FlamesNation Darkhorse Targets: Logan Brown

Logan Brown is a kid who has crept up a lot of prospect lists and mock drafts this summer. He was already on the radar to start the season thanks to his huge frame: at 6’6″ and 220 pounds, he’s the biggest first round forward available. However, it’s Brown’s offensive outburst, going from 43 in his rookie season to 74 points this year, that has really pushed him into the spotlight. 

Because of his size, playmaking ability and style of play, some are comparing Brown to players like Joe Thornton and Ryan Getzlaf. Is it possible the Flames could take him at sixth overall?

Scouting Reports

Every report obviously mentions Brown’s massive frame first and foremost. There seems to be some disagreement about his potential as a true “power forward”, however. While all seem to agree he is good at using his size to protect the puck, some scouts don’t see the necessary intensity or aggression to apply the “power” label. 

Skating is usually a concern for big players, but aside from his first couple of steps, scouts agree this is not a problem for Brown. He is also considered more of a playmaker than a sniper by most; a guy who slows the pace of play and uses good vision to find other players in traffic. This tendency is reflected in his numbers: 51 of Brown’s 74 points were assists and he only fired 154 shots on net (the least of any probable first round OHL forwards).

From Future Considerations:

He is not afraid to use his frame to muscle his way to the net or work the boards. Possesses impressive vision and playmaking ability from the outside and has the unique blend of imposing Big Rig size with solid speed although improvement to his first two steps is required.

From Brock Otten’s OHL Prospects:

At 6’6” and 225 pounds you have to love his size. He needs to improve his first step speed but once he hits top speed he can move. Brown protects the puck very well. He has excellent vision and can make plays at top speed, usually successfully. Brown definitely needs to work on a couple of things, mainly his play without the puck and his defensive game. Those can be taught, but his offensive skills cannot.

Teams looking for a potential number one centre can look to Logan Brown. Brown is a playmaking centre with size and is a powerful and agile skater. He uses his height to protect the puck and is strong along the boards dominating puck possession. His great vision makes players on his wings better and he has defensive awareness as well. Potential first line centre with Joe Thornton or Ryan Getzlaf upside.

The two knocks that crop up with Brown are consistency and his defensive game. Of course, those are the two knocks on almost all prospects outside of the top three every year, so take them for what they are worth.

The Numbers

Of course, size doesn’t matter as much as what you do with it. Brown is big, but did he put up the sort of results that justify a top 10 pick?

As noted, Brown scored 74 points in 59 games this year, one of the better point-per-game rates amongst draft eligible players in the OHL. To add context to his results, I went through Prospect-Stats.com and rated Brown against his peers according to a collection of key factors, including primary points (goals + first assists), even strength primary points, percentage of team scoring, and NHL Equivalency. 

The entire spreadsheet can be viewed here for those interested, but the ranking broke down this way:

  1. Alex DeBrincat
  2. Matthew Tkachuk
  3. Adam Mascherin 
  4. Alex Nylander
  5. Logan Brown

According to offensive results, these five guys is the top “tier” for OHL forwards this season. Debrincat runs away a bit, leading or placing top two in every category you can name. 

Brown only marginally trails probable top six pick Alex Nylander in things like NHLE (33 to 35) and primary points per game (0.97 to 0.86). An area when Nylander is clearly superior is percentage of team scoring – he managed to contribute to approximately 42% of his club’s offense, whereas Brown fell down to about 36%. This is reflected in the fact that Nylander led his club in scoring by a full 14 points, whereas Brown was 16 points back of first place on his club. 

Nevertheless, Brown’s results are very good. He was one of only five OHLers to break the 30 NHLE threshold, which is worth considering because as Byron notes here, a player expected to be scorer at the NHL level almost certainly has to reach an NHLE of 30 or better, usually in his draft year.

Conclusion

Logan Brown is an intriguing player. His size and offensive totals are hard to ignore, which is why a lot of scouts are starting to compare him to some of the best “big body” pivots in the NHL. 

But is he a good bet at sixth overall? I’m not quite convinced. Some mock drafts have Brown going in the top five while others bump him back to the mid teens. His output this year was notable, but falls behind a few of the other noteworthy top 10 guys, as well as a couple of other OHLers like DeBrincat and Adam Mascherin (who are ranked below him thanks to their lesser stature). 

