Welcome to year two of the Sound Of Hockey Big Board for the NHL Entry Draft. It’s back and better than ever.

What is the Big Board? It’s a compilation of reputable draft analyst and public scouting service lists and an overall composite ranking built on those lists. We gathered ranking data from 19 sources.

Then we consolidated those various ranks into a single composite ranking by a weighted geometric mean calculation. Why do we use geomean? Read up here. Weights were assigned based on our assessment of the depth of experience, sourced reporting, or scouting insight factored into the component lists themselves. Bob McKenzie’s list will be weighted heavily when it is added, for example.

In addition we have compiled rankings from several data and analytics sources. By a similar weighted geomean process, we then tabulated those into a separate “analytics” ranking for each of these prospects. The main composite ranking referenced above is built from the primary scouting sources only.

I included my own rough NHLe calculations as a source on the Big Board, but those numbers are factored into these rankings at very low weight and only become significant for prospects who are unranked by any other source. I explained why I did this in an earlier post.

Finally, the Sound Of Hockey Big Board provides information on each player’s measurements, statistics, and playing experience in the 2022-23 season, mostly drawn from Elite Prospects, NHL Central Scouting, and the NHL Draft Combine. In fact, based on what we have seen, we believe the Big Board is the most comprehensive single source in providing this information anywhere.

And the Big Board provides all of this for almost 7000 draft eligible prospects. (That is not a typo. Last year the Big Board covered almost 700 prospects. This year it is almost 7000.) 

So, without further ado, you can find the Sound Of Hockey Big Board in Google Sheets HERE

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.

Here is a snapshot of top 64 prospects in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, sorted by the overall composite rank:

RankName2023 Team2023 LeaguePositionHand
1Connor BedardRegina PatsWHLCR
2Adam FantilliUniv. of MichiganNCAACL
3Leo CarlssonÖrebro HKSHLCL
4Matvei MichkovSKA St. PetersburgKHLRWL
6Zach BensonWinnipeg IceWHLLWL
8Dalibor DvorskyAIKHockeyAllsvenskanCL
10David ReinbacherEHC KlotenNLDR
11Axel Sandin PellikkaSkellefteå AIKSHLDR
12Matthew WoodUniv. of ConnecticutNCAARWR
13Colby BarlowOwen Sound AttackOHLLWL
15Nate DanielsonBrandon Wheat KingsWHLCR
16Dmitri SimashevLokomotiv YaroslavlKHLDL
17Eduard SaleHC Kometa BrnoCzechiaLWL
18Brayden YagerMoose Jaw WarriorsWHLCR
19Samuel HonzekVancouver GiantsWHLLWL
20Tom WillanderRögle BK J20J20 NationellDR
21Quentin MustySudbury WolvesOHLLWL
22Calum RitchieOshawa GeneralsOHLCR
23Daniil ButLokomotiv YaroslavlKHLLWR
24Otto StenbergFrölunda HCSHLCL
25Andrew CristallKelowna RocketsWHLLWL
26Gavin BrindleyUniv. of MichiganNCAACR
27Mikhail GulyayevOmskie YastrebyMHLDL
28Riley HeidtPrince George CougarsWHLCL
29Bradly NadeauPenticton VeesBCHLLWR
30Oliver BonkLondon KnightsOHLDR
31Ethan GauthierSherbrooke PhoenixQMJHLRWR
32David EdstromFrölunda HC J20J20 NationellCL
33Lukas DragicevicTri-City AmericansWHLDR
34Gracyn SawchynSeattle ThunderbirdsWHLCR
35Michael HrabalOmaha LancersUSHLGL
36Jayden PerronChicago SteelUSHLRWR
37Tanner MolendykSaskatoon BladesWHLDL
38Oscar Fisker MolgaardHV71SHLCL
39Kasper HalttunenHIFKLiigaRWR
40Nick LardisPeterborough PetesOHLLWL
41Anton WahlbergMalmö RedhawksSHLCL
42Theo LindsteinBrynäs IFSHLDL
43Charlie StramelUniv. of WisconsinNCAACR
44Koehn ZiemmerPrince George CougarsWHLRWR
45Trey AugustineUSNTDP JuniorsUSHLGL
46William WhitelawYoungstown PhantomsUSHLRWR
47Beau AkeyBarrie ColtsOHLDR
48Carson RehkopfKitchener RangersOHLLWL
49Luca CagnoniPortland WinterhawksWHLDL
50Caden PriceKelowna RocketsWHLDL
52Etienne MorinMoncton WildcatsQMJHLDL
53Alex CiernikSödertälje SKHockeyAllsvenskanLWL
54Carson BjarnasonBrandon Wheat KingsWHLGL
55Hunter BrzustewiczKitchener RangersOHLDR
56Lenni HameenahoÄssätLiigaRWR
58Maxim StrbakSioux Falls StampedeUSHLDR
59Kalan LindRed Deer RebelsWHLLWL
60Aydar SunievPenticton VeesBCHLLWL
61Luca PinelliOttawa 67’sOHLCL
62Nico MyatovicSeattle ThunderbirdsWHLLWL
63Easton CowanLondon KnightsOHLRWL
64Roman KantserovStalnye Lisy MagnitogorskMHLRWL

