[Ferrari] 2021 NHL Draft Rankings (Midseason)

Tony Ferrari

2021-02-22

Graphic courtesy of Andrew Armstrong

 

With the best head of hair that DobberProspects has seen come through leaving as Cam Robinson takes his talents to South Beach (or just Elite Prospects), the Managing Editor position at DobberProspects has gotten significantly balder. With that said, I will be taking over the rankings that Cam put out a few times a season and there seems like no better time to start than what everyone in the prospect world has seemed to deem the ‘midseason’ point.

Just like everything else in 2020/2021, that means it looks a little funny. The WHL and OHL are setting things up to get their seasons underway meanwhile the USHL has teams with over 30 games played. The QMJHL has been up and down and teams games played totals range from Rimouski playing 27 to Moncton with 13. The European leagues played a ton early on compared to any North American league but with the junior leagues going up and down since the holidays, they too have seen inconsistent action. OHL and WHL players are playing overseas to start the year and others have gone to the USHL. To say it’s been a weird year because of the global pandemic is an understatement. Playing hockey in a pandemic is weird in and of itself.

One of the biggest issues with this year’s draft is that the top spot is absolutely wide open. There were as many as seven names I considered for number one before narrowing it down to the top-four. The internal debate between those players was constant and changed based on my mood on a given day. As always, I used my resources and spoke with analysts and scouts that I trust, including the DobberProspects team. I am but one man with two sons and a wife as well as my day job. I am fortunate that my wife is an absolute angel of a person who lets me watch hockey seemingly nonstop and a job that allows me to catch game action while I get some of my work done.

I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without InStat and the fantastic platform that they have. The ability to access game film at will and skip commercials, intermissions, and all the extras as well as isolate a player’s shifts in a given game has helped give me, and the DobberProspects Scouting team, get a leg up on getting our eyes on the players eligible for this draft.

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little bit about my process and what I look for in players. Pace of play is a major factor for me. You’ll see it mentioned a number of times throughout this post. The game is only getting faster, more fluid, and dynamic as the years go by. While a player doesn’t have to be a burner necessarily, the pace at which a player plays in terms of moving the puck up ice, attacking the play with purpose and making plays at that