The voting for this year’s T25U25 closes today, and I can now introduce you to our voters. You know them all, I would expect.

Seldo: Our traditional T25 leader is a consultant this year, but he’s been with PPP for long enough to have commented on the first ever T25 list.

KatyaKnappe: I’m trying to fill seldo’s shoes this year, and it’s not easy.

Arvind: You know him as one half of the Back to Excited team, and he’s been around PPP long enough to be fully jaded about prospects.

Acting the Fulemin: The other half (plus cat) of the BtoE team, and possibly a little more pessimistic. Except on full moons, when the Optimist comes out.

Omar: AKA TicTacTOmar, the GIF man is voting in his second T25.

Hardev: Our fearless Marlies expert who will tell you exactly what he thinks about players. He was right about Engvall and I was wrong.

Species: Another Marlies expert, and another veteran at PPP. He’s seen all those prospects come and go, and he is still mad about the Marchment trade, actually.

Brigstew: He’s been diving deep into draft prospects, so we expect him to be able to vividly bring that second round pick to life when its article comes out.

Taaeeve: She joined us last year as a new voter, and we were all thrilled when she agreed to write for us too. She raised the bar on a fun and informative FTB pretty high.

Annie: You know her for her fashion report, and her women’s hockey coverage, and she’s back again to vote for the prospects (even the ones who won’t wear floral prints).

Kevin Papetti: He abandoned us for Maple Leafs Hot Stove, but we won’t let him stop voting in the T25.

Rahef: Rahef joined us last year as a voter, and we were very happy she agreed to come back again.

Voting Process Changes

We only changed one small thing in terms of how people voted. The official vote is just like the community vote, it’s a list of all the eligible players, and each voter ranks their top 25. Traditionally, that’s done on a spreadsheet open to everyone voting, so it means we all see each other’s votes. There is no doubt at all that there’s a little bit of peer pressure at play, and that votes are a influenced to a small amount.

Of course, you’ve met us (virtually) so you know that some of us (not mentioning any names) might be inclined to dig in a little harder to our views if everyone else disagrees. The discussion around the votes is fun for us, though, and we end up more informed voters, not less, so I think it’s an overall positive to use this voting process. Also, it’s less work.

Last year, we had a lot of invited voters, and that was really interesting to have people outside the bubble express their opinions on the prospect crop, but they submitted their votes individually. This year, I fearlessly opened the spreadsheet to our invitees as well, so we all used one process.

Tabulation Process Changes

We haven’t actually done the tabulation yet, but we’ve tested a new process. Traditionally, dating back to the first list as far as we know, the rankings were calculated by an average ranking with an unranked vote set to 100. We don’t know why that was chosen, but the effect is to very heavily weight every unranked vote.

This year, Hardev developed a process to flip the values around so Auston Matthews, er, um, the top-ranked player gets a value of 25 from each voter, and so on, down to zeros for the unranked. The ranking is then computed from the sum of all votes.

We like this better than the heavier weighting for the unranked, but we’ve hesitated over changing it in the past because tradition is what the T25 is built out of. But we’ve put draft picks on the list this year, and we’re doing it in June, so we took this opportunity to tweak this too.

The differences you get doing the ranking this way vs the old way are extremely minor and don’t affect any meaningful rankings. The bottom third or so of this year’s ranking, and likely all the past years too, will switch around a little.  This is a reminder that the bottom of the ranking and the handful of players who get some votes, but not enough to be ranked are all a tier of players we are collectively calling about equal.

But yes, it’s still an outrage if that one guy didn’t make the list.  We aren’t getting rid of all the traditions.

We’ll have something for you tomorrow on the unranked and then we’ll get to the good stuff next week, see you then!