2018 NHL Draft: Recap

The final blog on the 2018 draft.  I only wrote a combined 15 blogs on this years draft, not much at all!  Frankly, I’m a little burnt out from all the draft stuff I ended up doing this year and I’m not sure when I’ll get started on the 2019 stuff.  Oh, which reminds me, watch for my 2019 top 32 prospects list out later this week, possibly as early as tomorrow.  Why?  Because I have a serious problem, THAT’S why.

 

Ok, so this is the part where I’m going to get very egotistical/obnoxious/annoying/etc.  6/31 on my first round picks.  I’m good with that, especially considering three were outside of the top 10 picks.  I GUESS I got the position right on Rasmus Sandin too, a couple of guys I had to go to their teams in the first (Noel, Berggren) went to them in the second.  But those don’t count, so 6/31, but the one everyone else seems to judge their lists/mocks on is how many of those guys you had going in the first, went in the first.  Last year I recall guys talking up Sam Cosentino having 27/31.  Guys were talking up Bob McKenzie having 27/31.  Last year, I had 28/31 (which if you’ve read my stuff you’ve now read that too much).  This year by my count, McKenzie had 25/31.  I got 27/31 with my mock draft.  I felt with the way that first round ended up breaking, that was a pretty good number.  I’m not an egotistical guy, I don’t like people who brag, that’s not my intention here.  But I put in a SHIT TON of work with this stuff and I’m proud of it.

 

As I always say, this piece is done for fun and this year I even decided to get away from flat out saying who won or lost, good or gross, anything like that.  Sure, I’m critical of some and high on what others did in here, but I felt just simply recapping how I thought every team did was a better way to go.  I’m going to be VERY wrong on some of what I say here, and it’ll be funny as shit for the rest of you to go back and read in five years.  Conversely, it’ll be fun for me to re-read it in five years and pat myself on the back for the one or two things I’m right on!  We all win!

 

Anaheim

Didn’t mind it.  It’ll be a recurring theme on here with a few guys, but despite being a bigger Lundestrom fan than most, I don’t understand how you can like Lundestrom more than Joe Veleno.  And its clear the last two years how much they trust their Q scout because the next pick was Benoit-Olivier Groulx, which I again didn’t mind but felt they could have done better.  Blake McLaughlin has a lot of skill but off-ice issues.  I wasn’t big on taking two goaltenders, didn’t really like any of the late picks in fact.  It was an ok draft but just felt they could have done much better.

 

Arizona

People be hatin’ the Hayton pick, but they likely couldn’t trade down.  I have a feeling that Chicago was ready to pounce on him at eight, so if Detroit or Vancouver wasn’t budging there is simply nothing they could have done.  I wasn’t super high on Barrett Hayton, but I do understand the desperation for centres.  I really liked most of what they did otherwise.  Again like the Ducks, two goaltenders late rather than just one I’m not sure I’m thrilled with, but Kevin Bahl, Jan Jenik, Ty Emberson and Dennis Busby, really liked those picks and with rounds two through seven I’m not going to harp on the order they went in.

 

Boston

No first, only five picks overall, but loved their first two picks in Axel Andersson and Jakub Lauko.  I believe Lauko will play thanks to his speed, and Andersson has a lot of tools to be a pp QB someday.  Then Curtis Hall in the fourth round was well worth a roll of the dice, that’s where you take projects like him.  So for what they had to work with, they did ok.

 

Buffalo

They got Dahlin, so its a homerun weekend right there.  The rest of the draft was basically the scouting staff saying what they should have said last year which was “oh shit, we better load up on D because we don’t have many!”  Five of the six picks were defencemen.  I didn’t like the Samulesson pick at 32, but it wasn’t a reach either.  As for the last three D-men they took…hope they know what they’re doing because I had a lot of trouble finding anyone who even had them ranked.  Matej Pekar (94th overall) is a kid who could play in their bottom six someday thanks to a high motor, though not a lot of skill.  Again, they got Dahlin so its incredible for the franchise, but I’m not a fan of how they’ve drafted the last two years under Jason Botterill.

