The Stanley Cup Final is over, and the Colorado Avalanche are the champions. Now, teams across the league will look to find the next Cale Makar, as their focus turns to the 2022 NHL Draft. The draft kicks off on July 7, just nine days from this posting. The opening of NHL free agency will certainly receive more attention, but there is no more important event for the Seattle Kraken this offseason than the draft. To help you contextualize the selections on draft day, we’ve come up with the inaugural Sound Of Hockey composite draft rankings big board.

Important note on using the Sound Of Hockey Big Board: If you want to filter the data by various categories, highlight row 3, then select “Data,” “Filter Views,” and “Create New Temporary Filter View.” This will allow you to manipulate the data in a way visible only to you.

Focusing on the draft

The Kraken could not replicate the inaugural season sizzle delivered by the Vegas Golden Knights. Thus, whether by design or necessity, Seattle must now build from the ground up. This starts with the draft.

Fortunately, the Kraken made up for a lack of deals off the hop by making a slew of trades at the NHL Trade Deadline. As a result, they are well positioned to make noise at the draft. Seattle has 12 picks overall, including six in the top 68, and 10 of the top 132.

While it is certainly possible the Kraken won’t use all of these picks, this abundance of draft capital means the Kraken can reasonably expect to walk away with approximately three future NHL contributors.

Furthermore, the abundance of picks in the 30’s-60’s might very well play into a strength of Ron Francis-managed front offices in identifying undervalued second-tier talent.

Ron Francis’s draft picks versus the NHL average; visualization by NHLtoSeattle

Introducing the 2022 NHL Draft composite big board

The Sound Of Hockey composite draft rankings big board lists 675 potential draft prospects. For each of these prospects, we compiled basic player data from Elite Prospects and the NHL Draft combine, mostly via Mark Scheig, including:

  • draft year club team and league;
  • position;
  • handedness;
  • birthdate and age;
  • reported height and weight;
  • NHL Combine measured height, weight, and wingspan (if available), and
  • draft year club team games played, goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, goals against average, and/or save percentage

Additionally, we pored over many public draft guides and rankings, compiled the lists, and built a composite big board of top prospects in the 2022 NHL Draft class. The goal was to assemble a list reflecting the “consensus” or “average” view of the draft-eligible players.

We did this by taking a weighted geomean of reputable, public, “final” postseason prospect rankings. 331 prospects were listed in one or more of the draft publications we consulted and therefore are “ranked” on our board. The remaining prospects are all ranked tied-332nd.

The full draft board is in a Google Sheets document here. Here is a summary of the ranked results:

Building the board

After gathering basic player data, we ranked the players using the following sources:

  • Corey Pronman of The Athletic (link) ($$): 127 ranked prospects
  • Scott Wheeler of The Athletic (link) ($$): 100 ranked prospects
  • Chris Peters of Daily Faceoff (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • Craig Button of TSN (link): 96 ranked prospects
  • Bob McKenzie of TSN (link): 90 ranked prospects
  • Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet (link): 32 ranked prospects
  • Elite Prospects (link) (top 32 free; full list $$): 121 ranked prospects
  • McKeen’s (link) (top 32 free; full list $$): 224 ranked prospects
  • Smaht Scouting (link): 128 ranked prospects
  • Tony Ferrari of Hockey News (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • Ian Kennedy of Yahoo Sports (link): 32 ranked prospects
  • Peter Baracchini of The Hockey Writers (link): 160 ranked prospects
  • Matthew Zator of The Hockey Writers (link): 128 ranked prospects
  • Adam Herman of Bleacher Report (link): 32 ranked prospects
  • Recruit Prospects (link): 224 ranked prospects
  • FC Hockey (link): 200+ ranked prospects
  • Dobber Prospects (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • DraftPro (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • (link): 32 ranked prospects

If you have recommendations for other strong sources to use in future iterations of the draft board, drop us a line on Twitter or in the comments below.

