Ramblings: Draft Day Surprises! Slafkovsky/Nemec Go First and Second; Dach and Romanov Traded; Middleton; Boqvist – July 8

Michael Clifford

2022-07-08

The NHL Draft started off by answering the question that had become very prevalent over the last few weeks: Shane Wright or Juraj Slafkovsky? It seemed Wright was destined for the number-1 pick up until recently, but that's not how Montreal saw it as they took the Slovakian winger at first overall. I have written about this decision a couple times already this week, and our prior Ramblings can be viewed here.

I am not a prospect evaluator so I'll defer to the Habs. All I'll say is this is a franchise-defining moment that they can not get wrong. As a Habs fan, nothing would make me happier than seeing Slafkovsky on an All-Star team in three years. We'll cross our fingers.

The havoc continued as New Jersey, with the second overall pick, took defenceman Simon Nemec. The Devils definitely have a couple great centres but leaving Shane Wright on the board for #3 felt weird. All the same, a big day for Slovakian hockey as they have two players going at the very top of the draft.

Wright's slide continued as Logan Cooley, who seemed a consensus #3, went third overall to Arizona. This is not a knock on Cooley, as he's very highly regarded, but that Wright continued to slide was absolutely the story of the early part of the Draft.

The wait wouldn't continue further as Seattle would take Wright with the #4 pick. It's hard to imagine they thought they'd get him at this point and if he does turn out to be the best player in the draft, this could be a big steal for them. Adding him with Matty Beniers is a great 1-2 punch for the next decade-plus in Seattle. Quite the coup for them if both of those guys reach their ceilings.

Just before the selection of Wright, we had Montreal making a pair of trades that involved picks, sending Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders, and getting