Every Sunday, we'll share 21 Fantasy Rambles – formerly 20 Fantasy Thoughts – from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week's ‘Daily Ramblings’.
Writers: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Cam Robinson, and Dobber
1. If you were hoping for some unpredictability with the order of the NHL Draft’s first-round picks, you weren’t disappointed on Friday. However, if you were looking for some significant trades or just simply the nasally voice of Gary Bettman stating “We have a trade to announce!” then you were left wanting more. We had to wait one more day for some deals.
Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko were drafted 1-2 by the Devils and Rangers, respectively, just as we all expected. Let the comparisons begin. Who’s the better bet for your fantasy team? Well, pick up your Prospects Report and you’ll find out lots more. If you have yours already, you can now compare the actual results of the draft to the pre-draft rankings and mock drafts.
One big surprise was the selection of Kirby Dach at number three by the Blackhawks. I don't believe Dach was listed in the top-5 of many mock drafts, but the Hawks obviously valued his upside as a potential No.1 center. Another surprise (at least in the first half of the first round) was the number of blueliners picked. In a draft year that wasn’t considered overly deep on defense, five of them were chosen within the top-15. Many mock drafts might have had only three in the first 15. (june22)
2. One pick of interest locally was Vancouver Giants’ defenseman Bowen Byram, who was the first d-man chosen, going fourth overall to the Avalanche. I had a thought that Byram could fall as far as sixth, given the needs and perceived interests of the teams drafting third, fourth, and fifth. The Avalanche already appear stockpiled with young promising blueliners such as Cale Makar, Samuel Girard, and Connor Timmins, so I’m a bit surprised that they went with Byram, in spite of his growing upside.
Immediately following the Byram pick, there was plenty of buzz that a Tyson Barrie trade was imminent (especially from Canucks’ fans). With a year left on his contract, Barrie seems like trade bait at this point. However, would one of Makar or Girard be ready to step into a PP1 role for a team that looks ready to take the next step? As for Byram, junior hockey fans in the Lower Mainland should safely assume that he’ll be back with the Giants in 2019-20. (june22)