Prospect Info: 2018 NHL Draft Part I

Discussion in 'New Jersey Devils' started by HenriquesJawLine, Jun 28, 2017.

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  1. The Devil In I

    The Devil In I Registered User

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    I'd imagine this is like a "complete hindsight" thing. Like...do you still take Larsson knowing both that 1) there are better players available but 2) that you can trade him for Hall...
     
  2. devilsblood

    devilsblood Registered User

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    Interesting twist. Probably have to stick with Lars. Unless you want Kucherov.
     
  3. MartyOwns

    MartyOwns i'll ask daneyko

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    plus, the headlines would be great. 'bokk to the future' when he's called up? yes please, i'm sold
     
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  4. markog

    markog Registered User

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    Brez naslova.jpg Brez naslova.jpg Wouldn't that be something lol
     
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  5. Thunderfest

    Thunderfest The Wumpus

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    I ran it once (first time this season)

    upload_2018-3-22_11-40-21.png
     
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  6. Zippy316

    Zippy316 aka Zippo

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    I don't know if anyone has been keeping an eye on the draft, but every time I watch highlights, I'm so impressed with Evan Bouchard. He's probably going to go top 10, maybe even higher, but whoever drafts him is going to love him.

    Dahlin is ridiculously skilled, but Bouchard just seems like he's always in the right place, consistently makes pro level plays, and makes it look easy. Reminds me a lot of a defender version of Hischier in that sense.

     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  7. OmNomNom

    OmNomNom Nico Nico Nii~~~

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    did this guy rise recently?
     
  8. Zippy316

    Zippy316 aka Zippo

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    He's been rising all year.

    Right now, he seems to be just outside of Dahlin, Zadina, Svechnikov, Tkachuk, and Boqvist, but I wouldn't be surprised if he follows up the first three at all.
     
  9. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    2018 Mock Draft (Take One)

    As a lot of the guys on the Devils HF Boards know, I like to do this every year on here. I used to have jobs at places like The Hockey Writers and FanRag Sports and on the radio for Sirius, but let's face it. Those guys just don't pay me enough. But I still watch a lot of film and research the prospects and organizations (all 31!), so I'm okay at this. Also, I've been a Devils fan since there has been a Devils, so there's that. I've been vocal about how much I love the Devils drafts since Ray Shero took full reign in 2016, and my only criticisms of him have been the Bennett trade, the Mueller trade, and Boqvist over Heponiemi in the second round last year. That being said, I've done a full first round mock, so fans of all 31 teams can argue with me...

