Prospect Ramblings: Thoughts on the NHL Draft, Leafs Surplus of Picks and more

Zachary DeVine

2016-06-09

Jake Bean

Calgary Hitman defenseman Jake Bean turned 18 today.  Bean is the top WHL prospect in the draft and shifting through a group of defensemen which includes Bean, Dante Fabbro, Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev and Jakob Chycrun is a great problem to have if you are an NHL general manager with a pick in the top 20.  None of them should remain after that point, and if they are, it is a steal.

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The last two picks of the draft could be decided tonight as the San Jose Sharks face the Pittsburgh Penguins down 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final.  The Sharks first rounder belongs to the Boston Bruins as part of the Martin Jones trade that looks like a steal.  The Penguins top pick is the property of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Looking at the Boston choices at 14, I like them taking one of Jake Bean or Boston University commit Dante Fabbro.  Both make-up the second tier of defenseman so it will come down to who the Bruins feel is a better fit.  If Boston does go for one of these two rearguards, they can take a swing with the 29th pick in a high skill player like Vitali Abramov or Alex DeBrincat.

For the Leafs after taking Auston Matthews at number one could turn their attention to the blueline.  Dennis Cholowski and Samuel Girard could both be there at the bottom of the first, but the Leafs also have pick 31 as well, so even more young talent will head to Toronto. 

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Speaking of the Toronto Maple Leafs at what point does the embarrassment of riches become a problem?  The Leafs have two picks in each of the first four rounds of this year's draft as well as three second-round picks in 2017.  The Marlies roster is chocked full of youngsters that did well in some call-up time with the Leafs, and that is to say nothing of the Mitch Marner situation next year, who either stays in the NHL or returns to the London Knights.  The Leafs could be a mover and shaker on the floor of the First Niagara Center later this month.

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In the Calder Cup final, the Lake Erie Monsters are giving Columbus Blue Jackets fanbase a reason to look forward to the future, besides selecting Jesse Puljujarvi.  The youthful explosion of talent has percolated up to the AHL level, and some players will be getting long looks for key positions with the Jackets. 

Daniel Zaar is a player coming into his own after spending the last few seasons in Sweden after being selected in the 6th round of the 2012 Entry Draft.  Zaar is a complete player with a good shot and has adapted well to North American play.  After posting 43 points in 71 games for the Monsters, he’s ad