Lots of folks on Twitter bring up Bo Horvat as an example of why Gabriel Vilardi should be ranked higher on Recrutes’ draft list because he improved his skating so much…well…the guys ranked in front of him are also very good players AND they skate well. Horvat was an exception, not the rule, and his skating at the time projected to be better than Vilardi’s…he was a better skater his draft year and had better mechanics and quickness.
The other thing that is brought up is how young Vilardi is…my answer to that is that eight months ago in Mittelstadt’s instance…he still skated better than Vilardi does today at the same age. Glass is four months older than Vilardi…well, four months ago he skated better than Vilardi does today. Same with Tippett, Mittelstadt and Pettersson. Odds are that Vilardi will never skate as well as the other prospects in the top ten mix…so he has to be “penalized” as such when trying to produce a final ranking. Is he smart and skilled? Undoubtedly…but so are Glass, Mittelstadt and the others. If he doesn’t end up being in my top ten it will certainly not be because I don’t think he’s a good prospect – only that I like ten better in terms of NHL upside.