This will be an open blog for the draft, and it will be updated with thoughts from Gregor, Willis, Brownlee and Lowetide as well as your thoughts in the comment sections.

12:00… One hour until the draft starts, which means the Oilers likely don’t pick until closer to 1:45. I picked the worst time of the year to give up alcohol for a month. I could use a beer or two to get through the next 90 minutes.

12:06… Recap: Van asking price is too high for Schneider…hmmm Where did we hear that before? Hello, Luongo. Gillis isn’t in a position of strength when trading a goalie. He needs to recognize that.

12:08… Carolina is open to trading the #5 pick. Let’s hope they do and it is the beginning of a busy day of trades.

12:10… I still believe the Oilers will pick #7, unless the swap with Flyers in Coburn deal. I expect their trades to involve roster players, prospects and their 2nd round picks.

12:12… Non-hockey note…I watched Dead Man Down last night…Great movie. The ending didn’t fit with the rest of the flick, but overall it was solid.

12:15… Going on TEAM 1260 at 12:20 with Guy Flaming. I’m sure we will talk about the Eskimos excellent effort last night.

12:19… I’d draft Darnell Nurse ahead of Elias Lindholm.

12:21… (JW)… For what it’s worth, my preferred draft order for the top seven is MacKinnon, Jones, Drouin, Barkov, Lindholm, Nichushkin, Monahan. Just barely have Nichushkin ahead of Monahan, just barely have Monahan ahead of Nurse.

12:30… Reminder if you are looking to have beers and watch the draft with fellow Nation readers, the Nation part is at the Pint Downtown.

12:35... The Oilers main focus is still to upgrade blueline, and most imporant they want to add players who play big, ideally have size, but also players who are competitive on every shift.

12:37… Phoenix has signed goalie Mike Smith to a 6-year extension at $5.6 million, according to John Shannon.

12:44… (JW) Adrian Dater tweets that Florida may be considering Aleksander Barkov with the second overall pick, meaning both Jones and Drouin could slide to three. Incredible; Barkov’s a fantastic player but that’s nutty talent still on the board with the third pick.

12:45… Darnell Nurse impresses me the more I listen to him speak. Solid kid, good interview on TSN.

12:48… TRADE… (JW)... Pittsburgh sends Tyler Kennedy to San Jose for a late second round pick (50th). Nice trade for the Sharks, and presumably one that takes them out of the running for Cal Clutterbuck.

12:50… Great news for Oilers that Sharks are likely out of Clutterbuck sweepstakes. Oilers could really use a player like Clutterbuck.

12:55…  I’m always amazed at how many kids come to the draft who don’t get drafted. Each year there is usually 10 kids left sitting in crowd. Awful decision to put your son through that.

12:56 (JW)… Michael Russo tweets that Minnesota is talking to the Penguins about that second round pick they just got from San Jose. Clutterbuck or someone else?

12:58… How many trades do you think we see once the draft starts? (not including the NYR/Wild and SJ/Pitt trades that have happened). I will say we see 6 trades that involve current NHL players. We will see numerous trades involving picks, and i’ll say we see 5 trades in the first round involving swapping of picks.


1:01… I think Nathan MacKinnon looks a bit like Ales Hemsky.

1:05… Finally Bettman speaks and the draft officially begins. I believe fans boo just for the sake of it now when Bettman makes an appearance. David Stern was booed every time he announced a pick during the NBA draft on Thursday. It’s old.

1:07… Nice gesture by the NHL recognizes Don Baizley. One of the most respected men in hockey.

1:09...Love the Devils fans chanting, "Marty’s better, Marty’s better." to Patrick Roy.

1:10… The Avs waste no time and come right up to the podium and draft Nathan MacKinnon 1st overall. No surprise after what they said the past ten days. Great pick by Avs. He is the best player, and gives them a lot of depth down the middle.

1:14…  Duchene, MacKinnon and Landeskog. Could be great rivalry vs. Hall, RNH and Yakupov. All top-3 picks.

