Prospect Ramblings: I Should Apologize…

Tony Ferrari

2020-01-27

 

I’m sorry. Sometimes in life, we get it wrong. In prospect evaluations and draft rankings, we get it wrong all the time. Every year there are players that we may be lower on than others and we question how others see those players in such high regard. Six months later we realize that we were the ones missing something. Today is the day I look back and call myself out for some of the guys that I was lower on from last year’s draft and explain what I was seeing and how I got it wrong. 

 

Connor McMichael, C, London Knights

My June 2019 Ranking: 58          Draft Slot: Round 1, 25th Overall (Washington)

 

What was I thinking?: One of my biggest issues with Connor McMichael was that every time I watched him live, which was a lot, I always felt like the effort wasn’t there. I felt like he had a good shot and his skating was okay but I was never convinced that he was a projectable top-six forward because of the effort issues and what I saw as a lack of dynamism in his game. He was just okay in most areas such as skating and vision. He graded out as a fairly average player across the board. He lacked creativity in my viewings and my opinion was that while he was a guy who I felt fairly safe about saying he was a future NHL player, he would be a good third-line player who could contribute on the powerplay. 

 

 

How McMichael proved me wrong: So far this season, the London Knights forward has been among the best players in the CHL as a whole. He’s surpassed his point total from last season in 32 fewer games with 76 points in 35 games. The effort that I viewed as a detriment last season has shown to be completely unsubstantiated this season as the young Canadian center has been a play driver in the OHL for the London Knights. He has shown that he is a good skater and his vision has taken a massive step. The offensive game that I deemed a product of playing with a perennial powerhouse like London has proven to be a result of McMichael’s strong play. 

 

He played a bottom-six role on the Canadian World Junior team and put up seven points in as many games while scoring timely goals including the goal that got the Canadian comeback started with about ten minutes to play in the championship game. McMichael was a very underrated contributor for the Canadian club, willingly taking a role lower in the lineup and producing when given the opportunity. McMichael has begun to create buzz as a player who could be pushing to make the Washington Capitals next season as they look to add productive pieces that are cost-effective. How wrong was I on McMichael? As of right now, I look pretty silly on this one. 

 

Would I have made the pick in hindsight: Yes. Honestly, it’s starting to look like the Lon