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What should the Habs do with their 1st round pick?


BigTed3
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What should the Habs do with their 1st round pick, assuming Dahlin and Svechnikov are off the board?  

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  1. 1. What should the Habs do with their 1st round pick, assuming Dahlin and Svechnikov are off the board?

    • Draft Zadina
    • Draft Tkachuk
    • Draft a center #3 overall
    • Draft a defenceman #3 overall
      0
    • Trade down a few spots and draft a position of need there
    • Trade the pick altogether for a proven NHL player


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Several options for Bergevin here. Zadina and Tkachuk are the guys most rumored to be in play at #3, but the Habs have bigger needs at center and defence. Do you just take the best player available? Do you take the best player at the position you want? Do you trade down, try to grab another asset, and then take a player at the position you want at a draft spot that's more suitable? Or do you shop the pick to get an NHL player who helps you immediately for this supposed Cup run the team thinks is going to happen with Price and Weber?

Discuss.

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Its a tricky one and a situation i wish we had someone other than Marc Bergevin to be dealing with.

3rd overall should land us an impact player - possibly roster-ready next year.   Both Zadina and Tkachuk are left shooting left wingers (although I think Zadina is comfortable on both wings) which is, of course, one of our only strengths.


Outside of the top few most players in this years draft will not be in the NHL next year. So the first question has to be: do we need a player playing right now. I think Marc Bergevin would answer yes. So i dont think we'd do, say, our 3rd overall for Edmonton's 10th overall + Nurse,  even though in the long run we may end up with 2 great players instead of 1.

Id consider trading the 3rd ova  pick for a young (23 or under) established top 2 centre but i dont see anyone doing that. There's too much risk for them and there's no reason for them to do so. 

At the end of the day I think drafting BPA is almost always the right move, and i do think its the right one in this instance.  

if we end up with yet another high end winger then that just makes it that much easier to trade one of our existing wingers for a top centre.  

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Not sure if Arizona has any good prospect centers in their system, but i'd consider exchanging picks with them and drafting that next best Dman available ( Bouchard i think??) and grabbing a prospect with strong top 6 potential at center. Barring that,,,, i'd keep the pick.

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This is a tough call, for sure, because so much is riding on it. Here's what I wouldn't do: I wouldn't trade the pick for an established NHLer because I don't think that's in our best interest... you need young, homegrown players on cheap contracts to make the cap work. I also wouldn't draft a D man at #3. The next best D man after Dahlin is either Boqvist or Hughes, in terms of being a guy who can move the puck and generate offence, but I don't see either guy warranting a 3rd overall pick as of right now. And as it stands, I think Zadina is more valuable than Tkachuk, so I can't opt for Tkachuk either.

So that leaves me with 3 options: Zadina, a trade down, or a center. In terms of a trade down, I think we'd need to find a partner who needed an elite scoring winger AND who would be willing to part with another good, young asset. To me, Ottawa isn't a fit and neither are Arizona or Vancouver. Those teams are so far from contention that I have trouble seeing them giving up on young assets, even if it were to move up, and what would they really be giving us of interest anyways? Ottawa isn't trading Chabot plus the 4th to move up. Vancouver isn't moving Petterson. I don't really know what Detroit is doing, but again, I don't think they have an elite center or left D prospect they'd be willing to give us. I think you'd have to go down to teams like Edmonton, the Rangers, or the Islanders to start seeing a trading partner, and at that draft rank, you're probably missing out on Kotkaniemi and falling into the range of Veleno or Hayton or so on. So.. is something like Nurse + Veleno enough to give up Zadina or Tkachuk. I'm leaning towards no. I'm not against trading down a few selections, I'm just having trouble seeing a great fit. We might be better off trying to sling a guy like Pacioretty over to a team like the Oilers, Isles, or Panthers and trying to grab a center there with a second 1st rounder...

So ultimately, as it stands now, I see Zadina as being the best option. I'd take BPA and run with it and look to trade another player to make space for him. It's not a popular opinion, but Gallagher, for example, is a guy coming off his best year and whose value has never been higher and probably only goes down from here on out. It would actually be a fantastic time to trade him if you're able to get a younger asset at a position of need.

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48 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

So ultimately, as it stands now, I see Zadina as being the best option. I'd take BPA and run with it and look to trade another player to make space for him. It's not a popular opinion, but Gallagher, for example, is a guy coming off his best year and whose value has never been higher and probably only goes down from here on out. It would actually be a fantastic time to trade him if you're able to get a younger asset at a position of need.

I thought the exact same thing.

