Detroit Red Wings: These guys are a fucking disgrace

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by DeToxRox, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. Vinegar Strokes

    Vinegar Strokes Fire Dantonio
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    And Mrazek for $1.5MM for Carolina was a steal.
     
  2. DetroitNole

    DetroitNole Well-Known Member
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    Sounds like Holland acknowledged the possibility Z back might prevent him from playing next year
     
  3. DetroitNole

    DetroitNole Well-Known Member
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    He was garbage last year, even worse after the trade. After 2 bad years hard to imagine he ever gets close to being what we expected
     
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  4. buckwild

    buckwild #BucketsGetsBuckets
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    Fast forward to the 4:50 mark of this YouTube and check out the goalie mask that the Wings goalie was wearing....

     
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  5. DetroitNole

    DetroitNole Well-Known Member
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    https://www.freep.com/story/sports/...-vanek-jonathan-bernier-mike-green/749044002/

     
  6. DetroitNole

    DetroitNole Well-Known Member
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  7. billy89

    billy89 Active Member


    I'd guess that Zadina and Ras would play with Nielsen or Hank TBH. I'd like to see if Larkin could be a 1C and skate him with Bert and Mantha, throw Zadina-Zetterberg-Ras in on the second line, then Nyquist-Nielsen-Abby and then AA-Helm-Vanek. The two young guys could obviously play further down in the line-up, but I feel like that gives you 4 solid lines to roll throughout the night.
     
  8. Vinegar Strokes

    Vinegar Strokes Fire Dantonio
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    Zetterberg going on long term IR per Detroit Sports Rag
     
  9. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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    If Z does LTIRetire, our lines for next year are a disaster. I don’t think Ras starts the year at C but we may have no choice but to move him there by the middle of the season.

    My guess as to what lines look like (as of today):

    Mantha - Larkin - Gus
    Zadina - Nielsen - Vanek
    Ras - Helm - Bert
    Abby - Glendening - Frk/Witowski
     
  10. Poe Dameron

    Poe Dameron The best fucking pilot in the galaxy
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    In Vanek's case the last 5 seasons he has played for 8 different clubs (Sabres, Islanders, Canadiens, Wild, Red Wings, Panthers, Canucks, Blue Jackets).
     
  11. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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  12. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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    I don’t get giving AA a 3 mil cap hit. Mantha should want 5 mil now.
     
  13. DeToxRox

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    Glad this cleared up

     
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  14. Vinegar Strokes

    Vinegar Strokes Fire Dantonio
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    Good fuck Halifax. He’s our now bitches.
     
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  15. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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  16. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    Not that it really matters all that much but that is a cheap AAV for Mantha
     
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  17. Manny

    Manny I love lamp.

    Especially considering AA just got 2 for 6.
     
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  18. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    Agreed. All of this gives Holland enough to lock Larkin down to a nice long term extension instead of a bridge deal
     
  19. Manny

    Manny I love lamp.

    Anyone got the 20-21 Wings article on The Athletic?

    MG2 DeToxRox
     
  20. Constant

    Constant Meh
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    In the Year 2021: Projecting the Red Wings’ lineup for the 2021-22 season

    Craig Custance Jul 20, 2018[​IMG] 31 [​IMG]
    The Red Wings and Dylan Larkin are making headway on a contract extension that is going to have long-term ramifications for the organization. It’s going to establish the cap hit of arguably its most important young player. It’s going to give the other cornerstone players a deal to work off. It’s also going to lock down a player who may end up being the captain of the team.

    Asked for an update on Thursday, Larkin sounded upbeat.

    “It’s coming together. Maybe something pretty soon,” Larkin told The Athletic. “It goes back and forth. I’ve learned the business part of it. Between free agency and the draft and everything, it’s tough to get time to talk for my agent and Kenny. That’s part of summer and part of how it goes.”

    His conclusion?

    “I don’t think it’ll go anywhere near September,” he said, with a pause. “But that’s coming soon.”

    The extension will likely be in the five- or six-year range, which would make him a rarity among Red Wings players — guys who will be under contract to start the 2021 season. The Red Wings are in the process of burning through their questionable contracts and this season marks a bit of a breakthrough on that front. For the first time during the rebuild, the Red Wings should have a ton of cap flexibility next offseason.

    But in keeping with a summer tradition started last year, it can be just as fun to look beyond next season. Last year, we projected three years out. With a year’s worth of information and another year to project, it starts to look much different when we do the same exercise this summer. Before we dive in, let’s set a couple of ground rules:

    1. I’m allowed to give contract extensions to players I project as realistic candidates, especially RFAs. But I’m not making any trades, like, say, Andreas Athanasiou for a draft pick.

    2. If a player is under contract, he makes this team. No buyouts. This is also an exercise to see which contracts are still going to be an issue and how old the player will be when it is.

    3. Actually, that’s it. Just two rules.

    Your 2021-22 Red Wings (with age to start that season in parentheses).

    Forwards
    Left wing Center Right wing
    Tyler Bertuzzi (26) Dylan Larkin (25) Filip Zadina (21)
    Andreas Athanasiou (27) Joe Veleno (21) Anthony Mantha (27)
    Jonatan Berggren (21) Michael Rasmussen (22) Evgeny Svechnikov (24)
    Justin Abdelkader (34) Frans Nielsen (37) Givani Smith (23)
    Notes: If Filip Zadina makes the team out of camp this season or exceeds his nine-game NHL threshold, 2021-22 will be the first year out of his entry-level deal for the Red Wings. If he’s as good as advertised, this will be the season he gets a huge raise. So, in theory, you’d like to capitalize on one of his cheap, entry-level seasons before it gets to that point. For that to be the case, the Red Wings need to be a legit playoff team by 2020-21 at the latest. Considering the parity of the league and the growing collection of young talent, that’s not an unrealistic goal. … A couple of things on Justin Abdelkader: One, he’ll still have another season left on his deal after this one. That’s less than ideal. Two, if the cap goes up at a conservative rate of $2 million per season, that would put the cap at $85.5 million. Abdelkader’s cap hit is $4.25 million, 5 percent of the Red Wings’ cap space. So Abdelkader’s salary in 2021-22 will be the equivalent of paying someone $3.975 million this season. For this contract to slot into the proper place, the Red Wings will need the cap to get closer to $90 million and even that is a stretch since you can get veterans in free agency to populate the team for less than $3 million. Three, according to CapFriendly.com, starting in 2020-21, the no-trade clause in Abdelkader’s contract stipulates that he can be traded to any team if he’s not a top-nine forward in ice time. So between that, and coming expansion, it’s not out of the realm of possibility the Red Wings get out of this deal.

    Defensemen
    Left defense Right defense
    Bowen Byram (20) Filip Hronek (23)
    Dennis Cholowski (23) Gustav Lindstrom (22)
    Danny DeKeyser (31) Vili Saarijarvi (24)
    Jared McIsaac (21)
    Notes: While the forward group looks promising, this one is very much a work in progress. Six of the seven players will be 24 or younger, and that’s tough for an NHL defense. Expect the Red Wings to use their cap flexibility to aggressively pursue a top defenseman via free agency in the next couple of years. So this isn’t how this group will ultimately play out, and chances are, not all of the young defensemen in the system will become NHL players, let alone top-four defensemen. … At this point, it’s probably unrealistic to think the Red Wings will land Jack Hughes in the 2019 draft. They don’t have the worst roster in the league, and probably not bottom three. And even if they bottom out, the odds aren’t in their favor. Hughes is the crown jewel of the 2019 draft and would be a game-changer if he ended up in Detroit. But aside from that, the Red Wings’ biggest need is on defense. According to Corey Pronman’s way too early top 25, the best defenseman in the coming draft class is Vancouver’s (WHL) Bowen Byram. Pronman had him slotted at No. 6, which is a realistic draft slot for the Red Wings. While we don’t advocate drafting for need, the ideal is the Red Wings grabbing a defenseman with their top pick in 2019, so Byram will be the placeholder for that pick. … This year is a crucial one for Filip Hronek, who made serious strides in the AHL last season and should push to make the team out of camp. Again, he’s probably not a top-pair defenseman, but we’ll have a better indication after this season. … The name you often hear in comparison to Dennis Cholowski is Jay Bouwmeester. Cholowski may not put up a lot of offense but he can skate really well and transport the puck. If he gets close to that projection, he’s in the top four. … As for Gustav Lindstrom, his upside is Anton Stralman. Again, that’s probably best-case scenario, but if it happens, he’s in the top four. … Nothing wrong with a 31-year-old Danny DeKeyser on the third pair, although the price tag ($5 million cap hit) is high. This 2021-22 season is the final year of his deal.