1:16… Florida comes up to the podium… Dale Tallon selects Alex Barkov. The first time in a long timeTallon has drafted a European in the first round. The Panthers need offence. I like this pick for them.

1:17 (JW)… I really like Barkov. A lot. I’ve seen him more than any of the other prospects at this draft, too. But I don’t know if I could pick him with Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin available. Wow.

1:20… Tampa Bay selects another forward, Jonathan Drouin. Kid has unreal hands. He was playing midget AAA hockey 18 months ago.

1:22… Nashville desperately wanted an offensive player, but I can’t see them passing on Jones. They really need Filip Forsberg (traded for Erat) to pan out.

1:27… Preds gladly select Seth Jones. Their blueline looks good for next ten years with Weber and Jones. I wonder if this means they consider trading Weber in a year or two.

1:33...Canes don’t trade pick…They take Elias Lindholm. I’m curious where he plays in Carolina with the Staal brothers as the #1 and #2 centres.He is committed to one more year in Sweden before he comes over.

1:34… Will the Flames take Monahan? Calgary picks six for 4th time in franchise history. Fans hoping for a player closer to Cory Stillman than Rico Fata or Daniel Tkaczuk. They need a centre.

1:40... Flames make the smart pick and take Sean Monahan. Flames would be smart to let him play one more year in junior.

1:42… Nichushkin might be best player, but Nurse makes most sense for the Oilers. Interesting to see which way they go.

1:45... Oilers take Darnell Nurse. Smart pick. Big, mean and athletic kid. Here is the interview I had with Nurse earlier this month. 

1:50… Bad news for Oiler fans… The Islanders have acquired Cal Clutterbuck and 3rd rounder (70th) from the Wild for Nino Niederreiter. Interesting to see the Islanders give up so quickly on a top pick.

1:54… Sabres take Rasmus Ristolainen #8. Solid pick. Devils up next and I have to think they take Nichuskin. Ilya Kovalchuk can mentor him.

1:58…TRADE…. Devils trade #9 pick to Vancouver for Corey Schneider… Thoughts???

2:02… Canucks take Bo Horvat 9th overall. Rumour has it the Oilers offered a 1st, 2nd and a prospect. Interesting.

2:04… Thoughts on Nurse. He should go back to junior and develop for one more year. No need to rush him. The Oilers are going to give Oscar Klefbom a chance this season, so no one should expect the Nurse to play this year. Be patient.

2:08… Dallas with the #10 pick…. They take Valeri Nichuskin. This guy is huge. Jim Nill has had lots of success in Detroit drafting Euros, so I’m not surprised they took him. He’s big enough, he’s talented enough and he will play in Dallas next year.

2:15… Flyers take Sam Morin #11. They rarely draft D-men, but Morin had a great 2nd half of the season. Very good skater for a big man and very physical. Flyer fans will love him.Chris Pronger did some scouting for Flyers this year, so he likely had some input on Morin.

2:21… Coyotes take Max Domi 12th overall. The third year in a row the Coyotes have drafted a son of a former NHLer. They took Connor Murphy in 2011 and Henrik Samuelsson last year.

2:28... The Jets take Josh Morrissey. This is where we will start to see some "surprise" picks based on rankings. Morrissey was ranked in mid-teens to low-20s on some rankings. Jets have lots of D depth. I’m surprised they didn’t take a forward.

2:31…The Blue Jackets take Alexander Wennberg 14th. No surprise the Jackets took him with Nokelainen’s background as Finnish scout, he’s seen him a lot.

2:35… Still only one trade so far through 14 picks. Screw you SPECULATION.

2:39… The Islanders draft Ryan Pulock 15th. Really like this kid. He’s endured a lot in his life, lost his younger brother in car accident a few years ago. He has a cannon of a shot and I think he will develop nicely. Crazy that the Islanders have drafted a D-man with their last 8 picks.

2:46…The Sabres take another D-man in the first round. They take Nikita Zadorov #16th. He was rated higher, so this could turn out to be a great pick.

