A few days ago Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus posted his Top 50 Under 23 list. The list consists of “players with more than 25 GP this past season or 50 NHL games…. A player also had to be 22 or under as of September 15, 2012.” Pronman’s top-3 are Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, and Tyler Seguin.
Four Oilers made the list.
4. Taylor Hall: “Hall hit the ground running in the NHL and has quickly emerged into a top-tier possession player. He has so many tools in the arsenal to threaten defenders with along with a top grade work ethic. Injuries have been a slight concern, especially giving his style of play, but I’m not overly concerned in that area yet.”
10. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: “The Nuge had a great rookie season from a counting numbers perspective, although his minutes were sheltered, which is to be expected from an 18-year-old in the NHL. I don’t quite see him as a clear top line player as of today, although he could very well become that pretty soon. He has All-Star potential due to his elite puck skills and vision.”
22. Jordan Eberle: “…in a nutshell, he has had shooting luck and soft minutes, although he has also done pretty well considering his age. He should get tougher minutes soon, and his great hands, hockey sense, and shot quality point to a first line winger in his prime.”
42. Magnus Paajarvi: “Paajarvi has had a somewhat rough start to his NHL career, including limited minutes last year and a lengthy amount of AHL time to boot. Sure, he hasn’t produced much, and his physical game isn’t the best, but I still believe in his ridiculous speed, his high skill level, and that his tools still have a fair chance to translate into very significant production down the line.”
I’m sure a lot of Oiler fans will think that some of these Oilers should be ranked higher than Pronman ranks them. Regardless, having 4 players in the top 42 is very promising.