NHL Draft Autopsy

It’s finally over. The NHL draft has concluded and with 217 names called, the real work begins for everyone both drafted and undrafted. 46 of the 217 weren’t tracked in my sheet, but a 78.8% rate of picks tracked ain’t bad. The 2019 sheet has been created and is ready to be populated once the Russian seasons begin play in August.

Before the fun starts, thank you all so much for the support. I’m in the process of leaving my position covering Minnesota for Dobber Prospects, an independent outlet you should all be bookmarking, and venturing out on my own, and I have lots planned for all of you lovely people. Scouching won’t go anywhere without your support, so I hope you keep reading and sharing with all of your lovely people. It gives my life something to work away at that doesn’t feel like work. This year there was well over 40,000 games tracked across 500 players or so, and your support makes the data input and analytsis worth it.  The views on this blog and the public tracking doc were nearly double what it was last year, which is great news and further motivates me to build this into something even bigger. Any suggestions are welcome, my DMs are always open on my Twitter @Scouching, and hopefully you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from me over the next season. Luv u all.

Anaheim Ducks

Pick Player Team Position
23 Isac Lundeström Anaheim Ducks C/LW
54 Benoit-Olivier Groulx Anaheim Ducks C
79 Blake McLaughlin Anaheim Ducks C
85 Lukas Dostal Anaheim Ducks G
116 Jack Perbix Anaheim Ducks F
147 Roman Durny Anaheim Ducks G
178 Hunter Drew Anaheim Ducks D

Love: Blake McLaughlin at 79, Lukas Dostal at 85, Jack Perbix at 116.

Do Not Love: Benoit-Olivier Groulx at 54.

  • With names like Olofsson, Gustafsson, Hillis and Wise still available, Groulx aims a bit low.
  • Lundestrom should be a useful piece.
  • Their mid-round could generate at least one solid player.

Arizona Coyotes

Pick Player Team Position
5 Barrett Hayton Arizona Coyotes C
55 Kevin Bahl Arizona Coyotes D
65 Jan Jenik Arizona Coyotes F
73 Ty Emberson Arizona Coyotes D
114 Ivan Prosvetov Arizona Coyotes G
142 Michael Callahan Arizona Coyotes D
145 Dennis Busby Arizona Coyotes D
158 David Tendeck Arizona Coyotes G
189 Liam Kirk Arizona Coyotes F

Love: Liam Kirk at 189, Jenik at 65

Do Not Love: Hayton at 5, Bahl at 55, Emberson at 73

  • Hayton is a reach, but has tons of upside.
  • Bahl was one of the most overvalued CHL skaters on my sheet.
  • I didn’t like what I saw of Emberson often, but Jenik is an interesting option.
  • The team that drafted Liam Kirk was bound to get brownie points.
  • Prosvetov and Tendeck are complete wild cards. I prefer goalies that see and/or stop a lot of rubber.

Boston Bruins

Pick Player Team Position
57 Axel Andersson Boston Bruins D
77 Jakub Lauko Boston Bruins C/LW
119 Curtis Hall Boston Bruins C
181 Dustyn McFaul Boston Bruins D
212 Pavel Shen Boston Bruins F

Love: Lauko at 77, Hall at 118.

Do Not Love: None

  • Andersson over Hallander is one I’d be a bit confused about, but I’ve liked his game this year.
  • Lauko could be a steal at 77, and Hall could become a dependable two-way centre down the lineup one day.
  • Shen is an interesting late swing, just not totally sold on the upside.

Buffalo Sabres

Pick Player Team Position
1 Rasmus Dahlin Buffalo Sabres D
32 Mattias Samuelsson Buffalo Sabres D
94 Matej Pekar Buffalo Sabres C/RW
117 Linus Lindstrand Kronholm Buffalo Sabres D
125 Miska Kukkonen Buffalo Sabres D
187 William Worge Kreü Buffalo Sabres D

Love: Dahlin at 1

Do Not Love: Samuelsson at 32 and literally every pick past 100.

