NHL 2015 Mock Draft 1.0

This will be my first mock draft on the upcoming 2015 NHL Draft. This is a huge draft for the National Hockey League. There is so much talent in this draft especially at the top of the draft. This version is only going to have the top 14 spots which belong to teams that did not qualify for the playoffs.

Last night the NHL world was surprised a bit with the Edmonton Oilers winning the lottery. The Oilers did have the third best chance of landing the #1 overall pick, although they only had a 11.5% chance of winning the lottery. Once again the Oilers pick first overall in a draft.

Let’s get started.

1) Edmonton – Another high skilled forward would probably not be what most NHL experts would say the Oilers need. But the #1 pick in this draft is not just another high skilled forward.

The Oilers Select – Conor McDavid (C, 6’1, 190 lbs) – McDavid is not just a franchise player but he is a generational player. McDavid will make everyone around him better and help take his teammates games to the next level. Look for at least 1 major trade if not 2 this off season by the Oilers to change the core and chemistry of the roster. I would say both Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are on the block.

2) Buffalo – It is clear what the Sabres need and that is a franchise forward who they can build around.

The Sabres Select – Jack Eichel (C, 6’2, 195) – The Sabres didn’t land McDavid but I don’t think they will find too many clubs feeling sorry for them by landing a future franchise player in Eichel. Eichel is big and strong with huge skill and like McDavid is ready for the NHL now. Continue reading NHL 2015 Mock Draft 1.0

The Biggest NHL Lottery Ever!

Tomorrow night the 18th at 8PM the results of the NHL Draft lottery will be announced. This will be reveled live on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada, and NBC in the US. This is the biggest lottery ever in the history of the league. Let’s break it down.

2 Franchise Players & Whole Lot More:

When a team has a rough year and is picking at the top of the draft you hope there is at least some very good future core players and 1 franchise player in that draft. In the case of this years draft there are 2 franchise players in forwards Conor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Even better both should be suited up in NHL uniforms come Opening Night next season. For the next 12 picks of the non playoff teams they can rest assured they will be landing a player that will be an
important part of their core for years to come. It’s highly unlikely any of the next 12 will be in McDavid’s or Eichel’s class but all them have an excellent chance to have big careers.

The Changing of the Lottery Odds:

Honestly no team can feel they have a good shot at winning the lottery. That is the beauty of it because you can see any team winning the lottery and landing the number one pick. Buffalo has the best chance at 20% but that’s just a 1 in 5 chance. Then comes Arizona at 13.5% and Edmonton at 11.5%. That’s barely better than a 1 in 10 chance. The teams that finished from 4th from the bottom to 9th their percentages fall between 5% and 9.5%. Teams that finished 10th from the bottom up to the last team that didn’t make the playoffs at 14th, their odds fall between 1% and 3.5%. It’s any one’s ballgame to win the lottery.

Conor McDavid:

While Eichel is considered a franchise player in waiting, McDavid is considered a generational player. What would McDavid mean to various franchises? Continue reading The Biggest NHL Lottery Ever!

Four things the Islanders Must Do

The New York Islanders and Washington Capitals face off in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since the 1992-93. That series resulted in an Isles win and Dale Hunter‘s cheap shot on Pierre Turgeon. It’s also been 22 years since the Islanders advanced past the first round. Will they break that streak this year? These are the things they need to do to break that streak.

  1. Stay out of the box

The Islanders killed off 78 percent of their penalties this season (ranked 26th). They enter the postseason with the worst PK percentage wise of the 16 playoff teams. The PK was awful for the first half of the season. However they really stepped up in the second half and killed 70 of 81 penalties (86. pct). The Islanders were the fourth-least penalized team this season (218)  .

Alex Ovechkin once again led the league with 53 goals. Of which 25 were with the extra man (also led the NHL), Thanks to Ovi the Caps led the NHL with a 25.3% success rate.  Ovi is deadly from the left circle. Everyone knows it’s coming but still difficult to stop. The Isles cannot give him a clear shot to the net. I know easier said than done. Washington was   3-for-9 against the Islanders with the man advantage. They did allowed a shorthanded goal. Calvin de Haan‘s lone goal of the year back on December 29th.

  1. Regain the Secondary Scoring

Continue reading Four things the Islanders Must Do

Breaking Down the 1st Rd of the NHL Playoffs

The second season of the NHL is now here. Sixteen teams are now in the tournament. There should be plenty of long and exciting series during each of the four rounds of the NHL Playoffs. Let’s take a look at each series.

The East:

Pittsburgh vs NY Rangers

It took until the last game of the season for the Penguins to qualify for the playoffs. Based on their performance and injuries the last month of the season if they were not playing the worst team in the NHL the Buffalo Sabres in Game 82, they may not be in the post season. Conversely the Rangers have been the best team in the league since the calendar turned to 2015. It’s very hard to see how Pittsburgh makes this a series given their play and key injuries on defense.

Prediction: Rangers in 5

Ottawa vs Montreal

The Senators won 16 games in their last 22 to land one of the Wild Card spots. The Senators a young team and should push the Canadiens in this series. However between Montreal having Carey Price, a strong defensive team (#1 in the league in goals allowed), a more experienced post season team and the home ice advantage where the Habs were very tough, it’s hard to see them not moving on. The only negative I can come up with is of the 16 post season squads, Montreal ranks last in Goals per Game. I expect this series to be tougher for Montreal than most expect but in the end they move on.

Prediction: Montreal in 6

Detroit vs Tampa

For the 24th straight year the Red Wings have made the postseason. However Detroit has his hands full in the first round. The Lightning have so much fire power it’s scary. Continue reading Breaking Down the 1st Rd of the NHL Playoffs

Where do the Islanders Go From Here?

Tuesday’s heartbreaking loss to the Flyers raised a few red flags. The Islanders were 2.1 seconds from an amazing comeback and a playoff berth when Jaroslav Halak‘s flubbed a  Brayden Schenn shot from just above the left face off circle.

Lets start with Halak. General Manager Garth Snow traded and eventually signed him to a four-year contract. Snow brought him in to be something that the Islanders haven’t had in a while, a top-notch goaltender. In 2010, Halak carried the Montreal Canadiens to the Eastern Conference Finals. He was the Isles first-half MVP. He needs to be the MVP from this point on. Halak’s next start will be his 58th, a career high. He needs to shake that goal off, something I think he will and the team will rally around him.

Where in the world in Calvin de Haan? Sure he has struggled in the second half but there is no reason why Jack Capuano has benched him for the past 6 games in favor of Brian Strait. This season de Haan has recorded one goal and 11 assists and is a +2 rating in the 64 games that he has participated in. He has also averaged 19 minutes time on ice this season. Benching him for one game like he did with Ryan Strome would have set the message to de Haan. It is time to play your best players, that includes de Haan. Continue reading Where do the Islanders Go From Here?