Blended draft rankings list

NHL draft rankings and mock drafts congregate at the intersection between scouts and media. Scouts have the know-how to size up potential in teenage prospects. Media have the objective of relaying this information to hockey fans.

The Hockey News’ Draft Preview has been around for most of the 50 NHL drafts. In DP, we canvass more than a dozen NHL scouts and get a consensus top 100 ranking of prospects for the June draft. The goal is not necessarily to get the projections bang-on – teams obviously have their own lists and preferences – as much as it is putting the prospects in the right ballpark.

Draft Preview generally projects 25 of the 30 first- rounders each year.

But there are other reputable lists and rankings out there. We presume each of those is the average ratings from a panel of scouts. Bob McKenzie from TSN is a leader in the field. There’s also International Scouting Services, McKeen’s and Future Considerations to name a few more.

So what if on the eve of the draft, we took five of these draft rankings, including ourselves, put them in a spreadsheet and provided you, the reader and hockey fan, with a consensus opinion of perhaps 100 scouts on how the first round Friday will unfold? (We didn’t include Central Scouting Services in this exercise because its final list is broken down by nationality and positions.)

In assimilating these expert draft rankings (below), we see that 21 prospects are among the top 30 on all five lists. Another four are on four of the five lists and three more are on three of the five lists.

All five lists have Nail Yakupov ranked No. 1. There is a range of opinions on Sarnia center Alex Galchenyuk, who was injured most of the season. He’s No. 2 on a pair of lists, fifth and seventh on a couple others and 14th on the fifth list. That spits him out at No. 4 overall.

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Among the biggest risers versus where they ranked in Draft Preview are Olli Maatta (up to 15 from 20), Colton Sissons (up to 26 from 40), Scott Laughton (up to 27 from 42) and Malcolm Subban (up to 28 from 48). Dropping out of the first round from Draft Preview are Ludvig Bystrom (we have him at 19) and three others in the late 20s.

Just like each individual list that does its best to canvass the scouting community, the one below is more of the same. But it does stand to reason that the more opinions you get from a larger parade of scouts, the more balanced and accurate the blended draft projections will be.


1 Nail Yakupov, RW   
2 Filip Forsberg, RW   
3 Ryan Murray, D   
4 Alex Galchenyuk, C   
5 Mikhail Grigorenko, C   
6 Griffin Reinhart, D   
7 Matt Dumba, D   
8 Morgan Rielly, D   
9 Jacob Trouba, D   
10 Teuvo Teravainen, LW   
11 Cody Ceci, D   
12 Radek Faksa, C   
13 Hampus Lindholm, D   
14 Sebastian Collberg, RW   
15 Olli Maatta, D   
16 Derrick Pouliot, D   
17 Brendan Gaunce, C   
18 Zemgus Girgensons, C   
19 Matthew Finn, D   
20 Slater Koekkkoek, D   
21 Thomas Wilson, RW   
22 Andrei Vasilevski, G   
23 Tomas Hertl, C   
24 Pontus Aberg, LW   
25 Brady Skjei, D   
26 Colton Sissons, RW   
27 Scott Laughton, C   
28 Malcolm Subban, G   
29 Nicolas Kerdiles, LW
30 Stefan Matteau, LW

Early second-rounders
Ludvig Bystrom, D
Mike Matheson, D
Dalton Thrower, D

Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior editor and a regular contributor to with his column. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.