    1 Buffalo LD R. Dahlin: I truly think this kid is borderline generational. Just has it all: skates, shot, guts, brains, size, you name it. His upside is a trophy case of Norris Trophies, and he is precisely what Buffalo needs. Which, since they are after all Buffalo, means they will lose the lottery.
    2 Ottawa LW/RW F. Zadina: I have Svechnikov rated a bit higher, but like I said, I research the organizations. The last time Ottawa drafted a Russian? That's right, Russian Bashkirov, in the second round of the 2007 draft. No reason to think they will change that now. Senators fans need not worry though, Zadina is a game breaker with off-the-charts stick handling/playmaking abilities and no weaknesses -- he's a star in the making.
    3 Arizona RW A. Svechnikov: The Coyotes need pretty much everything and have for years. Fortunately for them, Svechnikov has everything, and in spades. He's a dazzling scorer with elite skating, size and vision. He is not afraid to play physical and he is very good defensively. It's tantalizing to imagine a top line featuring Keller and Svechnikov on the wings in the very near future.
    4 Montreal RD E. Bouchard: The Habs need D badly after their disastrous off-season trade of blue-chipper Sergachov in exchange for a delusional belief that Drouin could move from the wing to become a top-line center despite a profound distaste for defense and anything closely resembling physical play. Bouchard checks all the boxes -- he's a fearless leader, he's surefire top-4, he's great in the offensive and defensive zones and he, uh, speaks French.
    5 Vancouver LW B. Tkachuk: Despite all the criticism GM Jim Benning has received in British Columbia, he's built a nice core of top-shelf young talent, headed by present top-liner Brock Boeser, future top-liner Elias Petersson, and incoming d-man Olli Juolevi. What they lack is an old-school power forward and Tkachuk fits that bill better than anyone in this draft. He may have the highest floor of all draft-eligible forwards, at the very worst he should be a 25-25-50 guy who plays physically and is not afraid to drop the mitts. At the very best? He could be a Shanahan-type power F. I can't wait to see the first time he faces off against his brother Matthew in Calgary, should be the best brother brawl we've seen since the Primeaus or the Sutter twins.
    6 Detroit LD Q. Hughes: Detroit is desperate for anything in the organization on the blueline. For the love of Pete, they play Jonathan Ericsson 20+ minutes a game. That guy is so bad he makes Mark Fayne look like Larry Robinson. Right in their back yard at U. of Michigan is the answer -- Hughes is, by far, the fastest skater in the draft. He might be my favorite player to watch film on, he just glides. It's like a superpower. Also, his vision is tremendous, he's a one-man offense-generating machine.
    7 Edmonton RD A. Boqvist: Then again, this is Edmonton, so we have to assume they are going to win the lottery. On the off-chance they do not, they are another organization hungry for defense. Yes, Boqvist is Devils' prospect Jesper's brother. Yes, he's an incredible offensive force, with plus-plus skating and shooting. But, no -- the defensive liability he has been tagged with is not accurate -- he's actually improved a ton in his own end over the past season or so. Hughes has more upside because of the insane skating ability, but Boqvist has nearly the ceiling and is a safer pick.
    8 NY Islanders RW O. Wahlstrom: A lot of questions for the Isles. Where will they play? Will Snow be fired after a disastrous season? Will face-of-the-franchise Tavares take off to greener pastures? On the bright side, they should have two picks (thanks to the Calgary trade for Hamonic) in the top 15. Wahlstrom would potentially give Tavares a huge weapon on the right flank -- he's huge and and sick hands and goal-scoring ability. A potential 40+ goal guy, just tons of upside here. Often listed as a center, but many draft pundits are just idiots; he hasn't played there in over a year. US-NTDP top line is Jack Hughes centering Wahlstrom and Farabee.