Brown would be a bit of a reach for the Flames with their first selection this year, but it wouldn’t surprise me if his name called inside the top 10.

Previous draft targets: Alexander Nylander | Pierre-Luc Dubois | Matthew Tkachuk | Jakob Chychrun | Olli Juolevi | Clayton Keller | Alex DeBrincat | Sam Steel | Vitalii Abramov | Jake Bean | Tyson Jost | Mikhail Sergachev | Tyler Benson | Griffin Luce

      • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

        I’m sorry guys but it seems Vancouver is locked onto Dubois or Tkachuk. In fact they like Dubois more and looks like he will be there at #5

        • Kevin R

          Was reading that Dubois’s best interview was with the Oilers. If they take Dubois, legit question as whether Benning heads over to take Brown or Tkachuk. But you never know. I see a big centre being the #1 target for Canucks, question is whether Brown has moved up enough to not be a stretch for Canucks if Duboids is gone. Some think he has.

          • Backburner

            Dubois killed it at the Combine, so I’m guess he’s a lock for 4th overall.

            There is a chance benning could take Brown, but I think he would be shot if he passed over Tkachuk.

            That would be awesome for the Flames though!

            Go Weisbrod!

    • Byron Bader

      Boyle didn’t crack a 30+ nhle until he was 21.5. Brown did so just weeks after turning 18. He’s already miles ahead of Boyle. Not sure if I like him at 6 but I think he’ll be a far superior player to Boyle.

  • Baalzamon

    I had Nylander at 39.1% of team and Brown at just under 33%. I don’t doubt that my method of calculation was different (read: less sophisticated) than Kent’s, though.

  • BurningSensation

    Brown is an interesting riser in this draft. He clearly has high end skill, and size, and his numbers suggest there is an NHL player there, but is he Getzlaf or Hanzal?

    Either way, he might be worth a look at 6.

      • BurningSensation

        Brown is one of the better even strength scoring prospects available (along with Dubois)

        He isnt being floated by elite linemates.

        He’s a huge presence at a key position, who is only going to add muscle to an impressive frame.

        There is lots to like with Brown, even if he does look like Colbourne part 2.

  • everton fc

    Mascherin, albeit short of height (but closing in on 200lbs, I think) will be an interesting addition to the team that picks him. Should be discussed as a darkhorse pick here. Perhaps….

    From Elite Prospects:

    “Prolific scoring winger who combines an exceedingly high work ethic with speed, skill, and a mature approach to the game to overcome size differentials. An intense competitor with a booming shot, Mascherin finds ways to score by outworking the opposition. He may not be the tallest player on the ice, but he isn’t a lightweight either. He plays a fast, heavy game and isn’t afraid to battle against tougher opponents. All-in-all, a lightning rod kind of player who will exceed expectations and bring energy to the game with each shift.” (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)

    And some video, of Mascherin:

    http://thehockeywriters.com/adam-mascherin-key-piece-in-leafs-rebuild/

  • GodsGotSandals

    I think speed and skill win more games than size does. Although size and skill is a tantalizing combination. I still think nylander is our best bet at 6 though.

  • EhPierre

    The fact he’s that big and still doesnt impose or power through guys at Junior is concerning. If he’s not willing to use his big body to its full extent, especially when he’s facing competition from kids that are still growing, he’s not going to be effective in the NHL when he’s facing competition from adults and still refuses to use his body to its full intent and power through guys.

    I rather have guys that are short but give me their all each shift, heart and soul type of players. Pass on Brown.

  • Backburner

    I suspect Logan Brown will be more of a Joe Colborne player than a Joe Thorton..

    Treliving mentioned they were looking at 4 players they would take with the 6th pick.. not sure if that includes Tkachuk and Dubois or are in addition to those players?

