Frenzy at NHL Draft on Day One

There was a lot going on in Florida on day one of the NHL Draft. Plenty of trades and a very interesting first round for what appears to be a great draft class. Let’s take a look at a number of items.

Bruins:

Boston appears to be going with the approach to take one step back to go three steps forward. Despite the fact that this draft is loaded with talent, I don’t believe the Bruins got enough of a return for Dougie Hamilton (the 15th, 45th & 52nd overall selections in this years draft). Having said that I believe Boston scored a hat trick with their return for Milan Lucic (13th overall, Martin Jones and a prospect) who is one year away from unrestricted free agency. The fact that the Bruins are using 2.7 million of this years cap space on Lucic who will not be on their team, tells you Boston is looking towards the future.

Sabres:

Buffalo found their goalie in Robin Lehner and added a top six forward in Ryan O’Reilly. I do have some concerns with the Buffalo trades. The Sabres gave up a deep package to Colorado for Ryan O’Reilly. O’Reilly is a UFA after next season and it’s going to take a monster contract for him to bypass free agency. I am sure Buffalo is aware of this and will do what it takes to get O’Reilly signed. I also thought giving up the 21st overall pick in this years draft for Lehner and Legwand was steep. Legwand will be a mentor for the young Sabre forwards for a year and then move on. Lehner is a talented young goalie who has some NHL experience, but has a bit of an injury history. When looking back at these moves in a year or two, they may be viewed as huge wins or losses. Continue reading Frenzy at NHL Draft on Day One

Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #1 Connor McDavid

#1! Connor McDavid.

The 6’1”, Erie Otters, Center is ranked number 1 and rightfully so!
Connor McDavid was granted exeptional status by Hockey Canada and entered the 2012 OHL Priority Selection Draft as a 15 year old.
McDavid won OHL Rookie of the Year as a 16 year old and led all rookies with 41 assists (25-41-66). He was also named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.

In McDavid’s second season, he was finished 4th in the OHL point race with 99 points in 56 games. He also had 19 points in 14 playoff games. 2013-14 he won OHL Most Sportsmanlike player and CHL Scholastic Player of the Year.

This past year McDavid was scoring at a 2.83 (16-35-51) points per game pace before fracturing his fifth metacarpal bone in a fight against Bryson Cianfrone of the Mississauga Steelheads during game 18 of McDavid’s third OHL season. McDavid missed Cianfrone and hit the top of the boards. The fracture when from the bottom of his pinkie finger all the way to his wrist. Continue reading Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #1 Connor McDavid

Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #2 Jack Eichel

#2? Jack Eichel!

Jack Eichel is the highest ranked American and second highest ranked forward. The North Chelmsford, Massachusetts native was awarded the Hobey Baker Award for the Top National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Ice Hockey Player. He is just the second freshman to be given this award since Paul Kariya.

Eichel played this past season with the Boston University Terriers. He had 71 points (26-45) in 40 games. He helped them get to their first conference title in six years. He was named MYP at the Hockey East Tournament. He was also named Hockey East player of the year, Rookie of the Year and was the only unanimous vote for the Hockey East All-Star Selection.

The Terriers played in the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston University placed second after a loss in the finals to Providence.

Eichel has been very involved in Team USA’s success over the last few years. He played in the 2013 World Junior Championships (2nd), 2013 U18 World Championships (1st), 2014 World Junior Championships (5th), 2015 World Junior Championships (5th) and 2015 World Championships (3rd). Continue reading Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #2 Jack Eichel

Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #3 Noah Hanifin

Noah Hanifin? He’s number 3 on this list.

Noah Hanifin is a 6’3”, defenseman from Norwood, Massachusetts. This season he played at Boston College. He had 5 goals and 18 assists in 37 games. Hanifin finished 3rd in freshman NCAA Division 1 defensive scoring.

He decided to play at Boston College for the 2014-2015 season because it was a dream of his to go there and he grew up around Boston NCAA Hockey. Asa kid his Grandfather took him to BC games.

He captained the U17 Team USA to gold in 2014 at the U17 Hockey Challenge. He also played for Team USA at the 2014 U18 World Junior Championships (1st), where he was tied for second in defense scoring with 5 points in 7 games and the 2015 World Junior Championships (5th).

Hanifin trys to model his game after Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty. Continue reading Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #3 Noah Hanifin

Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #4 Dylan Strome

Erie Otters center, Dylan Strome is number 4.

This season, Strome led the league in points with 129 (45-84-129) after an incredible 6 point game. He scored 6 points in Erie’s 8-7 win over the Niagara Ice Dogs at the Meridian Center in St. Catharines, Ontario on the last day of the regular season.

Strome’s older brother Ryan is a forward on the New York Islanders and was drafted 5th overall in 2011. His younger brother Matthew, was drafted 8th overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft by the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Strome had 10 goals and 22 points in 20 post season games with the Otters before being eliminated by the Oshawa Generals.

He was awarded the William Hanley Trophy – Most Sportsmanlike Player.

Strome grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and played in the GTHL as a child. He played for the Toronto Marlboros and during the 2012-2013 season averaged just over 2 points per game while captaining the team. Continue reading Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – #4 Dylan Strome