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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Encore post: Side-by-side comparison- 2009 NHL Draft Guides

We had such a big response from the look back at the various 2008 NHL Draft Guides that we thought we'd fire up the way-back machine one more time and look at the same publications and what they had going in 2009.

Because HockeyProspect.com didn't come out with a draft guide until last year, they are not included in the study. (EDIT- HockeyProspect did publish a draft guide in '09, but we don't have one to peruse) However, Mark Edwards and Co.'s 2011 Draft Guide has hit the streets and it is chock full of content and player profiles. If you want a comprehensive reference for the upcoming draft, then this one is up there with the best.

The B2011DW library is not complete without the Red Line Report Draft Guide, which has more hard information in it than any other publication in our view. Every draft product brings something a little different to the table, but for us, RLR has always been the gold standard. It isn't for everyone, but if you are a hardcore draft junkie who doesn't need a lot of bells & whistles like photos and stats, it's a definitive draft source. Make your choices based on what is important to you and what you can afford- there is so much more in the way of options now than there have ever been.

As for the draft group of two years ago, the 2009 class was considered three-deep in terms of a breakaway group which included John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt Duchene. Thus far, Duchene has enjoyed the most success of the trio, but all three are legit NHL players.

So with that in mind, here is a look at the key draft publications from two years ago and where they ranked the players/what reality looked like at the Bell Centre at the 2009 LNH Repechage.

The actual draft order from 2009

1. John Tavares, NY Islanders
2. Victor Hedman,Tampa Bay
3. Matt Duchene, Colorado
4. Evander Kane, Atlanta
5. BraydenSchenn, Los Angeles
6. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phoenix
7. Nazem Kadri, Toronto
8. Scott Glennie, Dallas
9. Jared Cowen, Ottawa
10. Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson, Edmonton
11. Ryan Ellis, Nashville
12. Calvin de Haan NY Islanders
13. Zack Kassian, Buffalo
14. Dmitri Kulikov, Florida
15. Peter Holland, Anaheim
16. Nick Leddy, Minnesota
17. David Rundblad, St. Louis
18. Louis Leblanc, Montreal
19. Chris Kreider, NY Rangers
20. Jacob Josefson, Devils
21. John Moore, Columbus
22. Jordan Schoeder, Vancouver
23. Tim Erixon, Calgary
24. Marcus Johansson, Washington
25. Jordan Caron, Boston
26. Kyle Palmieri, Anaheim
27. Philippe Paradis, Carolina
28. Dylan Olsen, Chicago
29. Carter Ashton, Tampa Bay
30. Simon Depres, Pittsburgh

The Hockey News Draft Preview
Publication type: Print only (e-version available on Zinio.com)
Release Date Late April (to subscribers); In stores May 9, 2011 (in Canada, may be delated in U.S.- check with store beforehand)
Price $6.99
What you get: 70 pages of articles, prospect capsules, team draft analyses and other features. THN publishes a top-100 each year, but only the top-60 have dedicated profiles. THN interviews and polls NHL scouts who provide input on the player capsules and help with the formation of the overall rankings.

THN 2009 Rankings
1. John Tavares
2. Victor Hedman
3. Matt Duchene
4. Jared Cowen
5.Evander Kane
6. Brayden Schenn
7. Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson
8. Nazem Kadri
9. Jordan Schroeder
10.David Rundblad
11. Dmitri Kulikov
12. Simon Despres
13. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
14. Scott Glennie
15. Jacob Josefson
16. Zack Kassian
17. Ryan Ellis
18. John Moore
19. Peter Holland
20. Carter Ashton
21. Jeremy Morin
22. Calvin de Haan
23. Drew Shore
24. Chris Kreider
25. Nick Leddy
26. Kyle Palmieri
27. Stefan Elliott
28. Landon Ferraro
29. Louis Leblanc
30. JMarcus Johansson

No. of 1st-round picks in rankings: 26
Missed 1st-rounders: Tim Erixon (32), Jordan Caron (33), Dylan Olsen (41), Philippe Paradis (60)

Red Line Report Draft Guide
Publication type: Print
Release Date 1st week in June; usually arrives between 7th-10th of the month
Price: $45
What you get (2009 version): 32 pages of prospect profiles, team needs analyses, 2 mock drafts and an "awards" section, plus two in-depth spotlight articles on two select first-round prospects. Red Line does a complete ranking of 300 players, with the top-110-114 having in-depth scouting reports gleaned from the entire season (and in some cases the previous year and beyond). RLR also releases its preliminary rankings for the next year in the draft guide. There are no photos, stats or anything of the like- it is printed on red paper and you are getting hard information with no frills whatsoever (unless you consider the "Wizard of Oz Tinman Trophy- for those who lack heart" award a frill)
Ordering information: Red Line website

Red Line 2009 Rankings
1. Victor Hedman
2. Matt Duchene
3. John Tavares
4. Brayden Schenn
5. Evander Kane
6. Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson
7. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
8. Jared Cowen
9. Dmitri Kulikov
10.Louis Leblanc
11. Jordan Schroeder
12. David Rundblad
13. Ryan Ellis
14. Charles-Olivier Roussel
15. Jeremy Morin
16. Zack Kassian
17. Nazem Kadri
18.Scott Glennie
19. Nick Leddy
20. Calvin de Haan
21. John Moore
22. Carter Ashton
23. Tim Erixon
24. Peter Holland
25. Eric Gelinas
26. Kyle Palmieri
27. Chris Kreider
28. Dylan Olsen
29. Zach Budish
30. Jordan Caron