As noted above, after gathering this information, we then took the “weighted” geomean of these ranks. Why did we use geomean? Read up here.

Weights were assigned based on our assessment of the depth of experience, sourced reporting, and/or scouting insight factored in. For example, the rank assigned by the Elite Prospects staff was emphasized the most heavily in the calculation, followed by McKeen’s, and so forth. There was no “magic” to these weights. It was a subjective assessment. Perhaps  in future iterations we will crowdsource these weights or develop a system based on the accuracy of a forecaster’s projections from previous years. (Also note that the big board includes an “unweighted” geomean rank.)

If you click through to the full composite draft board, you will see that many of the individual rankings are blacked out beyond the top handful of rankings. This is because those rankings are behind a paywall. To get to Corey Pronman’s full list of 127 prospects, for example, a subscription to The Athletic is required. While we utilized all of the individual rankings listed above to develop our composite list, to encourage support for these paid resources, we will not be sharing subscriber-only individual rankings in the public version of the composite big board.

Finally, it bears emphasis that the composite big board does not reflect our view on these prospects. We’ve read reports, watched some videos, and crunched a few numbers. Andy Eide has profiled several prospects and has come up with a few draft-day targets. I’ll be putting up a few thoughts of my own. But we’re not scouts. The big board is simply a tabulation of the rankings of others. A player’s ranking has nothing to do with whether any of us “like” the player or not.

Utility of a composite draft board

Why attempt this project rather than simply follow the “best” public scouting service you can find? To be honest, the latter approach is in many ways preferable. A consensus board cannot explain why one prospect is ranked higher than another, and it certainly cannot displace the work of scouts or reporters.

But a composite board can provide some added information. Think of it as the cherry on top of the sundae, not the sundae itself.

How so? 2022 NHL Draft prospect Brad Lambert is an instructive case. He has long been an elite tools projection, but his production has underwhelmed as he moved around club teams in Finland. Some are still willing to bet on the latent upside. The Hockey News draft analyst Tony Ferrari has Lambert fifth on his board, as does Smaht Scouting. So, he’s a high first-round pick, right?

Perhaps not: Some see Lambert as a player trending in the wrong direction. Respected TSN draft analyst Craig Button lists Lambert as unworthy of any first-round pick, much less a high first-round pick, ranking Lambert at No. 42. Others list him on the first-round bubble.

Our composite approach looks to exploit the wisdom of the crowd of public analysts and places Lambert at No. 14. This ranking may blend the upside and risk Lambert presents and situate him in a “fair” or “expected” position. Perhaps Ferrari or Button are ultimately right, but it may not be wise for an NHL team to bet on either extreme when faced with such uncertainty.

Seattle connections

Four Seattle Thunderbirds made the big board. Defenseman Kevin Korchinski checks in at No. 13 overall. Forwards Reid Schaefer and Jordan Gustafson rank No. 52 and No. 66, respectively. And, perhaps most gratifying of all after his remarkable playoff run, goalie Thomas Milic made the board at No. 176. Milic has a chance to get drafted after being passed over a year ago.

Final thoughts

With that introduction, here again is a link to the composite 2022 NHL Draft big board. Bookmark it, share it, and consult it between now and the draft. We’ll return before the draft with some opinions on big board value targets, and with some mock draft predictions.

*Post edited on June 28, 2022 (1:00 pm PT) after adding Bob McKenzie’s ranking to the big board.*

*Post edited on June 29, 2022 (7:45 pm PT) after adding Scouching analytics rankings to the Big Board.*

*Post edited on July 1, 2022 (1:15 pm PT) after adding FC Hockey, Dobber Prospects, The Hockey Writers (Baracchini), and Bleacher Report rankings to the Big Board.*

*Post edited on July 4, 2022 (9:30 am PT) after adding The Hockey Writers (Zator) and Recruit Prospects rankings to the Big Board.*

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