Drafting Skills: Calgary Flames

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Calgary Flames

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Sven Baertschi (LW) 13th overall – He never materialized into an NHL star, or even a top-6 forward for that matter. He struggled to find top-6 minutes on one of the worst teams in the league in Vancouver. Brutal pick by the Flames, with much better

Round 2 – Markus Granlund (C) 45th overall – Calgary traded their own 2nd round pick (used on Brandon Saad), and received this one in a different trade from the Rangers in an exchange of prospects and Tim Erixon going to the Rangers. He was traded out of Calgary to Vancouver, where he’s had better luck, but is likely a 3rd line centre at best. Another weak pick, mind you Calgary would have been better off keeping him in the fold, as he’s better than some of their depth centres.

Round 2 – Tyler Wotherspoon (D) 57th overall – Received this from the Rangers in the same trade as above. Wotherspoon is barely an NHL depth d-man, with rare call-ups throughout his career. The worst part, is Nikita Kucherov was taken right after him… big miss for the Flames.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Edmonton for Steve Staios. Staois was at the tail end of his career, and wasn’t very effective in his parts of 2 seasons there, being injured most of the time. The Flames would have been better to stay away here, and add another prospect.

Note: Johnny Gaudreau in the 4th round. He’s the only true bright spot in this draft for the Flames, and is easily their current best player. Top 5 winger in the game today, nicknamed ‘Johnny Hockey’, solid steal in the 4th round.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Mark Jankowski (C) 21st overall – Jankowski has played in exactly 1 NHL game, but had a good year at the AHL level with 56 points in 64 games. It’s now or never for him however, as he’ll have a chance to play his way onto the team at camp next year. The Flames need him in their lineup, and as a former first round pick, he needs to be effective. Olli Maatta was taken right after him, and would have been a much better selection.

Round 2 – Patrick Sieloff (D) 42nd overall – Another miss by Calgary, as he played the season in the AHL for Ottawa’s farm team, after being traded for Alex Chiasson. Chiasson wasn’t much better, with all of 24 points in 81 NHL games.

Round 3 – Jon Gillies (G) 75th overall – It’s believe Gillies is the goalie of the future in Calgary, but they just traded for Mike Smith, so it’s likely another year or more before he gets a shot. Meanwhile, two-time Cup champion goaltender Matt Murray was taken 8 picks later.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Sean Monahan (C) 6th overall – Monahan is one of the lone bright-spots of this list, as he’s developed into a true #1 centre for Calgary. He has great chemistry with Johnny Hockey, and hit the 300+ games played mark this year. Great pick here by Calgary.

Round 1 – Emile Poirier (LW) 22nd overall – Received from St. Louis along with Reto Berra, and another prospect for Jay Bouwmeester. Awful trade for Calgary, and awful pick to boot. Poirier had 17 points in 43 AHL games this year, which is brutal. The Capitals picked Andre Burakovsky with the next pick, who is 4 games shy of 200 played. Big miss by Calgary.

Round 1 – Morgan Klimchuk (LW) 28th overall – Received from Pittsburgh for Jarome Iginla. This was a deal that had to be done, as Iginla was sent out in hopes of getting him a Cup. The Flames missed again in round 1 here, as they really had a chance to build a great team with 3 picks in round 1. Klimchuk hasn’t played an NHL game yet, and scored only 43 points in 66 AHL games this year. Not what you expect from a 1st rounder, 4 years after being drafted.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Montreal with Rene Bourque and Patrick Holland for Michael Cammalleri, Kari Ramo and a 2012 5th round pick. Good trade for Calgary, as Cammalleri was great for them in his short time there.

Round 3 – Keegan Kanzig (D) 67th overall – Surprise, another miss. He played this year in the ECHL, and had 5 points in 40 games. Not good numbers, not promising at all.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Sam Bennett (C) 4th overall – While Bennett has played a lot of NHL games, I still consider this a bad pick by Calgary. William Nylander was available, as was David Pastrnak, Dylan Larkin, and so many more that are better players today.

Round 2 – Mason McDonald (G) 34th overall – Didn’t put up great numbers in the ECHL in his first year as a pro, but will have plenty of time to grow his game with Mike Smith recently being brought in. It’s always a good bet to take a goalie in the middle rounds, as they take a while to develop and Calgary has been searching for a true #1 for a while now.

Round 2 – Hunter Smith (RW) 54th overall – Received from Colorado for Reto Berra. Doesn’t look like a future NHLer, which is alright when you look at the trade, as Berra couldn’t cut it either. The Ducks took Brandon Montour with the following pick, who looks like a promising young defender, and would have been a much better pick.

Round 3 – Brandon Hickey (D) 64th overall – Hickey was traded to Arizona with Chad Johnson for Mike Smith, which is a strange move as Smith is 35 years old. The Flames are not ready to push for a Cup, so this move makes no sense to me. Hickey is coming off a good 3rd year NCAA season, another reason why I wouldn’t move him for an aging goaltender.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded with others to Boston for Dougie Hamilton, and the pick turned into Zach Senyshyn. While Senyshyn shows great upside, Hamilton is top-pairing D-man on Calgary, and one they needed. I think this trade benefited both sides.

