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NHL Draft Recap - Round 1

A recap of the round 1 picks

2018 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Here it begins. I have some Petoskey Beer (brought back from Michigan) and the draft is underway.

Opening commentary with MIke Modano, the all time American leader in goals. The first overall pick by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988. Trade talk - Buffalo supposedly offered Ryan O’Reilly to Montreal Canadiens for the third overall pick but Montreal didn’t bite.

Here we got, the 56th NHL draft (and first ever in Dallas)

#1 Buffalo Sabres are on the clock.
Jason Botterill (GM) selects Rasmus Dahlin. Great move Buffalo. You have a franchise defenseman. FIrst #1 Buffalo pick since 1987 when the Sabres took Pierre Turgeon. First Swedish player taken first since 1989 (Mats Sundin).

#2 Caroina Hurricanes are on the clock.
Don Waddell (GM) picks Andrei Svechnikov. Comps to Marion Hossa on the broadcast. 40 goals in 44 games last year in the OHL and he will help score. In terms of drafted Russians taken in the top 2, he’s the first since Nai Yakupov in 2012.

#3 Montreal Canaidens on the clock.
Marc Bergevin (Exec VP & GM) picks Jesperi Kotkainiemi. Well, Montreal needed a center, but I didn’t think Montreal would grab him. As the announcers mentioned, he’s not NHL ready and is likely a year out so he can’t solve their hole right now. Questions around whether or not he can be a star center. He could materialize into a top 2 line center but we will see.

#4 Ottawa Senators on the clock. Trade talks around Erik Karlsson are swirling.
Pierre Dorion (GM) picks Brady Tkachuk. THERE. IT. IS. I am bullish on Brady, I think he is the best forward in this draft. He will be a gritty aggressive physical presence for any team.

#5 Arizona Coyotes on the clock.
John Chayka (president of Hockey Ops & GM) picks Barrett Hayton. Woah. That was VERY VERY early for him (projected as a 10-15 pick). Comps are Patrick Bergeron, he has great on ice vision and he tends to be ahead of the play putting himself at the right spot at the right time.

#6 Detroit Red Wings are on the clock
Ken Holland (Exec and & GM) picks Filip Zadina. There it is, projected as a top three pick he falls to six and he made notorious comments on how he was going to make the Montreal Canadiens pay for not picking him. Arizona and Ottawa might be joining that list. Down low he has a good shot on net.

#7 Vancouver Canucks are on the clock.
Jim Benning (GM) picks Quinn Hughes. Notably only on for one goal against during the US 18 games. He has two younger brothers working their way up now. He’s a bit smaller but he plays positional hockey and shuts opposing forwards down well.

#8 Chicago Blackhawks on the clock.
Stan Bowman (Senior VP & GM) picks Adam Boqvist. The offensive defensemen is joining the Blackhawks. Comps to Erik Karlsson seem a bit much to me but he certainly has an adept eye for carrying the puck up and stretching his passes and shots to create points. Did Joel QUenneville drop a hint that Adam could make roster this year?

#9 New York Rangers on the clock.
The Rangers select. Vitali Kravtsov. Early again, I had him as a pick closer to 15. He will probalby be a year out from coming to the NHL. He finds open spaces and could eclipse into a top line wing in a few years. Lias Andersson and Vitali could be two future staples for the Rangers in a year or two. David Quinn just made the move from BU to the Rangers this year.

#10 Edmonton Oilers on the clock.
Peter Chiarelli (President of Hockey Ops & GM) pick Evan Bouchard. Comps to John Carlson, he cam spread out the zone, find an open shot for themselves or a teammate to create chances. He can move his feet and he reads the ice well. I think he will serve as a top 4 defenseman for them in a few years.

#11 New York Islanders on the clock.
The Islanders select Oliver Wahstrom. Comps to Billy Guerin with potenail goal scoring upside. Oliver has a great shot and quick steps to open up and shoot. Youtube any number of amazing goals he made as a kid. Really cool to see it come full cricle as he was taken 11th in the draft. He ‘could’ be the best scorer in this draft class.

#12 New York Islanders on the clock again.
This time they select Noah Dobson. Finally, I was surprised he slipped this far and considering they are considered by many to be among the worst defensive teams in the league I expected him to be their first of the two picks. Noah has offensive upside and many saw him as the second best defense in the draft. Seth Jones comp he plays strong two way hockey. I’m not sure if Barry Trotz will help John Tavares stay but it was a good effort from the Islanders.

#13 Dallas Stars on the clock.
Jim Null (GM) selects Ty Dellandrea. A bit early for Ty but his hype was growing over the last week. Bo HOrvat comps, he will fight for every puck. He seems like a good fit for the Stars type of play. The second NCAA coach who jumped to the professioal leagues resides here where Jim Montgomery moved from Denver University to fill the open vacancy as coach for the Dallas Stars.