Rankings sources

Here are the scouting sources sources we used (so far) in building the Big Board:

  • NHL Central Scouting (link): 453 prospects split into 4 separate lists
  • Elite Prospects (link) (top 32 free; full list $$): 136 ranked prospects
  • McKeen’s (link) (top 32 free; full list $$): 224 ranked prospects
  • FC Hockey (link): 300 ranked prospects
  • Dobber Prospects (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • HockeyProspect.com (link): 32 ranked prospects
  • DraftPro (link) (top 32 free; full list $$): 240 ranked prospects
  • Corey Pronman of The Athletic (link) ($$): 127 ranked prospects
  • Scott Wheeler of The Athletic (link) ($$): 100 ranked prospects
  • Chris Peters of FloHockey (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • Craig Button of TSN (link): 96 ranked prospects
  • Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet (link): 32 ranked prospects
  • Smaht Scouting (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • Tony Ferrari of The Hockey News (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • Peter Baracchini of The Hockey Writers (link): 128 ranked prospects
  • Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News (link): 120 ranked prospects
  • Recruit Scouting (link): 100 ranked prospects
  • Steven Ellis of Daily Faceoff (link): 150 ranked prospects
  • Bob McKenzie of TSN (link): 96 ranked prospects

We also compiled the following data and analytics sources (so far):

  • Chace MacCallum (link): 75 ranked prospects
  • Scouching (link): 82 ranked prospects
  • Hockey Prospecting (link) ($$): 403 ranked prospects split into 2 separate lists
  • Thibaud Chatel (link): 794 ranked prospects
  • Rachel Doerrie (link): 64 ranked prospects
  • TopDownHockey (link): 200+ ranked prospects

Caveats on using the Big Board 

At this point, a few more words on the Big Board and its uses are likely in order.

First, when you click through to the full composite draft board (here is another link), you will see that many of the individual rankings are grayed out beyond the top handful. This is because those rankings are behind a paywall. To get to Corey Pronman’s full ranking of 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, we will not be sharing subscriber-only individual rankings in the public version of the composite big board.

Second, the Big Board does not reflect our view on these prospects. We at Sound Of Hockey have read reports, watched some videos, and crunched a few numbers. I’ll be putting up a few thoughts of my own before the draft, but that is not what this exercise is about. 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 here “like” the player or not. (I can assure you that, personally, I like Thunderbirds goalie Thomas Milic very much, for example.)

Third, and finally, it bears emphasis that a “composite” ranking is not the be-all and end-all. In many ways, finding the “best” public list and trusting it is preferable. A consensus board cannot explain why one prospect is ranked higher than another, and it certainly cannot displace the work of scouts or draft reporters.

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

How so? Last year I used the case of Brad Lambert as an example. This year Andrew Cristall could be an instructive case. Both players are talented but viewed as risky and had widely varying rankings on individual public boards. How do we synthesize that information? A composite approach can exploit the wisdom of the crowd. Cristall’s final ranking may blend the upside and risk, placing him in a “fair” or “expected” position.

Local connections in the draft 

For a team already loaded with drafted prospects, the Sound Of Hockey Big Board sees six more Seattle Thunderbirds having their names called during the 2023 NHL Draft:

  • C Gracyn Sawchyn (ranked No. 34 on the Big Board)
  • LW Nico Myatovic (No. 62)
  • G Scott Ratzlaff (No. 88)
  • G Thomas Milic (No. 171)
  • LD Jeremy Hanzel (No. 175)
  • LD Sawyer Mynio (No. 198)

This projection of six drafted players would trail only the U.S. National Team Development Program in total draftees. This is yet further confirmation of the remarkable team GM Bil La Forge has assembled. (More coming on that soon. Yes, that’s a tease.)

Beyond the Thunderbirds, there should be no shortage of local connections in the draft. One of the top defensemen in the draft is Lukas Dragicevic of the Tri-City Americans (No. 33). G Tomas Suchanek (No. 151) also has chance to get drafted from the Americans. C Tommaso De Luca (No. 168) and D Sage Weinstein (No. 206) of the Spokane Chiefs have a shot. And, from the Everett Silvertips, C Austin Roest (No. 172) is a good bet to be drafted as well.

Final thoughts

The 2023 NHL Draft kicks off in just two weeks, on June 28, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. PT. In the meantime, here again is a link to the 2023 Sound Of Hockey Big Board. Bookmark it, share it, and consult it between now and the draft. Keep it close by during the draft itself because the data in it is a pretty strong indicator of what the Kraken (and other teams) will do. In the meantime, similar to last year, we’ll return before the draft with some opinions on Big Board value targets and with a Seattle Kraken mock draft.

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