Round 1 of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft was held Thursday night at Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec marking the first time since the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver that the selections were made in person in front of a live audience as the 2020 and 2021 editions of the draft were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coverage of this year’s first round began Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and streaming on ESPN+ in the United States, as well as on SN and TVAS in Canada.
Rounds 2-7 will be televised on NHL Network and ESPN+ in the U.S., while viewers in Canada can tune to SN or TVAS starting at 11 a.m. ET Friday morning.
Here’s a quick recap of the First Round in case you had other things going on Thursday night.
2022 NHL Entry Draft Round 1
Montréal Canadiens – LW Juraj Slafkovsky, TPS (Liiga)
New Jersey Devils – D Simon Nemec, Nitra (Slovakia)
Arizona Coyotes – C Logan Cooley, USA U-18 (USHL)
Seattle Kraken – C Shane Wright, Kingston (OHL)
Philadelphia Flyers – C/LW Cutter Gauthier, USA U-18 (USHL)
Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago) – D David Jiricek, Plzen (Extraliga)
Chicago (from Ottawa Senators) – D Kevin Korchinski, Seattle (WHL)
Detroit Red Wings – C Marco Kasper, Rögle BK (SHL)
Buffalo Sabres – C Matthew Savoie, Winnipeg (WHL)
Anaheim Ducks – D Pavel Mintyukov, Saginaw (OHL)
Arizona Coyotes (from San Jose Sharks) – C Conor Geekie, Winnipeg (WHL)
Columbus Blue Jackets – D Denton Mateychuk, Moose Jaw (WHL)
Chicago (from New York Islanders via Montréal Canadiens) – C Frank Nazar, USA-U18 (USHL)
Winnipeg Jets – RW Rutger McGroarty, USA U-18 (USHL)
Vancouver Canucks – RW Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas Golden Knights) – C Noah Ostlund, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
The Montréal Canadiens trade D Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to the New York Islanders for a 2022 1st round pick (13th overall).
Montréal traded a 2022 1st round pick (13th overall, originally belonging to the New York Islanders) and a 2022 3rd round pick (66th overall)Chicago for D Kirby Dach.
The San Jose Sharks traded a 2022 1st round pick (11th overall) to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2022 1st round pick (27th overall), a 2022 2nd round pick (34th overall) and a 2022 2nd round pick (45th overall).
Chicago acquired G Petr Mrázek and a 2022 1st round pick (25th overall) from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2022 2nd round pick(38th overall).
The Arizona Coyotes acquired F Zack Kassian, a 2022 1st round pick (29th overall), a 2024 3rd round pick and a 2025 2nd round pick from the Edmonton Oilers for a 2022 1st round pick (32nd overall).
Trades made earlier in the day prior to the first round of the draft:
The Colorado Avalanche acquired G Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2022 3rd round pick, a 2022 5th round pick and a 2023 3rd round pick.
The Ottawa Senators traded a 2022 1st round pick (7th overall), a 2022 2nd round pick (39th overall) and a 2024 3rd round pick to Chicago for F Alex DeBrincat.
Additions: F Mitchell Stephens (acquired from TBL), F Pius Suter, D Nick Leddy (acquired from NYI), G Alex Nedeljkovic (acquired from CAR)
Subtractions: F Mathias Bromé (NL), F Turner Elson (signed with Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL), F Valtteri Filppula (NL), F Luke Glendening (signed with DAL), F Darren Helm (signed with COL), F Frans Nielsen (buyout), F Richard Panik (traded to NYI), F Evgeny Svechnikov (PTO with WPG), F Dominic Turgeon (signed with MIN), F Hayden Verbeek (signed with Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL), F Henrik Zetterberg (retired), D Alex Biega (signed with TOR), D Dennis Cholowski (expansion, SEA), D Christian Djoos (NL), D Joe Hicketts (signed with MIN), D Dylan McIlrath (signed with WSH), G Jonathan Bernier (traded to CAR, signed with NJD), G Kevin Boyle (ICEHL), G Patrik Rybár (KHL)
Still Unsigned: F Bobby Ryan, F Givani Smith (RFA)
Re-signed: F Tyler Bertuzzi, F Adam Erne, F Sam Gagner, F Chase Pearson, F Jakub Vrana, D Filip Hronek, D Gustav Lindstrom, D Marc Staal, G Calvin Pickard
Offseason Analysis: When Steve Yzerman resigned from the Tampa Bay Lightning, the foundation of his plan as General Manager and the years of development that it took had built up a few levels short of winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2020 and 2021, after Julien BriseBois picked up where Yzerman left off shortly before the 2018-19 season.
On April 19, 2019, the prodigal son made his return to Detroit as the now current General Manager of the Red Wings– inheriting a mess left behind by Ken Holland who, despite winning the Cup three times as the executive vice president and GM in Detroit from 1997-2019, was promoted to senior vice president before walking away from the Red Wings altogether.
Still with me here?
Yzerman left the Lightning in September 2018, and BriseBois was named his replacement, then later in the 2018-19 league calendar year, the Red Wings hired Yzerman as their General Manager, while Holland stuck around for less than a month longer before leaving for his current role as General Manager and President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers.
In this pseudo-musical chairs endeavor, Tampa has won back-to-back Stanley Cups, while Holland’s Oilers have been mired in early postseason exits and Yzerman, well… …Yzerman’s just been biding his time.
Though he hasn’t played since the 2017-18 season due to a career-ending degenerative back condition, Henrik Zetterberg’s $6.083 million cap hit is finally off the books.
Yzerman is no longer looking to take on dead cap space to meet the salary cap floor, but he’s also not quite spending to the ceiling just yet.
Instead, the Red Wings are setting the gears in motion for big strides sooner rather than later.
This offseason sped things up, though the team hasn’t been kicked into high-gear just yet.
For starters, Yzerman’s kept Tyler Bertuzzi, Adam Erne, Sam Gagner, Filip Hronek and Calvin Pickard around as top-six talent, glue guys and necessary goaltending depth in the event of injury.
He also worked out a solid bridge contract with 25-year-old Jakub Vrana– giving the left wing that was acquired at the 2021 trade deadline a $5.250 million cap hit through the 2023-24 season and buying a year of potential unrestricted free agency in the process.
Vrana’s short stint down the stretch with Detroit proved to be very productive amassing 8-3–11 totals in 11 games with the Red Wings after putting up 11-14–25 totals through 39 games with the Washington Capitals prior to the trade last season.
Detroit also managed to snag Pius Suter on the open market after Chicago chose not to tender a qualifying offer for the would have been restricted free agent.
Suter broke into the league as a 25-year-old rookie and scored 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 55 games with Chicago. In a non-pandemic timeline, Suter would have been on pace for about 40 points in an 82-game schedule.
That’s nothing to sneeze at for a guy that can work up and down the lineup in a top-nine role on a team that’s looking to get back into annual playoff contention.
But that’s not all that Yzerman did this offseason.
As the team said “goodbye” to many long-time Red Wings members, like Darren Helm– who’s now with the Colorado Avalanche– and other more recent placeholders, Yzerman was busy working the phones and dialing the NHL’s trade center.
Aside from making a few trades involving nothing but draft picks at the 2021 NHL Draft– including one that led to Detroit moving up in the first round in a swap with the Dallas Stars that led to the Red Wings selecting Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) goaltender, Sebastian Cossa– Yzerman continued to assemble depth down the lineup.
On July 16th, Detroit sent Richard Panik and a 2021 2nd round pick to the New York Islanders for Nick Leddy as the Islanders looked to make cap space– clearing about $4.125 million in the process for New York and likely teaming Leddy up with Moritz Seider on the second defensive pairing for the Red Wings.
Yzerman then dealt the negotiating rights for Jonathan Bernier and a 2021 3rd round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for Alex Nedeljkovic on July 22nd, before signing the former Canes netminder to a two-year extension worth $2.000 million per season.
Finally, Yzerman went back to the well in Tampa for Mitchell Stephens– sending a 2022 6th round pick in return to the Lightning on July 30th.
Detroit won’t be great, but they should be better than last season and given the fact that the Red Wings looked competitive at times in 2020-21, they just might play spoiler for some of the teams in the Atlantic Division.
Meanwhile, Leddy’s jump in production from 21 points in 60 games with the Islanders in 2019-20 to 31 points in 56 games last season should help jumpstart some two-way play in the backend for Detroit.
A change of scenery and a reunification with Erne on the fourth line for Stephens should necessitate more production than his one point in seven games with the Bolts last season– though neither Erne, nor Stephens are looking to be leading goal scorers on the roster.
Finally, Nedeljkovic established himself as a starting goaltender in the NHL– or a fringe starter, at least– amassing a 15-5-3 record in 23 games with Carolina last season to go with a 1.90 goals-against average, a .932 save percentage and three shutouts in that span.
The improvements to Detroit’s defense should pave a way to letting the Red Wings’ offense to grow and the youth throughout the organization to develop while Nedeljkovic can focus on competing with himself to maintain a high-level of play as the goaltender of the future for now, unless Cossa has anything to say about it in the near future.
For a team that’s been rebuilding in recent years, this is how you do it. Yzerman’s careful scouting, planning and execution is picking up speed.
Round 1 of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft was held virtually Friday night for the second-straight year as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delayed the league’s plans for a draft at Bell Centre in Montréal until 2022 at the earliest.
Coverage of this year’s first round began Friday night at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 in the United States, as well as SN and TVAS in Canada. Rounds 2-7 will be televised on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. ET on NHLN in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada.
As always, there were plenty of surprises and (possibly) a lack of trades. Here’s how it all went down.
2021 NHL Entry Draft Round 1
1.Buffalo Sabres –> D Owen Power, Michigan (NCAA)
2. Seattle Kraken –> C Matthew Beniers, Michigan (NCAA)
3. Anaheim Ducks –> C Mason McTavish, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
4. New Jersey Devils –> D Luke Hughes, USA-U18 (USHL)
5. Columbus Blue Jackets –> C Kent Johnson, Michigan (NCAA)
6. Detroit Red Wings –> D Simon Edvinsson, Frölunda HC (SHL)
7. San Jose Sharks –> LW William Eklund, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
8. Los Angeles Kings –> D Brandt Clarke, Barrie Colts (OHL)
28. Colorado Avalanche –> RW Oskar Olausson, HV71 (SHL)
29. New Jersey Devils (from New York Islanders) –> RW Chase Stillman, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
30. Vegas Golden Knights –> C Zach Dean, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
31. Montréal Canadiens –>D Logan Mailloux, SK Lejon
32. Chicago (from Tampa Bay Lightning via Columbus Blue Jackets) –> D Nolan Allan, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Trades made during the first round of the draft:
The DallasStars traded the 15th overall pick to the DetroitRedWings for the 23rd overall pick, 48th overall pick and 138th overall pick in this year’s draft.
The Edmonton Oilers traded the 20th overall pick to the Minnesota Wild for the 22nd overall pick and 90th overall pick in this year’s draft.
The Carolina Hurricanes traded the 27th overall pick to the Nashville Predators for the 40th overall and 51st overall picks in this year’s draft.
Trades made earlier in the day prior to the first round of the draft:
The Buffalo Sabres traded D Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers for D Robert Hagg, a 2021 1st round pick (14th overall) and a 2023 2nd round pick.
F Pavel Buchnevich was traded by the New York Rangers to the St. Louis Blues for F Sammy Blais and a 2022 2nd round pick.
The Arizona Coyotes acquired F Antoine Roussel, F Jay Beagle, F Loui Eriksson, a 2021 1st round pick (9th overall), a 2022 2nd round pick and a 2023 7th round pick from the Vancouver Canucks for D Oliver Ekman-Larsson and F Conor Garland. Arizona retained 12% of Ekman-Larsson’s cap hit (about $990,000) in the deal.
Chicago traded D Adam Boqvist, a 2021 1st round pick (12th overall), a 2021 2nd round pick and a conditional 2022 1st round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for D Seth Jones, a 2021 1st round pick (32nd overall) and a 2022 6th round pick. If Chicago wins one of the 2022 draft lotteries, the conditional 2022 1st round pick becomes a 2023 1st round pick in the transaction.
The Carolina Hurricanes dealt D Jake Bean to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 2021 2nd round pick (originally belonging to Chicago).
Round 1 of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft was held virtually Tuesday night after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic changed plans from hosting the draft at Bell Centre in Montreal to a properly socially distanced from home event.
Coverage of this year’s first round begins Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the United States, as well as SN and TVAS in Canada. Rounds 2-7 will be televised at 11:30 a.m. ET on NHLN in the U.S. and SN1 in Canada.
As always, there were plenty of surprises and (possibly) a lack of trades. Here’s how it all went down.
2020 NHL Entry Draft Round 1
1. New York Rangers–> LW Alexis Lafrenière, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)
2. Los Angeles Kings–> C Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)–> C/LW Tim Stützle, Adler Mannheim (DEL)
4. Detroit Red Wings–> RW Lucas Raymond, Frölunda HC (SHL)
5. Ottawa Senators–> D Jake Sanderson, USA U-18 (USHL)
6. Anaheim Ducks–> D Jamie Drysdale, Erie Otters (OHL)
7. New Jersey Devils–> RW Alexander Holtz, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
8.Buffalo Sabres–> RW Jack Quinn, Ottawa 67s (OHL)
9. Minnesota Wild–> C Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67s (OHL)
It’s June October and the Stanley Cup has been awarded and already cleaned more than a few times from all of the beer and other things that the Tampa Bay Lightning have done with it, which means it’s the perfect time to gather in a city around your TV screen and be ready to throw on any of the 31 National Hockey League team draft hats (excluding the Seattle Kraken– we’ll deal with them next season) when your name is called.
Well, if you’re one of the 31 prospects lucky enough to go in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft on Tuesday night, at least. Rounds 2-7 will take place Wednesday, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET as always– kind of.
For the first time in NHL history, this year’s draft is virtual thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Montreal was set to play host to the 2020 NHL Draft at Bell Centre back on June 26th and 27th, but it’s 2020 and with the global pandemic still going on, the league originally postponed the event back on March 25th before announcing it as a virtual draft at a later date (this week).
It’s also the first time that the draft is being held outside of June since the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, which was held at the Westin Hotel Ottawa in Canada’s capital city– Ottawa, Ontario– on July 30th of that year and it’s the first time that the draft is being held completely on weekday(s) for the first time since the 1994 NHL Entry Draft in Hartford, Connecticut, which was on Tuesday, June 28th of that year (remember the Whalers?).
The projected first overall pick– Alexis Lafrenfière– will get his moment in the spotlight sometime once the 2020-21 regular season begins, but until then he’ll have to settle for whatever lights his parents have in the living room.
Coverage of this year’s first round begins Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the United States, as well as SN and TVAS in Canada. Rounds 2-7 will be televised on NHLN in the U.S. and SN1 in Canada.
1. New York Rangers–> LW Alexis Lafrenière, Rimouski, (QMJHL)
Considered the best player to come out of the Québec Major Junior Hockey League since Sidney Crosby– who also played for Rimouski Océanic back in his Junior days– Lafrenière is a no-brainer for the New York Rangers.
He might be the best player in the draft since Connor McDavid was selected 1st overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015, and for good reason.
Lafrenière had 35 goals and 77 assists (112 points) in 52 games for Rimouski this season until the rest of the regular season, as well as all of the postseason and Memorial Cup were cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.
There’s nothing wrong with the Rangers stacking up on talent on the left side with Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider already in play. Simply put Lafrenière on the third line if you must and watch the forward depth lead the club into a playoff contender.
2. Los Angeles Kings–>C Quinton Byfield, Sudbury (OHL)
Byfield had 32-50–82 totals in 45 games with the Ontario Hockey Leagues’s Sudbury Wolves this season. His 6-foot-4 , 215-pound frame will help ease the transition for the Los Angeles Kings from Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter down the middle to whatever’s next with Byfield taking center stage.
His speed and skating ability is already a cut above the rest in the draft and having a two-time Frank J. Selke Trophy winner (Kopitar) as a teammate should further elevate Byfield’s game into one of the better two-way centers as he’ll be sure to learn a thing or two from him.
3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)–>C/LW Tim Stützle, Mannheim(DEL)
The best German prospect since Leon Draisaitl, Stützle amassed 7-27–34 totals in 41 games with Adler Mannheim in the DEL last season. He’s a dynamic forward that plays a mature game for his age, which is a promising sign for the Ottawa Senators that ensured they’d be having “unparalleled success from 2021-25”.
It’s not off to that promising of a start for the Sens, but with their rebrand, Stützle at 3rd overall and the 5th overall pick at their hands, Ottawa’s brighter days are ahead if not now. They’ll just need to find a new starting goaltender to really make them a playoff contender with Craig Anderson’s departure as part of Ottawa’s plan.
4. Detroit Red Wings–>D Jamie Drysdale, Erie (OHL)
While Detroit Red Wing General Manager, Steve Yzerman, could make a splash later in the week trying to attract Alex Pietrangelo or Michigan native, Torey Krug, to Detroit’s blue line, it’s about time the Red Wings took another defender to potentially anchor the defensive zone in the future with last year’s first round pick, Moritz Seider.
Drysdale checks off all the boxes for the Red Wings as the best defender in the draft and you know what wins championships in “Hockeytown”? Defense.
That said, he had 9-38–47 totals in 49 games with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20 and is capable of utilizing his 5-foot-11, 175-pound build to his advantage in a two-way game.
5. Ottawa Senators–>RW Lucas Raymond, Frölunda (SHL)
Everybody loves Raymond and his playmaking abilities– drawing comparisons to Ottawa’s intra-province rival, Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Mitch Marner, according to scouts and mock draft experts alike.
His skill, two-way style and high hockey IQ are what sets him apart from other players his age and pairs well with Stützle in the picture for the Sens as a pair of players that could change the face of a franchise on their own. In 33 games last season with Frölunda HC, Raymond had 10 points (four goals, six assists) playing as a teenager among men in the SHL.
He has one goal and one assist (two points) in four games this season already.
The Anaheim Ducks need some scoring power as they stockpile youth on the roster and Perfetti brings the right amount of scoring prowess combined with an all-around ability that sets him apart as a forward.
Perfetti’s vision is one that will generate scoring chances– whether for himself or a teammate– as he amassed 37 goals and 74 assists (111 points) with the Saginaw Spirit (OHL) in 61 games last season.
At 5-foot-10, 177-pounds, he’s not flashy, but he creates space for his own game and that’ll compliment well with Anaheim’s need for a true top-six forward in the coming years– be it first or second line center or just a solid option at left wing.
7. New Jersey Devils–>C Marco Rossi, Ottawa (OHL)
Like the Senators, the New Jersey Devils have three picks in the first round of this year’s draft and if everything goes according to plan, the Devils will make off with a pretty solid core of forwards to intersperse among their organizational depth.
Rossi lit up the OHL in scoring last season with 39 goals and 81 assists (120 points) in 56 games with the Ottawa 67’s, while drawing comparisons to that of Claude Giroux. Meanwhile, he could join the likes of Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner and others as one of few Austrian born players to be drafted in the first round.
8.Buffalo Sabres–>C Anton Lundell, HFIK (Liiga)
Lundell had 10-18–28 totals in 44 games with HIFK last season in Finland’s top professional league (Liiga) and has a knack for protecting the puck rather well.
One of the better two-way centers in the draft, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound 19-year-old has some room to grow into a top-six role with the Buffalo Sabres in the near future– especially if Casey Mittelstadt and/or Tage Thompson can’t solidify their game in terms of a long-term second line center companion to Jack Eichel’s standout status as the first line center.
