2013 NHL Draft Rankings – War Room May Edition (Round 2: 31 – 60)

by Eldon MacDonald (edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)

This is the third of four posts highlighting the top 120 prospects for this year’s entry draft in June in Newark, New Jersey – the 2013 NHL Draft Rankings: War Room May Edition.

U18 World Championship in Sochi, Russia

Well, I think it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room, the U18 World Championship in Sochi, Russia. Usually, the U18’s do not have a major effect on rankings because the hockey season is mainly over and scouts have seen these guys many times by now. Not so this year. I thought it might be because Canada won, but I think it has more to do with certain players addressing their weaknesses or just highlighting their strengths, taking full advantage of the spotlight. Here are some of the big winners and losers from the U18s:

Nicholas Baptiste

Nick Baptiste (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Rising Stock

  • Round 1 – Frédérik Gauthier, Rimouski – #MojoBack – Freddy rediscovered his mojo just in time to become Canada’s dominant player on offense, defense, PK, faceoff and last minute play. In the last two games of the U18’s, when it counted most, it was all Freddy!
  • Round 1 – Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert – #DuncanKeithesque – Can a moderate-sized defenseman be a big success in the NHL? If you play like Duncan Keith and your name is Josh Morrissey, a lot of teams will be betting yes.
  • Round 1 – Samuel Morin, Rimouski – #Charaesque – The guy with the biggest growth in his game this year by far. Tall, mean, good skater, good passer, decent offense – every team wants one like him. The sky is the limit in terms of potential and draft pick number.
  • Round 1 – Steve Santini, USA NDTP U18 – #ThickAsABrick – A brick wall back there on the blueline, dominant against all comers, defenseman MVP for the tournament. This is the shutdown D-man that your team should covet.
  • Round 1 – Laurent Dauphin, Chicoutimi – #BigGameHunter – In the three biggest games of the year for draft eligible players, Laurent Dauphin has been his team’s MVP in two of them (Top Prospects game and the U18 gold medal game).
  • Round 1 – Madison Bowey, Kelowna – #MyMan – A favourite of mine throughout the season; still a favourite of mine after a solid U18 Tournament.
  • Round 2 – Michael McCarron, USA NDTP U18 – #Hulk – If you like ‘em big and hulk-like with decent skills, Michael is your man – could easily slip into the first round.
  • Round 2 – Tommy Vannelli, USA NDTP U18 – #MrImprovement – Love how his game improved and evolved since he joined the Team USA squad. Makes you wonder, if he had joined the squad at the beginning of the year, would he now have a gold medal in his pocket instead of silver?
  • Round 2 – Nick Baptiste, Sudbury – #Surprise – My biggest surprise of all the players at the U18; loved his ingenuity, compete, results.
  • Round 3 – Philippe Desrosiers, Rimouski – #Hero – Philippe’s season can be described as “Hero – Zero – Hero”. After a woeful end of season and QMJHL playoffs, Philippe arose from the ashes to give Canada its first solid goaltending performance in just about anything in a long time, in capturing gold. And yes, he is just as likely to go in round two as in round three.
  • Round 3 – Tyler Motte, USA NDTP U18 – #Competitor – Led Team USA offense with five goals as well as being a top penalty killer. Skills, compete, offense, defense – likely to make it in spite of his modest size (5’9, 184 lb).
  • Round 4 – Peter Cehlárik, Luleå – #SlovakianStar – Late season call-up to the Elitserien; looked good there, looked even better as Team Slovakia’s best player at the U18 Tournament.
  • Round 4 – Gage Ausmus, USA NDTP U18 – #Afterthought – Yes, there are bigger name players on Team USA but Gage Ausmus is a player your team should not overlook. Over 20 minutes a game, played against the other team’s top lines and best players, showed enough size (6’1, 211 lb.) and physicality that he should get some respect on draft day – would not be surprised if he goes in the 3rd round.

Stock Drop

  • Round 1 – Valeri Nichushkin,  – #NoCompete – The scouts will go easy on you for a lot of your foibles; “compete level” is not one of them. Listen for the sound of the drop; wait a little, you will hear it in New Jersey during the month of June.
  • Round 2 – Robert Hägg, MODO – #Struggled – Robert Hägg probably will still be a good defenseman but he sure struggled in this tournament. Compete and engagement level just did not meet spec.
  • Round 3 – Keaton Thompson, USA NDTP U18 – #GluedToTheBench – I felt sorry for Keaton. I don’t know what was wrong: a nagging injury or he just wasn’t as good as I thought he was. In any case, Keaton was just pitiful out there; got beaten to the puck, got beaten off the puck, left the puck behind. His coach must have agreed with my assessment, as Keaton was glued to the bench for periods at a time. 

