Round one of the draft begins tonight at 5 p.m. MDT and will wrap up around 9 p.m. It is a long night, but a very exciting one for players, families, scouts, management and fans.
History tells us to expect a significant trade, and Oilers fans are hoping it involves their team, but Anaheim, Buffalo, Arizona and Calgary are other teams to watch. There will likely be a trade no one has been discussing either. Those are the best, because they surprise everyone.
Tonight, 30 young men will fulfill their dream of being drafted, while another 181 will wait until tomorrow to hear their name. What a ride it will be for them, and for fans across the NHL, who will wait with anticipation to see what moves and selections their teams make.
Let’s get it going.
While Auston Matthews is #1 on the majority of rankings, he wasn’t the consensus #1 pick. A few people ranked Patrick Laine higher, but Matthews is the overwhelming favourite to go to the Maple Leafs, and there is no doubt in my mind Toronto will pick him.
Laine and fellow Finn, Jesse Puljujarvi, should be the second and third picks, but we’ve seen teams go off the board before.
We put together the top-60 from five different publications. Bob McKenzie’s list is based on conversations he’s had with all 30 NHL teams. They are not his rankings, while the other four are rankings by individuals or scouting services. Every evaluator will have a bias, we all do, and that’s why we see many different names in the top-60 and slotted in varying spots.
If you want a complete scouting report on the players I highly recommend getting the Black Book from HockeyProspect.com. It is extremely detailed. Mark Edwards and his staff do a great job. The names in bold are Edmonton and area players, and ones I wrote about in this piece.
|#||Bob McKenzie||Craig Button||Hockey Prospect||Hockey Prospectus||Corey Pronman|
|1.||Auston Matthews||Auston Matthews||Auston Matthews||Auston Matthews||Patrik Laine|
|2.||Patrik Laine||Patrik Laine||Patrik Laine||Patrik Laine||Auston Matthews|
|3.||Jesse Puljujarvi||Jesse Puljujarvi||Jesse Puljujarvi||Jesse Puljujarvi||Jesse Puljujarvi|
|4.||Matthew Tkachuk||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Jakob Chychrun||Clayton Keller|
|5.||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Matthew Tkachuk||Matthew Tkachuk||Alex Nylander||Pierre-Luc Dubois|
|6.||Olli Juolevi||Clayton Keller||Olli Juolevi||Matthew Tkachuk||Matthew Tkachuk|
|7.||Alex Nylander||Logan Brown||Logan Brown||Olli Juolevi||Alex Nylander|
|8.||Clayton Keller||Mikhail Sergachev||Mikhail Sergachev||Clayton Keller||Olli Juolevi|
|9.||Mikhail Sergachev||Olli Juolevi||Clayton Keller||Michael McLeod||Tyson Jost|
|10.||Logan Brown||Alex Nylander||Tyson Jost||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Dante Fabbro|
|11.||Tyson Jost||Tyson Jost||Dante Fabbro||Charles McAvoy||Jakob Chychrun|
|12.||Jake Bean||Jake Bean||Alex Nylander||Luke Kunin||Logan Brown|
|13.||Jakob Chychrun||Kieffer Bellows||Charles McAvoy||Alexander DeBrincat||German Rubstov|
|14.||Charlie McAvoy||German Rubstov||Jakob Chychrun||Dante Fabbro||Kieffer Bellows|
|15.||Michael McLeod||Charlie McAvoy||Jake Bean||Mikhail Sergachev||Alex DeBrincat|
|16.||Dante Fabbro||Dante Fabbro||German Rubtsov||Tyson Jost||Mikhail Sergachev|
|17.||Julien Gauthier||Jakob Chychrun||Luke Kunin||German Rubtsov||Luke Kunin|
|18.||Kieffer Bellows||Brett Howden||Kieffer Bellows||Wade Allison||Tyler Benson|
|19.||Max Jones||Michael McLeod||Michael McLeod||Logan Brown||Jake Bean|
|20.||Luke Kunin||Luke Kunin||Max Jones||Kieffer Bellows||Michael McLeod|
|21.||Riley Tufte||Alex DeBrincat||Rasmus Asplund||Jake Bean||Vitali Abramov|
|22.||Logan Stanley||Cam Dineen||Boris Katchouk||Tyler Benson||Kale Clague|
|23.||German Rubstov||Vitali Abramov||Riley Tufte||Vitaly Abramov||Samuel Girard|
|24.||Brett Howden||Carter Hart||Jonathan Dahlen||Riley Tufte||Julien Gauthier|
|25.||Dennis Cholowski||Dennis Cholowski||Julien Gauthier||Jonathan Dahlen||Rasmus Asplund|
|26.||Libor Hajek||Will Bitten||Dennis Cholowski||Julien Gauthier||Max Jones|
|27.||Tage Thompson||Samuel Girard||Brett Howden||William Bitten||Charlie McAvoy|
|28.||Lucas Johansen||Dillon Dube||Tage Thompson||Trent Frederic||Dmitri Sokolov|