    Goalies
    Filip Larsson (23)
    Keith Petruzzelli (22)
    Notes: Goaltending will be an area of interest to watch in the organization over the next few years. Jimmy Howard’s contract is up and the signing of Jonathan Bernier to a three-year contract removes any pressure to extend Howard beyond this season. That said, there isn’t a young goalie knocking on the door in Detroit for the foreseeable future so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the current tandem in place for the next couple of years. All that changes for the 2021-22 season. Bernier’s contract will be expired and he’ll be 33. That’s not necessarily prohibitive to bringing him back but there should be better options. According to this hockey-graphs piece on goalie aging curves, the decline gets ugly for goalies around 35, so running Bernier back at this point wouldn’t be wise. But it’s rare to find successful playoff teams guided by 23-year-olds either. This suggests that, at some point, the Red Wings should explore adding a starting goalie who will be about 27 in 2021 if they want to seriously contend.

     
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  21. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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    Z’s agent did an interview in Sweden where he admitted Z hasn’t determined if he will play or not.

    Camp starts in about six weeks. I just don’t see how the guy will play at this point.
     
  22. DetroitNole

    DetroitNole Well-Known Member
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    Anyone see the bullshit rumored trade that I guess 97.1 started?

    https://www.nhltraderumors.me/2018/07/rumor-blockbuster-for-ages.html?m=1


    Allegedly, this is what each team would be receiving:
    Detroit:
    Max Pacioretty
    Charlie Lindgren
    Ryan Murray

    Columbus:
    Dylan Larkin
    Andreas Athanasiou
    Noah Juulsen
    2019 1st round pick (MTL)

    Montreal:
    Artemi Panarin
    2019 2nd round pick (DET)

    NOTE: Although it wasn't specified what their destinations would be, it is reported that Justin Abdelkader and Boone Jenner could be included in this trade proposal.
     
  23. IHHH

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    Yeah, fuck that
     
  24. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    Scott Wheeler from The Athletic just released his top 50 drafted prospects...

    5. Filip Zadina, RW/LW, 18 (Detroit Red Wings — 6th overall, 2018)
    I’m fairly confident the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators will grow to regret their Friday night in Dallas, at least quietly. Their loss is the Red Wings’ gain — and they needed it. Despite the team’s desperate need for a rebuild, Zadina is their lone prospect in the top 50. Though I will say this: I really liked their 2018 draft, from Zadina on down to Joe Veleno and Jonatan Berggren. Zadina, more than the three forwards ahead of him on this list, is at his best when the puck’s on his stick and he can create as a primary carrier and option. Both Pettersson and Svechnikov can be dominant off the puck, finishing off plays in a split second. Zadina is electrifying because he scores his goals with that extra touch before he releases it in order to change his angle, a darting lateral cut, or a deke.

    By Scott Wheeler 1h ago[​IMG] 82 [​IMG]
    Another NHL offseason is on the verge of coming to a close. Free agency has all but wrapped up and we now have a good idea of how all 31 NHL teams — and their prospect pools — will look heading into the 2018-2019 season.

    That also means it’s time for my annual top 50 drafted prospects ranking. The criteria align with my team rankings. They are as follows:

    • The players must be 23 and under. Data suggests that a player is largely done developing by the time he turns 23. As a result, a few players I quite like, such as Blackhawks draftee (Dylan Sikura who turned 23 in June), are excluded.
    • Players approaching that age cutoff who spent the bulk of last season in the NHL, including young talents like Sonny Milano and Travis Sanheim, were also excluded.
    • Some other players (primarily those closer to the 23-year-old cutoff) who finished the year in the NHL and look poised to return this fall, such as the Maple Leafs’ Travis Dermott and Kasperi Kapanen, were also arbitrarily excluded.
    Above all, one thing matters most in my rankings: Skill. The ranking tilts toward players with high-end ceilings, not those who are likely to fill depth roles if/when they land in the NHL full-time.

    [​IMG]

    1. Rasmus Dahlin, LHD, 18 (Buffalo Sabres — 1st overall, 2018)
    This wasn’t up for debate. As good as the trio of players who follow him on this list really are, I believe Dahlin has the ability to become the best defenceman in the world, taking the mantle from Erik Karlsson in the process. I don’t love the term ‘generational talent’ but that would make him one. Dahlin can break a game open offensively as a shooter, passer, and handler, and he can impact it at a high level defensively (a newer development) with his gap control and an emerging physical game. Dahlin has some of the best puck skills I’ve ever seen for a player his age, let alone a defenceman. His game will take him as far as he wants it to. For more on what makes Dahlin so special, read my stylistic breakdown of his game here.

    2. Elias Pettersson, C/RW, 19 (Vancouver Canucks — 6th overall, 2017)
    By now we know what he has accomplished. We know, in a league that has produced Kent Nilsson, Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, Nicklas Backstrom, and the Sedin brothers, that Pettersson now stands alone atop the all-time under-20 seasons with 56 points in 44 games. That play carried over into 19 points in 13 playoff games too, also marking the best postseason by a player of his age, ahead of the Sedins, Alex Steen, and Anze Kopitar. Some have expressed concerns about his size holding him back. I’m confident that won’t be an issue. Pettersson is slender but he plays so fast (not in terms of pacing as a skater but in terms of decision-making) that he doesn’t often put himself into spots as a handler where he has to out-muscle an opposing player. And his light frame, despite standing 6-foot-2, doesn’t inhibit the strength of his shot: Pettersson is one of the best one-touch shooters not currently in the NHL. For more on Pettersson, read my video breakdown here. He’s going to get his — often — and he’s my early pick for next season’s Calder Trophy.

    3. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, 18 (Carolina Hurricanes — 2nd overall, 2018)
    Speaking of one-touch shooters. If Pettersson is one of the better one-timers in this class, Svechnikov may top the list. There’s a real argument for Svechnikov at No. 2 on this list. He’s physical, he’s athletic, he’s strong on the puck, and he has the puck skills and the release to put all of that together into an offensive package that should immediately make him an impact player in the NHL as a rookie this season. The Hurricanes desperately needed a game-breaking goal scorer, and Svechnikov is that kind of talent. He doesn’t break teams down with one-on-one flair, but he can finish in so many different ways and already has the power to match his talent.

    Here are some quotes from a couple of recent draftees on playing against Svechnikov:

    “Last year I was just trying to get on the ice and he was putting up two or three goals on us. He was a man among boys. He was impressive.” – Jack Drury

    “At 16, he seemed like a 20-year-old out there.” – Blake McLaughlin

    4. Casey Mittelstadt, C, 19 (Buffalo Sabres — 8th overall, 2017)
    Casey Mittelstadt is that rare mix of already-incredibly-talented and yet still super, super raw. I rarely leave a viewing in awe of young players anymore, but I remember feeling that way after watching Mittelstadt play in the 2016-2017 All-American Prospects Game at the start of his draft year. He was, in a game with players like Kailer Yamamoto and Jason Robertson, peerless. And he has just exploded ever since. Today, he’s more of a playmaker than a passer. There are spurts in games where he looks like he can create scoring chances at will and we got a brief taste of that in his end-of-year stint with the Sabres. He’s going to be a terror at the NHL level within a year or two.

    5. Filip Zadina, RW/LW, 18 (Detroit Red Wings — 6th overall, 2018)
    I’m fairly confident the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators will grow to regret their Friday night in Dallas, at least quietly. Their loss is the Red Wings’ gain — and they needed it. Despite the team’s desperate need for a rebuild, Zadina is their lone prospect in the top 50. Though I will say this: I really liked their 2018 draft, from Zadina on down to Joe Veleno and Jonatan Berggren. Zadina, more than the three forwards ahead of him on this list, is at his best when the puck’s on his stick and he can create as a primary carrier and option. Both Pettersson and Svechnikov can be dominant off the puck, finishing off plays in a split second. Zadina is electrifying because he scores his goals with that extra touch before he releases it in order to change his angle, a darting lateral cut, or a deke.

    6. Eeli Tolvanen, RW/LW, 19 (Nashville Predators — 30th overall, 2017)
    Every so often, a player falls and it defies logic. In 2017, that players was Tolvanen. The year before, take your pick: Jakob Chychrun, Sam Steel, Samuel Girard, Vitalii Abramov. In 2016, it was Mat Barzal. Sometimes, with players like Chychrun, it boils down to over-exposure. But there’s a common theme in others, like Abramov, and Girard, and Tolvanen: Size, and peripheral, largely inconsequential concerns around status (Tolvanen not having the grades to get into Boston College) and league (the QMJHL for the other two). It’s on scouts to look past those issues and identify real, tangible, translatable NHL skill sets. Tolvanen always had that. There was no denying before the draft, and nobody should be surprised by what came after.