The Sabres need to shore up their strength down the middle– regardless of Eric Staal’s presence for this season on the second or third line.
Jarvis had 98 points (42 goals, 56 assists) in 58 games with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League last season before the pandemic cut things short.
He’s a crafty new-age center that has room to grow and has shown he can be more of a second-half of the season player that could one day peak at the right time for something the Minnesota Wild haven’t seen in a while– a deep playoff run.
With the Wild moving on from Mikko Koivu, Minnesota will need to replenish the pipeline down the middle both in the immediate and for the future.
10. Winnipeg Jets–>D Jake Sanderson, USA U-18 (USHL)
Sanderson could go higher in the draft or lower reminiscent of how Cam Fowler fell from 5th in the final rankings coming into the 2010 NHL Draft to being selected 12th overall by the Ducks.
He plays with aggression and has a 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame that could make losing Dustin Byfuglien prior to last season a little bit easier for the Jets– though Sanderson has big shoes to fill on a diminished Winnipeg blue line, unless GM Kevin Cheveldayoff flips Patrik Laine for an incredible return to shore up some own zone help for 2019-20 Vezina Trophy winning goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck.
With some polishing of his skills at the University of North Dakota whenever the 2020-21 season is expected to begin, Sanderson could improve from his 7-22–29 totals in 47 games with the U.S. National Development Program into a power play specialist that loves to use the body.
11. Nashville Predators–>D Kaiden Guhle, Prince Albert (WHL)
One of David Poile’s strengths as Nashville Predators GM has long been drafting defenders and Guhle is no exception to the rule. At 6-foot-2, 186-pounds, he could fit in with reigning Norris Trophy winner, Roman Josi, as well as Mattias Ekholm and friends on the blue line.
With 11-29–40 totals in 64 games for the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL last season, Guhle is a consummate two-way defender that can grind his way out of battles and move the puck out of his own zone– a strong suit of Nashville’s defensive core for at least the last 15 years.
12. Florida Panthers–>RW Alexander Holtz, Djurgårdens (SHL)
Holtz had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 35 games with Djurgårdens IF last season in the SHL as a pure goal scorer that’s waiting to emerge with a plethora of shots to take.
He led players 18 and under in Sweden’s top league in scoring and has decent size (6-foot, 192-pounds) to go with adapting well to the increased intensity of NHL-level hockey in due time, though he’ll probably use another season to develop as a more prominent scorer with Djurgårdens in 2020-21.
That said, new Florida Panthers GM, Bill Zito, will take to stocking up prospects in Florida’s new affiliation with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) with pleasure if the American Hockey League is able to make a season happen in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
13. Carolina Hurricanes (from Toronto Maple Leafs)–>RW Jack Quinn, Ottawa (OHL)
Though the Carolina Hurricanes could go with taking a goaltender in the first round, GM Don Waddell just might be satisfied enough with how Alex Nedeljkovic continues to develop with Carolina’s new AHL affiliate– the Chicago Wolves– and instead opt for the next best available player in Quinn.
Carolina is much more satisfied crafting a plan via free agency or through a trade to add a goaltender this offseason for what could hopefully bolster their chances as a Cup contender– that’s right, it’s time for the Canes to unleash a storm on the rest of the league as a big improvement from last season to this season.
Quinn was one of two 50-goal scorers in the OHL last season as he finished the year with 52 goals and 89 points in 62 games. He’s also one of eight OHL players to score at least 50 goals in their first NHL draft eligible season since 2000-01.
You know who else did that? Guys like Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Jeff Skinner and Alex DeBrincat. Not too shabby.
14. Edmonton Oilers–>G Yaroslav Askarov, SKA-Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)
The best goaltender in the draft, Askarov had a 12-3 record in 18 games in Russia’s second-tier league last season. He amassed a 2.45 goals against average and a .920 save percentage in the process and has a .974 SV%, as well as a 0.74 GAA through three games with SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL this season.
As the Edmonton Oilers continue to find their way while trying to avoid wasting the primes of once in a generation talents like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, it’d make perfect sense for the Oilers to nail down a solid goaltending prospect for once.
Especially as there’s an immediate need for someone to replace Mikko Koskinen and/or whoever Edmonton chases after in free agency.
While the team that beat the Oilers in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final passed over him in this hypothetical mock first round, Edmonton was sure to snag Askarov before anyone else could.
15. Toronto Maple Leafs(from Pittsburgh Penguins)–>D Braden Schneider, Brandon (WHL)
While serving as an alternate captain of the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) for the second year of his three full Junior seasons thus far, Schneider brought forth a solid two-way game to contribute to his team on the ice in addition to his leadership in the dressing room.
He had 7-35–42 totals in 60 games last season with the Wheat Kings, while utilizing his 6-foot-2, 202-pound body to shutdown opponents with his two-way game.
Schneider won’t be ready to hit the NHL ice in 2020-21, but he should be able to slide into a prominent role with the Toronto Maple Leafs in due time.
