My rankings in the Top 25 Under 25 have taken a good amount of criticism, from certain "smart" fans in the comments to our own much-heralded Scott Reynolds and less-heralded Ben Massey. I think it's about time to take a critical view of the other panelists and see what sort of biases we can suss out.
First off is the derivation from the panel's vote. The panelist who has been most critical of me, the consistently-aggravating Scott Reynolds, is one of the two panelists whose votes are farthest from the consensus, along with Jonathan Willis. Alan "I'm going to say the Oilers are great so I keep getting radio interviews" Hull is the panelist closest to the consensus. Nothing to gain by rocking the boat.
Speaking of rocking the boat - Ben Massey was the man who ranked the players already under the Oilers' control the highest, while Scott Reynolds ranked them the lowest.
Geography was a major bias in our voting. No one ranked the WHL prospects higher than Bruce McCurdy and Jonathan Willis, and the two panelists were well clear of any other voter in this regard. Odds are that Bruce and Jonathan have Mitch Moroz sweaters hanging in their closets. Or wrapped around their pillows. In order to balance this blatant and ridiculous homerism, I took it upon myself to rank WHL prospects lower than anyone else in the survey, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Chynoweth Cabal. Saw him good? Perhaps "fantasize him good" is more apropos for those two.
What is the saying about the prairie? "If you're not Canadian, you're shit"? Edmontonian Ryan Batty did his best to reinforce the stereotype by having the lowest ranking for garbage Euro players in the survey. He likely dropped quarters off at the new arena construction site as if it were a wishing well after handing in his rankings. The soccer influence was evident in Ben Massey's ratings - no one ranked the well-heeled Euros as high as Ben, clearly influenced by the soft and slow nature of his favorite sport.
On the other hand, Ryan's central planning philosophy was evident as he ranked the Russian players higher than anyone else, Nazda-ró-vye komrade! Plan more centrally-built roads! Jonathan's prairie wholesomeness and Canadian zealotry shone through as he trashed the Russian in his rankings, clearly payback for the recent embarrassments at the World Junior Championships.
Massey's love of soft Euros was on display in his Finns rankings. Massey was first by a large margin, while the Edmontonian haters were out in full force - Parkatti and Batty were the two rankings the Finns the lowest and the gap was significant.
I ranked NCAA players higher than anyone else, but the entirety of that distinction rests on my ranking of John McCarron at #20. It's baffling that these other reputedly intelligent men would hate on an Ivy League power forward so harshly. Big, strong, smart with game - what's not to like? Perhaps it's a nationalistic thing, but Michael Parkatti ranked NCAA players the second-lowest, and Ben Massey, the soccer fan who believes that athletes should be treated as indentured servants like in the soccer system, ranked NCAA players the lowest and by an enormous margin.
While I have a self-admitted bias towards defensemen, for this installment I was overtaken by Scott Reynolds who consistently ranked the defensemen in this survey much higher than anyone else. This may have been a new slant for Scott - tilting towards the defense, or it may have been a result of his blatant hatred for the wings in the system. No one ranked the wings lower than Scott, and someone had to benefit from this viscous attack. In this case, it was the defense. But Ben was there to even things out. He hammered away on the defense, while Bruce saved the day for the forwards, and let's face it - Mitch Moroz at #24 is enough to skew ANY vote.
On the flip side, noted goalie-hater Bruce trashed the goaltenders, while the enormously goalie-biased Ben Massey was the top goaltender voter in the survey.
Except for dawgbone, we all have biases. Some of them ruined the final vote, while others were kept honest by the conscientious voters in the survey. Tomorrow: the fan survey. Here's a teaser: if you thought the fans in the comments were "smart", wait until you see the entirety of their rankings.
Check out the complete Top 25 Under 25 Analysis in our