This was an excellent week for player evaluation content. First and foremost – our very own Cam Robinson put out his Top 100 Draft rankings. This is a must-read for prospect junkies, check it out here: https://dobberprospects.com/cam-robinsons-2018-nhl-draft-rankings-top-100-march-2018/
The second exciting release this week was the OHL Coaches Poll results. Pretty self explanatory – OHL coaches are polled for their opinion on a huge number of categories, identifying prospects that stand out as the best of the best among their peers. This insight is extremely important because:
1. OHL coaches know their stuff better than 99% of us, and this is a good opportunity to learn about players,
2. Coaches liking how players do their job is a HUGE contribution to the opportunities they will receive down the line. Not all coaches will have the same opinions all the time, but they talk to each other and being a like-able prospect to the staff goes a long ways to progressing up the pro ranks. So the rest of this article is 100% worthy of fantasy consideration.
Lets look at some of the most fantasy-relevant awards that got handed out:
Smartest Player (East):
1. Robert Thomas (STL)
2. Jason Robertson (DAL)
3. Aaron Luchuk (OTT)
Smartest Player (West):
1. Morgan Frost (PHI)
2. Jordan Kyrou (STL)
3. Evan Bouchard (2018 Eligible)
In my opinion, this is probably the most important award. Any talented player can be shut down by a smart defence, and a smart player will always find the best way to utilize their talent. There's a reason scouts always talk about "hockey IQ" – its because thats what allows players to adapt as they turn pro and face the toughest opponents. Players winning this award are future NHLers.
Best Shot (East)
1. Owen Tippett (FLA)
2. Andrei Svechnikov (2018 Eligible)
3. Jason Robertson (DAL)
Best Shot (West)
1. Adam Mascherin (FLA)
T2. Evan Bouchard (2018 Eligible)
T2. Nic Suzuki (VGK)
The NHL requires elite skill. These guys were voted to have the best tool at putting ucks in the net. Most of them are commonplace fantasy names already – take note if you dont have these guys on your radra yet.
Best Offensive Defenceman (East)
1. Nic Hague (VGK)
Best Offensive Defenceman (West)
1. Evan Bouchard (2018 Eligible)
Pretty obvious fantasy connotations in this voting. Not all offensive d-men make it to the NHL, but the ones who do are some of the most fantasy-relevant prospects to own. The reason I only included the winner and not top 3 here is because Hague and Bouchard absolutely ran away in the voting counts (almost 4x as many votes as 2nd place).
Best Defensve Defeceman (East)
1. Joey Keane (2018 Eligible)
2. Jacob Moverare (LAK)
T3. Riley Stillman (FLA)
T3. Riley Brice (CGY)