HF's Lightning Top-20

We can dissect this thing in comments, but I just want to throw these rankings out as Exhibit A as to why we do things the way we do here at Bolt Prospects. Hockey's Future has a habit of releasing their first rankings either before or during teams' training camps and preseason games and their final rankings before the hockey season finishes. We do the opposite (and do a midseason set of rankings) and the reason we do it should be pretty clear.

For instance, they have Mike Lundin at 14. Now it appears Lundin might have a 50/50 or better shot of making the Lightning's opening night roster. How is that going to reflect on HF's rankings if they have Lundin at 14 when he's in the NHL? That's why we do our rankings in early October after camp and the preseason is over.

It only takes a couple of good weeks of camp, a couple of good preseason games, and one or two injuries for a middle of the pack prospect to dramatically improve their stock and radically alter the landscape of a team's system. And it happens all the time in the NHL.

That is very well what Lundin may be doing right now, and why we're going to wait to see how this plays out before passing any judgements. It's fair. It's prudent. It's the right thing to do. We wish HF's upper management would adopt the same policy. It would improve the quality of their product.

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I'm Rather Surprised

I'm kind of surprised no one has made any comments. I held my tongue because I know there's an immediate tendency to think, "Oh Pete is just ripping the competitor."

Is it that everybody agrees with these rankings, or is it that HF has just become so irrelevant to the Lightning's fan base that their articles aren't worth talking about anymore?

Just wondering.

Wait and See

I'm not saying I would consider the HF rankings to be completely wrong. But during the time I have been visiting this site, I have found it to have a great deal of credibility. I plan to read both and make my own decisions. But I would rely more on this site's list for several reasons. First, you are devoted solely to the Tampa prospects. Secondly, you make a good point to see how the training camps and preseason games turn out before making any rankings. To me this is the better way of doing things.

I look forward to reading the list from this site.

It's been a while

I spent 10 minutes trying to re-figure out their ranking system with the number-letter combination... then spent another 5 trying to decipher how they think Killorn, who's still in high school and was one of the younger/greener draftees, can be a solid second liner in the NHL, but he has a "D" chance of making it.

So what does that make him? A guy who has no chance at the third line? A minor leaguer? Nothing?

I was "working" with them when they instituted that system and it was maddening. BTW... I was also reprimanded for trying to wait to do the rankings until after camp.

FWIW... knowing what we know about how things are done there, I don't really take them seriously at all, though I like Phil's efforts. Glad to see him back.

They certainly think a lot of Crowley.

Trying to catch up...

Honestly, I've been swamped this week and haven't had a chance to really *study* their rankings. But, like Chad, I was with HF when they instituted their new rankings system. Agreed, it's a crazed system -- but in their defense -- they were at least attempting to bring some consistent criteria across the board of their very different writer. I'm not saying their method worked at all, but that was the reasoning behind it.

I'm of the opinion if something doesn't work, you cut your losses and find something that does work. HF doesn't seem to agree with that line of thinking.

Anyway... back to the topic. I'll try to look at their rankings by the weekend and post some commentary on it.

My Thoughts

First off, let me just say that we're planning to release our Preliminary Rankings some time next week.

Anyway, here's my thoughts on this list:

1.) Obviously Lundin's camp and preseason aren't taken into account in their rankings and I already pointed out that's a function of HF management forcing writers to release rankings before they should which is like calling an election long before the polls are closed. Lundin making the Lightning will be HF's "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment for the year.

2.) I think Helenius is too high. I thought he was too high on our Final Rankings and after getting torched at Traverse City he's definitely too high. You just can't underestimate what losing a season to injury at these formative years does to a player's career track. Look at Polushin. Look at Rogers. It's immense.

3.) Mihalik's too low. I think they're too hard on Mihalik. He had a good TC and he was at least statistically good in scrimmages for Norfolk last week. A guy like Jones' ceiling is much lower than Mihalik's IMO and Tyrell and Cunti have a lot to prove. Mihalik's improved every year.

4.) Lawrence is way too high. The guy did squat at TC and squat in Ads scrimmages. Smolenak HAS to be higher than Lawrence. HAS to be. Boutin and Quick too.

5.) Killorn and Fadden are too low. Especially Fadden.

My say on the letter grades: I just think HF is behind the times on how they treat the prep schoolers. Now, granted, my general opinion on players doesn't really change if these young players stay for an extra year of prep because it is a lower level of competition. However, what HF is doing is automatically slapping a "D" on any prep schooler who isn't a high draft pick and that's wrong. I thought it was wrong last year when they did it to Quick (still doing it) and it's wrong doing it to Killorn. I understand that the letter grades are supposed to be indicate certainty, but I also know there are teams that use letter grades to score prospects for their draft boards and scoring a player a "D" is a pretty much calling them a bum. I wouldn't use that kind of nomenclature because of the stigma it carries in the scouting community whether they mean it that way or not.

And I say they're behind the times because since the NCAA changed the rules and allowed drafted players out of prep and the US junior leagues to keep their elligibility you've seen that players as a general rule get picked before they enter the NCAA. Slapping a "D" on that entire group of prospects is just heavy handed and unnecessary.

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