  • They won a lottery and didn’t screw it up. Dahlin is a wizard.
  • When will the Sabres learn? Three defensemen who have trouble producing against junior talent in Scandinavia and one with the mobility to be an okay physical auxiliary piece someday.
  • So much potential out there to be had with so much of the same qualities in four of the team’s six picks.
  • Outside of Dahlin, you’re unlikely to steal some value..

Calgary Flames

Pick Player Team Position
105 Martin Pospisil Calgary Flames C
108 Demetrios Koumontzis Calgary Flames F
122 Milos Roman Calgary Flames C
167 Emilio Pettersen Calgary Flames C
198 Dmitry Zavgorodniy Calgary Flames C

Love: Koumontzis at 108, Pettersen at 167, Zavgorodniy at 198

Do Not Love: None

  • Pretty decent.
  • Roman has upside and flew under the radar at times.
  • Koumontzis was a favourite of mine from high school. Highly involved on a powerhouse squad.
  • Pettersen and to a lesser extent Zavgorodniy ooze skill for their lack of size. Worked for Matt Phillips, and they might have another smaller project on the way.

Carolina Hurricanes

Pick Player Team Position
2 Andrei Svechnikov Carolina Hurricanes RW
42 Jack Drury Carolina Hurricanes C
96 Luke Henman Carolina Hurricanes C
104 Lenni Killinen Carolina Hurricanes RW
166 Jesper Sellgren Carolina Hurricanes D
197 Jacob Kucharski Carolina Hurricanes G

Love: Svechnikov at 2, Killinen at 104

Do Not Love: Kucharski at 197

  • Svechnikov is going to be a massive, versatile goal scorer in the NHL. Reminds me of Rick Nash.
  • Killinen is all upside and Sellgren is a good swing in the 6th round.
  • I liked Drury at times this year, but there were some names I probably would’ve had higher, but he’s no slouch in many situations.

Chicago Blackhawks

Pick Player Team Position
8 Adam Boqvist Chicago Blackhawks D
27 Nicolas Beaudin Chicago Blackhawks D
69 Jake Wise Chicago Blackhawks C
74 Niklas Nordgren Chicago Blackhawks RW
120 Philipp Kurashev Chicago Blackhawks LW/C
139 Mikael Hakkarainen Chicago Blackhawks C
162 Alexis Gravel Chicago Blackhawks G
193 Josiah Slavin Chicago Blackhawks LW

Love: Boqvist at 8, Wise at 69, Nordgren at 74, Kurashev at 120, Gravel at 162

Do Not Love:  Slavin at 193

  • This one could be huge for the Blackhawks.
  • Boqvist is going to be an exciting player for a high-event team like Chicago. Really gutsy offensive defender. Lots of potential to be both exceptional and a headache.
  • Beaudin helped make Joe Veleno look like a different player in Drummondville, especially on the power play.
  • Nordgren, Wise , Kurashev could all be huge
  • Gravel is historically highly touted, and in the 6th round, you could have done much worse.

Colorado Avalanche

Pick Player Team Position
16 Martin Kaut Colorado Avalanche RW
64 Justus Annunen Colorado Avalanche G
78 Sampo Ranta Colorado Avalanche LW
109 Tyler Weiss Colorado Avalanche LW/C
140 Brandon Saigeon Colorado Avalanche C
146 Danila Zhuravlyov Colorado Avalanche D
171 Nikolai Kovalenko Colorado Avalanche RW
202 Shamil Shmakov Colorado Avalanche G

Love: Kaut at 16, Kovalenko at 171, Shmakov at 202

Do Not Love: Annunen at 64, Saigeon at 140

  • A fine draft. Kaut is an analytical goldmine in a pro league.
  • Kovalenko was a major piece of a powerhouse Loko team, and outscored Grigori Denisenko.
  • I’m an irrational Shamil Shmakov fan for how fun he was to watch when I caught him.
  • Ranta and Weiss weren’t super high on my list, but who knows?

