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2023 NHL Entry Draft


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Since we're not likely to be a playoff team and we have two 1st round picks already, I figured it's not too early to kickstart this discussion.

Next year's draft is looking to be a strong one. You have your Bedard, your Michkov, and your Fantilli, but the Hlinka Gretzky Cup just ended and there are a few guys who were already mocked to the first half of the 1st round who had impressive performances. The top standout was probably Brayden Yager, a right-handed center, who looked terrific. Calum Ritchie is another RH center who put up big offensive numbers. Zach Benson from the Winnipeg Ice, already thought to be better than Savoie and Geekie, also had a nice tournament. Add that to Charlie Stramel and Will Smith of the US, Dalibor Dvorsky from Slovakia, Kasper Halttunen of Finland, and others and the top 7-10 picks could all be very strong. The one deficiency that's clear so far is that all the top prospects are forwards. If we finish bottom 5, we should have good odds at getting a top 6 center. But it'll be hard to find a D man. Cameron Allen is the one D man who improved his stock from the Hlinka and might have a chance at breaking the top 5-10. We all know D men tend to move up the closer we get to the draft, but it's really looking like a cohort of elite scoring centers.

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On 8/6/2022 at 9:23 PM, BigTed3 said:

Since we're not likely to be a playoff team and we have two 1st round picks already, I figured it's not too early to kickstart this discussion.

Next year's draft is looking to be a strong one. You have your Bedard, your Michkov, and your Fantilli, but the Hlinka Gretzky Cup just ended and there are a few guys who were already mocked to the first half of the 1st round who had impressive performances. The top standout was probably Brayden Yager, a right-handed center, who looked terrific. Calum Ritchie is another RH center who put up big offensive numbers. Zach Benson from the Winnipeg Ice, already thought to be better than Savoie and Geekie, also had a nice tournament. Add that to Charlie Stramel and Will Smith of the US, Dalibor Dvorsky from Slovakia, Kasper Halttunen of Finland, and others and the top 7-10 picks could all be very strong. The one deficiency that's clear so far is that all the top prospects are forwards. If we finish bottom 5, we should have good odds at getting a top 6 center. But it'll be hard to find a D man. Cameron Allen is the one D man who improved his stock from the Hlinka and might have a chance at breaking the top 5-10. We all know D men tend to move up the closer we get to the draft, but it's really looking like a cohort of elite scoring centers.

Agree on the hard to find a D man especially a RHD. We have to hope that our big IF's - Barron and Logan Mailloux can show some degree of ascending trajectory in their game, or alternatively one of our Lefties is able to compensate. RHD Cameron Allen - certainly one to keep a watch on. Michkov got Emelin'd in the KHL and various reports - out for 2 weeks vs months on lower body injury so we will see how that affects his ranking. 

Although we should draft BPA, with the argument that they are trade chips, RHD depth is a strong need. I look around the other NHL rosters and there are not that many teams with RHD prospect depth (with a blocked RHD roster limiting their opportunities), that we could trade for. I suspect that we could take a crack at Matt Dumba (I know you like him), as a UFA next year.

Roster findings - LA Kings have 2 nice RHD prospects in Brandt Clarke, and Helge Grans with Drew Doughty, Sean Durzi, Matt Roy / Sean Walker ahead on the roster and have to figure one of them succeeds Doughty. Maybe Washington parts with Ryan Chesley or Vincent Iorio as Carlson as RHD locked up for a few years - You heard it here first - Nicklas Backstom is virtually done on his career. Islanders have Pulock and Dobson on their RHD but no further RHD prospects. Same for Penguins with Letang and Petry locked up. Jersey has Hamilton, Marino locked up and Nemec on thei horizon - but their prospects Reilly Walsh and Shakir Mukhamdullin may not have top level ceilings and are maybes as a trade partner. Rangers solid at RHD with Fox, Trouba locked up and Braden Schneider, but no other RHD prospects. Columbus locked up Gudbranson, Boqvist, and emerging Jiricek - maybe they part with Corson Ceulemans. Does come down to what we could offer those teams in trade material - Capitals will need a centre to replace Backstorm - I think they will take a crack at Kadri - doubt they would take Dvorak. 

An RHD top pairing D man may be tough to trade for. If Nemec ascends quickly and Slaf is not a game changer, kind of makes our drafting decision look short sighted. 

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2 hours ago, claremont said:

An RHD top pairing D man may be tough to trade for. If Nemec ascends quickly and Slaf is not a game changer, kind of makes our drafting decision look short sighted. 

Unless Slaf becomes the next Ovechkin or Jagr - and/or - the other top prospects (Nemec, Cooley, Wright etc) all flame out, it is going to look short sighted.  I think even if he turns into a solid 70-80 point winger, it was the wrong choice, if any of those 3 turn into first line/top pairing guys because positionally its more important.  Id take the 60 point centre over the 70 point winger.  I know that this may still turn out fine, if, for example, we win the lottery again this year & draft Bedard, but guys like Cooley and Nemec and Wright were right there for the taking. 

I think HuGo are banking on Dach rebounding in a huge way and I think they believe that will take some of the sting out of losing one of those other guys, but its definitely a gamble.

That said, Im ok with what management has done so far. We've been screaming for a GM with a "plan" for years - we have one now, and while it may not work out, im willing to let him do his thing & show us. 

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7 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

The Panthers and Paul Maurice have hired Sylvain Lefebvre as an assistant coach. I decided to post that information here in the draft thread and I'll let you figure out why.

OMG this is great news.   Unprotected too!!

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9 minutes ago, AH64 said:

Bedard is not locked at number 1 is what i am hearing from a lot of scouts. 

Maybe not. Things can change. He's small but he's a very strong skater and he has one of the best shots ever for a draft-eligible player. And frankly, even if we end up with a top 5 pick of our own and another lottery pick from Florida (best-case scenario), the draft is deep enough this year that we could walk out with two elite players. Guys like Fantilli, Yager, Benson, Ritchie, Michkov, Dvorsky, Sale, Carlsson, Heidt, etc. they all have a reasonable shot at becoming top 6 forwards and maybe even top-line players. So if the Habs can add one or maybe even two of those to the stable of guys we have now, that's huge.

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19 minutes ago, AH64 said:

Bedard is not locked at number 1 is what i am hearing from a lot of scouts. 

For sure. This time last year Wright was still consider a potential generational talent.   A lot can change in a year but it still looks like there's going to be a ton of talent in next year's draft so the more 1st rounders we have - and the more that are higher - the better off we will be. 

 

7 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Maybe not. Things can change. He's small but he's a very strong skater and he has one of the best shots ever for a draft-eligible player. And frankly, even if we end up with a top 5 pick of our own and another lottery pick from Florida (best-case scenario), the draft is deep enough this year that we could walk out with two elite players. Guys like Fantilli, Yager, Benson, Ritchie, Michkov, Dvorsky, Sale, Carlsson, Heidt, etc. they all have a reasonable shot at becoming top 6 forwards and maybe even top-line players. So if the Habs can add one or maybe even two of those to the stable of guys we have now, that's huge.

Agree. Way too early to tell but the early projections are that guys like Slafkovsky, Wright, Cooley and Nemec would all likely not be top 5 picks in next year's draft.  At least thats the thinking now - but it could change a lot by next year. 

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

For sure. This time last year Wright was still consider a potential generational talent.   A lot can change in a year but it still looks like there's going to be a ton of talent in next year's draft so the more 1st rounders we have - and the more that are higher - the better off we will be. 

 

Agree. Way too early to tell but the early projections are that guys like Slafkovsky, Wright, Cooley and Nemec would all likely not be top 5 picks in next year's draft.  At least thats the thinking now - but it could change a lot by next year. 

Yeah, hard to know how things will play out over the next year, but if the 2023 draftees were eligible to be picked at this past draft, I'd have to think Bedard, Michkov, and Fantilli would have been 1-2-3 in some order. Past that, there's likely more individual preference involved, but I'd venture Nemec might still be in the top 5 if only because teams tend to note the rarity of RHD and the fact that the 2023 crop has almost no top-tier defencemen. So Nemec's value likely goes up for that reason. Otherwise, I agree with the point you made.

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On 8/10/2022 at 1:49 PM, maas_art said:

For sure. This time last year Wright was still consider a potential generational talent.   A lot can change in a year but it still looks like there's going to be a ton of talent in next year's draft so the more 1st rounders we have - and the more that are higher - the better off we will be. 

Wright would also not be top 5 next year ... the term generational is too freely thrown out by Canadian media, specifically the Ontario centric media.    Wright was never considered a generational player, elite possibly, but not generational.   Even last year CHL results, 1.49 PPG ... McDavid's last year, 2.55 PPG.  Kirby Dach 1.18 ... over the 70 game schedule they typically play ... McDavid 179pts, Wright 104pts, Dach 83pts ... who's closer in Talent based on that alone ... McD and Wright, or Wright and Dach?  75pts between McD and Wright ... 21 between Wright and Dach. 

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2 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

Wright would also not be top 5 next year ... the term generational is too freely thrown out by Canadian media, specifically the Ontario centric media.    Wright was never considered a generational player, elite possibly, but not generational.   Even last year CHL results, 1.49 PPG ... McDavid's last year, 2.55 PPG.  Kirby Dach 1.18 ... over the 70 game schedule they typically play ... McDavid 179pts, Wright 104pts, Dach 83pts ... who's closer in Talent based on that alone ... McD and Wright, or Wright and Dach?  75pts between McD and Wright ... 21 between Wright and Dach. 

I think when he was awarded exceptional status, had 39 goals and 66 points in 55 games as a 15 year old & then 14 points in 5 games at the WJC pundits were saying he was potentially generational.

I think since then its become apparent that he developed earlier than most so that helped pad his stats when he was younger but for a time, i think many were staying he *might* be generational.   I agree with you that its thrown around too freely.  By definition it should be one in a generation (although sometimes you get concurrent guys like Gretzky and Lemieux, Crosby and Ovechkin etc)

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