  • everton fc

    Guys I like in the draft:

    Sergachev
    Chyrchun
    Tkachuk
    Nylander (had a good combine in the strength department, as did Chycrhun. Nylander outlifted Laine. If he’s available at #6… RW…)
    Abramov (immensely)
    Mascherin (2nd round)
    Gauthier (I know there’s a lot of doubts about him…)

    Teams I’d talk to regarding trades:
    Habs – (6th/something else for McCarron/something else)
    Rangers – (Hayes and Kreider would be of interest)
    Stars – Wideman for Niemi, Niemi gives Gillies a full year of professional development.

    • Baalzamon

      Nylander outlifted Laine.

      BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Yet another reason why the combine is complete bunk. No one should pay attention to Combine results, except to pay attention to what players need to improve on. It should NEVER affect draft position.

        • Baalzamon

          I already knew Nylander wasn’t soft. I didn’t need some contrived strength test to tell me that. It’s just ridiculous that people put so much stock into fitness testing in teenagers, when they should really be looking for players who are LESS fit, not more. The easiest way to improve a player’s performance is to improve that player’s level of fitness. If a player is already proficient without possessing exemplary fitness, that player should be considered more valuable than a player who is marginally proficient but whose fitness results are off the charts.

          The combine was a huge factor in Griffin Reinhart getting drafted fourth overall. Prior to the combine he was considered a top 15 talent, by most. After the combine, Bob McKenzie ranked him fourth.

          The Combine was also the sole reason for Rasmus Andersson falling into the end of the second round. Everyone (and I mean everyone) knew it was a mistake as soon as it happened. The Flames were the beneficiaries.

          Edit: I’m on record as wanting the Flames to draft Nylander. I’m the guy who considers him a better prospect than Matthew Tkachuk and Pierre-Luc Dubois

          • everton fc

            I feel the same, about Nylander. He came into the comine at 6’1″ 178lbs. Lots of guys in the league now, same size. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nylander continued scoring in camp, whoever drafts him. He seems excellent in the shootout, as well. And can finish… Let’s hope it’s the Flames who bring him to camp later this summer…

            Griffin Reinhart… Words fail….

          • piscera.infada

            I don’t think anyone was arguing for the merits of the combine–I agree with you one-million percent on everything you wrote above.

            I think that with the amount of conjecture regarding Nylander and his strength and work ethic, why not more? I do think that the original poster and @EhPierre were eluding to this, moreso than trying to make a legitimate case for Nylander.

          • EhPierre

            I agree with all that you said except for Nylander being a better prospect than Dubious. I just feel that Dubious has an overall sound game therefore being a much safer pick whereas Nylander as elite skills but poor two way play. If Nylander can continue to demonstrate his elite skills that he has in the NHL then he’d be top 5 in his draft for sure when you look back on this draft 5 years from now.

          • Nedd

            In respect to the value of the combine, I think you can look at it a few different ways. One line of thinking is what you’re saying, strength / conditioning is an easy fix. But another way to look at it is to ask why these players aren’t in better condition in the first place? Might speak to work ethic (barring an injury issue like Sam Bennett). There are plenty of examples of talented / highly skilled prospects not making it due to a poor or subpar work ethic (which is not an easy fix).

            Many people question the value of a post secondary education but at a minimum it does demonstrate a level of commitment / work ethic. Beyond a certain threshold of talent, hard work trumps skill every time (of course the best scenario is a combination of both high skill and work ethic).

          • FlamesFanOtherCity

            Unless we make a trade, we will be choosing from a defender or Nylander. I could care less about the combine, except it gives the team a chance to interview a bunch of players. That’s how you find the Monahan’s of the world.

  • Parallex

    I think most of the combine is fairly pointless (I don’t give a rats behind about a guys VO2max or Anaerobic peak power).

    The parts I pay attention to is rumors about interviews… and I’m pretty sure the only part that actually affects a teams decision making is the interview.

    I also watch the height/weight. Mostly because I like to see how they diverge from the public info listed and not for any guesswork on who gets drafted where.

  • freethe flames

    Put me down that the Flames will make a significant trade at the draft table. I don’t know if it will include our first rounder but I fully expect the BT to pull off another Dougie Hamilton move; one where he makes the Flames better without sacrificing the rebuild. There would be nothing wrong with getting a 19-22 year old top six forward who is ready to play(or curretly playing) in the NHL for the 6th or 35th overall.