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 ;

Drafting Skills: Edmonton Oilers

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.

Edmonton Oilers

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C) 1st overall – The Nuge finally played his first full year without being injured, and it was his least effective. He doesn’t look like the player that was expected when drafted 1st overall. He showed great promise early in his career, but has been passed over by multiple players on the depth chart for Edmonton. It’s not a bad pick, but it’s starting to trend that way when being compared to the likes of Mark Scheifele, Nikita Kucherov and others from this draft.

Round 1 – Oscar Klefbom (D) 19th overall – Traded Dustin Penner for this pick, Colton Tuebert and the 3rd rounder in 2012 used on Zharkov. Klefbom has become a fixture on the top pairing for Edmonton in recent years, and doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon. He put up 12 goals and 38 points this year, which are better-than-expected numbers for the big defender. He’s turning into a great pick for the Oilers.

Round 2 – David Musil (D) 31st overall – Musil was claimed off of waivers by Dallas earlier this season, but has yet to make an impact at the NHL level, playing in only 4 career games. Those games came in 2014-2015, which seems far ago for young blueliner. This is shaping up to be another miss by the Oilers, as there were dozens of better players taken after Musil.

Round 3 – Samu Perhonen (G) 62nd overall – Another miss by Edmonton, as Perhonen is playing in Switzerland, and put up awful numbers this season before being cut by his team. Swing and miss again, a far too often theme for the Oilers.

Round 3 – Travis Ewanyk (C) 74th overall – Received this pick from Calgary for Steve Staois. He was then traded with a 4th round pick to Ottawa for Eric Gryba. Ewanyk played the majority of this season in the ECHL, so that will tell you what you need to know about him. Gryba meanwhile could barely crack the Oilers blueline most nights. It’s no wonder this team has been so awful for so many years.

Notes: Tobias Reider selected in the 4th round. Reider has blossomed into an NHL player, playing in over 200 games and approaching the 100 point mark. The problem? He was traded by Edmonton for Kale Kessy before ever playing a game. Kessey meanwhile played most of the year in the ECHL.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nail Yakupov (RW) 1st overall – To be fair to Yakupov, I don’t think he stood a chance of being successful, and I blame the Oilers for ruining his potential. That being said, this was an awful pick by Edmonton. They needed help on the backend, and still managed to take a forward 1st overall, again. The 2012 has produced many good young defenders, and the Oilers had their pick of the litter with the 1st overall selection. They would have been better off trading down a few spots, and picking up another draft pick in the process, while actually addressing their needs. What a waste of a pick here at 1st overall, just awful.

Round 2 – Mitch Moroz (LW) 32nd overall – Moroz has yet to play an NHL game, and has since been traded for another prospect who has amounted to nothing. This was another bad pick by the Oilers, as they drafted a forward who was more known for his toughness than anything else. He has since lived up to the reputation, playing in only 41 AHL games this past year, putting up 9 points. Yikes.

Round 3 – Jujhar Khaira (C) 63rd overall – Khaira, another forward, has played in 25 NHL games, putting up 3 points. He only played in 10 games this year, and looks like he’ll be a bust. The Oilers passed another opportunity to draft a defender, and looks like they missed yet again.

Round 3 – Daniil Zharkov (LW) 91st overall – Another miss for Edmonton, as Zharkov hasn’t play an NHL game and played in only 6 KHL games this year, with zero points. At least an attempt at drafting a defender would be appreciated by fans I’m sure.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Danell Nurse (D) 7th overall – Oh look a defenseman! The Oilers finally made a pick to address their biggest need – defence! Nurse is exactly what the Oilers need, a strong defender who plays a mean game, and plays well defensively. He finally made the full-time jump two years ago, and has been a fixture for the Oilers in their top-4 since. He struggled with injuries this year, but played very well when in the lineup. He should be a top-4 D for the next few years, but I don’t believe he is a top-pairing player.

Round 2 – Marc-Olivier Roy (C) 56th overall – The Oilers traded their own 2nd round pick to the Kings for a group of picks that included the 3rd rounder used on Slepyshev. They then traded Andrew Cogliano to Anaheim for this pick. Cogliano has been one of the most consistent two-way players for Anaheim since the trade, as he hasn’t missed a regular season game since. Not sure what the Oilers were thinking with this move, as Cogliano plays very well defensively. Roy on the other hand, has yet to play an NHL game, and likely never will.