Columbus Blue Jackets

Pick Player Team Position
18 Liam Foudy Columbus Blue Jackets C
49 Kirill Marchenko Columbus Blue Jackets F
80 Marcus Karlberg Columbus Blue Jackets LW/RW
159 Tim Berni Columbus Blue Jackets D
173 Veini Vehviläinen Columbus Blue Jackets G
204 Trey Fix-Wolansky Columbus Blue Jackets RW

Love: Vehvilainen at 173, Fix-Wolansky at 204

Do Not Love: Foudy at 18

  • Foudy’s got the speed, and was searing hot for the back half, but at 18?
  • Linus Karlsson would’ve probably been higher on my list at 80 than Karlberg, but I like the big swing on the little guy.
  • Loved Berni on the stat page, and love his mobility, but he’s very raw and made some awful plays at the World Junior.
  • Fix-Wolansky jumped off my tracker, and I’m glad someone took a swing.

Dallas Stars

Pick Player Team Position
13 Ty Dellandrea Dallas Stars C
44 Albin Eriksson Dallas Stars LW
75 Oscar Bäck Dallas Stars C/RW
100 Adam Mascherin Dallas Stars LW
106 Curtis Douglas Dallas Stars C
137 Riley Damiani Dallas Stars C
168 Dawson Barteaux Dallas Stars D
199 Jermaine Loewen Dallas Stars RW/LW

Love: Eriksson at 44, Douglas at 106, Loewen at 199

Do Not Love: None.

  • Dellandrea may be a stretch, but there’s a lot of upside there. Very versatile forward with flashes of real skill.
  • Eriksson could be a forceful power winger with great skill. He was lethal with Berggren all season.
  • If Douglas can get more fluid on his feet and improve his speed in transition, look out.
  • Loewen is a great story and also very good in my raw data. Didn’t track him, but he had a great year in both ends and was likely drafted to prevent someone else ELC-ing him. Could be a solid energy winger.

Detroit Red Wings

Pick Player Team Position
6 Filip Zadina Detroit Red Wings LW
30 Joe Veleno Detroit Red Wings C
33 Jonatan Berggren Detroit Red Wings C/RW
36 Jared McIsaac Detroit Red Wings D
67 Alec Regula Detroit Red Wings D
81 Seth Barton Detroit Red Wings D
84 Jesper Eliasson Detroit Red Wings G
98 Ryan O’Reilly Detroit Red Wings F
160 Victor Brattström Detroit Red Wings G
191 Otto Kivenmäki Detroit Red Wings F

Love: Zadina at 6, Veleno at 30, Kivenmaki at 191, Ryan O’Reilly at 98

Do Not Love: Barton at 81

  • Where do I begin? The Wings mostly killed it through no fault of their own.
  • Zadina is not the 6th best player available, nor was Veleno the 30th.
  • Berggren probably should’ve been a first rounder.
  • McIsaac is an okay pick at 36, but he was far from ideal in my tracking sheet considering what was left.
  • O’Reilly and Kivenmaki have all the upside in the world. O’Reilly is a great one-on-one scorer, but needs to develop elsewhere. Kivenmaki dominated Assat’s junior team and could be a long term project that pays off.

Edmonton Oilers

Pick Player Team Position
10 Evan Bouchard Edmonton Oilers D
40 Ryan McLeod Edmonton Oilers C
62 Olivier Rodrigue Edmonton Oilers G
164 Michael Kesselring Edmonton Oilers D
195 Patrik Siikanen Edmonton Oilers LW

Love: Bouchard at 10, McLeod at 40

Do Not Love: Siikanen at 195

  • Bouchard should be a steal at 10.
  • McLeod has tremendous speed, but other skills need to catch up. If they do, he’s a great pick at 40.
  • There were more interesting swings to take than a profile like Siikanen’s.
  • Rodrigue was an okay pick, but outside of international competition, he’s been average. Reminds me of one Zach Fucale from times past.

Florida Panthers

Pick Player Team Position
15 Grigori Denisenko Florida Panthers LW
34 Serron Noel Florida Panthers RW
89 Logan Hutsko Florida Panthers C
170 Justin Schütz Florida Panthers LW
201 Cole Krygier Florida Panthers D
207 Santtu Kinnunen Florida Panthers D

Love: Noel at 34

Do Not Love: Krygier at 201, Kinnunen at 207

  • Noel was underrated by many for his production and size, but there is an NHL player there if you ask me. Big, strong, smart, and skates very well for a big guy. Look for him to take a big step forward.
  • Denisenko is 100% upside. He’s gotta start actually producing.
  • Schütz is a nice swing. Scored a ton in a curious Red Bull program in Austria. Wasn’t the most notable German in his U18, however.
  • Krygier and Kinnunen scream old-school to me, but who knows with picks that late.

