It’s that time of year again. The Leafs are eliminated from the playoffs before their time, and our thoughts turn from the past to the future. That means free agency, trading, and... of course... the NHL draft.
This year the Leafs will enter the draft with (as of now) three picks: their first rounder, a third rounder they got from the Jets, and their seventh rounder.
Last year I wrote a little primer and list of resources to lead into my full draft profiles of the prospects I am most interested in, who should be in the range of the Leafs’ picks. The goal is to explain the processes I use, and share various websites and scouting people I follow for anyone who wants to jump into it more themselves.
So let’s get to it.
MY PROFILE PROCESS
In the interest of transparency, I will once again start with a short statement in case anyone wonders or brings this up in the comments of my draft articles here.
I am not a hockey scout. I do not write for a scouting outlet. I am not paid to do any scouting work. I am a fan or enthusiast of prospects and the draft. At best I consider myself to be an amateur scout.
As far as how I approach it, I have a more established way now, in my third year of really diving into it. For each player I profile, I will have watched at least three full games of theirs to see them myself. This is up from last year, when I would watch only one game at minimum. Any prospect who I could not watch any games of theirs, I decided not to write full profiles.
Despite that, I still believe that watching 3+ games is not really enough. As a result, I still heavily rely on what actual scouting people say in their reports. I read articles, watch video commentary, and listen to podcasts that profile the prospects that catch my attention.
Otherwise, everything is the same as last year. Through the year I watch as many games of the prospects that catch my attention, and at the end of the year I cut my watch down to a smaller number of prospects who really interest me the most. I also make sure to profile only those I think may be available when the Leafs pick. I rely on draft rankings to decide this, with a greater emphasis on one source specifically.
I do also supplement what I see myself, and and scouting reports I read, with whatever stats, analytics and manually tracked data I can get my hands on. I will say up front that I will be focused on prospects who are potential targets for the Leafs only. That means I will not write any profile on top 10 ranked guys. I am mostly focusing on picks in the range for the 2nd round, 5th round, and 6th round picks that the Leafs have.
2022 NHL DRAFT RESOURCES
I think it would also be helpful to include a list of all the resources I used for my research, including websites and good accounts to follow.
Scouting People to Follow
This is a list of specific people I like to follow as far as providing useful information on websites, social media, and so on. There are two people I’ll specifically call out, and run a general list after that.
Bob is pretty much retired from hockey commentary now, but he still has his draft rankings that one of the more important resources I use. That’s because his rankings are built by talking with actual NHL people, and from the discussions he makes what is essentially consensus rankings. As a result, they are typically the most accurate rankings for what actually happens in the draft. This is especially true at the top of the draft, but the accuracy will wane the longer a draft goes — and especially after the first round. When I choose prospects I think will be in the Leafs’ range, Bob’s rankings are what I rely on heavily.
- Website: scouching.ca
- Twitter: @Scouching
- YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyjPQqkQ7hiGw7qG4_Esjpg
- Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Scouching/posts
Will is still one of my favourite scouting people. I watch each of his weekly streams, which are free on YouTube. I am a member of his Patreon so I can access his tracking data, and I am a member of his Discord where he often discusses prospects and scouting with others like him. I don’t always agree with Will, but I like that he is not out there just to get clicks or fire off a hot take. His takes will have a reason behind it, and he will tell you when asked. He’ll even tell you when he’s already been asked 5,000 times before — thinking of Joshua Roy here.
- Website: eprinkside.com
- Twitter: @MitchLBrown
- Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user/overview?u=13951676
Mitch Brown is part of the Elite Prospects team. He knows his stuff, and is able to drill down onto mechanics as well as anyone out there. But so do many of the EP team, and the reason why I am separating Mitch here is because he has a microstat tracking project that shows useful data through his own independent Patreon. It only provides data on the major North American junior leagues (USHL, OHL, QMJHL, WHL), but since so many prospects come through there it provides information on many potential Leafs’ prospects.
