by Dominic Tiano
Selecting players for any draft for any sport is a crap shoot at the best of times. But when most of the top players that are available have missed significant time, what do you do?
This isn't just an OHL problem, but has been almost a plague of sorts throughout the CHL this season. With players like Alex Galchenyuk, Ryan Murray, and Martin Frk, we at least have last year to look at, the latter two already making their return. Galchenyuk is rumored to be coming back as early as March. but does he really need to to solidify himself as a top 10 or top 5 pick? I suppose one would like to see how his knee responds.
Nail Yakupov has missed time at different points in the season but that hasn't stopped him from topping just about every ranking from NHL Central Scouting to the blogger in his mother's basement. This guy is just pure gold and if he didn't play another game this season, would probably still be tops on most lists.
Malcolm Subban seems to be another that hasn't had his rankings hurt with the time he's missed. In fact, I would say its been even more solidified with the fact the Belleville Bulls just can't seem to buy a win when he's not playing, proving even more so, how valuable he truly is.
Where it does get tricky is further down the list. What do you do with a Matia Marcantuoni who's been plagued with injuries this season and is now out for the year? Ditto with Slater Koekkoek. What about Jarrod Maidens who's missed the last two months with a concussion? How much does that influence your decision not to select him?
I really liked Adam Pelech's chances this year of showing what he can do, but he to missed the first two months of the season, and although he's played extremely well for Erie since his return, how many people are going to notice when he's playing in Erie? Granted, with Dane Fox and others there, scouts will get a look at him but did his stock drop before the puck did on the season?
This has to be one of the worst draft classes for injuries to the top players in recent memory. One things for certain: NHL teams will get their money's worth from their scouts in June. Question is: will they make the right choices? It's almost a guessing game right now.
Here's a look at some of the injuries to players that were projected in the first round or just looking in. I've shown my rankings of the players back in October and January for comparison. It should be noted that in the case of Nail Yakupov and Olli Maatta and their injuries in December, that part of that time was at the World Junior Championships and where the injuries occurred.