Welcome back to my Thursday ramblings, THIS time they will be readable! YES! Mind you last week was fixed a day later which is why we rule here!
Time for me to do part 2 of my draft preferences list, and then before the draft I hope to compile a much bigger and in-depth list. Also .. Oilers LOL.
Quick hit on an Oilers trade rumour:
Interesting listening to Rishaug speculating that the Oilers will go hard for a big name D; suggested Klefbom + 10 for Risto as an example.— dellowhockey (@dellowhockey) May 16, 2018
That would be incredibly Oilers to trade a player on a down year, who is pretty much similar to the player they are trying to get, and adding in 10th overall pick.
Maybe it is just me but I don’t think Risto is as great as he gets credit for from the old school types and I don’t think he is as bad as analytics make him look. He is kind of Phaneuf’d around the time he was a Leaf, where he is a perfectly serviceable #2-#4 defenseman but is shoved into the #1 role and looks bad. Then at the same time Klefbom is a pretty awesome defenseman who played with one shoulder all last year and still played well in his own end but could not score.
It’ll be totally Oilers when the Oilers sell super low on Klefbom and RNH. Sorry Oilers fans. If you want to fight me because I like to rip on the Oilers management I will be outside your local 7/11 at 315PM tomorrow. See you there! Also please see the tweets of an angry Oilers fan that goes over the trouble they have had on defense:
Nashville – The Preds always seem to draft at least one NHL player and that can make a team be very good for a very long time. However they never seem to have ever drafted that game breaking scorer, or one that broke out as one, as they always drafted solid players to fill a role. That changed in 2017 when Tolvanen just fell to them at the 30th pick and he might be okay at hockey, but there still is no guarantee he makes the NHL next season as the Preds are very deep up front.
My Advice: If you look at the Preds raft history going all the way back to 2009 it appears anyone they draft in the first two rounds becomes an NHL player, so if that is something you need in your pool always grab a Predator draftee.
New Jersey Devils – I will not comment on the past because since Shero took over in 2015 the Devils draft philosophy has changed. I must admit to being a biased Devils fan, so I don’t know how much I can say here. I traded Malkin for 1st overall in 2017 (plus Eriksson Ek) in one of my keeper leagues last year, and have drafted a couple of McLeod, Boqvist, and Zacha in a combination of both keeper leagues. Even though the Devils have left some good players on the board (in my opinion) in later rounds, since 2015, they are still a strong drafting team.
My advice: Don’t be a homer like me. Also under Shero the Devils should be a strong drafting team, the Penguins are still reaping the rewards of some late round picks to date.
New York Islanders – I have to admit, I am a bit of a Snow defender, the mess Milbury & Co. left him would take any GM YEARS to fix and it took him that long, especially with Wang’s consistent involvement. Then they got new owners but last season was brutal for them as they barely missed the playoffs with a team that should be in it. This team is also very up and down with its drafts. The teams 2017 draft was not great, except for taking Sabastian Aho in the 5th freaking round as other teams are just not smart to have let him go undrafted for this long. Aho is a sure fire top four dman, and can quarterback a powerplay. Its 2016 draft was poor outside drafting Bellows. The teams first three picks in 2015 and first five picks in 2014 were all fantastic picks, and all are likely NHLers. In 2013 they draft Pulock and not much else, and in 2012 and 2011 drafted horribly (since we know Strome is just blah).
My advice: The Islanders are going to want to hit on the back-to-back picks they have in 2018, and Snow is not scared to do something big to improve a draft spot. I would definitely draft one or both of its picks this year as I am a fan of how they draft
New York Rangers – This team routinely has never had draft picks until last year where they drafted Andersson and (a personal favorite) Chytil, who should be the future third and second line centres respectively. The Rangers should put a vast amount of resources into the upcoming draft, they want to hit on pick #9, #26 and where ever Tampa lands to finish the playoffs.
My advice: Whoever they draft in the first round will be given every opportunity to eventually be in the NHL. I have a feeling they will trade one of the picks. Also I think only one or two (if lucky) of these will hit and the other will be a bust (if they keep all three) as that has happened the last four times a team has had three picks in the first round: Boston, Columbus, Calgary, and Ottawa.
Ottawa – This team drafts very well despite having the lowest budget in scouting and management thanks to its cheap owner. They also really need to hit on pick #4 as they are giving away the 2019 first rounder to Colorado as part of the Duchene deal.