16. Montreal Canadiens–>C/RW Dawson Mercer, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Mercer is a versatile forward that could be beneficial to fitting in with the Montreal Canadiens current game plan– find as many Nick Suzuki’s as possible among their forwards and roll four lines while hoping for the best in Shea Weber, Jeff Petry and others on defense, as well as Carey Price in goal.
The Habs are at a transition point from their old core to a new-age dynamic with the added bonus of head coach, Claude Julien, reconstructing his coaching strategies to propel the Canadiens forward from their .500 season in 2019-20, to hopefully a more legitimate standing as a playoff team in 2020-21.
Mercer amassed 60 points between the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Chicoutimi Saguenéens in 42 games in the OHL last season and should be able to add a little bit of a power forward component to Montreal’s roster in the near future.
17. Chicago Blackhawks–>D Justin Barron, Halifax (QMJHL)
Barron missed a chunk of time last season with the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) due to a blood clot issue, but still managed to put up 4-15–19 totals in 34 games from the blue line while playing an efficient physical game.
The Chicago Blackhawks have a solid group of young forwards emerging that it’s about time they start focusing a little more on developing a defense– whether it’s from within by selecting Barron or through free agency and making trades. In either case, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook aren’t getting any younger and they can’t play forever.
18. New Jersey Devils (from Arizona Coyotes)–>RW Jacob Perreault, Sarnia (OHL)
With their second pick in the first round, New Jersey snags a versatile winger with a knack for shooting the puck and scoring. Perreault had 39-31–70 totals in 57 games with the Sarnia Sting (OHL) last season and should be ready to make an impact on the Devils’ NHL roster sooner rather than later.
He also led Sarnia with 15 power-play goals last season and could help load up New Jersey’s talent pool on the special teams.
19. Calgary Flames–>C Connor Zary, Kamloops (WHL)
If the Calgary Flames are serious about making some big changes to their core, they’re going to need to find a long-term solution down the middle and, luckily, Zary brings just that.
A dynamic skater with decent hands, he had 38 goals and 48 assists (86 points) in 57 games with the Kamloops Blazers (WHL) last season and lends himself to a suitable role as a team player with his 6-foot, 178-pound build at center.
20. New Jersey Devils (from Vancouver Canucks via Tampa Bay Lightning)–>C Hendrix Lapierre, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Upper body injuries limited Lapierre to 19 games last season, but he managed to put up 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in that span as one of the better playmakers his age.
The Devils complete their trifecta of first round picks with a bit of a gamble, but a high upside if everything works out and Lapierre’s health doesn’t end up being a concern. New Jersey’s influx of speed, skill and youth should be able to get them to attract some key role players in the coming years to fill out bottom-six roles on a playoff contending roster.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets–>C/LW Dylan Holloway, Wisconsin (NCAA)
The Columbus Blue Jackets have taken to college hockey players with a lot of love in recent years and there’s no love lost for scooping up Holloway and his 6-foot, 203-pound frame as either a center or left wing in the near future in Flavortown.
He had 8-9–17 totals in 35 games in his freshman year with the Wisconsin Badgers and will likely need at least one more year under his belt in the college program before making the jump, but with the addition of Max Domi via trade ahead of the draft on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets can take their time to craft a heavy hitting lineup down the middle.
22. New York Rangers (from Carolina Hurricanes)–>C Ridly Greig, Brandon (OHL)
Despite being 5-foot-11 and 163-pounds, Greig can play in any role and has a good hockey IQ that comes in handy at both ends of the rink. His 26-34–60 totals in 56 games with the Wheat Kings last season should be decent enough for the Rangers to supplement their first round choice in Lafrenière in due time.
23. Philadelphia Flyers–>C Brendan Brisson, Chicago (USHL)
Brisson had 24-35–59 totals in 45 games with the Chicago Steel (USHL) last season and will be attending the University of Michigan to further develop his two-way game.
His consistency should only improve, as well as his scoring ability, which is promising for the Philadelphia Flyers as Claude Giroux peaks in his prime about the time Brisson could make his NHL debut.
24. Washington Capitals–>LW Rodion Amirov, Ufa (KHL)
In what’s not a surprise to anyone, the Washington Capitals aren’t afraid to take a shot on a Russian forward as Amirov had 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in Russia’s second-tier league last season. His shot and playmaking skills are good, but he’ll need a little time to develop and get stronger before hitting the ice at the NHL level.
At 6-foot-2, 194-pounds, Foerster brings some size to the Colorado Avalanche’s pool of prospects to go along with his 80 points (36 goals, 44 assists) in 62 games last season with the Barrie Colts (OHL). He’s also a decent playmaker, which fits right in with the team mentality of the Avs in their current era.
26. St. Louis Blues–>LW John-Jason Peterka, München (DEL)
Peterka led Germany with four goals in seven games at the 2020 World Junior Championship and has an impressive skating ability for his age, which lends itself to playing amongst the professionals in the DEL. He had 7-4–11 totals in 42 games with EHC München last season and is expected to continue to develop his game and work on using his size (5-foot-11, 192-pounds) to his advantage.
27. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins)–>D Jérémie Poirier, Saint John (QMJHL)
With their second pick in the first round, the Ducks don’t mind taking a defender and letting him take his time to get better in his own zone before making an impact in Anaheim. Poirier had 20 goals and 33 assists (53 points) in 64 games last season with the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) and plays a “live by the sword, die by the sword” game that can really come into its own as a shutdown defender with some more development.
28. Ottawa Senators (from New York Islanders)–>D Helge Grans, Malmö (SWE J20)
Grans is a right-shot defender that has a great understanding of the game and decent vision to go along with his 4-23–27 totals in 27 games in Sweden’s junior lead last season, as well as one goal and two assists for Malmö in 21 games in the SHL last season.
He impressed coaches enough to begin the 2020-21 season in Sweden’s top league and should round out a great first round draft for the Senators.
29. Vegas Golden Knights–>D Ryan O’Rourke, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
A two-way defender, O’Rourke has a good hockey sense and had 7-30–37 totals in 54 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) last season. The Vegas Golden Knights already have a solid defensive core, but would be establishing an even better foundation for the future by taking the 6-foot, 178-pound defender.
30. Dallas Stars–>C Thomas Bordeleau, USA U-18 (USHL)
Bordeleau had 16-30–46 totals in 47 games with the U.S. National Development Program last season and has room to grow, but has time to develop within the Stanley Cup runners’ up, Dallas Stars’, system. A native of Texas, he’ll be attending the University of Michigan this fall.
31. San Jose Sharks (from Tampa Bay Lightning)–>D William Wallinder, MoDo (SWE J20)
Rounding out the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning sent the San Jose Sharks the 31st overall pick for Barclay Goodrow back when the global pandemic hadn’t put an early end to the regular season and before the Bolts won the Cup. As a result, the Sharks have the last pick in the first round since they traded their 2020 1st round pick to Ottawa in the Erik Karlsson trade.
As such, it’s only fitting that San Jose continue to build up their defense with Wallinder as a solid option for moving the puck out of his own zone– either by carrying it on his own or finding an open teammate, while shutting down opponents with his 6-foot-4, 191-pound build.
Erik Karlsson finally got traded, NHL 19 came out and our official 2018-19 Pacific Division Season Preview just so happened to be this week too. Nick and Connor place their bets on the San Jose Sharks and more.
Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft was Friday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. As always, there were plenty of surprises and a lack of trades. Here’s how it all went down.
2018 NHL Entry Draft Round 1
Buffalo Sabres–> D Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda HC (Sweden)
Carolina Hurricanes–> RW Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (OHL)
Montreal Canadiens–> C Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat (Finland)
Ottawa Senators–> LW Brady Tkachuk, Boston University (H-East)
Arizona Coyotes–> C Barrett Hayton, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Detroit Red Wings–> RW Filip Zadina, Halixfax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Vancouver Canucks–> D Quinn Hughes, University of Michigan
Chicago Blackhawks–> D Adam Boqvist, Brynas Jr. (Sweden)
New York Rangers–> RW Vitali Kravstov, Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia)
Edmonton Oilers–> D Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL)
New York Islanders–> RW Oliver Wahlstrom, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
New York Islanders (from Calgary)–> D Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
Dallas Stars–> C Ty Dellandrea, Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Philadelphia Flyers (from St. Louis)–> LW Joel Farabee, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
Florida Panthers–> LW Grigori Denisenko, Yaroslavl 2 (Russia- JR.)
Colorado Avalanche–> RW Martin Kaut, HC Dynamo Pardubice (Czech Republic)
New Jersey Devils–> D Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Columbus Blue Jackets–> C Liam Foudy, London Knights (OHL)
Philadelphia Flyers–> C Jay O’Brien, Thayer Academy (USHS)
Los Angeles Kings–> C Rasmus Kupari, Karpat (Finland)
San Jose Sharks–> D Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm (OHL)
New York Rangers (from Pittsburgh via Ottawa)–> D K’Andre Miller, USA U-18 (USNTDP)
Anaheim Ducks–> C Isac Lundestrom, Lulea HF (Sweden)
Minnesota Wild–> D Filip Johansson, Leksand-JR. (Sweden)
St. Louis Blues (from Toronto)–> RW Dominik Bokk, Vaxjo Lakers (Sweden)
Ottawa Senators (from Boston via N.Y. Rangers)–> D Jacob Bernard-Docker, Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
Chicago Blackhawks (from Nashville)–> D Nicolas Beaudin, Drummondville Votigeurs (QMJHL)
New York Rangers (from Tampa Bay)–> D Nils Lundkvist, Lulea HF (Sweden)
Toronto Maple Leafs (from Winnipeg via St. Louis)–> D Rasmus Sandin, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Detroit Red Wings (from Vegas)–> C Joseph Veleno, Drummondville Votigeurs (QMJHL)
Washington Capitals–> D Alexander Alexeyev, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
Trades made on Day 1 of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft:
The Washington Capitals traded D Brooks Orpik and G Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a 2018 2nd round pick (47th overall).
