Final Thoughts Before The Draft

– Philadelphia has a long history of taking the BPA route, but they’re stacked with left handed defenceman. Provorov looks like a real blue chip prospect, who will likely be better than Sanheim, Morin, Hagg, and Ghost, but would they be better off going with a forward at this point? Tough to say. I’m picking Provorov there, but wouldn’t be shocked at all if a forward is taken at 7.

– The San Jose Sharks haven’t selected a Canadian born player in the first round since 2007 when they grabbed Logan Couture with the 9th overall pick. Could we see history repeat itself with the Sharks grabbing a similar player in Mathew Barzal with that selection? It’s possible given the strength of their current blue line. Of course, fans would love a defenceman such as Hanifin, Provorov or Werenski, but they do have a very strong blue line at the moment. They could go a lot of routes. Don’t be shocked to hear Kyle Connor’s name called.

– Columbus should be very active. They have three second round picks as well as the eighth overall. Could definitely see them moving assets for the third overall in order to grab Noah Hanifin.

– The draft order may be vastly different come 7 o’clock. There’s a ton of trade speculation involving the Coyotes, Leafs, Hurricanes, Flyers, Jackets, and Sharks.

– I have absolutely zero idea where Jeremy Bracco ends up. He’s the biggest wildcard in this draft, but given the recent success of players like Johnny Gaudreau and Tyler Johnson, it’s possible you see a team take him early.

– The top two selections are not changing. The draft really begins once Arizona is on the clock. With that pick they could go many ways, but in my opinion, they won’t be making that pick. I do believe Columbus will be in that spot, and I think Noah Hanifin will be the third player off the board. Going back to Arizona? The eighth overall pick, Kerby Rychel, and a second round selection.

– I’ve mentioned a Reinhart for Hanifin deal in the past, and I would still love to see it come to fruition.

– Denis Guryanov is an interesting player to keep an eye on. He’s a big, speedy winger who can shoot. I want to see a team take him in the top 10, but he didn’t really jump onto the scene until the U-18’s. If he falls into the 18-24 range, that’s somewhat justified I just believe his skill level is top 15.

– There are a lot of players who, in my opinion, have great value later on in the draft. Those players include: Jacob Larsson, Jack Roslovic, Julius Nattinen, Filip Ahl, Christian Fischer, Christian Jaros, Kevin Stenlund, Will Borgen, Rodrigo Abols, Ales Stezka, Samuel Dove-McFalls, David Cotton, Jesper Lindgren, Jesse Gabrielle, John Marino, Thomas Schemitsch, Lukas Vejdemo, Christopher Mastomaki, Austin Cho, Adam Parsells, John McDermott. If your team drafts any of these guys, they’re doing something right.

– The Devils have a lot of ways in which they could go. One of which being Ivan Provorov. Yes, I know they need forwards, but Provorov is going to be a very good NHL defenceman. In the scenario which they draft Provorov, I believe Philadelphia takes Mikko Rantanen.

– If a Phil Kessel deal were to go through, Philly is the team I believe best suited as a partner. The Flyers can offload some major salary in players like Macdonald, Grossman, Luke Schenn, and possibly Vinny Lecavalier. Perhaps Philly also moves some salary to Arizona give their cap situation.

– It will be interesting to see where Matej Tomek ends up. The NAHL has proven to spike goalie numbers, specifically save percentage, and it shows in Tomek’s stat line. All that said, he will still be attending North Dakota next season. Could he be the next great goalie to come from the NCAA ranks? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

– We know Winnipeg wants that 3rd overall pick, so what else would they have to add to their initial offer of 17 + 21 + prospect? Maybe they throw in Petan and Kostalek? Probably need to add another piece but we do know the Jets will be going hard after Noah Hanifin.

– Ryan O’Reilly looks to be on the move for sure. The payment would be a first rounder plus a good prospect or roster player. Possible suitors include Florida, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa, all of which own picks in the 11-18 range. He’d be a good pick up for any team, but you have to consider O’Reilly’s contract history in terms of requested salary. Negotiations seem to be a slippery slope, so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up.

– If the Arizona Coyotes do happen to move out the third overall pick for eight plus, they’ll have a chance to add a lot of good players to the mix. Say they get Rychel, 8 and 34 in a deal, they have a lot of picks they could move around to pick up another first rounder. It’s a lot of moving pieces, but the Coyotes will be one of the most interesting teams to watch.

– The Ottawa Senators have a lot of ways they could go with their selection. If they go with a defender, Chabot, Zboril, and Kylington are all likely available, but it may be tough to pass on a player like White or Guryanov.

– Buffalo may have overpaid for Lehner, but Tim Murray loves the guy. A top 25 pick is a lot to give up considering the talent that will be on the board, but we may see it pan out in the next few years.

– Top ten has some wildcards. Watch out for Zacha, Rantanen, Provorov, and Barzal who could all go in reverse order or any way you can think of. They all bring a unique style so personal preference will play a massive role.

– Will be interesting to see what Chicago does with Sharp and Bickell. They want a big haul for Sharp, but not sure a team is willing to pay a premium for a guy of his age. Could see them landing prospects, but not a first round pick.

– This is the first year in a while where I’ve seen such differing opinions on rankings, and who should or shouldn’t be a first rounder. Players like Roslovic, Sprong, Carlo, Boeser, etc have been ranked all over the board amongst different services and scouts.

– We may see a draft with more trading than any draft in history. Given the cap situation of a few teams, there’s pressure to unload players who no longer make a difference (Bickell, Grossman, etc)

– I do believe St. Louis makes a late push to get into the first round. Steen, Oshie, Berglund are all trade chips, would likely go to a team with two first rounders.

– After that trade with the Flames, Boston may be looking to jump into the top 3, maybe top 5 to grab Noah Hanifin. If they do land him, the deal makes more sense.

– Players I would shy away from include: Graham Knott, Ryan Gropp, Jordan Greenway, Ryan Pilon, and Stephen Desrocher.

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