Los Angeles Kings

Pick Player Team Position
20 Rasmus Kupari Los Angeles Kings C
51 Akil Thomas Los Angeles Kings C
82 Bulat Shafigullin Los Angeles Kings F
113 Aidan Dudas Los Angeles Kings C
144 Dávid Hrenák Los Angeles Kings G
165 Johan Södergran Los Angeles Kings C/W
175 Jacob Ingham Los Angeles Kings G

Love: Thomas at 51, Shafigullin at 82, Dudas at 113, Ingham at 175.

Do Not Love: None

  • Thomas could be the steal of the draft, and Kupari has huge upside as a playmaker, especially as a PP quarterback.
  • Shafigullin is a massive question mark but he just can’t seem to stop producing.
  • Dudas is a gutsy player and I think a team with the right mindset could find a use for him down the line. Guess the Kings think they’re that team.
  • Ingham, similar to Gravel, is a no-brainer this late. I’ve heard various things about where his game could improve, and it’s all fixable. Highly touted young goalie who fell into their laps.

Minnesota Wild

Pick Player Team Position
24 Filip Johansson Minnesota Wild D
63 Jack McBain Minnesota Wild C
86 Alexander Khovanov Minnesota Wild C
92 Connor Dewar Minnesota Wild C
148 Simon Johansson Minnesota Wild D
155 Damien Giroux Minnesota Wild C
179 Shawn Boudrias Minnesota Wild RW
210 Sam Hentges Minnesota Wild C

Love: Khovanov at 86, Dewar at 92, Boudrias at 179

Do Not Love: Johansson at 24, McBain at 63

  • I was higher on Khovanov than most, and while not the speediest, I found him intelligent with the puck and relatively elusive.
  • I would’ve put up a fight for Nordgren or Wise at 63, or Chicago could just go ahead and land both.
  • Not sure what they see in Filip Johansson to take him ahead of quite a few other names.
  • Dewar was a great option at 92 and has tons of upside. Liked him the more I saw him.
  • Boudrias was one I thought would be drafted last year, and he earned this. Huge winger that gets to the net and could be a solid depth guy with power.

Montreal Canadiens

Pick Player Team Position
3 Jesperi Kotkaniemi Montréal Canadiens C
35 Jesse Ylonen Montréal Canadiens RW
38 Alexander Romanov Montréal Canadiens D
56 Jacob Olofsson Montréal Canadiens C
66 Cam Hillis Montréal Canadiens C
71 Jordan Harris Montréal Canadiens D
97 Allan McShane Montréal Canadiens C
123 Jack Gorniak Montréal Canadiens LW
128 Cole Fonstad Montréal Canadiens C/LW
133 Samuel Houde Montréal Canadiens C
190 Brett Stapley Montréal Canadiens C/RW

Love: Olofsson at 56, Hillis at 66, McShane at 97, Fonstad at 128

Do Not Love: Romanov at 38, Gorniak at 123

  • I really liked Kotkaniemi, but I wasn’t too sure if he were the #3 guy on the board. Not far back from there, however.
  • Didn’t see much of what the hoopla around Ylonen was. Solid skill and agile feet, but there was more dynamic upside available at 35.
  • At least one of Olofsson, Hillis, McShane and Fonstad could be major steals down the line relative to draft position.
  • Romanov is a fine defender, but top-40 is a stretch considering what was out there.

Nashville Predators

Pick Player Team Position
111 Jachym Kondelik Nashville Predators C
131 Spencer Stastney Nashville Predators D
151 Vladislav Yeryomenko Nashville Predators D
213 Milan Kloucek Nashville Predators G

Love: Stastney at 131, Yeryomenko at 151

Do Not Love: None

  • Kondelik has his pros and cons, but he’s massive, so at 111, not much downside I suppose.
  • Stastney is definitely mobile and I liked flashes of his game. Very similar to the Farrance pick last year and he’s in good hands in Nashville.

