CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 5: Johan Gustafsson #30 of Team Sweden stops the puck on an attempt by Nikita Gusev #8 of Team Russia during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal game at the Scotiabank Saddledome on January 5, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Moving into the last of this series (if you haven't seen the previous two, or want to review, here are the links to the 9th Overall and 39th Overall picks), Presumably the Winnipeg Jets will have quite a bit of flexibility with their third pick. Once you get into the 3rd round, it's probably not really "wrong" anymore to take a shot at any position, so you can go BPA or position-fill and be doing good for yourself. With this in mind, let's have a look at the potential players available around the 70th pick, using Derek Zona's compiled rankings found here, and identify a few quality "fallers" by using Corey Pronman's rankings over at HP (found here and here; be sure to look at the bottom of the page of the second one for remaining rankings).
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.
Fair warning: I like to mash together the total games played and total boxcars for the players within each season, so we can get a sense of true workload/performance in the previous years. The tendency is to say that European players aren't ready for the full season's workload, but as you'll see between their seasons and international player they frequently log just as much ice time as North American players.
Consensus --- Forwards
Brian Hart --- LW,RW --- Phillips Exeter Academy (USHS-NH) --- 6'1" (185cm), 190 lbs (86kg) --- May Rk: 68, June Rk: 64
|2011-12||Phillips Exeter Academy||USHS - NH||29||31||34||65||---|
|2010-11||Phillips Exeter Academy||USHS - NH||27||29||32||61||---|
|2009-10||Brewster Academy||USHS - ME||28||27||24||51||---|
Pronman has a nifty little write-up on Hart here; one thing to take away from it immediately is that Pronman is pretty high on his potential as a "toolsy" bigger player who can play a solid physical game when he wants to. In fact, while the consensus ranking has Hart way down at 68th, Pronman has him up at 48th. He has certainly demonstrated consistently-plus talent.
Nikita Gusev --- LW --- CSKA Moskva (KHL) --- 5'9" (176cm), 163 lbs (74kg) --- May Rk: 70, June Rk 66
|CSKA-Krasnaja Armija Moskva||MHL|
|CSKA-Krasnaja Armija Moskva||MHL|
|2009-10||CSKA-Krasnaja Armija Moskva||MHL||53||18||42||70||14|
You might be asking yourself, "How the hell did this guy fall so far?" but your answer is all over the place. For one, most of his stats are in the MHL, not the KHL; for two, his size is part of the reason he hasn't received much of a shot in Russia or in the draft, which leads to number three, the fact that he's 19. Pronman himself makes the note in his description of Gusev (after ranking him 32nd), "I do not place Gusev at this point on my list without knowing he will not get drafted here."
Essentially, Gusev is a prolific, creative player, but his size and (as Pronman notes) his skating make him a question mark for a number of reasons. On the other hand, Pronman's rank does put him ahead of Martin Frk...
Chandler Stephenson --- C,LW --- Regina (WHL) --- 5'9" (175cm), 170 lbs (77kg) --- May Rk: 71, June Rk: 63
|Canada Western U17||WHC|
An overall creative, flashy forward (see Pronman's analysis), filling out will be a priority but he has good position flexibility and could be a pretty solid player on the powerplay. Good skater, too.
Consensus --- Defencemen
Calle Andersson --- RD --- Färjestad (SEL) --- 6'1" (186cm), 201 lbs (91kg) --- May Rk: 69, June Rk: 62
|2011-12||Färjestad J20/J18||SuperElit, J18 Elit./Alls.||90||19||42||61||76|
|Sweden U19/U18||International, WJC|
|2010-11||Malmö J20/J18||SuperElit, J18 Elit./Alls.||52||4||10||14||70|
|2009-10||Malmö J18/J16, Skåne||TV-Pucken, U16 SM, J18 Elit./Alls.||49||2||7||9||50|
Andersson is big-bodied and a sound passer, and Pronman considers him average in his own end. Apparently his skating needs work, but that's one of those things that can be expected to improve with higher-level training and age. Pronman actually has him ranked higher than Brady Skjei, so that's something to keep in mind.
Esa Lindell --- LD --- Jokerit (SM-liiga) --- 6'2" (188cm), 190 lbs (86kg) --- May Rk: 73, June Rk: 59
|2011-12||Jokerit U20, Kiekko Vantaa||Jr. A SM-liiga, Fin2||83||25||48||73||42|
|Finland U18||International, WJC|
|2010-11||Jokerit U20/U18||Jr. A SM-liiga, Jr. B SM-sarja||33||6||10||16||20|
|Finland U17||International, EYOF|
|2009-10||Jokerit U18/U16||Jr. B SM-sarja, Jr. C SM-sarja||49||13||20||33||28|
Per Pronman's analysis, Lindell looks good by the boxcars but is pretty much an average talent in everything.
Jaynen Rissling --- LD --- Calgary (WHL) --- 6'3" (191cm), 212 lbs (96kg) --- May Rk: 76, June Rk: 96
I see Rissling as a Cody Sol-type player, though not quite as big nor as good at hitting (though probably a smidge better offensively). Pronman didn't think highly enough of him to place him in the Top 100 (nor his Top 125), so my concern with him would be that people are a little too taken up with the physical attributes.
Consensus --- Goaltenders
Matt Murray --- R --- Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) --- 6'3" (191cm), 159 lbs (72kg) --- May Rk: 74, June Rk: 78
|2011-12||Sault Ste. Marie||OHL||36||4.08||0.876|
|2010-11||Sault Ste. Marie||OHL||28||3.79||0.887|
|Canada Ontario U17||WHC||---||---||---|
|2009-10||Thunder Bay Kings||Midget AAA||40||1.71||---|
The Greyhounds have been pretty bad the last couple of seasons, and rather than distinguishing himself apart from the mediocrity Murray has seemed to be a contributor. I think there might be raw potential, but not the kind worth drafting when the above players are on the board.
Nikita Gusev --- LW --- CSKA Moskva (KHL) --- Pronman Rk: 32, Consensus Rk: 70
Calle Andersson --- RD --- Färjestad (SEL) --- Pronman Rk: 35, Consensus Rk: 69
Brian Hart --- LW,RW --- Phillips Exeter Academy (USHS-NH) --- Pronman Rk: 48, Consensus Rk: 68
There's some risk with Gusev and Hart, but Andersson trades risk for limited upside. Either way, it is promising to see that some real quality talent has the possibility of falling to us at the 70th pick. With the June update, of course, it looks like we'll be lucky to see one or two of these guys fall to us.
With the update, here are some new possibilities (player name links to Pronman's analysis, "stats" to eliteprospects.com data):
As usual, use the comments to debate these players and maybe introduce some other possibilities. We also ought to discuss draft priorities, position-wise. For instance, should we be looking to add a goalie in the first 3 rounds?
If available, which of the above picks would you like the Jets to choose?
Nikita Gusev (4 votes)
Brian Hart (1 vote)
Jake McCabe (2 votes)
Matt Murray (0 votes)
Coda Gordon (2 votes)
Valeri Vasilyev (0 votes)
Mikko Vainonen (2 votes)
Lukas Sutter (1 vote)
Raphaël Bussières (0 votes)
12 total votes