Scouching's Final 2021 Draft Rankings
For starters, the accompanying video can be found at this link, so check that out once you're done reading this! If you're coming from the video, welcome to the full writeup!
What a year. To be honest, I'm exhausted. I need a break. It's been nonstop tracking and video production in my spare time since about August 2019 for me. While I love doing the work and providing you wonderful people with all the information I've gathered, it's a lot of hockey. This year didn't bring many changes to my workflow, and I'm of the belief that if you've done your homework, even setting aside the players who haven't played, you should still be able to come away with a strong group of players for this year's draft. I don't see much in the way of elite game-changing talent, but certain names could grow into such players. I do see a lot of really interesting high upside, low floor players that could develop into useful core pieces, or struggle to gain a comfortable role in the NHL. Come draft day, I feel like I'd much rather be drafting in the 8-12, and 20+ ranges of the first round more than anything, and just pile up a stash of 2nd and 3rd round picks to swing on a bunch of interesting names. Unfortunately for me, as of time of writing, Team Scouching is looking at just three names to add, but I'm really hoping some good ones slip.
As always, we'll be streaming through both days of the draft, so be sure to set your reminders for Day 1 and Day 2! If you have any last minute questions, there will be a Scouching Live on Wednesday night at 9:30pm EST, and another one on Friday, starting at noon, so be sure to check those out as well!
If you're a Patron of the project, you can view my rankings as they change over the year, with the full list unlocked at the $25 tier along with my full data sheet of >700 skaters and goaltenders' data.
If you're new here, I generally tend to think of my rankings in "Tiers", which attempts to group players into a pool from which I feel the order could be interchangeable, with the numbers ordering the players as how I might push for them in a draft discussion. I find that it creates much more balanced and nuanced discussion, especially considering these players are so young and may have wildly different potential trajectories that may differ reasonably depending on which NHL organization picks them up.
The data I am including is partially derived from pick224.com, operated by the great Dave MacPherson. Without him, my work would be far less complete and valuable, so give him a follow. If you're unfamiliar, here is a breakdown of the metrics included:
Without further ado, behold an early-final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft, along with explanations of some the decisions made. As always, thank you all for your support, I hope you and yours are safe and well and remain so.
That's it. I'm probably extremely wrong, but sometimes that happens. I think of picking prospects like picking stocks. Different investors and funds may have wildly different philosophies, they may find success, but there are still strong fundamentals you can explore and try to make the best decisions possible. Just like stocks, there's no such thing as the perfect player, no matter how much research you do. Things will happen outside the player's control that will affect their trajectory and it's important to be mindful of that. I still stand firmly behind my work, and I hope you all have enjoyed what I've put out over the last season.
Thank you so, so much to any and all of you for watching, listening and reading my content. There's lots planned for 2021-22, so don't go too far. To my Patrons and YouTube Members, thank you all so much for your financial support. I've got some beeg ideas for the platform and I can't wait to get them off the ground. For some reason, this is the work I've latched onto, but it means the world to have an audience that not only likes what I do, but is willing to step up and discuss where they may disagree with me in a civil way. It's all greatly appreciated, and I'm looking forward to whatever is coming in the future.
All the best, be well, get that vaccine, and hopefully I'll be able to actually get out there and meet some of you in person one day.
Well well well, the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup again, and as is tradition, it is now officially draft season. The order is set, and here we are again. If you missed part 1, check it out here. I won't give you a giant preamble, but congratulations to both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens. That was one of the most entertaining playoffs I've seen in a while, and I get the feeling the draft will be no different.
So with that, enjoy the remainder of my mock draft! I'm expecting an insane roller coaster ride on draft day, so this will probably turn out to be extremely incorrect extremely quickly, but such is life when you try to analyze the NHL Draft.
1st Overall - Buffalo Sabres