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2016 Top 25 under 25: #25-21 recap

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Week one of the T25U25 is over, let's take a look back at those days of yore.

Cindy Adachi

The first 5 of your top 25 under 25 have been released, and we've talked about them, and dissected them, and complained about them. Let's take a look:

#25: Yegor Korshkov

Article here.

Korshkov, Korshkov, Korshkov. Oh what a fine player you are. Or are you? The player who keeps coming up in almost every single article so far kicked off our list at number 25. Why is he so popular? Well, a kid playing in the KHL is nothing to sneeze at, and he seems to be able to hold his own, while not playing a major role with his team.

From the Scott:

Korshkov's size and athleticism for a 6-3 winger are both standout traits, and while he wouldn't have been my pick at 31st overall, he has still played well enough in the last year and a half to merit being considered a legitimate NHL prospect.

Scott Wheeler 67sound birky Arvind elseldo gunnar carlsson achariya
24 24 22 23 NR NR NR
JP Nikota species1967 Steven Burtch Kartya Knappe Fulemin 50 Mission Cap Chris H
23 21 21 24 24 NR NR


Many of our readers have opinions on the rankings, so let's dive into the comment section to see what people had to say:

m piedlourde:
Korshkov is about 3 months older than Dmytro Timashov. He outscored Timashov by 1 point at the WJC (same number of games played), spent his season in the second-best pro league in the world, and then dominated the MHL playoffs (1.27 P/GP; next-best on his team was 0.8).

I obviously would have preferred to see the Leafs use a later pick for him if they could have, but it certainly looks like we have a solid prospect in Korshkov.

A nice response there. Norm and Fulmin had a conversation that I was afraid to wade into because, well, if those two were to get into an argument the result would take more pages than a large print edition of "Blunders made by Maple Leafs management: 1975-1991". However:

not norm ulman:
I’m not arguing that Korshkov is an Ovie or Kuznetsov or Panarin or Tarasenko. But – same as I argued with Soshnikov – I think the guy has some offensive skills, you can see it in the game videos, you could see it show up in his earlier career, and the fact that as he began to get ice-time in Russia, his points went up…. I think that’s legitimate analysis. More TOI and in better situations → his points rise.

So to me, he looks legit at where he was picked. And even at his age…. he matches up really well with his exact age peers from Russia, and in fact, is outperforming many. And no, he’s not that superstar tier, but he;s blown through Junior, and is off the bench and actually scoring and getting more ice-time, at age 19, in the KHL. That’s good. And same as Sosh isn’t superstar tier, my suggestion is – again – that he could well develop into a 2nd or 3rd liner. And that’s not bad.

Koshkov, get to know that name. You'll see it in atleast 20 more posts.

#24: Martins Dzierkals

Article Here

Dzierkals! The man who (okay with the Huskies help I guess) almost ended the London Knights dominant post-season run. They could have been the 2007 New York Giants. They weren't though, losing the Memorial Cup final in overtime. So close!

From elseldo (that's me!):

His style of play is that of a bigger player, elite prospects only lists him at 5'11" and 170lbs, but he hasn't spent any significant time on IR yet in his career, so worries about endurance aren't there yet. If he has a dynamite camp and can play in a few pre-season games he could make a case for himself on the Marlies, though I'm sure Latvia would love to have him back in the Q, as that would guarantee he'll be available for the World Juniors.

Scott Wheeler 67sound birky Arvind elseldo gunnar carlsson achariya
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JP Nikota species1967 Steven Burtch Kartya Knappe Fulemin 50 Mission Cap Chris H
24 25 23 NR NR 19 25


Here's what the dummies had to say about Dzierkals

drunkonkoolaid
Speaks to our prospect depth now that a player like dzierkals, who would have been knocking on the door of a top 10-15 prospect in past ppp top 25 under 25’s, now barely squeaks on to the list

This kicked off comparing the T25 from 2012 to kids we have today. Way to start a conversation, and from someone who's not wasting ignoring work spending lots of time in the comments, excellent commenting job.

thistypeofthinking
Can we please put to bed the idea that scoring is easier in the Q?
It’s not 1999 anymore.

A fair argument here, but I'll stop treating the Q like a joke when it stops treating itself like one. #BecauseItsTheQ

Frag posted a bunch of charts here.

Alejaho
We should remember that Dzierkals made a huge transition from Europe to the Q. He apparently had very promising numbers at the 2014 wjc. I cant say that he disappointed by his performance in the Q, being a driver on a championship team. I would rank him in the top twenty prospects. He’d be better in the AHL this coming season but i dont think that he’s signed an elc yet. I have a feeling this guy will make the show.

Fantastic addition, and some great points too.

#23: Carl Grundstrom

Article Here.

GRUNDSTROM! You have to yell it like Professor Farnsworth, really fun. The Swedish sensation jumps from the recently relegated MODO to the champion Frolunda.  Patrick Bexell nabbed an interview with him here. Wow us in the SHL Carl, you have two years to do so.

From Gunnar:

Grundström plays a strong two-way game; already physically mature enough to play with the men, he's a hard-nosed, shoot-first winger with the ability finish around the net. He has a powerful stride and loves driving hard to the net. He's tireless on both the forecheck and backcheck, using his agility, great hands, and physicality to turn play up the ice. He's more of a complementary piece and plays at his best with a centre who can drive play and distribute, something that the lowly MODO did not have.

