The 2019 Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25 is set to begin. The first step is to introduce the players who are eligible this time around.
Last summer we had 45 players to rank after a busy draft added 11 prospects to the pool. Three weeks ago, another 10 joined the organization at the 2019 NHL Draft. With that influx of young talent on the way, Marc Bergevin decided to part ways with a few of the prospects in the system. The net result of the additions and subtractions over the past 12 months is an increase of just one player under the age of 25, for a total of 46 born after September 15, 1994.
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With a spectrum ranging from newly drafted teenagers still a year away from joining the NCAA to what can be called NHL veterans, some guidelines for the project are needed. The best way to approach the ranking is to consider projected value of the players, but this has led to confusion in the past, so we’ll expand on that somewhat.
Many people prefer the “would you trade Player A for Player B?” method of weighing the options, ranking A higher than B if the answer is “no.” One issue with this particular method is that you may end up placing more importance on current NHL players than top-end prospects.
The goal of the project is to rank players according to their projected impact at the NHL level. This does not necessarily mean with the Montreal Canadiens, and not necessarily for this upcoming season. Assume every player has an open shot at claiming the place in a lineup that his skill set suggests.
On the flipside, a player already producing in a third-line role in the NHL is likely more valuable than a longer-term prospect who has a small chance of becoming a top-six player. Your decision in those situations will depend on how certain you are that a prospect will reach his projected ceiling.
With that in mind, instead of asking which player you would rather trade, perhaps ask which player you’d rather lose. If you would be more upset at the team parting with a certain prospect than a particular established NHL player, the prospect should be higher on your list. The player at the bottom of your ballot should be the one the organization (and you) would miss the least if he left. The player at the top will be the one you’d happily rebuild your franchise from scratch around, whether that’s a current top-six NHL forward, a minor-league goaltender, or a teenage defenceman.
Any obvious troll ballots (e.g. placing a current NHL player at #46) will be disqualified. The hundreds of community votes we receive will be averaged together to serve as one of our panel entries — a wisdom-of-the-crowd ranking — that we incorporate in the final results.
As we have done recently, two EOTP members have been granted individual ballots this year. To choose them, I tallied the individual comments made on our weekly prospect reports this year and picked the top two contributors, limiting candidates to those with no warnings on their account in the past 12 months, and who hadn’t had an individual vote in the series in previous years.
This year, the community representatives will be The JD Man and Cheminot11, who were engaged in the conversation regarding the young players in the organization all year long.
Should you decide to do some research for your ballot, you can read up on David St-Louis’s Catching The Torch series, Patrik Bexell’s European Prospect Report, and our comprehensive coverage of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. I’d ask that you refrain from discussing the specific or relative order of the players in the comments as to not influence other members’ decisions.
The survey has three questions.
The first one asks for your EOTP username so we can validate ballots and find the ones from our panellists (all participating EOTP staff members will be filling out this same ballot during the same window as well).
The second is a drag-and-drop list of the 46 players (randomized for each of you). Move the players around until you’re happy with your order, from the best at the top to the worst at the bottom.
The final question asks how many players you ranked. You must have ranked at least the top 25 players for your ballot to be accepted. Ranking all 46 would be ideal, and the more the better, but just rank as many as you’re comfortable with and let us know how long your list was so we don’t factor in the ranks for the players you skipped.
Ballots can be edited after submission (so long as you use the same device and don’t delete the survey site’s cookies or clear your browser’s cache), [the proper option is now turned on, so if you couldn’t edit a submitted ballot before, you should be able to now] but it’s probably best if you don’t second-guess yourself too much. Please take your time to consider each player. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your list to reference throughout the series.
The survey will be closed at 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, July 19, with preliminary articles beginning the following week.
Now let’s get this thing under way, shall we? Your ballot can be filled out here: