Coming in at #10 is the last 2020 NHL draft pick of the list — Mister X, our second round pick that is currently at 50th overall. Obviously, that’s something that can change depending on how the rest of the season and playoffs go. But there isn’t really a huge difference in the chances a 2nd round pick has of making the NHL at 32nd than 62nd overall.
So, why did we rank an unknown prospect at #10? Let’s talk about potential.
It’s actually surprising how consistently the PPP voters ranked it in two different clusters. Eight of the voters had it between 8 and 10, then the rest had it between 16 and 19. It received a rank from all voters. It makes me wonder how much of this ranking is due to the meteoric rise of Nick Robertson, our most recent second round pick. Or maybe the people who are more skeptical of this pick had guys like Rasanen in mind. For the record, here are all the Leafs’ recent second round picks:
- Nick Robertson
- Sean Durzi
- Eemeli Rasanen
- Yegor Korshkov & Carl Grundstrom
- Travis Dermott & Jeremy Bracco/
And then they had a lot of drafts without a second round pick, until you get to Matt Finn.
That’s a pretty good spread. There is a valuable young NHL defenseman in Dermott, but whose ceiling might be limited. There’s two guys who have gotten NHL experience and look like they could be useful depth pieces in Korshkov and Grundstrom. Then there are two smaller but very skilled forwards in Robertson and Bracco. The latter might be polarizing and might not live up to his promise, but that’s a smart gamble to take in the second round to me.
Votes - 2020 2nd-round pick
|2020 2nd-round pick
|Spread in Rank
For me, this year I’ve done a much deeper dive into the prospects of this draft than I ever have before. By a lot. I’ve seen public scout rankings, I’ve seen Bob McKenzie’s rankings, I’ve read scouting reports and draft profiles and player breakdowns. I’ve seen enough to know that this year’s draft seems to have a big difference between NHL scout opinions, and public scout opinions.
Having watched guys like Robertson and Sandin, or even DeBrincat, fall or go relatively unnoticed in recent years, I’m of the belief that there is a good chance that the Leafs will have a big steal fall to them in the second round. Most importantly, I am also of the belief that Kyle Dubas and his scouts are good at identifying sleepers and making smart gambles. They won’t always pan out but they will unearth some gems.
Like I did on my profile of the Leafs’ 4th round pick, I’m going to list some examples of prospects who may be available when the Leafs pick at 50th overall. This time, I have Bob McKenzie’s rankings out to compare what NHL scouts think with those of the public.
Here is a quick list of prospects that Bob’s rankings have later than 50th, who also have an average ranking by the public as a borderline first rounder. Or guys that the public ranks around 50th, but Bob’s rankings have way later in the third+ round:
- Roni Hirvonen
- Emil Andrae
- Zion Nybeck
- Thomas Bordeleau
- Kasper Simontaival
- Tristen Robins
- William Villeneuve
- Lukas Cormier
- Vasily Ponomaryov
- Martin Chromiak
- Daniil Gushchin
- Veeti Miettinen
- Alexander Pashin
- Carter Savoie/
I’m going to say, I ranked this pick at 10th in the T25U25. Mostly because if the Leafs do take any of these guys — or anyone who the public and NHL scouts agree on who are ranked in the area — that’s where I would rank them. It would take a hell of a blunder on this pick for me to want to shift off that position.
Because here’s the thing, when we rank these prospects we are guessing at their future. Knowing the exact name is not going to change the percentages very much. Their general odds for making the NHL and succeeding there will be the same.
So there is definitely some recency bias because of Robertson, but I don’t think having this pick at 10th is really showing that. If it did, we’d be ranking the 2nd round pick after Robertson himself.
Katya: My method was to start at the top and rank the easiest players into a bunch of tiers, and then I set this pick below them. Then once I was doing the middle of this list, where it was very difficult this year to make choices, I started saying: would I trade that guy for a second, and you know… I don’t have this pick high enough by that criteria alone, and I came to the conclusion that pick values in trades are different to pick values vs your other players. I maintain, once this pick has a name, we will all rank him somewhere in the T25, probably the top half for most of us. And yet that’s not at all the same as saying all players possible taken with a second-rounder will deserve to be ranked this high, or even most, but the chances are good he’ll be better than a lot of the prospects ranked lower. What about a third, though? Historically, even when the third-rounder has a face and name, we don’t rank them, and usually we’re wrong about that. I drew a line at the 4th rounders, though, because I felt like they were simply too unlikely to top all the 25 players I did rank.
Fulemin: I ranked this too low, and I did it knowingly. I wouldn’t have ranked it at all if it weren’t totally insane to have a second-round pick behind like, Kristians Rubins. I recognize the appropriate thing to do is calculate the average value of a second-round pick and slot it in wherever you think its value surpasses that of the player behind and not the player ahead. But the total indeterminacy here makes it feel like I ranked my favourite sandwiches and then at some point I slotted in “the nine dollars a sandwich might cost.” Yes, it’s a legit calculation for my budget, but it’s not what appeals to me about the Top 25.
Who did you have in mind when you ranked this 2nd round pick?
|Nick Robertson (nailed the pick, total steal)
|Eemeli Rasanen (total bust, waste of a pick)
|Carl Grundstrom (NHL player at least but likely depth, not real impact player)