FCHockey
Staff
February 20, 2023

Rebound contenders in FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2023 NHL Draft

We’re just a handful of months away from the 2023 NHL Draft. And the class is well on its way to rounding into form.

And as the European and North American junior seasons are now past the midway points of their seasons, FCHockey has revisited it’s projections by reshaping its Midterm ranking for the 2023 draft

Here are the biggest fallers in FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2023 draft:

Charlie Stramel | RW | 6’3″ | 213 lbs | Wisconsin (NCAA)
Preliminary ranking: 13
Midterm ranking: 32

Though it’s unfair to call Charlie Stramel’s freshman season at the University of Wisconsin a bust, he has battled consistency at times. While only registering five goals through the Badger’s first 29 contests, more has been expected of the big-bodied forward. Even his performance at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship was not what was expected out of a highly touted prospect, as he failed to register a goal on Teams USA’s march to a bronze medal.

“I was never the biggest fan due to his pace of play and minimal offensive impact he had when I watched him,” FCHockey regional scout Douglas Larson said. “If he can demand the puck more and create opportunities, he could find himself back into the top half of the first round, but with the season nearing an end, I just don’t see it.”

Cameron Allen | D | 5’11” | 190 lbs | Guelph (OHL)
Preliminary ranking: 11
Midterm ranking: 44

There was a time when Cameron Allen was considered the top available defenseman in this year’s draft. Not only is he FCHockey’s biggest faller — dropping down 33 places — but he also went from our first-ranked defenseman down to 10th. After a solid rookie performance in the OHL, Allen has stagnated. He is on pace to put up 10 points less in his sophomore season while doubling his penalty minutes playing as a -20 defenseman.

“He has hit a little bit of a plateau since November. He’s a very well-rounded player and has great poise at both ends of the ice,” FCHockey’s chief Ontario scout Austin Broad said. “Allen plays all situations for Guelph, and that might have skewed my original analysis of him. He is still a future NHL defenseman, he just might be a bottom-four guy rather than a top-four player in the long term. He doesn’t fold under pressure but does need to learn when to regroup and take the simple play rather than forcing a low-percentage pass. If he cuts down on the turnovers and mental mistakes, it will help his game a ton going forward.”

2023 NHL DRAFT RISERS

Jordan Tourigny | D | 5’11” | 168 lbs | Shawinigan (QMJHL)
Preliminary ranking: 34
Midterm ranking: 52

The fall of Jordan Tourigny down draft rankings is not all due to his play on the ice this season — as he has been relatively consistent — but more due to the better-than-expected play of others this season. Not known to have the best shot, Tourigny’s value is through his puck moving as he’s registered 32 assists from the blue line this season.  Originally projected as an early second-round pick, he has fallen to the back half of the second round in the mid-term rankings.

“I’d like to see him add a further element of strength to his game,” FCHockey’s chief Eastern scout Shaun Richardson said. “It would allow him to deal with players who lean on him and play him tough, but it would also allow him to initiate contact more consistently and defend with a combination of stick and body. Tourigny hasn’t really hurt his draft chances with his play. He was, and remains, a dynamic offensive defenseman that should get plenty of attention come draft day. His big hurdle is that some defenseman available will offer just as much as Tourigny on the offensive side of the puck but may offer more on the defensive side.”

Aram Minnetian | D | 6’0″ | 170 lbs | USNTDP (USHL)
Preliminary ranking: 30
Midterm ranking: 60

Aram Minnetian, the top defensive prospect from the NTDP, has not reached the level of expectation that is looked for in a top prospect. On a team that typically dominates many of their games, Minnetian’s offensive numbers have been below par, only finding the back of the net six times through 46 games. Still, with time remaining in the season to jump back up the rankings, the Boston College commit will want to keep his name projected in the top two rounds.

“Minnetian was the defender that stood out to me the first time I watched this year’s NTDP team,” Larson said. “I thought he had a chance to be the best on his team, and while he is falling in the rankings, he remains the best option out of the NTDP for me this year. He’s dynamic with the puck at times but not consistently enough, which is a big factor in why he’s dropped a bit. When all is said and done, I think he’ll still find himself in the second round of our rankings at the end of the year.”

Alex Ciernik | LW | 5’10” | 179 lbs | Sodertalje (Allsvenskan)
Preliminary ranking: 37
Midterm ranking: 62

It’s been a bumpy ride this season for Alex Ciernik as he’s missed significant time this season, appearing in only one game from September 30-November 16. Playing in Sweden, Ciernik has been bounced around between the J20 league and the HockeyAllsvenskan. His club, Sodertalje SK, recently put him on loan to Vasterviks IK, where he has been able to find his footing receiving top-line minutes and time on the first power play.

“He has just been away from the game, and there is always a period until you are back on track which I think he is now,” FCHockey regional scout Fredrik Haak said. “He needs to work on his defensive play without the puck. If it’s an attitude question, he needs to mature in the coming years and know that those parts are very important to be more well-rounded. The way to bump up the list is through the play Ciernik has shown over the last (few) weeks. He is very skilled with the puck and makes unpredictable moves and opening passes every time he enters the offensive zone. The hockey IQ is so high that he easily can jump up in the rankings in the future.”


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