New Jersey Devils

Pick Player Team Position
17 Ty Smith New Jersey Devils D
110 Xavier Bernard New Jersey Devils D
136 Akira Schmid New Jersey Devils G
141 Yegor Sharangovich New Jersey Devils C
172 Mitchell Hoelscher New Jersey Devils C
203 Eetu Päkkilä New Jersey Devils LW

Love: Smith at 17, Bernard at 110, Sharangovich at 141

Do Not Love: None

  • I really liked Sharangovich at the World Juniors and I think there’s upside there.
  • Smith could be one of the biggest steals of the draft. Arguably the best two way defender on paper available, and has one of the smoothest set of feet in the draft.
  • My limited viewing of Bernard left me a bit wanting, but his analytics look very solid for a 4th round pick.

New York Islanders

Pick Player Team Position
11 Oliver Wahlstrom New York Islanders C/RW
12 Noah Dobson New York Islanders D
41 Bode Wilde New York Islanders D
43 Ruslan Iskhakov New York Islanders F
72 Jakub Skarek New York Islanders G
103 Jake Pivonka New York Islanders C
134 Blade Jenkins New York Islanders C
196 Christian Krygier New York Islanders D

Love: Wahlstrom at 11, Dobson at 12, Skarek at 72, Jenkins at 134

Do Not Love: Krygier at 196

  • The Islanders got great value at most of their picks, especially in the 1st round. Dobson and Wahlstrom could be massive pieces.
  • I wasn’t the biggest Wilde fan, but at 41, that pick makes sense.
  • I like the gutsyness of the Iskhakov pick, but there were names available I would’ve jumped at there.
  • Skarek is all upside. I was a fan, and at 72, I like the pick.
  • If Jenkins can get a better set of wheels, he could be a steal. Analytical darling on my sheet.
  • Krygier is a stay-at-home guy you probably could’ve left undrafted and kept an eye on. I always prefer fence-swinging, but not this kind.

New York Rangers

Pick Player Team Position
9 Vitali Kravtsov New York Rangers F
22 K’Andre Miller New York Rangers D
28 Nils Lundkvist New York Rangers D
39 Olof Lindbom New York Rangers G
70 Jacob Ragnarsson New York Rangers D
88 Joey Keane New York Rangers D
101 Nico Gross New York Rangers D
132 Lauri Pajuniemi New York Rangers RW
163 Simon Kjellberg New York Rangers D
216 Riley Hughes New York Rangers RW

Love: Ragnarsson at 70, Pajuniemi at 132

Do Not Love: Lindbom at 39, Kjellberg at 163

  • The Rangers had a ton of picks, and I think they could’ve done better, but they did fine.
  • Kravtsov is the epitome of gutsy over names like Dobson, Wahlstrom, and Bouchard. Lots of upside, but that would’ve been a tough sell for me.
  • Miller and Lundkvist are different players, but lots of potential, especially for Miller.
  • Lindbom is another example of “great internationally, but not on his actual team”, so who knows where he ends up, but I almost always would argue against goaltenders before the 3rd round.
  • I really like Gross with my eyes when I watched the Generals this year, but on paper he was far from ideal.

Ottawa Senators

Pick Player Team Position
4 Brady Tkachuk Ottawa Senators LW/C
26 Jacob Bernard-Docker Ottawa Senators D
48 Jonathan Tychonick Ottawa Senators D
95 Johnny Gruden Ottawa Senators LW
126 Angus Crookshank Ottawa Senators LW
157 Kevin Mandolese Ottawa Senators G
188 Jakov Novak Ottawa Senators LW/C
194 Luke Loheit Ottawa Senators RW

Love: Tychonick at 48, Gruden at 95

Do Not Love: None

  • I know everyone freaked out about Tkachuk, but he’s a fine player. He just needs to not walk into a tire fire. I don’t see the same upside out of him as the guys they passed on, but he’ll be a reliable, intelligent and versatile forward.
  • Bernard-Docker and Tychonick are big swings and I liked both more and more over the year. Very mobile and able to play with the puck.
  • Gruden really flew under the radar with the NTDP, and I really like what he brings in terms of offensive versatility.
  • Mandolese couldn’t stop more than 89% of pucks in the QMJHL, but what do I know. I believe there has been one goalie that plays most nights in the NHL that improved from this kind of profile to become a great NHL goaltender.

