Here at Beer League Talk we pride ourselves in our overwhelming knowledge of the game at the beer league level. Just like most of you we love NHL hockey too. With BLT being based out of Calgary our hockey knowledge is the strongest about the Flames. We wanted to be able to give you, our listeners/readers, a NHL draft overview. Since we are a podcast we thought it would be cool to reach out to team fan podcasts to get their thoughts on who they should draft. Hopefully you’ll find this post fun and will find some good hockey podcasts to add to your rotation …. with Beer League Talk at the top of that list of course. Note that we tried to find podcasts for every teams but in some cases we couldn’t find a team podcast to help us out. In that instance we used some random mock drafts to help us fill out round #1.

Without further ado:

 

Pick #1 Buffalo Sabres

Podcast: @Thereal_EPP

Podcast Address: Sabre Talk Podcast

Latest Episode

Who they want their team to take: Rasmus Dahlin

 

The 6’ 2’’ 189 pound left handed Swedish defenseman would immediately fill a spot in the top 4 on the back end in the 2018/2019 season for Buffalo. Rasmus Dahlin could be considered the best defensive prospect to enter the NHL in the last 10 years. He is 18 years old with plenty of room to grow into a future Norris candidate. His offensive upside is something that Coach Phil Housley can help groom to being that true Norris candidate in the future. With phenomenal speed, skating and edge work Dahlin will be able to do so many things with his skates from little plays in the corner and in front of the net to rushing up and joining the offensive rush. To be quiet honest I don’t believe I have ever seen a defensive prospect entering the draft with the stickhandling ability of Dahlin, though he may not be able to work the magic of dancing around NHL defenders the way he did in the SHL. Dahlin was the Defensive Player of the World Juniors Championship hosted in Buffalo NY is also one of the most accurate passing prospects I’ve ever seen as well. His up ice vision is very good which will help him “quarterback” the Sabres on the powerplay or 5 on 5 plays. One thing Buffalo has been lacking the last few years is breaking out of their own zone, Dahlin’s passing skills, skating and stickhandling will be huge for the team. He is also known to make contact and throw a body in the open ice areas. If there was one knock on Dahlin is that he is small at 189lbs while standing at 6’2’’. This is something that wouldn’t trouble me at all with Dahlin being 18 years old he has plenty of time to grow into the frame he has been building. I believe in the long run Buffalo will be drafting a future elite defenseman for many years to come. For more of information on the Buffalo Sabres and hockey in general visit Mark Geise and myself’s podcast on the Apple podcast store at Sabre Talk Podcast. To our loyal listeners I’d like to apologize for the lack of input with Sabre Talk Podcast, where I was having problems with my computer and the Sabres literally fell apart on us. Also a big shout out to both of my bar league hockey teams Hiller Tire in the JAHL and Southern Tier Brewery in the Fredonia Men’s League. I’d like to also thank Beer League Talk and Nick for giving me the opportunity to make the easy choice of drafting Rasmus Dahlin for The Buffalo Sabres in their mock. To all the fellow dream chasing, puck hogging, bench beer drinking, referee jawing, goaltender spraying, top corner aiming…. KEEP LACING UP

 

Pick #2 Carolina Hurricanes

Podcast: @Section_328

Podcast Address: Cheaters Never Win Podcast

Latest Episode: Ramblin On Edition

Who they want their team to take: Andrei Svechnikov

Unknown-1Ranked #2 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM

Pick #3 Montreal Canadiens

 

Mock Draft  Selection from THW – Brandon Share-Cohen

Who they will take: Filip Zadina 

Unknown-7Ranked #4 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM

 

“The selection of Filip Zadina made the most sense for the Montreal Canadiens despite the team’s need for a No. 1 centre. Arguably the best player in this draft class not named Dahlin, Zadina has the potential to be a Day 1 starter. Playing in the QMJHL, albeit in Halifax, makes Zadina familiar with the province of Quebec as well”

Pick #4 Ottawa Senators

Podcast: @thirdlineplug

Podcast Address: Third Line Plug Senscast

Latest Episode: Top 5 Sens Jerseys

Who they want their team to take – Tim’s pick: Oliver Wahlstrom, C/RW, U.S National Development Team

 

Between the exact moment your team is eliminated from playoff contention and the draft in June comes a special ritual among hockey fans: speaking with definiteness about players in leagues we’ve never watched. (Aside: Buffalo fans exempted, the Sabers are always eliminated so they probably actually watch CHL hockey). Now that I’ve poo-pooed it, let me embark on the same exercise.

