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On 1/23/2022 at 6:47 AM, BigTed3 said:

Wright might be the best player out of this draft, just not sure it's a given. I don't think he has the highest ceiling of all the guys near the top.

Agree. Its tough to say if he will have the highest potential, but i think he has the highest floor.  I think he's as close to a 'sure thing" as you get- albeit, as we've talked about a 1b or 2a "sure thing" while some of the others could end up as Yakupov, Juolevi or Dal Colle type players.  Id be shocked if Wright isnt a career top 6 nhler.  Does this team play it safe with Gorton at the helm though? Dunno. 

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1 hour ago, claremont said:

The need is for Centre. Even though you should draft BAP, it does not make much sense to draft the smaller Savoie or Cooley and convert them to a winger. I would argue you would be better off drafting Kemell vs. the fall back solution of converting Savoie / Cooley if they don't pass the grade at centre.

You're correct on Brayden Point as the exceptional small centre. A small centre better have exceptional vision, skating and playmaking or the consensus seems to be they are getting creamed by the modern big defenseman in the middle ice. Kane - he's been a RW ever since I can remember. Marchand - a LW, DeBrincat - a LW. Zuccarello a RW. We already have two smurfs on the wing in Caufield, Gallagher, and a LW in Drouin who at 6 ft plays small.  I hope if we draft Savoie or Cooley, they don't turn out to be the reincarnation of C - Scott Gomez - 5ft -11, and surround him with Brian Gionta types, for the goal of being a fast offensive puck possession team but with small players. 

Anticipating your counter point of drafting Michael McCarron's, drafting on size is a recipe for disaster - I hope the mgmt., and scouting team can strike the right balance of skill and size in determining who we draft in our top 5 pick. This is another very hard draft to evaluate as there isn't the body of work to evaluate these juniors in terms of progression since most of them do not have 2 years of full season game play and there is limited tape etc. Perhaps that is why we are seeing the overload of US NTDP players or Euros in the top 32 mock drafts or NHL central scouting reports  - they have played a few more games than the cdn junior leagues.  

I completely believe in drafting BPA, but the caveat to that is that I think being a center or D man gives you a nudge in this (ie being able to play those positions well to me inherently increases your value). So I see Savoie and Kemell as being of similar skill level overall (Kemell having a better shot but Savoie being a better puck carrier and distributor) but Savoie having more value because he's a center. If the plan were to convert Savoie to wing, then it would be a much closer debate to me in terms of who is more useful. I don't see a reason to have to move Savoie off the middle and frankly I'd worry more about having a smaller winger getting creamed than a center. A winger has more responsibility to work the boards, go into corners, etc. A center has more responsibility to win draws, be the first forward back on D, do more skating up and down the ice, carry the puck through the neutral zone, and so on. I think you need to be a smarter player to be a center than a winger and I think you need to have better skating skills, both in terms of acceleration and endurance. To me, size plays very little role in this. In fact, I think it might be the easiest position in the league to hide smaller-statured players. D men need to go to corners and win battle in front of the net, so they're the hardest to hide (see Mete, Victor). But a center doesn't have to be big in general. If you want a few more top-end centers who are under 6 feet, then we can talk about Jack Hughes (5'11" but lighter than Savoie), Jonathan Marchessault (5'9" like Savoie), JG Pageau (5'10" and roughly same weight as Savoie), or Joe Pavelski (who was 5'10" and only about 8-10lbs heavier than Savoie when drafted). I'll also say that if we found a center like Scott Gomez, that wouldn't be the worst thing. People judge Gomez as being a letdown relative to his contract when he came here, but we also need to remember that he was a clear 1C for many years in NJ and NY and he still managed to put up 59 points in his first season here. Since then, DD and Plekanec each had one season of 60 points and Domi had one at 72 (all 3 of those guys coincidentally being under 6 feet too), and that's it. No one else has been able to match Gomez's offensive output even as he was hitting 30 and on the downside of his career here. No center here has matched Gomez's peak of being an 80+ point player in a long time. So as much as we can be frustrated with having paid Gomez 7M to be a declining asset, he was a clear 1C in this league for many years.

I will agree with you that we absolutely cannot bring in Savoie and pair him with Caufield and another small winger and call it a day. However, Suzuki's best success has come with Toffoli next to him, and he doesn't appear to play better/worse with bigger wingers. So we could easily afford to pair Savoie with a player like Anderson or even Poehling moving to wing. I think a line of Poehling-Savoie-Ylonen or Caufield-Savoie-Anderson wouldn't be the end of the world. Koivu, when he was here, had some success on the smurf line with Bure and Petrov, so it's not out of the question to give Savoie one small winger and still see success. All that to say that yes, it would be great if Savoie was 6 feet plus, but despite this, it's not a deterrent for me to pick a player of his skill level. There's definitely some advantage (and less risk) to choosing Wright over him, but as I've said, the upside on a player like Savoie is likely higher, and he could be a better complement to Suzuki as the other center in the top 6.

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1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/would-shane-wright-be-a-fit-for-canadiens-hi-o-bonus

Would Shane Wright be a fit for Canadiens? | HI/O Bonus

The panel answer a viewer’s question about the strengths and weaknesses of potential 2022 top draft pick Shane Wright.