Philadelphia Flyers

Pick Player Team Position
14 Joel Farabee Philadelphia Flyers LW
19 Jay O’Brien Philadelphia Flyers C
50 Adam Ginning Philadelphia Flyers D
112 Jack St. Ivany Philadelphia Flyers D
127 Wyatte Wylie Philadelphia Flyers D
143 Samuel Ersson Philadelphia Flyers G
174 Gavin Hain Philadelphia Flyers C
205 Marcus Westfält Philadelphia Flyers C/LW

Love: Ersson at 143, Westfalt at 205

Do Not Love: Ginning at 50

  • Farabee just made sense at 14, and O’Brien is a wild card to me. I think there were better C’s available, but I know many are very high on him.
  • Not the biggest fan of St. Ivany, but I haven’t seen too much and I know he has real supporters. I don’t think Ginning and Wylie were the best defenders available.
  • Westfalt at 205 is great value and he’s already playing against men.
  • Ersson can stop a puck over the course of multiple seasons, and at 143, there isn’t really a downside.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pick Player Team Position
53 Calen Addison Pittsburgh Penguins D
58 Filip Hållander Pittsburgh Penguins C/W
129 Justin Almeida Pittsburgh Penguins C/LW
177 Liam Gorman Pittsburgh Penguins C

Love: Addison at 53, Hållander at 58, Almeida at 129

Do Not Love: None

  • The Penguins nailed their limited picks on value. Addison was a clear 1st rounder to me, and Hållander was right there too.
  • Almeida was a top overager to me, and could be great ELC value in relatively short order.

San Jose Sharks

Pick Player Team Position
21 Ryan Merkley San Jose Sharks D
87 Linus Karlsson San Jose Sharks C
102 Jasper Weatherby San Jose Sharks C
176 Zacharie Emond San Jose Sharks G
182 John Leonard San Jose Sharks LW

Love: Merkley at 21, Karlsson at 87

Do Not Love: None

  • It seems the Sharks are no stranger to trying to handle individual personalities, and Merkley could be the steal of the draft in that sense.
  • Karlsson flew under the radar all year and I love that the Sharks took a huge swing on him.
  • Weatherby intrigues me, and I imagine they drafted him so nobody else could ELC him after a few NCAA years, but he could’ve probably been had later.

St. Louis Blues

Pick Player Team Position
25 Dominik Bokk St. Louis Blues LW/RW
45 Scott Perunovich St. Louis Blues D
107 Joel Hofer St. Louis Blues G
138 Hugh McGing St. Louis Blues C
169 Mathias Laferrière St. Louis Blues C
200 Tyler Tucker St. Louis Blues D

Love: Perunovich at 45

Do Not Love: None

  • Bokk is full of skill and speed and has come a long way in a year. At this trajectory he could be a massive steal.
  • Perunovich led his team in scoring, but is likely to regress a bit due to his shooting percentage. Love his mobility though, and was reliable at the World Junior.
  • Hofer can stop pucks, so I imagine the Blues are hoping he can do it in more games over a season.
  • McGing is undersized but was among the draft eligible leaders in the NCAA in INV%.
  • Tucker and Laferrière get a shrug from me.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Pick Player Team Position
59 Gabriel Fortier Tampa Bay Lightning LW
90 Dmitri Semykin Tampa Bay Lightning D
121 Alex Green Tampa Bay Lightning D
152 Magnus Chrona Tampa Bay Lightning G
183 Cole Koepke Tampa Bay Lightning LW
206 Radim Salda Tampa Bay Lightning D
214 Ty Taylor Tampa Bay Lightning G

