Prospect Ramblings: Round 1 Winners, Losers, and In-Betweeners
Image courtesy of NHL.com
Welcome to the Thursday prospect ramblings. This week I will just do a quick recap of round one with my thoughts on who hit it out of the park, who struck out in one pitch, who kind of did kind of fine, and what I was confused about. Round one was sure surprising, feel free to throw your thoughts in the comments or on my twitter.
Speaking of my twitter, here is my #GoodTweet of the week (p.s. please stop everyone you know from buying EA NHL so I can get an actual good hockey game that improves annually):
As always Bill Burr has the best take on the draft and how we all sit around to watch it like a bunch of fools. This is seriously one of my favorite bits ever and I watch it before I go watch the draft every year! (NSFW FYI)
Drafting Quinton Byfield over Tim Stutzle despite LA having about 15 centres is a win. Byfield was easily the best player available and could wind up being the best rookie/prospect in LA’s system right now
Do I love Drysdale over the other forwards available, not really, but Drysdale is the player the Ducks need? It may not be best to draft need over best player available, but it is also very difficult to be critical of any early Ducks draft picks since they appear to always draft NHLers in rounds 1 and 2. Then, somehow, at #27 the Ducks just go out and draft Jacob Perrault who could wind up being the second best goal scorer out of this draft. He is a really nice player and one you should reach on for fantasy.
Calgary drafted down twice and added a third-round selection each time, and in the end Zary was a fantastic pick. There is not much else to add here other than Calgary was the smartest team drafting in the first round as they gained assets and likely still took the player they were targeting. Though I guarantee they were targeting Mercer at #19 and once the Devils snatched him up, they decided to trade down.
Hard to Call it Winning if Top Players fall to you, but Props for Drafting the BPA
Detroit taking Lucas Raymond at #4, Minnesota taking Marco Rossi at #9, Winnipeg taking Cole Perfetti at #10, Florida taking the highly contested Finn Anton Lindell at #12, Carolina taking Seth Jarvis at #13, and Toronto drafting Rodion Amirov at #15
Mostly a Win but I Have Concerns
Let me tell you I jumped for joy when the Devils selected Alexander Holtz at #7. He is the player the Devils need 100%. Then at #18, taking Dawson Mercer is an extremely solid pick as he could become a high-energy middle six winger who has better hands than he gets credit for. However, at #20 the Devils for some unknown reason panicked and reached for defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin. Did they panic because they wanted Braden Schneider and took the next best defenseman (which is a whole other question in itself)? Mukhamadullin could still pan out and be a second or third pairing defenseman, I just felt the Devils needed more scoring up front. Not to mention, with their next pick at ~86, how do they not trade down and try to gain an extra selection. I am just unhappy with this selection as there were plenty of better players available.
On one hand the Capitals did something great in drafting Hendrix Lapierre at #22, who could end up being a steal at that spot. My reservation here is that the Capitals gave up pick #80 to move up two spots. The Capitals cupboards are so bare it holds 450 pounds of cobwebs. Capitals fans should both be incredibly excited in the player but then somewhat disappointed in how the rest of the draft panned out for them
New York Rangers
You do not get an automatic win if you take the best player in the draft from me. Well actually they would have had the win if that was the only pick, but the Rangers drafted up to take Braden Schneider who is a good player but they likely could have waited. Schneider is more of a shutdown two-way defenseman and those can be had later in the draft. I could easily eat my words here
Drafting Iaroslav Askarov when you have Saros and Connor Ingram confuses me. Especially when the organization still hold on to Rinne. This organization needs scoring not another goalie, but then it is tough to get upset when you selected the one goalie who could be your #1 in two years. If Askarov is ready by then the organization will have a huge headache in net with Saros, Ingram, and if Rinne is still hanging on.
People complaining about the Leafs drafting Rodion Amirov
I don’t know anything about Rodion Amirov other than he’s a forward but I don’t understand how the Leafs make that pick with Kaiden Guhle and Braden Schneider still available and address an area of need
If you do not know anything about Amirov maybe do not judge the pick
The two-defenseman listed will not address the Toronto need for having better defensive defensemen for at least three seasons
Amirov could come to the NHL sooner and will be a better player than both defensemen listed
I did not want to put the Oilers in mostly loss because Holloway is still a solid player, but drafting a player who projects at worst to be a bottom six player and at best a second line player is not what a team like the Oilers need. The Oilers need depth scoring and should have drafted a higher skilled forward here.
I am a Lucas Reichel fan but this was probably a bit too high for him. However, with Chicago finding some of the best undrafted players from Europe/Russia maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt here. This could wind up as a great selection.
Mostly a Loss
It is hard to really not like Ottawa’s draft but I am in that camp. Tim Stutzle is a great pick at #3 and he will keep Sens fans entertained for a long time, but taking Sanderson at #5? That is a reach for me, trade down if you want him. I do not know why the Sens did not take another great forward here, especially as they have Chabot, Brannstrom, Lassi Thomson, and Jacob Bernard-Docker. The Sens have the least scouts in the NHL and this draft really showed that to me. Ridly Greig was also a reach at #28, he will probably be a great multi-cat player in those leagues but the Sens again had some great forwards or even defensemen who slipped here. If they took two great forwards and then one of the defensemen here who slid to the second round the draft for them would have been knocked out of the park.
I do not want to really get on Montreal here but is GM Bergevin just trying to get the same time of defenseman? All big, tough, great at defense, but prefer to dump the puck out over transitioning it out. The players skate well but they are not going to skate the puck out of trouble. Weber, Chariot, Edmundson, and the recently bought out Alzner were all sought after by Bergevin, so I am concerned he is not making his defense mobile. Kaiden Guhle is still a very solid pick but is he really what Montreal needed here?
Yegor Chinakhov. Yep. Right out of left field. Now I will give the benefit of the doubt here to Columbus and say perhaps no one knows how good this player is, so he could become a top six winger. The issue here is that: do the Jackets really think he was going to get taken in any of the next 40-55 picks? I just do not see the reasoning for not drafting down.
I am sorry Sabres fans but this was the wrong spot for Quinn (about 15-23 spots too high), especially with his better teammate still on the board and a better goal scorer sliding to #27. The next seven forwards will likely end up better than Jack Quinn. Now I could be 100% wrong in the end but I am pretty confident I will not be. I want him to do well though, especially for Sabres fans.
Jake Neighbours at #26 is a reach. He is fine but really should have been a second-round selection as he is likely a bottom six winger at best. It is quite unlikely he will not be a top six player
Remember all the trades that were supposed to happen again? Disappointment again. Thanks, Calgary, for trying.
There is nothing really to say with these selections as they were all fine picks
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