Saturday, November 17, 2018

Early look at scoring vs. scouting in the first semester of the 2019 draft class

The early draft rankings are coming through now, and draft boards are coming into view - especially the names who will go in the first round, the names that will go in the first ten. 

As such, it should make for a fun exercise to see where the lowest-ranked highest-scorers and highest-ranked lowest-scorers are, to provide a snapshot to (casually) follow the relationship between scoring data and draft ranking throughout the year.

First, lets' get an idea of what this scoring-based ranking would have looked like last year, for players whose game-logs I could get a hold of.and have played enough for clear even the low bar we're using for samples.

That's CHL, KHL, MHL, SM-Liiga, SHL guys - no Junior Europeans, Junior A, NCAA, USNTP or USHL guys (which kills a lot of this, but we'll get them next time).

It'll be interesting to observe a few things here:

  • Are the players close at all to their end-of-year rates, on average?
  • Do guys with larger discrepancies' draft rankings change before or after their scoring picks up? As in, do scouts identify guys who will likely score more later in the year, or do they adjust their boards after?
  • Which leagues are the most volatile? Is it ones with sample size differences due to schedule, or men's leagues because overall scoring is lower so each point changes the rate dramatically?
  • Do European forwards generally receive an uptick in scoring later in the year due to earning the coach's trust for more 5-on-5 and powerplay time?

Easiest guess is that players who play in European leagues will have established close to their p/gp,  with CHL players on and off as a generality. Possible muddying factors for those CHL players could be players pre-trade, and subsequent heater, like Joe Veleno. Injured.

Draft Selection - Player - November 16th P/PG / / Final P/PG (Difference) midterm to final ranking change

#1 -Rasmus Dahlin - 0.44 / / 0.49 (+0.05)

(#1 to #1 EU)

Dahlin was the consensus #1 by his D-1 U20 WJC where most North-Americans first saw him and stayed that way. Very stable point production mirrors that.

#2 - Andre Svechnikov - 1.40 / / 1.64 (+0.24)

(#1 to #1 NA)

Svech went from a race between him and Zadina, to being a standalone #2, to competing (within the draft discourse) for #1, and his second-half contributed to that.

#3 - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - 0.39 / / 0.51 (+0.12)

(#9 to #6 EU)

Kotkaniemi was the draft's most famous riser, and his uptick in SM-Liiga towards a Laine/Puljujarvi point pace, along with a strong U18 tournament finish was responsible for that.

#5 - Barrett Hayton - 0.85 / / 0.95 (+0.07)

(#6 to #9 NA)

The second most famous riser (perhaps because of his controversial rankings where some had him top-5 and others 15-30) was an interview riser and a VOD review riser - by that I mean he looks better on second watches due to his hockey IQ, as opposed to the first watch where he doesn't draw your attention with puck skill or shooting.

#6 - Filip Zadina - 1.38 / / 1.44 (+0.06)

(#2 to #3 NA)

Zadina was the combine and interview faller, which blesses some team outside the top-5 every year.

#9 - Vitaly Kravstov -  0.31 / / 0.18 (-0.13)

(#10 to #3 EU)

This is misleading because I didn't include playoffs, where Kravstov got to see some ice and scored a bunch of powerplay goals, leading to the best U18 KHL playoff run in recent (?) history.

#10 - Evan Bouchard -   1.10 / / 1.30 

(#5 to #4 NA)

Bouchard began rising when London sold off their players and he started to pathologically dismantle cowering OHL team's penalty kills and become the spooky puck-mover we now know.

#12 - Noah Dobson -  0.82 / / 1.03  

(#8 to #5 NA)

Dobson had both a sustainable rise in the late-season and a Memorial Cup run, in another year he would have gotten into the top-10, just as he was on plenty of rankings.

#13 - Ty Dellandrea -  0.70 / / 0.88

(#76 to #25 NA)

Dellandrea was the hipster pick where scouts probably were saying something like "I had him as a first-rounder in November) He was also just a guy everyone wants to succeed. Flint was and is awful, and I will observe him as an extreme case in quality-of-team and its effects on prospect scoring.

#15 - Grigori Denisenko - 0.56  / / 0.71 

(#4 to #7 EU)

Denisenko is and was the skill eye-test pick version of Hayton, I'd call him a VOD riser but he was already in this range. The MHL is strange, no other league gets players drafted more independently of their scoring rates.

