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2022 T25U25: The Honourable Mentions

There’s nine players that didn’t quite get enough support to crack the Top 25.

Toronto Maple Leafs host 44 prospects at their rookie development camp Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Top 25 (usually) has 25 names on it. Only a few times, when there’s been a tie at the 25th spot, has it ballooned up in size. This year, like many recently, the line between 25 and 26 is impossible to see without some decimal places.

We use a weighted average of the votes when calculating the official list. This calculation method is the only change we’ve made to the process over its history. The method is simple: votes are made 1 - 25 by each voter. Those votes are then converted to their reverse values where all Auston Matthews votes have a value of 25, down to a value of one for the votes in spot 25. Every no vote counts as zero. The sum of all votes is added up, divided by the number of voters and then we reverse that back so Auston has a ranking of one, and it makes sense when we talk about it.

Okay, it seems simple when a spreadsheet does it. The end result is a weighted average that doesn’t overly punish a player for no votes, and doesn’t require us to try to force our voters to rank the whole list — they would refuse, and rightly so. The difference this year between the player ranked at 25th, who you’ll meet tomorrow, and the 26th ranked player, who you’ll see revealed in a minute, is 0.22. In our system, the unranked all get 26 as their average, and our number 25 got 24 even as his average. In between those two figures are our nine honourable mentions:

#26 Nikita Grebyonkin was just drafted in the fifth round, and had some good points in junior hockey in Russia. That was enough to very nearly make the list. I said, “Why not?” and put him at 25. Brian likes his prospects ahead of the older players and ranked him higher, and a few other voters ranked him as well.

Nikita Grebyonkin Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species -
Katya 25
seldo -
Brian 18
TomK421 -
dhammm -
Josh - Smaht Scouting 23
Hardev 22
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 24.22
Highest Rank 18
Lowest Rank 25
Spread in Votes 7

#27 Veeti Miettinen was the Grebyonkin of 2020 taken in the sixth round, and he still has fans, even after a pair of less-exciting NCAA seasons than his flashy Finnish junior numbers of his pre-draft season.

Veeti Miettinen Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species 22
Katya -
seldo -
Brian 25
TomK421 21
dhammm -
Josh - Smaht Scouting 22
Hardev -
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 24.44
Highest Rank 21
Lowest Rank 25
Spread in Votes 4

#28 Joe Miller improved on a better team, Chicago Steel, last year, so he got more attention this year. Also drafted in the sixth round in 2020, he’s going to Harvard for this season.

Joe Miller Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species 24
Katya -
seldo 23
Brian 23
TomK421 -
dhammm -
Josh - Smaht Scouting 25
Hardev -
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak 25
Weighted Average 24.89
Highest Rank 23
Lowest Rank 25
Spread in Votes 2

#29 Max Ellis is an undrafted free agent who appeared at Leafs development camp last month. At 22, he’s coming off an NCAA career and onto the Marlies. He has one devoted voter who believes in him more than other players.

Max Ellis Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species -
Katya -
seldo -
Brian 17
TomK421 -
dhammm -
Josh - Smaht Scouting -
Hardev -
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 25.00
Highest Rank 17
Lowest Rank 17
Spread in Votes 0

#30 Axel Rindell is the mirror image to Mikko Kokkonen, but also a little older, 22, and a little slower to acclimate to the Marlies. He came over last spring and did not play. He is the PP shot type of defender who is going to struggle to advance beyond the AHL without a strong defensive game, but he’s got one person who liked him ahead of a lot of similar options.

Axel Rindell Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species -
Katya -
seldo -
Brian -
TomK421 -
dhammm 17
Josh - Smaht Scouting -
Hardev -
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 25.00
Highest Rank 17
Lowest Rank 17
Spread in Votes 0

#31 is Wyatt Schingoethe is just 20, and was taken in the seventh round in 2020. He had a typical freshman year of almost no games in the NCAA, but one voter thinks he has something that will show through in time.

Wyatt Schingoethe Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species -
Katya -
seldo 22
Brian -
TomK421 -
dhammm -
Josh - Smaht Scouting -
Hardev -
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 25.56
Highest Rank 22
Lowest Rank 22
Spread in Votes 0

#32 is Michael Koster, who I’d have voted for if I could bring myself to believe in a defender that small. At 21, you just notice him playing — defensively even — and yet... He’s about to play his third NCAA season, which puts him above players like Schingoethe or Miller in terms of usage by his coach. He’s also on a team that lost out in the Frozen Four championship, so he’s not a player on a bad team getting ice time because there’s no one else. But 5’ 9” is too low a height bar for me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he proves us all wrong?

Michael Koster Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species -
Katya -
seldo 24
Brian -
TomK421 -
dhammm -
Josh - Smaht Scouting -
Hardev 25
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 25.67
Highest Rank 24
Lowest Rank 25
Spread in Votes 1

#33 Pavel Gogolev was ranked last year on the strength of a very good late season Marlies debut, but he spent last season as an ECHL star who couldn’t crack the Marlies’ roster.

Pavel Gogolev Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species -
Katya -
seldo 25
Brian -
TomK421 -
dhammm 25
Josh - Smaht Scouting -
Hardev -
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 25.78
Highest Rank 25
Lowest Rank 25
Spread in Votes 0

#34 Curtis Douglas is getting prospect buzz as an undrafted free agent. He came to the development camp, and he’ll be talked about at training camp, and a lot of that is height. I think he gets a lot of disdain from some fans, and a lot of that is his height. He’s already 22, though, so he has to hurry if he’s going to be Mason Marchment.

Curtis Douglas Votes

Voters Ranking
Voters Ranking
Species -
Katya -
seldo -
Brian -
TomK421 -
dhammm 24
Josh - Smaht Scouting -
Hardev -
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Polak -
Weighted Average 25.78
Highest Rank 24
Lowest Rank 24
Spread in Votes 0

And those are the honourable mentions, and as a bonus you get an introduction to this year’s voters.

Tomorrow the countdown begins with number 25 on this year’s Top 25 Under 25.