Screw the playoffs. It's #teamtank #futurewatch everyone!
From the uber uberlords on Madison Avenue come the final scouting ranks:
Auston Matthews, the American-born center who took the unique route of playing in Switzerland during his draft season, is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters for the 2016 NHL Draft.
Matthews, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound native of Scottsdale, Ariz., had 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games for Zurich in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league. He played against older, more experienced competition, some of whom had played in the NHL, and succeeded. Matthews was second in voting for league MVP.
"The expectations were that he would be able to play [in Switzerland] but I don't think the expectations were that he'd be able to impact the way he did," said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. "I think anyone who has followed his career was pleasantly surprised how he was able to go over there and handle himself and contribute the way he did."
As we know, via this handy Sportsnet graphic, Vancouver has a 11.5% chance that #1 draft pick ball bounces their way:
The organization is at a clutch crossroads. If Vancouver defies the odds and land the #1 pick, it'll be their first overall pick in franchise history and Matthews is a Canuck (giggity).
The safe bet is they land the second or third pick which opens up the possibility of Patrik Laine or Jesse Puljujarvi coming aboard. There's also the Trader Jim twitch which may produce moves to potentially pick twice in the first round, offering up a defensive selection in perhaps Olli Juolevi, Jakob Chychrun or Jake Bean because the latter is a great name we want to scream for years. There's also the outside chance Arizona - who is busy cleaning up their own house - may be open to some deals to move up the charts as well.
Suffice it to say, they can't mess this up. The Aquilini's can't because their investment is plummeting, Jim Benning can't because the bloom is quickly coming off his GM rose, Willie Desjardins is already hanging by a thread and Trevor Linden can't because we'll start forgetting the player and become fixated on Linden the suit instead.
You can view all the official final rankings here and, remember, practice safe rosterbation. Stay safe out there NM'ers.