NHL Draft Recap
These are stupid to do because nobody, not even the teams who have made the selections have any clue what they’re doing. But I like writing, I like the draft, the let’s just throw them together one more time. Something I think I am going to do this summer is an early Shane Tomayer memorial mock draft, which I’ve never done before (oh and by the way Shane is very much so still alive and very healthy).
At least I’ll do a top 50 list and break down what I know and what I can find out about each player as next year’s draft is pretty enticing. Anyway, team by team breakdown of not only the draft but any moves they may have made as well. Obviously the big focus is the 1st round pick. Before I start, mock draft 5.0 went a disgusting 1/30. BUT, mock draft 3.0 went 8/30. Proof that you have to simply tune out all the rumors in the weeks leading up to the draft.
Hit it out of the park. The Kesler deal was great for them. Nick Ritchie fell into their lap and while winger wasn’t a need you couldn’t pass up a kid who has a chance to be dominant. They didn’t have much else in the draft after the 2nd round but I liked their top 2nd round pick of Marcus Pettersson. Just a big, solid, safe D-man.
Almost forgot that the name change now puts them 2nd in the NHL’s alphabetical race! Still couldn’t leap over Anaheim, but the threat of Anaheim changing to LA is always there (or orange county). Anyway, their draft. Loved it for the most part. I’m not a big Brendan Perlini guy, but again as long as you don’t expect him to throw the body he’s fine. Ryan MacInnis has a huge frame and could be a steal (Michal Handzus type), Anton Karlsson was expected to be a 1st rounder for much of the season and they got him 87th, and you know us Nothern Alberta folk love a team that takes 2 Oil Kings. Dysin Mayo (133) and Memorial Cup MVP Edgars Kulda (193).
Only had 5 picks to work with. A little surprised they used their 1st on David Pastrnak who was one of those smaller wingers but they could stand to upgrade their skill. Ryan Donato at 56 was pretty good value and a local kid. Don’t know much about their last 3 picks, but it’s the Bruins who develop their guys better than most.
Really like the draft the Sabres had. Love Sam Reinhart, he’ll be a great kid to help lead a team from the ashes to the top of the league. I’m a pretty big Brendan Lemieux fan and believe he’ll play in their bottom 6 some day. Eric Cornel (center, Peterborough) at 44 was good value as he could have been a late 1st round pick, he has pretty good size and a pretty good all around game. Brycen Martin (D-man, Swift Current) at 74 was another great value pick, another guy who at one time was expected to be a late 1st. They also took goaltender Jonas Johansson with the top pick in the 3rd and I like taking goaltenders in rounds 3-7.
I felt going into the draft that they were in the best spot of any team and just had to pick the last one of the big 4 which they did. Bennett fits perfectly behind Monahan although it’ll be vital for the franchise that one of them emerges as a true number 1 pivot. Had they just taken Thatcher Demko at 34 and not Mason McDonald I would have LOVED what they did. Obviously they see something in McDonald that others don’t. If you read my mock drafts you know I love Hunter Smith.
Big fan of their first 2 picks. Haydn Fleury is exactly what they needed at 7, and Alex Nedeljkovic was good value at 37 and this team really needs depth between the pipes. Warren Foegele is a kid who really had some scouts intrigued because he had an incredible season but it was against vastly inferior competition. Josh Wesley they obviously took a bit for PR reasons.
I said it in my 2nd last mock that Schmaltz to the Hawks could be scary for the rest of the league because this kid has the talent to be a legit star, and the Hawks have a tendency to really develop kids to fit perfectly within their system. Schmaltz needs to learn the game a lot more, but he’ll have plenty of time to develop. Now I don’t know much about the other kids they drafted full disclosure, but I like that they were after size, and they took Ivan Nalimov 179th overall….goaltender. Always a fan of doing that.
Well everyone was at least 6’0 so I like that especially for a team that is pretty small. I’m a huge Conner Bleackley fan, and they took a D-man 84th overall named Kyle Wood. But I just don’t understand when they’re going to address their blueline and you have to think it’ll bite them sooner rather than later. Yesterday in free agency they still didn’t do anything (I’ll get to the UFA’s next week when the dust has really settled). But they proved me and a ton of other people wrong last year so maybe they’ll keep doing that.
Another team that I just don’t get what they’re doing in the 1st round. Last year after taking forwards with their first two 1st round picks (Wenneberg and Rychel), they took Marko Dano, another forward. Their D isn’t THAT good. And this year they had another chance to take a good D-man and instead they take a small winger in Sonny Milano. Thing is that with these small wingers is unless they become superstars, they have no trade value. So Milano better pan out for them. They did take Ryan Collins in the 2nd round who is a 6’5 pretty good skating D-man, so they didn’t totally ignore it, and then they took a goaltender in the 3rd (Elvis Merzlikins, who you of course you all know his story….) So we’ll see but I wasn’t a huge fan of the top pick.
