Here’s everything you’ve missed from week two of the Top 25 Under 25. It’s clear that the players have more social media talent the higher up the list we go—this week features two truly elite talents (spoiler: one’s a cat).
After a less-than-stellar rookie year with the Marlies, Timashov drops from #13 to #20 on our list. He’s the first player on this year’s list to get ranked by everyone, but he was a polarizing player—two voters had him at #12 and two had him at #24.
Here’s what seldo had to say about him:
Timashov is a skilled playmaker, putting up more assists than goals throughout his hockey career - in the Q, the AHL, and in league / national team play in Sweden. He can skate, he can pass, he can stick handle. Timashov has it all.
Katya and MrSmithy both commented on how much better the Leafs and their prospect pool is now:
Well, yes, beyond just the logjam on the Marlies, where is he on the Leafs in a few years? I think, more than anything, this ranking reflects that the Leafs are a hard roster to crack now, and "he has some skill" is no longer enough to be considered a top prospect.—Katya
I think it’s more that, back in the Dark Ages, being ranked 20th was "the 20th best prospect in the worst prospect group in the NHL," so a backhanded compliment at at best and an assurance of obscurity at worst. You had to get to the Top 10 before you could be comfortable that at least some of these guys had a chance.
Now, in the enlightened Shanny-age, our top 10 is already NHL talent or on the cusp, and the 10-20 range are the real prospects in the true sense of the word. Being ranked 20th in 2012 and 2017 are two very different things.—MrSmithy
As polarizing as his ranking was, this picture was even more contentious for the masthead. None of us could agree on what was the most objectionable part of Dmytro’s outfit. Is it the hat? The distressed jeans? The hair? (It’s the hat).
Here’s PPP Fashion Correspondent Annie’s official statement on the outfit:
I will give Timashov a pass on the fedora. This is my official ruling. This does not, however, elevate him to anything approaching "good."
She is truly much more forgiving than I.
Like Katya said, the lesson here is that Timashov can’t skate to a high ranking on the strength of his
skill alone long eyelashes and a cute dog. He’s really going to have to dig deep and take a step forward in his development fashion choices if he wants to move up on next year’s T25U25.
Nielsen also made the jump from junior to the AHL last season, and had a fair bit more success. He also jumped up three places in the T25U25, from #22 to #19.
He had another great offensive year as the highest scoring defenceman on the Marlies, but his defensive play held him back from a higher ranking.
Here’s some of what Kevin had to say about him:
It is rare to find a defenceman with such an impressive size, strength, and skill combination, but Nielsen remains comfortably outside of the Top 10 largely because of his skating and defensive zone play. His offensive game is well ahead of his defensive game at this point, and a lack of mobility makes it difficult to cover opposing forwards at 5 on 5. His footwork remains rather sloppy, and improvement is needed in order to shut down top AHL forwards, yet alone NHL forwards.
Species left Nielsen off his ballot entirely:
I am the only one to not rank him. Why? For every great point shot he would send sailing through traffic into the net, he did five really dumb things. I started this season really high on Nielsen, higher than anyone else on the site. As I watched him game after game I simply couldn’t overlook the flubs, the mistakes, the pointless penalties… They didn’t go away. They kept happening right through the playoffs. He went on the opposite trajectory from Valiev, who consistently became more intelligent of a player each game. That’s why I wound up having the highest rank on Valiev, and the lowest on Nielsen.
The thing about him that’s more one-dimensional than his hockey game? Definitely his fashion game. This all-black look is not the best. Just like Timashov, he has a lot to work on for next year.
Rychel is another Marlies forward who took a big tumble down the rankings. As with many of the Leafs’ wing prospects, it’s hard to see where Rychel fits in the organization long-term. Since he was ranked last year, Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, and Kasperi Kapanen have all shown that they can play at the NHL level. Rychel seems like he’s on the outside looking in.
Here’s PPP Marlies correspondent Species’ take:
Even with a shuffle of a player like Zach Hyman to right wing, it’s still a stretch to see Rychel make it on the Maple Leafs roster. He faces the combined pressure down from the arrival of Patrick Marleau, Josh Leivo waiting in the press-box, and the rapid ascent in the organization of Carl Grundstrom.
