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Matthews, Marner, Nylander make BleacherReport's Top 50 NHL prospects

But should they have been higher?

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Willis, of Bleacher Report (as well as the Edmonton Journal) created a list of the Top 50 NHL prospects (slideshow warning). As is always the case with these sorts of list, the final result depends on your definition of prospect. For this exercise, the defining factor was Calder Trophy eligibility. Specifically, that means a player must meet the following criteria:

  • Be born after September 15, 1990
  • Has not played more than 25 games in any NHL season
  • Has not played more than six games in any two NHL seasons
The Leafs have a highly reputed prospect pool, and it's no surprise to see their three best prospects ranked. William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews were ranked 11th, 5th, and 1st respectively. While it's not particularly surprising to see Matthews at #1 (given the selection criteria), I think Marner and especially Nylander are a little underrated by this list. Then again, I'm also a shameless Leafs homer.

The entire top 10 is below:
1. Auston Matthews (TOR)
2. Patrik Laine (WPG)
3. Dylan Strome (ARI)\
4. Kyle Connor (WPG)
5. Mitch Marner (TOR)
6. Pierre-Luc Dubois (CBJ)
7. Ivan Provorov (PHI)
8. Jesse Puljujarvi (EDM)
9. Olli Juolevi (VAN)
10. Matthew Tkachuk (CGY)

I think there's an argument to put Marner at 3, and I'm also unconvinced by Dubois, Juolevi, and Tkachuk being above Nylander. But of course, there's always room for disagreement with lists like this. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!