This year the Ottawa Senators draft fourth. The consensus is that there are definitive tiers to this draft, and the distance between tiers can be quite large. After Rasmus Dahlin, there is a consensus top 4 of Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina and Brady Tkachuk in that order. Tkachuk’s numbers have been soft in the NCAA, even when compared to other 18 year olds. Based on his primary point profile, he will likely have a similar profile as Pageau with a bit of a meaner streak. That’s nothing to sniff at, but I’m not sure if that is worth the fourth overall pick. General Manager Pierre Dorion has said that their window of players being considered is wider than the consensus, thus I believe that Dorion isn’t sold on Tkachuck either. Given Dorion’s great track record as a scout and his willingness to make trades, I expect Dorion to trade down a few slots to get extra picks and the player he wants at a lower number.
As for who that player is, I suspect that Oliver Wahlstrom may be the guy. Oliver is a pure goal scorer, and would fill out a weakness on Ottawa’s right side. Wahlstrom is known for his excellent shot and good skating ability. He would fit naturally with some of Ottawa’s young up and coming centers. Given that Wahlstrom is likely out of the top 4, this gives Dorion the ability to trade down a slot or two to get him, especially to a team heavily considering Tkachuk from his family pedigree alone.
Taylor’s Pick: Noah Dobson, D , Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

With the Senators finishing with their worst record in over twenty years and landing their first top 5 pick since they selected Chris Phillips first in 1996; With one the top prospects, Filip Zadina of the Halifax Mooseheads and Boston University’s Brady Tkachuk, being taken third overall by the Montreal Canadiens (overwhelming consciences is that Montreal has their eye on Zadina); Ottawa could draft either Zadina or Tkachuk if the other gets taken third, however I personally see the Sens passing on one of them and take Acadie-Bathurst Titan’s defenseman Noah Dobson.

I’m picking Dobson over somebody like Zadina is due to what I stated previously, Montreal is most likely to take Zadina third, also I am picking Dobson over Tkachuk due to Tkachuk’s commitment to playing another season at BU and with Ottawa also having a second first round pick, at 22, they could use to select a player that plays the same sort of style. Dobson, to me as a Sens fan makes sense; with the uncertainty regarding the future of Erik Karlsson in Ottawa (which would leave the offensive load on defence to 21 year old Thomas Chabot), and the depth issues on right shot defenceman; He could fill that role nicely in the nation’s capital.
Dobson is a big body (6’3, 179) who has many tools to become a great defenseman; including smooth skating abilities, a deadly shot, and strong positioning. With his 52 assists this past season, I can see Ottawa pairing him with Thomas Chabot and developing him into Chabot’s set-up man. Buyers beware thou, as the last two defensemen Ottawa has selected in the top 10 (Brian Lee and Jared Cowen) failed to develop into stars; however, if Ottawa is patient with Dobson and lets him develop, we could see the next great 1-2 punch on the back end.

Pick #5 Arizona Coyotes

Mock Draft Selection from The Sporting News

Who they will take: Quinn Hughes

 

Another year, another hard-luck lottery. Still, the Yotes had a strong second half under the leadership of a bunch of teenagers and 20-somethings, so hope should not be lost. Enter Hughes, a dynamic puck rusher with great speed and pro-level vision. He’s an automatic breakout who can handle a physical forecheck and create plays for his forwards.

Pick #6 Detroit Redwings

Mock Draft from Wingingitinmotown.com

Who they will take: Adam Boqvist

UnknownRanked #11 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM

Ranked #7 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS

Ranked #9 by ISS HOCKEY

Ranked #9 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY

Ranked #2 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)

 

The decision to take Boqvist at 6 came down to what we see as a gut feeling over pure, raw skill. One of Boqvist’s most underrated qualities is his shot. I’m confident in saying that he might have one of the best shots among all defensemen in this draft. Not only that, he picks the right time to shoot. His shifty, agile feet help him dance around across the blue-line to create space. When you mix that in with his shooting skill, you could have something really special.

