Friday, 26 June 2015

Hot takes on the 2015 NHL Draft's first round.

Stream of consciousness as I watch the 2015 NHL Draft.

--Marc Bergevin on TVA Sports, says the only GM he hasn’t talked to today is Glen Sather.

Lots of talk, but he says in the past he’s gone further in talks that went nowhere, so nothing’s in the bag so far.

Doesn’t think any other major trades will occur beyond what the Bruins did.

He’s spoken with Pat Brisson, but not on Alex Galchenyuk yet, that’s in the next few days.

--Craig Button keeps saying that Jack Eichel is no consolation prize. I know what he means, but it’s misleading, not what he means to say. He should say “he’s no mere consolation prize.

Because Jack Eichel is a heck of a consolation prize if you don’t get Connor McDavid.

--  I can't read Mac T's expression, seated as he is beside a Peter Chiarelli in charge at the Edmonton table.

--After Gary Bettman gets an altogether decent booing, by Florida hockey standards, the Oilers prepare to announce their choice.  We're treated to camera shots of Connor McDavid in the stands with his family, hoping against hope for a last-second call from the Governor.

--Connor McDavid not exactly overjoyed at hearing his name called, but he manages an expression of relief.

--Owner Darryl Katz, onstage for a group shot, refrains from making an expression of interest for a Seattle franchise.

--Tim Murray walks onstage, about to make his disappointing pick at #2.

He just barks it out: "The Sabres select Jack Eichel".  No intro or nothing.

Last year, he was blunt at the mike, straight to the point, didn’t spend a minute thanking everyone, so I’ll not read too much into that.

But I do hope against hope that Jack Eichel goes back to Boston College next season.

--Darren Dreger tweets that the Sabres and Avalanche make a trade: Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, the 31st overall pick, and JT Compher for Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn.

So the Sabres clear out a waivers headache in Mikhail Grigorenko, who gets to play under former Remparts coach Patrick Roy.  The Sabres get some experience and talent, they're not losing intentionally next season.

Good return, great haul for the Avalanche for Ryan O'Reilly.

Sabres have Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons and Ryan O'Reilly as a 1-2-3 murderer's row at centre.

--At 4th overall, the Leafs Mark Hunter wins the arm wrestle and chooses the London Knights' Mitch Marner, contrary to Kyle Dubas who reportedly was leaning in Noah Hanifin's direction.

I always liked Mark Hunter, although he didn't quite pan out.  Big, disciplined player, more exciting than older brother Dave, sane as opposed to his homicidal brother Dale.  When he came up with Gilbert Delorme, two huge kids, massive and powerful, I thought they'd tear Nordiques limb from limb.  

First lesson, that I had to constantly re-learn, that prospects don't always turn out as expected.

Wait a minute, I think the first time was with Doug Wickenheiser...

--Oh yeah, the Coyotes select Dylan Strome 3rd overall, and he'll probably insist on certified cheques when payday comes around.

--5th overall, the Hurricans choose Noah Hanifin, who some compare to Scott Niedermeyer.  Man he looks good in highlights, he can skate like crazy, and he's 6'3".

--6th overall, the Devils go against type and select a big talented offensive player, centre Pavel Zacha.  All I know about him is his stats, and they do make a draft nerd salivate.

--A felon who was somehow never found guilty, never sentenced, announces that the Flyers choose Ivan Provorov at 7th.  Hate to do that kid, but I hope you bust.

--It's official: Sportsnet hosts can't count to ten.  They kept saying the Flyers were about to choose the eighth overall pick.

--Ville Siren looks like a Bond villain.  Last season he went fully-shaved bald, and looked like the nemesis to 007, but tonight with stubble he feels more like a henchman, someone who dies eight minutes from the end.

The Blue Jackets use the 8th overall on Jack Ver... Werr...

Jack Vrenski?...  Werenski?  Zach not Jack?

I don't think they're pronouncing right.

--My skin crawls at the canned, rehearsed 'moment' between Darryl Katz and Connor McDavid.  I muted him before he threw a tantrum that the city should pick up 2/3 of the cost of the Entry Level Contract for him.

