We're now through the fifth installment of the Top 25 Under 25, and in just two and a half years, I know that I've learned some pretty valuable things. I've learned that it's too easy to get excited about how well a guy is performing in the CHL, that even a team like the Oilers which has been stockpiling high picks can look awfully suspect once you move out of the top five or ten guys, and that generally respectable colleagues can hold very different views on which of these prospects deserves a higher ranking. We'll take a look at everyone's complete list after the jump.
The chart below shows each writer's individual rankings as well as the overall list. With seven us making the rankings, it's much easier to move around on the former than the latter, and in fact, the top seven is exactly the same overall as it was last time even though each and every individual made some changes. All 44 players under consideration are listed, and the columns are sortable; just click on the header row that you'd like to see and you're ready to go.
As always, we're most interested in hearing about where you think we went wrong, and to get that conversation started, let's look at each ranker's unique selections:
Ben: I'm convinced that having Taylor Chorney at #13 is more Ben making a point about everyone ranked below Chorney than it is Ben making a point about Chorney himself. Ben thinks the Oilers' prospects suck. There's no other explanation. Other notables: Theo Peckham at #8; Anton Lander at #14; Johan Motin at #28.
Bruce: If you're a marginal prospect, the key to success in Bruce's eyes is playing in the WHL where it's easy for him to get some look-sees in order to justify liking you. Bruce is a good person. He likes people. So just give him a reason. Travis Ewanyk did it. Drew Czerwonka did it. But Dillon Simpson went to college, so Bruce showed him the error of his ways by knocking him all the way down to #26. Other notables: Linus Omark at #11; Ryan O'Marra at #21; Mark Arcobello at #32.
DB: As a new member to our group, I appreciate the way that DB went out of his way to piss Derek off by ranking Chris VandeVelde at #43. Good work. Other notables: Jeff Petry at #10; Alex Plante at #14; Tobias Rieder at #30.
Derek: Derek has his favorites, but sometimes I think he likes to be contrary for the hell of it. How else to explain Alexander Bumagin's surge up the rankings? After placing him in 47th (of 48) last time, Bumagin clocks in at #34 this time. What changed? Derek's disdain for you if your favorite prospect is ranked at #35 or lower. Other notables: Toni Rajala at #24; Frans Tuohimaa at #25; Alex Plante at #32.
Jon: When it comes to goalies, it's awfully hard to get a read on how good they are at a young age. Jonathan's ranking of Samu Perhonen at #24 suggests that draft position is a pretty major part of his decision-making process. Other notables: David Musil at #10; Ryan O'Marra at #22; Taylor Chorney at #33.
Ryan: It's his first time writing for the Top 25, and he knows that all the hip kids hate goalies, so he made sure to rank the two best goalies in the system lower than everybody else. Cool factor = 10. Other notables: Nope, it's pretty much just the goalies.
Scott: My rankings are all excellent. I don't know why people dislike Jeremie Blain so much all of a sudden or why Antti Tyrvainen isn't regarded as having real NHL potential, or why Derek and I are the only ones who really believe in Dillon Simpson. These people are crazy.