Every year we eagerly await Bob McKenzie’s final consolidated draft ranking for TSN.
It’s not that this list is the definitive opinion on which draft pick is better than the other — it’s something else entirely, and that’s why it’s interesting. Because it’s a collated list collected from a range of expert opinion on draft picks, it takes expert opinion and transforms it into the closest thing each year to a predictor of where players will actually be drafted.
If you’ve ever followed a draft closely, there is a point sometime in the first round, where the slight disarray of order players are actually taken in versus the TSN ranking order is balanced and there’s no one undrafted on the list ranked higher than the player about to be taken. The order will get muddied a bit, and then equilibrium is restored again.
For Leafs fans in 2016, the list just showed us what we already knew: We wanted to win the lottery. Since then, with two first-round picks in four years, we’ve been more inclined to look at it as a prediction of which group of players might be still available when the Leafs’ pick comes up.
With no first-round pick and the second-round position not yet known, we’re looking at a range of pick locations anywhere up to and including pick 62. If the season is wiped out after all, and pick order is based on final points percentage, the Leafs will pick in spot 51, so let’s just use that as a guide.
Last year the pick number was 53, and Antti Tuomisto was on the TSN list at that location. Detroit took him at 35, in a fairly unusual deviation, but Detroit did a lot of odd things last year. They aren’t as predictable as most other teams.
A whole host of other players we’ve likely heard next to nothing about were taken after Tuomisto, and then our man Nick Robertson, ranked at spot 42, was still available at 53. The lower in the ranking, the more it starts to deviate from TSN’s, so it’s totally valid to fantasize about whichever pick you like from rankings into the 40s or even 30s.
Here’s some relevant names to dream on, and for the full list, click the link above. Oh, if you care about the top 10, you might find some surprises, too.
#37 Ryan O’Rourke: he’s a defender, he’s from the Soo, and we could have our own ROR! He shoots left, though.
#38 Topi Niemela is another Finnish defender, and you can’t have too many of those.
#40 Ozzy Wiesblatt: he’s a winger from the WHL who Brigstew has profiled.
#50 Luke Evangelist: he’s a distant cousin of Brendan Shanahan, and he plays for the Knights which would make seldo happy.
#54 Roni Hirvonen is a small, zippy centre, to make a change from the all wingers all the time diet.
#62 Yan Kuznetsov: he’s a defender that allegedly actually defends according to some scouting reports. I like that.
#73 Zion Nyback: he brings new levels to the standard small, zippy winger at only 5’6”.
#83 Egor Sokolov: he’s another Yegor that lost his Y, and he’s also turned some heads in the Q.
Honourable Mention: Tristen Robins: he’s someone Brigstew wants you to love, and he’ll have a piece on him tomorrow.
Honourable Mention: William Villeneuve: he’s in here only because his last name means new town, and Nylander means new land, and I just like the symmetry.
There’s going to be a lot of discussion now about who will fall, or is already ranked low, who is good:
Thoughts on McKenzie's industry rankings:— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) June 22, 2020
Stutzle is legit. Him at 2 is not my biggest concern with this list.
Too low: Raymond (6), Amirov (19), Jarvis (20), Perreault (21), Gunler (28). I'd have Cormier, Hirvonen, and Mysak top 31.
Many Canadians seem a bit overrated.
Okay, your turn! Peruse the list and pick your favourites.