I had them taking a D-man the whole time, most of the time said Honka but changed it on the last mock draft. Still, love the pick, he’s a future PP QB. Brett Pollack at 45 was a great pick, loved it. Alex Peters, big stay at home D-man at 75, loved it. Brent Moran, goaltender, at 115…you guessed it, loved it. In rounds 2-7 they took nobody under 6’0 and only one kid under 6’2 so they got a lot of size. They ran this draft pretty much exactly the way I would have done it.
I got news for Ken Holland. You’re going to have to start picking D-men again Kenny, because you ain’t getting them in free agency anymore, and you’re having trouble finding the late round gems on the back end like you used to. Having said this, the pick of Dylan Larkin was great. I don’t know why the Caps passed on him, but the Caps are proving to be a pretty poorly run franchise. As for the rest, what I liked is all but 1 forward wasn’t a center and that kid was hulking Fin Julius Vahatalo who had a great U18’s. They also took a goaltender at 136. So I like all that. But what I hated…they didn’t take 1 D-man. Maybe I’m wrong, many have been predicting this before, but the Red Wings are really losing their lustre.
Easy pick with Draisaitl and a must pick in the end. This kid is up to 6’2 and I don’t know how they can tell this but some people apparently think he’s going to end up being 6’3 or maybe even 6’4. So this is the big center that the Oilers have been DESPERATE for. And he’s already 208 so he is such a great fit. As for the rest, they didn’t have 2nd or 3rd round picks so I don’t know much about the kids they took. But I do like they took a couple of swings on goaltenders. They didn’t go young though, a lot of 20 year olds.
Good for them that they got it right! I really thought from everything I had heard they were going to screw it all up. But they didn’t and now they look good on the blueline moving forward, good up front moving forward, and this team should become a power in the East before too long. I didn’t love Jace Hawryluk at 32, but he is a really gritty/character kid. Some good size at 65 and 92, and a tendy with their last pick so a pretty good draft made great that they didn’t screw up the top pick.
Of course Kempe fell to them. Of course Roland McKeown fell to them. Took a tendy at 150 overall, 7 of the 10 kids they picked were out of the OHL. They LOVE the OHL more than any other team, and for good reason. I really don’t need to say much more, Kempe and McKeown were home run picks where they got them and perfect fits for the Kings.
I really loved the Alex Tuch pick for them, and then noticed they didn’t take another winger. All either D, center, and 1 goaltender. I like that. Again, no 2nd round pick and past about the top 75 prospects I really don’t know much about most of these kids. But I like not taking wingers late. They went with speed down the middle.
Really liked the Scherbak pick, liked it even more once he got interviewed! They didn’t come away as one of the top teams from the weekend like in 2012 and 2013, but a solid draft. Daniel Audette in the 5th round was great. Goaltender Hayden Hawkey in the 6th round I love too and again just because I think you should always take 1 goaltender in rounds 3-7. Didn’t really improve their size on the weekend, but didn’t do too bad.
Not a big fan of the Kevin Fiala pick at 11, but Vlad Kamenev at 42 and Jack Dougherty at 51 were steals in my mind. The key with Kamenev will simply be getting him over to North America, but I think he’ll at least be a 3rd line center with a great shot at being a 2nd line center. The rest was a question mark for me other than Aaron Irving with their 6th round pick whom I obviously will have a soft spot for. Redline report had Irving as a 1st round pick for most of the season so to get him in the 6th is pretty good value.
Hate this team, but I loved the pick of John Quenneville at 30. That kid is very versatile and should be at worst a damn good 3rd line center. And then Josh Jacobs was a pretty good pick at 41, I know a lot of people liked him to go late in the 1st round. Connor Chatham who they got at 71 is a pretty big kid out of the OHL. And finally Vermillion boy and Bobcat affiliate Brandon Baddock from the Oil Kings with their last pick is always good to see.
Like the Panthers, they didn’t mess this up. Michael Dal Colle was the pick for them, absolutely perfect fit for Tavares and could play on the team next season. Then they went and ruined that good will by trading back into the 1st round and taking Josh Ho-Sang. That’s all that organization needs is a kid who isn’t liked by his teammates and thinks he can win hockey games 1 on 5. If he ever grows up, could be a steal. More often than not, these kids don’t grow up until it’s too late. 2 goaltenders in the middle….only need to take 1 guys….and then Lukas Sutter with their last pick. Don’t get why he didn’t go until the 200th pick but good value there.