I definitely think he'd be a nice fit. I guess the question is whether someone else would be better.  There's little doubt he's a career nhler, probably at worst 2nd line, possibly 1st liner.  As BT mentioned earlier, you're probably getting another Nick Suzuki... which is certainly not a bad thing, he's our best player - but could we get more?  If Wright ends up being the same as Suzuki you have Suzuki-Wright-Dvorak-Poehling-Evans-Pitlick etc.  Thats a totally useable, manageable group of centres.  

But if we manage to pick someone who ends up being better than Suzuki (and maybe that is Wright) well that really changes the dynamic.  

Some interesting comparisons to MacKinnon who also had a weakish year before his draft but still went 1st despite a lot of analysts saying he should have gone behind Barkov and Drouin but that worked out ok for Colorado (even though he took a few years to really hit full potential)

I honestly have no idea who i would pick (and im certainly not authority on prospects) but as Ive said before, i could honestly see the top 5 picks all going to teams who had the guy they picked ranked #1.  its a weird year. 

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4 hours ago, maas_art said:

I definitely think he'd be a nice fit. I guess the question is whether someone else would be better.  There's little doubt he's a career nhler, probably at worst 2nd line, possibly 1st liner.  As BT mentioned earlier, you're probably getting another Nick Suzuki... which is certainly not a bad thing, he's our best player - but could we get more?  If Wright ends up being the same as Suzuki you have Suzuki-Wright-Dvorak-Poehling-Evans-Pitlick etc.  Thats a totally useable, manageable group of centres.  

But if we manage to pick someone who ends up being better than Suzuki (and maybe that is Wright) well that really changes the dynamic.  

Some interesting comparisons to MacKinnon who also had a weakish year before his draft but still went 1st despite a lot of analysts saying he should have gone behind Barkov and Drouin but that worked out ok for Colorado (even though he took a few years to really hit full potential)

I honestly have no idea who i would pick (and im certainly not authority on prospects) but as Ive said before, i could honestly see the top 5 picks all going to teams who had the guy they picked ranked #1.  its a weird year. 

If I recall correctly, the debate for #1 in Mackinnon's year was him vs. Seth Jones, and everyone was surprised to see Jones fall to #4. Barkov was largely a bit of a surprise pick at #2, as most pundits had him behind not only Jones but Drouin as well. Again, Barkov was an example of a team going against the grain in terms of rankings and just picking the guy they liked, and I'd say that's worked out well for Florida, just like Draisaitl with Edmonton. As I've said the rankings don't mean everything.

Like you, I have no doubt Wright will be a strong NHLer and have the highest floor of the draft-eligible players this year. And I'm still not even saying he's not going to end up being the right pick if the Habs are there at #1. But that said, what I'm looking for in the top 5 are guys you can't find elsewhere down the draft. I want that top end skill, and I'll also add that the Habs have lacked that top end skill at center for a long long time. As I posted before, Suzuki has been our best center in a while skill-wise, but if we were to add a Savoie, for example, he likely becomes the most-skilled player to line up at center for the Habs since Pierre Turgeon. I find that hard to pass up. Cooley could also be in that conversation at the end of the day.

In my view, where we stand now, I think we're going to see a run on centers at the top of the draft and then a couple of the D men like Nemec, Jiricek, and maybe even Salomonsson or Casey snatched up because of the paucity of high-end D men. I'm guessing we're going to see players like Lambert (reputation as being a peripheral player who doesn't like to get to the dirty areas, almost akin to a Drouin) and Miroshnichenko (questions of visa issues and behavioral problems that had him left off the Russian WJ team) fall a bit to the 10-15 range. But one of them would be a nice player to gamble on if the Habs can find another 1st or two. Also think Trikozov could be worth a gamble as a mid-to-late round pick as an up-and-coming late riser who is viewed as a highly skilled youngster with a late birthday for the draft year. So he could be a guy who shoots up the rankings closer to the draft similar to what Kotkaniemi did.

So bottom line for me is that if we're in the top 3, I'm likely looking at one of Wright, Savoie, or Cooley. If we're top 5-6, then Kemell, Nemec, and Yurov are in that mix. If we're looking at a second pick in the middle to late-middle part of the round, then I'm looking to see if any of Trikozov, Miroshnichenko, Lambert, Casey, Nazar, or Mesar fall low enough to pick up. You're right that there's going to be a ton of variability in terms of how teams rank players, just like last year, and that means that we might be able to grab 2-3 players with very high upsides between the 1st round and our 2nd rounder at the top of that round, guys who may be gambles to some degree but who can also be top 3 D men or top 6 forwards.

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On 1/24/2022 at 3:25 PM, maas_art said:

I honestly have no idea who i would pick (and im certainly not authority on prospects) but as Ive said before, I could honestly see the top 5 picks all going to teams who had the guy they picked ranked #1.  its a weird year. 

IF I have the first OAP, I 'm taking what amounts to the BPA, Shane Wright. I don't think we're in a position to take a flyer on somebody who could be better. We did that with KK, and then proceeded to misplay him. I blame the whole management team on his improper deployment.  Hindsight is 20/20, but.............If we don't get the OAP?  then yeah, it's a crap shoot, as to who to take.  It might even end up being a defenseman. 