Round 2 – Rasmus Andersson (D) 53rd overall – Received from Vancouver for Sven Baertschi. Andersson had a good year at the AHL level, and got the call for 1 game this year. Good signs that he’s close to being considered for an NHL spot, something which Calgary needs, as their prospect pool doesn’t run very deep.

Round 2 – Oliver Kylington (D) 60th overall – Great season in the AHL, and looks like he’s ready for the NHL level. Should push for a spot on the blueline full-time next year, great pick to close out round 2 for Calgary.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Arizona for their pick used on Kylington, as Calgary had traded their second as well to Boston for Dougie Hamilton.

Overall, the Flames have been bad at drafting quality players. They’ve hit on a couple, but missed on so many. They had a great chance at the 2013 draft to really build their team, and look more and more like they failed. They’ve got to hope to be better soon, as their core is hitting their mid-20’s shortly.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

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Drafting Skills: Carolina Hurricanes

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Carolina Hurricanes

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Ryan Murphy (D) 12th overall – Murphy is by no-means a bust, but he’s not quite what everyone thought he’d be. He’s quickly becoming expendably for the Hurricanes, and while he’s played 151 games, he’s likely not going to be around for much longer in the NHL. That’s tough to swallow for Carolina, being a 12th overall pick only 6 years ago.

Round 2 – Victor Rask (C) 42nd overall – Rask has developed into a top-line player for Carolina, and had another campaign where he approached 50 points. I think he’s better off on the second line, but I would consider this a much better pick than Murphy.

Round 3 – Keegan Lowe (D) 73rd overall – Lowe was traded to Montreal for a prospect of the same level, and he will likely not play in the NHL. He hasn’t developed as they would have hoped, and the Canes would want this pick back, with plenty of players taken after him who have a brighter future.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded with Brandon Sutter and Brian Dumolin to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal. I don’t like the trade much, as that’s a lot to give up for what I believe is at best a 2nd line centre. Carolina was not in any position to make a push for the Cup, and would have been better off keeping what was the 8th overall pick, especially with the likes of Filip Forsberg, Jacob Trouba, Tomas Hertl and many others still available.

Round 2 – Phil Di Giuseppe (LW) 38th overall – Giuseppe had 7 points in 36 NHL games, and likely won’t grow those production numbers any higher. Disappointing pick early in round 2, as Carolina needs all the help they can get offensively.

Round 2 – Brock McGinn (LW) 47th overall – Received this pick from San Jose for Ian White. Played in 57 NHL games this year, scoring only 16 points, which is disappointing. Carolina is weak up front, and will likely want to upgrade over McGinn if possible. Right now, he’ll need to have a good camp to stick with the team long-term.

Round 3 – Daniel Altshuller (G) 69th overall – Had great numbers this year in the ECHL, and average in the AHL. He’s a big goalie, but will need to have a better year next season if he’s ever hoping to be looked at as a potential NHL goaltender.

Note: Jaccob Slavin drafted 4th round. He has played in 145 games and is in the top-4 on Carolina currently, great young defender.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Elias Lindholm (C) 5th overall – Lindholm had 45 points in 72 NHL games, his 4th year in the league. He made the jump quickly, and has been growing his game each season. Carolina would definitely want to re-do this pick however, with Sean Monahan going after him in the draft. Lindholm is a good young player, but Monahan plays the game better at both ends of the rink.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to the Sabres for Andrej Sekera. The pick hasn’t turned into a great player (JT Compher), while Sekera played the better parts of 2 seasons in Carolina, before being flipped to LA for a 1st round pick in 2016. Great trade for Carolina here, as they benefited in two separate ways.

Round 3 – Brett Pesce (D) 66th overall – Played in all 82 games this year, and appears to be part of the blueline permanently in Carolina. He had a great year, despite playing on a weak Carolina team. Pesce can drive play well from the backend, and is dependable in his own end. Great find in round 3 by the Canes.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Haydn Fleury (D) 7th overall – One of the few players from the first round of this draft who’s yet to play an NHL game, Fleury has become a big disappointment for Carolina. Many better options were available, including William Nylander, Dylan Larkin, David Pastrnak, etc etc.

Round 2 – Alex Nedeljkovic (G) 37th overall – Made his NHL debut this year as an injury call-up, but spent most of the year in the ECHL/AHL. He had solid numbers in the ECHL, but struggled in the AHL. He’s likely a few years away from a legitimate shot, but is trending in the right direction.

Round 3 – Warren Foegele (C) 67th overall – Foegele had a great year in junior, and will start next year in the AHL. He’s not likely on the NHL radar anytime soon, but has been a great offensive player in his junior career, something which Carolina is in need of. Looks like a good pick in the 3rd round, as he has grown well since being drafted.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Noah Hanifin (D) 5th overall – Hanifin has developed into a top-pairing D-man, which the Canes had hoped for. I don’t believe they would change this pick, as he fits their organizational need perfectly currently, and at that time.