The Ottawa Senators traded a 2018 1st round pick (22nd overall originally from Pittsburgh) to the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2018 1st round pick (26th overall originally from Boston) and a 2018 2nd round pick (48th overall originally from New Jersey).
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded their 2018 1st round pick (25th overall) to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2018 1st round pick (29th overall originally from Winnipeg) and 2018 3rd round pick (76th overall).
We’re just a few hours away from the NHL Draft, so I thought I would put together a few quick hits to tide you over before Gary Bettman gets up to say “we have a trade to announce” for the first time and every NHL GM talks about how wonderful Dallas is as a city.
At the beginning of the junior hockey season, I highlighted four draft-eligible players from the WHL–Ty Smith, Jett Woo, Riley Sutter and Alexander Alexeyev. So, how did there season go and where might you see them go tonight? Smith, the left-handed defenseman from Spokane, finished the year with 73 points in 69 games and another 7 points in 7 playoff games. Central Scouting had him ranked 14th among North American Skaters and that is also where he finished the season. ISS had him ranked at 19th at the end of the season. Some rankings have him as high as #8 and others in the mid-late 20’s. That is the nature of this year’s draft though–there is some depth in the draft and a wide variance in rankings outside of the top 2-3 picks.
Jett Woo really fell off the radar as the year went on. Missing 28 games with an upper-body injury in your draft year will do that. Some early rankings had him as a mid-late first round pick, but Central Scouting had him as the 28th best North American skater and ISS didn’t have him ranked in the first round. His 25 points in 44 games wasn’t particularly remarkable and his playoff performance–3 points in 14 games–certainly didn’t help things. Based on how the season went, I’d say Woo projects more as a dependable, second pairing defenseman who is good all around, but not stellar in the offensive zone. There are enough positives that he will probably go in the first half of the second round.
Riley Sutter finished the season with a solid, but not spectacular, 53 points in 68 games. He had a very good stint in the playoffs with 19 points in 21 games. Sutter will probably still be on the board after the second round. A solid two-way player, who plays the center position, has size, pedigree and plays his best hockey in the playoffs…some GM could get bold and take him in the second round. In all likelihood, he projects as a very good third line center that can occasionally slot in on the second line.
Alexander Alexeyev put up 37 points in 45 games this season and followed it up with 5 points in 3 playoff games. Like Woo, he’s had injury issues, but, when healthy, he’s been looked to contribute more than Woo, routinely logging 20 plus minutes a night. Like Woo, he’s a solid, two-way defenseman, but, to this point, he’s had more offensive upside. So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Alexeyev has been ranked higher than Woo, showing up at 24th on the final ISS rankings and 22nd on Central Scouting’s North American skater list. There is a lot of risk in picking Alexeyev in the first round, but given the importance of defense, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a team take him with one of the last ten picks in the first round.
If somehow Ty Smith was still on the board at 18, I’d be stoked to see the Jackets get him, though they are more likely to prioritize a forward and the odds of Smith slipping that far seem low given the number of teams in need of a defenseman picking ahead of Columbus.
It wouldn’t be the offseason without some sort of contract drama for the Jackets. Last year we saw Josh Anderson‘s contract negotiations draft out until the fall. This year, drama regarding the extension of Artemi Panarin has come a year early after the 2019 UFA-to-be stated he was not yet ready to sign an extension come July 1. Jarmo Kekalainen was, predictably, calm about the situation, but he’s also going to spend the weekend seeing what the market is for the dynamic wing, which is the smart thing to do. Despite the gloom and doom from certain local beat writers, Panarin isn’t going anywhere unless someone wants to overpay the Jackets.
Interestingly, Kekaleinen made a comment that what went for Panarin, also went for Sergei Bobrovsky, which was largely ignored as people focused on the Panarin rumors. The Jackets didn’t have an easy go the last time they had to negotiate an extension with Bobrovsky, but their internal options to replace Bobrovsky next year are uncertain at best given the season Joonas Korpisalo had and the fact that Elvis Merzlikins has yet to play in North America. The fact that Bobrovsky will likely be looking for a raise and a long-term deal when he is already making over $7 million/season is a concern for the Jackets going forward. Something to watch.
As always, there are a lot of rumors out there about potential trade bait. Ryan O’Reilly is a player Buffalo would like to move before his bonus payment on July 1, but doing so may require them accepting a lesser haul than they would get after July 1. After the second pick in the draft, it wouldn’t be a shock to see any team move down. Carolina is looking to move Jeff Skinner and, potentially, Elias Lindholm. Craig Anderson and, perhaps, Erik Karlsson could be on the move for Ottawa, which begs the question whether Matt Duchene might also be on the move again with only 1 year left on his deal on yet another team that doesn’t seem to be a contender. The Habs are looking to move Max Pacioretty, and also to finally get a second line center. So, could be a lot of busy real estate agents this weekend.
Get ready for the annual Ilya Kovalchuk tease. Los Angeles and Vegas seem to be the leaders, but you should probably expect him to sign with a Russian team when it is all said and done because that’s how he rolls.
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