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Richdg

2014 draft thoughts.

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Ok boys and girls it is time to start thinking about the draft. before we get to the fun of who we draft, let's cover some other things first.

1. As of today we would be picking 14th. We have 50 points and there are 13 other teams with fewer points than us, 1 team with equal points but a game in hand. In other words-middle of the road again.

2. Quick review of last years draft. I loved and called for mantha in the 1st. the last week or so before the draft I started to doubt that we would take him if there, boy am I glad we did! Nat is the second round was also a good pick. The brain trust did a great job moving down and adding an extra second round pick, then IMHO completely pissed that pick away on Tuzzi. he was a 6th round projection t best, and there were tons of guys available for that pick that would have been better. other than that, a good draft. No reaches, covered all positions of need.

3. Ok let's talk needs. What does our team look like say 5 years from now?

We have a nice pool of G's to pick from. Howard's career will be near the end, Marzek should be in his prime, with JP close behind him pushing. In other words, G is not a position of need early in the draft. if there is someone they like in the last 2-3 rounds, then grab a G. otherwise wait until next years draft.

Dmen. Our strongest position. 5 years from now Kronwall and Ericsson will be at the end. But Kindl, DeKeyser, Smith, and lashoff will all still be 31 (Kindl) or in their late 20's. A nice deep core to work with. But it doesn't end there. On the LH side we have Almquist, Oullett, nedermol (speling), dehaas, Wheaton and McNulty coming. On the RH side we have marchencko, Sproul, Jensen, and maybe Nicastro on the way. No all of these guys will not make it. But 2 or 3 will. They are all also playing really well at the AHL level, which means we can make moves if/when needed-like now! Point is, we are really deep on D. have guys with size, speed, skill, toughness, RH and LH. A great young group that we can develop.

Forwards. This area is much more of an issue. There are of course 2 groups when talking forwards: grinders for the bottom 8 and top 6 scoring forwards. We have plenty of the fromer and very few of the later. Look at the grinder tyoes that could be here: Abby, helm, maybe Miller, Andersson, Callahan, McKee-for a$$ whippings, Nat, little Tuzzi, plus whatever additional picks we have over the next 2-3 years. Plenty of bodies for the bottom 2 lines. Now when it comes to scorers it is a little more interesting. I see 4 guys: Nyquist, tatar, mantha, Jurco, and that is about it as of now. yes frk and Jarnkrok could turn into something, but both have a long long way to go. Now when looking at the scorers, there are 3 issues here: 1. All are LHed, 2. None are true centermen, and 3. There are only 4 guys! this is and should be our main area of focus in the draft, UFA, and trades for the next couple of years.

Ok moving into the order. For now let's assume we finish 15th or so. It makes the math easy if nothing else. Our picks are then: 15th, 45th, 75th, 105th, 135th, 165th, and 195th if I have done my math correctly.

so, who are the guys that could/should be available for each of those picks? With a focus on RHed F when possible........ Stay tuned.......

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Ok, first round targets:

Jake Virtanen 6-1/210 LW LH.

Considered to be a physically punishing forward who skates really well. Known to have a good hard shot. Plays for the Hitmen.

Dylan Larkin 6-1/190 LH C.

Strong 2 way C that shows a lot f grit. Plays for the US NTDP U-18.

Alex Tuch 6-4/225 RH RW.

Big American Power Forward with a great shot.

Cloune and haroldsnepsts like this

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some 2nd round guys:

Adrian Kempe 6-2/190 LH C.

A Swedish power forward in the making. One of the younger guys in the class, but shows some promise.

Austin Poganski 6-1/190 RH RW.

High energy guy who loves to throws his body around.

Jared Fiegl 6-2/195 LH LW

Power forward that is developing as a skater. Could be a top 6 guy if his skating improves.


I like Tuch (pun intended). Think of him on the RH side with Mantha on the LH side. 2 big fast scorers. Now just need a C.......

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3rd round:

Keegan Iverson 6-1/210 RH RW/C

Loves to hit and never stops moving. has a good heavy shot as well. At this point likes to skate through the D and force home the puck.

Ryan MacInnis 6-4/190 LH LW/C

Would you be surprised to know Al's son can shot the puck? He has all the skills to be a superstar, hasn't found the consistency yet. But he is only 18.........

Aaron Haydon 6-3/200 RH D

A true modile tough guy. No he isn't a scorer. But he loves to hit, fight, check, and has the speed and skating ability to get there and bring the pain.