Round 2 – Sebastian Aho (LW) 35th overall – Aho has turned into a steal at this pick, as he just turned in an impressive rookie campaign with 49 points in 82 games. If it were not for super rookies Auston Matthews and Patrick Laine, he’d be front and centre for rookie of the year. Great steal in round 2.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Vancouver with a 7th round pick for Eddie Lack. Lack hasn’t been the starter they hoped for, and struggled mightily this season, but they didn’t give up a lot to get him, and needed a better backup than what they had at the time.

Carolina has missed on a few key picks, which could have shaped their organization a lot differently. They need offense and goaltending, and should be able to move some of their defense prospects/players to get some, because they haven’t been as successful as they’d hoped in drafting some.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

Drafting Skills: Chicago Blackhawks

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Chicago Blackhawks

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Mark McNeill (C) 18th overall – McNeill is a bust, playing in only 2 games to date. He was traded with a 4th round pick for Johnny Oduya, which was a great trade for Chicago. But the pick was bad, as 2 defenders went after him who have both played over 150 NHL games.

Round 1 – Phillip Danault (C) 26th overall – Received this pick from Washington for Troy Brouwer. Danault has played in 135 games to date, scoring only 50 points. After him went Namestnikov, who has 79 points in 201 games and looks to be a better all-around player. I’d consider this another miss for Chicago, with much better players still available.

Round 2 – Adam Clendening (D) 36th overall – Received this pick from Atlanta for Andrew Ladd. Clendening hasn’t developed into anything more than a depth D, while Ladd has had a great career. Bad pick for Chicago after giving up a future captain in Andrew Ladd, with Boone Jenner going immediately after Clendening.

Round 2 – Brandon Saad (LW) 43rd overall – Swapped picks with the Leafs to get this pick, and Saad has turned into one of the better wingers in the NHL today. He helped Chicago win a Cup before being dealt to Columbus for a combo of prospects. This is typical Chicago, trading out pieces and keeping the core intact. Either way, Saad was a steal in mid round-2, playing in 368 NHL games to-date.

Round 3 – Michael Paliotta (D) 70th overall – This pick was received in the same deal for the pick that drafted Saad. He’s played in 2 NHL games, and looks like he won’t develop into anything more than a depth call-up, which is a poor pick.

Round 3 – Klas Dahlbeck (D) 79th overall – Dahlbeck was dealt in the Antoine Vermette trade, and has played in 137 NHL games to-date. Those are good numbers for a mid-3rd round pick, but he was demoted to the AHL this season from Arizona, which is not a good sign.

Note: Andrew Shaw in the 5th round. Shaw helped Chicago to a Cup before being dealt off to Montreal. He’s played in 390 NHL games, which is amazing for a 5th round pick.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Teuvo Teravainen (F) 18th overall – He was part of the salary dump trade to Carolina of Bryan Bickell, and looks like he’ll be a solid top-6 forward for the next few years in the NHL. He has great upside, and scored 42 points for Carolina this year. He looks like a good pick for going 18th overall.

Round 2 – Dillon Fournier (D) 48th overall – Fournier is a bust, playing this year in the ECHL, all of 4 games. Brutal pick by the Hawks, as we’ll likely never hear his name around the NHL again.

Round 3 – Chris Calnan (RW) 79th overall – Calnan looks like a very long-shot to ever make his way to the NHL, scoring only 16 points in his 4th year for Boston College. Not a great pick, with the likes of Matt Murray going just a few picks after.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 –Ryan Hartman (LW) 30th overall – Hartman made the team out of camp this year, and at times looked like a top-line winger. He finished with 19 goals, spending time alongside Jonathan Toews. He’ll have the best chance he’s had to make the top-end of the lineup out of camp next year, which is great for a late round pick.

Round 2 – Carl Dahlstrom (D) 51st overall – Pick was received from Toronto in the Dave Bolland trade to the Leafs. They gave up their own 2nd rounder to bring in Johnny Oduya, who helped them win the Cup. Dahlstrom is likely on track to only become a depth call-up after spending last year in the AHL. He’s a big guy, and with changes coming in Chicago due to the expansion draft.

Round 3 – John Hayden (LW) 74th overall – Made his NHL debut this year, playing in 12 games and scoring 4 points. He’s likely on track to the make the team out of camp next year, or if not he’ll be on the short list for a call-up. This looks like a great find in the 3rd round for Chicago.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nick Schmaltz (C) 20th overall – Pick was received from San Jose in a swap of 1st rounders, plus a 3rd for a 6th rounder. Schmaltz had 28 points in 61 NHL games this year, his first in the league. These are good numbers for a rookie, but pales in comparison when you see that Robby Fabbri went immediately after him.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Arizona for David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois. The pick turned into Christian Dvorak, who had a good rookie campaign this year, and looks like he’ll have a great NHL career ahead of him. Rundblad is now playing in Switzerland, so I would assume Chicago would want this trade back.

Round 3 – Matteson Iacopelli (F) 83rd overall – Pick was received from Calgary for Brandon Bollig. Pretty even trade, as neither are currently NHL players.