Love: Chrona at 152, Salda at 206

Do Not Love: Green at 121, Koepke at 183

  • Fortier at 59 is fine, but there were some players I would’ve preferred, especially with this draft’s clear bias towards centres and defense.
  • Semykin played on a bad MHL team and did just fine, but I’m unfamiliar with him.
  • Love the swing on Chrona, who has good size and stopped a ton of pucks at the U18 level. If you like him, you like him.
  • Salda is an overager, but his metrics look positive offensively. He was a defensive black hole on a bad defensive team, but there is a solid profile there.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Pick Player Team Position
29 Rasmus Sandin Toronto Maple Leafs D
52 Sean Durzi Toronto Maple Leafs D
76 Semyon Der-Arguchintsev Toronto Maple Leafs C
83 Riley Stotts Toronto Maple Leafs C
118 Mac Hollowell Toronto Maple Leafs D
149 Filip Kral Toronto Maple Leafs D
156 Pontus Holmberg Toronto Maple Leafs LW/C
209 Zachary Bouthillier Toronto Maple Leafs G
211 Semyon Kizimov Toronto Maple Leafs LW

Love: Der-Arguchintsev at 76, Hollowell at 118, Kral at 149

Do Not Love: Stotts at 83, Kizimov at 211

  • The Leafs filled a desperate need for high potential defenders in one draft by going for solid value on Sandin, Durzi, Hollowell and Kral. I’d expect at least one to be a very solid piece one day.
  • Hollowell is an especially solid value at 118 and I liked what I saw of him every time.
  • Didn’t see anything in Stotts or Kizimov that screamed value, but I’ve been wrong before.
  • Der-Arguchintsev grew on me over the season and I’d look for him to take a big step in a bigger role. If he were born a day later, his past season would have been a top-level D-1 year.

Vancouver Canucks

Pick Player Team Position
7 Quinton Hughes Vancouver Canucks D
37 Jett Woo Vancouver Canucks D
68 Tyler Madden Vancouver Canucks F
130 Toni Utunen Vancouver Canucks D
186 Artyom Manukyan Vancouver Canucks F
192 Matthew Thiessen Vancouver Canucks G

Love: Hughes at 7, Woo at 37, Manukyan at 186

Do Not Love: None

  • Hughes clearly has a ton of upside, and I don’t know which D I would’ve gone after at 7, but Hughes may have the highest upside and skill level.
  • Woo has shown that he has another gear, he just needs to come back strong from a season full of injury.
  • Utunen is an interesting swing who produced well in a men’s league.
  • Manukyan had an off year after a massive MHL season. He’s an interesting swing in the 7th round and I liked his elusiveness and tenacity at the World Juniors.

Vegas Golden Knights

Pick Player Team Position
61 Ivan Morozov Vegas Golden Knights F
99 Stanislav Demin Vegas Golden Knights D
115 Paul Cotter Vegas Golden Knights F
135 Brandon Kruse Vegas Golden Knights LW
154 Connor Corcoran Vegas Golden Knights D
180 Peter Diliberatore Vegas Golden Knights D
185 Xavier Bouchard Vegas Golden Knights D
208 Jordan Kooy Vegas Golden Knights G

Love: Demin at 99

Do Not Love: Corcoran at 154, Diliberatore at 180

  • I liked Morozov when I caught him. Solid speed, solid skill.
  • Cotter is an interesting set of skills and intensity, and I’ll be keeping an eye on him.
  • Bouchard fell quite a bit, and it made sense to me. I know he has his supporters, but nothing on my sheet indicated a solid player. Though at 185, if you like him, I’m okay with it.
  • I saw quite a bit of Windsor and I’m low on Corcoran, but he was given a big role.

Washington Capitals

Pick Player Team Position
31 Alexander Alexeyev Washington Capitals D
46 Martin Fehérváry Washington Capitals D
47 Kody Clark Washington Capitals RW
93 Riley Sutter Washington Capitals RW
124 Mitchell Gibson Washington Capitals G
161 Alex Kannok-Leipert Washington Capitals D
217 Eric Florchuk Washington Capitals C

Love: Alexeyev at 31, Sutter at 93, Florchuk at 217

Do Not Love: Fehervary at 46, Clark at 47

  • Alexeyev was a standout on my sheet in both ends and could be great value.
  • Florchuk and Sutter were two-way standouts on my sheet and with production improvement, and Florchuk is exceptional value with the Mr.Irrelevant pick.
  • Fehérváry is a fine defensive defender who has already been ELCed and Clark is an interesting case, but they left a lot of potential value on the board to take them.