 

Pick #7 Vancouver Canucks

Podcast: @Pucksonnetca

Podcast Address: Pucksonnet.ca

Latest Episode: Episode 189

Who they want their team to take: Noah Dobson

Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

Who should the Vancouver Canucks take in the draft this June? It’s more a matter of who they SHOULDN’T take!
 
They shouldn’t take someone off the board. They need to take the best player available.
We are two years removed from Canucks’ GM Jim Benning going off the board and selecting Finish defensemen Olli Juolevi (You-oh-levy) from the London Knights. There are two problems with this.
 
The first cause for concern? Canucks fans are concerned that the player Jeff Marek reported about last week.
The one addicted to video games. 
The top prospect who they fear wont make the NHL because of said addiction, is Olli Juolevi!
He had a subpar season in the Finish league and his development seems to be lagging behind quite a bit.
The second cause for concern ties into what we said off the top: Taking the best player available. 
 
One would argue that if the Canucks did that two years ago, they wouldn’t have an underdeveloped Juolevi in their prospect cupboard.  
 
Instead, they would have Matthew Tkachuk playing big minutes for their big club. Being Flames fans, you can understand why Canucks fans might want that kid playing in Vancouver right about now.
Come June, just pick the best player available at 7th overall. If that player is Noah Dobson, the big 6 foot 3 defenseman from Acadie-Bathhurst, currently having a strong Memorial Cup tournament, then take him!!
 
If it’s Evan Bouchard out of London. If he’s the best player available 7th overall, THEN PICK HIM!!! The Canucks might need to draft a defenceman if they need a do-over with Juolevi (though it’s early, defensemen take a long time to develop and assuming the video game addiction is just a rumour, he could be just fine). And have you seen the top six” defensemen in Vancouver these days? There is a desperate need to improve and upgrade through the draft at that position.
The Canucks are also very weak at centre and need depth in that position. Regardless of what you have heard our general manager say about Brandon “The Franchise” Sutter, the Canucks need solid centremen to play alongside Brock Boeser and our Swedish goal scoring top prospect Elias Pettersson. Pettersson was drafted off the board at 5th overall at the 2017 NHL Draft, but Canucks’ fans are feeling just fine about Elias after his monster, record-breaking season in the Swedish league this year.
Oh and another thing! Iif Brady Tkachuk is available at 7th overall, please for the love of god, the Vancouver Canucks need to pick him up. They passed on his old man, Keith in 1990 and they passed on his brother, Matthew in 2015. So if they have the chance to draft a Tkachuk in June, they cannot pass up this opportunity to draft Brady.

 

Pick #8 Chicago Blackhawks

Podcast: @TheRinkcast

Podcast Address: the-Rink.com

Latest Episode: Episode 20

Who they want their team to take: Evan Bouchard

 

“Need a high end difference making D-Man”

Pick #9 New York Rangers

NBC Sports Mock Draft

 

Who they will take: Evan Bouchard

The 6-foot-2, 192-pounder is exactly the kind of solid D-man that the Rangers could use after jettisoning Ryan McDonagh and Nick Holden last season at the trade deadline, so this pick makes all the sense in the world with the Blueshirts holding a bevy of first round selections. The 25 goals and 87 points in 67 OHL games last season really speak to some high-end offensive potential. Really when it comes down to it, the Rangers need to stock up on forwards, they need to stock on defensemen and they need to find the next No. 1 goaltender after Henrik Lundqvist, so no pressure on the Blueshirts with this top-10 pick in the middle of their roster reloading process.

Pick #10 Edmonton Oilers

Podcast: @jsbmbaggedmilk

Podcast Address: https://oilersnation.com/oilers-talk/podcasts/

Latest Episode: Podcast

Who they want their team to take: Adam Boqvist

UnknownRanked #11 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM

Ranked #7 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS

Ranked #9 by ISS HOCKEY

Ranked #9 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY

Ranked #2 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)

 

When it comes to this year’s Draft, it’s going to be interesting to see how the Oilers approach it. Will they go with the best player available at the 10 slot, or will they look to draft for need? If they’re going the need route then anyone with a pulse and some skill will fit considering the team is so shallow on skilled prospects that it almost doesn’t matter who they pick. Forward or D — they need both. The honest answer is that I would love to see them take Brady Tkachuk but I just can’t see any way that he’s still around at #10 which bums me out because he’s exactly the kind of skilled dick that the Oilers need. But to answer the question based on reality, it really depends on who slides because you know it’s going to happen. I think the Oilers would do pretty well for themselves if they were able to get any of Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, or Adam Boqvist because any of those guys would fit the bill for both a positional need and a skilled prospect need. Regardless of what happens, I’m looking forward to adding a new toy to the chest.

