Who do the top 2018 NHL draft picks remind us of? – ESPN

Rasmus Dahlin gives the Buffalo Sabres a real No. 1 NHL defenseman. Who does he compare to? Well, a certain Hall of Famer is a good place to start. 

1:09 PM ET

One of the old standbys of scouting reports that enter the public sphere is comparison scouting. It’s easier for fans to visualize what a player can be if you can compare him to a similar player.

With recent advancements made in analytics and within scouting departments in general, there has been more effort to make those comparisons less subjective with various models created to see how a prospect stacks up against historical comparisons. One of the more popular examples of comparison modeling is “Prospect Cohort Success,” better known as PCS, a system developed by Josh Weissbock and Cam Lawrence, both of whom now work for the Florida Panthers. I also often look at per-game scoring rates against a player’s age-related peers historically when making my own evaluations of prospects. It’s a very basic element, but it is an objective fact and another point of reference when you look at historical comparables.

Here is a very basic look at some of the historical comparisons for this year’s top draft picks based on their per-game scoring production in their respective leagues, while also considering the more subjective stylistic comparables that may help tell the story of what a player will eventually become.

2018 draft: No. 1 overall draft pick
Top comparison: Brian Leetch

Chris Peters grades and analyzes the draft picks for all 31 NHL teams.

We slot the players into five tiers and assess their chances of actually reaching the free agent market next July 1.

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