This pick is an interesting one because the lines between the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth are significantly blurred in my opinion. A lot of these players really could go anywhere, so this is a pretty annoying guessing game.
Regardless, below is my analysis of the Predators’ fourth-round selection. Once again, this analysis is broken into three categories: players who may fall, players who should be there no matter what, and players who may rise. It will not only take into account who will be available, but who has the best ability to become a regular NHL player.
As a disclaimer, I prefer payers with high-end skill. I am a religious believer in taking the best player available, but there may be some consideration of position based on the organization’s needs.
These are players who are unlikely to be available but whose stock may fall for various reasons.
Weight: 152 lbs.
Ranked: #39 (NA Skaters) - NHL Central Scouting
Stat Line: 50 GP / 15 G / 19 A / 34 PTS
Madden, son of former NHLer John Madden, is being pegged by many to be a definite third-round pick this weekend. The MVP of the USHL All-Star Game reminds me a lot of Johnny Gruden who I profiled in my Round 3 analysis. He is a quick, tenacious forechecker who can score from off the wing or via a screen in front of the net.
His numbers weren’t astonishing this season but good. 34 points in 50 games for two USHL teams is decent for his rookie season. But, he also doesn’t have the elite high school scoring pedigree like fellow Avon Old Farms graduate Patrick Harper.
The Northeastern commit would be a solid choice here, but his upside might make a team pounce on him in Round 2.
Honorable Mentions: Scott Perunovich [D], Ryan O’Reilly [C/RW]
Right Where We Want Them
These are players initially projected to be available at 111th overall.
Weight: 152 lbs.
Ranked: #63 (EU Skaters) - NHL Central Scouting
Stat Line: 40 GP / 11 G / 19 A / 30 PTS
The theme for this section will be diminutive forwards. That may not be the most desirable pick at center, but Zhabreyev is an excellent playmaker. Many evaluators that prefer creative and high-endh-en skill have made the case for him to be a solid fourth-round pick, but is size certainly could prevent that.
In 40 games in Russia’s junior league, Zhabreyev impressed with 30 points to go along with 4 points in 5 U18 WJC games and 9 points in 21 other international appearances.
Oh and he’s got a pretty nice wrist shot to go along with it.
Weight: 159 lbs.
Ranked: #82 (NA Skaters) - NHL Central Scouting
Stat Line: 68 GP / 12 G / 39 A / 51 PTS
Der-Arguchintsev is, with Jan Jenik, the youngest player in this draft - born exactly on the cutoff date. He’s another small center with incredible high-end skill. In his second year with the Peterborough Petes, Der-Arguchintsev added 20 points to his rookie season totals.
Another impressive note on the young Russian is his incredible discipline. He plays a game relatively free of stick infractions and it shows: he received his first minor penalty in his 63rd game of the season.
Der-Arguchintsev is another player who could go anywhere, but he is a good skater with refined hands and would be an excellent pick in the fourth round.
Honorable Mentions: Nathan Dunkley [C], Danil Zhuravlyov [D]
Maybe a Reach?
These players could be a stretch but maybe it pays off.
Weight: 181 lbs.
Ranked: #91 (NA Skaters) - NHL Central Scouting
Stat Line: 72 GP / 15 G / 25 A / 40 PTS
Burzan is another hard player to truly project where he goes. He’s a big-bodied winger who plays in the hard-nosed Western Hockey League. A mid-season trade to Brandon helped elevate his game to that of a reliable top-6 forward. He isn’t a high-skilled player like the two centers above, but utilizes his speed and frame more like Tyler Madden or Johnny Gruden.
He is a smart player who should grow with even further increased ice-time in Brandon next season. I might be a bit down on his NHL potential, because the Western Hockey League is so difficult to project, but he could be a decent prospect if he can refine his offensive output.
Honorable Mentions: Jacob Ragnarsson [D], Libor Zabransky [D]
All stats are courtesy of eliteprospects.com.