The 2018 NHL Entry Draft is in the books now, so obviously that’s what I’m going to write about today. Let’s start with who I consider to be the big draft winners. And no, I don’t consider the Sabres or the Hurricanes here even though they got the two best players from this draft class because I’m not overly excited about the other players they drafted. Here are my top five winners in order.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Considering their earliest pick was 53rd overall and they only had a total of four draft picks, the Penguins have to be happy with what they got. Both Calen Addison and Filip Hållander are first-round talents in my books but somehow they managed to get both of them late in the second round. Click on their names to read their fantasy hockey profiles, and don’t forget them in your own fantasy hockey draft this summer.
Florida Panthers: The Panthers added three right-handed shot forwards with their first three picks by selecting Grigori Denisenko 15th overall, Serron Noel 34th overall and then Logan Hutsko 89th overall. Denisenko has top-line upside, and he was one of my hot takes in the prospect report, so I’m very glad the team I’m covering drafted him. Considering how raw Noel is, we honestly don’t know how high his ceiling is. There might be some risk with Hutsko considering the injuries he’s had but there’s definitely talent there. Again, just click on their names to find their fantasy hockey profiles. The Panthers didn’t have any picks in the fourth and fifth rounds which hurts the overall value they gained from this draft. Maybe this is a bit of a homer selection since I cover the Panthers here but I think they did a great job with the picks they had available.
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings got a gift handed to them when Filip Zadina somehow was still available at sixth overall. They continued their strong draft by selecting Joe Veleno 30th overall and Jonatan Berggren 33rd overall. But I’m not overly excited about Jared McIsaac who they took 36th overall, and I think they made some questionable selections with their three third-round picks.
Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks decided to focus on skill despite some shortcomings in other areas. They drafted Adam Boqvist eighth overall, Nicolas Beaudin 27th, Jake Wise 69th, Niklas Nordgren 74th and