only pertain prospects playing for European clubs. In this pre CHL season update we have four prospects in the same situation, they're identifiable in grey in the ranking below.
Having Hischier, Pettersson and Liljegren in the same 'top 7' tier means we estimate right now there are four more prospects outside of Europe in the same (or higher) tier. It's an indication of where we feel the trio currently belong when adding to the mix the other eligible prospects, it is not an attempt to predict how the draft will unfold.
Ov. Rank Projection
|1.||Nico Hischier||C||SUI||top 7|
|2.||Elias Pettersson||C/W||SWE||top 7|
|3.||Timothy Liljegren||D||SWE||top 7|
|4.||Klim Kostin||RW||RUS||top 15|
|5.||Marcus Davidsson||C||SWE||mid 1st|
|6.||Dmitri Samorukov||D||RUS||mid 1st|
|7.||Kristian Vesalainen||LW||FIN||mid 1st|
|8.||Lias Andersson||C||SWE||1st round|
|9.||Martin Necas||C||CZE||1st round|
|10.||Henri Jokiharju||D||FIN||1st round|
|11.||Miro Heiskanen||D||FIN||1st round|
|12.||Daniil Tarasov||G||RUS||1st round|
|13.||Urho Vaakanainen||D||FIN||1st round|
|14.||Adam Ruzicka||W/C||SVK||1st round|
|15.||Ukko-P. Luukkonen||G||FIN||early 2nd|
|16.||Lukas Elvenes||RW||SWE||2nd round|
|17.||Robin Salo||D||FIN||2nd round|
|18.||Sebastian Walfridsson||D||SWE||2nd round|
|19.||Jesper Boqvist||C/W||SWE||2nd round|
|20.||Fabian Zetterlund||RW||SWE||2nd round|