|29.||Boris Katchouk||Jordan Kyrou||Vitaly Abramov||Sam Steel||Carl Grundstrom|
|30.||Kale Clague||Logan Stanley||Logan Stanley||Max Jones||Sam Steel|
|31.||Rasmus Asplund||Janne Kuokkanen||Tyler Parsons||Rem Pitlick||Adam Fox|
|32.||Pascal Laberge||Tage Thompson||Libor Hajek||Dillon Dube||Brett Howden|
|33.||Alex DeBrincat||Matthew Phillips||Alex DeBrincat||Max Zimmer||Joey Anderson|
|34.||Jordan Kyrou||Henrik Borgstrom||Tyler Benson||Jake Ryczek||Will Bitten|
|35.||Henrik Borgstrom||Pascal Laberge||Filip Gustavsson||Mitchell Eliot||Jordan Kyrou|
|36.||Nathan Bastian||Rasmus Asplund||Carl Grundstrom||Rasmus Asplund||Alexander Polunin|
|37.||Dillon Dube||Mitchell Mattson||Joseph Woll||Ivan Kosorenkov||Pascal Laberge|
|38.||Markus Niemelainen||Adam Fox||Lucas Johansen||Evan Fitzpatrick||Ryan Lindgren|
|39.||Tyler Benson||Tyler Parsons||William Bitten||Ryan Lindgren||Adam Mascherin|
|40.||Carl Grundstrom||Taylor Raddysh||Connor Hall||Luke Green||Jonathan Dahlen|
|41.||Sam Steel||James Greenway||Givani Smith||Matt Filipe||Riley Tufte|
|42.||Taylor Raddysh||Max Jones||Mark Niemelainen||Cam Dineen||Cam Dineen|
|43.||Janne Kuokkanen||Julien Gauthier||Carter Hart||Adam Mascherin||Victor Mete|
|44.||Filip Gustavsson||Tyler Benson||Adam Mascherin||Janne Kuokkanen||Linus Lindstrom|
|45.||Samuel Girard||Riley Tufte||Kale Clague||Tage Thompson||Dillon Dube|
|46.||Ryan Lindren||Braydon Burke||Taylor Raddysh||Brett Howden||Jacob Moverare|
|47.||Will Bitten||Cameron Morrison||Nathan Bastian||James Greenway||Libor Hajek|
|48.||Tyler Parsons||Noah Gregor||Pascal Laberge||Carl Grundstrom||Anatoli Golyshev|
|49.||Filip Hronek||Boris Katchouk||David Bernhardt||Jacob Moverare||Taylor Raddysh|
|50.||Cliff Pu||Lucas Johansen||Cameron Morrison||Carter Hart||Jesper Bratt|
|51.||Vitali Abramov||Givani Smith||Henrik Borgstrom||Colton Point||James Greenway|
|52.||Wade Allison||Aapeli Rasanen||Timothy Gettinger||Tyler Parsons||Sebastian Aho|
|53.||Adam Mascherin||Adam Brooks||Frederic Allard||Dennis Cholowski||Filip Hronek|
|54.||Trent Frederic||Jonathan Dahlen||Evan Fitzpatrick||Henrik Borgstrom||Frederic Allard|
|55.||Adam Fox||Kale Clague||Sam Steel||Logan Stanley||Logan Stanley|
|56.||Joey Anderson||Sam Steel||Noah Gregor||Lucas Johansen||Aapeli Rasanen|
|57.||Carter Hart||Adam Mascherin||Janne Kuokkanen||Kale Clague||David Quenneville|
|58.||Sean Day||Markus Niemelainen||Wade Allison||Artur Kayumov||Janne Kuokkanen|
|59.||Cameron Morrison||Artur Kayumov||Jordan Sambrook||Adam Fox||Yegor Rykov|
|60.||Luke Green||David Quenneville||Dillon Dube||Victor Mete||Simon Stransky|
It is interesting to compare how will these ranking will look compared to what actually unfolds tonight and tomorrow.
- Both the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens are interested in Cam Fowler. The Sabres won the eighth pick, while the Habs have #9. Could we see a significant trade in the first ten picks? I sure hope so. There is always a lot of talk and conjecture leading up to the draft, and often most of it doesn’t come to fruition. Hopefully this year we see a few deals.
- I fully expect to see more trades on Saturday. And not just trading up or down in the draft, I mean NHL players moving teams. They might not be big names, but keep in mind that starting at midnight EST NHL teams can start discussions with unrestricted free agents. If a team feels comfortable they have a deal with a UFA, they will make moves accordingly to fit them into their payroll.
- The Minnesota Wild really want an NHL centre, and they’d be willing to move Jonas Brodin or Marco Scandella. Keep an eye on the Wild.
- Edmonton product Mark McNeill was drafted 18th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011. He hasn’t been able to crack their lineup, and he’s been very good in the AHL. He was the team captain and he is a name I would expect to move over the weekend. I could see Nail Yakupov moving and also Quinton Howden out of Florida with the new management in place.
- It made sense for the Oilers and other teams to see if Marc Bergevin was interested in trading P.K Subban, but I doubt it happens. There are very few legitimate #1 defenders in the league and Subban is one of them.
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