Round 3 – Beau Starrett (F) 88th overall – Doesn’t look like Starrett will develop well, and I would assume Chicago would re-do this pick if they could.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded with Klas Dahlbeck to Arizona for Antoine Vermette. The pick turned into Nick Merkley, but Vermette helped Chicago win the Cup, which for me, makes this trade worthwhile.

Round 2 – Graham Knott (LW) 54th overall – Didn’t have a great year as a 20-year old in the OHL, with only 35 points in 45 games. Not a promising stat line, as normally 20 year olds have dominant years in their final season in junior.

Round 3 – Dennis Gilbert (D) 91st overall – He’s currently playing for Notre Dame in the NCAA, and had 22 assists in 40 games in his sophomore season. He’ll likely stay there at least another year, as Chicago can take their time and hope he develops into an NHL player.

Overall, Chicago has made some OK picks, but they’ve picked consistently at the bottom of the draft – a cost of winning. They’ve made great trades, keeping their core intact and adding good complimentary pieces. They’re still built for championships, and many teams are trying to emulate their current model.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

Drafting Skills: Colorado Avalanche

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Colorado Avalanche

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Gabriel Landeskog (LW) 2nd overall – Landeskog quickly became the captain of the Avalanche, and a leader on and off the ice. He’s played more games than any other player in that draft class, and ranks first in points. A great player any team would love to build around, great pick by the Avalanche to start off the 2011 draft.

Round 1 – Duncan Siemens (D) 11th overall – Siemens on the other hand, did not pan out. He’s played all of 4 NHL games, after the Avalanche received this pick in trading out Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart and their 2nd round pick in this draft to bring in Erik Johnson and Jay McClement. Siemens could barely crack the Colorado lineup this year, and they were by far the worst team in the league. That doesn’t bode well for the d-man, especially with so many better d-men taken after him.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to St. Louis in the Shattenkirk for Johnson package. The pick became Ty Rattie, who hasn’t materialized as of yet. Tough trade, as Shattenkirk is the better d-man today.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to the Islanders in a swap of picks, neither of which became anything. The pick after this turned into Vincent Trocheck… tough break for Colorado.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Washington for Semyon Varlamov, who has been the start in Colorado ever since. The problem is the pick turned into Filip Forsberg, who has become an elite winger in today’s NHL. The Avalanche needed a goaltender, but trading out the 11th overall pick when you’re in the midst of a rebuild wasn’t a smart move, regardless of who you brought in.

Round 2 – Mitchell Heard (C) 41st overall – Heard doesn’t look like he’ll be an NHL player, splitting time in the AHL and ECHL in recent years, and not putting up great numbers in the AHL. Colorado would like this pick back I’m sure.

Round 3 – Troy Bourke (LW) 72nd overall – Another player who has yet to play an NHL game, Bourke only scored 24 points in 74 AHL games. Not likely to see him in the NHL, as the Avalanche are on the cusp of adding better prospects to their cupboards.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nathan MacKinnon (C) 1st overall – MacKinnon is an elite centre, who can drive play. I’m still waiting for a breakout season offensively, and starting to wonder if it will happen. He’s just barely cracked 50 points in each of the past two seasons, which I believe is far below what he can do. He needs more support, but right now my confidence in him is still strong.

Round 2 – Chris Bigras (D) 32nd overall – Bigras split time in the AHL/NHL this year, putting up better numbers in the AHL. He’ll likely have a good shot at the NHL roster full time next year, especially with Colorado buying out Beauchemin. Good pick early in round 2 if he can make and stay with the NHL club this year.

Round 3 – Spencer Martin (G) 63rd overall – Martin had good numbers this year in the AHL, but struggled in his brief time in the NHL. It looks like he’s behind on the depth chart behind at least 2 netminders in Colorado, and could be 3 depending what happens with Vegas. It doesn’t hurt having promising goalies in the system, and Martin still has some upside.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Connor Bleackley (C) 23rd overall – Bleackley was traded to Arizona with Alex Tanguay and Kyle Wood (below) for Mikkel Boedker. He was then traded to Chicago for a 5th round pick, which will tell you everything you need to know about Bleackley. Awful pick by Colorado, when 2 years after the pick he’s being traded for a 5th round pick…

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Calgary for Reto Berra, and the Flames took Hunter Smith. Berra was nothing more than a backup, and Smith hasn’t materialized at all. The Avalanche would have been better off keeping this pick and trying to add to their prospect group.

Round 3 – Kyle Wood (D) 84th overall – Wood was dealt in the Boedker deal, and has yet to play an NHL game. He had good numbers as a first year pro, with 43 points in 68 AHL games so there is some great upside for the youngster.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Mikko Rantanen (RW) 10th overall – He played the full year in Colorado this year, scoring 39 points in 75 games. He has tremendous upside, so it’s hard to judge this year based off of how brutal Colorado was. He scored 20 goals, which not many rookies do, therefore I anticipate a great sophomore campaign for him. He looks like a great pick at 10th overall, as he’s likely a big part of the future in Colorado.

