Finding better value in later 2024 NHL Draft rounds using NHLe

Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
23 days ago
Naturally in Calgary there is a lot of focus on what the Flames will do at the top of their draft. It only makes sense – the odds of getting a difference maker are always higher the earlier the pick you have.
Yet, there are seven rounds and 225 picks. It gets difficult to find decent value as the draft gets past the third round, but every year there are guys that fall through the cracks and still make it to the show.
I wanted to use a tool we have at our disposal these days – NHLe or NHL equivalency. It uses scoring production and historical comparisons to the players that came before them to help give some insight as to where each player in a draft class stands.
It’s basically a data driven way to look at or direct your scouting assignments. The model we are going to use is that of HockeyProspecting.com developed by Byron Bader (@ByronMBader).
Today we are going to look at three players that have a higher NHLe number than their ranking on the final central scouting list would indicate.

Luke Misa– C – 5’ 10” – 174 lbs – Shoots: Left – Ranked #76 NHL Central Scouting (NA), #65 Daily Faceoff

The player that most likely will go first will be Luke Misa of the Mississauga Steelheads. He had 26 goals with 55 assists for 81 points in 66 games. He was the go-to guy on his team in all situations and found ways to produce doing it.
He’s not the largest guy but he can fly like the wind. Heads always on a swivel and he hungers for the offensive zone. By Byron’s model Misa should be a late first round pick that currently is projected to go mid-second round.

Daniil Anatsky – C – 6’ 3” – 214 lbs – Shoots: Left – Ranked #71 NHL Central Scouting (INT)

Everyone always wants to get a bit of size in their lineup – why not finding a guy who has that and has shown a scoring touch. In the same league that saw projected top-5 pick Demidov get 60 points in 30 games, Daniil Anatasky was able to score 43 points in 41 games. By no means a direct comparable in any sense, but at least it gives you some context to rate his production.
Anatsky is not projected to go very high – if at all. He’s got a Star probability similar to that of Misa, but the model really loves the odds of him being able to become an NHLer. With the size to be a difference making winger in the NHL and the production numbers to back it up Anatsky could be worth a flyer.

Mac Swanson – C – 5’ 8” – 157 lbs – Shoots: Left – Ranked #152 NHL Central Scouting (NA), #78 Daily Faceoff

I believe Swanson is ranked so low due to his size, because he was one heck of a playmaker this last year. In 55 games in the USHL – playing for the Fargo Force (what a name) – he achieved 26 goals and 51 assists for 77 points. His tools that make up for his lack of size are fantastic, but that will always be a risk with a pick like this.
There is no doubt extreme talent in this player – it’s just a matter of whether or not he can be able to withstand the brutality that is going against defencemen in the big leagues. Swanson could be a Matthew Phillips type project for the Flames, and I do mean project. No promise for anything at the NHL, but more than enough skill to at least be interested enough in taking a chance on him later in the draft.
Which of these late-round targets appeal to you as draft prospects? Let us know in the comments!
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