 

Calgary

Only five picks, but I do LOVE Martin Pospisil!  That kid seems like a piece of shit on the ice…and I mean that in a very complimentary way!  It was clear to me that their game plan was to just simply take pure skill and hope they could make something out of a pretty hopeless situation.  Of course the big news for the Flames was the trade, and I felt like they lost it.  Yet Brad Treliving did what he could with what was maybe a disgruntled star in Dougie Hamilton and two guys who were going to walk on him in Michael Ferland and prospect Adam Fox.  Noah Hanifin might be a kid who leaves people wanting more.  I don’t believe he will, but some worry he’ll never be more than what he is.  But even if he does, as I’ve said leading up to this draft with certain kids…a top four D-man who leaves you wanting more is still a top four D-man.  And he legitimately sounds thrilled to be going to a hockey market.  I really liked Elias Lindholm, but I worry about some of the stuff that’s now coming out about how soft he apparently is.  When he was drafted he was known as the Swedish Mike Richards.  But he’s been lacking Richards bite in his game.  I could see him really thriving on the Flames top line though, which is apparently where he’ll start.

 

Carolina

Speaking of Carolina, I may as well just continue talking about that trade.  Hamilton is an upgrade, and if they can extend Michael Ferland he’d give them an element they’ve badly missed on that team.  I feel they won the trade, but they won’t if they can’t sign Ferland and/or Fox.  As for the draft, Svechnikov was a layup as everyone except me had him ranked second at worse.  As for the rest of their draft, didn’t love it, though one kid I do really like is Luke Henman who they snagged at 96.  He has a LOT of weight to put on and when he does he just might take off.  They took 5’8, 145 lbs 20 year old defenceman Jesper Sellgren in the sixth round.  Interesting pick…

 

Chicago

Passed on Noah Dobson for Adam Boqvist…that was odd.  Over Dobson and Bouchard was odd in a way because I thought they’d love Bouchard if he was on the board, but definitely over Dobson.  Having said this, Boqvist is a kid I was still real high on.  But it was more so what they did the rest of the way is what has me loving their draft.  Nicolas Beaudin (27th), Jake Wise (69th), Niklas Nordgren (74th), and Philipp Kurashev (120th).  All of them are the Blackhawks type of players.  Some of them aren’t the best skaters, but they are all very highly skilled, can really move the puck around, and play their puck possession style.  That’s what makes the Hawks so successful in my opinion is because its a philosophy that’s organization wide.  So Quennville has the players playing that system, Stan Bowman looks for those type of players in trades and free agency, and the scouts look for those type of players in the draft.  You’d think that this is standard for every organization but it very much so isn’t.

 

Colorado

I liked the Martin Kaut pick, but I felt the same with that as the rest of their draft which I was just simply indifferent on.  Sampo Ranta was good value where they got him (78th), but the rest was just…ok.  Took three big swings on three Russians late in the draft, I will say I really like that because the Russian kids have tremendous skill so late in the draft is great spot to load up on them.  But nothing really stood out for me.  Didn’t feel like they knocked it out of the park with anything, yet don’t feel they did bad either.

 

Columbus

Liam Foudy at 18 over Joe Veleno, Rasmus Kupari, even Isac Lundestrom seemed REALLY weird if you’re looking for a centre…and by the way I don’t think Foudy is a centre (mind you neither is Kupari but if they figure Foudy is…), but it felt like they got really wrapped up in the idea of snagging the sexy riser in the draft and ended up reaching bad for him.  I had Foudy to go 20th to the Kings thinking someone was going to reach bad on him and I believe most scoffed at that idea, yet that was still not high enough.  And hey, I LOVE second round pick Kirill Marchenko.  That kid is a steal of a pick at 49 in my mind.  Here’s another tidbit though, and hey…we’re talking about a 7th round pick right now…but I hope they did their homework on Trey Fix-Wolansky because if some of the off-ice stuff that I’ve heard is true, there is potential for them to have some egg on their face for the making that pick.  Overall, wasn’t a fan of what they did, though again that Marchenko pick is one to keep an eye on.

