First Round - Team Grades

Grading the first round draft choices of each NHL team.
  1. pckstpr31
    Just wanted to get a few thoughts down after the first round, and figured a good way to do that would be to recap things in a team grade format. Nothing wildly insightful, but a good way to round things up. Here goes:

    A+
    NYI: It's been a good few days for Islanders fans. A Tavares re-signing would be the icing on the cake, but if he goes elsewhere they've done well to at least lessen the blow a little bit. Getting both Wahlstrom and Dobson is huge, and I don't think they could've done much better.

    A
    Buffalo: Obviously Dahlin is an A+ kind of player, but seeing as they won the lottery and didn't really have a tough choice to make, I'll keep them at an A.

    Carolina: Same as above. Glad to see them not try and get too fancy with this, just take the best guy available and insert him right into your lineup next year.

    Detroit: I think in 5 years' time, Zadina is going to be a step ahead of both Tkachuk and Hayton as an NHL player. At 6 he is incredible value, and I really like Veleno at 30 as well. They might not have done anything to improve their D-pool, but can still nab a guy like Wilde tomorrow. Great first round.

    Vancouver: As a Flames' fan and a huge fan of Hughes, I hate seeing him go to Vancouver, but it's a very solid pick at 7. He'll be in their lineup next year or year after at the latest.

    NYR: I think it's hard to do to poorly with 3 first rounders, and I really like the Miller and Lundkvist picks. I also really like the Kravtsov pick, but might've personally gone with Dobson over him. Regardless, they just keep on improving their prospect pool.

    A-
    New Jersey: I expected them to pick a defenseman, but did not expect Smith to still be around at 17. Great value and the clear best defenseman left on the board at that point.

    San Jose: This grade is mostly for having the gall to stick to your gut. If Merkley can figure out his problems, he's great value at 21. It's obviously a big if, but I like to see teams take risks.

    St. Louis: I had Bokk in the top 20, as I'm sure a few teams did. I like seeing St. Louis willing to move an asset to get their guy, and I'm excited to see Bokk's progression next year.

    Florida: Nothing crazy here, but I like Denisenko and think he's great value at 15. He should fit in really well with Florida's offense in a year or two.

    B+
    Philadelphia: Really like the Farabee pick, less excited about the O'Brien one. However, when you have 2 first rounders you can afford to have one be focused on a guy that might need a bit of time before becoming an impact player, and it's hard to really get a read on O'Brien until seeing him face better competition.

    Colorado: I might've gone for a bit more potential here in Bokk, but I do really like Kaut as well.

    LA: Kupari is a nice pick here, and he's a guy I could see inside the top 10 in a re-draft a few years down the line if he can put it all together.

    Minnesota: I don't know much about Johansson, and didn't have him in my top 50. However, I give them a B+ because again, they're clearly sticking to their guns and going after their guy. The general consensus seemed to be that there wasn't a whole lot of difference between picks 20-40ish, so this is one of those picks that we'll need to wait and see before judging too much (although honestly this could be said about all the picks outside of the top 2)

    Toronto: I had them taking Sandin at 25, and when you can trade down and grab another pick and still get your guy, it's always good value.

    Washington: I had Alexeyev a bit higher, and am glad he stayed in the first round. Seems like a good kid, and I think he has a little bit more offensive potential than he has shown so far. Excited to see what he can do in a full season next year in Red Deer.

    Edmonton: I think 10 is right around the perfect spot for Bouchard. He should complement McDavid quite well, and it'll be interesting to see if he steps into the lineup right away.

    B
    Chicago: This grade reflects my own personal opinion about Boqvist. I've never been quite as high as him as some others, and would've taken Dobson over him for sure. However, he easily has the potential to be the best defender behind Dahlin, and certainly isn't a bad pick at 8. I also really like Beaudin, although I did have him just outside the first round.

    Montreal: I don't think Kotkaniemi is too much of a reach here, and they got their C. I would've just stuck with Zadina, but I think Kotkaniemi is one of the few players who may have just as good of an NHL career as him. Good on Bergevin for being willing to take a risk right now.

    Anaheim: I'm not super high on Lundestrom, but only because I don't see his ceiling as all that enticing. The Ducks are one of the best teams in the league at scouting, and so I trust there is more to his game than I see.

    B-
    Columbus: I'm not all that high on Foudy either, and don't think he's great value at 18, but again it's such a wide open draft and hard to judge at this point.

    Ottawa: Some will probably give them a lower grade, and again I would've just taken Zadina if I were them. However, I think Tkachuk gets an unfair wrap on these boards, and he'll bring an element of the game to their team that they don't have. I like the pick, just not over Zadina. Again, common theme here, I like being willing to trade down to get another pick, and still getting a guy you value. Bernard-Docker is like O'Brien in that his potential is high, but it's hard to get a read on until he faces better competition. His career at UND will be a great indication of the kind of player he'll become.

    C+
    Dallas: Dellandrea is another guy I'm not quite as high on as some, and I think there were a few better options for Dallas here. However, he seems like a really good kid, and could have a huge year in the OHL next year. Will be keeping an eye on him for sure.

    C
    Arizona: I'm a big believer in Chayka, and I think this is the first thing he's done in his tenure that I'm not on board with. I admittedly had Hayton at 20, but I do see his appeal. However, I don't think he's close to being a top 5 guy, once again especially not when Zadina is right there. Or Hughes for that matter. Puzzling choice for me.

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