It’s been one week since the launch of the Top 25 Under 25 and we’re already sparking some good conversations. Last year we had weekly recaps and then you could follow along and vote for your own T25 out of our choices. This year we held a community vote ahead of time and we’ll count down the Community T25 in these recaps.
First the PPP’s initial 25:
#25 – Pierre Engvall
Highest Rank: #21 - Hardev
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked - seldo, Species, Brigstew
Engvall will be making his North American debut this fall with the Toronto Marlies, and he’s a prospect who has had ardent supporters since he was drafted, and now they’ll either be proven right or deny it ever happened.
A winger in the pros with the hands to skate circles around opponents, willing to get the puck to where it needs to go, and big enough to take on all comers; sounds like a player we’d want to rank higher than NCAA or CHL maybes. What’s with the delay in getting him on the list?
It’s the same as in real estate: location, location, location.
I wouldn’t think that Engvall has just a slim chance at making the nhl, particularly if he picks up the Marlies lessons on pk and defensive zone play. If he does, and perhaps learns a slightly heavier game, he could easily slot into a bottom six role when the cash crunch hits the season after next. If cap becomes an issue, look for the buds to ship out those that are demanding too much (see johnsson, kapanen, etc.) and slide in low cost guys (see engvall, grundstrom, moore, marchment, timashov, bracco, ferguson, etc.).
While he has some deceptive speed for a big guy, he makes up for a relative lack of straightaway speed by being adept at using his big frame to protect the puck. He has good lateral mobility and creativity when with the puck.
That said his play away from the puck and adapting to the NA ice will mean that he is at a minimum at least a full season away from the NHL. I can see him getting potential Top-6 minutes this year with the Marlies to see if he can take more of a scoring role. Last year he was paired with Gauthier and Greening in a shutdown role. I could see him sliding in alongside Mueller to try to fill Ben Smith’s skates to start the year.
I had him at 18 as I see a lot of upside, possibly even a 3rd shutdown line role in the NHL with Kadri in 2 years, if all goes well. This year is a big year and Engvall is one of the Top 3 Marlies to watch this year.
-Becca on Hockey
#24 – Jordan Subban
Highest Rank: #22 - Katya
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked - Fulemin, Omar
This pick made some people more angry that other prospects like Joseph Woll wasn’t on the list. A lot of us see the potential that the Marlies staff could pull out of Subban, like Mason Marchment or Justin Holl.
Despite seeing Subban in person a few times over the last two seasons, I can’t tell you what that skill is. He was certainly one of the best on his Comets team, and they used him a lot, but there was nothing remarkable that stood out to me. He’s going to be a depth player, and not magically turn into his brother through anything less than wizardry.
The castaway bit does not scare me
Ultimately this was a free asset who is unlikely to be a contributor at the NHL level but he is an easier player to evaluate then either goalkeeper you mentioned, as well as his being much closer to the NHL than the ’tenders mentioned. I can appreciate your rationale but his being traded twice does not make me value him any more or less than had he been a leaf draft pick
At least he can take a slap shot from the point let alone a one timer. Add that to being right handed and Jordan fills some glaring holes in the organization. Maybe the drive to play for the leafs will put him on the right path to finally making the NHL.
#23 – Mason Marchment
Highest Rank: #19 - Katya
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked - Kevin, Brigstew
The Marlies project has worked his way onto an NHL deal, and will have a shot at making an NHL appearance for the first time in his career this season.
Marchment’s game is seemingly chaotic at times, though he can use that to his advantage. The number of times I was shaking my head and saying “what is Marchment doing”, only to then see him get the puck and score anyway was enough to make me think there must be method to the madness of his play. However I am not certain how well that translates to the NHL level. At lower levels chaos can be harnessed to your advantage, but at the top level it is more of a liability than an asset.
I think as long as people temper expectations with Marchment, there shouldn’t be an issue.
I’m not sure if he’ll be a regular NHL player, but he’s the kind of guy you want to throw out against “heavy teams” in a 4th line energy role. Every time I’ve seen him play live he’s thrown some hits and really drew the attention from the other team, and he really does wreak havoc while he’s on the ice. Not always a great thing, sure. But as long as you don’t have an expectation of a scoring winger at the NHL level, I think you’ll be okay with what he is.
The style he displays will lead him to be a fan favorite if he makes the NHL level. If/when he gets the call up to the big club he’ll be a guy that the more casual fan will rally behind because he’s closer to an old throw back player. A guy who will throw hits and muck it up. Which will be frustrating for me, because I know once people get a longer look at him he’ll be a guy that’s over valued by a portion of the fan base.