Pick 11 New York Islanders

Podcast: @IsleSeatPodcast

Podcast Address: isleseat.com

Latest Episode:

 

Who they want their team to take: Joseph Veleno

 

With the cloud of uncertainty surrounding the future of John Tavares with the Islanders, they would be wise to select Veleno. Another terrific playmaker down the middle behind Mathew Barzal would re-establish what the Islanders had with Tavares should he decide to sign elsewhere on July 1. Veleno’s second half of the season – he had 48 points after being traded from St. John to Drummondville – certainly helps his cause to be selected so high in the draft.

Pick #12 New York Islanders from Calgary Flames

Podcast: @IsleSeatPodcast

Podcast Address: isleseat.com

Latest Episode:

Who they want their team to take: Ty Smith

ep_24_smith,_ty_(2)_2018-01-27

With the 12th pick, you have to think the Islanders would take a defenseman, someone they could see potentially playing on the top pair down the road. Ty Smith’s size worries me (5-10, 175), but if he’s still available, it’s difficult to see the Islanders passing on him. Being a righthanded shot helps Smith’s case immensely; Ryan Pulock is essentially the only legitimate righthanded defenseman currently in the Islanders system.

Honorable Mentions: –

– Barrett Hayton

– Jesperi Kotkaniemi

– Adam Boqvist

Pick #13 Dallas Stars

Podcast: @Ryan_Satkowiak

Podcast Address: Wrong Side Of The Red Line

Latest Episode: Soundcloud

Who they want their team to take:  Barrett Hayton

 

Dallas finds itself at an interesting crossroads in regards to its approach to the draft. It’s no secret the franchise has struggled to produce productive home-grown talent the past 10 years — Jamie Benn and John Klingberg notwithstanding.

 

A year ago, the Stars got a bit of puck luck and rose to No. 3 in the draft, taking Miro Heiskanen in what was the team’s first top-three selection since taking Mike Modano No. 1 overall 1988; honestly it was probably as easy of a decision, too.

Unless you get truly lucky, when you’re picking after the top-10, you’re probably not getting someone who is going to help you that season, so drafting for need on the NHL roster makes little sense. Rather, you need to look at what you have in your system, and your strengths and weaknesses there, in order to formulate an effective strategy. In my view, drafting the best player available, regardless of organizational need, is always the best option; if you end up overloaded at one position you can always make a trade down the line.

For Dallas this year, those two philosophies could end up clashing with each other. Organizationally, there is a need high-end offensive talent, particularly down the middle. This is a need that could potentially be exacerbated in approximately 390 days, if Tyler Seguin chooses not to re-sign with the team.

General manager Jim Nill appears to think highly of center Jason Dickinson, a soon-to-be 23-year-old who never found favor with previous coach Ken Hitchcock. Other than Dickinson, the only other center prospect in the system who projects at having a better than long-shot chance of becoming a top-six NHL forward is Roope Hintz, a 2015 second-round pick who had a good rookie season in the AHL.

Dallas has good organization depth on the wing, scoring a first-round talent in Jason Robertson last year, as well as using recent first-round picks on Denis Gurianov and Riley Tufte. In addition to Heiskanen, the Stars have a couple of intriguing defense prospects, and currently boast a crop of young defensemen on the NHL roster with Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Julius Honka and Stephen Johns. Because of this, I don’t think either position is a priority for Nill with the 13thpick. I envision Dallas taking a center with its first pick.