    Tolvanen has also often been miscast as a one-dimensional spot-up shooter because he’s not a great playmaker, but he’ll create more for himself than just as a shot threat in space. This clip of Tolvanen activating in the defensive zone and driving the net in his last game in the KHL wasn’t a rare sight last year:

    And once he figured out how to be as dynamic off the rush as he is in tight spaces in the offensive zone the rest of his game opened up irrespective of his stature.

    7. Miro Heiskanen, LHD, 19 (Dallas Stars — 3rd overall, 2017)
    While Pettersson did his thing in neighbouring Sweden, Heiskanen tried to pull the ‘ole “anything you can do, I can do better” routine in Finland. His 0.77 points per game (23 points in 30 games) not only led all Liiga defensemen last year, but it would have led the league in every season since Erik Karlsson paid it a visit in 2012-2013. If you tighten that to under-19 players, Heiskanen is fresh off the greatest season by a defenceman of his age in the history of Liiga, and a mark best only by a small group of forwards in recent memory: Sebastian Aho, Teemu Pulkkinen, Mikkael Granlund, Kristian Vesalainen. I was lower on Heiskanen than most ahead of last year’s draft, but his play last year demonstrated he was more than just a really good two-way defenceman. He has dynamic offensive skill and grew more creative as the season progressed.

    8. Quinn Hughes, LHD, 18 (Vancouver Canucks — 7th overall, 2018)
    Too much has been made of Hughes lacking a big shot. May it prevent him from posting massive numbers offensively? Maybe. But it’s not going to stop him from creating offence, running a power play, or joining the rush. Hughes is an elite (and I hate that word) four-way skater who defends extremely well for his size. He will play an up-tempo transition game that should complement players like Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson, as well as a bevy other high-end prospects the Canucks have managed to draft or acquire. Mix in some creativity, high-end footwork at the offensive zone blueline, and a willingness to hang on to the puck that extra second if he needs to slow the game down rather than speed it up, and Hughes has the ability to bring a unique element to a young core in Vancouver that will otherwise be built primarily around goaltending (Thatcher Demko, Michael DiPietro) and a bevy of talented forwards (Kole Lind, Adam Gaudette, etc.).

    9. Martin Necas, C/RW, 19 (Carolina Hurricanes — 12th overall, 2017)
    Necas is one of the bigger boom-or-bust talents. I don’t think it’s out of the question that he becomes a perimeter, depth creator. But there are also so many different layers to his game. If he can get a little bit stronger there’s room for him to become a truly special player and wow in the same way someone like his countryman David Pastrnak has at the NHL level. The only player who has scored at a higher under-19 clip than Necas’ 0.71 points per game in the last two decades at the Czech Republic’s top pro level is Jiri Hudler. What’s intriguing about Necas is that he creates offence despite often appearing hesitant to drive the middle lane. He also doesn’t play particularly fast, and thrives by slowing the game down to allow his cross-ice playmaking ability to take over. In a lot of ways, that could make him the perfect linemate for Andrei Svechnikov if he can get a little stronger and stick at centre in the NHL. Together, they could give a Hurricanes team two dynamic creators.

    10. Dylan Strome, C, 21 (Arizona Coyotes — 3rd overall, 2015)
    Strome has taken a lot of slack for not progressing as quickly as just about every other player who was taken near the top of the 2015 draft. And yet, I’m not the least bit worried that he’s not going to turn into a high-end centre in the NHL. He is, and he will. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens as early as this season. Strome was as good as any young player in the AHL has been in recent memory last year, and he was an absolute terror at the junior level for three seasons before that. His skating still needs work and may never get to where you’d hope it would get for a third overall pick but Strome has figured the rest of the game out. Here’s the complete list of under-21 AHL forwards who’ve played 35 games in a season (or half a year) in recent memory and have scored at a higher rate than Strome did last season: Kyle Palmieri, Mikko Rantanen, William Nylander, Logan Couture, Ryan Strome. That’s it. Players Strome out-scored: Claude Giroux, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Eric Staal, Bobby Ryan. He’s already got the playmaking and puck handling skills, and despite a long drawback on his release it’s powerful enough to cleanly beat goalies.

    11. Kirill Kaprizov, RW, 21 (Minnesota Wild — 135th overall, 2015)
    Kaprizov is a brilliant offensive player fresh off tying for CSKA’s scoring lead, finishing second at the Olympics in scoring with nine points in six games, and another eight points in eight games behind only Pavel Datsyuk for Team Russia at the world championships. If he were to step into the NHL next season, I believe he has the talent to do what Artemi Panarin did as a rookie three seasons ago — or damn close. He’s that good and is actually further ahead than Panarin was at the same age. The issue, and it’s real, is whether the Wild will ever be able to bring him over. Kaprizov is signed with CSKA for next season and seems content to wait out the Wild, who’ve never built a strong relationship with him. Boy, could the Wild ever use a player of Kaprizov’s skill right now though. For more on what makes him so unique, read my video breakdown of his game here.

    12. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, 18 (New York Islanders — 11th overall, 2018)
    If I could make scouting heart eyes at Wahlstrom, I would. The kid can just flat out shoot the puck and score goals. He can just rip it. Sometimes, that’s enough. There are other redeemable NHL traits to his game; he’s physically strong and athletic, he does a wonderful job shading away from defenders into open ice without putting himself on the perimeter, he anticipates the play well with and without the puck, and he’s got decent handling ability. He’s not a breakaway skater but he’s going to score a ton of goals at the NHL level with linemates who can get him the puck. I expect he’ll be a dominant force on a Boston College team that has a lot of good two-way players but lacks a high-end scorer. And a year from now he’ll be in the NHL as a one-and-done collegiate athlete ready to make a run at the Calder alongside a player like Barzal. The Islanders have made a number of questionable moves in the early days of Lou Lamoriello’s tenure, but taking Wahlstrom was not one of them. He could go down as one of the 2018 draft’s steals.

    13. Gabe Vilardi, C, 18 (Los Angeles Kings — 11th overall, 2017)
    Vilardi is one of those rare players who you don’t really notice much in a game and then you look at the boxscore at the end of the night and he’s got a goal and an assist. He’s Evan Bouchard… but a forward. During his draft year, I fell in love with his two-way game, particularly during his brilliant Memorial Cup performance where he didn’t score a single goal but he was still Windsor’s best player. Since, I have had to really key in on Vilardi in some of my viewings because I have left a couple of them unimpressed with his tools despite the fact that he’s clearly one of the most productive players in junior hockey. What you realize, when you watch Vilardi enough, is that he’s his most dangerous when he’s just making simple plays, winning battles on the cycling, and hanging onto the puck to allow lanes to open up for a shot or a cross-seam pass. He’s got good hands, he’s strong on the puck, and he’s deftly aware of where his linemates are on the ice. I wouldn’t be surprised if he surprises out of camp and steals a spot behind Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter if the Kings are willing to play Adrian Kempe on the wing. Vilardi should never have been available when they nabbed him 11th overall.

    14. Ryan Donato, C/LW, 22 (Boston Bruins — 56th overall, 2014)
    As soon as Donato took his wiry pre-draft frame and added some muscle and some strength, there was no looking back. The talent was always there and his ability to just come at teams in waves as a scoring threat made him one of NCAA hockey’s best players two years running — and a worthy Hobey Baker finalist. Once he did what he did at the Olympic Games, leading the tournament in goals with five in as many games, it was clear that he was going to be a star at the NHL level. College hockey is the best route for a lot of players, and Donato is a perfect case study. It’s absolutely crazy that a team as desperate for secondary scoring as the Bruins became in the playoffs didn’t use Donato in more than three games. I recognize that it’s tough for coaches to lean on a rookie when they’ve got veterans who just played 80-plus games, but it’s crazy. He’s going to immediately become one of Boston’s best offensive threats this season.

    15. Thomas Chabot, LHD, 21 (Ottawa Senators — 18th overall, 2015)
    There isn’t a lot to get excited about in Ottawa these days, but Sens fans can hang onto Chabot tight. I don’t think he’s going to be the superstar, Norris-contending defenceman many are hoping he might become, but Chabot has the ability to be a perennial 40-point defenceman who can hold his own at even-strength in the defensive zone and run a top power-play unit. While Chabot doesn’t have separation speed, he’s mobile for his size and doesn’t have to strictly rely on his feet to break the puck out of his own zone. If he can continue to improve his shot, even a little, he’s got a good chance at doing big things on a team that desperately needs as many good young players as it can get its hands on.

    16. Jordan Kyrou, C/RW, 20 (St. Louis Blues — 35th overall, 2016)
    Kyrou is one of the best skaters on the planet. That much is undeniable. But there are incredible skaters (the Devils’ Michael McLeod, for one) who didn’t make this list because their feet are moving a few steps faster than their brains are and they end up on the outside, or put themselves into the corner in the offensive zone by hanging onto the puck too long. When Kyrou figured out how to make plays as fast as he skates, he became unstoppable at the OHL level, especially because he always had a deceptive release point and high-end puck skills. I truly believe he should be in the NHL, not the AHL, next season. He’s ready to make an immediate impact (though more likely on the wing than down the middle) and could really surprise in camp. Outside of Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen (who has played both sides), the Blues’ right wing depth is also definitely comparatively weaker to where they’re at on left wing and centre. For more on what makes Kyrou special, read my video breakdown of his game here.

    17. Robert Thomas, C, 19 (St. Louis Blues — 20th overall, 2017)
    The additions of Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak down the middle made Thomas’ path to making the Blues this season a difficult one, which is kind of a shame because I think he’s probably ready for that next step. Another year in the OHL wouldn’t be the worst thing for Thomas, though. He still needs to become more dangerous as a shooter because his two-way game and playmaking ability are already there. I didn’t love the way he played at this year’s Memorial Cup but he was the driving force behind getting Hamilton there in the first place.

    18. Henrik Borgstrom, C, 20 (Florida Panthers — 23rd overall, 2016)
    Borgstrom is another one of those players, like Donato, who always had the frame and the skill to project as a high-end player but needed to go the college route so that he could get stronger and learn to play a more physical game. His disappointing world juniors two years ago soured a lot of people on him but he has shown ever since that he has the ability and the size to become an effective, sometimes-dominant centre who has fabulous hands for a player his size. Borgstrom doesn’t look like he’s 6-foot-3 when he handles the puck in traffic. He still needs to get a little stronger but he makes the game look effortless. It may take him longer than most of the players ahead of him on this list to settle in at the NHL level if he makes the Panthers out of camp but I believe he’s already the organization’s third most talented option at centre behind Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trochek.

    19. Cale Makar, RHD, 19 (Colorado Avalanche — 4th overall, 2017)
    Makar is one of those players whose offensive gifts are unquestionably already there, and would allow him to iron out a role if he stepped into the NHL tomorrow. But he’s also still quite raw and needs to spend time playing games against good competition in order to allow that skill to adjust to the game. He’s a smart enough player in terms of his decision-making that all of that should come in time, even if he still has some kinks (gap control, physicality) that need sorting out. He’s an effortless skater and handler who can make plays from a standstill or in transition with his feet and his knack for leading his teammates with a pass. He’s going to play huge minutes as UMass-Amherst’s captain next season and that will be really good for his development. He’s already a high-end utility option as a quarterback on the power play, so much so that he was given consideration for Canada’s Olympic team. He’s also the first right-handed defenceman to appear on this list, which doesn’t hurt.

    20. Adam Boqvist, RHD, 17 (Chicago Blackhawks — 8th overall, 2018)
    Speaking of utility, right-handed power play quarterbacks! Boqvist might be that kind of player’s biggest archetype. There’s a chance this is one of the rankings that doesn’t look good a few years from now if Boqvist bottoms out and never figures out his defensive game. Still, he’s just so talented as a handler, skater, and particularly as a shooter, that I can’t ignore him. His trajectory will be fascinating to track, because he’s going to put up huge points offensively as a rookie with the London Knights next season and it will be on Dale Hunter and his staff to sort out his defensive warts. If Boqvist can become even a competent defender in his own zone and learn to engage more in puck battles, he’s got the chance to be special. He’s going to make a lot of teams look silly in the OHL next season.

    21. Evan Bouchard, RHD, 18 (Edmonton Oilers — 10th overall, 2018)
    Speaking of the London Knights! How do you spread out power play time when you have two of the three best power play threats in the league (Ryan Merkley was the other) and they both have the same handedness? We’re going to find out next season if Bouchard doesn’t make the Oilers, which I suspect he won’t — in which case we could well see him post record-setting numbers offensively in the OHL. Side note: It’s a little sick that most teams spend two or three years rebuilding and the Knights do it in one year by hanging onto one of the best young players in the league and stealing another in the import draft. Bouchard, who I mentioned above when talking about Vilardi, is the antithesis to Boqvist. The latter makes flashy, high-risk plays to create offence. The former just creates offence, without anyone else really realizing. Both have huge shots. If Bouchard can improve his skating and continue to remove some airhead positioning lapses from his game, he’s got the potential to be a franchise defenceman for the Oilers.

    22. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C/W, 18 (Montreal Canadiens — 3rd overall, 2018)
    Ranking Kotkaniemi this low will likely surprise some people. The truth is, I was much higher than most on Kotkaniemi early in the year and he was one of my favourite players in the 2018 draft stylistically. But I’m not prepared to say he was the right pick for the Habs third overall. I have Filip Zadina, Quinn Hughes, and Oliver Wahlstrom a tier above him, and believe Evan Bouchard and Adam Boqvist are right there with him in terms of potential upside. I have faith that Kotkaniemi will become a very good middle-six forward in the NHL, I’m just not yet sure he has the offensive gifts to be a dynamic first-line talent. He’s got high-end puck skills for a player of his size and age but I’m not convinced he’s going to set the league on fire. He put himself in some impressive company with his production last season, though. While I didn’t come away impressed with his game in this year’s playoffs for Assat, he looked in complete control at the U18s. Kotkaniemi could play in the NHL next year but I think the Habs should be mindful of his trajectory and wait a year.

    Kotkaniemi is at his best when he’s attacking the middle of the zone and drawing attention. On his lone point in seven playoff games he did just that, driving across the blueline before making a lateral pass. Here, he creates the goal despite only picking up the secondary assist:

    23. Filip Chytil, C, 18 (New York Rangers — 21st overall, 2017)
    It’s crazy that Chytil, who doesn’t turn 19 until September, has already played a full season in the AHL and another in the top pro league in the Czech Republic. He was days away from being eligible for the 2018 draft but never looked out of place last season, picking up 31 points in 46 games as one of the younger players to ever play in the AHL — and did so on a Hartford team that didn’t offer much up front in terms of help. Chytil is a big, athletic centre who loves to have the puck on his stick and doesn’t have to rely on a chip-and-chase, cycle game to generate offence. While he projects more as a second-line centre than a first-line talent, Chytil still has time on his side. For a player who’s as heavy as he is (he’s already over 200 pounds), Chytil has a fluid, light stride which allows him to change direction and pace with more agility than you’d expect.

    24. Brady Tkachuk, LW, 18 (Ottawa Senators — 4th overall, 2018)
    I like Tkachuk’s game. He plays a fast, mean, heavy game that quickly endears him to coaches. He’s physical, he’s got strong hands in tight, and he isn’t afraid to go to the front of the net. Where Tkachuk’s game lacks is just in his ability to score goals. As a playmaker, he can do a lot of damage off the wall and on the cycle to make plays happen for his linemate. But despite his size and strength (which will both continue to develop), he doesn’t have a heavy, dangerous shot. That could limit him unless he can improve it in a noticeable way. With Tkachuk, I see an extremely talented, spirited player who likely projects more as a second-line creator than as a first-line threat. For that reason, I wouldn’t have taken him fourth overall.

    25. Ilya Samsonov, G, 21 (Washington Capitals — 22nd overall, 2015)
    Ever since Samsonov was named under-18 worlds top goaltender four years ago (!), he hasn’t let up. He was unflappable in the MHL, progressed quickly to the KHL, and hasn’t looked back. He has consistently posted save percentages in the .925-.950 range in the KHL and every international opportunity he has been afforded. At this point, he’s one of only a handful of goalies I would confidently project as an NHL starter. He’s heavy for a goaltender but he has never sacrificed athleticism or technique because of it. I fully anticipate if he doesn’t start the upcoming season as Braden Holtby’s backup that he’ll be there before the end of the year. And if his performance to date is any indication, he should follow it up with an excellent NHL career. Three of the best eight seasons ever by an under-21 goalie in the KHL now belong to Samsonov.

