We finally have the official draft order for the first half of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Playoffs will decide the rest, but we know who's in the running for the biggest names on the board.
Also this week, we were all lucky enough to gain access to Cam Robinson's Top 115 Prospects for the draft. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is some of the best draft cotent on the internet – you should be checking it out asap right here:
But for those of you who like hypotheticals – below I've made a list of the top half of the draft (in correct order), assigned to the best player available according to Cam. Teams could mess around and pick for need rather than value, but that tends not to go very well. Plyer descriptions can be found in Cam's article above. Have at it:
#1 Buffalo Sabres – Rasmus Dahlin (LD)
#2 Carolina Hurricanes – Andrei Svechnikov (RW)
#3 Montreal Candiens – Quinn Hughes (LD)
#4 Ottawa Senators – Filip Zadina (RW)
#5 Arizona Coyotes – Adam Boqvist (RD)
#6 Detroit Red Wings – Oliver Wahlstrom (C/RW)
#7 Vancouver Canucks – Noah Dobson (RD)
#8 Chicago Blackhawks – Ty Smith (LD)
#9 New York Rangers – Brady Tkachuk (LW)
#10 Edmonton Oilers – Joel Farabee (LW)
#11 New York Islanders – Evan Bouchard (RD)
#12 New York Islanders (from CGY) – Jesperi Kotkaniemi (C/LW)
#13 Dallas Stars – Barrett Hayton (C)
#14 Philidelphia Flyers (from STL) – Joseph Veleno (C)
#15 Florida Panthers – Rasmus Kupari (C)
– Eliiotte Friedman said on HNIC that Ottawa is likely to keep the 4th Overall Pick that could have been owed to Colorado. Intead, Colorado will receive Ottawa's 1st Round Pick in 2019 unconditionally.
– New York Islanders received Calgary's 1st Round pick in the Hamonic trade.
– Philidelphia received St. Louis' 1st Round pick in the Schenn trade.
– Personally, I believe Tkachuk and Bouchard will go higher in the draft based only on size and reputation, but again, the list above is based on our scout's Best Player Available
For another expert opinion, our own Jokke Nevalainen has also taken a stab at a draft order, this time NOT based on best player available – but based on what teams are likely to do:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here's my new Top 15 mock draft now that the draft order is finalized.<br><br>Remember, it's a mock draft, not my personal rankings. It follows closely the tiers described in the latest TSN Draft Rankings. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2018NHLDraft?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#2018NHLDraft</a> <a href="https://t.co/Z5UQ5QvsHP">pic.twitter.com/Z5UQ5QvsHP</a></p>— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) <a href="https://twitter.com/JokkeNevalainen/status/990487582705422336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
For even more draft coverage, the next DobberProspects Radio podcast will be featuring an in-depth mock draft, so look forwar to that in the coming week!
It wouldn't be a propoer draft Ramblings if I didn't mention the teams that got screwed the most…
– Carolina jumping 9 spots to 2nd overall (which was only 3.3% likely) means that NYI, EDM, and NYR (the 3 teams directly ahead of CAR originally) ended up in less-than-likely positions (by one spot).
– Other than that…teams more or less eded up where they should have. Ottawa-through-Chicago (with the exception of Montreal) are all picking in the spot they were most likely to end up in.
So really, this was a pretty uneventful lottery. Congrats to Buffalo, who really really really needed this.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck to your team in the playoffs or draft!