Round 2 – AJ Greer (LW) 39th overall – Received this pick from San Jose in a swap of picks, none of which have materialized as of yet. Greer did make his NHL debut this year, which is a good sign he’s close to having a shot at making the team full-time. I expect a lot of changes for Colorado, so he’ll likely have a chance next year.

Round 2 – Nicolas Meloche (D) 40th overall – He finished his junior career, with 47 points (16 goals), in 61 games. Those are great numbers for a d-man, which bodes well for his future. He’ll start in the AHL, but could be quickly moving up the depth chart if he gets off to a good start.

Round 3 – Jean-Christophe Beaudin (RW) 71st overall – Beaudin had 30 goals and 80 points in 65 QMJHL games this year. He’s a big winger who can score with back to back 80 point campaigns in junior. Solid selection in the third round for Colorado, as they add another promising prospect to the cupboards.

Colorado has made great picks over these 5 drafts. They feel like they’re a team that’s not far off from being a playoff team, with help needed on the blueline. They have plenty of prospects and young players that can play, so with a couple smart moves they should be in good shape for a while.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

Drafting Skills: Columbus Blue Jackets

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Columbus Blue Jackets

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded with Jakub Voracek to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter. This pick turned into Sean Couturier, who has blossomed into a good two-way centre, while Voracek has developed into an elite winger. Carter didn’t last long in Columbus, and was eventually dealt to LA.

Round 2 – Boone Jenner (C) 37th overall – Jenner is a big steal in the 2nd round here for Columbus, as he’s already played 267 games putting up 128 points, while playing a mean checking game. He’s a great player to have on your team, and play the game as hard as anyone, while also being able to contribute offensively.

Round 3 – TJ Tynan (F) 66th overall – Tynan made his NHL debut this year, albeit only played 3 games. In 72 AHL games he had 41 points, and looks as though he’s next in line for a call-up. He plays a good defensive game, and could fit in well on the bottom 2 lines for the Jackets as early as next year.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Ryan Murray (D) 2nd overall – Murray has not developed into the elite defenceman everyone thought he would be. He’s played well over 200 games, but has been passed in terms of value by many other d-men including Morgan Rielly, Hampus Lindholm and Jacob Trouba. The Jackets would love to have this pick back.

Round 2 – Oscar Dansk (G) 31st overall – Dansk returned to Sweden after a brief stint in NA, playing the last two years there. His numbers aren’t great, and likely won’t develop into a valuable goalie in the future. Missed opportunity here for Columbus, especially with Frederik Andersen not going until 87th overall.

Round 3 – Joonas Korpisalo (G) 62nd overall – Korpisalo is a much better prospect than Dansk turned out to be, as he’s been the backup played 45 NHL games to date. He likely won’t develop into a true number 1 goalie, which again sucks for Columbus when comparing him to Andersen who was still taken after him. Two chances at a great goalie and missed on both.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Alexander Wennberg (C) 14th overall – Wennberg had a great year for Columbus, as the playmaker put up 46 assists and 59 points in 80 games. That’s back to back 30+ assist campaigns for Wennberg, who looks more and more like the centre they hoped they were getting when taking him in the top 15.

Round 1 – Kerby Rychel (LW) 19th overall – Received this from the Rangers in the Rick Nash package, which included Dubinsky as well. Rychel has yet to establish himself as an NHL player, spending the full year at the AHL level. He’s a big guy who plays a mean game, and can score a little on the side (52 points in 73 games). He was traded to Toronto for Scott Harrington in 2016, who looks like the lesser player of the two. Not a great pick here by Columbus, with Anthony Mantha going right after him.

Round 1 – Marko Dano (C) 27th overall – Received this pick from LA with Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter. Dano was then part of the package sent to Chicago to bring in Brandon Saad, who has been one of the Jackets best players since. Looking solely at the pick, Dano has turned out OK, but many expected more out of him, but at 27th overall he’s suitable for that pick.

Round 2 – Dillon Heatherington (D) 50th overall – Heatherington has yet to suit up for an NHL game, and was traded to Dallas this year for Lauri Korpikoski. Heatherington doesn’t look like he’ll amount to much, and Korpikoski wasn’t great when he came over, scoring no points in only 9 games played.

Round 3 – Oliver Bjorkstrand (RW) 89th overall – Bjorkstrand has developed into a promising player, scoring 13 points in 26 NHL games this year, and 26 in 37 AHL games. He should be an NHL mainstay next season, which is great for a 3rd round pick only 4 years removed from the draft.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Sonny Milano (LW) 16th overall – I expected Milano to make the team this year, and have an impact. Instead, he was sent back to the AHL, where he scored 47 points in 63 games. It doesn’t look like the Jackets believe in him, which is a tough pill to swallow for a 16th overall pick, 3 years removed from his draft.

Round 2 – Ryan Collins (D) 47th overall – Collins hasn’t developed much since being drafted, as his production has stayed the same throughout his college career. He’s massive at 6’5”, and will take some time to adjust to the speed of the pro game, but right now it’s tough to say that he will develop into an NHL player.