 

Dallas

I liked what they did in the middle rounds (Albin Eriksson, Oskar Back, Adam Mascherin, Curtis Douglas, Riley Damiani), but that Dellandrea pick felt like a BIG reach to me.  Again, Veleno, but I just don’t know by what measure Dellandrea looks like the better prospect.  Had a better U-18’s, but better prospect?  Ok.  It kind of spoiled their draft for me, and I like Dellandrea!  Start of the year I was high on him and loved the idea of the Oilers snagging him when it looked like the Oilers were going to pick in the bottom four (seems like a LIFETIME ago).

 

Detroit

Its tough not to love their draft.  I felt like they needed to go D with that 6th pick, but how in the hell can you argue with taking Zadina who fell to them?  And then at 30 they got who I clearly feel will be the biggest steal of the draft considering I have Veleno 2nd on my list and they got him at 30.  They needed a centre and I think they got the best one in the draft.  Of course this could go two ways: Veleno thrives off being slighted like this, or it crushes his confidence.  We’ll see.  Jonatan Berggren at 33 was another big steal.  I had them taking him at 30, but obviously with Veleno still on the board…but then they realized they needed to grab some D, so their next three picks were all D-men, two of the three were righties, the other was Jared McIsaac whom I wasn’t big on all season but at 36 he’s got enough talent to easily justify in that spot.  Loved their draft, don’t know what else to say.

 

Florida

Well…I told you all along they’d be the team to grab Serron Noel…just didn’t know it wouldn’t be until the 34th pick!  That, even more so than Veleno for me was the shock of the draft.  Veleno I had a hunch could fall and only figured a couple teams may step up and grab him between 13-25.  Noel, I wasn’t going to be shocked if he ended up top 10 with his skill set!!  And they got him at 34, unreal.  He’s going to make a lot of people regret passing on him.  So Denisenko and Noel, combine them with Logan Hutsko at 89 and it really didn’t matter what else the Panthers did.  Great draft for them, and I’m the guy who’d argue they took Denisenko too high.  It doesn’t matter with how things turned out, and its not as if I’m not aware of how skilled he is.

 

Los Angeles

Much like the Panthers with Noel, Akil Thomas being there for the Kings at 51 was just absurd!!  He’s the one kid who I cringed at the Oilers passing on while taking Ryan McLeod at 40.  Is he a centre?  Probably not.  Is he potentially a 50-60 point winger?  Yep!  And I feel as if that’s a BIG mistake that some scouts make is when they get fixated on a guy being able to play the middle.  If you ask me, their top two picks of Rasmus Kupari and Thomas are both going to play the wing.  Bulat Shaffigullin is a Russian kid who is a project, but has a ton of tools and in three or four seasons could be a real gem.  Aidan Dudas felt like good value at 113, and I was sky high on Jacob Ingham so I feel like they stole him with their final pick (175th).  All the tools, just needs to calm his game down and have a shorter memory.  As for the Kovalchuk signing, it feels like a team that is desperate to hang on/terrified of the inevitable which is a rebuild.  I don’t know why Drew Doughty is going to sign long term there unless he doesn’t care to win anymore.  Then again, its not as if just because he signs the deal he can’t ask out if/when things start getting bad.

 

Minnesota

Felt they had an awful draft overall and it was basically just because of the first pick.  Filip Johansson at 24 was very odd.  Over Nils Lundkvist.  Over Bode Wilde.  I have to assume that for Wild fans it reminds them of the Doug Reisbrough days of A.J. Thelen,  Colton Gillies, and Tyler Cuma.  Its weird, this organizations first ever draft pick was Marian Gaborik who was a very exciting player.  Since him however, they’ve never had a very exciting pick.  A few guys like Bouchard, Granlund, Burns turned into one but really never was when he was picked or during his time in Minny.  But man, Johansson over so many players who so many had higher ranked, I’m not sure why you don’t look to trade back, and you can’t say you couldn’t because with the very next pick the Leafs traded down with the Blues.  Jack McBain with the 63rd pick was amazing value, but not enough to change this view on the draft they had.