Christian Dvorak 6-1/170 LH LW

Great skater and a great shot. needs to add muscle and strength. Currently he has to hang onto something in a stiff breeze and gets pushed off of the puck. But when he has time to shoot, he is deadly......

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4th round:

Alexis Pepin 6-2/230 RH RW.

Plays C in Junior but doesn't have the speed for that in the pros. has good size, strength, toughness, and scores in close. He isn't going to score from 30 feet out. front of net type player with the ability to play the walls.

Vladislav Kamenev 6-1/180 LH C

Classic Russian C. Skates well, good speed, plays all 200 feet of the ice. great passer and good shooter. there is that old "Russian factor" though........

Ryan "no relation" Mantha 6-5/225 RH Dman

Big, fast, strong, tough, plays his position well and has a strong shot. Will defend his team mates. This is his first year playing D. has been a F all his life.

Markus Pettersson 6-4/165 LH D

Tall thin and new to D. Skates well and passes well. A long term development project. needs to add 40 pounds of muscle.

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Some 5th through 7th names to watch and follow:

Simon Kindschi 6-3/215 LH D

Solid skating swiss Dman

oskar Lindblom 6-2/175 LH LW

Needs to work on his skating, but has top notch hand/eye coordination.

matt schmaltz 6-5/200 RH RW/C

Strong defensive C with good skating ability. Not much O to date. Still young and can skate.

Daniel Bagenda 6-2/190 LH LW

typical Swedish winger. does everything well.

Nolan Stevens 6-3/185 LH C

Good size, speed, and skill. Just needs time and coaching.

More names will be added later. Guys always are moving up and down. Gems are found etc......

One last thing. I have not watched all of these guys, in fact very few. All I do is take scouting reports 2-3 most of the time and try to boil down the opinions on each guy. Every player has strengths and weaknesses.

last thing, you never know what gems Hawken will find over in Europe. if everyone knew about them, they wouldn't be "hidden gems" now would they.......LOL

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Now whatwould my ideal draft look like this year? Ok, here you go:

1st: Tuch 6-4/225 RH RW

2nd: Kempe 6-2/190 LH C

3rd: MacInnis 6-4/190 LH LW/C

4th: Mantha 6-5/225 RH RW/D

last 3 rounds grab a G, and 2 best avails......

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2. Quick review of last years draft. I loved and called for mantha in the 1st. the last week or so before the draft I started to doubt that we would take him if there, boy am I glad we did! Nat is the second round was also a good pick. The brain trust did a great job moving down and adding an extra second round pick, then IMHO completely pissed that pick away on Tuzzi. he was a 6th round projection t best, and there were tons of guys available for that pick that would have been better. other than that, a good draft. No reaches, covered all positions of need.

I understood why people may have felt this way on draft day....but still?? Let's do some research first guys...

Nastasiuk

GP-42 G 13 A 19 P 32 PIM 18 -9

Bertuzzi

GP-29 G 10 A 25 P 35 PIM 49 +9

Same league. Not to mention Bertuzzi plays a grittier game. I live in Ontario and watch a decent amount of OHL games. He looks good.

Ally likes this

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For the upcoming draft I'd like us to pick Jared McCann for the simple fact we have the same last name.

Plus I already have the jersey....

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I'd like them to trade our 1st this year to a desperate team for a 1st next year. Next year we trade 2 firsts to move way up to get a 1C prospect. Its not like we need quantity at this point - we need a quality 1st line C prospect and that won't come where we draft without trading up.

Alternatively, if we move a piece for another 1st at the deadline (i dunno who) we could try something like this this year potentially too.

We desperately lack that 1C in the system and this is the best and least expensive way to get one.

LeftWinger likes this

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I'd like them to trade our 1st this year to a desperate team for a 1st next year. Next year we trade 2 firsts to move way up to get a 1C prospect. Its not like we need quantity at this point - we need a quality 1st line C prospect and that won't come where we draft without trading up.

Alternatively, if we move a piece for another 1st at the deadline (i dunno who) we could try something like this this year potentially too.

We desperately lack that 1C in the system and this is the best and least expensive way to get one.

That's actually a great idea, and one that I've never thought of! We've got a fairly stocked cupboard right now, so much so that we'll be needing to make some tough decisions soon. This would buy us some time and give a nice easy decision in 2 years!

Edited by Bannedforlife
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Ok, let's go back to the top for a couple of minutes. let's pretend I am right about where the team is in 5 years. Of course no one knows where that really will be, so all we can do is guess. D and Z have retired and are heading to the HOF. So what kind of lines can we put together?

