Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #30 Pavel Zacha

View image | gettyimages.com To be completely honest and up front, I think we’ve underrated Pavel Zacha fairly significantly. The massive Czech centreman fell well short of lofty expectations in his first full season in North America, but has still garnered enough recognition within the scouting community to get top-10 consideration in 2015. Join us…

Nation Network Prospect Rankings: #31-45

View image | gettyimages.com With our countdown already 1/3rd of the way done and our consensus first round just around the corner, here is a list of our first 15 2015 prospect profiles with links to each individual guy. Continue past the jump to see the players we’ve ranked between 31st and 45th overall.

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #32 Ryan Pilon

View image | gettyimages.com Though Ivan Provorov and 2017-eligible Nolan Patrick may be the jewel in scouts’ eyes when watching the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Wheaties other first time draft eligible top pairing defender is a damn good prospect in his own right. Calm and collected, Ryan Pilon (pronounced “PEE-lawn,” not “pylon”) is an adept puck mover…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #33 Brock Boeser

Brock Boeser on his commitment to UND, and how his meetings have gone at #NHLCombine. >> http://t.co/xJDlk9Pjgg pic.twitter.com/CeFqMAffV0 — Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) June 6, 2015 Though one of his teammates is also very highly touted going in to this entry draft, Brock Boeser is considered one of the USHL’s very best prospects this season. The…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #36 Denis Gurianov

The Draft Analyst draft profile: RW Denis Guryanov, Lada (KHL). Ranked 7th (Eur) by NHL’s CSB pic.twitter.com/g5CNIZ2ONd — Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) May 18, 2015 For the first and only time in our top-45 countdown, we’ll make the journey across the ocean to Russia. Playing in the MHL and already getting spot duty at the pro…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #39 Noah Juulsen

View image | gettyimages.com Hailing from the same home town as Jake Virtanen, Everett Silvertips blueliner Noah Juulsen is an aggressive and physical presence on one of the WHL’s very best defensive teams. He played on the first pairing for the U.S. Division champion Everett Silvertips this past season, earning the trust of head coach…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #40 Paul Bittner

View image | gettyimages.com From a couple of Finns flying under the radar, we go to a pretty well-known WHL kid in our #40 profile: towering Portland Winterhawks winger Paul Bittner. We’ve covered Bittner at Canucks Army before, and admittedly, it hasn’t been an overly glowing evaluation. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #41 Veeti Vainio

Bend it like Veeti Vainio? @Vainionveeti @BluesNuoret #takaisinheittotorstai #tbt #EspooBlues #ASM pic.twitter.com/CZ0Ta2XcLQ — Riku Laukkanen (@r1kuexposures) October 16, 2014 I don’t blame you if you’ve never heard of Veeti Vainio, as the lanky Finnish defender is currently flying way under the radar. Defensive issues and questions about his overall game have kept him well down…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #42 Roope Hintz

We continue our top-45 prospect countdown today by profiling the guy with undoubtedly the best hair in the draft: lanky Finnish forward Roope Hintz. The industry may be hot-and-cold on Hintz, but after a strong World Junior performance this past January and a very impressive 17-year old season in Finland’s top professional league, we have…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #45 Jacob Larsson

View image | gettyimages.com With the obvious top-ranked prospect out of the way yesterday, we can now turn our attention to our top-45 prospect countdown for the upcoming entry draft. We start our ranking by profiling our consensus 45th ranked prospect for this season: slick puck moving defender Jacob Larsson. Join us after the jump…

Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #1 Connor McDavid

View image | gettyimages.com Since there is no doubt as to who we’ll have ranked as the best prospect available for the 2015 NHL Entry draft, we’ll start at the top.  Connor McDavid is a special talent and the consensus best available player, possessing an obscene amount of skill. He’s exceptional, not only for what he…

Draft Theory: Re-Defining the Roles of Scouts and Stats

View image | gettyimages.com Numbers and scouts would seem to be at odds over Pavel Zacha. But are they really? I don’t know precisely why this is, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Whenever we talk about looking at prospects through the lens of statistics and quantitative analysis, the discussion almost inevitably turns…