2:51… Senators take the Oil Kings Curtis Lazar 17th. He will be a solid NHL player. Of all the mid first round picks, I’d be most confident that he becomes a regular. Not flashy necessarily, but he is a very complete and focused player.

2:54…TRADE… San Jose trades the 20th and 58th pick to Detroit for #18…

2:55… Doug Wilson is never afraid to make a trade. Acquired Kennedy earlier today and now moves up a few spots. The Sharks grab D-man Mirco Mueller 18th.

2:58… Columbus with their 2nd pick of 1st round. They choose Kerby Rychel19th. Plays hard game, but he has some hands with back-to-back 40 goal seasons. Columbus seems to have a lot of gritty, grinding forwards and Rychel fits that bill.

3:00…Oiler fans are already ripping MacTavish because he hasn’t made any moves. I’ll evaluate him in mid-July when free agency has begun and the usual trade period has dried up. MacTavish put himself in a position to be questioned if he doesn’t make any "Bold" moves, but I won’t rip him yet.

3:05… The Red Wings draft the only 50-goal scorer, Anthony Mantha with the 20th pick. Somewhere Lowetide is smiling. Mantha was his favourite mid-round pick.

3:11...The Leafs with the 21stpick select Frederik Gauthier… He has been compared to Martin Hanzal, he won’t be a big point producer but is very good defensively. Leafs will need to be patient with his development. Leafs needed a big centre, so this pick makes a lot of sense.

3:15… The Flames use their 2nd pick of the 1st round and take Emile Poirier 22nd. Every Flames fan was hoping they’d take Hunter Shinkaruk, but it is the Flames, so of course they went off the board a bit.

3:22…The Capitals take Andre Burakovsky 23rd. Skilled, offensive player but he played in division II in Sweden not the SHL (formerly SEL).

3:28… The Canucks take who the Flames should have picked, Hunter Shinkaruk, 24th. Has lots of skill, but I guess the Flames had enough offence. The Canucks added lots of offence with Horvat and Shinkaruk in the first round.

3:34…The Canadiens select Michael McCarron 25th. He is 6’5′, 228 pounds already. He’s a big, physical body, but he needs to improve his skating. He was the 2nd American taken today. 

3:39… The Anaheim Ducks have a history of solid draft picks, and today they took Shea Theodore 26th. Had 50 points as a D-man in Seattle this year. 

3:40… Still chuckling reading the reaction to the Flames’ pick of Poirier. Feaster told Ryan Rishaug they had Poirier in their top-ten. Are you kidding me? No one else had him in the top-20, but the Flames magically felt he was that good. Hilarious.

3:45... The Blue Jackets use their 3rd first round pick and take Marko Dano 27th. He has a heavy shot. It is rare for one team to have two solid 1st round picks, so I’d be shocked if all three of the Blue Jackets’ picks pan out.

3:52.. The Flames with their 3rd pick of the 1st round and they select Morgan Klimchuk 28th. Skilled forward who had 36 goals and 76 points in 72 games with the Regina Pats.  

3:56… With their 2nd pick of the 1st round Dallas selects speedy Jason Dickinson 29th from Guelph. One knock on him was that he was a bit soft. Time will tell.

4:01… The 1st round ends in under three hours as the Blackhawks take hometown boy Ryan Hartman with the 30th pick. He is just like Andrew Shaw, a great agitator.


The Canucks stole the show with the Schneider trade. Early reaction ranged from the Canucks didn’t get enough for Schneider, to Mike Gillis made a mistake by not talking to Roberto Luongo before making the deal. Luongo is under contract, and I guess he could hold out, but he’s due to make $6.7 million next season. Will he hold out and forfeit that much money? I doubt it.

I didn’t expect the Oilers to trade their #7 pick, but look for MacTavish to use one, if not both, of his 2nd round picks to try and make a deal. We will have another article once the Oilers make a trade or if MacTavish strikes out.