#17 - Ty Smith - 1.00 / / 1.06

(#14 to #14 NA)

Ty Smith was only good because of Anderson-Dolan who was only good because of Kailer Yamamoto. Or something. He's a should-have rose that also shouldn't have had to rise.

#18 - Liam Foudy - 0.17 / / 0.62

(#91 to #19 NA)

This is the ultimate riser. Family, combine, rate rise, interview. Which is what it takes to get drafted at #18 with 0.62 P/GP in the OHL who is not even a late-birthday. London wasn't even truly bad either.

#20 - Rasmus Kupari - 0.28 / / 0.36

(#6 to #11 EU)

Fairly stable scoring rate, as we'll see for a lot of the men's league guys who have already played 20 games by this point. A rare faller with an inverse scoring rate, who appears to just be the victim of being a non-riser surrounded by risers.

#21 - Ryan Merkley - 1.30 / / 1.06

(#21 to #45 NA)

Merkley fell in the draft for reasons other than his scoring, but it is interesting to see the amount of in-season heaters the scoring defensemen have. Something to remember.

#23 - Isac Lundestrom - 0.39 / / 0.36

(#3 to #8 EU)

Another stable guy in the men's league, Lundestrom's offense was underrated the entire draft year. Fell past Kaut, Kotkaniemi, Kravstov, and Ginning (???) rises.

#27 - Nicolas Beaudin - 1.00 / / 1.01

(#36 to #31 NA)

Very stable in both counts. Slight scouting rise could be due to the slanting of the draft towards his player-identity. 

#29 - Rasmus Sandin - 1.00 / / 0.88

(#15 to #11 NA)

Sandin didn't come over to the Soo at first so his sample size is smaller than other CHLers. VOD (he's a clean in execution, cerebral player), Mem. Cup, draft-slant rise.

#30 - Joe Veleno - 0.95 / / 1.33

(#13 to #8 NA)

The most mysterious faller. We can speculate between his apparent lack of dynamic skill, perhaps bad interview, combine, maybe he's a bad-looking second-watch player. Either way, this is the only player who not only drastically increases their scoring rate, but also rose in rankings, yet fell - hard.

#31 - Alexander Alexeyev - 0.76 / / 0.82

(#26 to #22)

Slight scoring rise, slight ranking rise, went right around his rank - there's typically 5-8 EU players in the first round so if you're mid-20s NA you're going right at the end of the first, or early 2nd. He's also a guy that missed some time early, played 14 of 22 Rebels games by this time last year.

This isn't a study, no strong conclusions can be made from this one-year look, and if I write scripts to grab this stuff easily I'd have a since-2010 mega-list and we could pull actual statistical trends.

The upside, however, is that these names are fresh in our minds (I think) and we remember the atmosphere of the draft day and the chatter before and after the picks.

We can see that you can kill discussion between yourself and someone else, as a prospect, by throwing up a 0.20 P/PG increase over the competition like Zadina did, or Evan Bouchard. We can also see that usually, rate-increases will result in ranking increases of varying levels, but it can be thrown out on draft day.

Also, some guys completely off the scoring-rate radar can sneak all the way up to the top 15.

As for prospects who are ranked highly respite their scoring rates, like Hayton, they can stay there in the area even if they get passed and don't meaningfully increase their scoring above the competition.

NHLe versus the Dobber Consolidation

The ranking we're going to use is the consolidation done by here.

Four lists from Oct 22 to November 5th are included, sources are Future Considerations; Craig Button; Cam Robinson; Steve Kournianos. They range from top 62 to top 109 in quantity, we'll be cutting it off after 29.

The metrics are point-per-game adjusted through Emannuel Perry's factors, which are the same concept as NHLe's past but use intra-season data instead of inter-season data, and the relationship between leagues below the NHL in order to get factors for leagues where no player goes straight from to the NHL. In general, it's strong on players playing in  European men's leagues, doesn't like USHL and NCAA players (I think this may be because most USHLers will go straight into the NCAA and get freshman minutes, artificially delaying their scoring-arc, and because the database he used has no separate conferences of the NCAA). I'm also strong on men's league Europeans, but I think the USHL/NCAA thing is a fault in the database, because different conferences in the NCAA have vastly different NHLe's - like in Vollman's, where the NCHC is just as hard to score in as the SM-Liiga.