Drouin, Galchenyuk, Zadina, Scherbak - those are pretty solid top 6 wingers.   We also have guys like Hudon or Lehkonen if Zadina or Scherbak falter next year. 

With Pacioretty and especially gallagher you should be able to fill at least 1 centre spot and a PM LHD. 

I know Gallagher is great - and I absolutely love him as a player - but how many more years can he take that sort of abuse on that small frame?  His value will never be as high as it is right now.  The entire team imploded around him & he managed to score 30 goals with virtually no help. 

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I think we take Zadina and believe our 4 second round picks are a key part of this draft. It gives us a chance to trade up or use them depending on the centres available later in the first round. We also have Evans coming out of college so Bergevin may be more interested in a deal after the draft using prospects if we don't land Tavares. I definitely think we will make some trades this summer but am not sure it will be at the draft. We have signed Evans and may not miss out on Tavares.  If we end up with both these picks are a bonus.

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3 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

So ultimately, as it stands now, I see Zadina as being the best option. I'd take BPA and run with it and look to trade another player to make space for him. It's not a popular opinion, but Gallagher, for example, is a guy coming off his best year and whose value has never been higher and probably only goes down from here on out. It would actually be a fantastic time to trade him if you're able to get a younger asset at a position of need.

Agreed, and I think with the NHL (unlike say NFL) positional drafting is almost always a mistake just due to the time-frames. Even though we look fairly 'deep' at wing now (although only Pacioretty has put up true top-line numbers), only Gallagher and Drouin (if he moves back to wing) are currently legitimate top-six wingers locked up beyond two-years (and it looks unlikely Pacioretty will re-sign and I have my doubts about Galchenyk re-signing). We have some young wingers who may or may not become top-six options, but we can cross that bridge when we get there.

And for the short-term, I get the impression outside of Dahlin none of the top picks would be expected to be impact NHLers their first season? If so, you're probably looking at someone to play on your 3rd or 4th lines, where we can find room (and there will be injuries). I also wouldn't count on Drouin moving back to wing right away or Pacioretty still being here, but if we really needed to open up room Shaw and Byron would both be movable for something. I'd consider trading Gallagher for a youngish top-six center, but unless the return makes sense I'd find other ways to make room.

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6 hours ago, PuckPundit said:

How come nobody mentioned Wahlstrom, a highly touted sniper who plays RW? The roster is already stacked with LWs.

Wahlstrom is a sniper but he looks a little less refined with the puck than Svechnikov or Zadina, which s why he's ranked as a 6-10 guy in the draft. Maybe more akin to a Pacioretty or a Kessel or so on. Zadina, FWIW, can play either wing, so I wouldn't not choose him just based on what side of the ice he's on.

If we take Zadina, then cap and contract issues aside, the four guys we ideally have on the wings for our top two lines are drawn from Pacioretty, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Drouin, and Zadina. You also have Lehkonen, Scherbak, Hudon, and then Shaw and Byron when back from injury. So either someone's playing center (JD or AG or CH) or else there's got to be a trade. More likely the latter. But I'd rather draft the BPA and trade someone else than reach for a Veleno or Hayton and settle. Kotkeniemi is the only guy (as of right now) who might wind his way into the top 5 as a center, but you'd still have to question if you could get him dropping down to 5 or 6.

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19 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Wahlstrom is a sniper but he looks a little less refined with the puck than Svechnikov or Zadina, which s why he's ranked as a 6-10 guy in the draft. Maybe more akin to a Pacioretty or a Kessel or so on. Zadina, FWIW, can play either wing, so I wouldn't not choose him just based on what side of the ice he's on.

If we take Zadina, then cap and contract issues aside, the four guys we ideally have on the wings for our top two lines are drawn from Pacioretty, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Drouin, and Zadina. You also have Lehkonen, Scherbak, Hudon, and then Shaw and Byron when back from injury. So either someone's playing center (JD or AG or CH) or else there's got to be a trade. More likely the latter. But I'd rather draft the BPA and trade someone else than reach for a Veleno or Hayton and settle. Kotkeniemi is the only guy (as of right now) who might wind his way into the top 5 as a center, but you'd still have to question if you could get him dropping down to 5 or 6.

I still don't understand why Galchenyuk Can't be our centre.

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18 minutes ago, Habs_Hockey_Nutz said:

I'm with those who would select Zadina as a possible replacement for Pacioretty at wing.

