In an earlier post, I referred to a mock draft done by draftsite.com, and picked apart their choices, mostly as they related to the Canadiens. The thing is, now they've updated their mock draft, based on what information is not known, and they've not archived the prior mock, so it's hard to compare between the prior edition and the most recent.
In any case, let's dive in the new one, just for the fun of it, again strictly as a discussion starter. And as always, as the big caveat, I've pretty much never seen any of these kids play. These are pure kneejerk judgments, with little grounding in observation or fact.
1) In the first round, they have us snagging Curtis Lazar, who I'm not sure scratches our itch. He's not small, but he's definitely not big, or an offensive threat it would seem. Ben Kerr compares him to a Ryan Kesler in terms of style of play, which makes me feel marginally better about the pick, but scanning down the list I see Samuel Morin is still available, and I'd prefer to draft that huge project and send him to Hamilton U. for three years and have professors Lefebvre and Dufresne put the big lad through his paces.
2) In the second, they have us taking Zac Fucale at #34, and Émile Poirier at #36. Again, not that I know very much about these guys, but the last mock had us getting Frédéric Gauthier and William Carrier in these slots. I thought that was too good to be true, but now I feel disappointed that we're not getting them, and with the choices we're assigned.
I'm not sure I want a goalie drafted this high, I feel we're set in nets, have other needs to meet. Of course, if Mr. Fucale is graded way higher than anyone else by Trevor Timmins' staff when we get to this point, then we should get him, but we should also not reach for him.
Scanning down from our pick, we find William Carrier still available, and starting at #43, Nick Sorensen, Anthony Duclair and Jacob de la Rose in succession.
3) Late in the second, with our own pick, we're slated for Marc-Olivier Roy, a 5'11" winger who I know nothing about, but whose writeup is not enticing. I want more.
4) This is where it gets ridiculous. With the Stars' third-round pick that we got for Erik Cole, this mock has us taking another goalie in Phillippe Desrosiers. I'm beginning to suspect these guys are even less knowledgeable or organized than I am. Why the Canadiens would spend two picks on goalies this high in the draft, when there are so many areas of need on the team, and when there are probably clusters of players with equivalent grading to choose from, is hard to explain.
Instead, admittedly strictly based on what I've read, I'd rather we go with Michael Downing, or Hudson Fasching, another guy Ben Kerr wrote positively about.
Late in the third, at #86, we'd get Gage Ausmus, a 6'1" stay-at-home defender. Josh Gorges, 2.0. Let's trade down for more picks instead, and grab Jonathan Ismael-Diaby. Or, grab Mason Geertsen, who's slated to go at #90, who I've actually seen play, and have developed a man-crush on. Big strong kid with lots of heart, defensive defenceman with character. Read: hits and fights.
5) We have no picks in the fourth and fifth round. The ghost of the ultimately fruitless trade for James Wisniewski still haunts us. So does the current presence of Davis Drewiske. Mr. Bergevin, please transmogrify Yannick Weber into picks in this region please.
They have J.C. Lipon, Anton Slepyshev and Jordan Subban going in the fourth. I'd take a crack at an enigmatic russian forward here if I could, even with the Alex Avtsin foundering fresh in our mind. Jordan Subban is a feelgood story, but I'm afraid if we take on more defencemen on the farm, they should complement rather than exacerbate our skillsets.
6) In the sixth, they have us picking a 5'11" LW out of Seattle named Riley Sheen, one spot ahead of a 6' C homeboy Jérémy Grégoire from Chicoutimi. Even discounting the whole Lindsay Vallis-Turner Stevenson-Brent Bilodeau history we have going on with the Thunderbirds and reassuring ourselves we're not superstitious, I don't see that happening.
7) In the seventh, they have some nobody defenceman named Jordan Gross that I've never heard of, and he's a smurf so who cares, they say he's only 5'10" and 170, and they say he has exceptional mobility... and a huge shot....
and this is where the league has taken us to. Kids like this who apparently can actually play are being scorned and pushed down the draft in favour of 6'4" plugs like Brian Bickell, who don't know how to play hockey, but who'll be snapped up in the second round and given four years in the AHL to learn how, because you need a thumper or six like that to hope to compete against the LA Kings and the St. Louis Blues. Meanwhile, I'm desperate to dispose of Yannick Weber for a fourth or fifth-round pick, because it's reasonable, nay, vital that we do so.
8) At the very top of the draft, they now have Nathan McKinnon #1, probably based on the Memorial Cup show he put on. Then it's Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin, Valery Nichushkin, Sasha Barkov and Sean Monahan, a bit of a shakeup compared to the last time, but they don't explain their reasoning.
Nikita Zadorov goes 9th (sigh...), Frédéric Gauthier 17th to the Senators, and Anthony Mantha 22nd (so close!) to the Flames. Unless Jay Feaster picks a Cypriot goalie there and proclaims him to be the best player in the draft.