Round 3 – Bogdan Yakimov (C) 83rd overall – Yakimov has played in exactly 1 NHL game, and that was 3 years ago. He played 50 KHL games this year, scoring 11 points. That should pretty much tell you what you need to know. Another miss.

Round 3 – Anton Slepyshev (LW) 88th overall – Slepyshev has shown signs of high-end skill, but has never been able to grow them at the NHL level, with only 7 points in 52 games. He should have a shot at a full-time spot next year on the roster, so picking him this late is fairly good for the Oilers.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Leon Draisaitl (C) 3rd overall – Draisaitl is shaping up to be an elite centre, one that earns him his draft ranking. He exploded for 77 points in 82 games this year, and looked dominant in the playoffs, putting up 16 points in 13 games. Can he be the Malkin to the Pens version of Crosby in McDavid? I don’t see why not. This was a fantastic pick for the Oilers, which is a rarity in comparison to previous years.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to St. Louis for David Perron, while also giving up Magnus Paajarvi, and a 4th round pick in 2015. The Blues took Ivan Barabshev with this pick, who looks like he could be a great addition to their forward group going forward, while Paajarvi has been mediocre for the Blues, bouncing between the AHL and NHL.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to LA for Ben Scrivens. The pick turned into Dominic Turgeon, who hasn’t materialized into a promising prospect. Scrivens wasn’t the answer in goal for Edmonton, and was later shipped out for Zack Kassian – who is nothing more than a 4th line player at most.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Connor McDavid (C) 1st overall – I’m not going to spend much time on McDavid, he’s arguably the best player on the planet already, and if he’s not yet, he will be. This was likely the easiest pick anyone has made since Crosby was selected 1st overall.

Round 2 – Pick was traded in the package that brought in Griffin Reinhart. This pick ended up in Mitchell Stephens, who will likely have a good NHL career, while Reinhart likely won’t. That alone would be enough to make this a bad trade, but to make it worse was the other pick given up was a 2015 first rounder, which turned into Matthew Barzal. Barzal has incredible upside, and will surely be a top-6 forward in the NHL for many seasons.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Anaheim with a 5th round pick for Viktor Fasth. The pick was used on Dennis Yan, who had a promising junior career and will make his pro debut next year. He has goal scoring potential, which every team covets. Fasth was also not the answer for Edmonton, who lasted just over a season in Edmonton before leaving the NHL altogether.

The Oilers have been… terrible. Other than the obvious choices, they’ve been awful at building a team through the draft. With this many high picks, they should be built like a contender. If it were not for McDavid, they wouldn’t be a playoff team. This could be the worst I’ve seen amongst any team I’ve looked through.

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

Drafting Skills: Florida Panthers

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.

Florida Panthers

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jonathan Huberdeau (LW) 3rd overall – Huberdeau was arguably the first piece brought in that started pointing the Panthers in the right direction. He’s played in 303 NHL games, scoring 198 points. He’s been part of the top line in Florida for the past two years, and when he missed 50 games this year, it showed for the Panthers. He has a great vision of the ice, and sets-up plays with the best of them. There are many that believe he still has another level he could reach, as he was a dominant force in junior hockey. Either way, very solid pick by the Panthers in this draft.

Round 2 – Rocco Grimaldi (C) 33rd overall – Grimaldi has never grown into the player many thought he’d be, as he’s never played more than 20 games in an NHL season. This year, even with the amount of injuries suffered up front for Florida, he played in 4 games. He had a great year in the AHL, with 31 goals and 55 points in 72 games, but looks like he’ll be nothing more than a depth call-up. This was a miss by the Panthers, as there were at least half-a-dozen other players taken in the 2nd round that have played more than 100 NHL games to date.

Round 2 – Rasmus Bengtsson (D) 59th overall – Pick was received in a swap of picks, that resulted in the Sharks getting Matt Nieto, and the pick they then traded to Philadelphia that ended up in Shayne Gostisbehere. Doesn’t look like a great trade for the Panthers, as Bengtsson hasn’t played an NHL to date, while the other 2 have.