Zadina is the consensus pick for MTL at 3.  Having said that, whoever picks for Carolina at 2 might decide to pick Zadina over Svechnikov and we could potentially have him fall to #3 in a happy accident.  Someone already mentioned that he and Carolina prospect Martin Necas have a World Junior connection.  On the other hand, the right player (Patches) could compel the next canes GM to give up Necas, Bean, +...They draft Svechnikov, you get 2 thirds of a scoring line and a left handed d.  

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1 hour ago, East_Coast_Juggalo_13 said:

Zadina is the consensus pick for MTL at 3.  Having said that, whoever picks for Carolina at 2 might decide to pick Zadina over Svechnikov and we could potentially have him fall to #3 in a happy accident.  Someone already mentioned that he and Carolina prospect Martin Necas have a World Junior connection.  On the other hand, the right player (Patches) could compel the next canes GM to give up Necas, Bean, +...They draft Svechnikov, you get 2 thirds of a scoring line and a left handed d.  

For Carolina to trade both Necas and Bean, we'd have to add substantially I'm afraid. I also don't think they really have a need for a winger, they look pretty good in that regard.

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5 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Kotkeniemi is the only guy (as of right now) who might wind his way into the top 5 as a center, but you'd still have to question if you could get him dropping down to 5 or 6.

Kotkeniemi is an interesting option.  Obviously it would be a waste to take him at 3rd overall but makes you wonder if there's a way to snag say, one of NYI's  picks.  You could most likely take him at 11th or 12th overall.   If MB really has an in with Brisson maybe you make a pitch like Pacioretty to the Isles for 11th overall and the rights to JT? 

 

5 hours ago, East_Coast_Juggalo_13 said:

I still don't understand why Galchenyuk Can't be our centre.

Agree. 

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Agreed on Galchenyuk... maybe he's not a #1 center because his game isn't complete enough, but I don't see why he can't be a #2 center on an offensive line given favorable zone starts. I think he's perfectly capable of putting up 60-70 points in that role, and since we have a need for two top 6 centers, he's really the only in-house solution right now and that cuts your needs in half, in addition to allowing you to fit another winger asset that you already own into the plan.

As for a trade down, I'll say this... yes, we have bigger needs at center and left D. But hypothetically, let's say your scouts project Svechnikov or Zadina as being the next Kucherov or Bondra or Selanne. And let's say the centers and D men you're aiming to trade down for project as players like Mike Richards, David Krejci, Brent Seabrook, Alex Pietrangelo, and Shayne Gostisbehere. Sure, all those players are valuable. But I think those three wingers I listed had more value than the players I listed at center or D. this isn't to say that's the situation in this year's draft, but how far a talent level drop off do you accept just to get a guy at your position of choice when there are real impact wingers up for grabs? I ask myself what the opportunity is going to be like in the future to grab another player like Zadina vs. the opportunity to grab another player like Bouchard or Quinn Hughes. I think it'll be harder to put ourselves in a position for a guy of Zadina's caliber... Kotkaniemi is really the wildcard here IMO because his stock has really risen in the 2nd half of the year and especially into the recent junior tournament. So he's a center who can maybe legitimately challenge Zadina and Tkachuk on skill level, kind of like PL Dubois breaking into the discussion around Puljujarvi and Laine... I don't think that dossier is closed yet, but Veleno, Hayton, Bouchard, and Dobson are all out as choices at #3 for me. I'd have it between Zadina, Tkachuk, Kotkaniemi, Hughes, and Boqvist, with very high odds on one of the first three above the D men.

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14 minutes ago, maas_art said:

On the flipside, do you think there's any chance buffalo would swap first rounders with us?   Say Galchenyuk + 3rd overall for 1st overall?
 

No. An elite #1 D man is so much harder to find... I think Carolina would be willing to trade down 1 spot, but not Buffalo.

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That is too tough a question to answer multiple choice, lol i just can't choose one. I would start by shopping the heck out of it, wave it under the nose of any and every GM in the league. I would lean towards trading down, trading for a player or some combination of the two, but even then...

All of that aside, if I were to use the pick as is? There is a lot of pressure to take the BPA, especially inside the top 5, but BPA according to whom? Usually gets foggy after the top 2, and in this years draft it looks foggy after #1. Dahlin is clear cut, but after that not so much. Zadina looks really good, could be the finisher that we need. Tkachuk also looks good, and looks to be more of a bigger, power forward type to drive the net and not get knocked off the puck, something we are also in need of. I would prefer if either of them had a right handed shot. Regardless of what position they are listed at, or can play, it's right handed shooters/puck carriers that we are short on. That said, it's not much of a deal breaker.

