That is going to be one epic punch, Tanner.
After we've hopefully drafted a forward with our #9 pick, things start getting real by the middle of the 2nd round. Here, there's justification for selecting just about anyone outside of a goaltender. I'd still not be too wild about taking a defenceman (between who we've taken recently and who can be brought over from Europe, we're set for a few years), but it's worth noting that some great potential falls out of the 1st round due to red flags that could simply be maturity issues that sometimes go away (remember, these are kids we're talking about) and minor flaws that haven't to that point been fixed. Sometimes, it's just a matter of size, and we all know that great things can come in small, Tobias Enstrom-size packages.
Once again, I'm going to take the Consensus Rankings compiled by Derek Zona here to determine who will likely fall to us at the 39th pick, and then I will look at some potential bargains by using the rankings of the respected, possession-friendly Corey Pronman, found here.
UPDATE: Since Zona's May post (and my writing this one), he's provided an update for June, found here. I will include those updated rankings below.
I'm going to look at three forwards and three defencemen around the 39th pick, and then look at three (either defencemen or forwards) potential "fallers."
Consensus --- Forwards
Henrik Samuelsson --- RW --- Edmonton (WHL) --- 6'2" (188cm), 192 lbs (87kg) --- May Rk: 41, June Rk: 30
|2011-12||Modo Sr/J20/J18||SEL, SuperElit, J18 Elit||83||21||37||58||112|
|2010-11||USNTDP/USNT U18/U17||USHL, USDP||92||25||32||57||200|
|USA U18/U17||WHC, WJC|
|2009-10||PF Chang's U18||Midget AAA||37||12||23||35||73|
A crash-and-banger who likes to park in front of the net, Samuelsson's got some of that Tomas Holmstrom flavor complete with some skating issues. I don't care an ounce for drafting due to pedigree, but he is the son of Ulf Samuelsson.
Tom Wilson --- RW --- Plymouth (OHL) --- 6'4" (193cm), 194 lbs (88kg) --- May Rk: 37, June Rk: 28
|Canada Ontario U17||WHC|
Wilson is a bit of a dark horse, a player with great size, a chip on his shoulder, and a workout warrior physique (he was by far the most impressive at the NHL Combine). But lifting Atlas stones and pulling locomotives with his teeth didn't dispel concerns about his skating and other aspects of his game (see Corey Pronman's analysis). The consensus loves his body and his hitting, but can he put it to good use?
Matia Marcantuoni --- LW,RW --- Kitchener (OHL) --- 6'0" (183cm), 170 lbs (70kg) --- May Rk: 39, June Rk: 50
|Canada Ontario U17||WHC|
Marcantuoni, like Wilson, is far lower in Pronman's rankings than the consensus but for a different reason: injuries. There's little question of his potential, but myriad injuries (including concussions) have jeopardized his draft position and upped the risk.
Consensus --- Defencemen
Ville Pokka --- RD --- Kärpät (SM-liiga) --- 6'0" (182cm), 198 lbs (90kg) --- May Rk: 40, June Rk: 40
|2011-12||Kärpät Sr/U20||SM-liiga, Jr. A liiga||78||9||26||35||30|
|Finland U20/U18||International, WJC|
|2010-11||Kärpät Sr/U20/U18||SM-liiga, Jr. A liiga||81||7||32||39||71|
|Kiekko-Laser||Jr. B SM-sarja, Fin2|
|Finland U18/U17||International, WJC, WHC|
|2009-10||Kärpät U18/U16||Jr. B SM-sarja, Jr. C sarja||56||11||32||43||28|
Pokka is a quality, two-way performer that could use some work on his skating but otherwise demonstrates the ability to develop into a fairly solid pro. Corey Pronman goes into greater detail, but it's suffice to say that he's already playing a pretty grown-up game in SM-liiga.
Patrick Sieloff --- LD --- United States NTDP (USHL) --- 6'0" (183cm), 196 lbs (89kg) --- May Rk: 46, June Rk: 46
|USA U18/U17||USDP, WHC|
|2009-10||Compuware U16||Midget AAA||37||2||8||10||52|
The boxcars aren't going to impress anyone, but Sieloff is actually an effective defensive defenceman. Among other things, Pronman argues that Sieloff is a very effective hitter, and does so without compromising his defensive game. Even so, Pronman rates him way lower than the consensus, so he might not be the smartest choice at 39th.
Dalton Thrower --- RD --- Saskatoon (WHL) --- 5'11" (180cm), 179 lbs (81kg) --- May Rk: 35, June Rk: 36
|Canada Pacific U17||WHC|
Tell Thrower he's undersized at your own peril. Lauded by many scouts as "tough as nails", Pronman also sees some offensive upside in his adept passing and good agility. He and Zach Yuen could make a nifty little combo.
Ville Pokka --- RD --- Kärpät (SM-liiga) --- Pronman 29, Consensus 40
Anton Slepyshev --- LW --- Metallurg Novokuznetsk (KHL) --- 6'1" (185cm), 181 lbs (82kg) --- Pronman 17, Consensus 51 (June Update Rk: 38)
|Russia 18/U17||WJC, EYOF|
Nikolai Prokhorkin --- C --- CSKA (KHL) --- 6'2" (188cm), 183 lbs (83kg) --- Pronman 22, Consensus 60 (June Update Rk: 54)
|CSKA-Krasnaja Armija Moskva||MHL|
|CSKA-Krasnaja Armija Moskva||MHL|
Pokka will be an enticing pick if we go with a forward in the 1st round, but otherwise I have a wacky idea: let's build a reputation as a European- (and even Russian-)friendly organization. The Winnipeg Jets of the past had such a reputation, and brought in a number of stellar European players well before it was commonplace. The risk of losing these players to the KHL is still overblown, and if there's really going to be such distance between a talent evaluator like Pronman and the rest of the scouting industry, we ought to take advantage.
With the update, here are some new possibilities (player name links to Pronman's analysis, "stats" to eliteprospects.com data):
So let's chew this over a bit: who do you take if we go D in the 1st? Forward in the 1st? Or do you think we should just go BPA? Whic risks are worth taking in the 2nd: injury, KHL, or low upside (like a defensive defenceman)?
If available, which of the listed players would you pick at #39?
Matia Marcantuoni (7 votes)
Anton Slepyshev (4 votes)
Ville Pokka (1 vote)
Patrick Sieloff (0 votes)
Nikolai Prokhorkin (3 votes)
Dalton Thrower (4 votes)
Tanner Pearson (11 votes)
Daniil Zharkov (3 votes)
Jordan Schmaltz (0 votes)
33 total votes