 

Barrett Hayton – C – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

 

Which center Dallas ends up taking depends entirely on who is available at 13. If Joe Veleno happens to fall this far, I’d wager on him being the pick. Additionally, since Nill’s first draft in 2013, Dallas technicallyhasn’t used a first round pick on a player from any of the Canadian Hockey League’s three branches. Honka was playing for Swift Current of the WHL at the time of his drafting, but he was on load from his Finnish team, which is why he was available to immediately play in the AHL. But I digress. Other than Honka, these are Dallas’s first round picks under Nill, and the league they played in their draft year:

 

2013: Valeri Nichushkin – KHL

2014: Honka

2015: Denis Gurianov – KHL/MHL

2016: Riley Tufte – USHL/High school

2017: Heiskanen – Liiga

2017: Jake Oettinger – NCAA

 

Because of this, it would not surprise me if Dallas selected a player like Rasmus Kupari, who had 14 points playing in Liiga this past season. But I’m giving Hayton the nod because of his two-way game.

Hayton is a versatile player, one who doesn’t necessarily have a spot in the offensive zone in which he thrives. He’s as comfortable making plays in space as he is digging for rebounds in front of the net. He’s good on faceoffs, and depending on the source you look at, has generally drawn tougher defensive assignments. He has good hands, strong offensive sense and a hard, accurate shot. He is tenacious on the forecheck and good in his own zone. His play in the defensive zone helps him stand out. While he may, and probably won’t ever be, an elite offensive threat in the NHL (more on that in a second), Hayton should be a quality middle-six center that can play in all situations.

Hayton’s true offensive ceiling will be an interesting debate going forward. He did play on a juggernaut Greyhounds team, but slotted behind Morgan Frost on the team’s center depth chart. Among OHL players with at least 20 games played, Hayton ranked 92ndin shots (158); theoretically, those totals will increase with a larger offensive role. But he does have a strong shot. Hayton ranked 76thin the OHL with 21 goals, 12 of which came from “low danger” areas, which ranked 54thin the league. It will be interesting to see what happens to Hayton’s point totals with what should be increased opportunity next season.

This pick is, at best, a guess, both for the reasons stated above regarding Nill’s seeming indifference with selecting CHL players in the first round, and the fact that he’s shown a penchant for going off-the-wall before. In 2015, with Mathew Barzal and Kyle Connor still on the board, he selected Gurianov, who was Central Scouting’s seventh-ranked European skater, between Oliver Kylington, who went 60thoverall, and Robin Kovacs, who went 62ndoverall.

Additionally, we must consider that each team has its own draft board and agenda, and players who were seemingly locks to be in the top-10 fall, for whatever reason. Dallas experienced this in 2013, with a surefire top-5 pick in Nichushkin falling to them at 10. There were certain players who I did not consider because I don’t anticipate them being available at 13, who I would select over either Hayton or Kupari, regardless of what position that player happens to be. For example, if Spokane defenseman Ty Smith falls to 13, he would be my pick in a heartbeat.

Finally, given that Dallas will be in the market for a top-six forward this summer, and are potentially primed for a quick turnaround — given they were firmly in the playoffs until a catastrophic late-season collapse — it would not be a surprise to see Dallas trade this pick as part of a package to bring a scoring winger into the fold. But that scenario is a conversation for another day.

Pick #14 Philadelphia Flyers from St. Louis Blues

Mock Draft From FloHockey.TV

 

Who they will take: Joel Farabee

 

 

Farabee has been touted for his leadership abilities, and he captained the USDP in 2017-18. He plays a similar game to Veleno with his speed, transition, and ability to raise the play of his teammates.

He’s got a strong hockey sense and IQ that work in accordance with his foot speed to make high-end plays shift after shift. He and Wahlstrom mutually benefited from each other on a line with 2019 projected top pick Jack Hughes, brother of Quinn.

Pick #15 Florida Panthers

Podcast: @PuckingPanthers

Podcast Address: Youtube

Latest Episode: Season 3 Episode 5

Who they want their team to take: Rasmus Kupari 

 

Pick #16 Colorado Avalanche

Podcast: @4thLinePodcast

Podcast Address: the4thlinepodcast.com

Latest Episode: Episode 184 – The Hockey Feels

Who they want their team to take: Jesperi  Kotkaniemi

 

 

With the focus being on improving their defense for the last few years, the Avalanche achieved that drafting Cale Makar last year and receiving Sam Girard in the Duchene trade. This year, it should be best player available. Joe Sakic has a tendency to draft centers when picking forwards, which is fine by me. Putting up comparable numbers to what Oilers’ draft pick Jesse Puljujärvi did in the Finnish Liiga, Kotkaniemi would be a great selection for the Avalanche.