Gangs of New Jersey

Up to 1: Last month, I wrote that nobody except Samuel Morin was knocking on my door to put them in round 1. Well, some of the prospects, must have been listening because this month a whole gaggle of them not only knocked on my door but broke it down. Here is who squeezed in:

  • Samuel Morin, Defense, Rimouski
  • Mirco Muller, Defense, Everett
  • Laurent Dauphin, Centre, Chicoutimi
  • Madison Bowey, Defense, Kelowna

Up to 2: These players were ranked in round 3 last month. With the exception of Diaby, these group made it to round two based on their U18 performances.

  • Tommy Vannelli, Defense, USA NDTP U18.
  • Jonathan Ismael-Diaby, Defense, Victoriaville
  • Adam Tambellini, Left Wing/Centre, Surrey, BCHL
  • Zack Nastasiuk, Right Wing, Owen Sound
  • Nick Baptiste, Right Wing, Sudbury
  • Hudson Fasching, Right Wing, USA NDTP U18

Down to 2: These are the players relegated to round two in my rankings. However, there is very little separating the players ranked 26 to 40 so movement could go either way in the actual NHL Draft in June.

JT Compher

JT Compher [photo: Tom Sorensen]

  • Robert Hägg, Defense, MODO
  • Ian McCoshen, Defense, Waterloo
  • JT Compher, Centre, USA NDTP U18
  • Artturi Lehkonen, Wing, KalPa, SM-liiga, Finland

Down to 3: These players were relegated to round three in my rankings. For Martin, Roy and Arnesson, it was simply a matter of other players passing them. For Sorensen, it was another injury which combined with two previous major injuries is starting to make scouts think that this player could be a bit brittle. For Kostalek, it was a lack of growth during the year combined with a so-so playoff. For Thompson, as mentioned above, it was due to a sub-par performance at the U18’s.

  • Spencer Martin, Goaltender, Mississauga
  • Eric Roy, Defense, Brandon, WHL
  • Linus Arnesson, Defense, MODO J20, Sweden
  • Nick Sorensen, Right Wing, Quebec
  • Jan Kostalek, Defense, Rimouski
  • Keaton Thompson, Defense, USA NDP U18

Historic Success Rate

The historic success rate for players ranked 30 to 45 is around 33% while rankings 46 to 60 only carry a 24% success rate.

Other Rankings

  • NHL – Combined rankings of the NHL Central Scouting’s segregated final rankings
  • Bob MacKenzie – Mid-season poll of NHL scouts at TSN
  • Chris Ralph – Top 100 mid-season rankings – The Next Ones (Final rankings to be released early June)

Other Posts in This Series

2013 NHL Draft Rankings – War Room May Edition (Round 2: 31 – 60)

31. Bigras, Chris

  • #24, Owen Sound, OHL, D, L, 6’1, 189 lb.
  • Orillia, ON, 22-Feb-95
  • Other rankings – NHL 20, Bob MacKenzie 31, Chris Ralph 41
  • WJC U18: 7g 3pts +8
  • Playoffs: 12g 2pt -6
  • YTD: 68g 38pts +35
  • Twitter A/C: @Chris_Bigras

  • Quote: Daniel Girard at TheTorontoStar.com, “A solid two-way defenceman with a good first pass and readiness to jump up on offence, Bigras is a key reason Owen Sound ranked second in the OHL standings behind defending champion London heading into weekend action. He leads the team in scoring among defencemen, having already eclipsed his points total from his entire rookie season. He’s also has a stellar plus-20 despite logging big minutes and facing the other teams’ top line.”