    26. Kristian Vesalainen, RW/LW, 19 (Winnipeg Jets — 24th overall, 2017)
    The worry with Vesalainen, and part of the reason he fell so far after beginning his draft year as a projected top-10 pick was that he dominated international tournaments because he was so much bigger and stronger than his peers. Many scouts questioned whether he had enough talent to emerge as a top-line threat at the pro level, or whether he would settle in as more of a depth guy. In his time in the SHL, he could never really shed that. But he was also really, really young. This year, he broke those moulds and emerged as a towering, borderline unstoppable presence off the wing. While his play in the playoffs on loan to Karpat wasn’t as dominant as he was with HPK, he still put together one of the better seasons in recent memory in Sweden for a teenager. If he continues to progress at last year’s rate, he’ll give an already loaded Jets forward group the cheap depth they’re going to need once Patrik Laine and company get paid.

    27. Carter Hart, G, 19 (Philadelphia Flyers — 48th overall, 2016)
    I erred on the side of caution in having Samsonov as my top goalie on the list because he has done it against tougher competition and for a longer period of time but Hart is probably the most purely gifted goalie prospect in the world. His results speak for itself: Hart is a two-time CHL goaltender of the year (quite frankly, he should have won it over Michael McNiven two years ago too) and three-time WHL goaltender of the year (a first). Last year, Hart’s .947 save percentage was the highest in WHL history. This, in a league that has produced Carey Price, Cam Ward, James Reimer, and Martin Jones, among others, in recent memory. The Flyers have needed a true starting goalie for as long as I can remember and Hart should become that guy sooner than later.

    28. Cody Glass, C, 19 (Vegas Golden Knights — 6th overall, 2017)
    I mean no disrespect to Keiffer Bellows but watching Portland play this year made me realize how far off he is, despite having a world-class shot, from truly being a top prospect in the way Glass is. Glass is that centre every single team wants. He’s reliable in his own zone, always hunting the puck, strong on his skates and his stick, a decent scorer, and an even better playmaker. He can create off the rush or he can create off the cycle. He wins more battles than he loses. There’s not a lot to dislike about his game. In the last decade, the closest comparable WHL player in terms of age, size and production was Mark Stone during his post-draft season. Here’s what their numbers look like side-by-side:

    [​IMG]

    Just like Stone, Glass should probably go back to the WHL for one final season next year. After that, watch out.

    29. Timothy Liljegren, RHD, 19 (Toronto Maple Leafs — 17th overall, 2017)
    Liljegren isn’t quite where a lot of Leafs fans think he is, but he’s fresh off a strong rookie season in the AHL where he was more than a full year younger than the league’s next-youngest defenceman. He’s one of the best three-zone outlet passers you’ll ever see at his age, he’s silky smooth with the puck, and his defensive game and physicality have both taken huge leaps. But there’s a but. Liljegren is also a mediocre straight-line skater, doesn’t attack nearly aggressively enough from the blueline, and can get caught puck-watching in the defensive zone. The end result is a creative, heady defenceman who can handle his own defensively and man a power play offensively. There’s work to be done, though. Another full year in the AHL could do wonders. I suspect he settles into the NHL as a top-four defencemen who can play the PP in the next two years.

    30. Nick Suzuki, C, 18 (Vegas Golden Knights — 13th overall, 2017)
    Suzuki’s another one of those players who could probably benefit from playing in the AHL but has to play in the NHL or return to junior. Unfortunately, that likely means Suzuki, who was one of the younger players in last year’s draft, has to return to Owen Sound after posting 231 points in 157 games over the course of the last two seasons. The good news is he’s young, so there’s no rush. The other good news is he can play in this year’s world juniors (he should have played in last year’s world juniors but that’s for a different day…). The bad news is, another 100-point season probably doesn’t do much to challenge him. He was so much better than everyone else on Owen Sound last year at forward and truly did it all on his own, finishing the season with 31 more points than anyone else. That’s crazy. Between Suzuki, Glass, and Lucas Elvenes, the Golden Knights have some really good young talent coming up front.

    31. Vitalii Abramov, RW/LW, 20 (Columbus Blue Jackets — 65th overall, 2016)
    I have a love affair with Vitalii Abramov. I still can’t believe he wasn’t a first-rounder. He can play the entire game at full speed with the puck on a string. There’s nothing that any team in the QMJHL could do to stop him from the moment he stepped into the league — and posted seven points in his first two games in his draft year — until the moment he stepped out of it riding a 15-game point streak that saw him register 41 points. It’s amazing to watch and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes an NHL all-star someday. He’s the player I have seen play live on this list the most so there’s likely an inherent bias there but I’m confident I’ve got him right. For more on what makes Abramov so dangerous, read my video breakdown of his game here. The only thing that may hold him back is his size. But if you can’t get a piece of him, you can’t hit him.

    32. Jack Roslovic, C/RW, 21 (Winnipeg Jets — 21st overall, 2015)
    Roslovic is one of those players who doesn’t dominate a game with any one skill but worked to become just good enough at everything that he’s a dominant player anyway. He was right on the verge of being excluded from this list because he technically finished the year with the Jets but he wasn’t a lock in their playoff lineup so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Plus he doesn’t turn 22 until January of next year. He’s going to be a productive, reliable, versatile middle-six forward for the Jets. His numbers mirrored Strome’s last year at the AHL level, too, though in a smaller sample size.

    33. Daniel Sprong, RW, 21 (Pittsburgh Penguins — 46th overall, 2015)
    True story: Someone once sent me hate mail for how high I ranked Sprong on my final list in 2015 (he was 16th, which in hindsight will look just fine). Side note: I later found out someone also sent the same message to Marc Dumont, now a colleague at The Athletic. I’ll confess that I really, really like Sprong’s skill set. At the time, he was one of the most explosive, rawly gifted QMJHL prospects I’d watched. He remains one the most aggressively, purely talented young handlers and skaters in hockey. After making the Penguins out of his first training camp, expectations were probably unduly high on how close he was at the time. Last year, after leading all AHL rookies in goals (32), Sprong was named to the all-rookie team and now looks poised to make the jump to the NHL full-time. He’s going to make a lot of plays that really excite Penguins fans.

    34. Adam Fox, RHD, 20 (Carolina Hurricanes — 66th overall, 2016)
    A lot was made about the Flames-Hurricanes deal and Carolina coming out of it with the best player in Dougie Hamilton. They also managed to end up with a player I’d previously ranked as Calgary’s best prospect. Fox could come out of the trade as the biggest gem and gives the Hurricanes another high-end incoming defenceman in a couple of years. He was named to the ECAC’s first all-star team as a freshman and a sophomore, and now enters his junior year having established himself as one of college hockey’s best players with a chance to become the eighth player to make the ECAC’s first all-star team three times (and the first defenceman to do it). I wouldn’t be surprised if he graduates having become the first player in one of college hockey’s best divisions to be a four-time first all-star. He’s not a real scoring threat from the back end but he’s one of the best playmaking defencemen I’ve watched in the NCAA in recent memory.

    35. Juuso Valimaki, LHD, 19 (Calgary Flames — 16th overall, 2017)
    Part of the reason the Flames were likely willing to give up a player like Fox in the Hanifin-Hamilton deal is because they have a number of other high-end young D prospects, including Valimaki (and two more in the honourable mentions), waiting in the wings. Valimaki is a physical specimen whose game is beginning to catch up to his athletic gifts. He was unstoppable in this year’s WHL playoffs, and led all defencemen in points per game (1.42) with 17 points in 12 games for Tri-City. For more on Valimaki and the way he has used a huge shot presence to open up the rest of his game offensively, read my video breakdown of his game here.

    36. Olli Juolevi, LHD, 20 (Vancouver Canucks — 5th overall, 2016)
    The Canucks have taken a lot of flack for drafting Juolevi as high as they did when Clayton Keller and Matthew Tkachuk were still on the board — and rightfully so — but Juolevi remains a solid prospect who projects as a second pairing defenceman with some decent offensive upside. He’s not a game-breaking talent and he’s never going to be the defencemen many believed he might become after his world juniors performance in his draft year, but there are a lot of redeeming qualities about what he brings. The only under-20 defencemen who’ve been more productive than his 0.5 points per game since the turn of the century in Liiga? Heiskanen (0.77), Sami Vatanen (0.60), and Joni Pitkanen (0.57). That’s pretty good company. I really liked the way Juolevi simplified his game offensively and dialled it in defensively this season. His 22:57 average ice time in the playoffs was earned and made him the fourth-highest usage defencemen among players who played 10 games (first among rookies).

    37. Henri Jokiharju, RHD, 19 (Chicago Blackhawks — 29th overall, 2017)
    Hockey is about making plays. I like players who make a lot of plays. And Jokiharju makes a lot of plays. That about sums it up. Sometimes it’s that simple. The way he manages the puck, controls it in traffic, and creates entries are all enough to make him one of junior hockey’s better players. He just gets it. Few young players in the world do as good a job creating passing lanes and putting the puck in dangerous, unsuspecting areas of the ice like Jokiharju. I’m a big fan. He’s going to be really good and finished fifth among WHL defencemen in points per game and second in assists for a reason. He also defends well within a system, plays a tight gap, and picks his spots to activate.