So, you get a situation where a player scores a ton in the USHL, goes to a tough-conference NCAA team and scores little because of the strength of the league and the lack of EV/PP minutes freshmen get, and all of the sudden it looks like his USHL scoring didn't matter at all.

I don't pretend to know the ground-truth, but that's my theory on why his 0.09 NHLe (compared to the OHL's 0.17) is so harsh on USHL players.

(The same applies to some U20-playing European players who don't have the trust of their SHL/SM-Liiga coach when they're elevated)

To balance it out, I list a second NHLe, a per 82 number using Vollman's factors. For USHLers, I use the QMJHL's factor arbitrarily. I use Perry's factors through a per-82 for 2nd tier EU leagues.


#1 - Jack Hughes - 0.15 Adj. P.GP / / 30.60 NHLe

As mentioned previously, Emmanuel Perry's adjustment doesn't like USDP/USHL players as much as I like them. Strange to say about a centre without size at #1, but Hughes has a significant eye-test factor because he's in the Nathan MacKinnon range in terms of skating - whatever's just below Connor McDavid. He's spectacular in a translatable way, and so I think Kakko would have to approach Barkov's scoring rate in Finland and the team drafting first would have to be thinking of Kakko as a centre or Hughes as a winger for there to be a switch here. It should be noted, though, that because Hughes is staying in the league he is, he'll have to start scoring more in order to take a real step forward from last year. This is even noted by scouts. He will legitimately have to separate himself in a meaningful way from Kakko in order for the debate not to heat up.

#2 - Kappo Kakko - 0.29 Adj. P/GP / / 20.74 NHLe

This is the opposite case to Hughes for our metrics. 0.29 is a tad higher than Petterson's 2017, as a comparison. Monster prospect, and with his frame and ability he is going to arrive next fall. At this point it appears he's going to lead the field in the adjusted points unless Hughes blows up above-curve. Kakko's in the Laine-Puljujarvi-Kotkaniemi range below Barkov and could end up being the best player between the three of them. In terms of his junior scoring at each age-season from 14 up, he follows Puljujarvi's path most closely, and should emerge earlier because of an enthusiastic organisation and coaching staff wanting their #2 draft pick to succeed.

#3 - Vasili Podkolzin - 0.12 Adj. P/GP / / 9.76 NHLe

Here's where rankings begin to wander away from scoring rate implications - this is a pure tournament pick in my view. There's a beginning of a trend now with the MHL, where purportedly, strange things happen with ice-time and deployment, plus team-strength. That's not an out-there claim, considering in the KHL rookies will get anywhere from three shifts, to seven minutes of ice-time a game. According to the league website, the player's getting around 15 a night though. Nevertheless, forwards drafted out of the MHL lately are plucked indiscriminately from their scoring, there are five U18 MHL forwards with higher points-per-game than Vasili, but he scored a billion goals at the Hlinka. He's described as a dually physical and cerebral player, which I can appreciate.

#4 - Dylan Cozens - 0.20 Adj. P/GP / / 31.4 NHLe

A very stable candidate. This is a player with size, skating, and an "I've arrived" D-1 season of hanging around the neighbourhood of point-per-game in the CHL. This is a guy who's unlikely to move around too much, and is pretty reasonably ranked compared to his scoring. If skating can get Liam Foudy and Alex Formenton drafted very early, Dylan Cozens should surely keep him ranked very favourably considering he scores well. This 0.20 range has served as a good cutoff for  me in looking back through other drafts, it's the home of Kotkaniemi, Zadina*, Bouchard, Lundestrom, Hischier*, Glass, Necas and Vilardi from the past two drafts. It's a marker that says they'll likely arrive very early to the NHL and be pushing hard in their 1st and 2nd NHL camps.

*Nico and Filip were in their first year of North-American hockey, which has a temporary, material depressing effect on scoring rates near-universally among prospects that rebounds with more experience - meaning they're stronger scorers than their first year shows.

#5 - Kirby Dach - 0.24 Adj. P/GP / / 39.14 NHLe

If the draft took place right now, Dach should the first taken after Hughes and Kakko, and thought about for a time by both teams selecting before #3 as well. These are completely obscene numbers and are put up by a 6'4" centreman. It's splitting hairs between him and the prospect Leon Draisaitl was, except Dach's a better skater per reports. 17 5v5 primary points in 22 games according to prospect-stats, which is pushing towards Andre Svechnikov territory. If he truly goes outside the top-5 like some lists have him, he'll be the first to step from that range straight into a full NHL season, I think, depending on team strength.

