With the conclusion of yet another tremendous World Junior Hockey Championships, it’s time to revisit the 2018 NHL Draft Rankings.
The scouting world gleaned a great deal of information over the last two weeks and while it’s important not to make too many hasty decisions based off a handful of viewings in a short window, judging players as they compete against the best of their peer groups is crucial in determining where a player lies on their developmental arc and where we can forecast that will lead to.
Opportunities such as the WJHC, Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, the Five Nations Cup, the U18’s and WJAC U19 showcase are all opportunities to bring players from across the globe from countless situations in junior and pro circuits together to showcase their skills.
For my personal list, players at this year’s event certainly improved their stock and rose, while a handful may have slipped a tad. It’s a balancing act to weigh such things and I also trust the opinions of some more established and keen-eyed hawks in the seats to come up with this list.
Regarding tiers, this crop has a clear number one in Rasmus Dahlin, after that, players in the 2-7 slots would make up the second tier.
The third tier is comprised of players in the 8-17 positions, with 18-24 falling into tier four. Tier five is your players from 25-39, and then look for players 40-75 to be a nice full grouping in tier six who could and should seperate themselves from one another as the year goes on.
Remember, these are approximations and not steadfast tiers written in stone, but give an indication to the levels and groupings that certain players fall into.
You can find my previous rankings here:
January 2018 Rankings
Rasmus Dahlin / LHD / 6’2 181lbs / 04-13-00 (SHL)
The greatest 16/17-year-old defensive prospect to come along since Victor Hedman and is noticably better at the same age. He has all the tools to become a game-changing pillar for an organization. His effortless skating and offensive tools make you swoon while his defensive game grows with each passing contest. An outstanding World Juniors, and will be a prominent figure on the Olympic squad in a few weeks. A border-line generational talent on the backend.
Filip Zadina / RW / 6’ 190lbs / 11-27-99 (QMJHL)
He’s been exactly as advertised and more for Halifax. The power winger has been destroying CHL competition and saved his best performances for this Czech national team this holiday season. He uses his size and strength to create space an