Vegas Expansion Draft: Primer and Mock Draft

It’s finally here. The Vegas expansion draft takes place tonight at 8PM EST and can be watched live on NBCSN and SportsNet. Here’s a quick primer:

Vegas Expansion Draft:
Who: (Las) Vegas Golden Knights
What: Expansion Draft, stealing players from other teams
When: 8PM EST (NBCSN, SN), in the middle of the NHL Awards Ceremony
Where: T-Mobile Arena (I think), Las Vegas, NV
Why: I don’t? Really know? We could just cancel the Golden Knights, that’s fine with me

In between the NHL Awards announcements, GMGM (General Manager George McPhee) and the rest of the Vegas team will announce who they’ve selected from each team in the reverse of the regular season standings, i.e. from Colorado to Washington. The complete order is here (in case you want to time bathroom breaks or tuning in): Colorado, Vancouver, New Jersey, Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Carolina, Winnipeg, Philly, Nashville, New York (Islanders), Tampa Bay, Calgary, Toronto, Boston, Ottawa, San Jose, St. Louis, New York (Rangers), Edmonton, Montréal, Anaheim, Minnesota, Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington.

Some of the rules: 

  1. Vegas has to select 30 players, one from each team.
  2. They have to select 14 forwards, nine defensemen, three goaltenders, and four other players of any position.
  3. At least 20 of those 30 selected players have to be on contract for the 2017-18 season.
  4. Vegas has to fill at least 60% of their cap space (approximately $43.8 million) but cannot surpass last year’s cap ceiling ($73 million); the cap ceiling is now $75 million.
  5. All first- and second-year professionals (and both signed and unsigned draft prospects) are exempt from being selected, i.e. all players who either just finished their first year in the NHL or their second.

Each NHL team had to submit a list of players that they could protect from Vegas by 5PM EST on Saturday, June 17 and the lists were made public at 10:30AM EST (they were supposed to go live at 10AM EST). There’s a complete master list of all 316 protected players here!

Vegas also had an exclusive trade period where they, and they alone, could work out deals and trades with other teams after the trade freeze at 3PM EST on Saturday. Vegas has at least half a dozen deals in place and those will probably be revealed tonight (or at some point today).

If you care about the NHL Awards, check out my predictions here; spoiler alert: Travis Hamonic won the NHL Foundation Award and Nick Foligno won the Mark Messier Leadership Award last night.

Turning back to the expansion draft. CapFriendly and SB Nation both have super user-friendly tools to help you build your own Golden Knights team and I highly suggest playing around with them. I started using CapFriendly’s but ran into some problems; I used SB Nation’s and here are my not-so-great predictions:

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.06.48 PMScreen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.07.11 PM

I don’t really care about the accuracy? I did these last night after working until 5 and baking a chocolate cake so I couldn’t exactly see straight. I think most of this is just hoping that Vegas won’t pick some of my favorites. As a Devils fan, I really, really don’t want Vegas to take Beau Bennett and unless they have a deal in place to protect him or Vegas is scared by his injury history, I don’t see any reason for them not to take him. I also don’t want them to take Jujhar Khaira (Edmonton) or even Eric Staal (Minnesota) but who knows? Vegas doesn’t care about what I think.

Let’s hope tonight is (relatively) painless! Don’t forget to tune in to NBCSN or SportsNet at 8PM EST for the NHL Awards ceremony and the expansion draft, and may the odds be ever in your (team’s) favor.

New Jersey’s New Jersey Unveiled

Sorry about the title (no I’m not). When the NHL announced a new partnership with athletic clothing company Adidas, I was excited but also skeptical (for good reason). As a Devils fan, I love the team’s iconic logo and jerseys, and I was beyond afraid that Adidas would somehow mess them up. There was speculation that the Devils might return to their red-and-green past but the hints indicated that they would stick with the red and black (which I was completely okay with). I would be furious, however, if they touched the classic logo, one of the best in all of professional sports. You don’t mess with that. But lo and behold, what does Adidas do? Mess with the jersey.

It’s not horrible, it’s just… not great?

Here’s the super low-res image that was leaked online earlier tonight:

DCzXVeYUwAAsWZL.jpg-large

I thought I would wait for the high-res images before making any judgements but Adidas made that impossible. I hated it at first but after more and more images surfaced on Twitter and social media, I’m warming up to them.

