Here we are with the in between ramblings; post draft, pre free agent frenzy.
Looking back at the draft held last week in Vancouver there were some obvious winners. New Jersey (Hughes) and the Rangers (Kakko) of course. Colorado got Byram and Newhook which hasn’t been discussed enough. Talk about loading up for the future. The talent level on the Avs is now among the best in the NHL.
I am a huge fan of Bowen Byram. When it is all said and done, he may go down as the best player from this draft class. The thoughts of him along with Tyson Barrie and Cale Makar should scare every team in the west.
For my money, the absolute steal of the draft belongs to the Montreal Canadiens. How Cole Caufield fell to them at 15 is beyond me. With offence on the rise, this goal scorer will add a dimension the Habs haven’t had in their lineup in years.
Another team that made some really smart choices was the Edmonton Oilers. They addressed a glaring organizational need by drafting defenceman Philip Broberg, although the thought of Caufield and McDavid together must have been hard to pass up. They then had Raphael Lavoie fall into their lap in the second round. Two first rounders for the price of one.
Will there or won’t there be an offer sheet this year? It seems like we talk about these things but they very rarely happen. Who can afford to pay such a steep price for a single player? Mitch Marner is a beauty player and would make all 31 teams better but is he really worth four first rounders AND north of $11 million per season?
I hope there is an offer sheet made this year just to watch the ensuing chaos. That is, as long as my favorite team isn’t involved.
As far as the big name free agents are concerned, I’ll make my uneducated guess on a couple of them.
Panarin- Florida Panthers
Bobrovsky- New York Islanders
Duchene- Nashville Predators
Pavelski- Dallas Stars
Lee- New York Islanders
We shall see if my instinct is any good when the free agent season opens up on July first.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. You can follow along with me on Twitter @fiveminutemajor.
If you’re reading this in Canada, please have a safe, happy and fun Canada Day.