No matter whether your team is 4-0-0 or 0-4-0, a portion of every front office is focused on the NHL draft. Each team takes painstaking measures to see each and every player in an effort to understand which prospect is overvalued, undervalued, peaking in development or the classic late bloomer. We here at NucksMisconduct are no different! Regardless of how amazing our season has started, the braintrust has already sent me out to find as much information as I can about each and every prospect of note in this year’s Draft.
The MSM Previews
Mike Morreale gives us a great look at what some of the top scouts from across the world are seeing in their respective regions. He has Nolan Patrick at the top of this year’s class. NHL.com
The fine folks at TSN aired the Bob McKenzie pre-season Draft Special. Once again Nolan Patrick comes up on top of the list. In addition Craig Button throws his 2 cents in about the draft. TSN.ca
Jeff Marek brings his top 31 prospects for this year’s draft. It feels weird to have an odd number of prospects, but we need to wrap our heads around the idea that Las Vegas is going to be a part of the league next year! Sportsnet.ca
The Mock Drafts
If you love mock drafts (as I do), there are quite a few websites devoted to this exercise that are worth keeping an eye on over the course of the year as teams settle into draft slots and players elevate or deflate their perceived draft values. At the beginning of the season the team in each position is not as important as the player in that slot. With the Las Vegas HockeyTeamWithaSecretName being a part of the draft lottery, there’s no real way to tell who will be picking in the top 5 until June.
Draftsite.com - Blue Jackets take Nolan Patrick at #1, Canucks draft at #7 and take a big Finnish winger in Kristian Vesalainen.
Mynhldraft.com - Carolina select Nolan Patrick at #1, Canucks draft Windsor Spitfire forward Gabriel Vilardi at #3.
Thehockeywrites.com- Here’s a fun one from Christopher Ralph on the Fourth of July. The Canuck draft Nolan Patrick at #1. This wouldn’t be a terrible result at all, especially if we won the lottery and didn’t finish last.
Tankathon.com - This is an interesting site that obviously uses real time standings to determine draft position because they have the Canucks drafting 31st and taking goaltender Jake Oettinger from Boston U. If the NHL is reading this, make this site’s prediction happen… we don’t really need another top prospect goalie, but if it meant that the Cup was our this year I’d accept it! Once again Columbus drafts Nolan Patrick #1, in case you were wondering.
What have we learned?
This is the Nolan Patrick draft! There is not a prospect on the list that seems to challenge him for top spot on any list out there. If the masses are right, whichever team wins this season’s draft lottery will be getting a future 80 point, top line Center for the next decade! Beyond that there’s a really nice Swedish defenseman named Timothy Liljegren who plays a game like Oliver Ekman-Larsson and then a group of players who we could by the sounds of it be interchangeable from 3-16.
This is where we start our full season scouting adventure. What have you learned? Anyone stand out to you in your viewing and reading?