    9 Chicago LD T. Smith: Chicago drafting in the top 10? It's unheard of. They better grab that future franchise D they are desperate for, with the backline's top two of Keith and Seabrook aging fast. Anyone who has seen Spokane play in the WHL this year won't shut up about how smart and skilled Ty Smith is -- he's an every situation guy, a mobile point-generator and puck possessor who is heady and fierce in his own zone. Hard not to love this kid, he's a surefire top 15 grab.
    10 NY Rangers C J. Veleno: It occurs to me that some people on this thread do not particularly care for the Rangers. Well, for a polarizing team I took a polarizing prospect. The former QMJHL underage draftee is ranked anywhere from the top 10 to the bottom 20s. Personally, I love the kid -- he's big, very fast, and very skilled. Though he did not produce on the scoresheet in Saint John, since his mid-season trade to Drummondville he has lit it up for more than a point and a half per game, and he plays a very NHL-translatable two-way style. I think he'll be a classic top line center.
    11 Carolina C B. Hayton: Why does Carolina keep losing despite a very talented young D corps and very good skill at forward? My answer is two-fold: crummy goaltending and too easy to play against. Quite simply, they have no physicality or bite in their top 9. Hayton is often compared to the great Patrice Bergeron -- he's elite defensively and very good in every aspect of the game. He can shut down your top guns while contributing on the scoresheet in his own right.
    12 NY Islanders RD N. Dobson: With two first-rounders, I expect the Isles to grab a F weapon for Tavares and an elite D talent to fortify a squad which is currently worst in the NHL in goals-against. Dobson is a bit polarizing in that his skating lacks the elite gear of some of the other rearguards on this list, but he's physical, defensively sound, and features a cannon of a shot. I think at the very worst he's a top-4 stalwart, which is necessary on an Islander squad which your great-grandmother could have led in plus/minus.
    13 Dallas RD B. Wilde: Like many of us in the hockey world, I thought that the Stars' off-season additions of Ben Bishop and Marc Methot would shore up the D and get them into the post-season. Like many of us in the hockey world, I look like a knucklehead now. However, Wilde is a prospect whom I am, well... wild about. He is huge at 6'2-195, excelling in both the O and D zones for the US-NTDP. He is an extremely fluid skater with a big shot who is not afraid of nastiness in the corners and the crease. Let's just hope, for obvious reasons, that he does not fall to Minnesota.
    14 Florida LW J. Farabee: Though this draft does not feature as many high-octane offensive undersized forwards as in the past couple of drafts, Farabee headlines that list. He can just light it up offensively, and despite a slight 5'10-160 frame, he does not shy away from the tough areas of the ice. Florida is deep up the middle and has some excellent young talent on the blueline, so I predict them continuing a trend they started with Owen Tippett last draft and get a scorer with top-line talent.
    15 Philadelphia C J. Kotkaniemi: Though it pains my Devils-heart to say it, no one has drafted better over the past four years than Flyers' GM Ron Hextall except perhaps Kevin Chevaldayoff in Winnipeg. Kotkaniemi is in a similar mold to current Philly top-line pivot Sean Couturier -- he's aces defensively and in the face-off circle, he's got prototypical size, and he has a very good deal of scoring upside. He can also play the left wing very well, he's a very versatile guy.
    16 Colorado LD J. McIsaac: Nathan McKinnon's superhuman 2017-18 season is very much like our own Taylor Hall's -- he has almost singlehandedly willed his team into the playoffs. However, the Avs still have headaches keeping the puck out of their own twine. McIsaac could be the answer to that -- he's the classic physical, defensive defenseman. Though not fast he is mobile, and though not electrifying he can produce offense if put in that role.

