Ramblings: Draft Analysis, Weekend Trades and Signings

Ian Gooding

2018-06-24

Draft Analysis, Weekend Trades and Signings

First off, I just wanted to give a shoutout to Peter Harling, Cam Robinson, and the rest of the Dobber Prospects team for some amazing work at the draft (and for Cam for actually dropping a Ramblings to boot – these things don’t take five minutes to write, you know). It was awesome seeing the Dobber brand showing up on the Sportsnet ticker as each big name fell off the board.

As significant as the Dobber presence has been in Dallas, next year might be even better, with the 2019 draft coming to Vancouver! Will Quinn Hughes receive the honor of announcing his brother Jack as the first overall pick and his new teammate? Wait just a minute Canucks fans… you seem to have forgotten about the crummy luck that you have in the draft lottery every year.

By the way, I’m ecstatic about the Hughes pick. I can say that a puck-moving defenseman is something that the Canucks have been missing since, well, ever. I think the one takeaway from this draft – at least the first round – is the type of defensemen that were drafted. After years of teams drafting bigger and bigger, the smaller defensemen were all the rage as teams move toward a faster style that stresses the importance of moving the puck out of your zone and keeping up with the play. Here’s the height and weight of the first seven defensemen drafted in the first round:

Rasmus Dahlin (BUF): 6’ 2”, 181 lbs.

Quinn Hughes (VAN): 5’10”, 173 lbs.

Adam Boqvist (CHI): 5’11”, 165 lbs.

Evan Bouchard (EDM): 6’2”, 195 lbs.

Noah Dobson (NYI): 6’3”, 176 lbs.

Ty Smith (NJ): 5’11”, 176 lbs.

Ryan Merkley (SJ): 5’11”, 167 lbs.

Not one of these defensemen is over 200 pounds, and there are more that are under six feet tall than over. Of course, these are still kids who could continue to grow and should also fill out a bit more. But the trend of blueliners scoring more should continue, while fewer enormous-bodied stay-at-home defensemen will be able to survive in the NHL.

What made this draft fun is that after the first two picks, it didn’t seem to proceed according to plan. It’s easy to criticize Montreal and Arizona on their off-the-board picks, but the fact is that we’re putting faith in 18-year-old kids and perceptions will change. Let’s check back i