#6 - Bowen Byram - 0.11 Adj. P/GP / / 18.45 NHLe

This appears to be a prospect from the Noah Dobson range, which makes it surprising to see him up high in a draft with an extra row of elite-ish forwards in it. He's got all of the assets that scouts lean into when it comes to defensemen - mean-streak, skating, leadership - but he'd need to seriously increase his scoring rate to give the impression that he's going to be a strong powerplay option and producer in the NHL. Definitely another large divergence from where the data stands today, and I doubt if he and every other player continues on-pace it'll hurt him by draft day because his a player-identity that goes high every year.

#7 - Alex Turcotte - N/A / / N/A

Turcotte's been injured, but he's another guy up high from this famed 2001 USNTDP class. In terms of projecting him based on his D-1 scoring last year, he seems to be in the Joel Farabee range. He's a centre though. Also mirrors Farabee with his two-way reputation.

#8 - Trevor Zegras - 0.13 Adj. P/GP / / 50.51 NHLe

The third from the USNTDP dream-team, who will either deliver on their promise, or be taken too high because of the affects of both driving each-others qual-team (with Hughes at the helm) and the fact that they're all in the program during their draft year, compared to other high-end guys who left for the NCAA due to age. On the surface, it looks like there's an Eichel-level guy and then 4-5 more Clayton Keller level scorers in this draft all from the same program. It'll become the stuff of legends any way the draft ends up going, good or bad.

#9 - Matthew Boldy - 0.09 Adj. P/GP / / 36.9 NHLe

The stuff of legends. At any rate, this is another USHL-NHLe problem case and it'll be very interesting to follow, but there's not much more to be said about it just yet. A lot of these guys are interchangeable, though, and seeing where they all get drafted if they all continue to score parallel to each other should be revealing in terms of scouting practices and how they deal with with-you, without-you problems.

#10 - Peyton Krebs - 0.19 Adj. P/GP / / 32.87

Peyton's listed at LW or C depending on where you're at, my understanding is he's playing centre for his team at the moment. Remember the company of the 0.20 line, Peyton is the reliably significant scoring prospect ranked below a few who aren't. His frame (5'11") is one where, when you see scouts have him ranked high, you can follow with an assumption of strong skating, sense, and two-way play.

#11 - Ryan Suzuki - 0.24 Adj. P/GP / / 37.55

As you can see, Suzuki is underrated here and his #11 spot here is actually just the result of sitting a few rankings in the #5 area he deserves according to the data, and others in the #15 range where he's a stronger scorer than all but a few ranked above him. The fine print? He's got a sky-high secondary assist rate that takes a 0.72/GP chunk out if you exclude it. Which should be done with caution, given the existence of one Mr. Mathew Barzal. Still something to keep an eye on.

#12 - RaphaĆ«l Lavoie - 0.15 Adj. P/GP / / 25.20 NHLe

Lavoie is a prospect of goal-scoring fame, and brings just that at an equal level on-paper to anyone but one standout in the class. He scores goals like Dach, Kappo and is 6'4", but is also the oldest prospect named so far, by a lot. He's just at the cutoff area, September 25th, and his 30-goal season last year would be a better comparison for a lot of the younger goalscorers in the class. A bright spot, though, is that he's not on any kind of heater but just a very reasonable (for a junior star) 14.29% shooter

#13 Philip Broberg - 0.08 Adj. P/GP / / 6.75 NHLe

This is another skating pick. By any commentator I can find he's truly exceptional on his feet and that'll get you gone early. Scoring wise, his draft-minus-one year was a dead-ringer for Robert Hagg's, down to the decimals, well below offensively-gifted players in their 16-17 year-old season like Boqvist and Brannstrom. This makes it difficult, because if he can skate circles around everyone, with requisite hockey sense he should be scoring more, because right now he's in the range of guys who need a few years in the AHL and then third-pairing work to see what you have. I'm all about skating defencemen, but they have to know where they're going.

