By now our Top 25 under 25 is in full swing, so it might be interesting to get some insight into how we picked the players at each ranking. It's pretty simple: Everyone on staff was given the opportunity to list their top 25 under 25. First, we're going to look at Lone Wolves: the staffmembers that were farthest and closest, on average. Only the difference in rating from the final 25 selected were counted, and if they writer left them off their list of 25 they were considered to be listed at 30. Here's how far they were from the average ranking of each player:
|Writer||Diff vs average ranking|
It shouldn't be surprising to see Sean, who wrote our weekly prospects report all last season, right up there up at the top. If nothing else, he's had a hand in how the rest of us value players. At the bottom, by a lot, is lone wolf Servo. This actually isn't surprising, either, for reasons we'll go into soon. But average ranking is going to penalize everyone when 4 of the players had an average ranking between 20 and 21. So, we should also take a look at how far off the final ranking is. Here's that table:
|Writer||Diff vs top 25 final ranking|
K and M swapped around Dan, who held strong. Nolan and myself also swapped, albeit down near the end of the list. Sean reigns supreme, Sarah right behind, and Servo continues his Lone Corgi status.
Here are the staff on how they came upon their rankings:
My ranking was rooted in my opinion of player's NHL readiness with priority given to those who've shown they belong at the highest level. From there, it was a combination of potential and time table of development to round things out. Of course, having followed many of these guys' for the previous season, I had somewhat of an opinion formed before ranking them.
My method was to look at last year's rankings, check out how they did this year, and reshuffle as necessary.
I did a few different things. I looked at last year's rankings, checked places like Hockey's Future and some prospect sites, and then just made educated guesses. My rankings were a mash-up of guys who have the highest talent ceiling and guys who are closest to regular NHL action, hence Dougie Hamilton at the top and Jordan Caron in my top 10. Do I think Caron will have a better NHL career than, say, Ryan Spooner? No, probably not. But I think Caron is more prepared to make an impact in the NHL (though that could say more about the organization's willingness to play Spooner than anything else). It's a bit of a crap shoot, but I did the best I could to make educated guesses.
- 25-20: NHLers in danger of losing ground to younger guys, NCAA guys who have low potential but high ceilings, or guys I honestly didn't know much about, but didn't here any excitement over. (Caron, Gryz, Cehlarik)
- 20-10: AHLers who still need to prove themselves, or are really good and up-and-coming but not quite there yet. (Griffith, Knight, Pastrnak)
- 10-1: Who's most NHL ready, has the highest potential, or showed the most growth in the last year. (Dougie, Spoons, Koko, Smith)
I didn't know too much detail on the non-Providence prospects, just gathered based on Sean's prospect reports and stat sheets, rankings, etc.
I'll confess my methodology is very swayed by who is hot in press coverage thanks to doing all the Fresh Links compilation. I don't do independent analysis, you see. Well, that and I favor the players I actually saw either on YouTube or media videos. Then there are the ones I like for odd personal reasons.
I mean, there was no precise method on my end. I just kind of evaluated with the Cardwell eye test, judged where they played (team/league), looked at both their Steve Simmons (non-fancy) stats and fancy stats, and tried to think of a comparable player. It's far from a perfect system and it's not very accurate given that I still have a lot to learn about the game and player development, but it's the best I can bring to the table, really.
I sort of threw it together based on what I had heard and what I remembered, which is why some of my profiles included comments about poor grading from me. Basically a case study in why the eye test is so poor at evaluation.
And last but not least, our lone wolf Corgi, the one who most disagreed with the mob mentality:
I ordered mine by NHLe and weighted for age based on average NHL rookie age distribution - which really only impacts the 23-24 year olds - and tried not to editorialize a whole lot. Defensemen and goalies admittedly got sprinkled in somewhat subjectively as I didn't really feel like going the extra mile to assess a positionally relative rank.
With a paucity of information at hand, beats nuthin.
And, lastly, the big board. Everyone's votes on every prospect, all in one place:
|Rank||Player||Change from 2013||M. Leonard||Cornelius||Nolan||Dan||Giesse||Sean||sarah||Kristian||Servo|
What's the most embarrassing vote in the bunch? How would you have done it differently?