--Sam Consentino does the CHL telecasts on Sportsnet, and he's on the broadcast for the draft.  He’s heavy and sometimes unclear on the clichés (“He’s cool, calm, collective…” “For all intensive purposes…”), but he does know the junior game and the players.

--The Sharks grab another big talented forward in Timo Meier at 9, a LHJMQ product, the first one picked.

--The Avalanche nab Miikko Rantanen 10th overall.  One of those guys so 'out of range' I never developed any opinion about, it's like the housing market in Toronto, irrelevant to me.

--Dale Tallon, the dude the Canucks ended up with after the Sabres picked Gilbert Perreault first overall in 1970, and now the Florida GM, yields the floor to Bill Torrey to make the 11th pick. Special advisor?

The Panthers get huge Lawson Crouse, to line up next to their other sides of beef, Nick Bjugstad and Kevin Hayes.

--The first 'reach'?  The Dallas Stars grab Denis Gurianov at #12, a highly-skilled big, fast scoring forward who I was hoping was in range, if we were lucky, at #26.  

The Russian Factor doesn't enter into it for the Stars, who are happy they picked Valeri Nichushkin in 2013.

Oh well, that means someone else is falling to us...

--Effin' Bruins have three first rounders in a row now.  I hope that's remembered years from now as Bust Alley.

--They grab Jakub Zboril at 13.  Sigh...

--Jake DeBrusk, a guy we thought might land in our laps, goes 14th overall to the Bruins.

Son of a goon...

Based on the body language between his mom and dad, are we to deduce that they’re divorced?

--Zachary Senyshyn at 15th overall?  Wow, the Bruins must love this guy.  I'd see him him touted as a sneaky, dark-horse pick for the late second round.

I thought for sure they'd take a huge guy like Brandon Carlo or Paul Bitner, with three shots at the dart board.

--The Oilers deal away 16th overall to the Islanders for Griffin Reinhart, an Edmonton Oil King product, so a kid they know.

And dumb, dumb Garth Snow, who spent a Top 5 pick on him a couple years ago, spent two seasons developing him, sells short on him, for a 16th and the 33rd pick.  Brilliant.

I bet he drafts Slava Voynov…

But no, the Islanders take Matthew Barzal at 16th.

--Yeah, great move by Peter Chiarelli and the Oilers.

1) They get a young defenceman, with a lot of development out of the way, World Juniors, AHL, some NHL.

2) They’re not waiting for him, he should be ready to go. They have to start winning now, especially with Connor McDavid.

3) They know him inside out, they own the Oil Kings, his junior team.  Right there, that should have set off alarm bells for Garth Snow.  If they want him, that should be a sign you should keep him.

--With the Bruins taking Zach Senyshyn, one of my man crushes falls closer to us.  Evgeny Svechnikov?

--At 17, the Jets select Kyle Connor, who comes from the future to save his mother Sarah.

--The Senators at 18th take one of the guys I hoped would fall to us, local boy/defenceman Thomas Chabot.  Mom and dad look pleased, they can easily keep track of him, watch his games.

Chabot and Marc Méthot, that should be a fun time on the same pairing for Bob Cole.

--Another bites the dust: Evgeny Svechnikov goes to the Red Wings at 19. 6’4″ guy with wheels who can snipe, nothing wrong with that.

Great, the last two picks, guys I was pining for, land in our division.

Not a huge deal, I never really believed.

But Jérémy Roy though... 

Come on someone, draft a goalie already.

--And another down: Joel Eriksson Ek, a smart talented centre.  The Wild snap him up at 20.

--Stupid Senators again, at 21 they steal, outright thieve from us: ...

Colin White.  Good, actually.  No feelings for that guy.  

Looking better and better.  Either Brock Boeser or Jérémy Roy.

--Who sounds more the more likable oaf? Colin White or Mike McCarron?

--At 22, the Capitals draft a goalie!  Yayyyyy!  Ilya Samsonov.

We're guaranteed one of my man-crushes.  There's no way out now.  Marc Bergevin will do my bidding.

--Okay, the murderers' row of Canadian Clubs: Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, before Montréal.