#14 - Alex Newhook - 0.10 Adj. P/GP / / N/A NHLe

Here it is, the pick that's going to set Twitter on fire. The BCHL is extremely sketchy to draft from, and it has NHL scouting departments in some cities thoroughly in love with it. In June 2016, Tyson Jost, Dante Fabbro and Dennis Cholowski all left their seats very early and only one has truly arrived so far in the NHL as players like Chychrun, DeBrincat, Girard, McAvoy and Mete leapfrog them in NHL so far. There's miles more of story to tell on everyone from the 2016 draft, but what we do know is that the scoring rates have something to say in terms of arrival time when it comes to Jr. A.

(Author's note: I realise earlier that I didn't mention this when talking about the point adjustment, but my argument for the USHL players applies also to the AJHL/BCHL players - they go to the NCAA and have depressed scoring rates for a couple of years unless they're an exceptional prospect, which pulls down the average.)

#15 - Cole Caufield - 0.10 Adj. P/GP / / 34.44 NHLe

Cole's going to be a very interesting selection. He may be the best goal-scorer in the class, his 23 goals in 32 games in the USHL games of the U18 team last year stands as good as anybody since Thomas Vanek's 2000-2001 USHL year. In terms of other development program guys, there's Matthews at 20 in 24 and then Caufield, but Caufield did his 4 months younger. He's got 7 goals in 5 games now in 2018-19, and with the strength of this team and his pure scoring talent it's going to be an all time number in the 'by-far' category, in terms of U18 USHLers.

#16 -  Cam York - 0.07 Adj. P/GP / / 19.09 NHLe

York's the best defenseman on the dream-team. He's in the Adam Fox area, which is a rich neighbourhood in a world where Fox has 12 points in his first 5 games to start his junior year at Harvard. Decent trade throw-in, no big deal in my opinion. Really though, it's a worry when you're looking at a guy who's on the powerplay with playmakers and shooters of this calibre. There were point-per-game defencemen for miles and miles last draft, not so this year, but on data this is still too high.

#17 - Arthur Kaliyev - 0.20 Adj. P/GP / / 37.49 NHLe

Kaliyev is a potent goal-scorer whose unbalanced game spooks scouts a bit. He's tied for the lead in adjusted goals per game, but has been described as an Owen Tippett type archetype whose fall is in advance of that comparable. Teams love goal-scoring talent, but even Oliver Wahlstrom left the top-10. And interesting follow, considering his on-paper playmaking is as strong or stronger than many ranked ahead and contrasts against his labeling.

#18 - Victor Soderstrom - 0.07 Adj. P/GP / / 5.16 NHLe

Vic has 1 pt in 9 SHL games, and 8 in 14 SuperElit games. You'd want him to be around 2-3 points per 9 games in the men's league and closer to point-per-game in the SuperElit to warrant being picked here or above - 12 or 13th, where he's sometimes ranked, against the backdrop of recently selected SuperElit guys like Boqvist and Brannstrom. It's tough, though, because if he's right in the Klefbom range. It's a scouting pick to be sure, but one that I don't hate. It's still hard to separate him from a guy like Albert Johansson in the exact same class.

#19 - Matthew Robertson - 0.11 Adj. P/GP / / 14.86 NHLe

The difference between this year's draft and last is the amount of high-scoring defencemen and centres. This draft has centres, 2018 had defencemen. Scouts like Robertson, and if teams do too I could see him going even higher than this because of the scarcity, but the math doesn't back it up. Staying on this pace, he'll be outside of the top-10 defencemen in adjusted scoring. Strange in a draft with a player like Thomas Harley who scores more as an August birthday, and is a smooth-skating 6'3" defender.

#20 - Anttoni Honka - 0.12 Adj. P/GP / / 9.40 NHLe

This is a strange happening. Honka the younger had a scoring rate almost twice as good as it is now, last year, and has a lower aTOI. He's a player with requisite offensive history as a Dman in the Jr. A SM-Liiga with 17pts in 29 games there last year, and with the 9pts in 20 games in the Liiga on top of that he was the most productive defenseman by far coming in. It's got to be a powerplay thing, but I haven't found out for sure. Either way, he beats out Dmen ranked ahead of him terms in production.

#21 - John Beecher - 0.05 Adj. P/GP - 22.96 NHLe

A depth player on the dream-team, where I suspect that either some teams will find some gems that get less attention and ice-time than they deserve, or that they'll be overrated because of team-strength and the fame of the crop. Remember with these USHL guys that they haven't played very many games in the league, more going to the UDNTP exhibition-type games that I'm not sure how I feel about including yet.