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1 hour ago, electron58 said:

IF I have the first OAP, I 'm taking what amounts to the BPA, Shane Wright. I don't think we're in a position to take a flyer on somebody who could be better. We did that with KK, and then proceeded to misplay him. I blame the whole management team on his improper deployment.  Hindsight is 20/20, but.............If we don't get the OAP?  then yeah, it's a crap shoot, as to who to take.  It might even end up being a defenseman. 

Agree - We need some stability of a player like Wright. and If we are picks 2-5 range then hopefully this last part of the draft season, someone rises up to provide comfort. Gambling on a player for their "ceiling" - not with your first rounder - maybe you do that when you have more picks in the 2nd round. I would rather our 1st rounder at this high level to not be a d-man as they typically take a little longer to develop and it would be nice to see some quicker progression but BPA and patience rules. There are very few d-men that can step into an NHL role quick - typical example Jake Sanderson drafted 5th overall in 2020 and he's still playing 2nd year in college with no guarantee that he can play at the NHL Level. Jamie Drysdale drafted behind him at 6th overall and played the next season with Anaheim and currently is a bona fide NHL d-man delivering on the promise. Rasmus Dahlin jumped in right away but he was #1 overall. 

Moritz Seider took 1 year post-draft and is NHL-ready and achieving. Bowen Byram is an almost. Most top drafted D take a minimum of 2 years - Quinn Hughes, Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson were all high draft picks that fell into this category. Top level drafted forwards seem to take 1 year and step into the lineup so I admit to a bit of impatience on seeing some quicker success thru the draft. Wright I believe will be NHL ready next year - can't say that about many others in the draft so far.

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3 hours ago, claremont said:

Agree - We need some stability of a player like Wright. and If we are picks 2-5 range then hopefully this last part of the draft season, someone rises up to provide comfort. Gambling on a player for their "ceiling" - not with your first rounder - maybe you do that when you have more picks in the 2nd round. I would rather our 1st rounder at this high level to not be a d-man as they typically take a little longer to develop and it would be nice to see some quicker progression but BPA and patience rules. There are very few d-men that can step into an NHL role quick - typical example Jake Sanderson drafted 5th overall in 2020 and he's still playing 2nd year in college with no guarantee that he can play at the NHL Level. Jamie Drysdale drafted behind him at 6th overall and played the next season with Anaheim and currently is a bona fide NHL d-man delivering on the promise. Rasmus Dahlin jumped in right away but he was #1 overall. 

Moritz Seider took 1 year post-draft and is NHL-ready and achieving. Bowen Byram is an almost. Most top drafted D take a minimum of 2 years - Quinn Hughes, Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson were all high draft picks that fell into this category. Top level drafted forwards seem to take 1 year and step into the lineup so I admit to a bit of impatience on seeing some quicker success thru the draft. Wright I believe will be NHL ready next year - can't say that about many others in the draft so far.

Not sure I follow everything you wrote here... if I take the Sanderson vs. Drysdale example, I personally really liked Drysdale in his draft year, but Sanderson has been solid over the past two years as well even if not in the NHL. Don't think making the jump right away necessarily tells us who the better pick is. If you look back to 2012, Yakupov and Galchenyuk made the NHL right away and got a leg up on the competition, but Forsberg, who was traded before he ever played in the NHL, has turned out to be the best pick from that draft, even though it took him longer to establish himself. Likewise, I think people have given too much credit to Brady Tkachuk without waiting to see how others in that draft year develop over time, and Svechnikov has been better than both he and Dahlin, despite Dahlin being the unanimous #1 in pre-draft rankings. Cale Makar looks now to be the strongest pick from the 2017 draft, but he's played half the games as Hischier, and in that draft year, all the talk was Hischier vs. Patrick. No one had Makar, Heiskanen, or Pettersson ahed of those two, yet all three seem to be better players at the NHL level. Look at 2019... my two favorite players in that draft were Zegras and Byram. They went #9 and #4, and while Byram has had some injury setbacks, I think both could end up being better picks than Hughes and Kakko in the long run.

My points would be

1. You need to wait at least 3-5 years and maybe as many as 8-10 years from a draft to know which picks have been true successes or failures.

2. Pre-draft rankings don't always hold up, and the best player taken in a draft is often in the top 5 but not necessarily the player that draft pundits have ranked at the top.

Again, I think Wright is a solid prospect. I think he's a safe bet to be a career NHLer. He may well end up being the best pick from this draft. But I think others have the chances to be better than him: Savoie, Cooley, Kemell, Miroshnichenko, Slafkovsky... I think all have a chance at being top dog in a re-draft 5-7 years from now. Wright will never be a bad choice. He's a safe pick for a GM. But does a GM want to take a swing for a homerun?

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In this vein, let's look at some recent drafts and how we might re-draft the top 10 if we were drafting again today.

For 2015, I'd personally select them in this order (actual draft position in brackets):

1. McDavid (1)

2. Aho (35)

3. Barzal (16)

4. Eichel (2)

5. Rantanen (10)

6. Marner (4)

7. Werenski (8)

8. Connor (17)

9. Chabot (18)

10 Kaprizov (135)

Here, the 1st overall was a generational player, but while the rest of the top player were mainly first rounders in the top 20, there were a couple of depth surprises.