- Kevin Papetti (@kpapetti)
- Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler)
- Lauren Kelly (@laurkelly24)
- Joel Henderson (@dathockeydoe)
- Chris Peters (@chrismpeters)
- Bailey Johnson (@BaileyAJohnson_)
- Austin Brass (@BrassMaster418)
- Jordan Malette (@jordanmalette)
- Sam McGilligan (@sam_mcgilligan)
- Clare McManus (@claremcmanuss)
- Dylan Griffing (@GriffingDylan)
- Josh Simpson (@joshsimpson77)
- Mikael Holm (@carlmikaelholm)
- Alexa Potack (@alexa_potack)
- Hannah Stuart (@HockeywthHannah)
- Miika Arponen (@MiikaArponen)
- David St-Louis (@DavidSt_Louis)
- Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports)
- Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_)
- Tony Ferrari (@theTonyFerrari)
- Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL)
- Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen)
- Sam Happi (@DraftLook)
- Byron Bader (@ByronMBader)
- Dylan Galloway (@dylangalloway_)
Okay honestly, there’s a lot more but this list is already very long. These represent the people whose work I follow with the most interest. If you want to find others, you can look up other scouts, writers and contributors for outlets such as....
Scouting & Draft Websites
This is a good list of websites that are dedicated to scouting prospects, including or solely for the NHL entry draft.
- Dobber Prospects
- McKeen’s Hockey
- Future Considerations
- EP Rinkside
- Smaht Scouting
- Puck Prep
- The Prospect Network
PREVIOUS WATCH LISTS
Here is a quick list with links to the previous watch lists I had written through this season. It will give you a good idea of players that caught my interest and why. Most of the full profiles I plan on writing will be taken from players I mentioned in these:
- Oct 2020: Early Season Watch List
- Jan 2022: Mid-Season Watch List
- Mar 2021: Post-Deadline Watch List
- May 2022: Final Watch List
2022 NHL DRAFT PROFILES — SCHEDULE
I will be doing the same thing I did last year with my full profiles. I have a schedule made, where starting tomorrow I will be publishing one full profile every week day at 8 am right up until the draft in July. As of now, I have a list of players I plan to focus on for my full profiles. I will list them in the order I plan to write them.
I was going to say this may change if the Leafs swing a trade before the draft that gets them a pick in a different range, but Katya just reminded me that there’s a trade freeze until right before the draft. That won’t be enough time to put out anything more than maybe one full profile. So if that happens, I’ll probably just put out a list with a few short profiles in one article.
Outside of that, I may add or remove a guy or two based on Bob McKenzie’s final rankings, which I am guessing will happen for a few guys who had a really strong U18 tournament recently. I may also make some changes to the list just on a whim, especially for later round guys. But for now, you can consider these to be the list of players who most interest me:
Pipe Dreams / Targets if the Leafs somehow acquire a higher pick:
- Brad Lambert (C) — Tuesday, June 14th
- Liam Öhgren (LW) — Wednesday, June 15th
- Pavel Mintyukov (LD) — Thursday, June 16th
- Kevin Korchinski (LD) — Friday, June 17th
First Round Targets:
- Gleb Trikozov (C/RW) — Monday, June 20th
- Jiří Kulich (C) — Tuesday, June 21st
- Owen Pickering (LD) — Wednesday, June 22nd
- Denton Mateychuk (LD) — Thursday, June 23rd
- Sam Rinzel (RD) — Friday, June 24th
Third Round Targets:
- Adam Sýkora (LW) — Monday, June 27th
- Jagger Firkus (RW) — Tuesday, June 28th
- Isaiah George (LD) — Wednesday, June 29th
- Christian Kyrou (RD) — Thursday, June 30th
- Lane Hutson (LD) — Friday, July 1st
Seventh Round Targets:
At this point of the draft, there isn’t a lot of exciting players to write about. If there are, they are very likely not going to be available in the 7th round. Instead of trying to cover a bunch of realistic possibilities, I am going to instead write a few group lists of guys who could be potentially interesting in the seventh round.
- Seventh Round Targets — Monday, July 4th
- Goalie Targets for the 7th Round — Tuesday, July 5th
- Overagers to Target for the 7th Round — Wednesday, July 6th
- Draft Profiles: Wrap Up — Thursday, July 7th on the morning of Draft Day One
If you want a little teaser for players I will likely include in these lists, here are some of the names that I have set to include in these mini profile lists:
- Marcus Nguyen (RW)
- Kenta Isogai (C/LW)
- Jake Richard (RW)
- Jace Weir (RD)
- Ryan Healey (RD)
- Marek Alscher (LD)
- Nick Malik (G)
- Maxim Mayorov (G)
- Hugo Hävelid (G)
- Luca Di Pasquo (G)