#22 - Jakob Pelletier - 0.20 Adj. P/GP - 34.44 NHLe

Literally Vitaly Abramov. Seriously, look it up. Creative small forward running a point and a half per game average over the QMJHL. Vitaly also went in the third round, so it's interesting how Pelletier is all the way up here despite Abramov not making his mark on the NHL or any other outcome that screams not to make the mistake of not drafting a guy like that again.

#23 - Tobias Bjornfot - 0.04 Adj. P/GP - N/A NHLe

A player whose production has taken a step back since last year, in a junior league. Quite curious seeing him this high when he doesn't play in the SHL, either. Scouting report says the usual about being a complete defender with skating.

#24 - Simon Holmstrom - 0.08 Adj. P/GP - N/A NHLe

This is a player I like. Forwards in the SuperElit who post around a point-per-game in their D-1. The next step is to go towards 1.30+ points-per-game  in their draft year, currently Simon is at 7 in 6. I'd still believe in him even if he stagnates, because I've been burned by Samuel Fagemo recently, but not at this draft slot.

#25 - Nolan Foote - 0.14 Adj. P/GP - 20.91 NHLe

Name and frame pick who's a bit below the production you'd want to see for a November birthday (and 3rd WHL season) here, but it could be context-related - bottom line is he's only scoring  0.05 points-per-game higher than his last year. An easy 25-40 pick, where he goes will depend on how much teams like him. I could also see a good combine in his future getting him into the top-20, but the math doesn't support it.

#26 - Mikko Kokkonen - 0.20 Adj. P/GP - 14.85 NHLe

This is the largest discrepancy in scoring and ranking there is in this draft, with Bobby Brink. He's a defenseman whose adjusted points-per-game is in the near elite-forward cluster with Cozens. He was the only U16 defenseman playing in the U20 league in 2016-17, and had a scoring rate that would be draft-worthy if he was 18. Next year he split time in the men's league, this year he had 8 pts in 16 games, when I first noticed him, before going pointless in the last three. Could be a heater, but even if it was it's a rare heater we don't see U18 Dman going on. Comparables for his 0.42 rate are Ristolainen's 0.29; Heiskanen's 0.27. If he continues at this pace, he should fire up the rankings on merit.

#27 - Albin Grewe - 0.11 Adj. P/GP - N/A NHLe

Another high-octane, Berggren-type guy in the SuperElit. No problem at all with taking him here, as we're seeing what guys like Jesper Boqvist and Niklas Nordgren, who torch the junior leagues all the way up are doing. I think he's up here because of Kournianous or Button ranking him real high, because he's also absent from some lists and much later on others.

#28 - Nils Hoglander - 0.11 Adj. P/GP - N/A NHLe

Nils' strongest statistic is the fact that he was playing in the HockeyAllsvenskan at 16 as a 5'9" forward. His offense in the SHL isn't good, but again we can go back to his draft-minus-one year and see he was at a point-per-game in the SuperElit. No problem with this pick.

#29 - Alex Vlasic - 0.04 Adj. P/GP - 11.48 NHLe

Being a 6'5" defenseman who skates well will get you a job in today's NHL. The scoring, however, is a concern and if he's not putting the puck in the net that much on the stacked USNTDP team, it's either him getting no powerplay time, or he's Adam Ginning. Which is fine, but not at #29.

Until next time

We'll come back later - there's a ton of players to keep an eye on. Broberg, Byram and Newhook should stay no matter how the scoring shakes out, but it'll be interesting to see if Kokkonen's offense continuing doesn't make him the #1 defenceman prospect in the class. Dach is separating from Cozens, but the league loves skating. The goalscorers Caufield, Kaliyev and Lavoie all have the chance to be one of the most valuable in the crop with their rare abilities, but two of them will likely not make it as 25 goal-scorers in the NHL. Ryan Suzuki is a top-5 pick on scoring, will he move up lists or will his secondary assists collapse and the scouts are proven right?

Number one thing to watch for? Whether or not this USNTDP actually scores at a high enough level to warrant taking up half of the top-20. 

Number two? Podkolzin. Like I mentioned, teams wave away MHL scoring - we'll see if the team wielding #3 overall will, and whether all the scouts will be converted and agree with that decision at the time.