Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr was a guest of Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now Thursday and talked about Central Scouting’s final draft rankings and some of the top prospects in the upcoming 2016 NHL Draft.
Marr gave his insights on the top three skaters, ranked one, two and three atop the European skaters list: Auston Matthews (Zurich), Patrik Laine (Tappara) and Jesse Puljujarvi (Karpat).
“They’ve been frontrunners right from the get-go, and I would say all of them have exceeded the projections that were in place for them,” said Marr.
All three have their individual positive traits, but Matthews is considered the cream of the crop.
“Auston Mathews is clear-cut, the best prospect available for this 2016 Draft,” said Marr. “Laine and Puljujarvi, they’ve each made individual cases for themselves to be part of the discussion but they’re just not going to supplant Auston Matthews right now. The teams picking in the top five or six of the draft are going to come away with a future star for their team down the road.”
Laine and Puljujarvi are different from Matthews and each other. Laine exhibits dynamic offensive ability in contrast to the power-forward game of Puljujarvi.
“It’s like a Brett Hull release, and you’re always wondering because you know Brett Hull has the shot, why is he open on the play? Laine can deliver that,” said Marr.
“(Puljujarvi) can rely on his physical attritbutes a little bit more. Not the same skill set, but we’re talking really minuscule differences between these players here. I just think Laine right now has a little bit more dynamic game he brings to the table. Puljujarvi might have what you’d call the more up-and-down game.”
All three of these players could make an immediate impact at the NHL level, given the right situation.
“All three are capable to go to a team and make the team out of training camp,” said Marr. “Whether they’re in a position to play in the National Hockey League during the season is up to the players and the teams.”