Scott Wheeler 67sound birky Arvind elseldo gunnar carlsson achariya
17 22 23 21 22 19 23
JP Nikota species1967 Steven Burtch Kartya Knappe Fulemin 50 Mission Cap Chris H
NR 23 NR 23 NR NR 24


This was my only addition to the comments:

I feel I peaked there.

Fulemin with a truth bomb:

I should add: in making these ratings I was constantly, half-seriously wondering "which of these picks is most likely to make me look bad in a year?" Grundstrom is probably the guy I’m most at risk of underrating.

And then everyone talked about their own rankings and Martin Marincin?

#22: Andrew Nielsen

Artiicle Here.

Andrew Nielsen, the Leader from Lethbridge, the Hero of the Hurricanes. Number twenty-two on our list. Looking back I find it odd that I didn't rank him, maybe I bought into the "secondary assists" hype? Or maybe I'm just bad at this.

The first person to comment on that last bit gets banned for a week.

Nielsen's ranking were all over the place, but he put up great points in the WHL (better than the Q, amirite?).

From ATF:

Nielsen got a lot of secondary assists and a lot of powerplay points, so we ought to be careful before we crown him as a star offensive defenceman.

The fact that we even have to raise this as a caveat, though, is a testament to how far Nielsen has come.  Noting that many of his points are secondary assists is only happening because Nielsen has developed a skating and offensive game where previously one wasn't evident

Scott Wheeler 67sound birky Arvind elseldo gunnar carlsson achariya
23 18 13 24 NR 17 NR
JP Nikota species1967 Steven Burtch Kartya Knappe Fulemin 50 Mission Cap Chris H
NR NR 25 21 23 NR 20


I didn't read any of the comment son this article earlier, jobs and all, so woah was I surprised brigstew was the first one in! (I wasn't).

Back at the topic on hand:

The Frogren Yogurt Is Cursed
Are you suggesting that Nielsen has a higher ceiling (because of scoring talent) and a lower floor (because of skating) than Valiev? I don’t actually know much about Valiev.

Also, I’m tired of hearing all this talk of ceilings and floors. Let’s hear it for walls!

His name AND comment made me laugh, A+!

LatinHeat
I’m simultaneously happy with his progress, but also surprised he got ranked this high. But again, I’m so happy I have many prospects in sight that are demonstrating intriguing potential rather than "…he could totally make it! I saw him score goals once!"

Having the best prospects in the entire goddamn world is a good thing.

Marcel DePass
I actually thought that Nielsen’s defensive zone work is pretty good. Most rookie d-men have a learning curve when jumping into the minors, and Andrew was immune. He actually picked up the flow fairly quickly, and had enough confidence to carry the puck up on a few occasions. I think he should show enough to stick with the Marlies.

I hope so too.

cagedmercury
Concerns about Nielsen’s skating are totally valid; but, in the Barb Underhill era, I’d say the most clear-cut element the Leafs have proven they can develop is skating. Given the offensive improvement (high 2ndary assist count notwithstanding), he’s shown that the rest of his game is remarkably complete. Skating development plus pro experience should round out and polish him into the stud he is…if he is the stud some of us think he is

Thus began a discussion Barb Underhill and her magic skating powers. Can she help everyone? No. But we can dream.

Oh, and Korshkov.

#21: Rinat Valiev

Article Here.

Valiev! The guy I totally didn't forget about until the last minute and confuse him with another, lesser, prospect. Also, guys, he was the first Marlie on the list, so we're moving into the big time here!

From Acha:

When Valiev was asked about his game after being drafted in 2014, he laid out his goals: "I try to play physical and shoot, looking for pucks a lot." Has he carried out this plan? Watching highlights of his play from Leafs and Marlies this past season, what is evident is that Valiev has focused more on the defensive side of his play as a first-year professional. Last season, he scored four goals in 60 games played, which does not indicate a shoot-first mentality quite yet -- but he also tallied 19 assists.

Scott Wheeler 67sound birky Arvind elseldo gunnar carlsson achariya
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JP Nikota species1967 Steven Burtch Kartya Knappe Fulemin 50 Mission Cap Chris H
19 19 20 19 25 25 23

not norm
I like Valiev. Kid can skate, handle the puck, has size, strong upward development curve. Not sure I would have ranked him above Grundstrom or Korshkov though, simply because they were also playing fairly high calibre pro hockey, and measured against their age peers, doing perhaps a notch better.

Is there a bias towards people that are seen a lot? Probably, no matter a persons intentions.

Jared
Can’t say that I’ve seen a lot of valiev, but what I have reminds me a lot of marincin. Not that they play super similar stylistically just that they are active mobileish defensive d who I don’t see significant offensive upside to.

Alright gang, that wraps up week one. Come back tomorrow to take part in our first community ranking of the year! Where we find out if the riff raff is as smart as us whom eat cake and have fancy parties whilst you gnaw on crusts of bread.

Week two kicks off with number 20, and you get a bonus Seldo post about those who just missed out on the top 25 coming at you...when I finish it.

Comment away! I'm totally not filing things away to serve as fuel for future personal grudges.