Winnipeg Jets

Pick Player Team Position
60 David Gustafsson Winnipeg Jets C
91 Nathan Smith Winnipeg Jets C
150 Declan Chisholm Winnipeg Jets D
153 Giovanni Vallati Winnipeg Jets D
184 Jared Moe Winnipeg Jets G
215 Austin Wong Winnipeg Jets C

Love: Gustafsson at 60, Chisholm at 150

Do Not Love: Smith at 91

  • Gustafsson could’ve gone in the 1st round, and some viewed him as superior to Lundestrom, so he could be a steal. I’m definitely high on him at 60, and Winnipeg did very well.
  • Chisholm and Vallati are solid choices to see what happens. Chisholm stood out on my sheet for two way play, and Vallati will need to produce more and shore up his defensive play if he’s to take the next step.
  • Don’t sleep on Austin Wong. Real high intensity, heavy playing, and fearless throwback forward. He’ll need to stay out of the box to be valuable as his competition improves, but a depth energy winger isn’t out of the question for him.
  • Nathan Smith was a D+2 who didn’t break a point per game in the USHL, so they must really like what he brings to take him in the 3rd round.

All Things Considered, Who Did Good?

  • The Chicago Blackhawks get the Golden Stick Award I just made up for absolutely aiming for the stars at most of their picks and I think they’ll be rewarded for it. Wise and Nordgren were favourites of mine, Beaudin is a rock-solid pick, and Kurashev is remarkably skilled and has a ton of upside.
  • The Detroit Red Wings get the Silver Puck Award I also just made up for how much raw talent fell into their laps. They were a no-BS team this year and landing Zadina, Veleno, and Berggren is hilarious. McIsaac has upside, even if he wasn’t great on my sheet. Kivenmaki was great on my sheet and taking a flyer on him was a perfect surprise for me. Montreal gets an honourable mention on this one, but while some of their picks greatly pleased me, some others greatly confused me.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins get the Bronze Roll of Tape Award as they had barely anything to do over the weekend and they still did extremely well with their picks. The Islanders may have done very well with their plethora of picks, but for the hand Pittsburgh was dealt, they landed two players that could’ve been 1st rounders in the late 2nd, and one of the best overagers available in Justin Almeida. The tradition of finding value later on continues.

ok but who can I make fun of?

  • Yes, the Buffalo Sabres got Dahlin, but their later picks were… Woof. They earned the patented Brown Skate Award in 2018. The Sabres also have had Eichel, Reinhart, Mittelstadt and Nylander added to the crop, but a rebuild without nailing any 2nd day picks is a doomed rebuild, and that tradition is more likely to continue than not. I was frankly amazed at how many of the same type of defenders they took in a row.
  • While it pains me to do so, the Melted Ice Block goes to the Arizona Coyotes. They really reached on Hayton, but he does have solid value. That being said, this was the year to land a top-class defender, and they reached on a fine C. I wasn’t a fan of their P-O Joseph pick last year, and they seemed to aim a bit low on a few of their picks. Liam Kirk is a great “wait and see” pick, but still not sure who they’ll end up with who has serious value.
  • The Shrugging Fan Award goes to the Minnesota Wild. For every value pick like Dewar and Boudrias, they took a huge leap on Johansson and put their faith in McBain hitting his stride (literally) at college. Khovanov may not have NHL upside, but I like his skill set. I just really don’t know about how Minnesota did, and I really am struggling to figure out their plan for the future.



2 thoughts on “NHL Draft Autopsy

  1. Loved this! Well done, glad I found your site, I’ll be checking back regularly, especially around the draft! Most only go into the first or second round, but I appreciated the depth of this Draft Autopsy!


    1. Hi Todd! Glad found the site! I’ve relocated the site to scouching.ca and booted up a YouTube channel at YouTube.come/Scouching. Check those out as this site is dormant.

      Look forward to the 2019 Autopsy in a month or so 😉


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