1st line: LW Mantha C???? RW Frk

2nd line: LW Jurco C???? RW Tuch

3rd line: LW Abby C Helm RW Callahan?

4th line: LW Andersson C Sheahan RW Nastasiuk

That is not a bad 10 of 12. Bottom 2 lines are solid. Good size, speed, grit and skill. We could get 60 goals per year or more from those 6 guys. Not bad at all.

The top 2 lines are set at winger. Great size, good speed, and great goal scoring potential. mantha looks like a guy that could score 35+ goals per year. frk has shown the ability to lite the lamp as well. mantha is LHed and Frk is RHed, so good balance. On the second line we have Jurco-LHed and he looks like a future 25 goal per season guy once he gains more weight and strength. Tuch is RHed and also looks like a guy that could be a 25 goal per year guy. Second line is in balance between RH and LH as well. Now if you notice, we have 2 holes at C. Well unanswered questions is a better way to say it. But we also have a couple of guys not listed here: tatar and Nyquist. That provides us with some options. if one of the guys in my lineup doesn't make it, they can fill in. if we decide to trade for a proven C in a couple of years, they can be the bait. if Jurco has to be moved to get a great C, then maybe Nyquist stays. Point is, OPTIONS.

None of this factors in one of the other picks making it. maybe Kempe proves he can be a #2. Maybe Pope from last year, or MacInnis becomes a C, and of course we have the 2015 draft, 2016 draft etc......

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1st line: LW Mantha C???? RW Frk

2nd line: LW Jurco C???? RW Tuch

3rd line: LW Abby C Helm RW Callahan?

4th line: LW Andersson C Sheahan RW Nastasiuk

5 years? More like:

Mantha C??? Jurco

Tatar Jarnkrok Nyquist

Abby Helm Pulkkinen

Athanasiou Sheahan Nastasiuk

Athanasiou at least makes the 4th line with his wheels. Sheahan may very well be much more than a 4th line C but at worst that is where he gets. Jarnkrok will be a 2C (I know it doesn't look like it now with his point totals). No way Nyquist or Tatar disappear in Ken Holland's world. The guy isn't trading anyone (look at recent history). I think Callahan makes the team next year as an extra forward just like Ferraro - but I don't see them being career Wings necessarily. Glendening will be another guy that is on the team for a while but is eclipsed when new guys emerge.

rick zombo likes this

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5 years? More like:

Mantha C??? Jurco

Tatar Jarnkrok Nyquist

Abby Helm Pulkkinen

Athanasiou Sheahan Nastasiuk

Athanasiou at least makes the 4th line with his wheels. Sheahan may very well be much more than a 4th line C but at worst that is where he gets. Jarnkrok will be a 2C (I know it doesn't look like it now with his point totals). No way Nyquist or Tatar disappear in Ken Holland's world. The guy isn't trading anyone (look at recent history). I think Callahan makes the team next year as an extra forward just like Ferraro - but I don't see them being career Wings necessarily. Glendening will be another guy that is on the team for a while but is eclipsed when new guys emerge.

Athanasiou is a center, and he has pretty good hands too.

I have higher hopes for him then just fourth line.

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I'd like them to trade our 1st this year to a desperate team for a 1st next year. Next year we trade 2 firsts to move way up to get a 1C prospect. Its not like we need quantity at this point - we need a quality 1st line C prospect and that won't come where we draft without trading up.

Alternatively, if we move a piece for another 1st at the deadline (i dunno who) we could try something like this this year potentially too.

We desperately lack that 1C in the system and this is the best and least expensive way to get one.

This. I have been saying this (not on LGW but in conversations with other fans) for months. This is a "weak" draft class anyways so we probably wouldn't be missing out on much. I'd be all for that trade.

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This. I have been saying this (not on LGW but in conversations with other fans) for months. This is a "weak" draft class anyways so we probably wouldn't be missing out on much. I'd be all for that trade.

or we get lucky and the team we traded with has the 1st overall pick.

Connor mcdavid anyone?

Edited by jimmyemeryhunter

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I understood why people may have felt this way on draft day....but still?? Let's do some research first guys...

Nastasiuk

GP-42 G 13 A 19 P 32 PIM 18 -9

Bertuzzi

GP-29 G 10 A 25 P 35 PIM 49 +9

Same league. Not to mention Bertuzzi plays a grittier game. I live in Ontario and watch a decent amount of OHL games. He looks good.

Dang I had no idea how players do in the OHL is exactly how they'll do in the NHL.

Which still doesn't the change the fact he couldve been had in the later rounds. The two draft sites I looked at had him projected as undrafted. SO YES it is a FACT he was drafted way too high.