My advice: Ottawa is a good drafting team in early rounds and then as its drafts go on the picks become poorer. I always have confidence in its early picks.
Philadelphia – Hextall is quickly turning this team into a powerhouse due to loading up on draft picks and not making awful free agent signings. They have had 28 picks in the last three drafts, and a majority have been great value picks.
My advice: Philly now knows what they are doing (it could be argued pre-2014 they really did not as they mostly got lucky), so I would draft whatever player they pick regardless.
Pittsburgh – Well I mean this team could have Klim Kostin in its system but instead decided Ryan Reaves was a better fit. With Botterill moved on to Buffalo in 2017 I felt the Penguins draft really suffered. Previously they had good value picks in later rounds since firing Shero, as they don’t want early picks as they are still in #WinNow mode.
My advice: See who the Pens select with any picks from rounds two to three as they will look to pick a future scorer, but may also pick two more alright defense prospects as well. By that I mean Zachary Lauzon and Clayton Phillips were safe but not great picks.
San Jose – Speaking of win-now mode for a long time the Sharks are a team that is good at drafting early (with a few late hits too) and is currently dealing with missing out on draft picks. But they do always seem to walk away with one NHLer every draft I swear, maybe not so much lately but in the past they have. In 2017 I loved the late round picks of Sasha Chmelevski and Ivan Chekhovich as I feel they can be NHLers and should have gone in rounds two to three.
My advice: The Sharks need to add to the prospect pool in a big way, expect them to draft more potential homerun skill. They should pick a player who randomly falls to them at pick #21.
St. Louis – Straight up this team is fantastic at drafting early and always appear to pick a player who somehow falls to them that should have gone picks or even rounds earlier. They just have amazing drafts from 2014 to 2017 then it gets interesting: 2013, 2011 and 2009 all were brutal but 2012, 2010 and 2008 were great drafts. Incredible.
My advice: They do not have a first round pick for 2018, if they obtain one they are gunning for another skilled player who has fallen for some reason (ie. Kostin or Kyrou), but what who they pick at #45 (currently) as that player will likely be a steal.
Tampa Bay – What can I write here, this team drafts fantastically and even when the draft looks bleak for them they pull a stud out of a later round, I am referencing 2017 where they drafted Anthony DeAngelo in round one and Braden Point in round three.
My advice: Tampa picks between 60 and 62, and they will likely pull an NHLer out of this pick or somewhere in rounds three to five. It just seems to work out that way.
Toronto – Let us pretend everything Toronto has done before 2015 (besides Nylander and Rielly) never happened. Toronto’s 2015 draft was very good, 2016 was good and bad, and 2017 was fine. With how the Leafs finally want to routinely compete for the playoffs/Stanley Cup now and the money at the teams disposal they should continue to draft well.
My advice: The Leafs can identify fallers and high skill better than other team. I have full confidence in drafting the earlier players they select. The over-agers they pick are mostly head-scratchers though.
Vancouver – I don’t get this team, they need to rebuild and get picks and then end up having six picks in 2018. Who knows. The Canucks also seem to draft one good year then one bad year, the 2018 draft appears to be a bad year one but recent changes to the Canucks scouting staff leads me to believe the Canucks will actually have a good 2018 draft. We shall see.
My advice: If you’re a Canucks fan draft away but as a regular fantasy GM remain slightly cautious.
Vegas – I loved Vegas’ 2017 draft and thought they had a top three draft of all other teams, and yes they are an outlier to the “three picks in one draft” assumption I made earlier, have you seen the teams season! In 2018 they pick at #60-62 let us see what they can do.
My advice: The team still needs to fill its cupboards so expect value picks throughout Vegas’ draft.
Washington – The Capitals are quietly one of the top drafting teams in the NHL as they always appear to pull one NHL player out of every draft. Those players may not be top line types, and if they are they may be traded for Martin Erat, but they have made some great selections 2007.
My advice: The Capitals wanted to keep as many picks as they could so they have a first at least and I would expect a good pick from this spot for the Capitals.
Winnipeg – This is currently the best drafting team in the NHL no question (early picks at least). They finally do not have a first round pick for the first time in a long time so I would expect a fantastic pick at #60-62.
My advice: If you have a late pick draft who the Jets take and just watch that player break out I swear.
Ok that is all. Hope you enjoyed.
Twitter is here @FHPQuinn