The results are in, and at least in this little corner of the Oilogosphere, we are lovin’ us some Hanifin!
I figured that was how things were leaning, but 75% is quite a shellacking for the other two. The two “other” responses were both for Provorov, though one recommended trading down to #7 before taking him.
Just for gits and shiggles, note that these results are in line with Bobby Mac’s mid-season scouting summary from January 27th. Key quotes on the three prospects extracted:
There was no surprise at No. 3 on TSN’s mid-season ranking. Boston College freshman Noah Hanifin was in that slot in September and remains there. Hanifin, by all accounts, showed some inconsistency early in the college season, but reaffirmed his high ranking with a solid outing at the world juniors. Only one of 10 scouts surveyed didn’t have the mobile, puck-moving defenceman at No. 3, dropping him to No. 4. The consensus, though, is quite clear that next to McDavid and Eichel, he’s the premier prospect available.
“We usually debate the top three picks in any draft for quite some time at our scouting meetings,” one scout said. “This year, it took about one minute to say, McDavid-Eichel-Hanifin and there was no debate. We moved on to who’s No. 4 almost immediately.”
On Strome (at No. 4) and Marner (at No. 5):
Strome is the big centre every NHL team looks for. His vision, playmaking ability and productivity (30 goals and 85 points in 45 games) are elite. But some scouts caution there’s no dynamic quality to his game (no “wow factor,” as one scout put it) and that he doesn’t possess the extra gear or pace that separates McDavid and Eichel from the rest of the field. Still, Strome is the top available pivot next to the Big Two.
Marner has plenty of “wow factor” – a dynamic and creative offensive wizard who makes everyone on the ice better and has the ability to finish plays himself. But at 160 pounds and still under 6 feet, some wonder how well those skills will translate to the pro game. Some scouts cite former Knight Patrick Kane as a comparable, if only because they’re both undersized scoring wingers who played in London. Most scouts believe Marner has that special quality that will allow a 160-pounder to thrive and survive in the NHL game, but there’s still concern from some over his size.