Round 3 – Elvis Merzlikins (G) 76th overall – Received this from Detroit in a swap of picks, none of which have turned out. Elvis played in the Swiss-A league again this year, posting a solid 2.89 GAA and SV% of 0.916. In the playoffs he improved those to 2.02 and 0.937 in 6 starts. He looks like the real deal for goalie prospects, but was drafted at a later age, and is already 23. The Jackets will likely want him playing AHL hockey next year to test him on the smaller ice.

Round 3 – Blake Siebenaler (D) 77th overall – Made his AHL debut this year, but wasn’t very impressive. Looks like a bad pick when you see that hot goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin was drafted after him, followed by Brayden Point. Not a good look for Columbus.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Zach Werenski (D) 8th overall – One word to describe Werenski: Stud. He was a beast in his rookie campaign, easily one of the Jackets best players. Nominated for rookie of the year, he put up 47 points in 78 games as a rookie d-man. He plays top minutes against tough competition to boot. He is absolutely the real-deal, and an amazing pick at 8th overall.

Round 1 – Gabriel Carlsson (D) 29th overall – Received this pick from Toronto in a swap of picks. Carlsson came over from Sweden after thi season finished and saw time at both the AHL and NHL level. He is likely a year or two away from challenging for a full-time spot, but looks like he will eventually be an NHL d-man. Good pick at the end of round 1 by Columbus.

Round 2 – Paul Bittner (LW) 38th overall – Bittner was unimpressive in 31 AHL games this year, adding only 3 assists. Right now, looks as though this is turning out to be a bad pick for Columbus, as he will likely not make the jump to the NHL anytime soon, if ever at all.

Round 2 – Kevin Stenlund (C) 58th overall – Received this pick from Anaheim for James Wisniewski in a package. Stenlund had good stats in Sweden this year, and will likely make his way to the AHL next year to adapt to the smaller ice surface. Wisniewski has since played his way out of the NHL, making this a win for Columbus in my opinion.

Round 3 – Keegan Kolesar (RW) 69th overall – Kolesar is a tough customer, putting up 100+ PIMS in the WHL the last two years, while 61 and 60 points as well. He’s a big guy, and plays a strong power-forward game. It’ll be interesting to see how his game evolves moving into the AHL and playing against men, who will be able to handle his strength a lot better than the kids in junior.

Overall, Columbus has made some great picks, but missed on a lot of early rounders. They could be a lot better off today with a couple small re-picks in some of these drafts.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

Drafting Skills: Dallas Stars

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Dallas Stars

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jamie Oleksiak (D) 14th overall – Oleksiak hasn’t turned into a top-4 defender, which is what you hope for when drafting one this early in the draft. He played 41 games this year in the NHL, but has just passed the 100 game mark this season, 6 years after being drafted. 8 other defensemen taken after him have played more games, so my guess is the Stars would want this pick back.

Round 2 – Brett Ritchie (RW) 44th overall – Ritchie played the full season at the NHL level this year, but managed only 24 points in 78 games. He’s going to need to produce at a better rate if he hopes to remain there long-term, as the Stars have their sights set on a Cup run, and will want more out of him than that.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to New Jersey for Jamie Langenbrunner. He played in 39 games for the Stars, adding 18 points. The pick became Blake Coleman, who hasn’t had an impact at the NHL level, so the Stars come out the winner on this trade in my opinion.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Radek Faksa (C) 13th overall – Faksa has taken a while to establish himself as an NHL regular, but did so this year playing in 80 games and scoring 33 points. He should be able to grow those numbers, and the Stars will need him to if they hope to make a run in the next couple of years. He’s fallen behind some of his fellow draftees in terms of production, but will have a good chance of playing top-6 minutes all of next season.

Round 2 – Ludwig Bystrom (D) 43rd overall – Bystrom has now played in the AHL for the past 3 seasons, but the Stars likely don’t have any openings on the blueline next year. The Stars missed on taking Jake McCabe, a defender taken by Buffalo with the next pick, who has already played in 162 NHL games. Big miss here by the Stars, as McCabe would improve their blueline today.

Round 2 – Mike Winther (C) 54th overall – Traded Mike Ribeiro to the Capitals for Cody Eakin and this pick. Eakin has become an NHL regular for the Stars, playing a very solid defensive game, and alone would make this trade worthwhile. Winther is playing University hockey now in Canada, while Chris Tierney was taken with the next pick – who has played in over 200 NHL games. Another miss by Dallas here in the 2nd round.

Round 2 – Devin Shore (C) 61st overall – Traded Nicklas Grossman to the Flyers for this pick, and a 3rd that was later traded to Pittsburgh (Jake Guentzel – whoops). Shore played in all 82 games this year for Dallas, scoring 33 points. He looks like a steal this late in the draft, especially with only giving up Grossman.

Round 3 – Esa Lindell (D) 74th overall – Personally, I’m a fan of Lindell’s game. He looks to have great upside, skating in 73 games in the NHL this year. He had 18 points in his rookie campaign, and is likely to be a fixture on the blueline going forward. This was a good find by the Stars down in round 3.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Valeri Nichushkin (RW) 10th overall – Nichushkin had great promise, but could never figure it out in the NHL. There’s hope that he makes a return sooner rather than later, as he spent last season in the KHL. Right now, it looks like a big miss by the Stars, with the likes of Max Domi, Alex Wennberg, amongst others still available after him.

