The Top 25 Under 25 has been our summer series since 2010. Until 2016, it was a staff-only vote, but we added the community to make up one panellist that year, and the year after we awarded individual ballots for members of the community.
A total of 133 players were ranked from 2010 to 2018. With the 10th series about to begin, we take a look back at some notable facts from the previous editions.
Some of those were never ranked in the top 25, while a select few were always regarded as top-level talents. Three players with multiple appearances were never ranked outside the top three. Carey Price was ranked #1 both in 2010 and 2011, P.K. Subban was ranked #2 in 2010 and 2011 and #1 in 2012 and 2013, and Alex Galchenyuk was ranked #3 in 2012, #2 in 2013, and #1 from 2014 to 2017.
There had only been two players who were ranked for all of their T25U25 eligibility (from age 18 to 24): Charles Hudon and Brendan Gallagher. Two more from the 2013 NHL Draft will join them this season: Michael McCarron and Artturi Lehkonen.
David Desharnais and Alexei Emelin are the two players who have exceeded expectations of the voting panel. Both players were eligible once for the Top 25 Under 25, in 2010, though would have been eligible earlier. Desharnais was 19th in that vote and Emelin was 22nd but both had significant NHL careers.
Because of the nature of the vote, and due to the lack of depth in the Montreal Canadiens system, there were no other players significantly under-ranked throughout the history of the rankings. There were players who eventually rose, but no players consistently stayed undervalued into their mid-20s. For example, Gallagher was ranked 24th in his debut year (2010) but rose all the way to second. Similarly, Jake Evans went from 35th to 12th in his first five years, and Charles Hudon went from 28th to a fairly steady stay at fifth.
Evans is among the three players who has risen the most from their lowest to highest point (23 spots) throughout his time in the series, with Hudon and Morgan Ellis. The biggest single-year rise was a tie between Martin Réway and Cayden Primeau, both going up 19 spots. Reway went from 33rd in 2013 to 14th in 2014 while Primeau rose from 36th in 2017 to 17th in 2018.
With Evans and Primeau still active, they can set the mark for highest cumulative rise through the rankings. Evans is currently tied for top spot and any rise to 11th or higher would give him the record to himself. Primeau will need to reach 13th at any point to tie the record, and 12th to set it. With so many new players coming into the system, the biggest rise could be yet to come from one of the players we considered this year.
Some players went in the opposite direction. Dalton Thrower debuted at 16th in 2012 but dropped to 38th by the time he left the organization in 2016. It remains the biggest drop from highest point to lowest in the history of the Top 25 Under 25. Joonas Nattinen went from 17th in 2010 to 38th in 2015.
Other players have had a yo-yo effect. Morgan Ellis went from 34th in 2010 to 11th in 2012 before dropping all the way down to 27th in 2015. Réway went from 33rd to as high as 12th in 2016, but eventually dropped to 21st in 2017.
Some players were ranked higher than you would expect but most of that is due to the lack of true depth in the system. Nikita Scherbak, Jarred Tinordi, Sebastian Collberg, Danny Kristo, and Louis Leblanc all had multiple top-10 appearances. Nathan Beaulieu had multiple top-five rankings. Most of those players eventually got to the NHL, but would likely not be ranked as high with today’s depth.
Top of the leaderboard
We have only seen four players reach the #1 ranking over nine seasons: Carey Price (two times), P.K. Subban (twice), Alex Galchenyuk (four times), and Jonathan Drouin (once).
A testament to the consistency of the voters, no player has ever dropped from the #1 spot in the history of the Top 25 Under 25. Price and Subban graduated from the top spot, and Alex Galchenyuk was traded before the vote in 2018. Drouin, in his last year of eligibility, is the one tasked with keeping that trend going in this series.
Three of those players were high first-round picks. This series has seen one new player added from the draft’s opening round in each year of its existence, and it has been a mixed bag of debuts in the rankings. Mikhail Sergachev (2016) and Alex Galchenyuk (2012) are tied for the top debut with a #3 ranking in their first appearance while Noah Juulsen’s #17 rank in 2015 is the lowest. Nathan Beaulieu (#5), Nikita Scherbak (#6), and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (#6) had top-10 debuts. Ryan Poehling and Michael McCarron debuted at #14, and Jarred Tinordi was 11th. Cole Caufield is the next to join that list in 2019.
Who will be the big riser this year, and who is primed to be a notable miss in the future? Only time will tell as the rankings are revealed.
2010-2018 T25U25 Rankings
|De la Rose, Jacob||11||10||15||6||7||17|