 

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For 2016:

1. Matthews (1)

2. Fox (66)

3. McAvoy (14)

4. Tkachuk (6)

5. Sergachev (9)

6. Debrincat (39)

7. Laine (2)

8. Dubois (3)

9. Chychrun (16)

10. Keller (7)

 

Here, most of the top 10 is still there, but in a jumbled order. And overall the draft was not vert strong, so not a ton of late finds, as opposed to that top 10 being strong as it was in 2015.

 

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For 2017:

1. Makar (4)

2. Heiskanen (3)

3. Pettersson (5)

4. Hischier (1)

5. Suzuki (13)

6. Thomas (20)

7. Necas (12)

8. Norris (19)

9. Batherson (121)

10. Robertson (39)

As with other years, heavy on top 10 picks but in a jumbled order and heavy on D men and centers, clearly positions that are more important when you hit on them.

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2018 is starting to get a bit too early to predict how things will pan out, but if we're re-drafting it today, I'd be looking at:

1. Svechnikov (2)

2. Dahlin (1)

3. Tkachuk (4)

4. Kotkaniemi (3)

5. Hughes (7)

6. Farabee (14)

7. Bouchard (10)

8. Boqvist (8)

9. Dobson (12)

10. Wahlstrom (11)

A rearranged top 10 again, heavy on the top end of the draft still being the top end but mixed up within that range. And heavy on D men this year.

 

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And finally, if we go back to 2014:

1. Draisaitl (3)

2. Point (79)

3. Pastrnak (25)

4. Nylander (8)

5. Larkin (15)

6. Ekblad (1)

7. Reinhart (2)

8. Ehlers (9)

9. Arvidsson (112)

10. Sanheim (17)

 

Again, heavy on centers and D men and with a lot of change in the order.

Bottom line for me... consensus #1 picks far from being the top guy when you look back. In these 5 draft years, the two guys who really remained the best player from their draft year after being drafted #1 were McDavid and Matthews and those were seen as generational talents going into the draft. Wright is not viewed as that. Bedard in 2023 is. It doesn't mean we have a better chance of hitting with another pick, but it does mean that there's a reasonable chance 5 years from now that Wright won't be the best player out of this draft.

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Another point to add to all of this is that the draft this year is deeper on forwards at the top end and then D men through the later part of the first round, but there aren't many D men in the elite prospect pool here. Next year, it's a much more explosive and intriguing draft at the top, but the best guys (Bedard, Michkov, Fantilli, etc.) are all forwards. In fact, next year's draft has a lot of guys in it who are top-tier center prospects, similar to last year when you had Beniers, McTavish, Johnson, and Eklund near the top but different from last year in that not top-end D men have emerged yet as top 3-5 considerations.

So do with that what you want, but if the Habs suck again next year, they'll have great odds of adding a potential 1C. It also makes me wonder about whether we can add a 2nd or even 3rd 1st rounder in this draft so that we go after a D man like Casey or Salomonsson or so on, knowing we won't be looking at strong odds of getting a 1st round D man otherwise.

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For the negative nancies or Karen's regarding Shane Wright, in his last 4 games he has 3G, 8 assists. I believe he will start to separate himself from the pack. His Frontenacs are first place in their division and close to being a top team overall in the OHL standings. Logan Cooley you ask - despite all that supposed first round multiple talents on the US NTDP, are absolute bottom feeders in their league, and Cooley barely averages  a point a game. Cooley has played 11 games, so I guess that qualifies as a sufficient body of work to put lofty expectations on him vs. Wright's 34 games in the OHL so far?

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6 minutes ago, claremont said:

For the negative nancies or Karen's regarding Shane Wright, in his last 4 games he has 3G, 8 assists. I believe he will start to separate himself from the pack. His Frontenacs are first place in their division and close to being a top team overall in the OHL standings. Logan Cooley you ask - despite all that supposed first round multiple talents on the US NTDP, are absolute bottom feeders in their league, and Cooley barely averages  a point a game. Cooley has played 11 games, so I guess that qualifies as a sufficient body of work to put lofty expectations on him vs. Wright's 34 games in the OHL so far?

Now, we have to win the lottery.  And with the Habs luck lately.......😠

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3 hours ago, claremont said:

For the negative nancies or Karen's regarding Shane Wright, in his last 4 games he has 3G, 8 assists. I believe he will start to separate himself from the pack. His Frontenacs are first place in their division and close to being a top team overall in the OHL standings. Logan Cooley you ask - despite all that supposed first round multiple talents on the US NTDP, are absolute bottom feeders in their league, and Cooley barely averages  a point a game. Cooley has played 11 games, so I guess that qualifies as a sufficient body of work to put lofty expectations on him vs. Wright's 34 games in the OHL so far?

Why does the fact that I don't have Wright as a clear #1 make me a negative nancy about him? I still have him ranked 2nd overall among hundreds of draft prospects and I would still love to have him on our team. All I've been saying is that I don't think it's clearcut that he's the best prospect and that even though he has the best floor, he doesn't necessarily have the highest ceiling. That doesn't mean I'm a Wright hater, it means that there are questions as to whether picking him is the best strategy. If we end up drafting him, I will be more than happy. Just don't think he's the only guy to be considered. 