Round 1 – Jason Dickinson (C) 29th overall – Traded Jaromir Jagr to Boston for this pick, which has turned out poorly for Dallas. Jagr is still an effective player today for Florida, and Dickinson has played in only 11 NHL games.

Round 2 – Remi Elie (LW) 40th overall – Elie made the late season jump and didn’t look out of place in the NHL. He put up big numbers in junior, but hasn’t yet at the pro level, topping out at 28 points in 53 AHL games this year. He will need to figure out his game if he hopes to be an everyday player, because the Stars won’t be waiting around long if he struggles early on.

Round 2 – Philippe Desrosiers (G) 54th overall – Traded Derek Roy to the Canucks for this pick, as well as Kevin Connauton. Currently Desrosiers is playing in the ECHL, and likely won’t be on the NHL radar any time soon. He’s had terrible numbers with a GAA of over 3.7 this past year, and a SV% under 0.900.

Round 3 – Niklas Hansson (D) 71st overall – Another d-man that looks like he’s far away from being NHL ready, Hansson is currently playing in Sweden, where he managed only 11 points in 41 games. It’s always tough judging in the 3rd round, but this one is looking like a miss for the Stars.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Julius Honka (D) 14th overall – Honka made his NHL debut this year, after putting up impressive numbers in the AHL over the past few seasons. Last year he had 44 points in 73 games, and followed that up with 31 points in 50 games before being called up late in the year. The Stars are hoping he can be a secondary scoring defenceman behind John Klingberg, and it’s looking likely that will happen. He’ll get a full chance to make the club out of camp next year and should have no issue. Good pick by the Stars, even if Dylan Larkin was picked right after him.

Round 2 – Brett Pollock (C) 45th overall – Pollock isn’t looking very promising, after spending all the majority of the season in ECHL where he put up only 31 points in 61 games. He’s a longshot to evolve into any sort of NHL player at this point.

Round 3 – Alex Peters (D) 75th overall – Peters put up 34 points in his final OHL season, which is good for a young blueliner, but not impressive when he’s a 20 year playing against teenagers. He’s a big guy, at 6’4”, but will need time to develop and get used to the quicker pace at the pro level. Not an awful pick by the Stars, but Brayden Point was still available here…

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Denis Gurianov (RW) 17th overall – Gurianov played his first North American pro season, and struggled. He scored only 27 points in 57 AHL games. He doesn’t look like he’s shaping up to be a top-15 pick, and while it’s still early to call him a bust, he’s being passed quickly in terms of prospect ranking by players who were taken after him.

Round 2 – Roope Hintz (LW) 49th overall – Hintz had a great year in Switzerland, with 30 points in 40 games. He’s likely on his way to NA next year and will start in the AHL, but he looks like a solid pick in round 2.

Round 2 – The Stars traded their own 2nd rounder in the package that brought in Jason Spezza. The pick turned into MacKenzie Blackwood, who has pretty solid potential, but Spezza has really solidified their second line. I like this trade for both teams for Dallas, as they’re built to win now.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Detroit for Mattias Janmark, the 2nd round pick in this draft, and Mattias Backman, for Erik Cole and this pick. The best player out of this whole trade lands in Dallas’ hands, which I will give a pass with flying colors.

Overall, the Stars have missed on a few early picks. If they could re-do a lot of their first round selections of these 5 drafts, I’m sure they would. That’s usually a poor sign, luckily for them though, they have the likes of John Klingberg, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn in charge.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm

Drafting Skills: Detroit Red Wings

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Detroit Red Wings

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Ottawa for the two 2nd round picks in this draft used on Jurco and Ouellet. The Sens picked Matt Puempel here, who hasn’t become anything significant.

Round 2 – Tomas Jurco (LW) 35th overall – Jurco didn’t pan out as expected, but has become a reliable 3rd/4th line winger. He’s now in Chicago, after being traded for a 3rd round pick in the upcoming draft. He was dominant in junior, but played alongside Jonathan Huberdeau. Comparing him to others from the 2nd round, Jurco was a smart pick here by the Wings.

Round 2 – Xavier Ouellet (D) 48th overall – Ouellet played his first full season in the NHL this year, but did so poorly. He had tough a poor possession rating, mind you it was on a weak Detroit team. That being said, he has yet to eclipse the 100 game mark, 6 years after being drafted. The Wings were hoping for more with this selection.

Round 2 – Ryan Sproul (D) 55th overall – Sproul is shaping up to be a bad pick as well, as he’s only suited up for 28 games since being drafted. In those 28 games, he had 6 points and finished on the bottom pairing of a weak Detroit team. Not a great draft for the Wings.

Round 3 – Alan Quine (C) 85th overall – The Wings didn’t sign Quine after drafting him, and he instead was then selected by the Islanders in 2013. He played in 61 games this past year, scoring 18 points. Another bad pick by the Wings, as they essentially threw this pick away.