Round 3 – Vincent Trocheck (C) 64th overall – Trocheck on the other hand, was a steal in the 3rd round. It took him a while to grow into an NHLer, making an impact for the first time last season, with 53 points in 76 games. He added another 50+ point campaign this year, and was one of the main reasons that Florida was hanging onto playoff hopes late in the year. He’s a great second-line centre that can really drive play in both ends of the ice. A great find in the 3rd round for Florida, making up for a couple of misses in the 2nd round.

Round 3 – Logan Shaw (RW) 76th overall – Received this pick along with Tim Kennedy from the Rangers for Bryan McCabe. This was a good deal for Florida, as McCabe was at the end of his career, and Logan Shaw played 50 games for the big club this season. He doesn’t add any offense, but is a reliable 4th line player. He likely won’t last long in the NHL, but has already eclipsed the 100 games played mark, which is a rare feat for a 3rd rounder.

Round 3 – Jonathan Racine (D) 87th overall – Received this pick from Boston with Dennis Wideman, a 1st rounder in 2010 for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell. Racine was then to Montreal for Tim Bozon in 2016. Neither player has amounted to anything, and looks like a missed opportunity here for Florida.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Michael Matheson (D) 23rd overall – Matheson played his first full season in the NHL this year, adding 17 points in 81 games. He was a late first-round pick in 2012, and many believe he’s still a top-4 prospect, however he looked out place at times this year. Florida didn’t have a solid group of forwards for most of this season, but I expected a better showing out of Matheson. He’s going to need a better second season if I’m going to believe he’ll be anything more than a 3rd pairing player.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Philly for Kris Versteeg. Good trade for Florida, as he scored 54 points in 71 games in his first year, but then found injury trouble the following year before being dealt to Chicago. The pick hasn’t amassed into anything, as Brian Hart is currently in the ECHL.

Round 3 – Steve Hodges (C) 84th overall – A miss here by Florida, as Hodges has yet to play a game at the NHL level, and appears to have left hockey. He last played in the ECHL in 2015-2016, only playing 8 games. Swing-and-a-miss by Florida, not a great draft for them in 2012.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Aleksander Barkov (C) 2nd overall – Barkov is the franchise centre that every team is hoping for. He plays a great two-way game, and is the driving force behind Florida’s offense. He’s had back-to-back great offensive campaigns, but has yet to play more than 71 games in a season. He’s had trouble staying healthy, and when he’s out of the lineup it really shows. In my opinion, he’s the best pick from that draft, and I don’t think Florida would change a thing if they had to re-do this draft.

Round 2 – Ian McCoshen (D) 31st overall – McCoshen made his NHL debut this year, playing in only 3 games. In 68 AHL games, he had 16 points, which is an dedication he won’t be much of an offensive contributor. 2013 wasn’t a very strong draft year, and there haven’t been many out of the 2nd round that have made a great impact as of yet. McCoshen will need to continue to grow his game before he bumps anyone off the blueline for the Panthers.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to the Rangers for Wojtek Wolski. I would consider this a poor trade, as Wolski only played in 22 games for the Panthers. The pick didn’t turn into anyone effective, but it would still have been a better gamble than Wolski at this point.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Aaron Ekblad (D) 1st overall – Ekblad is the franchise defenceman that teams crave. He’s a big body, who plays well at both ends of the rink. He made the jump immediately, scoring 39 points in 81 games as a rookie. He is the backbone of this team, and is one of the best young defenders in today’s game. He’s played in 30 more games than any other player from this draft, and ranks 4th in points despite playing D. No way anyone would argue Ekblad as the 1st overall pick from 2014.

Round 2 – Jyce Hawryluk (C) 32nd overall – He made his AHL debut this year, scoring 26 points in 47 games. Those are good numbers for a 1st year pro, and he could likely battle for a spot in the bottom-6 as early as next season. He had great numbers in junior, and with the Panthers likely to lose a forward to Vegas there will be openings.