 

Montreal

In 2012 and 2013 I felt they had great drafts as well.  In hindsight…it didn’t go well for them.  So take this for what its worth, but I really liked their draft.  Didn’t LOVE it.  If I had one criticism its that they passed on Bode Wilde twice in the second round.  But, who knows how high they were on Alexander Romanov, and Jesse Ylonen was no reach at 35.  Other than that though, I truly believe that just like in 2016 when Columbus showed some brass balls and made the right move taking Pierre-Luc Dubois (which I praised them for on this write-up two years ago), the Habs made the right decision in taking Kotkaniemi.  A centre who can play in all situations…it doesn’t matter if he becomes a legitimate first line centre, he’s the type of centre you need to win in this league.  After Ryan Poehling last year, Kotkaniemi, Jacob Olofsson and Allan McShane in this draft, I’d say they’ve got the centre spot looked after as far as the future goes.  Then they took Cole Fonstad at 128.  I feel like that’s a steal, that kid is going to play (by the way I see some have him as a centre?  No, winger).

 

Nashville

Didn’t pick until 111, didn’t really care for anyone they took, not much at all to say here.  Teams damn good though!

 

New Jersey

In my bias/homer opinion, Ty Smith was a straight up steal for them at 17 and a perfect fit for the continued effort to rebuild their blueline.  Didn’t pick again until 110, but like Xavier Bernard there, then took goaltender Akira Schmid at 136 and he was a kid who I really liked as a late round gamble as I always think you should do with a goaltender.  Mitchell Hoelscher is a kid I knew a little bit about entering the draft, but Mark Seidel told me he was sky on high on him as a late round steal and Seidel’s guy last year was Kirill Maksimov who already looks like a steal for the Oilers from last years draft.  Really liked what Jersey did.

 

NY Islanders

WOW!!!  Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, and Bode Wilde.  I would love to credit their scouting staff, but how do you when stud kids fall right into their lap?  They really just didn’t screw it up.  I truly believe they got two top four RH shooting D-men, and the perfect sniper to play with John Tavares….should he stay.  Then you get the kid who most had as the top tendy on their boards in Jakub Skarek.  Even Ruslan Iskhakov, while he didn’t make my top 75, he was a kid I was up on and heavily considered for that list and don’t deny his skill just worry about the size to speed ratio.  But at 43, nothing wrong with that gamble.  They just simply had the best draft of any team in my mind.

 

NY Rangers

You know, they didn’t do too bad either!  Vitali Kravtsov over Dobson and Wahlstrom was definitely surprising, I wouldn’t have taken Kravtsov that high, but I do like him a lot.  I LOVED their last two first rounders though in K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist.  For me (and trust me, this is basically just me), those two picks could be the backbone of their blueline for the decade of the 20’s (I can’t FUCKING believe that its only a year and a half until we’re in the 20’s).  All totaled, six D-men for the Rangers in this draft which I loved because that was the big need in my mind coming in, and they got a high end winger to pair with their centres they took last year, and lets not forget they have a damn good young centre in Mikka Zibanejad on the roster.  Its a rebuild that’s gotten off to a good start, but if I’m them I stick with this.  You got an incredible draft coming up, so keep stockpiling those picks, don’t do what the Rangers have often done which is deem the rebuild done after one good draft.

 

Ottawa

I wondered prior to the draft if they’d go with Filip Zadina as more of a PR pick.  Then they took Tkachuk, which could also be viewed as that.  Now, we’ll see if he goes back to BU.  Some think he could since it was the Sens who took him (that kid could really fuck them over if he chose with the option to go back to school and them being so vulnerable right now).  Then again, Nick Kypreos pointed out that it could be a good thing for the Sens as they then don’t have to subject him to the shit show.  They had an ok draft overall, and I didn’t love taking Jacob Bernard-Docker where they did, but having said that I love that they took both Bernard-Docker and his buddy Johnny Tychonik.  That’s a cool thing for those two as they now aren’t just going to UND together but now also to the Sens.  They could have done more, but they addressed the back end, got a type of winger who is damn near impossible to find, and took a goaltender late so I definitely didn’t dislike their draft.

