Monday, January 11, 2010

NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings

Today, NHL Central Scouting released their midterm rankings for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In case you're unfamiliar with the annual midterm rankings, they are different from the preliminary ones released in November (found here). Central Scouting's preliminary rankings are separated by league, so the OHL had it's own ranking (top 25 skaters and a ranked list of goalies). Well the midterm rankings have a different format. All North American skaters are combined into a top 210, while the North American goalies combine to form a top 32.

Before you go and slam the rankings, keep a few things in mind.

1. Historically, NHL Central Scouting, is the last to catch on to a scouting "trend." For instance, you may look at all the other independent scouting agencies (ISS, Redline, McKeens, etc), and see a player rising up the rankings (for instance Jeff Skinner), but then look on Central Scouting and see them much lower. Just to give you an example from last year, at midterm they had Matt Hackett as the 8th highest rated NA goalie for 2009, when many agencies had him as the top one. Then, the final rankings roll around and BOOM!, Hackett is number one. Some people like to say they're behind the eight ball, while I like to think they're just more patient. It generally takes a lot to really sway them in favor of really jumping a player in their rankings.

2. It's only one ranking. This list isn't the be all and end all of rankings. For whatever reason, Central Scouting can seem to be down on certain players, or very high on certain players that other scouting agencies aren't. For example, every other scouting agency was high on Kyle Clifford by the end of last season. Central Scouting...not so much. Despite rave reviews and high rankings from everyone else, they had Clifford at 182 on their final ranking. He ended up being the 26th North American player chosen (35th overall to LA). Just because they've got a player ranked low does not mean he won't go high and conversely just because they like a player doesn't mean that he'll get drafted (see Eric Doyle from the WHL).

3. In saying, Central Scouting does a great job and they shouldn't be used to print off and become toilet paper. A lot of NHL teams use these ranking as a way to target certain players they may not have seen play yet.

If you're still with me after the rant, here's how the OHL players stack up. You can find the official list here.

1. Taylor Hall: NA Ranking = 1
2. Tyler Seguin: NA Ranking = 2
3. Cam Fowler: NA Ranking = 3
4. Erik Gudbranson: NA Ranking = 6
5. Alexander Burmistrov: NA Ranking = 7
6. John McFarland: NA Ranking = 10
7. Tyler Toffoli: NA Ranking = 22
8. Ryan Martindale: NA Ranking = 24
9. Austin Watson: NA Ranking = 25
10. Ivan Telegin: NA Ranking = 26
11. Ryan Spooner: NA Ranking = 38
12. Steven Shipley: NA Ranking = 44
13. Joey Hishon: NA Ranking = 46
14. Jeff Skinner: NA Ranking = 47
15. Stephen Silas: NA Ranking = 51
16. Brandon Archibald: NA Ranking = 58
17. Justin Shugg: NA Ranking = 62
18. Brock Beukeboom: NA Ranking = 63
19. Josh Shalla: NA Ranking = 64
20. Andrew Yogan: NA Ranking = 65
21. Dalton Smith: NA Ranking = 66
22. Devante Smith-Pelly: NA Ranking = 67
23. Cameron Wind: NA Ranking = 80
24. Sam Carrick: NA Ranking = 87
25. Greg Mckegg: NA Ranking = 94
26. Freddie Hamilton: NA Ranking = 102
27. Christian Thomas: NA Ranking = 114
28. Gregg Sutch: NA Ranking = 115
29. Austin Levi: NA Ranking = 117
30. Jared Knight: NA Ranking = 123
31. Philip Lane: NA Ranking = 124
32. Joe Rogalski: NA Ranking = 142
33. Adam Sedlak: NA Ranking = 145
34. Myles McCauley: NA Ranking = 162
35. Brandon Alderson: NA Ranking = 167
36. Geoffrey Schemitsch: NA Ranking = 169
37. Reid McNeill: NA Ranking = 171
38. Michael Sgarbossa: NA Ranking = 183
39. Derek Froats: NA Ranking = 189
40. Alex Cord: NA Ranking = 194

1. Mark Visentin: NA Ranking = 8
2. Philip Grubauer: NA Ranking = 9
3. Ramis Sadikov: NA Ranking = 11
4. Scott Wedgewood: NA Ranking = 13
5. Dalton McGrath: NA Ranking = 16
6. Michael Houser: NA Ranking = 18
7. J.P. Anderson: NA Ranking = 20
8. Petr Mrazek: NA Ranking = 26
9. Kevin Bailie: NA Ranking = 28
10. Bryce O'Hagan: NA Ranking = 30

Just as a reminder, here was my midterm Top 30.