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Dang I had no idea how players do in the OHL is exactly how they'll do in the NHL.

Which still doesn't the change the fact he couldve been had in the later rounds. The two draft sites I looked at had him projected as undrafted. SO YES it is a FACT he was drafted way too high.

I love how these draft sites know more than nhl scouts or gms. Yes some have contacts but their draft projections in later rounds are nothing more than pure guesses. Enough on past year let's move on.

We have a gluten of prospects. My first move playing amature couch gm would be to package Callahan, Ferraro, or Almquist and our 1st to move up to get Nicolaj Rulers. If that isn't possible I would prefer to trade and load up picks for next year. Virtanen, or Karlsson at 15ish wouldn't be bad either. I personally don't like Tuch as much as some. He is a 4th line grinding type with a good shot. We have those in spades.

Now whatwould my ideal draft look like this year? Ok, here you go:

1st: Tuch 6-4/225 RH RW

2nd: Kempe 6-2/190 LH C

3rd: MacInnis 6-4/190 LH LW/C

4th: Mantha 6-5/225 RH RW/D

last 3 rounds grab a G, and 2 best avails......

If you want Mantha #2 you would have to take him in the 2nd. Also Kemke would be a steal in the 2nd hopefully he will be available. As always well done Rich, and thanks for starting this discussion.

Edited by MasterPavel

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Yes Little Tuzzi was taken far to early. But we have him. Interesting how a guy that misses 1/3 of his games with injury and loses every fight he is in, is somehow considered a great prospect. I highly highly doubt he ever amounts to anything. truth be told, if he didn't have a famous uncle does he get drafted? Tigers also drafted Rod and Mario's kids as well. There is a degree of favoritism in sports.


MP, thanks. yes players move up and down all the time. Most mock draft currently have Mantha in the 3/4 round. As for Tuch I am a big fan. he has 20 G's in 32 games this season for USA U18 playing their mixed schedule against college, USHL and international team. The guy puts the puck in the net. being 6-4/225 and an American is just icing on the cake!

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Something else to watch and keep in mind over the next couple of years. The new CBA changed-lowered, the number of years guys can be hid in the minors before they have to clear waivers. IIRC it went from 5 years to 3 years. This pretty much kills the old RW stand by of "overripening". This might push more guys into college hockey. before most guys got drafted, played 1 more year of junior, then played in the minors for up to 5 years. meaning teams had control for 6 years before they got to the NHL. Now teams have 4 years for most guys. Final year in junior and 3 years in the minors. if players start heading to college more, you still can control guys for 6 years. 3 in college and 3 in the minors. overseas players are not affected of course.

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someone said it earlier, with our amount of "maturing" kids about ready to make a move to the NHL, it may be fine to start dealing a couple of picks. I would trade our 1st for sure this season, unless somehow it's a lottery pick...

I think someone said trade out 1st this year for a first next year and then we'd have two 1st rounders in 2015. Sounds good to me...


Hey Rich, earlier you posted a lines thread to look for in 5 years... Z and Franzen still have 7 and 6 years remaining on their contracts respectively...I think Z plays out his contract for sure. Unless Franzen's head gets worse, I think he does too..

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Tuch played well against Michigan when I watched him play, but he didn't scream top 15. It is a down year, and I love his size so if we end up around 20 we could do a lot worse than Alex. Still hope we could manage Ehlers but we are loaded on small fast skill guys.

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dont care what round just get Nikita Trymakin the kid is a beast.

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Now, I did this mock draft and scouting reports based on the thought that we would end up in the 15th range of the draft. What happens if we miss the PO's and then by luck get the number 1 pick? Do you keep it or trade it? This draft is considered to be a weak draft. mainly because it lacks superstars on the top end and depth like last years draft. if I was in charge and we had the number 1 I would think long and hard about trading the pick. Now what would I be looking for? well I want a RHed shooting forward that can score and bang. In a perfect world: Ryan. he is only 27 and has proven that he can score 33-36 goals per year in the NHL with 125 hits per season. He is what this team needs for the top 2 lines. Ottawa is also cash strapped and can't afford to resign him either. perfect trade for both teams. But he is not the only guy, just and example. Another guy I would take a long hard look at and another team with money issues, would be Hanzel with the Yotes. he would be the perfect #2 C between Jurco and tatar. Not a fighter-few euros are, but he is 6-6/240 a great 2 way guy that scores 20-25 G's and hits a ton. Also in the 26/27 year old range. You get the idea of what I am talking about if we have the #1 pick and choose to trade it.

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