Also FWIW, interested to hear your (and others') thoughts on Connor Bedard. Because he's largely viewed as a consensus #1 overall as well (albeit in a stronger draft year with challengers who will come), yet he too is 5'9" and just as small as Savoie. So is that too small to be worth the first overall pick? Should we form our own opinions of whether he's the true #1 or should we just trust the mock drafts? A lot of love for Wright because "almost everyone says he's the best prospect" but as I've shown, being the #1 ranked prospect doesn't translate into being the best player out of that draft.

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16 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Why does the fact that I don't have Wright as a clear #1 make me a negative nancy about him?

ME too .

Actually I'm  in the category that I don't hear the same chatter about Wright in the hockey world that I did Crosby, McDavid, Mathews etc  so Im guessing he's not considered a

" generational " talent .   so Im not getting all excited about having the 1st overall pick  

 

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49 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

ME too .

Actually I'm  in the category that I don't hear the same chatter about Wright in the hockey world that I did Crosby, McDavid, Mathews etc  so Im guessing he's not considered a

" generational " talent .   so Im not getting all excited about having the 1st overall pick  

 

That's essentially my view on Wright to some degree. He's not Crosby, McDavid, Matthews, or Tavares... he's not a guy where not only is he the consensus #1, he's also a guy people think will be the face of a franchise and a top 10-20 player in the league for years. Most pundits think this is a weak draft and that Wright projects as a 2C with an outside shot at being a 1C. So even though he may end up being the best player in this draft, he may not be and he may end up being a middle 6 player. Conversely, there is less consensus about a player like Savoie or Cooley... they play a less mature game that will require some coaching to bring up to an NHL level, but I think their overall skill level is higher. So rawer talent but more upside. Do we use our pick to go after a guy who may end up being a Plekanec/Suzuki/Danault (ie types of centers we've already had) or do we take a shot at a guy who could potentially be an offensively-skilled player the likes of whom we have not had at center since Pierre Turgeon?

As far as the #1 pick, in a year that we're not making the playoffs, I'd still hope for a great pick as a consolation, so I'd rather pick top 3 than pick 8th or 10th, but if you're asking me outright, I'd much rather have a top 3 pick next year than this year. Next year's top 3 or even top 5 could see several franchise-changing selections. Not a ton of big-name D men next year, but a high number of top-end centers/forwards... could be that the top 3-5 players next year all end up better than the best pick out of this year's entire draft.

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18 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

That's essentially my view on Wright to some degree. He's not Crosby, McDavid, Matthews, or Tavares... he's not a guy where not only is he the consensus #1, he's also a guy people think will be the face of a franchise and a top 10-20 player in the league for years. Most pundits think this is a weak draft and that Wright projects as a 2C with an outside shot at being a 1C. So even though he may end up being the best player in this draft, he may not be and he may end up being a middle 6 player. Conversely, there is less consensus about a player like Savoie or Cooley... they play a less mature game that will require some coaching to bring up to an NHL level, but I think their overall skill level is higher. So rawer talent but more upside. Do we use our pick to go after a guy who may end up being a Plekanec/Suzuki/Danault (ie types of centers we've already had) or do we take a shot at a guy who could potentially be an offensively-skilled player the likes of whom we have not had at center since Pierre Turgeon?

As far as the #1 pick, in a year that we're not making the playoffs, I'd still hope for a great pick as a consolation, so I'd rather pick top 3 than pick 8th or 10th, but if you're asking me outright, I'd much rather have a top 3 pick next year than this year. Next year's top 3 or even top 5 could see several franchise-changing selections. Not a ton of big-name D men next year, but a high number of top-end centers/forwards... could be that the top 3-5 players next year all end up better than the best pick out of this year's entire draft.

 

19 hours ago, Regis22 said:

ME too .

Actually I'm  in the category that I don't hear the same chatter about Wright in the hockey world that I did Crosby, McDavid, Mathews etc  so Im guessing he's not considered a " generational " talent .   so Im not getting all excited about having the 1st overall pick  

1) I would think we are all in agreement that we want to see some impact on our team through some achievements in the draft and we would want to see some returns quicker, and I read via comments that few of us want to wait on prospect promise

2) I concur that Wright does not appear to be the generational talent but I read frustration that he’s not going to be the player that turns the franchise around. There’s very few # 1’s that ever do so, so it seems easy to be critical rather than try to find something right (no pun intended) in having a Bergeron type - if that’s the label. We haven’t had a scorer in ages and that builds upon our demands and expectations - Wright can score but is unlikely to Rocket Richard it. 

3) Wright was off to a slow start - my belief is that he will ascend to be a clear cut #1 and people here were expressing disappointment that even if we get him, let’s stay wrapped in disappointment that we failed to improve the team

4) I’m a fan of Savoie. I’m NOT a fan of Cooley - just because he’s got the US NTDP stamp doesn’t translate to guaranteed high ceiling. IMO, Cooley hasn’t got the body of work and I’m amazed at the USA beat writers that push his  hype. There was essentially one block of USA NTDP over 18 players that played over 60 games that produced some notables. Matthews, Zegras, and the jury is out still on time development for a number of them to deliver on their promise. I can easily back that up with stats analysis over the last 5 years.
5) I’m not sure I understand the “swing for the fences” on a player with a higher ceiling with your top pick. That seems to me to be over reaching and promoting  the risk of floor failure. At this point we need some valuable contributors so I’d rather do the gambles with some lower round picks, otherwise we will continually hear we failed on the draft. Why increase the odds on draft success - they are already 30% etc., on top15 picks - why make it 20%?. If we had a couple more 1st round picks then I get the strategy sort of like gambling with house money. 
 

