Josh
Bell
February 2, 2022

5 fallers in FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2022 NHL Draft

The 2021-22 season continues to roll on and some players haven’t been reaching the expectations that was set for them.

In the latest update to FCHockey’s rankings, there are some sizeable moves both up and down the draft board. In this edition, there were players sliding out of the top-10, out of the first round, and out of the top-100 altogether.

To take a closer look at some of these changes, we’ve highlighted five players that have made notable drops down the draft board in FCHockey’s Midseason ranking for the 2022 NHL Draft.

Ivan Miroshnichenko, RW, Omskie Krylia (VHL)

Winter rank: 7

Midseason rank: 25

Difference: -18

Ivan Miroshnichenko, the biggest name on this list, started the season as a top talent. He found himself as a top-5 contender in the very least. However, the season hasn’t gone as planned for the Russian forward. While Danila Yurov sees KHL time and plays at over a point-per-game in the MHL, Miroshnicheko has been stuck in neutral in the VHL, putting up 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in 31 games. He’s been leapfrogged on FCHockey’s ranking by teammate Gleb Trikozov and is the biggest faller within the first round by far.

“When I watched Miroshnichenko at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, I saw a player with tremendous offensive potential,” Russian video scout Jake Janso said. “Now, when I watch him in the VHL or MHL, I see short bursts of that player, but with much less consistency and an alarming lack of overall awareness. In his best moments, he can speed down the outside of the neutral zone, beat a defender cleanly, and rifle a heavy, accurate wrist shot past the goalie. However, much too often this year I’ve found him floating around, completely uninvolved in the play and missing that explosiveness that was once so prominent.”

Bryce McConnell-Barker, C, Soo Greyhounds (OHL)

Winter rank: 36

Midseason rank: 53

Difference: -17

The OHL players are still tough to rank in 2021-22 after missing their season last year because of COVID-19 protocols. For those who entered the year with high expectations, are they performing below that because they haven’t taken steps forward or simply because they missed a year of competitive play and crucial development? Bryce McConnell-Barker is one of those players that hasn’t reached the expectations set out for him, and that’s seen him slide down draft boards. It will be interesting to keep an eye on him as he develops to see if he can get his development path back on track.

“McConnell-Barker has shown promising flashes in a variety of roles for a veteran Greyhounds team, including great straight-line speed and a hard, quick release on his wrist shot,” OHL scout Joseph Aleong explained. “While his physicality and battle level aren’t areas of concern like some other similarly-ranked OHL prospects, his inconsistent production and a lack of creativity in his offensive zone approach to get more looks in high-danger areas may limit his ultimate NHL upside as a two-way center.”

Ludvig Jansson, D, Södertälje SK (HockeyAllsvenskan)

Winter rank: 52

Midseason rank: 88

Difference: -36

Ludvig Jansson can be a bit of a frustrating player to watch at times as he shows potential offensively, but the points haven’t been coming to him. In 32 games in the HockeyAllsvenskan, he’s collected just five points (two goals, three assists). Defensively, there’s some real worry to his game and how it translated to the next level. There’s potential to his game, but the red flags have been glaring in FCHockey’s scouts views.

“Jansson has fantastic tools when it comes to his offensive upsides and does get better and more effective every month in that area,” Swedish-based scout Fredrik Haak said. “But his game in his own zone has not really developed the way I thought it would and he needs to be more effective in winning pucks and stopping opponent’s attacks with smart defense.”

Cole Knuble, RW, Fargo Force (USHL)

Winter rank: 56

Midseason rank: 95

Difference: -39

After a small slide from the Preliminary to Winter ranking (45 to 56), Cole Knuble has tumbled down to 95 and nearly right off FCHockey’s top-100. He is second on his team with 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 34 games, but he hasn’t maintained the pace he showed at the start of the season. There’s still time for him to turn it around, but he’ll need to do so soon.

“At the start of the season, I thought Knuble had the potential to be a riser as the season progressed,” Head USA scout Austin Broad said. “His work ethic, strength, and ability to score from the slot all seemed to be setting him up for success. But as the year has gone on, he hasn’t taken that next step. I’ve seen him plateau a bit, and now have questions about what his ceiling could be as a prospect. Other players have gotten better in weaker areas as the season has gone on, but with Knuble I just haven’t seen the significant improvements in his game to prevent him from falling.”

Tyler Brennan, G, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

Winter rank: 73

Midseason rank: Not ranked

Difference: -28

After being the lone goaltender in the Winter ranking, Tyler Brennan has slid off of the top-100, leaving the ranking without a single netminder. Brennan hasn’t been having a great season, going 8-13-1 with a 3.46 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. The Prince George Cougars haven’t exactly been stellar either. But still, there are some growing concerns around his game. After some excellent goaltending picks in recent drafts, the 2022 class looks to be a fair bit weaker in net.

“Brennan is not having a particularly successful season, and trying to suss out how much of that is due to his skill level and how much is a direct result of the bad team in front of him is a difficult task,” head Western Canada scout Derek Neumeier said. “There are certainly things to like about his game, with a large frame that naturally covers a lot of the net, a demeanor that is both calm and focused, and advanced positioning and technique for a goalie his age. However, he is a little stiff in his movements, and he can be too slow at times tracking the play and moving around in his crease. Brennan is definitely a goalie worth selecting, and could very well be the first netminder picked in the 2022 draft, but there are real concerns as to whether he has what it takes to be an NHL starter once he hits the prime years of his career.”

Other notable fallers

Mathew Ward, RW, Swift Current Broncos (WHL) – 54 to 90 (-36)
Mats Lindgren, D, Kamloops Blazers (OHL) – 35 to 64 (-29)
Tim Almgren, C, Orebro HK J20 (J20 Nationell)– 79 to not ranked (-22)
Danny Zhilkin, C, Guelph Storm (OHL) – 66 to 82 (-16)
Hunter Haight, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)– 42 to 56 (-14)

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