    17 New Jersey Devils LD K. Miller: First off, I'd like to say that I am a proponent of drafting the "best available player". That being said, this draft is heavy on defensemen, and the Devils are very stocked at F after two great drafts and needing badly of young top-tier defensemen. Second off, I'd like to say that when mock drafting for the Devils, I was sorely disappointed that upon realizing the top candidates were Bode Wilde, K'Andre Miller and Jett Woo, that I did not make any of those names up. Why did I go with Miller? Well, although I would love Wilde, I think he will be off the board here. I was split between Miller and Woo, both terrific prospects, but I think Miller has higher upside. He's huge, he's strong and physical, his shot is an absolute cannon-blast, and the kinks in his game are all erasable. What do I mean by that? Well, K'Andre just switched from F to D two seasons back and, although he plays very smart, he is still learning the positioning aspect. And, though he generates very good speed, his edge work still needs refining. I think it is very possible that Shero would go with Woo here, since Woo can fly and Shero loves the speed guys. But Miller would give us a possible diamond in the rough, a sick athlete with all-star upside at an organizational need.

    18 Philadelphia RW S. Noel: With two first-rounders and a stocked prospect pool, Hextall can afford to take a chance on the unique skill-set of the absolutely humongous Oshawa winger. Despite being 6'4-200 and growing, Noel can downright fly and fire the puck. Then why is he not a surefire first-round lock? Well, he has not produced nearly enough on OHL scoresheets for a player of his gifts. I think one of the teams with a large amount of early picks will be able to afford taking this chance. Though I have seen Noel mocked to the Devils (thinner on RW than LW or C), we only have one pick in the first three rounds, so I do not see it.
    19 Columbus C R. Kupari: The Blue Jackets are still searching for their top-line pivot, but Kupari has sick upside and highlight reel hands. His size is ideal at 6'1-185, but again he is a polarizing player. His supporters rank him just outside of the top 10 and pump him as a future first-liner, while his detractors claim he loads up against weaker competition and disappears against tougher opponents.
    20 Los Angeles RW V. Kravtsov: The Kings' prospect pool is universally ranked near the bottom of the NHL, but Kravtsov has made it into some scouts (Cam Robinson, Dobber) top 10s. He has outstanding stick handling/vision and is the youngest player to score in the KHL championship. He will fill out that 6'2 frame and his skating is very, very good.
    21 Anaheim C R. McLeod: McLeod will undoubtedly be the second brother of a Devils prospect to be selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. Though he lacks Mikey McLeod's off-the-charts speed, Ryan is also an outstanding two-way player who can score, win face-offs, and play the physical, NHL style. He can also play the LW, and he's one of those coach's dreams who can play a checking or scoring line, man a power play or skate shorthanded.
    22 Ottawa RD Jett Woo: If Ottawa picks in the 2/3 overall slot, it seems imminent they take a forward. Thus, with their second first rounder (acquired from Pittsburgh for Brassard), I expect them to take a D. Like I said, I can see the Devils taking Woo, an extremely fast two-way D who, although a bit undersized, is not afraid to lay a bone-crushing open-ice check. I see him as sort of Charlie McAvoy-lite, maybe not with the same Norris-type upside, but a two-way force with a ferocious competitive drive.
    23 San Jose LW D. Bokk: For whatever reason, Sharks GM Doug Wilson loves drafting the Central Europeans. No one has drafted more Swiss and Germans (like Bokk) in the past decade. Book has shot up draft boards over the course of the season with dynamic displays of talent for Vaxjo in Sweden. The Sharks aging offense needs some retooling, and Bokk to the Sharks seems a plausible fit.
    24 Minnesota D C. Addison: The Wild are that team that is always good enough to make the playoffs and never good enough to win the Stanley Cup. The problem with this is that they never get the opportunity to truly rebuild with high draft picks and top-end talent necessary to win a championship. Addison certainly has top-4 upside, despite his slightly being undersized (5'10-180), he is a terrific skater with smarts and very good vision in the offensive zone.
    25 Toronto D A. Alexeyev: Yes, his name is really Alex Alexeyev. And yes, he is an outstanding talent with top-pairing upside. He's a big (6'3-190) kid who can really skate, shoot and shut down opposing forwards. He would probably be rated higher were it not for an injury-plagued first half of the season for the Red Deer Rebels and his Russianness. Toronto is loaded with young talent at F, and if a kid with Alexeyev's significant upside falls to them, I can see them jumping all over it.
    26 Washington C/LW I. Lundestrom Another player who has polarized the scouting community. Proponents see the speedy, prototypically-sized Lundestrom as a Mikael Backlund-type shutdown stud who can pot 50-60 points. Critics see him as a third-line LW with great speed, a la Carl Hagelin. The Caps have only used their top pick on a non-European once in the past 11 drafts.
    27 Detroit RD R. Merkley This year's winner of the "Most Mercurial Player You Don't Want To Draft But Don't Want To Pass Up" Award is certainly Merkley. In the same game, in the very same shift, Merkley can get you out of your seat with his offensive brilliance and then make you cover your eyes with his defensive ineptitude. His offensive upside may only be matched by Dahlin and Hughes -- he's a ridiculously brilliant skater with pinpoint passing and elite vision. His defense? Those who have read me over the years know I do not like to say anything negative about teenagers, so let's just say it needs work. A lot of work. With two picks in the first and an early pick in the second, the Wings can afford to swing for the fences here.
    28 St. Louis LW G. Denisenko The Blues traded their first-rounder to Philly for Braden Schenn and then got a first rounder from (my personal Stanley Cup pick) Winnipeg for Paul Stastny. Denisenko has absolutely lit up the MHL with his Panarin-like skill set. He's just a magician with the puck, perhaps a perfect foil for Tarasenko on the right flank one day.
    29 NY Rangers LW/C A. Thomas With the pick the Rangers got from Tampa in a trade where Tampa otherwise fleeced them (McDonagh AND JT Miller? Really?), the Rangers would be thrilled if Thomas was still available. The kid has dazzled fans of the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL all year long with his high-end scoring skills, grit and heart. Lightning-quick and always-intense, he's like a wolverine on skates.
    30 NY Rangers LD R. Sandin With the pick the Rangers got from Boston in a trade where they totally fleeced Boston (a first AND blue-chipper Ryan Lindgren? For Rick Nash? Really?), I have the Rangers taking Sault Ste. Marie's top d-man, a gifted two-way force on the blueline who could be a top-four stalwart if he fills out a smallish frame and improves his skating a bit.
    31 Chicago C T. Dellandrea The Hawks are used to drafting here because they won the cup. Years of success have thinned out the prospect pool, and they especially need help on D, where Keith and Seabrook are not getting any younger, and at C, where Toews is not getting any younger. Heck, none of us are getting any younger. I'm not getting any younger, either. I'm so old I'm tired after mocking 31 picks. I remember when I was young enough to do two rounds without needing a nap.