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On 1/28/2022 at 9:01 PM, BigTed3 said:

Not sure I follow everything you wrote here... if I take the Sanderson vs. Drysdale example, I personally really liked Drysdale in his draft year, but Sanderson has been solid over the past two years as well even if not in the NHL. Don't think making the jump right away necessarily tells us who the better pick is. 

My points would be

1. You need to wait at least 3-5 years and maybe as many as 8-10 years from a draft to know which picks have been true successes or failures.

2. Pre-draft rankings don't always hold up, and the best player taken in a draft is often in the top 5 but not necessarily the player that draft pundits have ranked at the top.

Again, I think Wright is a solid prospect. I think he's a safe bet to be a career NHLer. He may well end up being the best pick from this draft. But I think others have the chances to be better than him: Savoie, Cooley, Kemell, Miroshnichenko, Slafkovsky... I think all have a chance at being top dog in a re-draft 5-7 years from now. Wright will never be a bad choice. He's a safe pick for a GM. But does a GM want to take a swing for a homerun?

My point on providing the Drysdale vs. Sanderson example was that drafting a defenseman should you do so with a top 7 pick, usually means you have to wait a little longer to see some evidence of draft success. There are very few defenseman that can have a quick immediate impact to a team in the 2 years after their draft. The Drysdales Heiskanens, Dahlins, are the exceptions, so if we draft a d-man this year like Simon Nemec, fans should have the patience to wait till at least the 3rd year before seeing some returns, and most of those are slower. Seider, Makar, Hughes did so in their 3rd year - not so sure Sanderson will next year. I’m not sure a lot of us have that patience as some look at Guhle and think “huh” already.

Forwards seem to have the better odds of making a roster jump and impact to improve the team faster, which I believe most of us don’t want to wait for draft success so I was promoting taking a forward with our top pick for this year. The counter point is we acquire a BAP trade chip if we grab a d-man, but we don’t often trade our prospects unless it’s Sergachev. 

Your post draft analysis proves no pre draft rankings or any teams scouting department have that predictive model of success. I wish they did or I would have had them buy Shopify, TELUS, National Bank, Bitcoin etc., in their infancy on my behalf.  No guarantee we get it correct with picking Wright, Savoie, Kemell etc., but that s the beauty of the draft, you have to pick based on the best information and risk analysis available. Who could have foreseen what happened with Nolan Patrick? that wasn’t an organizational failure. Who thought Barzal was going to be that good - Do you blame Boston for picking 3 successive duds ahead of him? 

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3 hours ago, claremont said:

My point on providing the Drysdale vs. Sanderson example was that drafting a defenseman should you do so with a top 7 pick, usually means you have to wait a little longer to see some evidence of draft success. There are very few defenseman that can have a quick immediate impact to a team in the 2 years after their draft. The Drysdales Heiskanens, Dahlins, are the exceptions, so if we draft a d-man this year like Simon Nemec, fans should have the patience to wait till at least the 3rd year before seeing some returns, and most of those are slower. Seider, Makar, Hughes did so in their 3rd year - not so sure Sanderson will next year. I’m not sure a lot of us have that patience as some look at Guhle and think “huh” already.

Forwards seem to have the better odds of making a roster jump and impact to improve the team faster, which I believe most of us don’t want to wait for draft success so I was promoting taking a forward with our top pick for this year. The counter point is we acquire a BAP trade chip if we grab a d-man, but we don’t often trade our prospects unless it’s Sergachev. 

Your post draft analysis proves no pre draft rankings or any teams scouting department have that predictive model of success. I wish they did or I would have had them buy Shopify, TELUS, National Bank, Bitcoin etc., in their infancy on my behalf.  No guarantee we get it correct with picking Wright, Savoie, Kemell etc., but that s the beauty of the draft, you have to pick based on the best information and risk analysis available. Who could have foreseen what happened with Nolan Patrick? that wasn’t an organizational failure. Who thought Barzal was going to be that good - Do you blame Boston for picking 3 successive duds ahead of him? 

To address your later points first:

- I thought Barzal was going to be that good. He was a guy I really liked in his draft year. And I've said similar things about players like Zegras and Stutzle, that these guys are really skilled players and they have higher-end potential than a lot of the guys drafted ahead of them. While another player may be a safer bet, I think it's worth taking a chance that one of these elite-skilled players takes coaching and puts their game together at a pro level.

- Many other NHL pundits also felt Barzal was drafted too low. Most mocks had him going in the 8-10 range, not 16, and I think most pundits were extremely surprised by how far off the board Boston went with their three consecutive choices in 2015. I remember watching that draft and feeling pretty happy that Boston hadn't drafted Barzal nor taken a shot at Thomas Chabot. Other teams felt so too.

