The draft is over, but the dust hasn`t quite settled yet. Before we forget about the 8 new Maple Leafs to turn our attention to the trade market and free agency, let`s take a closer look at the players the Leafs drafted this weekend using Prospect Cohort Success %, which uses age, height, production, and league to award players a percent chance of reaching 200 NHL games played.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.88
Notable Comparables: Steve Yzerman, Kyle Wellwood
No surprise here, but the 17-year-old OHL forward that put up 126 points in 63 games is considered to have a pretty good chance at reaching 200 NHL games played. Comparing to Kyle Wellwood isn`t what you`d like to see from a lottery pick, but comparing to Steve Yzerman is exciting to say the least. Marner is incredibly talented and the numbers back that up. All signs point towards Marner being a future NHL all-star.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.31
Notable Comparables: Drew Doughty, Cam Fowler, Kevin Klein, Tim Gleason, Andre Benoit
31.25% may seem like a big drop-off from Marner`s 80%, but it`s actually a very good PCS score and among the best CHLers in the draft. Basically, there`s a 1 in 3 chance Dermott reaches 200 NHL games played. Not bad for a 2nd-round pick.
Dermott has a wide range of comparables here. I certainly don`t think he`s going to be Drew Doughty and even Cam Fowler seems like wishful thinking. Klein, Gleason, and Benoit though have all had stretches in their career playing on an NHL team`s second pairing, and I`d suggest that`s Dermotts likeliest potential: as a two-way, second-pairing player.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.35
Notable Comparables: Chad LaRose, Andy Hilbert
Keep in mind that we`re using Bracco`s USHL numbers here, even though he played just 24 USHL games to 65 in the USDP this season. We`re using these numbers because it gives us a large sample of players to draw from (Bracco has just one comparable using his USDP numbers and a PCS% of 0).
LaRose and Hilbert are the only two players of Bracco`s ten comparables here that reached 200 NHL games. Both LaRose and Hilbert had stretches in their NHL careers where they were effective third-line players. This doesn`t surprise me at all as someone who has watched Bracco play. I don`t feel comfortable saying he doesn`t have top-six upside because his numbers are just so good, but Bracco isn`t a very dynamic player and if he were to reach the NHL I wouldn`t be surprised if it was as a bottom-six player as opposed to a top-six one.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.20
Notable Comparables: Brenden Dillon, Luke Schenn, Justin Falk, Keaton Ellerby
Yet again, no surprises. Nielsen is given a little less than a one in five chance of reaching 200 NHL games, which is just fine for a third-round pick. We also shouldn`t be surprised that a 6`3`WHL defenseman that put up 24 points and 101 penalty minutes in 59 games compares to real shutdown defensemen like Brenden Dillon and former Leaf Luke Schenn. Based on these numbers, Nielsen`s upside should probably be considered as a bottom-pairing defenseman but there could be an outside chance that he becomes a stay-at-home, second-pairing player.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.00
Notable Comparables: Dmitri Zharikov, Alexander Kuznetsov
Whoever Zharikov and Kuznetsov are, they come out as Dzierkals’ only comparables using this tool. This is why I don`t like using PCS as much for players playing outside North America. Dzierkals gets no comparables because he played in the MHL this season, and there`s just not a very big sample of players to drawn from based on history. If Dzierkals had played this past season in the CHL I can pretty much guarantee you we`d have a long list of comparables to draw from.
We could use his U-18 or U-20 numbers, but those sample sizes are so small that we couldn`t expect to draw anything meaningful from it.
Much like there are few scouting reports to draw on because people didn`t get a good look at Dzierkals, we can`t draw any sort of conclusion on Dzierkals using PCS for many of the same reasons.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.76
Notable Comparables: Erik Karlsson, Dennis Persson
Again, not a big fan of using PCS with the Euro leagues. But we at least get a little bit bigger of a sample here (9 players total), and anytime you can compare to a two-time Norris Trophy winner like Erik Karlsson that`s a good thing. Dennis Persson is another noteworthy comparable because he was drafted in the first round by Buffalo in 2006, but he never ended up playing an NHL game.
In any event, we can`t come to too many conclusions here. But the fact that Lindgren compares to Karlsson is obviously good, and speaks to what many are saying about him – that he`s an offensive defenseman.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.52
Notable Comparables: David Desharnais, Donald Audette, Gabriel Dumont
We`re starting to notice a real trend here, where the PCS slowly becomes lower and lower as we move deeper into the draft. Timashov comes in with a 14.47 PCS%, which is pretty good for somebody drafted in the 4th to 7th rounds of the draft. Timashov has a long list of comparables, but not many notable names. Some players you may know include Montreal center David Desharnais, Canadiens “prospect” Gabriel Dumont, and former Buffalo Sabre Donald Audette.
The list for Timashov is generally a mixed bag, with not many recent players coming out of the QMJHL that share Timashov`s sort of production. That`s to be expected for a 5th-round pick.
In any event, comparing to David Desharnais is at least a good thing, and if Timashov were to turn into that kind of a player that would be good value in the 5th round of the draft.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.17
Notable Comparables: Jake Muzzin, Tyler Cuma, Phil Oreskovic
This seems to be aligning with what most are saying – that Desrocher`s chances of becoming an NHLer seem slim. But he does compare with Jake Muzzin, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. I like Desrocher for what he is, which is probably a really effective junior player, an effective AHL player, but probably not much more than that. I guess we`ll see how things turn out for him, but the numbers – and history – are not in his favor.
NHL PPG of Comparables: 0.43
Notable Comparables: Ryan O`Reilly, Cody Hodgson, Adam Henrique, Peter Holland
This is why I love this pick – it`s just efficient drafting. Korostelev is far from a lock to be an NHLer, but when you can get a player with numbers like this in the 7th round, well, the value simply far exceeds the cost. These numbers alone won`t carry Korostelev to the NHL – he needs to improve his on-ice play. But these numbers are great for a player drafted in the 7th round, and this is the sort of “moneypuck” pick that I love to see.
There`s probably more to this pick than just that for the Leafs, but in any event it represents the Leafs new philosophy to a tee. There`s really no guarantee on any of the Leafs picks from the 2015 draft, but this draft certainly looks to be a lot more efficient than previous ones. And that`s all you can really hope for, because in a lot of ways the draft is nothing more than blind luck. But when you take care of the process, you improve your chances at a positive outcome. I don’t think we would have seen the old regime take a player like Korostelev at this point in the draft, so this pick was a real breath of fresh air.