    38. Jonathan Dahlen, LW, 20 (Vancouver Canucks — 42nd overall, 2016)
    Dahlen was the biggest reason Timra earned a promotion out of Allsvenskan and into the SHL. It’s a tougher league to get a gauge on because it plays fast but there’s a definite skill disadvantage vis-a-vis the SHL, the AHL or the KHL, but Dahlen was utterly dominant all year. You don’t become any professional league’s MVP and post 58 points in 54 games by accident. If he were used differently in the AHL playoffs, and Comets head coach Trent Cull didn’t decide to go back to veterans he said had earned a shot, I think there’s a good chance Utica’s first-round outcome is different and the Marlies may not be Calder Cup champs. They left one of their most gifted players on the bench for a crucial Game 1 overtime loss and then didn’t use him in an offensive role for the remainder of the series. I love what Dahlen brings as a dynamic scorer who competes hard but plays a clean game. It’s the way the league is trending.

    39. Aleksi Heponiemi, C/W, 19 (Florida Panthers — 40th overall, 2017)
    As much as my evaluations normally tend to lean towards skilled, smaller forwards, Heponiemi has always conflicted me for a couple of reasons. On one hand, it’s not easy to play in the NHL hovering around 150 pounds. It really isn’t. The game is trending small, but not that small. On the other hand, Heponiemi is the best pure passer in junior hockey right now. You normally know you’re watching a Heponiemi shift when the camera operator can’t track the passes. He’ll find guys anywhere on the ice, through any seam, whether they’re standing still and expecting it, or at full speed and caught off guard. When you can change directions and tempo like he can, size also becomes less of an issue. He’s an electrifying player who is likely going to play in a top-six and run a power play from the wall ala Mitch Marner, or go to Europe and tear it up on international ice because he’s ill-suited for a depth role in the NHL. Time will tell. He was helped by having triggermen like Glenn Gawdin and Tyler Steenbergen but he can flat out make things happen for his linemates.

    40. Sam Steel, C, 20 (Anaheim Ducks — 30th overall, 2016)
    The Pats had a lot go well for them in their Memorial Cup run but Steel playing as well as anyone can possibly play at the junior level for five games was the biggest part of that surprise success. He’s a gifted centre who can create chances for himself and finish off plays, or delay and find a teammate for a higher-percentage chance in the slot. There’s a good chance he goes down as one of the steals of the 2016 draft. Because of the centre depth the Ducks now have, Steel is likely to start the season in the AHL but I won’t be surprised if he earns a nine-game tryout out of camp or works his way onto the team by season’s end. The Ducks don’t have the strongest pool of prospects in the world but players like Steel, Troy Terry, Blake McLaughlin, Antoine Morand, and Isac Lundestrom could give them a good blend of up-tempo creators and two-way depth contributors in the next few years.

    41. Kale Clague, LHD, 20 (Los Angeles Kings — 51st overall, 2016)
    I never really believed in Clague in his draft year. He looked, to me, like a really good two-way defender who likely topped out as a 4-6 guy at the NHL level. Slowly, though, he has begun to convert me. His production in Moose Jaw tailed off predictably when he was no longer the only real offensive threat on the back end for his team but he’s one of the better D prospects in the world and outproduced a number of CHL defencemen who sit above him on this list. His skill isn’t a huge strength and he’s not the greatest skater in the world but he has turned both of those skills into passable NHL qualities. Because the rest of his game is so polished, I now think he’s got a chance at becoming more of a 2-3 guy in the NHL. I’ll be tracking his transition to the pro game this year.

    42. Morgan Frost, C, 19 (Philadelphia Flyers — 27th overall, 2017)
    Once Frost learned to trust his instincts and attack whenever he had the puck rather than hesitate and wait a few seconds or overthink things, he progressed as quickly as anyone in junior hockey over the span of three or four months. Like Heponiemi, there’s no question Frost’s production was influenced by playing on a team that could run out Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, and Barrett Hayton, among others. Still, Frost is an excellent playmaker whose scoring touch continues to come around and should only continue to blossom as he adds strength. He’s an light, agile skater and once he adds an extra gear off the rush he’s going to be a lot to handle at the NHL level. There’s second-line NHL upside in his game.

    43. Erik Brannstrom, LHD, 18 (Vegas Golden Knights — 15th overall, 2017)
    The parallels (from their late birthdays to their skill sets and even their production at the same age) between Brannstrom and Boqvist are uncanny in a lot of ways. The difference — and the 22-player gap — is twofold:

    1. Brannstrom is a better defender, was a better defender at the same age. He’s more committed to figuring things out and competing in his own zone, even if he knows it’s not his strength.
    2. Boqvist thinks shot and has the ability to finish from the back end. When Brannstrom gets the puck he looks pass. I believe Boqvist is slightly more gifted, on the whole, with the puck on his stick.
    The end result is probably that Brannstrom projects more safely at the NHL level, so this could become a big miss for me. A year from now, their positions may flip. For now, I’m willing to invest in Boqvist’s skill and see where it takes him in the OHL next season.

    44. Vladislav Kamenev, C, 21 (Colorado Avalanche — 42nd overall, 2014)
    Somewhere, Joe Sakic is sitting in his office laughing about the Matt Duchene trading. LAUGHING.

    45. Ryan Merkley, RHD, 17 (San Jose Sharks — 21st overall, 2018)
    I wrote a lot about Merkley and why I’m as high on him as I am despite all of the legitimate concerns surrounding his games so I’ll avoid rehashing evaluations and I’ll just say this: When Merkley told The Athletic’s Arpon Basu he believed the team that drafted him was getting one of the most talented right-handed defencemen in the world, he probably wasn’t that far off. And yet — despite being one of the most gifted players of his age in a decade — there are real concerns he may never become an NHL player. He’s got a temper, he often lacks commitment in his own zone, and he’s really tough to coach. I’ll still bet on skill like his, though, especially in the latter third of the first round.

    46. Noah Dobson, RHD, 18 (New York Islanders — 12th overall, 2018)
    Dobson fits into the same kind of conversation as Kotkaniemi where I was higher than most in the scouting world on him earlier in the year before he ultimately kind of settled into that 8-10 range for me in this year’s class (and no, his Memorial Cup didn’t change my mind). As with Wahlstrom, I think the Islanders did really well landing Dobson. He’s an outstanding skater for his size, he’s not afraid to carry it deep into the offensive zone or pinch aggressively to make a play happen, and he’d already established a really strong defensive base before his offensive tools began to really explode and take over. All of those things should all-but-guarantee he becomes an NHL defencemen. His much-improved shot could also help catapult him onto an NHL power play. Next year could be his last in junior hockey as the Islanders make way for him and enter into their rebuild around a solid young core. We’ll see.

    47. Conor Timmins, RHD, 19 (Colorado Avalanche — 32nd overall, 2017)
    I have long fought against the biases created by international tournaments like the world juniors and under-18s but Timmins was so good for Canada at this year’s under-20s that it was hard to ignore. I didn’t expect him to play a huge role heading in and he was Canada’s best defenceman by a decent margin. Timmins is one of those kids who has just slowly developed every few months. The Greyhounds probably didn’t expect this out of him when they took him in the fourth round of the OHL draft, or even after his solid but unspectacular regular season as a rookie. But he has just continued to get better and better. Last year, when it was all said and done, he deserved to be in the mix as arguably the OHL’s best defenceman, alongside Bouchard, Nic Hague, and Sean Durzi. There’s a fluidity to his game that just makes him effective whenever he’s on the ice, and makes his partner (this year that was Rasmus Sandin) look better.

    48. Ilya Sorokin, G, 22 (New York Islanders — 78th overall, 2014)
    I’m normally not exactly the biggest proponent of goalies as high-end prospects — or using high picks on them — so it’s a minor miracle that three made this list. They all deserve it, though. Sometimes, goaltenders separate themselves enough from the pack to the point where they can actually become distinguishable from the masses of coin flips. Andrei Vasilevskiy was that good pre-NHL. Hart is that good. Samsonov is that good. And so is Sorokin. He remains unsigned and may never play for the Islanders but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve the credit he’s owed for three consecutive standout seasons in the KHL as an extremely young goalie. His partner with CSKA, Lars Johansson, is no slouch but come playoff time it was Sorokin who got the net and played 18 games to a .930 save percentage en route to the finals. He’s not as big as Samsonov but he’s more athletic.