Not to go back to the rest of what you were discussing, it doesn't always mean that because a team goes off the board that they're wrong. Detroit went way off the board with Seider and it may yet work out for them. Timmins drafted Romanov at the top of the 2nd round as a relative unknown and many laughed at the pick. Obviously, players like Point and Gallagher and Markov and Datsyuk have been hits lower down in the draft. For sure there's no exact science to knowing which one player will be the best or which diamond in the rough will be a surprise. BUT... for the most part, players drafted in the top 5-10 are more likely to become regular NHLers and more likely to become stars than players drafted lower down. A late 1st rounder is more likely to be a hit than a 2nd or 3rd rounder and the rest of the draft is a crapshoot to be honest. If you look back at previous drafts, maybe 60-75% of the top tier of NHLers have come from the top 10 and another 15-20% from the rest of the first round and many fewer from the rest of the draft.

So what does that mean? It means that by and large, how you are ranked coming out of junior/college/etc and how scouts rank you actually means something. It means that when you draft a guy in the top 10, they might have a 90% chance of becoming an NHLer and a 30% chance of becoming a star player (1st line forward, top-pairing D man, etc.). If you get drafted in the 3rd round or later, you might have a 5-10% chance of becoming a regular NHLer and a 1% chance of becoming a star. So there's no guarantee for any one individual player because there are elements of luck, fit with your team and development, injuries, off-ice behaviors, etc. that can't be predicted on draft day. But when you draft at the top, the odds  are good that you're going to find a quality guy most of the time. From his upcoming draft, it's highly likely that if you look at Wright, Savoie, Cooley, Kemell, Slafkovsky, Nemec, Jiricek, Yurov, Miroshnichenko, and say Geekie as a group that 8-9 of those 10 guys will be regular NHLers and have good careers. It's also likely that in 10 years when we look back, one of them will have been the best player to come out of the draft. But the numbers show that when there's no clear generational player at #1 overall (which we agree Wright is not), then the odds are just as high that another player will end up being the stud of the draft. It's just not possible to tell who it will be right now.

As to your point about D men, we agree. In general it takes longer for a D man to learn the NHL game and it's harder to hide their flaws in the line-up. However, there are still players who impress right away. Seth Jones was pretty good playing in his first season after being drafted. Zach Werenski didn't debut until one year after his draft, but he was a stud D man right away as well. Aaron Ekblad was reasonably strong right away, as were Victor Hedman and Drew Doughty. So there are definitely top 5 picks at D who have early success post-draft as well. I'm agreed with you that you can't rush to judge who will be better long-term within the first 3 years, which was actually my point about Sanderson and how he's played well in the US so far and is still very much on track to become a star in the NHL. If we were looking for a player to be able to have an impact in their first year after draft, I would probably rank Wright as most likely, then Slafkovsky, then Miroshnichenko, then Kemell, but that doesn't mean they'll be the best in the long run.

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If most are confident that Wright is going to be a Bergeron, Toews, ROR type of player. A player smart 200' game that can translate to the NHL quickly. I am taking the sure (as it gets) player. Those actually are players you can build around. Players that can play in all situations. Players you don't have to shelter with O Zone only situations and teach the defensive side of the game. Those are all the type of players you win championships with. Scoring titles are nice and wow fans, Championships fans get to celebrate a long time!!!

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On 1/29/2022 at 12:25 PM, BigTed3 said:

Also FWIW, interested to hear your (and others') thoughts on Connor Bedard. Because he's largely viewed as a consensus #1 overall as well (albeit in a stronger draft year with challengers who will come), yet he too is 5'9" and just as small as Savoie. So is that too small to be worth the first overall pick? Should we form our own opinions of whether he's the true #1 or should we just trust the mock drafts? A lot of love for Wright because "almost everyone says he's the best prospect" but as I've shown, being the #1 ranked prospect doesn't translate into being the best player out of that draft.

Connor Bedard could change the face of hockey to reconsider smaller players who generally have the advantage of speed over most taller players, but that has to be coupled with elite vision, and other superb skills.  I am dating myself but when Wayne Gretzky was emerging, many thought he was too lightweight but he was like hitting rope - he virtually always saw it coming. I absolutely hate even mentioning the LAFFS in this forum but Marner has the edgework and vision to a degree of Gretzky. I don't think Bedard is too small for the first overall pick when you make up for size with many other qualities - the only slightly below elite quality that Bedard might not have is an over powering shot but he puts the puck in the net regardless. (that answers your first question).

I always form my own opinion of the mock drafts as I encourage everyone to express it. NHL Central Scouting never gets it right, Craig Button, Cosentino, McKenzie etc., many of those are in it for the entertainment value. However usually the mock drafts have a consensus range of within 5 spots for the top 15. I think the only major gaffe in the last few years might have been Caufield who fell to #15 for our draft when he he was rated by most as top 8. Marco Rossi might be another in recent memory that plunged beyond that. 

You're absolutely right that ranking does not always equal best player in the draft - no crystal ball to make it easy.