    Anyway, there it is. I will do another one around playoff time. That is, in between watching the Devils IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!
     
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  10. ruskidevil14

    ruskidevil14 Registered User

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    awesome write up... excellent insight.. thanks
     
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  11. Brodeur

    Brodeur Registered User

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    Watched some prospect videos last weekend and checked out Miller's highlight reel. Knee jerk thought was that he reminded me of Vladimir Malakhov.

    Wish the NHL would just do the draft lottery before the playoffs started like they did originally. Every time I start a mock draft, I eventually realize it's a little futile until the order is settled.
     
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  12. dk3790

    dk3790 Registered User

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    So are the devils locked into 17th pick? unless they win the cup or how does it work now? Not sure if anything has changed since the playoff format changing.
     
  13. markog

    markog Registered User

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    I think if they get into Conference finals than they're set from 28-31, until then it's 17th.
     
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  14. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    Miller is FAR more physical than Malakhov, but his game is a bit more raw. I attribute this to the fact that Miller was a F until a few seasons ago. What I love about Miller is his upside -- it's tremendous. Though he is further away from the almost limitless potential his athleticism/smarts give him, I don't think there is a single defenseman in this draft aside from Dahlin you can say without a doubt has a higher ceiling.
     
  15. Nubmer6

    Nubmer6 We want... Information

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    BTW, thanks for the mock draft write-up. I always get excited when I see a post by you. Always a good read.
     
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  16. OmNomNom

    OmNomNom Nico Nico Nii~~~

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    Miss you around here
     
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  17. Tundra

    Tundra Registered User

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    Miller sounds like Gelinas. I'm wary of a forward turned dman. It takes years to perfect the craft.
     
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  18. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    Gelinas went #54 in a very thin 2009 draft. Miller is a near-lock to go in the first round of the 2018 draft. Why? Because Miller is far better than Gelinas was at the same development point.

    In 2008-09, Gelinas did not quite crack the 40-point barrier in the Q for a struggling (and now defunct) franchise in Lewiston. He did not make any major Canadian tournament teams. He was seen as a raw project -- a howitzer-like shot and a good combo of size and mobility, but he lacked physical strength and instincts. As it turned out, Gelinas was good enough to make the NHL for almost 200 games, but did not make a serious impact. Not a complete bust for a #54 pick, but not a success by any means, either.

    Conversely, K'Andre Miller is coming off an outstanding season for the US-NTDP, finishing second in team scoring among defensemen despite playing 12 fewer games than Henry Thrun. He tied Bode Wilde despite playing 4 fewer games and being held in far lower regard by scouting services before the season. Miller has improved exponentially throughout the season and has played outstanding hockey in international tournament play. Miller is a better skater than Gelinas was in their draft year, and is far stronger, more athletic and more physical. He also has a higher hockey IQ and has shown a greater development curve in the seasons preceding his draft year. In Gelinas' defense, I will say his shot was far more powerful than Miller's is.