As long as temper the expectations though, I think he’ll do just fine in the role he’ll carve out for himself.
Didn’t rank him, dont see an nhler even if everything breaks right. Nice ahl guy, maybe a new clube
#22 – Dmytro Timashov
Highest Rank: #13 - seldo
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked - Katya, Hardev
The former QMJHL stand out had a typical first year in the pros and is looking to build on it this season in the AHL.
He started to regularly beat defenders out-wide in the playoffs, and he could take another step forward next season, so he could certainly develop into an impactful AHL forward. The question becomes: Does he have the quickness and goal-scoring ability to be a 40-point player at the NHL level? I’m not so sure. Given his skillset, he will probably have to score his way onto a NHL roster, and he’s going to have a tough time earning powerplay time on a NHL team that is loaded with highly-skilled scorers.
Timashov is a skilled play maker who spends too much time on the periphery. He needs to get more involved in the harder parts of the rink to play in, along the boards, in the corners and occasionally in front of the net if he ever wants to make it in the NHL. No doubt he is good on the power play, he moves the puck well and is an above average passer, but even on the power play I have seen him shy away from any kind of physical contact. He also needs to shoot more, he did start to shoot more later in the season and in the playoffs, but he needs to keep working on that part of his game. He will never be what anyone would consider a physical player like say a Mason Marchment, but he really needs to improve that part of his game, at least to the point where he does not shy away from physical contact. He is still young and could perhaps take a step forward in the coming season given more responsibility and some training and experience on the defensive side of his game. Right now though, unless that happens, I see him as a long shot to ever make the NHL, he is definitely not a fourth liner and will need to make it to the NHL as a goal scorer but he has a long way to go to be good enough to crack any NHL teams top three lines. This will be an important year for his development, either he takes a big step forward this season, or he becomes a career second or third line AHL player who may eventually end up going back home to play in Sweden.
Doesn’t sound promising.
#21 – Yegor Korshkov
Highest Rank: #11 - seldo
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked - Brigstew, Gardev
The steady Lokomotiv winger moved up one spot on this year’s list from #22, and maybe we’ll get to see more highlights this season.
I followed along all season seeing his growth and the trust he gets from his team, being put into important roles in a very high level league, and it has me convinced he’s someone who will come into North American a still relative unknown and make a huge impact. I want to be able to say I told you so, even if I can’t explain why.
I like this post because hope.
I also hate this post because hope.
Hope is simply a down payment on my future suffering.
-Ghost of Bohonos
This one surprised me a bit. Our in-house reporting on European prospects has been pegging him as improving year on year and his ceiling looks middle-6 in the NHL. I had him at 14, grouped with AHL/KHL players with a similar ceiling in Borgman, Grundstrom, Engvall, Moore and Rosen.
And now, the community vote. Over 500 people submitted their lists to make this the most who have voted on a T25 list ever.
#25 - Semyon Der-Arguchintsev
Highest Rank: #2 (1)
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (329)
Most popular rank: Not Ranked (329)
The longest named prospect gets onto the list, just eeking out a victory over Andrew Nielsen for the first spot on the community list.
#24 – Mason Marchment
Highest Rank: #5 (1)
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (316)
Most popular rank: Not Ranked (316)
Marchment was one spot lower here than in our vote.
#23 – Yegor Korshkov
Highest Rank: #5 (2)
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (310)
Most popular rank: Not Ranked (310)
More voters who haven’t seen a lot of him = a lower ranking.
#22 – Sean Durzi
Highest Rank: #5 (1)
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (264)
Most popular rank: Not Ranked (264)
An exciting 2018 pick gets in the T25. Hard to not rank someone who grew up loving the Leafs.
#21 – Joseph Woll
Highest Rank: #10 (7)
Lowest Rank: Not Ranked (243)
Most popular rank: Not Ranked (243)
The first player unranked by PPP gets a high ranking here, almost in the top 20.
WHAT ABOUT THE CONTEST?
Stop shouting. I’ve emailed the winners and am waiting for confirmations back that they’ve gotten the emails. If I don’t hear back after a follow up I will draw more names. Hold onto your butts.
So, after one week we have two players in each of the 25-21 rankings, though at different spots, as well as one player PPP didn’t rank in the community vote.
Stay tuned next week to find out the community rankings for #20-17, unless you’re piecing together the community vote from the individual player posts.