The beginning of the NHL year always starts for me at the Draft. Which has quickly become the a major event and time of the year in the NHL. The bigger trade deals are coming in and around the draft instead of the February trade deadline.
Look at today! What a wild few hours before the draft. We had Seth Jones to Chicago, Ristolainen to Philadelphia, OEL and Garland to Vancouver.
Here is how the draft went down!
1. Buffalo Sabres - Owen Powers (D) - NCAA Michigan. A good addition to a team that is about to restart the rebuild. Adding a huge, do it all defenseman is a solid way to start. They have Dahlin there, Cozen from the 2019 draft and Mittelstadt taking a step last year.
2. Seattle Kraken - Matt Beniers (C) - NCAA Michigan. A great start for the new franchise in the NHL. Beniers is tone setter for an organization who works extremely hard in all areas of the ice. He might not have the high end offensive ability but will be a solid great all around player for them.
3. Anaheim Ducks - Mason McTavish (C) - Peterborough Petes. With the OHL not playing, Mason headed to Europe to play and then came to Texas with team Canada and really put himself on the map. He is a hard to play against player, who can do it all. A tone setter on the ice.
4. New Jersey Devils - Luke Hughes (LHD) - USNTDP USHL. The third Hughes brother will join brother Jack in Jersey. Luke is a bit different, while still a great skater he is more of a all around defensemen who can defend well, hit and add some offense. He will be a welcome addition to a growing d-line with Ty Smith in Jersey.
5. Columbus Blue Jackets - Kent Johnson (C) - NCAA Michigan. The third Michigan player taken in the top 5, Johnson is all offense. All skill, all highlights, and a tone of fun to watch. With 3 1st round picks, they took a fun on right off the bat.
6. Detroit Red Wings - Simon Edvinsson (LHD) - Frolunda SHL. Adding another solid all around defensemen to the future blue line in Motor city. He is a smart defender, and defends first. He will chip in the offense but that’s not his bread and butter. Him and Moritz Seider will be a lot to handle in the near future in Detroit.
7. San Jose Sharks - William Eklund (LW) -Djurgardens SHL. All motor, all skill, all pace. He might be the most skilled player in the draft. He will be a solid addition to a rebuilding Sharks team and join forward prospects Wiesblatt and Robins
8. Los Angeles Kings - Brandt Clarke (RHD) - Barrie Colts. He the definition of a new age defensemen. He will join the rush, be the rush and solid defensively. He has incredible high IQ and a great get for LA, to join that really solid young core of players.
9. Arizona Coyotes - Dylan Guenther (RW) - Edmonton Oil Kings. With Arizona resetting and rebuilding, they went and got the best goal scoring winger in the draft. He is powerful, can score from anywhere and can be the line driver.
10. Ottawa Senators - Tyler Boucher (RW) - USNTDP -USHL. Tyler is physical, a pain to play against. He’s big and will add a physical element to a skilled forward core in Ottawa. He is headed to Boston University this fall. They have a really sneaky good core of young players coming. They will be a handful in a couple years.
12. Columbus Blue Jackets - Cole Sillinger (C) - Kamloops Blazers - WHL. With the second 1st round pick they went to an offensive center would can shot the puck very will and uses his size to his advantage. He tore up the USHL this year while the WHL started late. He will be a great compliment to Kent Johnson.
13. Calgary Flames - Matthew Cornato (RW) - Chicago Steel, USHL. Matthew scores and scores a lot. He had 48 goals this year in the USHL for the power house Steel. He just seem and fits the players Calgary drafts. They have that edge, do a bit of everything.
14. Buffalo Sabres - Isak Rosen (RW) Leksand, SHL. They went forward with their second pick of the night. Isak plays and does everything fast. He is fast skater, elite puck mover and playmaker. A great pick for the Sabres.
15. Detroit Red Wings - Sebastian Cossa (G) - Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL. The Red Wings move up and grab the goalie of the future. Cossa is a 6’6 goalie who reads the game well in front of him, hes quick in his crease, and a character guy of the ice. Yzerman did this in Tampa, getting a goalie in the first and he does it again.
