Tuesday, July 9th
Welcome back prospect junkies. In my precious two ramblings I covered teams A-M and how they performed at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (go back to read more). Now, I present you with the final 15 teams ranging from Nashville to Winnipeg. Lets get to it…
Nashville Predators: B+
Selections: Seth Jones (4), Jonathan-Ismael Diaby (84), Felix Girard (95), Juuse Saros (G), Sake Maenalanen (125), Teemu Kivihalme (140), Emil Pettersson (155), Tommy Veilleux (171), Wade Murphy (185), Janne Juvonen (203)
David Poille was absolutely shocked to have Seth Jones fall to his Predators in the fourth position as he was the player they had ranked 1st overall (yes, I know teams always say that but in this case, I believe him 100%). Now, I am sure the Predators would`ve loved to add an elite forward prospect but Jones is one hell of a consolation prize. Early in the second round, Nashville added another defenseman (surprise, surprise) in Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, a big tough SOB. The final prospect that I am familiar with is Juuse Saros, an undersized goaltender with exceptional athletic and technical ability. Size is basically the lone reason that Saros was not considered as the top goaltender of this draft class. Nashville has been quite successful with developing European goaltenders so there is a lot of promise with Saros. The remaining prospects I am not acquainted with so I will reserve my judgement on them but Nashville has to be ecstatic about nailing down a prospect of Seth Jones capability so it was a successful draft haul.
New Jersey Devils: A –
Selections: Steven Santini (42), Ryan Kujawinski (73), Miles Wood (100), Myles Bell (160), Anthony Brodeur (208)
The draft hosts made a huge splash trading away the 9th overall selection for starting goaltender Cory Schneider, addressing a huge organizational need once Hall of Famer puckstopper, Martin Brodeur, eventually retires. Not including the Schneider trade in these grades, New Jersey had a fantastic draft. In fact, few teams at the draft got as much value from their picks at their slotted positions as the Devils did. New Jersey made a nice 2ndround trade, moving down three spots and adding an extra 3rdround pick. With the 42nd overall pick, the Devils grabbed one of my favourite 2013 defensemen in Steven Santini, a smooth skating shutdown defender with excellent hockey sense. In the 3rd round, Lou Lamoriello was able to draft Ryan Kujawinski, a player once considered to have first round potential but consistency issues made him available when the 72nd pick came due (could be great value later). With the extra pick from trading down, the Devils took a flier on a very young sizeable skilled high schooler in Miles Wood (two days shy of being eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft). Myles Bell, a versatile forward/defenseman who got passed over in previous drafts for legal reasons, became property of the Devils in the 6th round (EXCELLENT value) and Lamoriello capped off a good draft by inviting Martin Brodeur to make their final selection by drafting his son, Anthony Brodeur with the 208th pick.
New York Islanders: B-
Selections: Ryan Pulock (15), Eamon McAdam (70), TaylorCammarata (76), Stephon Williams (106), Victor Crus-Rydberg (136), Alan Quine (166), Kyle Burroughs (196)
The New York Islanders can walk away satisfied after adding talent at almost every position. Ryan Pulock at 15th overall was a perfect fit for the Islanders as his booming slap shot will add another offensive element on their future PP full of young stars. With their two 3rd round selections, Garth Snow and companydidn’t venture too far as Waterloo Blackhawks teammatesEamon McAdam (G) and Taylor Cammarata became Islanders property just six picks apart. I really liked their selections of Victor Crus-Rydberg and Alan Quine (a former Red Wings draftee) as these two players bring different elements to their organization.
New York Rangers: B –
Selections: Adam Tambellini (65), Pavel Buchnevich (75), Anthony Duclair (80), Ryan Graves (110), Mackenzie Skapski(170)
The Rangers didn’t make their first selection until the 3rd round and it was clear of their draft strategy – select players with high upside. Adam Tambellini, who I had going 61st to Winnipeg, was taken 65th overall and will provide a big bodied presence in their system, with fair upside. Pavel Buchnevich was selected 75th and his skill set was certainly worthy of a much higher selection had he not been of Russian decent. Anthony Duclairslide outside of the 2nd round (where most had him pegged) and landed into their laps at 80th overall giving them a real speedy prospect with some scoring punch. The Rangers took several homerun swings (although, they did not reach too far) with their selections of Tambellini, Buchnevich and Duclair…and if anyone of these three pan out….watch out.