Round 3 – Juho Lammikko (C) 65th overall – I don’t really like this pick by the Panthers, as Lammikko hasn’t really shown great promise at any level. He played well in his only year in junior in 2015-2016 (55 points in 59 games), but followed that up with only 11 points in 47 AHL games. It was only his second season in North America, but will need to show better numbers if he has hopes of cracking an NHL roster someday.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Lawson Crouse (LW) 11th overall – This was a poor pick by Florida, as there were more skilled players available. The Panthers traded Crouse to Arizona in the salary dumping of Dave Bolland. Tough to give away an early 1st round pick so early on, but needed in order to get rid of that awful contract. Bad pick, but necessary trade in hopes of moving the organization forward.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to New Jersey for Jaromir Jagr. Great trade for the Panthers, didn’t give up a high pick and got someone to play with their young forward group, and still contribute at a high level.

Round 3 – Samuel Montembeault (G) 77th overall – Drafting goalies is always risky, as they generally take longer to develop. There are many that have high hopes for Montembeault, as he possesses NHL size and plays well for a young netminder. He had 6 shutouts in 41 games this year in the QMJHL, and finished with a GAA of 2.40 and SV% of 0.907. He will make his pro debut next year, and with Roberto Luongo and James Reimer at the helm in the NHL, Florida can be patient in his development. I like this pick a lot for Florida.

Round 3 – Tomas Schemitsch (D) 88th overall – Schemitsch split this season between the AHL and ECHL. He’s a big kid, but will need some seasoning if he and the Panthers ever hope he can play with the big club. He has always put up solid offensive numbers, but needs to work on his defensive game big time.

Overall, the Panthers have built themselves a very good team in these 5 drafts. They missed on a few picks in Crouse and a couple of their 2nd rounders in 2011, but overall have generally selected the best player available. They should be a strong team for the next few seasons, and can look directly back to these drafts as to why. Great job by the scouting and management team to build what many hope will be a contender in the near future.

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

Drafting Skills: LA Kings

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.

Los Angeles Kings

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Edmonton for Dustin Penner. The pick turned into Oscar Klefbom, who has become a great two-way defender in today’s NHL. Meanwhile, Penner retired after the 2013-2014 season.

Round 2 – Christopher Gibson (G) 49th overall – Gibson never signed in LA, and went onto to Toronto where he was traded in a big package to bring in Michael Grabner. He hasn’t grown into an NHL player, seeing action in only 4 games since being drafted 6 years ago. Big miss by LA, to not even have the player since with you, let alone not develop into an NHL player.

Round 3 – Andy Andreoff (LW) 80th overall – Andreoff has played a bottom-6 role for the Kings the past 2 seasons, taking the role of tough-guy on the team. He provides no offensive support for the team, but being picked in the third round and playing in over 100 games is a decent pick by the Kings.

Round 3 – Nick Shore (F) 82nd overall – They received this pick in dealing out a 6th rounder, plus the pick used on Jimmy Vesey. Shore has also played in over 100 games, but again provides almost no offensive upside (34 points in 172 games). Still, playing in over 100 games for a 3rd round pick isn’t the worst selection.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Tanner Pearson (LW) 30th overall – Pearson has developed into a good player for the Kings, taken with the last pick of the first round in 2012. In 80 games this year, he broke out for 24 goals and 44 points. He’s already played in over 200 games, and the 5 players taken immediately after him have played in zero. Great pick here by the Kings after winning the Cup.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Philadelphia with Wayne Simmonds for Mike Richards. The trade looked OK at the time, but looking back now it was brutal. Richards is no longer in the NHL, and Simmonds has scored 120 goals in the last 4 seasons for the Flyers.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Edmonton, along with their 2011 first round pick for Dustin Penner. Baaaaad trade again by the Kings, as Penner was awful when coming over to LA.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Columbus with Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter. I’d consider this a good trade for both sides, as Carter wanted out of Columbus, and they managed to get Jack Johnson out of it plus the pick. Carter has scored 137 goals in 361 games since coming over, and has hit 50 points in each season.

Round 2 – Valentin Zykov (LW) 37th overall – I, like many others, expected big things out of Zykov. He dominated in junior, and flopped hard after being drafted. He made his NHL debut this year, for Carolina, playing in 2 (!!) games. In 66 AHL games, he scored only 34 points. Safe to say the Kings were disappointed with this selection, as he never played a game for them.