32. Klimchuk, Morgan

  • # 18, Regina, WHL, LW, L, 5’11, 180 lb.
  • Regina, SK, 2-Mar-95
  • Other rankings – NHL 33, Bob MacKenzie 32, Chris Ralph 24
  • WJC U20: 7g 8pts +4
  • YTD: 72g 76pts -1
  • Twitter A/C: @morganklimchuk

  • Quote: Ryan Pike at THW, “Klimchuk is a smart positional hockey player on both sides of the puck. He’s a savvy skater in the offensive end, but he’s very underrated in his own zone. In situations when the Pats are hemmed into their own zone by the opposition – and that has happened a lot this season – Klimchuk is adept at reading the play and intercepting passes to the point to clear the zone. He doesn’t have break-neck, high-end speed in terms of his skating, but he has smooth acceleration and gets up to speed quickly. He never really looks like he’s exerting a lot of energy on the ice, but he’s almost always in the right spot when he needs to be.”

33. Hägg, Robert

  • #7, MODO J20, SWE J20, D, L, 6’2, 203 lb.
  • Uppsala, Sweden, 8-Feb-95
  • Other rankings: NHL 29, Bob MacKenzie 29, Chris Ralph 16
  • WJC U18: 5g 4pts +1
  • Playoffs: 1g 0pts +0
  • YTD: 27g 1pt -3
  • WJC U20: 5g 2pts -1
  • Twitter A/C: @Robbanhagg
  •  Quote: Ryan Kennedy at TheHockeyNews.com, “Incredibly mature for his age, Hagg has a great frame and can pass the puck at an NHL level already. Scouts want to see more passion, but there’s no denying the two-way ability he brings every night.”

34. Theodore, Shea

  • #17, Seattle, WHL, D, L, 6’2, 182 lb.
  • Aldergrove, BC, 3-Aug-95
  • Other rankings – NHL 17; Bob MacKenzie 36, Chris Ralph 31
  • WJC U20: 7g 5pts +5
  • Playoffs: 7g 2pts +1
  • YTD: 71g 50pts -24
  • Twitter A/C: @stheodore17

  • Quote: Seattle Thunderbirds Coach, Steve Konowalchuk, via TheProvince.com, “He has that one-on-one ability that’s pretty rare. He can make something out of nothing. With the puck, he can change the tempo of the game.”

35. Fucale, Zach

  • #31, Halifax, QMJHL, G, L, 6’1, 181 lb.
  • Rosemère, QC, 28-May-95
  • Other rankings – NHL 22, Bob MacKenzie 22, Chris Ralph 39
  • Playoffs: 12g 2.02 .903
  • YTD: 55g 2.35 .909
  • Twitter A/C: @Fucale31

  • Quote: Ben Kerr @ LastWordonSports.com, “However it is Fucale’s skill at the backend that allows the Mooseheads to play their all out offensive style, as he is always there to make the save when a breakdown occurs.  He really is the backbone for Halifax and we rate him as the best goaltender available in the draft.”

36. McCoshen, Ian

  • #3, Waterloo, USHL, D, L, 6’3, 207 lb.
  • Fairbault, MN, 5-Aug-95
  • Other rankings – NHL 33, Bob MacKenzie 32, Chris Ralph 36
  • Playoffs: 5g 4pts -2
  • YTD: 53g 44pts +35
  • Twitter A/C: ijmccoshen3

  • Quote: Dakota Case at THW, “While the kid plays some great offense, it’s his defense that especially stands out. He’s a big, smooth and highly mobile defender that can munch a lot of minutes and can play in all situations. He makes a great first pass out of the defensive zone and excels in clearing up traffic in front of the net”.

37. Bailey, Justin

  • #95, Guelph, OHL, C/RW, R, 6’3, 183 lb.
  • 1st year draft eligible – 2013
  • Other rankings – NHL 52, Bob MacKenzie 37, Chris Ralph 40
  • Playoffs: 10g 3pts -2
  • YTD: 57g 36pts +22
  • Twitter A/C: @justinbailey95

  • Quote: NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards@ NHL.com, “He’s a big guy, skates well and handles the puck well. He’s gotten used to the OHL game and adjusted well after starting out slow. He was hit harder than any time last year, but that made him a stronger player. He definitely has upside.”

38. Compher, JT

  • #7, USA NDTP U18, USHL, C, R, 5’10, 178 lb.
  • Northbrook, Il, – 8Apr-95
  • Other rankings – NHL 48, Bob MacKenzie 30, Chris Ralph 26
  • WJC U18: 7g 7pts +2
  • YTD: 55g 49pts +12
  • Twitter A/C: @Jcomph7

Christopher Ralph


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