No 1st round pick here so not much to say. Brandon Halverson in the 2nd round, goaltender from the Soo. Maybe a little high to take him, they got another tendy at 118 (Igor Shesterkin). Went with a lot of speed late in the draft, but overall nothing special, but the Rangers are quietly one of the better drafting teams in the league.
Again, no 1st round pick and only 5 picks in total for them in this draft. 3 of the picks they used on D-men (Andreas Englund, Miles Gendron, Kelly Summers). All 3 have good size and all 3 skate well. I really wasn’t impressed with what they did but they didn’t really have a chance to impress. Again though, they’ve drafted well so don’t assume just because a knob like myself doesn’t know their guys that a few of them won’t pan out.
Absolutely loved the Sanheim pick, had to go with him and was pumped for them that they got it right. They went with Nicolas Aube-Kubel in the 2nd round from the Q and nobody knows the Q better than the Flyers so I liked that as well. always appreciate a team sticking to what they do best. Didn’t get a lot of size in rounds 2-7 though. 5 picks, biggest player was 6’1 Oskar Lindblom.
Did exactly what I thought they needed to do in the 1st round by taking one of the skilled wingers and fortunate for them it was Kasperi Kapanen who fell to them in that spot. After him though they didn’t have another pick until late in the 4th round. The kid who stands out to me the most is Anthony Angello. 6’3, 190 center from Omaha out of the USHL. Very raw but will have a lot of time to develop.
I don’t really like Goldobin at all, but the Sharks might have the best draft record in the league over the last 7 years, so to sit here and tell them they don’t know what they’re doing would be stupid of me. They got a LOT of skilled kids in this draft, and to me absolutely stole Alexis Vanier out of the Q with the 102nd pick of the draft. That’s a kid who I thought at worst should be an early 2nd. Huge with a cannon of a shot.
Liked the Robby Fabri pick, and absolutely loved the Ivan Barbashev pick. That pick of Barbashev at 33 might save face in the David Perron deal for Doug Armstrong. Barbashev who I’ve compared to Blues fan favortie T.J. Oshie all year long is now going to be teammates with him. Then they took a kid named Maxim Letunov, Russian kid playing in the USHL. He’s 6’2 but only 155. They’ll give him a lot of time to develop and in time could end up being a steal for them with the 52nd pick.
I don’t really like where they took Anthony DeAngelo, nor do I think they’re the organization to turn that kids issues around. But then again, his issues don’t seem to be off ice things, just losing his head on the ice and that can normally be fixed. They were desperate for D-men moving forward which is 100% why they reached on him. 4 of the top 5 picks for the Lightning were D and I really like both Dominik Mason and Ben Thomas so they did well. And then they stole Brayden Point with the 79th pick. Perfect spot for him playing in the East with a team who has had success with undersized players.
Flat out, I hated what they did. Hate the Nylander pick over both Ritchie and Ehlers, I just don’t get what they love about Nylander that Ehlers doesn’t bring to the table (minus the attitude). Ritchie could have been the big power forward they’ve lacked forever. In fact they didn’t get any size until they took Pierre Engvall with their final pick of the draft, and with a name like Pierre Engvall he clearly can’t decide weather he’s French or Swedish! Awful draft for the buds in my opinion, and I’m not a guy who looks to pile on this team like most do.
It seems I’m a bit of a Canuck apologist. I don’t mean to be, I very much dislike them (although now that Kesler is out, Gillis is out, they’re growing on me again). But again, I’m going to praise them. Virtanen at 6 I really like and felt like if they stayed at 6 a guy like that was the right fit for them. And then Jared McCann fell into their lap at 24 with the pick they got in the Kesler deal. That made the Kesler deal a heck of a lot better! Finally, Thatcher Demko with the 36th pick was great. I also like that they beefed up in the later rounds, taking kids who were 6’7, 6’4 and 6’3 respectively.
Don’t get it at all. This team appears to be a mess. Jakub Vrana is good but better prospects at much more important positions….like center, were available and they passed to take a small winger. Then on Saturday they took 4 more wingers with 5 picks, so 6 of the 7 picks were wingers, for a team loaded with wingers and desperate for depth down the middle. And none of the wingers were big. The biggest was 6’1, a kid from Sweden with their final pick. So long Ovy’s prime. If it wasn’t wasted before, what has happened this past week certainly seals the deal.
Finally we have my man Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets. Loved the Ehlers pick for them, in my 3rd and 4th mock drafts that is where I had the kid from Halifax slotted to go and I think he’ll fit perfectly in their top 6 by next season at the latest. They could afford to sacrifice size for skill. Jack Glover was a good pick at 69 for them as he was a D-man a lot of people figured could go between 20-30. And then Chase De Leo from the Portland Winterhawks was more great value in the 4th round so once again I think the Jets had a damn good draft!
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