Scouts rave about the two top 2018 NHL Draft prospects, Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov, and for good reason. The two players are exceptionally talented, and that is necessary if you want to go high on any draft, none the less the 2018 draft, which is one of the deepest in years.
The group of players set to be selected in June 2018 beats out nearly all of the draft classes since 2010 in terms of skill and total potential, and it comes right after a draft class weaker than most. The 2017 draft broke the 2 year streak of having a franchise player available to be selected. In 2015, Connor McDavid, who is more than just a franchise player, he’s a generational talent, and Jack Eichel were selected. A year later, Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine were picked first and second overall. The best that 2017 had to offer was Nico Hischier, who beat out fellow top prospect Nolan Patrick for the honour of being taken with the first overall pick, which was held by the New Jersey Devils. Both players possess elite potential, as do fellow top 5 draftees Miro Heiskanen, Cale Makar and Elias Pettersson. After that top 5, the draft had little to offer, as Kailer Yamamoto, Casey Middelstadt and Timothy Lilgegren appear to be the only ones with a legitimate chance at carving out a career near those as the guys who went top 5. If the 2017 and 2018 draft classes were merged and one single draft was conducted, I believe that both Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick wouldn’t have gone top 5. The 2018 draft is just that much better. Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Adam Boqvist, Filip Zadina and Brady Tkackuk would be selected, in that order, with the top 5 picks. Dahlin and Svechikov, the studs leading the 2018 draft pack, are often mentioned in a different breath than the other top prospects in this draft, most notably the players rounding out the top 4-Adam Boqvist and Filip Zadina. Those are the top players available, the big step back in talent doesn’t come after Dahlin and Svechnikov, it comes after the top 4, after Dahlin, Svechnikov, Boqvist and Zadina. There is a smaller step back from Svechnikov and Boqvist, but it isn’t as close as it is made out to be. Dahlin and Svechnikov are the top tier of prospects, Boqvist and Zadina make up the second tier, and then it goes down from there.
Prospect Tiers in the Top 10:
1: Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov (#1-2)
2: Adam Boqvist, Filip Zadina (#3-4)
3: Brady Tkackuk, Quinn Hughes, Oliver Wahlstrom (#5-7)
4: Ty Smith, Bode Wilde, Rasmus Kupari (#8-10)
I might expand on prospect tiers in a later post, they are helpful to see where the gaps in talent in the draft are. The biggest gap in talent are in between prospect tiers 2 and 3 (Zadina and Tkachuk). The gap isn’t huge, in fact, it’s small, but the others are smaller, so that where the big gap is, it isn’t after the top 2, but behind the top 4.