TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: The Pyramids


The Pyramid method. Steve suggested it. I expressed concerns. Shawn ‘well actually’-ed us both. Alas, the method of prospect ranking designed to minimize arguments has created a bunch of its own. But we’re not here to keep arguing; we’re here to use it!

I present you with the readers’ final votes and the writers’ final votes, both put into a pyramid system.

Reader Pyramid


I used the scores and the total number of votes to give me appropriate cutoffs here, even if Tier 4 has fewer players. “The Field” has fewer than 500 voter points. Tier 5 has 501-2000 and fewer than 300 voters. Tier 4 has 2001-4000 and 301-350 voters. Tier 3 has 4001-5750, Tier 2 has 5751-7500, and Tier 1 is Auston Matthews with all 376 voters and a score of 7506.

Overall, it looks pretty good as far as grouping players up. Maybe there’s an argument for a tier 2.5 for Zaitsev, and maybe Johnson could’ve been argued to qualify for Tier 3, but as far as the scores go, it’s hard to argue against.

Staff Pyramid


We tried to keep the percentiles as equal as could be here. While the maximum score in the reader vote was 7520 (376 1st place votes at 20 points each), the writers had a max of 160. Matthews hit that 160, so he got that. Tier 2 was an estimated 122; Zaitsev seemed out of place being with the ‘almost as big two’ with no Top 3 votes, so we rounded up to 130. Tier 3 should’ve been 85; we kept it at 85. Tier 4 should’ve been 40; we made it 35 as we had 3 players between 36-39 followed by a plummet to 17. Tier 5 was 10, so we kept it at 10.


Done this way, there aren’t really a ton of differences. Dermott and Soshnikov go from high T4s in our pyramid to low T3s in the readers’ pyramid. Andreas Johnson drops from a low T3 in ours to a high T4 in theirs. Grundstrom jumps from one fringe to another as well. 

Kaskisuo Bibeau, Lindberg, and Valiev all appear on one pyramid but not the other; but the jump from Tier 5 to The Field isn’t significant.

So there’s a funny thing happening here, where we actually get the decrease in arguments that Steve aimed to achieve. Does it make it an alternative to the ranking system? No, because we needed to build two consensus rankings against each other using the format to find a true level of peace that likely wouldn’t come if you stuck two people’s individual pyramids next to each other.

But it created a heck of a complementary tool and showed that the site’s readers and writers are more or less on the same page where they see this world-class prospect pool.

  • Metal thrashin dad

    Jeff I feel the way you have grouped the prospect List (based on score) into a Tiered Pyramid sorta defeats the point Steve Dangle was trying to make.

    What Steve should’ve mentioned was there has to be a criteria/grade/group for each level. Presently your pyramid is based on public option; who is the BEST Leaf prospect? By definition each tier should be a change in grade. The scoring of the list will not correctly reflect a changing in tier.

    Here is a quick example of what I think Steve was trying to say:

    Grade A – Core Impact Players (your top 4 Mathews to Zaitsev)

    Currently the scoring has 4 CORE prospects that could make an impact THIS SEASON in 3 tiers.

    Grade B – Non Core Impact Players

    Arguably Soshnikov, Brown, Hyman, Carrak and Kapanen could belong to this group and again could be on the team this season. Except for Carrak you have these players in 2 tiers

    Grade C – Stud prospects that need more seasoning. This group would include the rest of your pyramid, unless you want to break it down further.

    Grade D – rest of field

    I would also like to point out the 2016 draft class got less vote due to voting fimilarity with the prospects. An argument could be made that the top 20 list didn’t correctly reflect their value to the Leafs