The curious part is, as good as they are, I don't see all that huge of a divide between them and a handful of others ranked after them. One name, just for the sake of it that jumps out at me is Bouchard. Everything I read about the kid sounds like he should be in the top 3. Big, smart "all-around defenceman" that also managed to out score Zadina. Mind you, he did play about 10 more games, but 80 point seasons aren't common place for defencemen in the O, particularly not first time draft eligible ones. So is it so obvious that Zadina and Tkachuk are above and beyond a Bouchard, Veleno, Thomas etc?

I can't say for sure which one I would choose, but those are a few of the names that I would be looking very closely at for now. I"ll be better informed once I get my hands on this years Hockey News Future Watch!

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41 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

That is too tough a question to answer multiple choice, lol i just can't choose one. I would start by shopping the heck out of it, wave it under the nose of any and every GM in the league. I would lean towards trading down, trading for a player or some combination of the two, but even then...

All of that aside, if I were to use the pick as is? There is a lot of pressure to take the BPA, especially inside the top 5, but BPA according to whom? Usually gets foggy after the top 2, and in this years draft it looks foggy after #1. Dahlin is clear cut, but after that not so much. Zadina looks really good, could be the finisher that we need. Tkachuk also looks good, and looks to be more of a bigger, power forward type to drive the net and not get knocked off the puck, something we are also in need of. I would prefer if either of them had a right handed shot. Regardless of what position they are listed at, or can play, it's right handed shooters/puck carriers that we are short on. That said, it's not much of a deal breaker.

The curious part is, as good as they are, I don't see all that huge of a divide between them and a handful of others ranked after them. One name, just for the sake of it that jumps out at me is Bouchard. Everything I read about the kid sounds like he should be in the top 3. Big, smart "all-around defenceman" that also managed to out score Zadina. Mind you, he did play about 10 more games, but 80 point seasons aren't common place for defencemen in the O, particularly not first time draft eligible ones. So is it so obvious that Zadina and Tkachuk are above and beyond a Bouchard, Veleno, Thomas etc?

I can't say for sure which one I would choose, but those are a few of the names that I would be looking very closely at for now. I"ll be better informed once I get my hands on this years Hockey News Future Watch!

1. Zadina can play both wings but is preferentially a RW, for what it's worth, even if he's a left-handed shot. He's more dangerous there, in the same way Galchenyuk is more dangerous on the right side too (even though the coaches play him on the LW outside of the PP).

2. Bouchard IMO will be a solid NHL defenceman. Big guy, booming shot. I'm not 100% sold on his mobility or passing ability as being #1 material. I think he's maybe going to top out as a good #2 guy. A Brent Seabrook or Jay Bouwmeester or Dion Phaneuf level player. I think he's a safe pick because I think his size and game will translate well to the NHL, but I don't know that he's got the top end skill of the other top 6-8 picks. I personally think Hughes has more upside, and getting to watch a bit more of Boqvist, I think he too has got more potential. Maybe taking the smaller guy doesn't pan out and you end up with a Mark Streit or Marc Andre Bergeron or so on, but in today's NHL, I simply think the smoother-skating player with better puck skill and passing ability is more valuable. Look at Ellis, Mete, Gostisbehere, Sam Girard, etc. These guys are useful players, and I think Hughes and Boqvist blow all those guys out of the water in terms of pure skill level.

3. I haven't seen enough of Veleno to know where he stacks up yet. From the little I've seen of him, he's a good skater but maybe lacks some of the offensive skill of the likes of Zadina or Svechnikov. So yes, IMO, there is a definite divide in skill level between the top 3 choices and the likes of Veleno and Bouchard.

4. Have watched some more tape of Kotkaniemi as well. Really quick release on his shot. Decent skater but doesn't blow you out of the water with his mechanics. Good hockey IQ and does well controlling and protecting the puck. In a lot of ways, he actually reminds me of Vinny Lecavalier. Maybe not as complete an offensive player as Vinny was, but Kotkaniemi is also really young for his draft year (summer 2000 birthday) and was playing in a men's league this year, so he's done pretty well given that age and development gap.

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On 4/29/2018 at 5:17 PM, BigTed3 said:

Several options for Bergevin here. Zadina and Tkachuk are the guys most rumored to be in play at #3, but the Habs have bigger needs at center and defence. Do you just take the best player available? Do you take the best player at the position you want? Do you trade down, try to grab another asset, and then take a player at the position you want at a draft spot that's more suitable? Or do you shop the pick to get an NHL player who helps you immediately for this supposed Cup run the team thinks is going to happen with Price and Weber?

Discuss.

Trade #3 pick, Pacioretty, Alzner & McCarron for Draisaitl & Nurse.

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