Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Preliminary NHL Central Scouting Rankings for 2011

As I'm sure you've heard by now, NHL Central Scouting has released their preliminary rankings for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. For those unfamiliar with the NHL CSS, every November they release a top 25 for each CHL league. In case you're curious, here are the 2009 and 2010 Prelim rankings.

So here it is, NHL Central Scouting's top 25 for the Ontario Hockey League.

1. Gabriel Landeskog
2. Brandon Saad
3. Dougie Hamilton
4. Ryan Strome
5. Vincent Trocheck
6. Tobias Rieder
7. Boone Jenner
8. Ryan Murphy
9. Nicklas Jensen
10. Matt Puempel
11. Vladislav Namestnikov
12. Alexander Khokhlachev
13. Stefan Noesen
14. Rickard Rakell
15. Scott Harrington
16. Daniel Catenacci
17. Lucas Lessio
18. Shane Prince
19. Mark Scheifele
20. Nick Cousins
21. Garrett Meurs
22. Anthony Camara
23. Michael Curtis
24. David Broll
25. Austen Brassard

1. Jordan Binnington
2. Matt Mahalak
3. Matej Machovsky
4. Mike Morrison
5. Tadeas Galansky
6. John Chartrand
7. Tyson Teichmann
8. Frank Palazzese

Some general thoughts:

1. A lot of people are surprised about Murphy's ranking being so low. I'm not one of them. I expected Murphy to be this low on CSS' list. The CSS has always put a lot of stock into size (which would explain their mid 30's ranking of Jeff Skinner last year), and Murphy doesn't have it while playing a position which often requires it. That being said, do I agree with it? Absolutely not, but am I surprised? Absolutely not. Murphy is clearly the type of player who is going to have polar opinions about him. There are those that believe his skill set will allow him to be an impact player in the NHL, and those who don't. Remember, all it takes is for one NHL team to believe in you and take you high. On a somewhat side note, but also a related note, can people please stop comparing Ryan Ellis and Murphy. I've seen and heard a lot of reaction to these rankings and I continue to see "Murphy is just like Ellis." They are two very talented players, but two very different players.

2. Absolutely shocked at the omission of defenseman Stuart Percy. That's the biggest shock for me I think. Here's a guy playing key minutes for the best team in the CHL, putting up good points, has good size and who has really increased his physical play this year. I've heard concerns about his lack of elite skating as a puck rusher, but as a strong two way defenseman with a good hockey IQ, you can't do much better.

3. Great to see Ryan Strome up there where he belongs. With ISS's recent November release, it seems safe to assume that Strome has firmly entrenched himself as a top 10 contender.

4. I'm also surprised by the ranking of Vincent Trocheck...but a good surprise. Because they put so much value on size, I thought he'd be lower down (like Murphy, Prince, Catenacci, etc). But he's a very good player and prospect who's under appreciated because he plays in Saginaw and is overshadowed by Brandon Saad. Just a solid all around player who can do it all.

5. Interesting to see Matt Puempel fall significantly and Boone Jenner to actually appear higher than he has in most lists recently. I'd love to hear the explanation on that one, only because IMO both need to be better to keep up their high draft stock. But I've been hearing more concerns on Jenner's end...about his high end NHL potential and skating.

6. Tyson Teichmann sure took a tumble, but it's hard to really argue against it. He's had a tough go of it this year and has had trouble putting together consistently good starts. Lots of time left in the season though.

I'd love to hear what you thought of the rankings...and remember this is only one ranking and at the beginning of the year no less. Players will move up and down.

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