Yesterday we asked some pointed individual questions to staff members whose opinions were a little bit out of the ordinary. Today we move on to looking at the process as a whole. For your sake, here’s a quick reminder of how it all broke down:
Now then, onto the final staff questions.
1. Christian Jaros was rated pretty highly by the staff (16th) but just barely made the readers' rankings (25th). What do you think explains this discrepancy?
Trevor: I'm not really sure to be honest. I don't know much about him, although most of the other writers had him in the teens, so I thought I should as well. Perhaps some readers just don't know who he is and want to rate him lower.
Michaela: To be honest, I had to look up Christian Jaros when I saw him on the list. I wasn't too familiar with him. But from what I saw, he looks like a big, physical defenceman who (apparently) has good timing and strong skating. That being said, I wouldn't have known this just by seeing his name. Drafted in the 5th round, he's not exactly a much-talked-about prospect. So I think the lack of knowledge about him as a player might explain the difference between writer and reader rankings.
NKB: I'm the wrong person to ask about this because I actually didn't even have Jaros on my list at all. My feeling though is that the scouting report sounds good, and the Senators are starved for defensemen -- it's easy to gravitate towards a player with his supposed skillset if you start really digging into the scouting reports.
Ian: Christian Jaros hasn't been talked about much, and I think that's mainly due to his style of play as a physical defenceman rather than a point-producer. I think he quietly had an eventful 2016. He kicked it off by captaining the Slovakian World Juniors squad and then later played in the World Championships representing Slovakia again. He was the youngest player on the team and still put up 2 goals in 5 games from the back-end.
Ary: I think it’s mainly because people haven’t heard about Jaros. It’s the same deal with Marcus Hogberg and other players who refine their trade in Sweden but aren’t top picks — it’s harder for North American-based fans to keep track of them or watch their games unless it’s at a high profile tournament like the World Juniors. I think it’s fun how Jaros ended up ranked higher than Englund as when I was voting, I thought there would only be a few of us to have him there, but I think that could be due to the fact that we’re more timid about Englund than anything Jaros has done.
The Sens RD depth chart is pretty weak, with the team signing Macoy Erkhamps as a WHL free agent out of Brandon and acquiring Cody Donaghey in the Dion Phaneuf trade to offset the prospect delay until Kelly Summers (NCAA) and Jaros become available. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jaros has the highest ceiling of this group, and with the Sens in need of capable defenders who can make stops and move the puck, I’d be happy with Jaros as a bottom-pair NHL option soon.
Ross: I don’t know much about Jaros at all. I had him lower than everyone except Trevor (and our esteemed readers), so I mostly went on the theory that other people know him better than me.
2. Were there any rankings that surprised you? Would you rank anyone differently now that the whole process has played out?
Trevor: I was a bit surprised that Matt O'Connor was still ranked quite high as 13th by the readers, but besides that there didn't seem to be anything too off on either lists. I really don't think I'd change much on my list, just because no games have been played and I shouldn't be swayed just how other people vote, unless I really don't know much about the prospect.
Michaela: Given the struggles Matt O'Connor has had so far, I was surprised to see him ranked so high among readers. But I think we all sympathize with him, given the team that played in front of him all season in Binghamton. I was also surprised to see Lazar still ranked so high. He had a tough season, and many are questioning whether or not he's ready for the NHL. I think we all agree that he still has potential to be a good NHL player one day, but I thought that support would have taken more of a hit after last season.
As of right now, I don't think I would change any of my rankings. Ask me again half-way through the season.
NKB: I was a bit surprised by how far Chlapik fell given that he's a 2nd round pick who just came off scoring over a point a game in the QMJHL. Everyone seems really down on him and I'm not quite sure why.
Callum: I was surprised by Jonathan Dahlen's rankings on both sides. If I recall correctly, I had him inside the top 10 and no one else did. The kid has an unbelievable amount of skill. If he grows a bit more, there's no stopping him.
Ian: I'm a bit surprised that Marcus Hogberg was ranked so high. While I am optimistic, it might be a little premature to get so excited about a goalie who has yet to see North American ice.
Ary: I’m surprised that others had Casey Bailey so high! He’s an older prospect due to taking the college free agent route, but excelled in Binghamton last year and has a shot to be an NHL-calibre RWer as soon as this year if Curtis Lazar and/or Chris Neil don’t work out. Importantly, Bailey shoots A LOT, which is something this team could always use more off. I’m not really surprised, but I am glad that Filip Ahl squeaked into this list. I think he’ll be a riser next year as he begins his first season of North American hockey with the Regina Pats (WHL).
Ross: I was surprised to see Jonathan Dahlen so high and Max Lajoie even make our list. I’m always nervous to rank a second-round pick in his draft year. I think we tend to overvalue the most recent prospects, and if they didn’t go in the first round, I normally want to see another season before I decide they’re the real thing. For a 2nd-rounder, we’re talking a 30-40% chance of seeing 100 NHL games, even if Dahlen’s extremely skilled. For Lajoie, he went in the fifth round. Even if he was a steal, he’s still a long way from the NHL. I’m surprised to see how high people are on Ottawa’s 2016 draft picks.
I don’t think I’d redo anything. I’m pretty happy with my rankings, and it’s not like there’s any seriousness to this exercise anyway. In the end, these votes don’t mean a whole lot. We won’t remember them long enough for even bragging rights to come into play.