Way back in August of last year I put out my rankings for this coming draft. It's always interesting how half way through a season people like to rip apart a ranking list but have no idea how much more difficult it is to rank players before they even start the new season going into their draft year. I was quite pleased the past 3 seasons with my early pre-season rankings (10 months in advance) out and once again am happy that I was able to still anticipate most the top selections far enough in advance.
Here was my official ranking to start the season back in August 10/13;
9.Michael Dal Colle
Well, the season of hockey has been completed. Tournaments are done, playoffs are finished. Combine is past us and now players are being interviewed by NHL teams this week. The draft is just over a week away and now we are ready to see whose name is called out by which team a week from this coming Friday. I have 4 players being moved out of the top 15 with one of them being put in honourable mention while having 1 from my honourable mention last August being moved into the Top 15.
NOTE: Some may question Sam Bennett in the ranking and that is fair, but last August you would be hard pressed to find any rankings with him in the top 15. I have moved him from #15 to #6. Blake Clarke was my biggest disappointment and scouts were shocked his season provided a move backwards rather then forward. This year's Nick Ebert? Time will tell. The biggest change for me was putting Nikolaj Ehlers at #4 when he was not on my last August radar. Truth is, he was a player, I just plainly missed and didn't follow or hear of him much before this season coming into Halifax. Many of his points were provided without Jonathan Drouin so his point totals are not misrepresented IMO. William Nylander dropping had more to due to the lack of point production he was able to show this year but in fairness to Nylander he still has great skill but was tossed around several club teams in Sweden.
The lists I put out are based on "Best Player Available" on NHL Draft day. That is the criteria for my selection in the Draft Rankings
FINAL RANKINGS for REVS 2014 - Top 15 NHL Prospect Rankings:
1. Sam Reinhart
3. Leon Draisaitl
5.Michael Dal Colle
6. Sam Bennett
7. Jake Virtanen
8. Nick Ritchie
9. Brendan Perlini
13. William Nylander
14. Rolan McKeown
15. Jared McCann
Questions, comments? Disagree, agree? Let me know, always willing to dissect the players bit by bit. After all, isn't that what makes this so fun?
I will be posting a NHL MOCK Draft next Thursday the night before the Draft. I still think the Oilers will be selecting one of Aaron Ekblad or Leon Draisaitl this NHL Entry Draft and it is very likely they will be playing the 2014/15 season full time with the Oilers past the 9 game mark.