Thanks again for participating in the 2018 CBJ Top 25 Under 25 series here at The Cannon. We’ve enjoyed writing these profiles and discussing these players with you in the comments. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed voting and reading.
If you’ve missed any, here is the full archive of our countdown.
The full results will be posted below, but first the staff wanted to comment on which players we felt were too high or too low, and which players should have been on the list.
Too High/Too Low
I would not have put Lukas Sedlak, Markus Hannikainen, or Scott Harrington on the list. I feel like each has reached his ceiling, and that’s not a good thing when you’re still 25 or younger. I didn’t set a criteria for voting, but in my personal opinion the list should be for young players who have either accomplished a lot already or who have a lot of potential.
Seth Jones was too low.
Honestly, I was struck by Markus Nutivaara’s spot. You may think he’s too high, and maybe he is–he doesn’t have Sonny Milano’s talent or Joonas Korpisalso’s obvious potential–but the more you look at how he’s grown and what he could do for the club, a top-10 ranking seems about right. Another season from Boone Jenner like last year’s and that spot belongs to Nuti.
Vitaly Abramov is also too high. I get it and I’m sure he’s that good and nobody will be happier than me if and when he does the damn thing, but putting him above NHL regulars might be a little much. I can’t believe he beat out Sonny Milano. Sonny outscored Boone last year!
I would have dropped Harrington. Whether lower or off the list altogether. I think based on his NHL experience Duclair can be higher and with his upside that I believe he still possesses.
Who shouldn’t have been left out?
I was shocked by the lack of Monsters voted into the Top 25 Under 25. Guys like Doyle Somerby (D/F) and Matiss Kivlenieks (G) should have made the cut. Kivlenieks started the 2017-18 season thinking he would be the back up netminder for the Monsters. Little did he know an injury to Brad Thiessen would catapult him into the top spot for the bulk of the season. Kivlenieks learned on the fly and did quite well in the process. The Monsters record doesn’t do Kivlenieks any justice. During the 2017-18 season, Somerby came in clutch multiple times. He is a phenomenal defender who can also play forward quite well. I highly enjoyed watching him take the ice as a forward more than a defender. Why? Because his demeanor was full of excitement for the challenge which lay ahead of him. As a defender, I was often impressed at Somerby’s ability to read the ice and figure out what his opponent will do next. Both Kivlenieks and Somerby deserve a closer watch this upcoming season.
As far as a player that did not make the list, Maxime Fortier. Only 20-years-old and coming off consecutive 32-goal campaigns, and 31 in 2015-16 with the Halifax Mooseheads, who he also captained. Entering his first season in the AHL, what kind of numbers can the 5’10” RW put up?
Alex Broadhurst. He was close to making it, sure, but I think he deserves a spot in the top 25. He finally made it to the show in garbage time last year after wearing the “A” in Cleveland. Broadhurst strikes me as a tweener, one point off the Monsters lead last year, but maybe not ready for a full-time gig in the NHL. Still, Tortorella singled him out as one of the young guys who could take the leap and make a push through the organization. It speaks well of the depth that a guy who scored 41 points in 66 games couldn’t make it, but I think he could’ve broken into our list.
I agree with Will about Maxime Fortier. Site founder Mike MacLean lives in Halifax and was very excited when the Jackets signed Fortier. His numbers in juniors are very impressive and I can’t wait to see him light the lamp in Cleveland this year.
Another player who should have gotten more love is Kirill Marchenko. He could end up being the best player out of the 2018 Columbus draft class. Most of Jarmo Kekalainen’s picks this year were on the smaller size, but in contrast Marchenko is already 6’3” and 187 lbs. With that size and with his great hands, he could be another physical scoring threat a la Boone Jenner or Josh Anderson.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
2018 CBJ Top 25 Under 25 Results