Earlier today, we posted our TLN 2015 Top 30 Draft Rankings. It’s an excellent list, probably the best one on the internet, but it still caused a lot of grief and tension between TLN staff members. Since this morning, I’ve broken down and eaten five chocolate cakes, we’ve smashed no less than five windows and a lamp, and Shawn has a pen securely lodged in his leg. Let’s call it… a hostile work environment.
For today’s roundtable, each of us will look back on our consensus list, and share what we liked about it, how our personal rankings made it great, and how everyone else screwed it up.
I think the best part of the TLN list is the debate over the 3-7 slots. The rankings sort of shook out the way we expected but Barzal and Provorov both got votes in the top five, which sort of falls in line with what we’ve been hearing about the Leafs recently and their consideration for those players. Also, for all the Marner talk about him being connected to the Leafs and such, we ended up ranking him out of their range, leaving the Buds with Strome, which was sort of funny. I don’t know if I’d classify this as the “worst part”, but trying to rank Rantanen seemed difficult, probably one of, if not the toughest of the group.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… Don’t sleep on Kyle Connor. I think he’s a top ten pick in this draft and, shockingly, my TLN compatriots do as well. I’m not used to them being smart, so this comes as a bit of a surprise to me. The fact that Connor sits 8th is pretty surprising, considering most other lists out there seem to have him on the outside of the top ten. I won’t go so far as to say that the Leafs should trade down and target this guy in particular, but I guess I wouldn’t hate the idea either. I’m also glad to see Jeremy Roy rank higher than usual – I think he’s going to be a very nice pick up for someone in the latter half of the first round (and I hope it’s the Leafs).
As for things I don’t like, who the hell ranked Dylan Strome sixth??? What a loser. And who ranked Lawson Crouse all the way down in 25th!?!? Is that the same as saying the Leafs should pass on Crouse if he was somehow still available at the 24th pick? I can’t, I just can’t.
Looking at the TLN consensus list I am probably most happy that when sharing this list I don’t feel I will bring shame on my family. Although the list contains four players I do not have in my top 30, I certainly respect the case made for each of them. I’m also very pleased that although I couldn’t persuade the other writers to move Mat Barzal into their top 5 I was at least able to get him as close to it as possible.
If there’s a worst part of this consensus list for me, it has to be that we don’t have a truly bizarre name in our top thirty where everyone wonders why there are there. I had Aleksi Saarela on my list in hopes of achieving that and you could argue that Shawn was the only other person reaching with his Jens Looke and Nicholas Meloche picks. At the end of the day these are 30 names that make sense and that leaves me a little disappointed.
I think our rankings are great because they go against the grain enough to come closer to reflecting what the list of an actual NHL team might look like, but the list isn’t “out there” enough that it loses credibility. It was cool to see how everyone’s differing views came together to ultimately create a consensus of sorts.
As far as the specifics go, I liked our rankings of Lawson Crouse at 16 and Oliver Kylington at 17. Crouse is a safe bet to make the NHL but has questionable upside and to me his ranking of 16 is a lot more fair than where other people have him (looking at you Central Scouting). Kylington on the other hand is someone who has slid all the way out of the first round in the eye’s of some people which seems dramatic given his natural talent. In a way, I’d say the mainstream scouting services have long over-appreciated Crouse and under-appreciated Kylington. But in the case of our list, I think both get rankings that set that aside and put both players about where they deserve to be.
Also shout out to my boy Rasmus Andersson. I’d be surprised if anybody took you in the first round but you’re a first-rounder on our list and a first-rounder in my heart.