Notes: Alexey Marchenko drafted in 7th round (205th overall). Marchenko has played in 121 NHL games, another good find in the 7th round for Detroit, who often seem to pull these out of nowhere.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Tampa Bay for Kyle Quincey. This pick became Andrei Vasilevski, who has blossomed into the starting role for Tampa Bay. Quincey played 4 seasons in Detroit, before leaving in free agency. One would have to assume they would much rather have Vasilevski on their current roster than having made this trade, looking back now.

Round 2 – Martin Frk (RW) 49th overall – Frk essentially flopped after coming out of junior, where he dominated his final year with 84 points in 56 games. He was claimed off waivers this past season by Carolina, and has only seen action in 2 NHL games. He had a good year at the AHL level, with 50 points in 65 games, but this coming training camp could be his last shot to make an NHL roster as a permanent fixture. Right now, it looks like a poor pick by Detroit, especially with Colton Sissons being taken immediately after him, and having reached 100 games played already.

Round 3 – Jake Paterson (G) 80th overall – Swing and a miss again, as Paterson played this season in the ECHL. He had OK numbers, but looks more and more like he won’t develop into an NHL goalie of any means, even a depth call-up.

Notes: Andreas Athanasiou drafted 4th round (110th overall). He’s the one bright spot from this draft, as he shows blaring speed and his hands are starting to catch up with him. He isn’t a top-6 player yet, but could be before long if he continues to improve.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Anthony Mantha (RW) 20th overall – Mantha had a great year for Detroit, scoring 17 goals and 36 points in 60 games. He’s part of the future in Detroit, and looks like he’ll be a force in the top-6 forward group for the foreseeable future for Detroit. Great find here, moving down 2 spots and ending up with the better player than who San Jose chose to take.

Round 2 – Zach Nastasiuk (RW) 48th overall – Not a great pick here, as Nastasiuk played the majority of the year in the ECHL, and has yet to establish himself as an AHL player, let alone a legit NHL prospect. Grand Rapids has a great team, but not being able to make it at 22 years old is generally a bad sign.

Round 2 – Tyler Bertuzzi (LW) 58th overall – Received this pick from San Jose to move down from 18th to 20th in round 1, so that San Jose could select Mirco Mueller. Bertuzzi had a good year, finishing with a Calder Cup win with 19 points in 19 games; he even saw 7 games at the NHL level. With Detroit hoping to continue their winning ways, he’ll likely need to have a good camp to make the team. He should be able to force his way into the bottom-6 early next year, and looks like a good pick late in round 2 back in 2013.

Round 3 – Mattias Janmark-Nylen (C) 79th overall – Janmark was traded to Dallas as part of the package that brought in Erik Cole. Janmark missed this past season after breaking his leg, but put up great numbers as a rookie, with 15 goals and 29 points in 73 games in 2015-2016. He looks to have a bright future with Dallas, while Cole played all of 11 games for Detroit.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Dylan Larkin (C) 15th overall – Larkin looks like a big steal at 15th overall in 2014, after scoring 23 goals and 45 points in his rookie campaign 2 seasons ago. He took a bit of a step back this year, putting up only 32 points, but it was a down year in general for Detroit. He has high-end speed and skill that should make him a nightmare to play against for the foreseeable future, Detroit would be more than happy with this pick.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Nashville for David Legwand, along with Patrick Eaves and Calle Jarnkrok. Baaaad trade for Detroit, as Eaves and Jarnkrok both had great years this past season, while Legwand played in only 21 games for Detroit before leaving for Ottawa. It’s trades like this, where Detroit was pushing to stay competitive that are currently hurting them.

Round 3 – Dominic Turgeon (C) 63rd overall – Bad pick, as he only made his AHL debut this year, scoring only 18 points in 71 games. He likely won’t develop into anything more than an emergency call-up, if that.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Evgeny Svechnikov (RW) 19th overall – Svechnikov looks like the real-deal, scoring 51 points in 74 AHL games, his first professional season. He has great speed, and quick hands that should continue to improve as he gets used to playing against tougher competition. He should challenge for an NHL spot next year, with the Wings looking to add more offense, and having a weak prospect pool.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Dallas for Erik Cole. The pick became Roope Hintz, who had 30 points in 40 games in Switzerland this season. As I said above, I don’t like this trade for Cole, especially the further out it gets, the worse it looks.

Round 3 – Vili Saarijarvi (D) 73rd overall – He finished what is likely his last junior year with 31 points in 34 games. He’s a smaller d-man, but has great upside. Detroit is trying to avoid going full, but should almost with the very few bright spots they have such as Saarijarvi. He should slot into the AHL next year, where he can learn the pro-game. Good pick here by Detroit.

Detroit has always been known for their impressive drafting ability, but have struggled a bit early in this article in my opinion. They’ve made some good picks in recent years, but their poor trading has hurt them. They’re not stock-piled with prospects, and judging by recent comments, they have no interest in going full-rebuild. It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next few months, as their recent trades have NOT worked out in their favor.

 

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ;