Welcome to the 2022 Top 25 Under 25! I have the honour of bringing you our first entrant this year and it's a someone brand new, so we can learn about him together. But first, you can use the links below to review the players who have aged out, who went unranked, and who just missed the cut.
Now, it's number 25.
Coming to us from Port Coquitlam, BC via the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, Lisowsky is a player who takes time to adjust to his role and then jumps out to be a key player. On each team he's played for since his time with the Under-15 Burnaby Winter Club Bruins we see the beginning of a low scoring first year and then exploding out to being about a point per game or better. Under-15, Under-16, and in the WHL. Even at the Quebec Pee Wee tournament. It's nice to see consistency.
So where do we see him in the immediate future? The WHL is the simple answer.
Seventh-round picks will generally take some time to work their way up even to the AHL, so I wouldn't pre-order a Lisowsky Marlies jersey any time soon.
However this isn't to his detriment, he can continue to improve upon the offensive player he currently is and work on pretty much everything else.
You can read up on him in a more detailed way in this article from Brigs, who as always had a great breakdown on him post-draft:
But I’ll sum it up as best I can.
Lisowsky needs to work on defense, skating, and physical play. His hands, shooting, and vision are above where you'd expect of a player at the draft, which fits the current Maple Leafs style. Pass, pass, shoot and hope the other team doesn't steal a rebound.
Unless he makes huge leaps and bounds, I would gather he'll stay in the WHL until he ages out.
After that? It's pretty much up to him. The Leafs will work with him on what needs to be improved and gained over the rest of his junior career and only then would we consider the pros.
If I had to plot out his career path, at least two more years of junior (with a trade to Kamloops to guarantee some Memorial Cup time), a couple years with the Marlies until a chance at second or third line opens up with the big club. Barring a growth spurt I would only play him in the NHL as the zippy little winger role, and not expect a solid defensive line role.
He has the tools to score in the NHL, but that's not all teams are looking for anymore.
Three of us left Lisowsky off our ballots, Katya, Species, and myself, and surprisingly he did get a ranking as high as 20.
Low 20s is what would be expected of such a late pick, and I can't blame anyone for fitting the shiny new kid onto their list, that's always a big temptation.
|Josh - Smaht Scouting||24|
|The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak||22|
|Spread in Votes||5|
Now, hear from the voters themselves:
Katya: I was extremely tempted to rank Lisowsky, and he’s as good a 25th as any other. I think he fell in the draft for not a lot of good reasons and he’s at least as good as your average fifth rounder, so ranking him says you hope for the future and don’t believe much in the average fifth rounders drafted in past years. But he scores, and that’s fun.
dhammm: Brandon Lisowsky was a pick in the “take the little guy that scores a lot” mold and is the kind of prospect that’s easy to like. The production is there and he has a lot of runway to develop, so he’s easy to dream on. All you can ask for a CHL player is that they score a lot and Lisowsky has. I would make late-round value bets on players like this in every draft.
Brigstew: He has some work to do for his game outside of his goal scoring. He needs to become a better skater, get stronger, be more helpful on defense, become a better passer. But his goal scoring in junior will be fun, his shot and ability to find open space in dangerous areas for his shot is good enough to be a 50+ goal scorer in the WHL some day.
Hardev: As is the case with all late round picks, I’m not going to pretend I watched more than the available highlight packs of this kid. I can see good offensive tools that he has been able to develop himself. There’s always the risk a pick out of the CHL just doesn’t get an NHL contract before their rights expire (Riley Stotts is still swimming in my head), but I hope with development camp work and a maturation of his game (as much as is possible in Canadian junior) that we see him in the AHL in a few years and he becomes a player. His team Saskatoon is building, I’m hoping Lisowsky builds with them and stays as one of their top scorers. He has a good centre in Tristan Robins and the even smaller LW Kyle Crnkovic.
TomK421: He’s the newest zippy little winger that scores goals, and I love me my ZLWs. Take a bunch of these and eventually you’ll strike goaled. He makes my list because of shiny new toy syndrome.
That's Brandon Lisowsky. 2022 draft pick number 218, but number 25 in the top Maple Leafs under 25.
Where do you see Lisowsky in four years?