Pick #17 New Jersey Devils

Podcast: @talkingred

Podcast Address: www.talkingred.com

Latest Episode: Episode 265- That was Fun

Who they want their team to take: Bode Wilde

 

 

After drafting first overall last year, the Devils will have to wait patiently to see who will be available when they draft 17th overall this year. While it wouldn’t surprise me if they traded down a few spots to pick up a 2nd or 3rd round pick this year, I would suspect they would target a defenseman. Assuming none of the bigger names in the draft fall, a player like Bode Wilde intrigues me, and not just because he has an extra “e” on his name like coach Ryane Clowe.  As a strong skater with a big shot and can play physical hockey, he has all the makings of a top pairing defenseman in the NHL.  To be honest, I saw Steve Kournianos compare him to Scott Neidermayer and that was really all I needed to read to make up my mind.

 

Pick #18 Columbus BlueJackets

Podcast: @ArtilleryPod

Podcast Address: iTunes

Latest Episode: Episode 32: We Want Cheaper Beer

Who they want their team to take: Jesperi  Kotkaniemi

 

 

The Blue Jackets are coming off another let down of a season after being up 2-0 against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs only to fall short. After dropping four straight games to lose the series, our lineup began to show a few weaknesses, most notably at center. 

Granted, we did witness the emergence of rookie phenom Pierre-Luc Dubois who found the back of the net 20 times and racked up 48 points on the season, breaking Rick Nash’s record for points by a rookie in a season. Who saw that coming?

However, from top to bottom, our center depth was weak during the playoffs and I think that’s something the Blue Jackets can strengthen moving forward. 

Unless Jarmo decides to work his magic, the Blue Jackets will be selecting the 21st overall draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. With that, we won’t see instant results at center, but adding depth within our system could payoff huge moving forward. 

After doing some research on this years possible draft selections, there was one player that caught my eye, center Jesperi Kotkaniemi from Finland. He’s 6’2” and 190lbs, a big body – an area in which I believe the Jackets were exposed in during the playoffs. He has an amazing knowledge for the game, as well as a tremendous shot that will change the complexion of any game. 

My biggest draw towards Kotkaniemi is the fact he’s from Finland, which happens to be where GM Jarmo Kekäläinen resides. If you’ve been around the Jackets organization for any length of time during Kekäläinen’s time as GM, you know that he doesn’t shy away from acquiring players from his native country. So, with the 21st pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, The CBJ Artillery selects Jesperi Kotkaniemi. 

Podcast Info: 

Available on iTunes and SoundCloud: “The Artillery Podcast”

Social: 

Twitter: @TheCBJArtillery / @ArtilleryPod

Instagram: @TheCBJArtillery / @ArtilleryPodcast

Facebook: @CBJArtillery / @ArtilleryPodcast 

Pick #19 Philadelphia Flyers

Mock Draft By Broad Street Hockey

 

Who they will take: Vitali Kravtsov

 

Kravtsov’s a talented player who at least in spurts can bring the complete package to the ice. He’s got good size, though some scouting reports question whether he uses that size as consistently and effectively as he could. He’s got great hands and stickhandling ability, and can absolutely wire the puck on net and pick his spots in doing so. And for someone of his stature, Kravtsov is a pretty smooth skater that moves well both in terms of straight-line speed and agility.

Pick #20 Los Angeles Kings

Podcast: @KingsMenPodcast

Podcast Address: lakings.com/podcast

Latest Episode: Podcast

Who they want their team to take:

Pick #21 San Jose Sharks

Podcast: @TealTownUSA

Podcast Address: TealTownUSA.com

Latest Episode: https://m.soundcloud.com/tealtownusa

Who they want their team to take: Rasmus Sandin

 

Smart two way D-Man who plays a solid game on both sides of the puck. Needs a little work on his skating but that can be improved, the skills he has can’t be taught.

 

 

Pick #22 Ottawa Senators from Pittsburgh Penguins

Mock Draft From NHL.com (Mike G Morreale)

Who they will take: Jett Woo

 

His hits are followed by a Ric Flair-esque “Woo!” by fans in Moose Jaw. Woo (6-0, 205) had 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 44 games. The right-shot defenseman has a good shot, makes plays, is physical, and has a good work ethic. Senators fans are going to enjoy his relentless motor.

