Monday, June 17th
The 2013 NHL Draft is thirteen days away and I have never been more excited to see how the top end of the draft turns out.
Trying to put all of my biases aside as a prospect junkie, I still enter the 2013 draft believing this is an extremely exciting draft class and a chance for some struggling franchises to rebuild their teams.
For those who follow my work and thoughts, you are well aware of my love for prospects like Jonathan Drouin, Darnell Nurse, Sean Monahan, Hunter Shinkaruk and especially Bo Horvat. That’s without mentioning Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones, two franchise changing talents.
I know who I would select first overall, but who would your choice be? Defenseman Seth Jones or forward Nathan MacKinnon? Maybe, Jonathan Drouin, Aleksander Barkov or even Valeri Nichushkin, a player receiving plenty of late praise as a potential top 3 selection. In the end, teams selecting in the top 5 are adding a true franchise changing prospect and because of that, teams looking to move up into that range will have to pay dearly.
CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported,
If you want to move into the Top 4, prepare to give up your first-born child.
The Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche refuse to confirm it, but the source is excellent: Flames general manager Jay Feaster recently made a bold move, offering his three first-round draft picks (sixth, 22nd, 28th) to Colorado for the No. 1 overall selection. The Avalanche said no. And the rebuff came fast.
My thoughts on the rumoured offer: The Flames are a franchise that lack depth so their three first round picks are extremely valuable to their organization. Hell, they will be forced to pay TJ Brodie, a defenseman who flourished after Bouwmeester was traded to St. Louis, because the organization lacks a similar blue liner to challenge him. The offer was a pretty poor offer but if the Flames can somehow get a bona fide stud through the draft in MacKinnon, Jones, or Drouin, then they should act aggressively.
The Colorado Avalanche are in an enviable spot in the draft holding the first overall selection but as a General Manager, I think I’d equally enjoy being Florida’s Dale Tallon (2nd), Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman (3rd) or Nashville’s David Poille (4th). Each of those three GMs are going to get an impact player who could step right into the NHL immediately and contribute.
If the draft unfolds as I expect, Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin will be selected with the first three picks (in some order) followed by Barkov at 4th. It gets interesting at Carolina when the 5th pick comes due with several game changers still available in that second teir (Nichushkin, Nurse, Monahan, Lindholm, Zadorov, Shinkaruk, among others). As a result, I won’t be surprised to see Jim Rutherford traded down from that 5th position as it should be a highly coveted pick.
The 2013 draft class can be broken down into tiers and it’s not surprising Colorado isn’t willing to move down lower than 3rd overall. Jones, MacKinnon, and Drouin are in