SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 06: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman prepares for the first round of the 2020 National Hockey League Draft at the NHL Network Studio on October 06, 2020 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Welcome to the Thursday ramblings. This week I decided to look back on the latter part of the draft and decide which teams won and lost in the drafting. Keep in mind no matter how good people say some prospects are, the later they are drafted the less the chance is for them to make it. Now round two is beginning to see better and better players, but not many players slip anymore as the best are targeted early. There will still be some “Braden Points” aka players with tons of skill who fall because of size, and some that just develop in to NHLers that no one predicts.
I am just trying to let fantasy owners know, the later players are drafted, no matter how high their ceiling could be, the less and less likely they will ever make the NHL. So do not go out of your way to draft these players, unless your prospect bench is deep. Just monitor and scoop the second you hear their name.
Let us check my #GoodTweet of the week:
- Please give him a shot NYI… I do not think they will based on the teams history
The best way to sum up Carolina’s draft after the first round is: Noel Gunler and Vasily Ponomarev in round 2, Alexander Nikishin in round 3, Zion Nybeck in round 4, and Alexander Pashin with Ronan Seeley later in round 7. They just grabbed the players with the most upside at these selections, which is what you would think all NHL GMs do but are surprised that they do not. Pashin sliding to round 7 is really surprising as I thought there was no way he should be left after round 3. So, did I (and others) miss something or did NHL GMs, I mean Carolina even passed on him two times after round three? A seventh-round selection rarely makes it but perhaps this one could.
Yan Kuznetsov in round 2 is certainly a selection, but considering the Flames got two extra picks in round three to just move down a couple of spots in round 1 easily makes them a win. It also helps they took Jeremy Poirier and Jake Boltmann with those selections. It also helps they took Daniil Chechelev, Ryan Francis, Rory Kerins, and Ilya Solovyov with each round selection next, and those are all solid selections.
I was not overly impressed with the Sharks’ first round selection, but grabbing Thomas Bordeleau and Tristen Robinsin round 2, Danil Gushchinin round 3, and Brandon Coe in round 4 are all great selections. All are highly skilled players who could develop quite nicely for San Jose. The four seven round selections are seventh round selections, likely not to make it.
Just a note here, if NHL teams really invested in Europe and Russian scouting, you could really grab amazing players in the later rounds and reap the rewards for years.
Emil Heineman at #43 is solid for round two, but I really like the next three selections of Ty Smilanic and Justin Sourdif in round 3, and Michael Benning in round 4. All probably should have gone in round 2, or early in round 3. Zachary Uens in round 4 and Kasper Puutio in round 5 are also good picks for that range.
Toronto spends the money to have a good scouting department, and I would argue all picks were very good where they got them. My favorites were Roni Hirvonen in round 2, Topi Niemela in round 3, Artur Akhtyamov and William Villeneuve in round 4, Dmitry Ovchinnikov in round 5, and Veeti Miettinen at #168 in round 6. I quite like Miettinen, so it is very surprising he slipped.
Not picking in rounds 2 and 3, and then selecting Carter Savoie in round 4, with Tyler Tullio and Maxim Berezkin next in round 5. That is fantastic drafting, grabbing potential high ceiling players.
Thumbs in the Middle
Nico Daws was a nice pick in round 3 but I think it was a little early. Jaromir Pytlik is a good potential two-way force in round 4, and Ethan Edwards is a boom/bust pick for round 5. In my opinion the Devils should have moved down in round 1 and added another pick (if possible), but if we ignore that then for me it still comes down to the Devils not drafting enough potential skill late in the draft.
Speaking of not drafting potential skill later in the draft I come to the Capitals, who have disappointed me as the Capitals writer for taking safe picks over potential high-ceiling picks late in the draft. This team needs skill up front as they have enough potential third and fourth liners, so why not reach. Thankfully in round 7 they grabbed Oskar Magnusson at #211 who oozes skill but may not make it, especially being drafted so late. Shipping out pick #80 is still tough and picking Bogdan Trineyev and Bear Hughes are fine, but better players with more potential were available.
The Jets only had four total picks in the draft, and really need to start drafting more, but each pick was tremendous value. Daniel Torgersson in round 2, Anton Johannesson in round 5, and Tyrel Bauer as the team’s final pick in round six. They stayed in the middle because they only made four selections.
New York Rangers
Once they traded Lias Andersson for pick #60 and took Will Cuylle I gave the Rangers a big L. We all know Andersson wanted out, but to both not get more and take someone who should have went later in the draft is not very good. I was not enthralled by any of the selections later except they had a great value add of Evan Vierling in round 5.
New York Islanders
Islanders did not get to pick until round 3 and only had five total selections. What makes them a loss as opposed to Winnipeg with fewer selections is that no pick was really anything special or of great value.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Jack Finley in round 2 and Maxim Groshev in round 3 were good, but I was not a fan of any later picks they had. That is really strange as the Lighting usually take a solid number of good prospects.
Nashville is on here because they should draft potential high skilled players up front. Somehow offense just dies in Nashville and they really should attempt to fix that later in the draft. I felt most picks were fine but many better players were routinely available.
Vancouver’s draft was similar to my Islanders post above. Not picking until round 3 is never that great and they also had just five selections. Jacob Truscott in round 5 could turn out quite nicely for Vancouver.
I love Ottawa taking Egor Sokolov late in round 2, but with seven picks from picks #3 to #71 it is hard not to come underwhelmed by the Senators draft, especially with Carolina’s draft looking so good with players who have great offense potential.
Arizona’s first selection was at #111 and it is hard to walk away from a draft smiling after that. It sucks they lost the second-round pick and I wish they still had it.
Other teams were fine with the drafts they had so nothing really to mention, other than Montreal taking Luke Tuch then Jan Mysak was my favorite part of the draft. The “big” less skilled players (not to say Tuch is bad, I am a fan) always get drafted ahead of the highly-skilled smaller players.
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