Prospect Ramblings – Drafted too high, developed improperly or injury-related 2016

Pat Quinn




Welcome to the Thursday prospect ramblings. It is time to continue my current series of Drafted too high, developed improperly or injury-related for prospects from the past NHL drafts. Here are the past ones I have written so far:






I noticed when looking at 2016 that there are not as many players that stand out in terms of looking like busts of first round picks (as of right now). However, there are a lot of players that need little nit-picking notes. They are on the cusp of looking bad, or have not had their chances yet. It is a very interesting draft to look back on that is for sure.



But first! Here is my #GoodTweet of the week:



Also if anyone knows this answer please let me know:





Well let me get started


Jesse Puljujarvi – 4th overall by Edmonton

  • What else can I write here other than: Developed Improperly
  • The Oilers drove him back to Europe after rushing him to the NHL. He needed some either AHL or Liiga/SHL/KHL seasoning instead of being thrown all over the line up.
  • Arguably JP could have handled the situation better, especially once Tippett became coach and the Oilers improved. Hopefully he is back to the NHL sooner than later


Olli Juolevi – 5th overall by Vancouver

  • The easy verdict is: Injury related
    • No, I will not bring up that lots of Flames fans remind Canucks fans that they could have taken Matthew Tkachuk here but I will not (Note: Sam Bennett 2014)
  • I am 100% sure Juolevi looked so poor the year after he was drafted was because other players in the draft stood out
  • Now recently, the last two seasons, when he has looked quite good in the AHL but he has also had to deal with a major knee injury and other injuries along the way. He really needs a healthy season


Alexander Nylander – 8th overall by Buffalo

  • Nylander’s development sure has been slow, and as of right now he seems like a player that compliments a scoring line very well but does nothing on a checking line, or a line where he is expected to drive play. A perfect complimentary player
  • I believe he should have either stayed in the CHL for another season, or (which has better competition) playing in Europe for his post-draft year. It was too early in the AHL for him and Buffalo sure did a good job of seemingly keeping him down in the AHL longer than he possibly should have been, driving a rift
  • My determination is: Developed improperly, but only slightly as he could be a player that just takes a while to develop. Also, there is a good argument for him being drafted too high as well


Tyson Jost – 10th overall by Colorado

  • Jost is a really tough player to grade, he likely was rushed to the NHL too soon, and he should have stayed in the NCAA for another year or two, and then some AHL time. Instead he was put in the NHL and really has not lived up to his draft slotting
  • I believe he was: Drafted too high, with a small sprinkle of developed improperly.
  • I have noticed that most players that get drafted first round out of the BCHL/AJHL when dominating those leagues (usually because they are older and more mature) tend to not live up to their draft slot. In saying that, it is only a few examples I am remembering so it could easily be recency bias. I am going to dive in to this later on in a future rambling. Any players you want to agree / disagree with me here let me know by twitter (possibly comments too)


Logan Brown – 11th overall by Ottawa

  • Right now, Brown is just on the list because he did not get a legit shot in the NHL in this paused season. His AHL stats have looked legit and so has he down there. I do with he used his size to drive in to lanes to shoot or crash the net, I find he plays perimeter to make plays too often. Maybe I have just watched the games where he is like that though
  • He does not really fit the three-pronged mold I have up there, but if he continues to be held down from the main roster then he would be developed improperly


Michael McLeod – 12th overall by New Jersey

  • As a Devils fan, I was so happy the Devils randomly got an extra third to move down one slot in the draft. Well it definitely does not look good now, and do not go in to my twitter to find bad takes about this please!
  • The verdict here is: Drafted too high
  • He seems like a legit NHLer due to his speed and IQ but nothing close to a top six player, unless it all clicks and he develops a better shot


Jake Bean – 13th overall by Carolina

  • The Hurricanes have taken the time needed for Bean and he looks like a very good player, he is just here because he is not in the NHL yet and people may have questions
  • There is still time for one of the three scenarios to happen but hopefully not