 

Pick #23 Anaheim Ducks

Podcast: @DucksNPucks

Podcast Address: ducksnpucks.com

Latest Episode: View in iTunes

Who they want their team to take:

Akil Thomas

Akil Thomas of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

 

Akil fits the mould of what the Ducks are looking to add to their system. A skilled playmaking forward with terrific speed and the potential to play centre at the NHL level. The thing that stands out about Thomas is he is used in all situations. For a guy who is so offensively gifted his compete level is just as high in his own end. He’s not as big as your average centre but he plays much bigger then his size would suggest. He uses his speed and agility to make it difficult for his opponents to knock him off the puck. Despite primarily playing center with Niagara, Thomas could project as a winger in the NHL. Either way he could be a great pairing with future Ducks player Sam Steel. Much like Steel, Thomas is a cerebral player and uses his excellent stickhandling and accurate shot to exploit weaknesses in his opponents. Very few first time draft eligible forwards wear a letter for their team which is a testament to Akil’s leadership capabilities. If he can continue to improve on his defensive game and, “cliché incoming”, adds some size in the weight room he could be a steal at 23rd for Anaheim.

If Ryan Merkley is available at 23 for Anaheim I think it is worth the risk to draft the young defenseman. There are some warranted concerns about his defensive capabilities and some possible off-ice issues. However, despite those concerns he is one of the most offensively gifted defensemen in the draft. It is worth taking a risk on him, hoping he isn’t the next Ryan Murphy or Tony DeAngelo.

Honorable Mentions: –

Ty Dellandrea

Isac Lundestrom

Dominik Bokk

Pick #24 Minnesota Wild

Podcast: @GatGWildPodcast

Podcast Address: iTunes

Latest Episode: Episode 152: Nurses Episode

Who they want their team to take: Rasmus Kupari – C Karpat Oulu

 

You don’t necessarily want to draft for specific needs, but Minnesota is badly needing to infuse some talent into their prospect pipeline – specifically at center. Kupari looks to have some good offensive upside and skating ability up the middle, and give him a few years to polish that off and there would definitely be a spot for him on the Wild roster when he is ready as Koivu and Staal figure to be gone by that point. For where Minnesota will be drafting, there is a good chance Kupari will be on the board and would be a great pick for them.

Pick #25 Toronto Maple Leafs

Mock Draft Last Word on Hockey

 

Who they will take: Jacob Olofsson

 

The Leafs prospect pool has been well stocked in recent years. There is a ton of depth on the wings, a good number of prospects on the blue line, and some potential between the pipes. While the Leafs have young centres at the NHL level though, there is a real lack of system depth at the position. The Leafs have shown that they are not afraid to mine the Swedish leagues in recent years, both in the draft, and through undrafted free agent signings. They do so again, filling their need with centre Jacob Olofsson.

Olofsson is also good at controlling the puck down low and making plays out of the cycle game. He also gets to the front of the net and has the hand-eye coordination to tip in pucks, and the quickness to pounce on rebounds. The question mark seems to be around how high his offensive ceiling is. Olofsson plays a very straightforward game. More often than not, he makes the simple and safe play rather than try to be creative. Olofsson already plays a solid two-way game for his age. He is strong on the backcheck, helping the defence with back pressure and support.

Pick #26 New York Rangers from Boston Bruins

Mock Draft Selection From Hockey Buzz

 

Who they will take: Dominick Bokk

 

They could go a number of ways but opt to add offense with the selection of Bokk, a raw talent with room to fill out his 6’1″ 176 lb. frame. The word on Bokk is that he possesses elite stick skills and offensive-minded instincts but needs to work on his play away from the puck. Rangers have no problem with that as this pick helps strengthen the right side of solid prospect pool that allows Bokk adequate time to develop.