 

Philadelphia

Again, as you’ll see with most of the drafts I’m down on, I didn’t like their first round pick, or in this case picks.  Farabee was a faller for most in the draft, and he felt like a kid who they didn’t need to take at 14.  Mind you, I had him going 16 to Colorado, so perhaps they felt that they had to take him there.  Jay O’Brien….I know Hockey Prospect really loved him from at least mid-season on.  They sold me on him a bit, but I still didn’t think he was worth a first rounder.  We’ll see.  Adam Ginning was good value, but they pretty badly need RHD in their system with only one in the system (Philippe Myers) and only two in the organization (Radko Gudas is the other).  They did take two after that, but not kids to get too excited over for the time being.  Not bad, they made their organization better, but it felt like they could have done much better than they did.

 

Pittsburgh

Only four picks so not much to say, but Calen Addison is SO their type of defenceman, and Filip Hallander will likely play in their bottom six someday, so they did ok considering they didn’t have much to work with.

 

San Jose

They took Ryan Merkley at 21.  I don’t need to say anymore to be honest with you.  Just horrible.  If you’re paying attention, while this club has picked a few nice players of late, they’ve passed on a lot of better ones if theirs haven’t busted.  If you’re wondering how the rest of their draft went, you tend to look for good value with the rest of a teams picks and I don’t believe any of them were good value.  Mind you, having said this, they have a tendency to develop a later round player or two in every draft so saying that could look dumb in five or six years.

 

St. Louis

I wasn’t a big fan of Dominik Bokk for them.  The problem with blindly picking BPA is that sometimes it’ll lead to selecting a ton of wingers.  While so many of you reading this are going to say “position doesn’t matter, make trades after the fact”.  Ok, but wingers aren’t worth near what D-men and centres are on the trade market.  Right now, the Blues have a lot of quality wingers to trade, but when you have centres and D to move it makes trading a whole lot easier.  I really believed a LH shooing D made sense from both a need and value standpoint for the Blues.  Sandin, Beaudin, Tychonik, Alexeyev, Ginning, obviously if they wanted to go value in my mind then Veleno would have been a smart pick, I just wasn’t a big fan of it for the Blues.  Mind you, Bokk is one of those kids who I think is going to be a LOT of fun to watch, but I’m just not as high on as others.  As for the rest of their draft, I personally didn’t think it was anything to get excited about.  I felt they reached on Scott Perunovich, and wasn’t really high on any of the other kids they drafted.

 

Tampa Bay

No first, but Gabriel Fortier feels like the type of kid they thrive on selecting.  Smaller, tremendous motor, he’s going to play in the league.  Dmitri Semykin has nice size,so I like that pick for them especially with how well they’ve done with Russian kids, and Alex Green at 121 could prove to be a real shrewd pick and both kids are RH shooting D so I view that as smart drafting when you target valuable assets like RH shooting D-men.  Felt they did ok as they always do.

 

Toronto

I liked the trade back in the first, I wasn’t a fan of the Rasmus Sandin pick.  I get that Kyle Dubas is familiar with him but over Joe Veleno…I’m not sure by what measure a team would deem Sandin to be a better prospect than Veleno.  And the Leafs have a massive need at centre in the organization.  Its not overly bad, if you’re going to miss I suggest you do so with a D-man with how valuable they are, but it wasn’t even a RH shooting D.  Didn’t like that at all.  Sean Durzi is and I was a lot better with that pick.  But wasn’t high on Sandin, frankly didn’t like the rest of their draft, and the Leafs (for me) were probably in my top five for worst drafts.  We’ll see though, I know analytics guys would have been high on a kid like Durzi, and were sky high on a kid like SDA even though he’s only 5’9 and can’t skate…

 

Vancouver

If you’re going D at the seventh pick, I’m just not sure how you go with Quinn Hughes over Noah Dobson.  If you want to argue Hughes over Boqvist or Bouchard, I get that one.  I don’t get Hughes over Dobson, and its not as though I believe Hughes will be a disappointment, but I believe they’re going to regret passing on Dobson maybe more than any of the other teams just simply because I believe they need all world kids to build around and Hughes…while being terrific, is going to be limited in my mind.  Which was kind of my “beef” (if you want to call it that) with him this whole time.  Wasn’t that I didn’t like him, far from it.  But I didn’t like him ahead of some of the other D-men.  Anyway, I thought they did ok with the rest of their draft.  Jet Woo could be a TERRIFIC D partner for Quinn Hughes down the line, Tyler Madden was solid at 68, took a goaltender late which I always like, so a real solid draft for the Canucks.  Just not sure Hughes over Dobson is going to age well.

