The NHL Central Scouting Services final rankings were released today and there are a few things that I find just flat out odd. In fact, here are 10 things that strike me as screwy.
1. Timing: More than anything else I don't get the idea of bringing out Central's list in advance of the world under-18 tournament in Minsk. In the past the list came out after the tournament. It doesn't matter much with regard to the North American rankings -- CSS gets a long hard look and plenty of viewings of all the important kids in the Canadian junior leagues, the NCAAs, the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, the USHL, various other regional junior leagues and U.S. high schools. Some Canadian or American kids might get a small bump from a great performance in Minsk, but it's unlikely to be more than that. What doesn't make sense is that the European rankings have hinged on performances at the world under-18s. Now, a few of the very best Euros made it to the world juniors and the next level of prospects played in an international invitational tournament in Belarus in February. Still, the Euro rankings are based on less meaningful (and less recent) viewings. It might not make any significant difference in the top three (Mikael Granlund, Vladimir Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov) but for the rest of the top 15 there could be big movement in how the picks go down on draft day.
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