    49. Cal Foote, RHD, 19 (Tampa Bay Lightning — 14th overall, 2017)
    Sometimes, I don’t think people truly realize how much of a force Cal Foote was in junior hockey last year. When conversations are had about the CHL’s best defenceman, Foote is rarely among the first few names. By year’s end, his first all-star team nod was as well-deserved as they get. Not only was he the league’s second-most productive defenceman (behind Clague but ahead of Jokiharju, Smith, Valimaki and company), but he was also among the league’s leaders in all of his defensive results, on a team that wasn’t a true contender. The big question with Foote is how that game will translate at the pro level. It’s one thing to be bigger, and stronger, and smarter, with a heavier shot than everyone else at the junior level. He’s certainly built for the pro game in that way. But Foote’s skating will determine whether he’s a productive top-four guy or more of a reliable third-pairing option.

    50. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, 18 (Edmonton Oilers — 22nd overall, 2017)
    I’ve always been a huge Yamamoto fan but I expected more of him last season. After showing well in training camp and a brief stint in the NHL, he should have returned to Spokane and been unstoppable. He was a year older, they had Elynuik and Anderson-Dolan back, and he should have been an absolute nightmare. Instead, he plateaued and never really looked like the force a small player like Alex DeBrincat became in the OHL after his draft year. It’s really hard to play in the NHL at 5-foot-8 unless you have enough overwhelming skill to be the primary option on your line and a facilitator for everyone else. It’s beginning to look like Yamamoto may settle in as a complementary player who needs really good players around him, rather than a driving force who can be the best player on his line. That’s fine but it’s not enough to put him much higher on this list.
     
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  25. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    2nd round pick Jonatan Berggren had 2 assists against the USA in the World Juniors earlier today. Quinn Hughes was unstoppable in the game. His skating is next level.

    Rasmussen and Canada against Finland starts at 9 tonight on the NHL Network.
     
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  26. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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  27. Vinegar Strokes

    Vinegar Strokes Fire Dantonio
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    Damn we just missed out on Mittelstadt too
     
  28. CBH

    CBH Well-Known Member
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    Larkin resigned today for 5 years at 6.1 per.
     
  29. DetroitNole

    DetroitNole Well-Known Member
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    About what I expected, not a bad deal.
     
  30. DeToxRox

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    Z is definitely sounding done

     
  31. spartanchuck

    spartanchuck Well-Known Member

    Let’s tank for that #1 pick!
     
  32. DayDomination

    DayDomination Damn, it feels good to be a gangster
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    Trade Nyquist , Helm and Gator
     
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  33. bignate50

    bignate50 Well-Known Member
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    Tank one more year draft younger Hughes and sign Karlsson next summer. Boom, we got a stew going
     
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  34. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    Cap hit on Larkin is very good although it would have been nice to eat up some more of his UFA years with a 6-8 year deal
     
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  35. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    Farm system rankings from Corey Pronman via The Athletic...

    Wings at #7 which is higher than I would have thought

    NHL farm system rankings: No. 7 Detroit Red Wings


    By Corey Pronman Aug 23, 2018 136
    Corey Pronman’s deep dive into the farm system of every NHL organization includes a ranking of all of the team’s prospects, broken into tiers based on their projection; the impact on the upcoming season and an overall ranking of all players under 23. Further explanation of Pronman’s system and the complete ranking of all 31 teams can be found here.

    The Wings have begun a rebuild after a long period of contention. After a bit of a limbo period, they have added some legitimate top talent to their pipeline. A massive 2018 draft haul added some significant pieces including top prospect Filip Zadina. The system’s depth is about average, but the top is very good and big seasons from Michael Rasmussen and Filip Hronek on top of the recent draft gives reason for optimism.

    Team’s 2017 ranking*: No. 24

    Prospect Rankings
    ELITE NHL PROSPECT

    1. Filip Zadina, RW, Halifax-QMJHL

    Zadina skates well, with a powerful stride that eats up ice efficiently. He has near elite-grade hands, which allow him to be quite elusive. He can create as a playmaker and tends to make good decisions moving the puck, but he’s known as a trigger man with one of the better wrist shots in the draft class. What I love about Zadina is how multi-dimensional he is. He can attack defenses by dangling through guys, he can protect pucks and drive around guys, and he can power his way past defenders or utilize an inch of space to score from long distance. He is a highly competitive player who gets high marks for his character and competes his butt off to win puck battles on the ice.

    VERY GOOD NHL PROSPECT

    2. Joseph Veleno, C, Drummondville-QMJHL

    Veleno is an excellent skater and he gets up to top speed quite easily with a powerful stride. Veleno works hard and plays a powerful style on the puck without taking many bad penalties. I don’t think he’s a dynamic playmaker, but he’s certainly above-average with the puck and can flash a tier higher. I like his puck skills. He’s a very smart player and he can consistently make above-average plays. While his shot/finishing ability is a bit worrying, Veleno has the speed, skills, smarts and physicality to be a very good playmaker and zone entry artist as an NHLer, combined with being a reliable two-way center.

    3. Michael Rasmussen, C, Tri-City-WHL

    Rasmussen, when healthy, had a solid third season in Tri-City and was very good in the WHL postseason. He’s a great playmaker, especially for a big man, who makes quick reads and shows good vision. He’s tough on the puck along the walls using his massive 6-foot-6 frame, is good in front on the power play getting his stick on pucks and taking up space, and has a quality shot to finish chances. Rasmussen is also solid defensively and wins puck battles using his size. He skates fine for a giant with a decent top gear but he’s not incredibly quick on his first few steps. With strength it’s possible the latter won’t be as much of an issue. He gets a bad rap, but he can play. Will he be a star? No, but he could be a top-six center.

    LEGIT NHL PROSPECT

    4. Filip Hronek, D, Grand Rapids-AHL

    Hronek had a successful first pro season, being one of the top rookie scoring defensemen in the league and one of the better 20-year-old players overall. He moves the puck with skill and confidence and shows great overall offensive instincts. For most of the season he quarterbacked the top power play unit in Grand Rapids. His skill/IQ drive his value but he moves well and showed he could skate at the pro level. The main issue for Hronek as a pro was dealing with the defensive side of the puck in terms of his reads and turnovers. He works hard enough that I think he can improve his battles with added strength but he’ll need to work on the risk in his game.

    5. Jonatan Berggren, LW, Skelleftea-J20 SuperElit

    Berggren’s skating is good, as he often shows the ability to beat defenders wide with speed and can change speeds very well. His hands are also impressive. You’d like to see a little more creativity, but he can make defenders miss. I like his vision a lot. He’s always looking to make a play and seems to have eyes in the back of his head. What I also like about his game is the pace he plays with. He’s always attacking, hitting the zone with speed and doesn’t make plays from a standstill. Berggren also has the hustle you like to see in a smaller player and can play on both special teams.

    HAVE A CHANCE

    6. Dennis Cholowski, D, Portland-WHL

    Cholowski took some big steps this season, being one of the better defensemen in the WHL. He’s an excellent skater who can transport pucks up the ice due to his skating and stay with the quickest forwards on defense. He has fine stick skills but I wouldn’t characterize him as a high-end offensive guy. Rather he gets a clean zone exit but he won’t be the primary guy to carry it up on the rush. He’s intelligent with the puck though and can make good distributions. Defensively I saw improvements in his game. I’d like to see him lean on guys a little more, but he makes fine defensive reads.

    7. Evgeny Svechnikov, LW, Grand Rapids-AHL

    I’ll preface by saying I used to be a huge fan of Svechnikov’s game when he was an amateur, but it’s hard to put a positive spin on his second AHL season where he was quite mediocre at the level. He has skill and he can make plays, but the impact level was never high. I saw a good play of his a few times a game, but never really rising to a dynamic type of level. He’s never been a quick player. His skating is decent now I think but he doesn’t play with incredible pace in his game. He has a nice toolkit between his size and skills, but he has a lot to work on before he’s a full-time NHL player.

    8. Jared McIsaac, D, Halifax-QMJHL

    McIsaac is smooth. He skates really well with an easy stride, and while he’s not dynamic, he’s comfortable bringing the puck up the ice. He makes a lot of stops being in the right place and making a correct read with his stick/body. McIsaac also moves the puck well, has good vision and could potentially be a second power play guy in the pros. He also makes quite a few glaring mistakes and doesn’t have the pure offensive instincts to carry the puck and make creative plays. McIsaac isn’t afraid to lean into his checks and can lay out the occasional huge hit.