For any depth prospect who primarily plays on the left wing, things look pretty grim right now.
Commenter doc alex was worried about where his points came from last year:
Yeah, I agree. I put him at 25th from my rankings. Part of that is the fact that I expect the Leafs will lose him to waivers, so it’s hard to rate his value to the organization very highly. But there’s more to it than that – even with less of a logjam, I don’t really see if he’d do much for the Leafs. 56% of his points on the Marlies were on the PP, but would he really make either of the Leafs PP units? For a player that probably wouldn’t be lighting up the scoreboard in the NHL, he doesn’t offer much defensively either.
He’ll probably make some team as a poor man’s JVR (by that I mean the same skill-set, just not nearly as good), but I think the Leafs will always have better options than him.
While people were skeptical of what Rychel could bring to the Leafs, it’s clear that his cat’s social media game is elite. Tempelton is a legitimate social media star. If Rychel can learn a thing or two from this spectacular role model, he might be able to claw his way back up this list next season.
Rosen is a recent signing out of the Swedish hockey league. He will likely start the season with the Marlies, along with fellow SHL free-agent signing Andreas Borgman.
Here’s an excerpt from Fulemin’s article:
Let’s start with the good news: he can skate, and skating will get you a long way. Almost everyone speaks highly of his mobility, and you’ll notice it right away if you watch him. Rosen’s offensive game is interesting enough to scouts; he can pass and he has a dangerous one-timer. Reports on his defence are more mixed; Bob McKenzie described him as “inconsistent” while Dobber Prospects say he’s “shown strong responsibility for his own zone”; our own Katya Knappe said “he can get lost in his own end sometimes.” One of the most exciting things about Rosen is that he’s capable of playing right side, despite shooting left; obviously that opens an easier path onto the Leafs’ roster for him. It also offers him the opportunity to deploy that nasty one-timer with the inside shot, something he did well in Sweden.
Really, though, Thursday was the Arvind show:
Yeah, fuck off buddy we absolutely need Rosen ranked higher. Fuckin every time this kid steps on the ice someone scores. kids fuckin dirt nasty man. Does fuckin karlsson have 5 champions league goals this season I dont fuckin think so bud. I'm fuckin tellin ya Calle Rosen"crantz and Guildenstern" is an above average 2nd pairing defenseman in '17 fuckin callin it right now. Clap bombs, fuck moms, wheel, snipe, and fuckin celly boys fuck
(Check the comments for an even bigger treat.)
Rosen’s the one in the middle, with the flower. He really channels the boarding school/trust fund kid look here, between the polo and the necklace but the flower in hair is fun and visually interesting enough that I’m willing to forgive the rest of the outfit.
Glad midsommar alla vänner från mina vänner och jag pic.twitter.com/WHmbav92Ts— Calle Rosén (@CalleRosen) June 24, 2016
Borgman makes his debut at #16. He and Rosen were signed at the same time, and most voters have said that there isn’t much that separates the two of them, aside from age. That is a lie. But before I get into that, let’s look at some things people had to say about Borgman.
Here’s part of Katya’s write-up:
The question asked by both fans and experts is always posed pairing Borgman and Rosén. Are they any good? We ranked them in the middle, just below the “sure things” and the players who already have NHL experience. And that is largely based on their pro experience. I ranked them one slot lower than where they ended up, and there is a lot of agreement about this middling ranking with elseldo very cool on the unknown defender and Scott Wheeler very high on him.
Fulemin explained why he had Borgman lower than Rosen:
Rosen can play right side and often does. I like Rosen, he’s great.
For the record, nothing wrong with Borgman, he’s just farther away from the NHL in my estimation than Rosen.
Here’s where his analysis goes wrong, though: you can’t get a full grasp of the Borgman vs Rosen debate until you look at their social media. Rosen has a locked instagram and a fairly boring twitter. Borgman? Borgman’s insta game is elite. Forget about age, this is the real reason Borgman pulled ahead of Rosen in the T25U25:
Look at that floral shirt. This outfit is the exact opposite of Nielsen in the best way possible (if we ignore the socks and sandals). Plus, well:
Like I said: elite.
What do you think about these prospects? Am I wrong about the hat?