Ramblings: Day One At The Draft
The culmination of a year’s worth of scouting has come to fruition. As a prospect-junkie and self-proclaimed assessor of talent, this has been a particularly satisfying experience. The 40-degree temperature coupled with an afro and a suit hasn’t been as fun, but you take the good with the bad.
After a whisper quiet day regarding trade talk or actual action, Colorado and Washington got us off the schneid. The Avs grabbed themselves the most-sought-after backup goaltender on the market in Phillip Grubauer. The cup-winner is joined by Brooks Orpik and his 5.5 million in salary for next season heading to the Mile High city. The Caps cleared cap space in order to try and re-sign John Carlson and also grabbed the 47th overall selection in the draft.
COL is going to see if it can help Orpik land in a preferred spot. Whether it is a trade or a buyout, they are prepared to facilitate. By including him in the deal, they only had to give up one pick.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 22, 2018
This represents a nice piece of work by Joe Sakic. The recent history of teams purchasing Grubauer-level assets has been higher than a mid-second, so taking on the salary clearly decreased the cost.
The Avalanche have been toiling away with sub-par goaltending for far too long. This move doesn't assure them anything, but Semyon Varlamov now has a true competitor for his crease. The oft-injured and inconsistent Russian netminder's value in fantasy leagues hasn't been high, but the Avs are clearly a team on the rise.
Grubauer should get a good amount of attention on draft day as a potential sneaky pick that could pay massive dividends. He'll need to be signed as a restricted free-agent and that dollar amount will provide further insight into how much value the Avs will be placing on him.
Sadly, this represented the only hockey trade of the day.
The first round went as expected… Just kidding.
After the expected top two selection, all hell broke loose. The Canadiens took Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall. That wasn’t overly surprising but should be considered a touch of a reach for the positional need. Ottawa went against my advice and held onto their pick, selecting Brady Tkachuk. I have a very strong feeling that they’ll live to regret that.
Next up, the Coyotes went way off the board selecting Barrett Hayton. Hayton was a consensus pick in the teens and was 17 on my rankings.
Filip Zadina, once considered an absolute lock at third overall fell into Detroit’s lap at six. Detroit almost did cartwheels up to the stage to grab the talented right-winger.
Filip Zadina on what he brings to the Red Wings:— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) June 23, 2018
"I bring the goals." pic.twitter.com/QVypdfJoTZ
He's not wrong.
Quintin Hughes became the second defender off the board as the Canucks hit an absolute homerun at seventh overall. Hughes immediately becomes the team's top defensive prospect and has expressed his desire to turn professional and step into the NHL this fall. Vancouver just got themselves a power play defender to gain entry into the zone and set up the power play for Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser to snip away. He should be a highly-sought after asset in keeper league drafts this fall.
Despite rumours of trying to move the pick for immediate help on the blue line, Edmonton kept the 10th overall selection and grabbed Evan Bouchard. The volume-shooting, right-shot defender feasts on the powerplay and will add a dangerous weapon to the Oilers man-advantage unit in the near-future. As a late-1999 birthdate who is already physically mature, he may be ready to step into the NHL lineup next season.
Fantasy-wise, this is a very good spot for him.
The big winner of the first round is the New York Islanders. They landed Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson at 11 and 12 respectively. Those two could have easily gone in the top six and no one would’ve blinked an eye. Just imagine for a moment Mat Barzal feeding Oliver Wahlstrom for the next decade? Drool.
Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom outside of the top 10 is nuts.— /Cam Robinson/ (@CrazyJoeDavola3) June 23, 2018
The rest of the first round was basically a toddler pulling names out of a hat. There was little rhyme or reason to many of the picks.
Ryan Merkley going 21st overall to San Jose was interesting to see. Many believed the wildly talented right-shot defender would either slide to day two or go to a team that had multiple first round picks to mitigate the risk associated with him.
San Jose has shown with Evander Kane that they’re not afraid to work with a player who has reported (or actual) attitude concerns. Merkley’s fantasy potential remains incredibly high.
Excuse the brevity of this Ramble tonight. The exhaustion level is at an all-time high at this moment. Covering the draft has been an amazing and incredible draining exercise. And I've loved every minute of it thus far. I'll be back at the American Airlines Arena tomorrow morning bright and early to cover day two. It should be a blast!
Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3
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