Five sleepers for 2018 draft

  1. hitchhiker42
    In my day job we have a tool called a pre-mortem. We discuss what could go wrong before making a significant change to a strategy or process. I am using a similar idea here. Basically, this is a prediction of what a "re-draft" in 2023 might say. The list is of players outside the consensus top 15--because it is hard to define a sleeper that everyone thinks is among the elite.

    1. Martin Kaut. He is just now making a few lists as a late first-rounder. Given his size, success in international play, and ability to compete in an adult league, I think by 2023 he will likely be considered the 5th or 6th best forward from this draft behind Svechnikov, Zadina, Wahlstrom, and one of Hayton/Veleno/McLeod.

    2. Mattias Samuelssson. While there are many defensemen getting love this draft, Samuelson by age 23 will be viewed as equal to all his classmates except Dahlin. His size, bloodline, and training gained from the USNTDP will make the 5-7 teams that chose another D-man above him realize they missed out.

    3. Linus Nyman. Even though he plays on the recently-stacked Kingston team, he still stands out. Most lists indicate he will be 4th rounder or lower. What I saw from this smallish overager was that he combines speed with a drive to get in front of the net. While smaller players draw comparisons to Johnny Gadreau, I think in 2023 Nyman will be mentioned as a younger version of Mats Zuccarello.

    4. Carl Wassenius. This winger has good size (6'2" 200 lbs.) and has been scoring at every level of junior play in Sweden the past three years. While he was ranked around 90 on a few lists preseason, he is nowhere to be found in January. This despite the fact that his ppg is slightly higher than Dominick Bokk in the same league this year. A player who could be the rare 5th (or later) rounder who makes it to the NHL by 2023.

    5. Christian Lindberg. I haven't seen him play. However, he is a 6'1" defenseman who scored at a point per game pace in both 18 and 20 leagues in Sweden earlier this season. Has been playing for more than half a season in Allsvenskan. Since he is a late birthday for the draft, I can't imagine a 17 -year-old playing with men who doesn't have potential. A deep sleeper, I admit, but surely a team will spend a 6th or 7th on a D-man who has shown potential to register points.

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