    In conclusion, the only parallel we can truly make between Miller and Gelinas in their draft years is that they were both converted forwards who were playing defense. No one had Gelinas as a first round pick in a thin draft year. In a deep draft dominated by D-men, we have seen Miller as high as #16 (McKeen's), who lavished Miller with a degree of praise never heard about Gelinas:

    "It is that very confluence of two opposing factors – rawness and recovery – that make Miller such an exciting prospect. He is already playing at a very high level, on both ends of the rink, but what he might still be once he becomes more accustomed to the position is stratospheric. The road to his optimistic projection will not be as smooth as some of his current teammates, but its end-point is higher up the national hockey discussion than those other players. Heading to Minnesota next year, he may be the best North American blueliner to emerge from this draft class when all is said and done."
     
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  19. Darkauron

    Darkauron Registered User

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    Thanks Steven! The insight you bring so often is always so great! Miller is definitely the top of my list for around where we pick right now for sure.
     
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  20. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    Thanks, Darkauron.

    I should add that you should never trust one draft pundit/scout who is particularly high on a particular prospect. You can tweet questions to two of my own favorite experts, Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) and Cam Robinson (@CrazyJoeDavola3) and they're both really cool; usually they will get back to you. Steve sees K'Andre as an early 20's pick, while Cam sees him as a late first rounder. I suspect they will both say I am a bit too high on Miller, but neither will think my praise is completely off-base -- anyone who has seen Miller can see the massive upside.
     
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  21. Nubmer6

    Nubmer6 We want... Information

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    Just curious... are you mocking Miller to us because you like him so much, or are you mocking who you think we're actually picking?
     
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  22. My3Sons

    My3Sons Registered User

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    You suggested earlier that Alexyev is being underrated. Is he in the same prospect tier as Wilde and MILLER? Pity NJ doesn’t have three picks in the teens this year the franchise could have potentially turned its defense around.
     
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  23. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    That's an outstanding question.

    In a mock draft, you kind of HAVE TO use personal opinion, but you also have to temper it with logic, i.e.: knowledge of organizational draft tendencies and team needs.

    For example, take the debate of Miller vs. McIsaac vs. Alexeyev vs. Sandin at LHD. I'm assuming the Devils are picking the best available player, but with an organizational need at LD, I think that might be weighted. Which is to say, if a top F like Farabee or Veleno somehow fell to 17, I think the Devils would jump all over it. But I'm assuming that is not happening. So with a bunch of players at 17 ranked similarly, I have the Devils looking at a player:

    1. Ranked at the top of their list
    2. Who fits in with the team identity
    3. Who fills an organizational need

    While McIsaac, for example, is a terrific defensive LD (which the team needs) certain to be ranked around the 17 range, he is not particularly mobile. Shero and Castron have drafted heavily for speed in the past two drafts. Sandin has the speed, but he is very similar in style to Butcher and Walsh, so he does not particularly fill a particular need.

    Miller and Alexeyev are the two in this group who not only check the team identity (speed/hockey IQ/character) boxes, but also fill organizational needs (size on the backline, some physicality, ability to develop into two-way forces). Since I personally rank Miller a shade higher than Alexeyev, I took him for the Devils.

    I try to do this for every team with every pick, though it's tough to stay completely atop of all 31 NHL organizations.

    I hope this answers you appropriately.
     
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  24. StevenToddIves

    StevenToddIves Registered User

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    I like Miller and Wilde a little better because I think they both have more dynamic physical capabilities and thus more upside. Alexeyev would be the safest pick of the three. But I would say, yes, they are all in the same tier.
     
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  25. My3Sons

    My3Sons Registered User

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    This board needs an STI thread so all your musings can be in one place. You answered all my questions about MILLER Wilde and Alexeyev but in three different threads and my apologies for not reading them all before asking questions already answered somewhere else. Thanks for the time you out into this and share with us. Really makes for interesting reading.
     
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