Logan Stanley – 18th overall by Winnipeg

  • This pick was great because the Jets are such a great drafting team but took a player many scouts (not in the professional NHL league / on tv) had much lower on their boards. As of now he is still a ways off from the NHL but his skating has improved. He will get shots at the NHL because size
  • Obvious opinion is obvious: Drafted too high


Kieffer Bellows – 19th overall to New York Islanders

  • Had Bellows not had the crazy run in the AHL of 12 goals in 13 games, bringing his total to 22 goals in 52 games on a poor Bridgeport team, and his hot start in the NHL with three points in his first two games, would he be in bust territory?
  • Perhaps he put it together at the right time as scoring goals and powering around the ice is his game. Power forwards do take longer to develop
  • He was teetering on: Drafted too high, but has closed that gap considerably


Dennis Cholowski – 20th overall to Detroit

  • It is tough to notice Cholowski because the Red Wings are so bad and Hronek takes all the spot light
  • To me I would put him at: Unknown, since it is tough to peg him as he can look great but he can also look like the bad team on ice makes him bad as well
  • Outside chance at: Developed improperly because playing on a bad team can forever ruin a prospects confidence


Julien Gauthier – 21st overall to Carolina

  • Traded out of Carolina for Joey Keane he definitely moves to a better situation for him as Carolina seemed to have give up on him. Teams tend to lose the trade when they trade with Carolina so it is unknown what they both are doing.
  • A team like the Rangers will give Gauthier a shot though and he could be a good middle six forward
  • I would chalk this up to: Drafted too high


German Rubtsov – 22nd overall to Philadelphia 

  • I was a big fan of Rubtsov at the draft, I still am today, but these injuries are killing his career. Especially when the Flyers add better young players Rubtsov cannot afford to keep getting hurt
  • Verdict: Injury-Related


Henrik Borgstrom – 23rd overall to Florida

  • Did you see the recent news? Borgstrom may go back to Finland when the next season resumes because the AHL has not been great for his developmen

  • I have written many times about the Panthers AHL development, but let me remind you: It is not good
  • Borgstrom is likely good enough to be in the NHL on most other teams but as of right now with the Panthers AHL affiliate he is being: Developed improperly


Riley Tufte – 25th overall to Dallas

  • Tufte has been a full-on case of: Draft too high. Ever since his draft year once he has faced tough competition his production has cratered
  • There is still a chance he can become and NHLer but he is still quite the project for Dallas


Tage Thompson – 26th overall to St. Louis

  • I, along with many others, have no idea what has happened here. Since getting to the NHL/AHL his production has gone down hill. Injuries at the wrong time have not helped
  • He was a key piece of the O’Reilly trade, and really that trade looks worse when you look at it later but his play for Rochester has been very good
  • Until Thompson can produce in the NHL, like many thought, he will be: Drafted too high (but not overly as I still have faith)


Lucas Johansen – 28th overall to Washington

  • So, let us talk about injuries hindering stalling career development
  • Johansen’s first AHL stint went very well and you could tell the Capitals were going to take the teams usual slower approach with defensemen, then he played a combined 54 games between the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons
  • The injuries have kept Johansen down and he has been passed over by the Capitals other young defensemen Alexeyev, Siegenthaler, and Fehervary. Now it is looking like he is going to be moved sooner than later to get a chance on another team
  • This is an easy case of: Injury-related


 Trent Frederic – 29th overall to Boston

  • The Bruins first round draft picks now are so odd. They look to draft low ceiling players and then hit on solid to great players later in the draft. Are they just toying with us?
  • Frederic is fine, and they drafted his in the hopes he can become a solid bottom six player, but with that he is obviously: Drafted too high





Thanks for reading, next week is 2017-2019 which will be fun to predict / probably get wrong later.

Follow my twitter: @FHPQuinn





Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Wyatt Kalynuk 5.5 3.0
Josh Jacobs 2.0 2.0
Keean Washkurak 2.5 2.0
Mathias Laferriere 6.5 6.0
Nikita Alexandrov 6.0 5.5
Hunter Skinner 4.0 4.0
Noah Beck 4.0 4.5
Jake Furlong 4.5 6.0
Henry Thrun 7.0 8.0
Luca Cagnoni 8.5 7.5