No. of 1st-round picks in rankings: 26
Missed 1st rounders: Jacob Josefson (32), Simon Despres (33), Philippe Paradis (40), Marcus Johansson (42)

International Hockey Services
Publication type: Print and electronic
Release Date Late May/early June (site lists May 25 as release date, but allow 1-2 days normally for delivery of electronic product)
Price $50
What you get (2008 version): Mock draft, team depth charts, best/worst of the ISS top-250 (plus top-20 separate goalie rankings), prospect profiles on the top-30, with scouting reports on the additional 31-100 prospects. A look ahead at preliminary rankings for the next two draft classes also contained therein. Like Red Line, there are no photos, though ISS does include season statistics for players profiled.
Information: Website

2008 ISS rankings

1. John Tavares
2. Matt Duchene
3. Victor Hedman
4. Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson
5. Evander Kane
6. Brayden Schenn
7. Jared Cowen
8. Nazem Kadri
9. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
10. Dmitri Kulikov
11. Jacob Josefson
12. Louis Leblanc
13. Ryan Ellis
14. Jordan Schroeder
15. Peter Holland
16. John Moore
17. Landon Ferraro
18. Drew Shore
19. Scott Glennie
20. Zack Kassian
21. Nick Leddy
22. David Rundblad
23. Kyle Palmieri
24. Chris Kreider
25. Jordan Caron
26. Ethan Werek
27. Jeremy Morin
28. Joonas Nattinen
29. Dmitri Orlov
30. Simon Despres
*ISS does not include goalies in rankings, but instead lists them separately.

No. of 1st-round picks in rankings: 24
Missed 1st rounders: Carter Ashton (33), Calvin de Haan (36), Dylan Olsen (39), Tim Erixon (55), Philippe Paradis (88), Marcus Johansson (93)

Future Considerations NHL Entry Draft Guide
Publication type: Electronic only
Release Date: Early June
Price: $20
What you get: Format varies from year to year; FC did profiles of top-100 prospects on their list for 2009 version, plus team depth charts/analyses, mock draft, interviews, awards section and other features.
Information: Website Sample profiles of FC's Top-10 available by following the link.

2009 FC rankings
1. John Tavares
2. Victor Hedman
3. Matt Duchene
4. Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson
5. Evander Kane
6. Brayden Schenn
7. Dmitri Kulikov
8. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
9. Jared Cowen
10. John Moore
11. Jordan Schroeder
12. Zack Kassian
13. Nazem Kadri
14. Ryan Ellis
15. Simon Despres
16. Peter Holland
17. Jacob Josefson
18. Kyle Palmieri
19. Scott Glennie
20. Calvin de Haan
21. Chris Kreider
22. Louis Leblanc
23. Jeremy Morin
24. David Rundblad
25. Dylan Olsen
26. Olivier Roy
27. Jordan Caron
28. Landon Ferraro
29. Stefan Elliott
30. Michael Lee

No. of 1st-round picks in rankings: 25
Missed 1st-rounders: Tim Erixon (31), Carter Ashton (32), Marcus Johansson (39), Nick Leddy (40), Philippe Paradis (44)

McKeen's Hockey Draft Guide
Release Date Not publishing a 2011 draft guide
Price NA

McKeen's 2009 draft guide rankings
1. Victor Hedman
2. John Tavares
3. Matt Duchene
4. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
5. Evander Kane
6. Brayden Schenn
7. Dmitri Kulikov
8. Jared Cowen
9. Nazem Kadri
10. Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson
11. Ryan Eliis
12. John Moore
13. Jordan Schoeder
14. Scott Glennie
15. Louis Leblanc
16. Jacob Josefson
17. Dylan Olsen
18. Zack Kassian
19. Simon Despres
20. Drew Shore
21. Jordan Caron
22. Carter Ashton
23. David Rundblad
24. Nick Leddy
25. Peter Holland
26. Ryan O'Reilly
27. Carl Klingberg
28. Calvin de Haan
29. Kenny Ryan
30. Tim Erixon

No. of 1st-round picks in rankings: 26
Missed 1st-rounders: Chris Kreider (31), Kyle Palmieri (42),Philippe Paradis (48), Marcus Johansson (49)

Summary: The highest rate of correct picks was 26 (Red Line, THN, McKeen's), but most guides are not laid out like a mock draft, but are rather rankings based on where they assess the players. All four draft guides averaged 26 out of 30 prospects ranked correctly as 1st-round picks. While ISS had the fewest number of 1st-round picks correct (24) their top-three played out in the exact order taken.

Conclusion: Draft guides are a great way to familiarize yourself with the prospects in the class, but understand what you are getting before you buy. If visual presentation is important to you, then the RLR guide will be the least appealing of the options. However, if hard information gained over multiple viewings by a network of scouts is what is a priority, then that publication will likely satisfy your interests depending on your budget.

Final thoughts: It's too early to judge the success rate of the 2009 NHL draft class. While all of the publications fared better at projecting who the first-round picks would be that year as compared to 2008, when they averaged 23 correct picks, we have to remember that all they were doing was getting close to the established draft order. We have yet to know who the true impact players are from 2009 and which players taken in subsequent rounds will establish themselves as superior NHL performers over some taken in the first round or ahead of them in other rounds. It happens with every single draft class, no matter how strong or weak. Case in point- 1996, where the two best, most productive defensemen from that year- Zdeno Chara and Tomas Kaberle- were taken in the third and eighth rounds respectively.

Draft guides are an indicator of how the draft will play out, but the real success is known in 5-10 years, when the draft class matures and the true impact is felt when said players are in their primes. For now, however, all we have to go on is where the players were picked in comparison to their rankings on the public lists.

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