Each year before the NHL Draft, some player’s get their tires pumped up a bit too much. This isn’t to say that they aren’t any good, just that they are ranked a little too high. Some scouting staffs fall in love with speed or size and make a decision with something other than their head. These are the players you need to watch out for on draft day.
Brown has been one of the risers in this draft, that for one reason or another just perplexes me. He has the size that everyone goes crazy about and he scores at a pretty good clip. So what is the problem?
Brown in my estimation is way too weak on the puck for a player of his size and stature. He did dominate at times but he is still playing against kids. He had a good season, not an overly impressive one, so when I see people talking about Brown being selected in the top five, I am left scratching my head. He has the tools to be a good player but doesn’t have the output of some of his peers to back it up.
Now this isn’t to say that Brown doesn’t deserve a top fifteen selection, it just means that any team wanting to select him in the top five is putting a lot of stock in a player that hasn’t shown you that much yet.
I have talked about Thompson before and he, much like Brown, he is a very intriguing prospect. He dominated on a weak UCONN team and put up the points to warrant a first round selection. He has the size that teams dream of and has room to grow.
You being to question a couple of things about him, once you dig a little deeper. His developmental path is definitely interesting since no players have stature have come out of UCONN and made a difference in the NHL. Is he going to be able to round out his game there? Will he be challenged enough to improve?
Another red flag is his even strength scoring, Thompson had only one even strength goal and it has to leave teams wondering why he couldn’t produce without a man in the box. Opportunistic or just a case of a high PDO.
He is projected to be a fringe first round pick but be wary if your team selects him any time before the twentieth pick.
Defenders who have trouble scoring at the OHL level, always raise a ton of red flags. If you can’t score at the junior level, how do you expect to improve your game in a league against men. It is very rare to see a player improve at the next level without seeing any signs of improvement beforehand. Stanley is a boom or bust pick for whoever selects him and he has the tools that may make him a first round pick.
He possesses just enough offensive skill that he makes you think “what if”. The problem with those types of selections is that they are all based on hypotheticals and not fact. You can wish for the player to contribute more but he hasn’t yet and you are just asking to see a poor return on your investment.
He makes you wish for more, while some players already have it. Do you really want to wait around for something that might never come?