16. New York Rangers - Brennan Othmann (LW) Flint Firebirds, OHL. Othmann does a bit of everything well. He is fast of the rush and down the boards. He can score in tight and protects the puck well. A good solid winger for the Rangers.
17. St. Louis Blues - Zachary Bolduc (C) Rimouski, QMJHL. A very St. Louis pick. A guy who does a little of everything, and is physical with a good scoring touch.
18. Winnipeg Jets - Chaz Lucius (C) USNTDP, USHL. The Jets love the USHL and go back there again and grab a player who didn’t play much this year, but is a highly skilled goal scorer. He plays with pace and drives the net. Chaz is another great forward pick to go to the Jets. They added Cole Perfetti last year as he was available at 10th. The Jets are doing a good job of getting replacements to guys who might be aging out in the near future.
19. Nashville Predators - Fedor Svechkov (LW/C) Ladia Togliatti, MHL. A brilliant 200ft player who is great defensively and offensively. He always is open and in the rights spots. He seems committed to come to North America, which is great news for Nashville.
20. Minnesota Wild - Jesper Wallstedt (G) Lulea, SHL. Minnesota trades up to grab what could be the best goalie in the draft. Jesper is a highly touted, technically sound goalie, who is breaking records in the SHL as an 18 year old. A solid pick by the Wild
21. Boston Bruins - Fabian Lysell (RW) Lulea, SHL. Fabian is a highly skilled and great skating, goal scoring winger. Sounds like we have heard this before with a 20th pick from the Bruins. He’s a little more one way player over a full 200ft player i think Bostons seems to take.
22. Edmonton Oilers - Xavier Bourgault (C) Shawinigan, QMJHL - Xavier is more of a shooter. He attacks though in the slot. Skating will have to improve. But lots of tools to work with. There is another level for him to reach.
23. Dallas Stars - Wyatt Johnson (C) Windsor, OHL. Well... I don’t know much about him, except he played seven games for the Canadian U-18 team. I did like his IQ. Played well. I guess we will see!
24. Florida Panthers - Mackie Samoskevich (RW) Chicago Steel, USHL. He is a bulldog on the puck who can play all three zones who can PK as well. He plays well in tough matchups and doesn’t shrink in the moment. Him and Lundell will be a hand full in a year or two for the Panthers.
25. Columbus Blue Jackets - Corson Ceulemans (RHD) Brooks, AJHL. With their third pick in the first round, Columbus goes defense, with a offensive defensemen, out of the same junior program as Cale Makar. Corson can skate and generate offense. He is headed to Wisconsin this fall.
26. Minnesota Wild - Carson Lambos (LHD) Winnipeg, WHL. A guy who I really like, he can play every zone, PK, PP really well. He is a great 200 foot player and a high character, hard working young man. He will be a solid add to a Minnesota team that looks to real tool on the fly.
27. Nashville Predators - Zachary L’Heureux (LW) Halifax, QMJHL. A physical in your face winger, who is skilled and plays hard. He does need to real in the after whistle stuff. But he will play hard and in your face and score on you as well.
28. Colorado Avalanche - Oskar Olausson (RW) HV71, Allsvenskan. Oskar is a strong skating, goal scoring winger, who is versatile, hard worker and can play solid defense. Projects as a middle six winger.
29. New Jersey Devils - Chase Stillman (C) Sudbury Wolves, OHL. Chase ended up playing in Europe then came to the U18 team. He is physical, offensive guy, who is just starting to realize he can push others around which will only help him as he goes to the pro level.
30. Vegas Golden Knights - Zach Dean (C/LW) Gatineau, QMJHL. Zach finds a way to get to the net and score. He is a solid skater, has some speed, and plays the small game very well, and process the game at a fast speed as well. Another Center for the Knights as they have Krebs coming, and they just picked up Nolan Patrick.
Chicago Blackhawks - Nolan Allan (LHD) Prince Albert Raiders, WHL. A complimentary defensemen, who is all defense. He impacts the game physically and is good at getting the puck out of the zone.