I was asked to contribute my own list to the Top 25 Under 25 feature now running over at Jewels from the Crown. Every time they post a new name (25, 24, 23…), I have to go check my own list to see what I said about so-and-so. To make that task easier on me — and it’s all about me — I decided I should post the list…you know, so I could find it next time.
I should also mention that there’s something hilarious and self-aggrandizing about anyone (especially bloggers — me, for instance) ranking prospects they/we have seen skate somewhere between a handful of shifts and never. Obviously, there are a few players on this list we’ve seen a ton (Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov, Kyle Clifford, Jake Muzzin). There’s a few we’ve seen a decent amount (Tyler Toffoli), some we might have personally seen skate an hour or two at Toyota Sports Center at various camps (Maxim Kitsyn, etc.), and some for whom entire opinions are based on a highlight reel.
(The “pk.r” column gives the player’s draft pick (overall) and round, separated by a period; enter “.1″ in the search window to see all the first rounders, etc.)
...using my own irrational and indefensible algorithm.
|Q rank||JftC rank||player||Team (league)||dr (by)||pk.r||born||HT/WT||POS|
|1||Drew Doughty||Kings (NHL)||2008 (LAK)||2.1||12/8/89||72 / 212||@RD|
|2||Slava Voynov||Kings (NHL)||2008 (LAK)||32.2||1/15/90||71 / 199||@RD|
|3||Tyler Toffoli||Kings (NHL)||2010 (LAK)||47.2||4/24/92||73 / 194||@RW|
|4||Jake Muzzin||Kings (NHL)||2007 (PIT)||141.5||2/21/89||75 / 217||@LD|
|5||Kyle Clifford||Kings (NHL)||2009 (LAK)||35.2||1/13/91||74 / 208||@LW|
|6||Tanner Pearson||Monarchs (AHL)||2012 (LAK)||30.1||8/10/92||72 / 205||@LW|
|7||Andy Andreoff||Monarchs (AHL)||2011 (LAK)||80.3||5/17/91||73 / 217||@C|
|8||18||Nikolai Prokhorkin||CSKA Moscow (KHL)||2012 (LAK)||121.4||9/17/93||75 / 190||@LW|
|9||23||Michael Mersch||Wisconsin (NCAA)||2011 (LAK)||110.4||10/2/92||73 / 215||@LW|
|10||22||Hudson Fasching||Minnesota (NCAA)||2013 (LAK)||118.4||7/28/95||75 / 189||@RW|
|11||Derek Forbort||Monarchs (AHL)||2010 (LAK)||15.1||3/4/92||76 / 218||@LD|
|12||Valentin Zykov||Baie Comeau (QMJHL)||2013 (LAK)||37.2||5/15/95||72 / 208||@LW|
|13||Oscar Moller||Skelleftea AIK (SEL)||2007 (LAK)||52.2||1/22/89||70 / 183||@RW|
|14||Linden Vey||Monarchs (AHL)||2009 (LAK)||96.4||7/17/91||72 / 200||@C|
|15||Maxim Kitsyn||Monarchs (AHL)||2010 (LAK)||158.6||12/24/91||74 / 194||@LW|
|16||Jonny Brodzinski||St. Cloud St. (NCAA)||2013 (LAK)||148.5||6/19/93||72 / 202||@C|
|17||19||Nick Shore||Monarchs (AHL)||2011 (LAK)||82.3||9/26/92||72 / 195||@C|
|18||21||Tomas Hyka||Gatineau (CHL)||2012 (LAK)||171.6||3/23/93||71 / 166||@RW|
|19||Nick Deslauriers||Monarchs (AHL)||2009 (LAK)||84.3||2/22/91||73 / 230||@LD|
|21||20||Kevin Gravel||St. Cloud St. (NCAA)||2010 (LAK)||148.5||3/6/92||76 / 200||@RD|
|21||Kurtis MacDermid||Owen Sound (OHL)||undr||3/25/94||76 / 205||@RD|
|22||Justin Auger||Guelph (OHL)||2013 (LAK)||103.4||5/14/94||78 / 216||@RW|
|23||Alex Roach||Calgary (CHL)||undr||4/4/93||76 / 228||@LD|
|24||Martin Jones||Monarchs (AHL)||undr||1/10/90||76 / 189||@G|
|25||Patrik Bartosak||Red Deer (WHL)||2013 (LAK)||146.5||3/29/93||72 / 181||@G|
- DD — Well, duh.
- VV — In five years, he might even surpass DD. WHAT??!!
- TT — Because he has the quickest and sneakiest release I have ever seen up close with my own eyes. And, obviously, because all the best players have repeating initials (DD, VV, TT, etc.?).
- Muzzin (ZZ?) is 6’3″, gets his shot through like no-one since Kyle Quincey, is mean, hits, has speed, and seems like an excellent candidate to be able to play into his 30s.
- Kyle Clifford — the Kings have a trove of these guys (Clifford, Andreoff, Pearson, Nolan, King), but Clifford is the most Ian Laperriere of the bunch. Yes, Ian Laperriere is now an adjective.
- Tanner Pearson — might be better than Clifford. Might not. Close to NHL-ready.
- Andy Andreoff — (AA?) don’t know why I put him behind Pearson. Could easily flip them. He’s a year older than Tanner, and a little bigger.
- Nikolay/Nikolai Prokhorkin — Alex Frolov, except he hits.
- Michael Mersch — (MM?) he will be great with Carter and Richards in…2015? Something like that. More likely, in my opinion, to have a long NHL career than Prokhorkin, Zykov or Kitsyn (the other offensive LWs on the list). He has that Doug Weight look, for what that’s worth.
- Hudson Fasching — He’s 6’3″ and still growing. He’s the youngest Kings prospect (just turned 18 last month). 4-5 years to grow into an NHL player.
- Derek Forbort — I’m very excited to see him play in Manchester this year.
- Zykov — offensive upside and personality, irresistible.
- Oscar Moller — JftC left him off their list because apparently he has “made it clear” he won’t be returning to the Kings. I must have missed that memo. Oscar is still very young and still awesome.
- Vey and Hyka — smaller forwards, one older, one younger. There is a limit to the number of little forwards the Kings will ever put on one roster. My list favors Zykov, Moller, Vey and Hyka. They get my vote over Jordan Weal and Brandon Kozun, which is why the last two aren’t on my list.
- Gravel, MacDermid and Roach — three 6’4″ defensemen. Matt Greene won’t last forever.
- Kitsyn and Auger — big wingers. With the Kings’ perennial left-wing need, Kitsyn has extra value. Plus, I loved his post-draft interviews. Auger is 6’6″, okay?
- Deslauriers — great skater, mean. How many little defensemen do the Kings need? He’s probably on his way out, but I like him anyway. Still trying to figure out if he’s smarter than Jack Johnson.
- Two goalies at the bottom of the list, because, well, hopefully goalie won’t be an issue for the Kings for several years. CHL goalie of the year edges out Berube in my whimsical and meaningless opinion.
And, in case you’re wondering, I would have put Andrei Loktionov between Toffoli and Muzzin; Jonathan Bernier (if he would have counted, since he just turned 25 a few days ago) just above Loktionov; and Thomas Hickey in the middle somewhere…around #15.
I almost certainly would have included Michael Schumacher, too. I will be curious to see if letting him go doesn’t turn out to be a mistake.