 

Washington

They did fine.  I was pumped I called Alexander Alexeyev, and man, after hearing his interview after the pick I became an even bigger fan!  That kid just sounds so thankful and humble, he’s going to be a kid I’m BIG TIME rooting for (which is weird because I’m apparently racist against Russians…)  I felt like they maybe took Martin Fehervary (46th) a pick too soon, would have liked him better at 47 (good one eh?  This is why I’m not a comedian).  They did good.  I wouldn’t say they did great.  Loved the Grubauer trade though, very shrewd to turn him into 46 AND shed Orpik’s deal to help sign John Carlson, and from the sounds of it re-sign Orpik to a much more team friendly deal.  That’s how you GM.

 

Winnipeg

Didn’t have a first round pick, so that makes their draft tough right off the bat, but I liked all the kids they drafted and where they picked them.  Nothing shocking since I often rave about their drafts, but it was just simply my kind of draft.  Liked David Gustafsson, liked Nathan Smith, liked Declan Chisholm, Giovanni Vallati was very highly ranked at this time last year, Austin Wong is a bit of a knucklehead but can play, and Jared Moe (I know I’m out of order with the last two picks) is a tendy late.  You watch, they’ll have one or two players out of this with another one or two becoming real good prospects.

 

Edmonton

Well…I was loving their draft through two picks.  Bouchard was insane because he just couldn’t be a more perfect fit for what they need.  I believe it’ll hurt in four or five years to see Dobson, because I really believe Dobson is going to be a number one and though I do believe Bouchard can be that guy, Dobson does so many little things better.  But again, the fit and the fact he’ll very likely step right in next season was just too difficult to pass on and in my mind was the right decision for the Oilers.  Some will argue that he steps in, but he’s ready.  Most I think see the big shot and the elite passing and believe the Oilers would be just rushing him in because of how badly they need those things.  And maybe it is, but for me he’s got the three things I believe you need coming right out of your draft to step in and that’s a very high IQ, and both physical and mental maturity.  He’s on the top pp unit by January, he’s in their top four by March.

 

Ryan McLeod was the same type of deal, need and value.  I’ve never shut up about how badly they needed centres the last few drafts, and they finally got a golden chance to address it, and did.  He’s too much of a perimeter kid right now, but the kid is a hell of a player!  Work ethic isn’t questioned, real good size, plays 200 feet, great playmaker, this could be said for both him and Bouchard but if both guys can get just a little bite in their games these steals will be even greater for the club.  I wouldn’t be asking either kid to start getting into players faces and look to put opposition players through the boards.  But just learn to embrace taking some punishment.  McLeod talked about how big of a Ryan Smyth fan he was growing up, so my message to both would simply be to get some of “that” in your game.  Here’s something for you….we’re all talking about Bouchard making the team out of camp.  I wouldn’t be SHOCKED…surprised, but not SHOCKED…if McLeod made the team.  I’m not advocating for it, but just know that like Bouchard he’s played three years junior, has the size, speed, is good in his own zone, he could be ready as well and the thing is that this team needs guys who can play on cheap deals, and if he had a spot it would just add to their team depth next season by keeping someone on the farm with the ability to recall them.  Third line LW?  Fourth line C?  I could be wrong, but I believe the last two second rounders to make (and stick) with their teams out of camp were Patrice Bergeron and Ryan O’Reilly.  It didn’t hurt them at all.  It wouldn’t SHOCK me, not saying I’d bet on it though.