The Canucks at 23 steal Brock Boeser, a scoring talented winger with decent size.

--Crap, the Leafs are going to take one of ours, I can feel it.

It's hard for me to de-train myself from hating them, due to years of Domi and Kadri.

Or are they trading?  To Philadelphia?  Both repellent organizations.

They're stealing our trade-down opportunity too...

Now the Flyers get to rob us.  I get hives just looking at Ron Hextall.

--Phew!  Travis Konecny is the Flyers' choice at 24.  Good little player, just not an organizational fit for us I believe.

--Okay, trade down, or Jérémy Roy.

--Jets grab Jack Roslovic at 25.  Lots of people were predicting him to the Habs, big centre.

It's wide open before us.

--Damien Cox comments that he thinks the Canadiens had Jack Roslovic targeted.  But they get up and go to the mike, so no trade down.

--Sam Consentino at it again. Talking about Travis Konecny, he says that the Top Prospects game was a “lightning rod” for him.

He meant something like ‘cattle prod’, a motivator.

A “lightning rod” is someone or something that attracts a lot of attention, mostly negative.


--The pick is:  Noah Juulsen.  

Look, I always, always called that shot. I wrote a few times that the Canadiens would be exposed to his game due to him playing on the Everett Silvertips with Nikita Scherbak.

I knew it.

Right-handed dman, two-way all-around game, had almost a point a game, played lots the last two years under Kevin Constantine.

I predicted it.

I did.

--It would have been easy to pick local boy and defenceman Jérémy Roy, who they also know really well, he plays with Daniel Audette, and father Donald Audette is a Hab scout. I guess they preferred Noah.

In Trevor Timmins and Marc Bergevin I trust. They are much better positioned than I am to make these decisions.

I believe that he’s a player we had rated quite high who fell to us. He’s an incredible find that other teams were moronic to pass over.

At 6’2″, he has ‘perfect hockey size’ for a defenceman. We need these guys who play in the rough and tough WHL, who’ve undergone trial-by-fire.

He’s a two-way defenceman. Outstanding, enough with the specialists like Tomas Kaberle and Hal Gill, we need guys who can play in every situation.

And he’s a right-shot defenceman, which is all the better, those guys are harder to find, they’re worth more in trade if necessary.

--With Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu graduated to the NHL, we are bereft of quality defence prospects right now. Everyone we have left are longshots, the highest-drafted is Dalton Thrower, who was a low second-rounder, and is struggling to develop, due to injuries among other reasons. So it was time to replenish the well on the blue line.

--About the rest of the 1st round, I feel like Kent Brockman after he wins the lottery:  "Great tragedy, many people killed, ... See ya!"

And NBC Sports, Gary Bettman vaunted partner-monopolist, have switched to a track and field meet from the NCAA long ago.


27: Jacob Larsson to the Ducks, Swedish defenceman.

28:  Anthony Beauvillier to the Islanders.  That one stings.  But if Garth Snow traded up to get him, that's like a kiss of death for a prospect, isn't it?  How good can he be really?  Man-crush, abating...

29:  Gabriel Carlsson to the Blue Jackets, Swedish Defenceman.

30:  Nick Merkley to the Coyotes.  Not a fit for us I thought.

--Draft fact #2:  I don't know the difference between Gabriel Carlsson and Jacob Larsson.  

It's going to be like Jared Cowen, Cam Fowler and Cam Barker, I still can't keep them straight.

--No really: If you’re Garth Snow and want to trade up, and find that Steve Yzerman is willing to trade down, he doesn’t have anyone he particularly likes at that position, don’t your spidey senses start to tingle? Don’t the little hairs on your neck stand up? Aren’t there huge red flags waving everywhere?

--About drafting a defenceman rather than a (scoring) forward, with Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu graduated to the NHL, we are bereft of quality defence prospects right now. Everyone we have left are longshots, the highest-drafted is Dalton Thrower, who was a low second-rounder, and is struggling to develop, due to injuries among other reasons. So it was time to replenish the well on the blue line.

--What do we need to do to get a second rounder for tomorrow?  What do we have to offer?  A shiny squeaky toy to Garth Snow?

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