Round 3 – Pick was traded with their original 2nd round pick to move up and take Zykov. I’ll consider this a bad trade, as Zykov did not pan out, and the Oilers took Anton Slepyshev with this pick and he looks to be better than Zykov at this point.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Adrian Kempe (LW) 29th overall – Kempe made his NHL debut this year, playing in 25 games and scoring 6 points. He’s never put up big offensive numbers, and looks as though he will not make an impact at the NHL level. Another miss by the Kings, who have traded away more picks than any other team in recent years.

Round 2 – Roland McKeown (D) 50th overall – Traded Lined Vey to Vancouver to get this pick. McKeown has yet to play an NHL game, and is likely a year or more away from a shot to play one. Vey has played in 138 NHL games meanwhile, and the Kings then traded McKeown plus a 1st round pick in 2016 (Julien Gauthier) to Carolina for Andrej Sekera. Sekera played in a whopping 16 games for LA before leaving as a free agent. Two bad trades by LA involved with this pick.

Round 2 – Alex Lintuniemi (D) 60th overall – Another player who has yet to play a game for the Kings, therefore I’ll say another miss. He’s still young, but played most of this year in the ECHL. That’s not a good sign.

Round 3 – Mike Amadio (C) 90th overall – Amadio had a great rookie year in the AHL, scoring 41 points in 68 games. He’s grown his offensive game since being drafted, and could challenge for a spot in the next couple of years with LA likely to go through some changes. Good find at the end of the 3rd round by the Kings.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded along with Martin Jones, and Colin Miller to Boston for Milan Lucic. The pick was used on Jakub Zboril, who hasn’t made the jump to pro hockey yet, but man did they ever give up a lot to get Lucic, who played one year before leaving for Edmonton in free agency. Meanwhile, Jones is the starter in San Jose and Miller played his second season for Boston this year. Bad, bad trade by the Kings.

Round 2 – Erik Cernak (D) 43rd overall – Cernak finished his junior career this year, with 21 points in 50 games. Not great numbers, but he projects as a defense-first player. He’ll need some seasoning, and will likely go through some bumps playing against men, however is a big kid at 6’3” and over 220 pounds.

Round 3 – Alexander Dergachyov (C) 74th overall – Another miss by the Kings. He played in 31 KHL games, adding only 3 assists and no goals. We’ll likely never see him over in North America.

The Kings have traded away more picks than anyone in these 5 years, and with winning 2 Cups they’ve picked near the bottom. That being said, their choices have been poor to say the least. The trades they’ve made have turned out bad almost in every case, and have found only 1 true impact player out of these 5 drafts in Tanner Pearson. That is awful.

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

Drafting Skills: Minnesota Wild

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.

Minnesota Wild

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jonas Brodin (D) 10th overall – Brodin is a curious case for me, as early on in his career he looked stellar, while the last season or two I haven’t noticed him much at all. I dug into his possession numbers (hockey-reference.com), and he has bounced back and forth in terms of Corsi in the past few seasons. That’s not what you want out of a top 10 pick. His ice-time decreased for the third consecutive season, despite playing relatively the same number of games. From the 2013-2014 season until this past season, his average ice-time at 5-on-5 dropped by nearly 4 minutes per game. That’s a massive drop for a player of only 23 years old. Not a good sign for the future.

Round 1 – Zack Phillips (C) 28th overall – The Wild traded Brent Burns plus a 2nd round pick in 2012 (flipped), for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and this pick. Coyle has been great for the Wild, but the rest has been awful. Setoguchi was traded after one year and has fallen essentially out of the NHL since. Burns has been one of the best d-men in the whole league the last 2 years, but let’s get back to the pick… huge bust. Phillips never played a game, and now plays in Switzerland. Absolute miss here, with the chance to add a much better piece.

Round 2 – Mario Lucia (F) 60th overall – Lucia played his first full pro-season this year, 5 years after being drafted. He scored 22 points in 44 AHL games, which isn’t awful, but not good enough for a 23 year old. I can’t imagine he will improve enough to make the jump to the NHL at any point in the near future. He had good numbers coming out of Notre Dame, so there is hope he can grow, but he’s definitely taken the long route to try and get there.