    9. Vili Saarijarvi, D, Grand Rapids-AHL

    Saarijarvi started the season in the ECHL and after dominating that league was brought up to the AHL for a regular shift. He’s shown flashes of brilliance. When he’s on, his combination of his great skating and offensive mind allow him to impact a shift and can carry a team offensively. As a first-year pro the consistency wasn’t always there in that regard, and defensively as a smaller defender he struggled at times to win battles and be as clean in that area as you would hope. He shows you enough flashes that I still believe in him but with caution. Hronek will likely graduate to the Wings next season, giving Saarijarvi the opportunity to make plays on the power play in the AHL that he didn’t have last season.

    10. Joe Hicketts, D, Grand Rapids-AHL

    Hicketts had a decent second pro season, although his offensive numbers dipped as Hronek became the go-to puck mover on the team. He’s a mobile defenseman who plays as hard as any 5-foot-8 defender could. He’s very smart at both ends and has some skill. I’ve come off him having real significant offensive upside but do think there’s more offense to his game than what he showed last season in the AHL.

    DEPTH NOTES

    11. Filip Larsson, G, Tri-City-USHL: Larsson had a great season, being the top netminder in the USHL. There’s a lot to like about him. He’s big, he’s athletic, and has good awareness in the net. I wouldn’t give his athleticism or IQ high-end grades, but he does a lot well. At the USHL level he was dominant, but at the international level he got exposed a bit versus better shooters. He has potential though and I’ve moved him up over the past season.

    12. Libor Sulak, D, Pelicans-Liiga: Sulak played this past season overseas after signing with Detroit a year ago. He impressed me when I watched him at the World Championships. He’s not a dynamic player by any means, but he skates well, has decent size, and while his offense isn’t high-end, he can move the puck OK while being a decent defender.

    13. Gustav Lindstrom, D, Altuma-Allsvenskan : Lindstrom is a smart two-way defenseman. He passes the puck very well, and can stretch the ice. He’s a solid defender who is hard on checks. With Lindstrom the offensive toolkit is a bit of a question mark though. He’s not an incredibly creative puckhandler nor does he possess great foot-speed.

    14. Alec Regula, D, London-OHL: Regula is quite mobile for a 6-foot-3 defender and stands out to you on the ice. He can be a solid defender and show you flashes of offense, but I don’t love his decision making at times. He can be a little tougher and show more urgency in his game, as well.

    15. Axel Holmstrom, C, Grand Rapids-AHL: I still want to believe in Holmstrom. I watched him this season and I see flashes of his skill and high-end vision that made him so appealing years ago, but it’s been two straight years of poor production plus his skating remains underwhelming.

    16. Joren Van Pottelberghe, G, Davos-NLA: JVP was just OK this season, but when I watched him as an amateur versus his peer group I did see talent and ability to make the tough saves. He’s a ways away but he’s worth remembering.

    17. Kasper Kotkansalo, D, Boston University-Hockey East: Kotkansalo doesn’t have much upside, but he’s a smart defenseman with decent feet and works hard.

    18. Keith Petruzzelli, G, Quinnipiac-ECAC: He was up and down as a freshman this past season. He has some high-caliber moments where you marvel at the way he moves and the saves he makes for a big man, but other moments he was all over the place and showed he needs a lot of refinement.

    2018-19 Impact
    Zadina could be a middle-six guy right away. Hronek should also make the team out of camp. Both will help the Wings’ power play. Rasmussen could get a long look but I think he will likely be best served with another year of junior. Hicketts and Sulak could provide depth if needed. This is a big year for Svechnikov. He didn’t look ready, but it will be interesting to see how his summer goes.

    Organizational Top 10 (Under 23)
    Dylan Larkin, C
    Filip Zadina, RW
    Anthony Mantha, RW
    Joseph Veleno, C
    Michael Rasmussen, C
    Filip Hronek, D
    Jonatan Berggren, LW
    Tyler Bertuzzi, LW
    Dennis Cholowski, D
    Evgeni Svechnikov, LW
    Larkin rebounded this season to become one of the Wings’ best players. His skating is incredibly good for a guy his size, and he showed more confidence this season making plays. Is he ever going to be an elite offensive player? Probably not. But he can be an elite two-way center. Anthony Mantha’s development has been interesting to follow over the last few years. After a rough rookie pro season in the AHL, he’s gotten better and better. He’s never going to be a defensive stalwart, but he’s improved enough in his play off the puck and consistency to make the most of his offensive skills and shot. He’s not an impact player, but he’s a very nice player to have. Bertuzzi established himself as a starting NHL player this season. He’s not a top-six forward caliber player on a good team, but he can create some offense and with the work level and edge he has to his game, he can be a decent NHLer.
     
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  36. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    Context on how the rankings are done and what each it means to be an elite vs. high end vs. very good prospect

    Welcome to The Athletic’s dive into the prospect talent for all 31 NHL organizations.

    This is a snapshot of the current state of NHL farm systems and the top prospect outside the NHL.

    It is based on thousands of hours watching players across the hockey world, by way of live scouting and video, statistical analysis, and background work talking to scouts, coaches and executives.

    These are my opinions on the players evaluated, as well as the systems those players are a part of, based on my own research. These opinions may differ at times from some NHL sources, even at times significantly.

    I tend to value top talent much more than depth of decent players. Depth is incorporated though, as there is value to filling out your roster with young, cheap talent rather than looking to the marketplace; but significant weight is placed on prospects who could be stars or even upper half of the lineup players. All except one of my top 15 systems have a player who I label as a high-end prospect or better and that one system has incredible quality depth.

    I value goalie prospects very conservatively. In the past 10 years or so, I’ve only rated one goalie who I thought would be a top-tier player (Andrei Vasilevskiy) and only a handful who I’d project to be a starting goalie in the NHL.

    This overview of the NHL prospect world will be divided into 31 columns going deep into each team’s farm system, counting down each day from the worst system to the best. This page will be updated after each team’s analysis is published.

    Each teams prospects will be ranked within its respective system. There is no designated number I’m cutting team rankings off at. Rather, I list all the prospects I think are NHL prospects within a system. That ranges from 25 for the deepest system, to 13 for the thinnest.

    I also split players up into tiers that will be seen throughout this feature. Here is how you should interpret them:

    Special prospect: Projects to be one of the very best at their position in the league
    Elite prospect: Projects to be top 10 percent of the league at their position.
    High-end prospect: Projects as a legit top-line forward who can play on your PP1/top pairing defenseman.
    Very good prospect: Projects as a top-six forward/top-four defenseman/starting goaltender.
    Legit NHL prospect: Projects to play, probably not in a top role, but is close enough that he could realistically get there.
    Have a chance: Probably not an impact guy but could play in the league and has the toolkit to have an outside chance to be a real player. Have a chance refers to probability to be a good player, not his probability to play NHL games.
    Depth: Player who doesn’t have the skillset to play high in your lineup but could fill out your roster and/or be an injury call-up option.
    A player is no longer considered an NHL prospect if he has played more than 25 NHL games in any single season, 50 career NHL games or is older than age 27 as of Sept. 15, 2018. All other players are considered eligible.

    In addition, I discuss what impact the prospects could have in the upcoming season. And I rank the organization’s top 10 for all players under 23 as of Sept. 15, 2018.
     
  37. Vinegar Strokes

    Vinegar Strokes Fire Dantonio
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    Anyone go to the game at Compuware on Sunday? Tons of NHL All Stars are attending.
     
  38. DetroitNole

    DetroitNole Well-Known Member
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    Damn, wish I knew about it before tickets were sold out
     
  39. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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  40. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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  41. Vinegar Strokes

    Vinegar Strokes Fire Dantonio
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    Suck for Hughes.
     
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  42. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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  43. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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  44. DeToxRox

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  45. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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    Not that the prospects tournament means much in the grand scheme of things, but Cholowski has been the best player for Detroit through two games, and it’s not close.

    I don’t know what his upside is, but he should be a top 4 guy that can complement his partners well. I wouldn’t pair up him and Hronek, but if he makes the team next season, I can absolutely see him playing with Green and Hronek with DeKeyser.


    It’ll be fun to watch this kid play 20 minutes a night in GR.
     
  46. spartanchuck

    spartanchuck Well-Known Member

    Yzerman stepped aside as GM for the Lightning. Staying on in advisory role.
     
  47. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    When is too early to get excited?
     
  48. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox Misbehavin’
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    At least give it a day to confirm he isn’t sick or me tooing people
     
  49. hoss2183

    hoss2183 Well-Known Member

    You are a beacon of reason and patience
     
  50. DayDomination

    DayDomination Damn, it feels good to be a gangster
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    Take it for what's worth. But I was just informed that Stevie Y is moving back to Michigan. I'm sure it was already posted here but whatever.