October 26 2012 04:08PM
When we last checked in on the 2013 NHL Draft rankings, it was all about Nathan MacKinnon. The October rankings...haven't changed at all. He's still the number one player on the list and it's not close. Copper & Blue writer Alan Hull got to view MacKinnon in person in early October and though he thought MacKinnon had an off game, he did see the skill:
"He certainly showed that he does have high-level skills, though I didn't see anything on this night that I would classify as elite. Among his biggest assets, he has the ability to be strong on the puck and hold off defenders with his strength and he has some explosive speed when he wanted to show it, which unfortunately was not often enough on this night."
Hull's biggest criticism? A lack of attention to defense. Something that is nearly universal in young scoring centers:
As a centre, he needed to be down below the face-off dot much more often engaging in the team's defensive zone coverage. Instead, I found him to be staying too high, and at the first appearance of an opportunity for the Mooseheads to gain possession, he was gone...out towards the blue line and frequently beyond it hoping to lead the rush.
MacKinnon is one of three Mooseheads in the top 24 in this month's Consensus Rankings. The sources for the consensus list are Bob McKenzie, Future Considerations, ISS, Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, and The Scouting Report.
|1||F||Nathan MacKinnon||9/1/1995||5'11||180||R||Halifax Mooseheads||0|
|2||D||Seth Jones||11/3/1994||6'3||205||R||Portland Winterhawks||0|
|4||F||Sean Monahan||10/12/1994||6'2||180||R||Ottawa 67s||-1|
|6||D||Rasmus Ristolainen||10/27/1994||6'3||210||R||TPS Turku||1|
|7||D||Ryan Pulock||10/6/1994||6||195||R||Brandon Wheat Kings||4|
|8||F||Hunter Shinkaruk||11/13/1994||5'10||170||L||Medicine Hat Tigers||-2|
|9||F||Jonathan Drouin||3/27/1995||5'11||180||L||Halifax Mooseheads||3|
|10||F||Curtis Lazar||2/2/1995||6||190||R||Edmonton Oil Kings||0|
|13||F||Adam Erne||4/20/1995||6||200||L||Quebec Remparts||0|
|14||D||Josh Morrissey||3/28/1995||6||185||L||Prince Albert Raiders||3|
|15||D||Nikita Zadorov||4/16/1995||6'4||205||L||London Knights||1|
|16||F||Kerby Rychel||10/7/1994||6'1||185||L||Windsor Spitfires||-2|
|19||D||Darnell Nurse||2/4/1995||6'4||185||L||Soo Greyhounds||6|
|20||F||Jacob De la Rose||5/20/1995||6'2||185||F||Leksand||-2|
|21||F||Ryan Kujawinski||3/30/1995||6'2||180||L||Kingston Frontenacs||3|
|22||F||Anthony Duclair||7/26/1995||6||160||L||Quebec Remparts||-3|
|23||F||Ryan Hartman||9/20/1994||5'11||185||R||Plymouth Whalers||3|
|24||G||Zach Fucale||5/28/1995||6||170||L||Halifax Mooseheads||-2|
|25||F||Max Domi||3/2/1995||5'9||185||L||London Knights||-2|
|26||F||Artturi Lehkonen||7/4/1995||5'10||163||L||TPS Turku||4|
|27||F||Bo Horvat||4/5/1995||6||195||L||London Knights||7|
|29||F||Pavel Buchnevich||4/17/1995||6||165||l||Almaz Cherepovets||0|
|30||D||Ian McCoshen||8/5/1995||6'3||205||L||Waterloo Blackhawks||-2|
|31||F||William Carrier||12/20/1994||6||195||L||Cape Breton||-4|
|32||D||Madison Bowey||4/22/1995||6'1||195||R||Kelowna Rockets||-1|
|33||D||Eric Roy||10/24/1994||6'3||190||L||Brandon Wheat Kings||4|
|34||F||Frederik Gauthier||4/26/1995||6'1||210||L||Rimouski Oceanic||N/A|
|36||F||Jason Dickinson||7/4/1995||6'2||179||L||Guelph Storm||N/A|
|37||F||Stephen Harper||3/25/1995||6'2||202||L||Erie Otters||N/A|
|39||D||Mike Downing||5/19/1995||6'3||190||L||Dubuque Fighting Saints||N/A|
|40||D||Jan Kostalek||2/17/1995||6||175||L||Sparta Praha||-5|
|43||F||Alex Forsberg||1/4/1995||5'9||170||L||Prince George||-10|
|44||G||Eric Comrie||7/6/1995||6'1||175||L||Tri City Americans||6|
|45||F||Connor Hurley||9/15/1995||6'1||175||L||Edina High School||2|
|46||F||Juuso Ikonen||1/3/1995||6'3||198||R||Espoo Blues||6|
|47||D||Samuel Morin||7/12/1995||6'5||184||L||Rimouski Oceanic||17|
|50||F||Sergei Tolchinsky||2/3/1995||5'7||150||L||Soo Greyhounds||17|
- A note about a player not in the top 50: Anton Slepyshev. He's an incredibly talented player, so much so that if there weren't concerns about him not wanting to come to North America he would have been a first round pick last year. At this point, though, the talent far outweighs the risk of the player not coming over, and a team would have to be out of their minds to pass on him in the second round in June. Corey Pronman had him in the top 20 for the June 2012 draft: "Slepyshev is an above-average skater who is tremendously agile and is also able to get up to a notable top gear. When you combine his great agility with the fact he has high-end puck skills, he really is a nuisance to check. Slepyshev is very effective at dodging opponents and creating space for himself. I've seen times on penalty kills where he would dance around the opposing zone for 15-25 seconds because several opponents keep missing him. Slepyshev has a plus if not near that shot and he knows it, as he has a shoot-first mentality with the ability to score from way out."
- The big gainers this month were defensemen Ryan Pulock from the Brandon Wheat Kings and Darnell Nurse from the Soo Greyhounds. Pulock is small, but The Scouting Report likes his offensive game and his huge shot. Nurse was compared to Chris Pronger at the Bantam Draft, but didn't perform like Pronger early on. However, the 6'4" defender is playing with more aggression and scouts have noticed. He's up six spots to #19.
- There are three goalies ranked in the top 60, but only Halifax's Zach Fucale is ranked as a first-round talent. Fucale is playing on a star-studded team, so he might not be the center of attention, but he's got Halifax on top of the league, and carries a .893 save percentage. Fucale is undersized, so he may fall a bit more before all is said and done, but Halifax looks like a team that will compete for the Memorial Cup, so Fucale is going to get plenty of stage time.
- The big loser this month was Hudson Fasching from the USNDT, already committed to Minnesota. Fasching has all of the size and skill, but has fallen slightly because he's struggling to show the ability to get to the scoring areas and use his power forward build.