If you don’t have it yet, check out Mason Black’s awesome RankKing app here. It generates a list of all NHL prospects ranked by PNHLe, “a value that projects a prospect’s point potential at the NHL level, taking into consideration point production (i.e., points-per-game), the league a prospect plays in, their age and the position they play.”
Although it’s not perfect, RankKing’s PNHLe metric is a quick and useful way to keep tabs on which prospects are excelling across a number of leagues. Today we will dig into some players currently listed in the top 20.
I won’t dwell too long on the 2023 phenoms because the hype is steady for Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, and company. Conspicuously absent from that group is consensus top-three pick Matvei Michkov—but that is only because I believe RankKing does not yet include skaters from the MHL or VHL due to small sample size.
Don’t worry about Michkov, 17, who potted six goals in his first six VHL games (that is of course a pro men’s league) and added two assists for good measure before getting called up to the KHL. Even if he slips to fourth behind Carlsson come draft day, there is no denying Michkov’s insane skill set. He would be a franchise-changing first overall pick in a different class, so it is surreal to see a player of his calibre possibly going third or fourth in 2023.
As you make moves in the lead-up to this draft, keep in mind that there will be a significant boost in how poolies value the prospect systems of the 4+ teams that draft the cream of this crop. Imagine what exposure to Bedard or Fantilli would do to the value of Blackhawks prospect