  • If you compare my rankings with theirs, I think you'll notice the biggest differences being the rankings of Jeff Skinner and Jared Knight. 9 and 12 spot differences respectively. I gotta disagree with Central Scouting here. With Knight, I think I understand the reasoning. Basically it comes back to what I was saying about them being behind the eight ball sometimes. Knight has only recently (the last month or so) been rolling on all cylinders (correlated with his Diabetes diagnosis and treatment). I think it comes down to them taking into consideration his poor performance to start the year. By the end of the season, I'd expect him a lot higher. As for Skinner, well this one I just don't get. Here is the OHL's leading goal scorer, a dynamic offensive player and yet he's ranked 47th. Sure Skinner is undersized at 5'10, but he's stocky and he's a very good skater. I want to compare Skinner to former OHL'er Bryan Little. Little was the same size in the OHL, just as good offensively (similar skill set IMO), but not as good a skater as Skinner. Yet Little was ranked 7th in 2006 by Central Scouting (both midterm and final). What makes them different?
  • I don't really get the Myles McCauley addition. Maybe in the preliminary rankings, when he was playing some good hockey for Plymouth. But he hasn't scored a goal in 16 games. He's only got 2 assists in that time too. As a draft re-entry 1991, I just don't see him as being good enough to crack this list. Especially true considering there are a whole host of draft re-entry's having better seasons like Taylor Carnevale, Alex Friesen, and Darren Archibald.
  • Alex Cord is a weird inclusion too, even if he's the last guy rated. It's an honor just to be included on this list, so I think it's worth talking about. A former high OHL draft pick, but Cord has played but three games with the Majors this season. When not with the Majors, he's been playing with the Oakville Blades of the OJAHL (Junior A). There he has 6 points in 24 games. I don't see the allure of adding him considering some of the quality players left off of this list (Corey Durocher, Matt Petgrave, Roman Berdnikov).
  • Last thing I want to mention is the inclusion of Gregg Sutch...especially pretty high. I didn't even expect to see Sutch on this list, but it's a nice surprise. I like him a lot as a player and even more from what I've heard and read about his personality and character. But he's had a very tough year with injuries and hasn't been able to get his offensive game going. But he's a very physical player and a big guy who can skate too. I think he does have offensive talent, just needs to get back into a consistent groove. In case you want a very good read, check out Sutch's blog entry from The Hockey News where he discusses the difficulties he's had this season. You can find it here.
So what do YOU think?


Anonymous said...

I thought the Alex Cord thing was strange too. There are several regular/fairly regular draft-eligible D-men in the league that exhibited the ability/size/potential/stats that put them ahead of Cord, and actually play in the league.
BEL Luciani
BRA Wind
KIN Mort
NIA Petgrave, Schwindt, Rover
OTT Hartwick
PBO Braithwaite
PLY MacDonald
SAR Chiarlitti
SSM Mead
SUD Cardwell
WIN Posa

Anonymous said...

All well and good to name a few oddities, but Schemitsch at 169?! They might as well have not watched any hockey since November.

Brock Otten said...

Re: Cord

It's definitely a little bit odd. I think we can correlate it with CSS's inclusion of Zach Tatrn on last year's midterms. Likely one of their scouts saw him play once or twice and became enamored with him and really pulled for him to be included on this list. But then by the end of the season, he'll be nowhere to be found.

Re: Schemitsch

I do agree, I think the 169 rating for Schemitsch is low, but I wasn't surprised by it. Obviously I don't agree since I had him considerably higher. But then again, I think I'm the only one with him high on my list. If you recall I wrote a piece/did a Q & A with Schemitsch earlier this year. Starting to think I'm taking crazy pills here. But then again, those OHL rookie defenseman take a while to generate buzz. It wasn't until close to June in 2008 that Cameron Gaunce really started to become a hot topic, despite the fact that he had put up a very strong rookie OHL season.

I think you can say the same for Matt Petgrave in Niagara. He's been playing very well as of late and I'd be real surprised if he's left off of April's final list.

Anonymous said...

True enough.As long as he doesn't get injured, I'll be shocked if Schemitsch falls out of the top 50 on draft day, to be honest. I think he's got more offensive upside than Beukeboom, who's getting hype aplenty.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked to see Skinner so low, I'm thinking he'll be a first rounder.

Anonymous said...

I think most of you people talk too much and don't know the players you actually talk about..Stats are not only what scouts see. If you were an NHL scout maybe you would know what you really were talking about.. but then if you were a better judge you would be the guy in the suit and with the clipboard!

Anonymous said...

McCauley is an awesome player, hands down. Playing thru a hip pointer injury instead of sitting on the sidelines should be commended.

Anonymous said...

Will you Canadien's ever stop favoring your own in the sport you claim as "yours". Get over it there are a lot of American players that are worthy and we consider players that PASS the puck as important or as those that score..