Ottawa Senators: B –
Selections: Curtis Lazar (17), Marcus Hogberg (78), Tobias Lindberg (102), Ben Harpur (108), Vincent Dunn (138), Chris Leblanc (161), Quentin Shore (168)
The Ottawa Senators are a team that I always pay attention to when they step up to the draft board, mainly because they have drafted very well recently. Coming into the draft, Ottawa sat in a tough location as they were just outside of that tier of top end prospects that featured some real intriguing potential. Curtis Lazar was a smart selection and a player the Senators will be able to develop with very little problems (in my opinion).Hogberg is a huge goaltender that some scouts raved about but he will certainly need many seasons of polishing. Ben Harpur is a large defender who likely tops out as a number five defenseman, making him a worthy 4th round selection. Vincent Dunn was probably my favourite selection of Ottawa’s as he could provide some grit into their top nine in a few years. Near the end of the draft, Bryan Murray and his staff added two re-entry forwards with some size in Chris Leblanc and Quentin Shore. Lindberg is a real wildcard prospect and if they Sensidentified him as a 4th round prospect, I would keep a close eye on his European development.
Philadelphia Flyers: C –
Selections: Samuel Morin (11), Robert Hägg (41), TyrellGoulbourne (72), Terrance Amorosa (132), Merrick Madsen (162), David Drake (192)
In my mock draft, I noted that Samuel Morin was a potential target for the Flyers at 11th overall (and was my guy choice) but I opted for them to select Nikita Zadorov (a player I thought fit better). Samuel Morin addressed an area of need on their blue line and while he is a raw prospect, his potential to be a top pairing defenseman is definitely intriguing. I think the Flyers made a huge gamble with selecting Morin (one I wouldn`t have made with their prospect system and the players on board) but I will be watching closely to see how this pans out. When their 2ndround pick came due, I was surprised that Swedish defender Robert Hägg was still remaining as he could end up being every bit as good as Morin down the road. At this point in the draft, the Flyers were exceeding my expectations given that they landed two defensemen with good potential but their remaining four picks were completely off the board as I am not familiar with any of them. Not to say that these players will not develop into great picks but given their poor prospect cupboards (in my opinion) and shaky drafting history (outside the 1st round), I amvery skeptical.
Arizona Coyotes: B
Selections: Max Domi (12), Laurent Dauphin (39), Yan PavelLaplante (62), Connor Clifton (133), Brendan Burke (163), Jedd Soleway (193)
I loved the Max Domi pick for the Coyotes as they continue to add sons of former NHLers through the draft. Domi will provide an elite scoring prowess that the Coyotes lack and as long as they don’t try to change his style too much, they should end up thrilled with this selection. With their 2nd round selection, Phoenix drafted skill again taking Laurent Dauphin, a speedy forward who loves to have the puck on his stick. The Yotes took a flier on Yan-Pavel Laplante after he was limited to just 18 games this season but his versatility and overall complete game was worthy of a selecton in this spot. Phoenix came into this draft looking for skill and they landed that with their first three picks and then added some good homerun type picks in defenseman Clifton, goaltender Burke and overager Soleway.
Pittsburgh Penguins: C –
Selections: Tristan Jarry (44), Jake Guentzel (77), Ryan Segalla(119), Dane Birks (164), Blaine Byron (179), Troy Josephs (209)
Pittsburgh had to wait until the 44th pick to make their selection and opted for Tristan Jarry, who led many of the WHL Goaltending categories despite being a backup this season in Edmonton. Jarry was the second goaltender selected and his upside is definitely high but does this selection indicate how worried the Penguins are about their future between the pipes?The Pens used their second selection on Jake Guentzel, an undersized scoring pivot out of the USHL but I question whether some other names on board may have been better targets (Anthony Duclair or Oliver Bjorkstrand to name a few). ThePenguinos went off the board selecting Segalla, Birks, Byron and Josephs as each are players I am not familiar with. Let us hope they have more success through these middle to late rounds than recent drafts have yielded.
San Jose Sharks: C+
Selections: Mirco Mueller (18), Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau (49), Fredrik Bergvik (117), Michael Brodzinski (141), Gage
Ausmus(151), Jacob Jackson (201), Emil Galimov (207)
San Jose clearly felt the need to trade up two spots with Detroit to ensure they landed big defensive stalwart