There’s a lot of ways of looking at the Top 25 players and prospects Under 25 for this year, beyond how we voted.
One is Nationality:
That’s a lot of Swedes, and some of them are very young, so that giant yellow slice of pie should stay big for a while yet.
In terms of age, a lot of the players who make the Top 25 are older, with more track record to judge them from. Not all of them, however. The Leafs’ youngest prospect is on the list:
Sean Durzi is older than Eemeli Räsänen, and Jeremy Bracco is older than Carl Grundström. Adam Brooks is older than Travis Dermott and Yegor Korshkov.
Morgan Rielly, Connor Brown, Connor Carrick and Calle Rosen aren’t eligible next year, but Andreas Johnsson’s late birthday gets him one more shot at this list.
And, speaking of late birthdays, like the draft itself, there are more players born in the first two quarters of the year than there should be.
As for the endless quest for right-shooting centres and defenders, well...
There just seem to be more left-shooters out there. The Leafs have a lot of defence prospects, though:
And then there’s us, the voters, and how we picked our rankings. This is the top 12 ranked players:
The two missing votes for spot 10 and 11 went to players outside the top 15 shown here. They was one vote at spot 10 for Sean Durzi, and one at spot 11 for Yegor Korshkov.
The pattern we see is fairly standard for our recent years. The near unanimity in the top four followed by a group of four where there isn’t much difference of opinion. The order is different, but most of our voters had the same four people ranked fifth to eighth. From there on, things get more chaotic, but there’s usually someone who has more that three votes at each position.
Connor Brown at spot nine is the first sign of a break in the consensus. Three people voted him below that rank, one as low as 11th, and his spread in votes is the first one of more than four places.
Next, there is a big drop in average voter ranking to Connor Carrick at 10th. Spots 10 though to 14 are the second, nearly equal, tier of players. There is then a very large drop in average rank to Calle Rosén at spot 15. From him to Räsänen at 20th, is the next big tier of players, and all of the top 20 ranked players got votes from all 10 voters.
The last five ranked prospects, plus a few that didn’t make it, all got a few votes.
This distinct set of tiers of players is new to out lists of the last three years. The two groups below Connor Brown are two separate levels of “maybe they might make it” players, that are nonetheless not prospects many think have a high probability of being anything more than depth. This is the deep but still shallow aspect to the prospect pool. That group of players has gotten bigger, largely through free agent signings, but the contention for the more meaningful “just below Rielly” tier is not that heated. Only one person voted this year’s first round pick, Rasmus Sandin, into that group. Three people have last year’s first rounder, Timothy Liljegren outside that group as well, and in spot nine.
Next year, with Rielly gone, the fight might be over who takes his spot at fourth, not the Nylander vs Marner argument (I can dream, right?).
Who do you think will be fourth next year?
Who will be fourth on our T25 next year?