Round 3 – Pick was traded for the 2nd round pick they used on Mario Lucia, along with another pick to move up in the draft.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Matthew Dumba (D) 7th overall – I’m a big fan of Dumba, he plays a great two-way game, very mobile puck-moving defender who plays a mean game when needed. He had a career best 34 points in 76 games this year, and is 1 goal shy of the most by a defenceman out of the 2012 draft despite playing 40 less games than Jacob Trouba. This was a great pick by Minnesota, as Dumba has been a fixture in their top-4 for the past few seasons.

Round 2 – Raphael Bussieres (LW) 46th overall – Bussieres is a big bust for the Wild, as he’s currently playing in Austria, after playing the majority of the two prior years in the ECHL. He’s not even putting up great numbers in Austria, with 34 points in 48 games. We will likely not see Bussieres again in North American hockey.

Round 3 – John Draeger (D) 68th overall – Draeger just finished his 4th year at Michigan State, with 8 points in 37 games and a -16 rating. Neither of those are promising numbers. Minnesota sports one of the best defense corps in today’s NHL, so Draeger will report to either the AHL or ECHL and hope to grow his game if he still dreams of ever making the jump.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Buffalo with others for Jason Pominville. The pick ended up as Nikita Zadorov (28 points in 145 NHL games), while Pominville has been a consistent performer for the Wild since coming over by trade. Solid trade by the Wild, getting themselves a top-6 winger for 16th overall plus other picks.

Round 2 – Gustav Olofsson (D) 46th overall – Olofsson has played in 15 NHL games since being drafted, and appears to be next in line for a spot with the big club when someone leaves – which is likely with the expansion draft looming. He’s improved each year since being drafted, and should slot into the third pairing as early as next season. Good find in the middle of the 2nd round here by Minnesota.

Round 3 – Kurtis Gabriel (RW) 81st overall – Gabriel was another call-up by the Wild when injuries occurred. He’s no offensive threat, but the Wild are hoping he can provide stability in a defensive role in their bottom-6. He could slot in next season, depending on who else comes in fighting for a spot, as he really provides only a defensive upside. He will have a hard-time being an NHL mainstay.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Alex Tuch (RW) 18th overall – Tuch hasn’t grown nearly as much as I thought he would, as he made his NHL debut late this year, but put up zero points in 6 games. In 57 AHL games he managed only 37 points. While he’s not the worst pick from that first round, the Wild were surely hoping he would make an impact earlier than this. He will get another shot to make the team out of camp next year, but the Wild boast a few other prospects who will be fighting along with him to get a spot.

Round 2 – Part of the package with 2013 1st rounded for Pominville. This pick hasn’t amounted to anything substantial by any means.

Round 3 – Louis Belpedio (D) 80th overall – Belpedio finished his third college season with 17 points in 24 games. Those are good numbers for the young blueliner, but he’s playing in the NCHC, and not the NCAA so it’s hard to really judge those numbers as being as good as they look. He’s a smaller d-man at under 6 feet tall, something which the Wild have a couple similar players already. He’ll have time to grow his game, and looks like he’ll need it.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Joel Eriksson-Ek (C) 20th overall – Eriksson-Ek possesses high-level playmaking ability, and looks to be a surefire top-6 player next year for the Wild. He played the majority of this season in the Swedish Elite League, and put up a respectable 16 points in 28 games. In 15 NHL games, he’s scored 7 points. The Wild are justifiably excited about Eriksson-Ek, and he looks like a great pick at 20 overall.

Round 2 – Jordan Greenway (LW) 50th overall – Greenway is another great pick by the Wild, as the big power-forward had a great year, that was highlighted at the World Junior tournament where he stood out on the gold medal winning USA team.in 37 games at Boston University, Greenway put up 31 points. He’s going to be a force in the NHL, with a great combination of size, grit and skill. Look for him to start the year in the AHL, but make the jump sooner than later.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Arizona for Devan Dubnyk. HA! Can you imagine making this trade now? Can you imagine how Arizona feels looking back at this?

The Wild have made some great selections through these drafts, especially in the past couple of years. They’re rarely missed on their picks (save Zack Phillips), and have found a lot of core pieces they can build around for years to come.

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