Ramblings: Re-Drafting 2011, Stealing DeBrincat, & The Draft (April 29)
There's been a lot of talk around when, where and how the NHL will conduct their entry draft. Normally, we'd have already had the lottery draw occur and know exactly who is selecting where (amongst the top 20 or so teams anyway). Of course, with the games on hold versus being cancelled, we cannot accurately load the balls into the machine to see who goes where.
The NHL was keenly aware of the draw that the recent, virtual NFL Draft brought in. It was easy for them though, their season has long been concluded. I can't imagine this will be a smooth process. Naturally, the bubble playoff teams want their crack at the top three picks if they were to fail to make it into the dance.
Then there are the conditional picks to consider. For a team like the Canucks, they've shipped out a conditional 2020 first-rounder that is triggered if they make the playoffs. If they don't, they keep their pick and give New Jersey an unprotected 2021 first. The team currently sits outside the playoff line, but on a point percentage basis, they're in.
Obviously this holds massive sway in the fantasy landscape. Finding out where a prospect will go is almost as important as assessing their skillset. And from a more focused lens on our site, the time of the draft will impact when we release our Annual Fantasy Prospect Report. As Dobber has been updating each week in his Ramblings, we at DobberProspects are on the beat. We've been creating profiles and articles for the Guide with the assumption that we'll release it on June 1st as we always do. However, if things change, so will the date of release.
Keep an eye and ear out for updates as they come out.
On that topic, lets all just try and not get too worked up over any of these ‘theories’ or speculations as to what may happen for this season and next. It’s just so far up in the air right now to really have a firm grasp. The league is just covering all of the bases they can.
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) April 28, 2020
Last weekend, I dropped a piece for DP showcasing 10 of the most lethal scorers coming out of this upcoming 2020 class. Those in goal-heavy leagues should take an extra interest in these mesh-benders.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) April 26, 2020
I may be just a tad biased, but we’re continuing to roll out a ton of high-end content at DobberProspects these days. You really need to be over there reading it.
In case you were wondering, now is absolutely the time to try and sneak Alex DeBrincat away from his (hopefully) disappointed owner.
After scoring 41 goals in 2018-19, the 22-year-old barely matched that in points this season with 45 in 70 games. But it was almost exclusively due to poor luck. His shooting percentage dropped by 10 points from the previous campaign, yet his shot rate increased ever-so-slightly from 2.68 to 2.96 per game.
This isn't a player who will shoot eight percent. He has LONG been a proven high-conversion finisher. He's one of the more devastating finishers in the game. That doesn't just go away. This was felt most at even-strength where he went from nearly an 11 percent conversion rate to just a hair over seven percent.
Some of this can be explained by his usage. The 5'7 winger spent about 40 percent of his even-strength ice time next to rookie, Kirby Dach. Dach is going to be an explosive talent for a lot of years, but his first-run through clearly wasn't going to produce a ton of production. That is going to change – and likely beginning next season.
I like DeBrincat, who is heading into that magical fourth season, to push his shot volumes up into the 3.2-3.5 per game level and witness his conversion rate balloon back into a more respectable zone for a goalscorer of his ilk. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that he sees an abundant of power-play time next to Patty Kane and the gang. His 3:29 average last year was firmly amongst the top-30 forwards.
That means we're looking at a return to the 40-goal level with an outside shot at 45 if he really gets cooking.
Sign me up.
Official: Per GM John Chayka we have signed forward Matias Maccelli to a three-year entry-level contract. https://t.co/rwVhUZIKMs
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 28, 2020
The Coyotes are gunning to get this kid back to North America after a terrific draft-plus-one campaign where he led all U20 Liiga skaters with 30 points in 43 contests. Maccelli spent the two previous years with Dubuque of the USHL so the transition should be fairly seamless.
It’ll be interesting to see if this deal has a Euro out-clause and they send him back to Ilves or if the desire is to have him work in the American League. He’s not the best skater in the world, but he boasts terrific instincts and puck skills.
He’s one to have on your radar.
The Detroit Red Wings have signed Swedish free-agent forward, Mathias Bromé. The soon-to-be 25-year-old recorded a career-high 17 goals and 43 points in 52 SHL games this past season. That total was good for sixth-most in the league.
Apparently, it came down to Detroit and Vancouver – two franchises with a long history of Swedes. Bromé made the smart decision to go to the Red Wings where his opportunities will be more plentiful. I wouldn’t be rushing out to draft him, as the upside is likely fairly limited.
Sometimes I like to think about the things that could’ve been. It almost always upsets me.
Remember when 23 teams (Vancouver twice) passed on David Pastrnak?
Yeah, that wasn’t too smart.
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) April 28, 2020
We'll continue the re-drafting series today with a look at the 2011 class. Leading up to the draft, there was a general consensus that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would go first overall, but there were a lot of questions whether he'd be ready to step right into the NHL.
He did, but I'm not sure it was the right move for him long term.
I'll remind everyone that 2011 was right in the peak of the Russian fear. Teams were very wary of selecting Russian players as the KHL was ramping up and appeared to be a potential threat to the NHL's grip on hockey dominance. I’ll give GMs just a modicum of understanding for allowing Kucherov to fall. Not enough though, what he did at the U18s the summer before his draft is the stuff of legends.
11 goals, 21 points in 7 games. Yeah, that’s a record.
1st Overall (EDM) – Nikita Kucherov (58th)
2nd Overall (COL) – Mark Scheifele (7th)
3rd Overall (FLA) – Sean Couturier (8th)
4th Overall (NJ) – Johnny Gaudreau (104th)
5th Overall (NYI) – Jonathan Huberdeau (3rd)
6th Overall (OTT) – Gabriel Landeskog (2nd)
7th Overall (WIN) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1st)
8th Overall (PHI) – Mika Zibanejad (6th)
9th Overall (BOS) – Dougie Hamilton (9th)
10th Overall (MIN) – John Gibson (39th)
As usual, I spent way too much time considering these spots. We're nine years removed, so the 27-year-olds are now in the prime of their careers. We're starting to see some of the later bloomers really elevate up this list. Zibanejad's performance during the last two years rocketed him up the board.
I weighted the all-around centres above some of the creative, offensive wingers because that's just life. However, Kucherov reigns supreme. Finding a spot for Hamilton and Gibson was not easy. You put Gibson in a better spot and he’s running for Vezinas every year.
If we do this exercise again next year, J.T. Miller may very well make the list too.
Follow me on Twitter @Hockey_Robinson
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