NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale wrote an intriguing article this morning, discussing the debate as to whether Jamie Drysdale or Jake Sanderson is a better draft prospect. Morreale spoke with twelve scouts as to which prospect will make a greater impact at the NHL level, and Drsydale won out–barely:
Drysdale (5-foot-11, 175 pounds), No. 3 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters, scored 47 points (nine goals, 38 assists) and 22 power-play points in 49 games this season. He scored three points (one goal, two assists) in seven games while averaging 11:38 of ice time to help Canada finish first in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“I’ll tell you right now, Drysdale reminds me of Sergei Zubov/Chris Chelios and I don’t hesitate in saying that,” said TSN resident director of scouting, NHL analyst and former NHL general manager Craig Button. “He will be a No. 1 defenseman in the NHL someday.”
Sanderson (6-2, 185), No. 4 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters, scored 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists), three power-play goals and was plus-13 in 47 games. He could be the first player born and trained in Montana (Whitefish) to play in the NHL.
Sanderson, who will attend the University of North Dakota in 2020-21, averaged 0.62 points per game this season. Three NTDP U-18 defensemen selected in the first round of the NHL Draft have averaged more: Cameron York (1.03.; Philadelphia Flyers, No. 14, 2019 NHL Draft), Quinn Hughes (0.66.; Vancouver Canucks, No. 7, 2018) and Charlie McAvoy (0.64.; Boston Bruins, No. 14, 2016).
“Jake reminds me of Marc-Edouard Vlasic, having top-three potential,” Button said. “Jake, to me, is solid but isn’t going to be as high an offensive producer as Drysdale.”
In a poll conducted by NHL.com of 12 NHL scouts, Drysdale earned a 7-5 advantage.
Continued with anonymous scouts’ takes on both players, positive and negative…