Pick #27 Chicago Blackhawks from Nashville Predators

Podcast: @TheRinkcast

Podcast Address: the-Rink.com

Latest Episode: Episode 20

Who they want their team to take: Noah Dobson

 

“Too Much Play around the perimeter. They need toughness in the middle”

 

Pick #28 St. Louis Blues From Winnipeg Jets

Podcast: @BluesHockeyNHL

Podcast Address: blueshockeypodcast.net

Latest Episode: Episode 109

Who they want their team to take: Ryan McLeod

 

Even though the Blues traded away their pick this year, they were still able to acquire one at the trade deadline in the Paul Statsny deal to Winnipeg. Even though I’m pretty sure Doug Armstrong will use this pick to upgrade his top 6 forwards via trade, I’ll give you some players the Blues should target at number 29.

The St. Louis Blues have built their forward prospect core up tremendously and have some of the most sought after forwards in the NHL. They need to keep the cupboard stocked in today’s cap system so I believe the Blues should target Ryan McLeod from Mississauga steelheads. He’s a 6’2” Center 205lb Center. He’s a big Center who has a strong 2 way game and skating with a high compete level. He is known more for his finesse and passing so he will have to learn how to use his size. He should be available near the end of the first round. The Blues have produced some good defenseman in the last few years so they might want to take another to restock the cupboard. If the Blues go defense, they should strongly consider taking Rasmus Sandin. New AHL coach Drew Bannister is well aware of his skills since he coached him last season with the Sault Dt. Marie Greyhounds. Sandin is the second best Swedish defenseman in the draft. Sandin is a prototypical defenseman who can move the puck with a high hockey IQ which is the number one thing Scouting director Bill Armstrong looks for. Sandin is a fast riser and may not last until the Blues pick but they would be wise to grab him if he’s available.

My name is Jason Martine and I’m the host of the Blues Hockey Podcast. You can Download our podcast on ITunes, Stitcher, or our website, blueshockeypodcast.net. You can also find us on Twitter(@BluesHockeyNHL) or Facebook.

Pick #29 New York Rangers From Tampa Bay Lightning

Mock Draft Selection From Hockey Buzz

Who they will take: Serron Noel

 

 

With three first-round picks, the Rangers rebuild is in full swing. With this pick they take a high-upside player who could be a top-line power forward. Serron Noel projects as a goal scorer. He has one of the hardest wrist shots in the entire draft, generating excellent power. His accuracy is good, and he features a quick release. Noel uses his size to get to the front of the net. His quick hands help him finish in tight, with tip-ins, scoring rebounds, or making quick moves to beat a goalie in tight. Further out, he needs some work on his one-timer. He also needs to be more consistent in finding opportunities to get his shot off. So much of the NHL game is generating shots, and Noel can sometimes leave one waiting for him to shoot more.

Pick #30 Detroit Red Wings from Vegas Golden Knights

Mock Draft from The Score

Who they will take: Jacob Olofsson

 

 

A Swedish center on the Red wings? There are crazier ideas. Olofsson plays a smart, simple game, and does it at impressive top speeds. He’s dangerous with the puck, but is reliable in his own end as well.

Pick #31 Washington Capitals

Podcast: @HockeyTrollin

Podcast Address: iTunes/Google

Latest Episode: Last Episode

Who they want their team to take: K’Andre Miller

The Washington Capitals have drafted and/or developed numerous forwards currently utilized as depth forwards, with the potential to perform permanent top-6 roles. These young players, such as Jakub Vrana, Chandler Stephenson, Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly were integral to their playoff success. Long-term centre depth is of a concern, as Backstrom will be 33 when he becomes a free agent in 2021. However, a more immediate concern is depth of defense, even if both Carlson and Kempny are re-signed this offseason. Carlson will be the higher priority of the two, leaving limited funds for Kempny. Orpik is an extremely likely buy-out or trade candidate and Niskanen will be 35 when his contract expires in 2022. All three of these defensemen are left-shooting, which only leaves Christian Djoos as a potential replacement. It is paramount for the Capitals to continue to draft and develop young talent, with both an immediate and long-term need satisfied by the acquisition of a LHD in the draft.

Thats it. Round #1 almost entirely done with the help of awesome fan podcast’s of each NHL team. If you need more hockey content this awesome check out all of the great shows that helped us out.

Do you agree or think your team’s podcast is absolutely wrong? Please add your thoughts in the comments below. We aren’t done. We are also tackling free agency. Post and Out chatted with an ex-teammate of John Tavares and we have inside info on where he will sign. Check it out here: The Ultimate Guide to John Tavares Free Agency Signing

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