 

Then you have Olivier Rodrigue.  Now, I was very critical of it on Twitter because I’m sick of these kind of decisions by this organization.  I think back to David Musil, Mitch Moroz, the Griffin Reinhart trade, you know exactly why this team is doing what they’re doing.  Its possible that this was just simply a case of the scouting staff loving him, and they’ve NAILED IT with their goaltending selections (Miroslav Svboda isn’t in the organization anymore but is a real prospect, Dylan Wells has been well worth a 5th round pick, and then Stuart Skinner was amazing upon arrival in Swift Current last season).  So I trust them, but I don’t trust the higher ups and I really worry that this was their call.  Hope I’m wrong, and in no way am I doubting Rodrigue as a prospect.  I believe I had him 67th?  So right around that area, and the only real knock on him moving forward is his height.  He’ll put on the weight, he’s technically VERY sound, but is he big enough?

 

Fluke of the year maybe, I spoke on Michael Kesselring pre draft and speculated that he could be a kid the Oilers got their eye on, because it is clear now they have a “type” they’re looking for late in the draft.  Righty D-men who skate well, good size, have a high IQ, and are going the NCAA route so they have an extra year or two to allow the kid to develop before making a decision on him.  Kesselring has questionable “hockey IQ”, but I’m not big at looking into “hockey IQ”.  I just want to know if the kid is intelligent in anyway.  If he is, I’d be confident in him gaining the “hockey IQ”.  And for a 6th round pick, Kesselring has an intriguing skill set.  He’s close to 6’5, 191 lbs, and just simply a lot of raw talent.  Added bonus, next year he’s in the USHL (Des Moines), so they’ll have four years before a decision has to be made on him.  They’ve (in a way) gone three for three on these picks already.  All three picks look much better than 6th or 7th rounders.  Will any of them play?  I don’t know, but to me if you out play your draft position then that’s a win of a pick.

 

Finally, I know nothing about Patrik Siikanen.  I believe McKeen’s had him 200th, Steve Kournianos had him 254th, while Hockey Prospect (in my opinion the best scouting resource out there) didn’t even have a write-up on him and I believe they have scouting reports on 300 players.  Its the 7th round, so don’t get this twisted.  I’m not going to lose it over a 7th round pick.  BUT…I’m not sure what they saw in Siikanen to where they believed he was a better prospect than ironically teammates in Eric Florchuk and Chase Wouters.  Its flat out shocking to begin with that Florchuk was the final pick and Wouters didn’t even go, but I just don’t know how if the Oilers figured Siikanen was a better pick.  Forchuk put up 21 points in 28 games for the Saskatoon Blades after arriving mid-season.  Wouters is Mr. Everything on any team he’s played on and I truly believe will be a kid who ends up playing 500 or more NHL games.  Again, there is no point in freaking out about a 7th rounder for a team, but both those kids seem like much more sure bets than Siikanen, but I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about Siikanen and who knows what kind of intel they have on him.

 

The first two picks were so good, that it really didn’t matter how the rest of the draft went quite frankly.  Its a HELL of a draft that filled two very critical needs with players who were outstanding value where they got them.  And again, I’m critical of the organization for the Rodrigue pick, but I’m not critical of Rodrigue as a prospect at all.  There’s a very good chance that he makes them look shrewd and me look foolish just like Stuart Skinner did this season.  And I hated the move for Skinner for somewhat similar reasons and here I am, not in ANY way looking to hide from it and admit to this point I’ve been proven VERY wrong.

 

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3 thoughts on “2018 NHL Draft: Recap”

    1. You know, that system is starting to look damn good. If I’m in that front office, I look to simply make the playoffs next season without touching any draft picks (or any more than they already have). I might just be a homer in saying this, but I truly believe they have stars in Puljujarvi (still), Yamamoto, and Bouchard along with kids who’ll be damn good contributors in Bear, Benson, Maksimov, and McLeod, and I believe its safe to say that one of Wells/Skinner/Rodrigue will pop as well somewhere down the line. If he could just have a minimal/shrewd off-season, don’t touch the 2019 picks (next years draft is looking incredible), they’ll be set to contend in 2020, with a system that’ll be pretty full.

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