Comparing Islanders Top Prospects Rankings

How does it feel to be unanimous #1?

I've been meaning to do something with THN's "Future Watch" issue (coming to a subscriber mailbox...by pony), I've been meaning to tabulate our LHH members' "five most exciting prospects" vote from March, and yesterday Chris Botta posted his version of the top 10 Islanders prospects.

To me that means it's time for a table, a chance to average out a bunch of opinions.

THN's Top 50 overall rankings are from a pool of 18 scouts, but they never explain how much the individual team Top 10s are influenced by that or by the beatwriter (Peter Botte, in the Isles' case). Botta's are from eight non-Islanders scouts. Hockey's Future rankings are from the voices in their head. Our LHH average is from the mix of opinion, observation, reading and straight-up fanboyism of the 28 LHH users who responded to DavidSweden's FanPost.

I'll explain more in the notes below the table, but since THN and Botta only do top 10s, for ranking's sake any player not on their lists gets an automatic 11. Since Hockey's Future goes up to 19, then has a bunch of honorable mentions, anyone not in their top 19 gets a 20. As a result, players who didn't appear on some lists have "averages" that make them look closer to the peers above them than they should. Keep that in mind.

Prospect THN Botta HF* LHH Ave.
Nino Niederreiter 1 1 1 1 1.00
Calvin De Haan 2 3 2 3 2.50
Kevin Poulin 3 2 10 2 4.25
Matt Donovan 7 5 4 7 5.75
Kirill Petrov 11 8 3 8 7.50
Anders Lee 11 11 5 4 7.75
Brock Nelson 10 6 6 9 7.75
Rhett Rakhshani 5 10 7 10 8.00
Casey Cizikas 11 7 8 6 8.00
Kirill Kabanov 11 4 13 5 8.25
David Ullstrom 4 11 14 11 10.00
Mikko Koskinen 8 9 12 11 10.00
Mark Katic 6 11 20 11 12.00
Aaron Ness 9 11 20 11 12.75

Notes

  • THN's came out in February, HF's came out ... sometime this spring, Botta's was posted last night, and LHH users logged their votes in late March. Keep that in mind. Kabanov's stock has since risen thanks to his playoffs.
  • *Players who have seen regular NHL time like Travis Hamonic and Ty Wishart are excluded, which mean's I artificially altered HF rankings (Hamonic is #2, so those below him jump up a notch, etc.)
  • For our LHH ranking, I just took the top 10 vote recipients and ranked them according to how many 1-5 votes they received, weighting #1 votes as 5 points and #5 votes as 1 point, etc. And technically, the LHH poll wasn't your "best five" but rather the five you're most excited about...
  • ...which, to me, is wonderfully ambiguous -- and fitting the ambiguity of the whole prospect ranking game. I don't trust any single ranking, so a wisdom of crowds scan of multiple separate wisdom of crowds is interesting to me.

Observations

Well, I see we have a consensus #1, eh? It will be interesting this fall, if the Isles keep their #5 pick, where he'll slot in by training camp.

Defense: No surprise that de Haan is the highest among defensemen, what with his billing. But Donovan excites people, and after that...it's all forwards. Katic is on a couple of lists, but he's not on mine.

Goalies: Despite his knee injury, people have high expectations of Poulin. Far less so for Koskinen, who would not be on my top 10 list.

Forwards: Beyond Nino, there's growing love for the Natural Born Kirills, collegians Lee and Nelson, and Mississauga captain Cizikas, who's still playing in the OHL playoffs. Rakhshani's somewhat low ranking despite his fine AHL season is probably a reflection of his size and age.

*  *  *

Overall, I'd say this averaging approach is a pretty fair representation. The Isles have a few hopefully top players at the top, plus a pool of guys who might hit big but at minimum should produce some very solid NHL players.

Is your list different from what it was in March? Do you have major differences with these rankings?

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