Back to Bedard - he has elite vision, edgework, skating speed, lateral quickness, playmaking ability, humble character so far. I also look at the quality of his team mates - does he make them better or is he playing with top skilled players, and ability to lead a team. Bedard doesn't have a lot of star power teammates in Regina but Bedard is contributing to team elevation. Also I look for a degree of consistency and trajectory. Bedard has shown consistent improvement. There's no question in my mind that Bedard appears to be a gem. As a contrast many people were high on Jack Quinn in 2020, and although he did get drafted at #8 overall, I thought that was a bit too high. Quinn played with a lot of over aged players in his draft year on the 67's in the O, and had an incredible one year performance vs. the trajectory of steady improvement that I valued. Time may tell me that I was quite wrong and Quinn may be better than Raymond, Perfetti, Jarvis and Lundell. 

So Bedard could be generational but I think we over use that term. This doesn't mean we tank for a shot or do the Arizona dump everyone, gut the team for draft picks and youth takes over. As others have pointed out, with all the top draft picks that the Oilers have had plus the "generational" player in McDavid, they are woefully short of being a contender, so that recipe does not work.  I would love to land Bedard, maybe get 1 or 2 more 2023 first round draft picks to improve the odds, but personally I want a slightly quicker turnaround with other potential prospects - I'm not getting any younger and don't know how those LAFF morons stomach the failure. 

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49 minutes ago, claremont said:

Connor Bedard could change the face of hockey to reconsider smaller players who generally have the advantage of speed over most taller players, but that has to be coupled with elite vision, and other superb skills.  I am dating myself but when Wayne Gretzky was emerging, many thought he was too lightweight but he was like hitting rope - he virtually always saw it coming. I absolutely hate even mentioning the LAFFS in this forum but Marner has the edgework and vision to a degree of Gretzky. I don't think Bedard is too small for the first overall pick when you make up for size with many other qualities - the only slightly below elite quality that Bedard might not have is an over powering shot but he puts the puck in the net regardless. (that answers your first question).

I always form my own opinion of the mock drafts as I encourage everyone to express it. NHL Central Scouting never gets it right, Craig Button, Cosentino, McKenzie etc., many of those are in it for the entertainment value. However usually the mock drafts have a consensus range of within 5 spots for the top 15. I think the only major gaffe in the last few years might have been Caufield who fell to #15 for our draft when he he was rated by most as top 8. Marco Rossi might be another in recent memory that plunged beyond that. 

You're absolutely right that ranking does not always equal best player in the draft - no crystal ball to make it easy.

Back to Bedard - he has elite vision, edgework, skating speed, lateral quickness, playmaking ability, humble character so far. I also look at the quality of his team mates - does he make them better or is he playing with top skilled players, and ability to lead a team. Bedard doesn't have a lot of star power teammates in Regina but Bedard is contributing to team elevation. Also I look for a degree of consistency and trajectory. Bedard has shown consistent improvement. There's no question in my mind that Bedard appears to be a gem. As a contrast many people were high on Jack Quinn in 2020, and although he did get drafted at #8 overall, I thought that was a bit too high. Quinn played with a lot of over aged players in his draft year on the 67's in the O, and had an incredible one year performance vs. the trajectory of steady improvement that I valued. Time may tell me that I was quite wrong and Quinn may be better than Raymond, Perfetti, Jarvis and Lundell. 

So Bedard could be generational but I think we over use that term. This doesn't mean we tank for a shot or do the Arizona dump everyone, gut the team for draft picks and youth takes over. As others have pointed out, with all the top draft picks that the Oilers have had plus the "generational" player in McDavid, they are woefully short of being a contender, so that recipe does not work.  I would love to land Bedard, maybe get 1 or 2 more 2023 first round draft picks to improve the odds, but personally I want a slightly quicker turnaround with other potential prospects - I'm not getting any younger and don't know how those LAFF morons stomach the failure. 

Agreed with you on most of this about Bedard. I will say, however, with respect to teammates, that at the junior or college level, it can be hard to tell what role teammates play in your success. In US college, the best players tend to go to a select few schools. It doesn't mean they should be weighted down for that advantage, although I get your point that you kind of have to sift through who is moving the needle and who is being moved by it. It's the same thing in pro hockey. Markov moved the needle and Komisarek was his passenger. Same thing with Chiarot, Weber made him better, and even Petry made him better this year, but he's been crap without Petry next to him this season. Tatar and Gallagher carried Danault, who wasn't that great without those two wingers. Price's play last post-season made everyone rave about our top 4 D men, but the truth is that without Price, they're probably getting lambasted for being bad, just as they are this year. So you have to interpret everything in context. Likewise, with the CHL, most teams that are stacked will trade for other prospects to take a run at the Memorial Cup and those teams' rosters tend to be very cyclic. So I'm not downgrading Savoie or Geekie because they're on a good team, just like I wouldn't have downgraded McKinnon or Drouin for playing on a powerhouse unless advanced stats told me that.

And that's largely one way I use advanced stats and possession metrics to look at players and how GMs make trades. I've gone over this before but a lot of trade outcomes are somewhat predictable based on advanced stats. Petry had bad numbers in Edmonton, but he had strong stats relative to his weak team. Dvorak had bad possession numbers relative to an already-bad team. Savard had bad numbers on a good team, suggesting he was being propped up, as did Alzner. So you can look at stuff like this and get an idea of whether a player is the product of his team and advantages or whether he's driving his own success (or lack of it). Harder to do this with junior since this data isn't captured very well.

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