#14 Philadelphia Flyers on the clock.
Ron Hextall (GM) picks Joel Farabee. Going into Boston University next year he will be a long term investment and that’s ok. He reads the ice very well and is smart on ice with his decisions. He is a swiss army knife who can be used on power play, penalty kill and 5 on 5.
#15 Florida Panthers on the clock.
Dave Tallon (president of hockey ops & GM) Grigori Denisenko. Comps to NIkita Kucherov. He has elite speed that he uses to get past defense and open up for a shot. He will be a year or two out but could be yet another threat on offense for the Panthers.

#16 Colorado Avalanche on the clock
Joe Sakic (GM) picks Martin Kaut. He has a heart condition that came out during the NHL combine but it limited his testing durig the combine itself. He will add some much much needed depth to the Avalanche offense.

#17 New Jersey Devils on the clock
Ray Shero (GM) picks Ty Smith. A good value for this pick. He has quick legs and is a solid defensemen. HIs offense production will go down (he was 2nd highest in points in WHL) but he is solid on both ends and will be a good shut down defender who can carry the puck. On the smaller side but really good IQ here.

#18 Columbus Blue Jackets on the clock
John Davidson (president of hockey operations) picks Liam Foudy. Well this is unexpected. He is very fast. Very. Fast. He struggles scoring though, something he will need time to develop. I will trust in them as recent picks have come out quite well but this was a bit of a reach at it’s spot.

#19 Philadelphia Flyers on the clock.
The Flyers pick Jay O’Brien. Another surprise here. Analaysts are bold on him and supposedly other teams wanted him. PLayed with Providence College with strong scoring pedigree but he needs time to develop, gain some speed and adjust to higher level hockey. Chris Prior made this pick as the scout and clearly he went on a limb. I was surprised to see no defenseman grabbed from Philadelphia

#20 Los Angeles Kings on the clock.
Denny Fugere (scout) picks Rasmus Kupari. Comps to Lars Eller, Charlie Coyle type. He has good legs and is a strong forchecker. He can get caught into a place with nowhere to go but he has good legs and is a solid passer.

#21 San Jose Sharks on the clock. Talks about San Jose pushing for Ilya Kovalchuk
TIm Burke (director of scouting) picks Ryan Merkley. Strong defenseman potential here and the Sharks needed this kind of help. He has the talent, but does he have the drive. This is what San Jose is gambling on at 21st overall. He has a bit of a temper and it is his biggest challenge. Evander Kane and Brent Burns and now Ryan will be something for them to continue to tackle.

#22 Ottawa Senators on the clock. They trade to the New York Rangers in exchange for the 26th and 48th picks.
Rangers select K’Andre Miller. A great defensive skater, as I mentioned in my article previously his time in Wisconsin will help him develop well into a professional player. The Big Ten and NCAA have increasingly worked toward building prospects and talent and having them excel in the NHL.

#23 Anaheim Ducks on the clock.
The Ducks select Isac Lundestrom. He can move to all forward positions and he has a strong shot that takes a second to release. he keeps moving and find sopen spaces. He is competitive and plays good two way hockey. He is not excellent in one category but is above average in just about every area.

#24 Minnesota Wild on the clock
Paul Fenton (GM) passes it on to Brent FLahir (VP of hockey operations) picks Filip Johansson. A bit deeper on the chart but he is a good skating positionally safe defensemen who doesn’t shy away from physical play keeping opposing forwards in check.

#25 Toronto Maple Leafs on the clock. We have a trade St. Louis traded here for picks #29 and #76.
Doug Armstong (GM) picks Dominik Bokk. He is persistant and gritty not shying away from driving down low and moving into tight spaces. Despite his slow skating he is amazing at driving into the zone to attack the net.

#26 Ottawa Senators on the clock
Senators pick Jacob Bernard-Docker. A deeper defensemen on many lists, he isn’t flashy but he can be an offensive force. He will be at University of North Dakota which is great for his development. He could be at least 2 years out from starting with a lot of potential to move into a top four player.

#27 Chicago Blackhawks on the clock.
The Blackhawks select Nicolas Beaudin. A deeper prospect who has good vision and is always looking upsice to either carry it or find an open man. He is on the smaller side and has some skating to develop but his IQ will carry him far.

#28 New York Rangers on the clock.
The Rangers select Nils Lundkvist. Strong hands and very adept at handling the puck. He has a quick release which helps his goal scoring ability. He keeps his feet moving constantly, a Sami Vatanen comp.

#29 Toronto Maple Leafs on the clock.
Kyle Dubas (GM) selects Rasmus Sandin. The fifth Swedish defenseman is taken. Last year was all about the Finnish players, we have moved one country over. Josh Morriso comps, he has good skating and his head is always up when he has the puck. His feet are moving and he’s looking for open spaces constantly.

#30 Detroit Red Wings on the clock.
Tyler Wright (director of amateur scouting) Joe Veleno. A steal to grab him this late in the first round. He is patient and he finds open spaces. He tends to be a step ahead of the play and he is not shy about working the puck down low especially in Wayne Gretzky’s favorite space moving it behind the net. He will be a good fit in Detroit.

#31 Washington Capitals on the clock.
The Capitals select Alexander Alexeyev. Another Russian player for the Capitals. He can carry the puck and create offensive opportunities. He will move well and sees open space as he navigates around. He will probably need a year or two but he can materilize into a good addition to the Capitals system.