The Hockey Spy’s 2009 NHL Entry Draft Preview

If you are looking for the 2010 Entry Draft Guide please click here.


Christopher Ralph is a hockey writer with a focus on prospects and the entry draft, as well as the Leafs’ correspondent here at THW.

Notes Up Front:

  • My draft rankings at this point are based on my opinion of the BPA (Best Player Available).  This is not an attempt at predicting who I think will be drafted at a certain position.  I will be posting a 2 round mock draft in the near future.
  • Check back to this article often.  A series of prospect profiles will be released daily (approximately 5 per day), leading up to the June 26th and 27th NHL entry draft, in the order I have them ranked.  The rankings will be updated below simultaneously as the prospect profiles are released, with links to the respective profile.  I will be releasing detailed profiles on the Top 60 players for the draft.
  • Stay tuned, as well, as I post overall rankings for the Top 100 draft-eligible prospects.  I also plan an article highlighting some key sleepers, who might prove to be the diamonds in the rough in this year’s draft.
  • I am not a big fan of drafting a goalie in the first round unless the talent and potential are simply undeniable.  Last year, for instance, given the astronomical odds of actually being a NHL GM,  I would have considered selecting Jacob Markstrom and Chet Pitkard in the first round.  This year,  I would not select a netminder at all in the first round.
  • “One-Timer heading is meant to be a quick and concise synopsis of each prospect.
  • NHL Player Comparisons” are simply to give the reader a feel for the player’s style and ultimately likely equal the player’s ceiling potential being reached.  It is often an exercise in futility, but does offer up some value.  If I add the suffix “-lite” or “Jr.” after a NHL player comparison,  it simply refers to the fact the prospect likely has no chance to reach that high a potential,  but rather resembles or plays a style reminiscent of the respective NHLer.
  • Scouting Combine Performance”: Many thanks to a friend of mine,  Eug Sorokin who attended this year’s combine and was my inside agent.  He is the main reason for adding this portion of the draft rankings and many of the player notes are taken from the information he reported to me.  Other notes are courtesy of TSN staff,  THN’s Ryan Kennedy and Gare Joyce’s article from Sportsnet,  and are cited when used.
  • “Risk/Reward Analysis”: Both “Risk” and “Reward” rated out of “5”.  For the risk rating,  the higher the rating out of five, the higher the risk of the prospect not turning out as projected.  For the reward rating, also out of five, the higher the rating,  the higher the potential the prospect has.  For the latter, of course,  the prospect has to still reach that potential.
  • “Fantasy Hockey Potential”: Offensive and defensive ratings out of 10 are given for forwards and defenseman based on perceived potential in each area.  Offensive potential is obviously the key factor in most fantasy hockey leagues,  but defensive potential should prove useful for those armchair hockey simulator GMs.
  • Legend:

ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival to NHL

ISS = International Scouting Services (These are taken from their May Top 30 rankings or THN’s quoted ISS ranking,  where available.)

CSB = Central Scouting Bureau (NA = North America , E = Europe, G = Goalie)

TSN = Bob McKenzie’s mid-season rankings (I will try and update once his final rankings are available, apparently Jun 22nd.)

THN = The Hockey News Draft Rankings

The Hockey Spy’s Rankings:

Round 1:

{Click on Prospect’s Name for link to “Full Potential” Profile}

1. John Tavares

2. Victor Hedman

3. Matt Duchene

4. Brayden Schenn

5. Evander Kane

6. Oliver Ekman-Larsson

7. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson

8. Ryan Ellis

9. Jordan Schroeder

10. Dmitri Kulikov

11. Jared Cowen

12. Nazem Kadri

13. David Rundblad

14. John Moore

15. Carter Ashton

16. Dylan Olsen

17. Scott Glennie

18. Jeremy Morin

19. Kyle Palmieri

20. Jacob Josefson

21. Calvin de Haan

22. Charles-Olivier Roussel

23. Louis Leblanc

24. Peter Holland

25. Chris Kreider

26. Nick Leddy

27. Zack Kassian

28. Landon Ferraro

29. Toni Rajala

Round 2:

31. Tim Erixon

32. Drew Shore

33. Simon Despres

34. Jordan Caron

35. Tomas Tatar

36. Carl Klingberg

37. Stefan Elliot

38. Richard Panik

39. Ryan O’Reilly

40. Zach Budish

41. Olivier Roy

42. Joonas Nattinan

43. Dmitri Orlov

44. Matt Clark

45. Tyson Barrie

46. Matt Hackett

47. Eric Gelinas

48. Marcus Johansson

49. Philippe Paradis

50. Jerry D’Amigo

51. Sami Vatanen

52. Cody Eakin

53. Taylor Doherty

54. Robin Lehner

55. Kenny Ryan

56. Mikko Koskinen

57. William Wrenn

58. Alex Hutchings

59. Chris Brown

60. Ben Hanowski

The Hockey Spy’s Two Round Mock Draft: {Note: There are differences between the mock draft and the above rankings.}

Round 1

Round 2

This document is the intellectual property of Christopher Ralph and cannot be used or duplicated in anyway without expressed written consent. Any use of this document without the expressed written consent of Christopher Ralph will result in public exposure and legal prosecution.

69 thoughts on “The Hockey Spy’s 2009 NHL Entry Draft Preview”

  1. Coach Ron: Thanks for the appreciation!

    Mike J: Lee is definitely intriguing, although this is his 2nd yr of eligibility. Also, will he choose hockey or football?

    Francois Labrie: Igor Bobkov is definitely a sleeper/darkhorse. Hopefully, stay tuned for another pre-draft post for more info. I could see teams even considering him in the 2nd round! The Russian factor was the only reason he slipped out of my Top 60.

  2. Anders Lee not top 200? Without question the most under-rated player in the draft. More skilled and nearly the same size as Budish with the numbers to back-up. Recently dominated Green Bay Gambler Camp as leading scorer. Headed to ND in 2010

  3. Hey Chris

    Nice job! Great insight and congrats man! i knew this you would be great hockey writer and info you had should be shared .

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Great observation Chris.

    I initially had him on my short list. It was a simple numbers game for me and other guys I liked better pushed him out of the Top 60.

    Pasquale and Brayden McNabb were tough to leave off the Top 60.

    I hope to get an “honorable mention” and “darkhorses” post up as well and they will receive mention there.

  5. Wow. No Pasquale? He started off as the number one NA goalie but fell to number three on the CS rankings. Apparently he had an absolutely incredible combine and worked his way back toward Roy. Guess we will have to see. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren did mention that he didn’t feel there was any true 1st class talent this year at the goaltending position because of the insane depth at forward and defense.

  6. This post made it up on Puck Daddy today Chris, congrats. I’m loving the analysis of each prospect so far. I’m particularly interested in seeing who the diamonds in the rough could be.

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