The time has come! The skates have long been dried and hung up. The combine has finished, and the kids have sweated their way through dozens of interviews. We’re now just days away from the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
More so than any draft I’ve scouted (going back to 2013), this crop has that true blender feel to it. There will be a great deal of disparity among individual and team lists. That starts around pick three and becomes intensified in the 20-40 range. It’s made for a highly enjoyable (and wildly time-consuming) venture in ranking these players.
When putting together my personal rankings, I rely a great deal on the minds and opinions of some more experienced scouts. This has been aided by countless hours of video and live viewings that I log myself.
I place a great deal of emphasis on skating, processing ability, puck skills and an ability to thrive on a consistent basis. Can you make players around you better? Do you possess translatable skills? These are just a sample of the questions I’m constantly asking myself while honing in on specific players.
These rankings are not intended to mimic how the draft will end up this June. It is a glimpse into how I feel the players will progress as they mature and (hopefully) experience success as NHL players.
Regarding tiers, this crop has a clear number one in Rasmus Dahlin. Behind him, Andrei Svechnikov has separated himself enough to form his own single tier. Players in the 3-9 slots would make up the third tier and likely the end of the obvious high-end talent.
The fourth tier is comprised of players in the 10-20 positions who all display desirable skills and nice upsides. Tier five is a gauntle