636335627397457959-2017Andy-Greene-in-new-jersey636335627379205842-2017-Taylor-Hall-new-jersey

Let’s start with the nice jerseys, yeah?

I really, really like that the Avalanche are going back to old jerseys; they’re also a classic and I like them. And I like Vancouver’s and St. Louis’s jerseys too and I kinda like Edmonton’s? But other than that… *gags*.

hate Nashville’s almost solid yellow jersey. I really don’t like Vegas’s jersey which is unfortunate because I like their color combo. I was really hoping for purple jerseys for the Kings.

But I don’t like New Jersey’s jerseys. I don’t understand where the bottom stripe went. None of the new jersey changes make any sense to me. I’m glad they’re still red and black, and the logo was untouched but other than that, zip. That’s it.

I appreciate what they’re trying to do:

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 10.02.09 PM

And it looks better in some lights than others:

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But I don’t know if I would spend on one. Maybe down the road or if they go on sale but I just don’t know. I’m still waiting an all-black or a black-and-gray jersey with red and white highlights/accents; that is something I would buy the crap out of. Better keep an eye out for Reebok jersey sales, I guess.

2017 NHL Awards Preview and Predictions

The NHL Awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday, June 21st at 8PM EST in Las Vegas in between the announcements of the Vegas Golden Knight’s player selections/expansion draft. Or wait… is it the other way around? It’s hard to tell.

Here are a list of the awards being presented, their nominees, who I want to win each award, and who I think is going to win:

Hart Trophy (League MVP): awarded to the player “judged most valuable to his team” in the NHL.
Nominees: Sergei Bobrovksy (CBJ), Sidney Crosby (PIT), Connor McDavid (EDM)
Last 10 Winners: Patrick Kane (2016), Carey Price (2015), Sidney Crosby (2014), Alex Ovechkin (2013), Evgeni Malkin (2012), Corey Perry (2011), Henrik Sedin (2010), Alex Ovechkin (2009), Alex Ovechkin (2008), Sidney Crosby (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Sidney Crosby. You could make the argument for both Bobrovsky and McDavid, and while I would love to see Bobrovsky win, it’s not going to happen. Bobrovsky was solid in net all season long for the Blue Jackets and helped them have one of the most successful seasons that they’ve ever had as a franchise. McDavid, 2017 Art Ross Trophy winner (highest scorer during the regular season), had one of the best seasons of anyone in the NHL and helped the Oilers reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006. But if Crosby’s nominated for an award, he’s going to win it and it helps that he’s helped the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cups, being named the Conn Smythe recipient in the process.

Ted Lindsay Award (Best Player as Voted by the NHLPA):
Nominees: Brent Burns (SJS), Sidney Crosby (PIT), Connor McDavid (EDM)
Last 10 Winners: Patrick Kane (2016), Carey Price (2015), Sidney Crosby (2014), Sidney Crosby (2013), Evgeni Malkin (2012), Daniel Sedin (2011), Alex Ovechkin (2010), Alex Ovechkin (2009), Alex Ovechkin (2008), Sidney Crosby (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Crosby, also this year’s Maurice Richard Trophy winner (top goal-scorer). I’m starting to sense a pattern here. What he’s done for the Penguins organization is a true accomplishment and he’ll probably win his fourth Ted Lindsay Award.

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman):
Nominees: Brent Burns (SJS), Victor Hedman (TBL), Erik Karlsson (OTT)
Last 10 Winners: Drew Doughty (2016), Erik Karlsson (2015), Duncan Keith (2014), P.K. Subban (2013), Erik Karlsson (2012), Niklas Lidstrom (2011), Duncan Keith (2010), Zdeno Chara (2009), Niklas Lidstrom (2008), Niklas Lidstrom (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Karlsson. Burns had a great offensive season but Karlsson had a very, very underrated regular and postseason, especially defensively.

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender):
Nominees: Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ), Braden Holtby (WSH), Carey Price (MTL)
Last 10 Winners: Braden Holtby (2016), Carey Price (2015), Tuukka Rask (2014), Sergei Bobrovsky (2013), Henrik Lundqvist (2012), Tim Thomas (2011), Ryan Miller (2010), Tim Thomas (2009), Martin Brodeur (2008), Martin Brodeur (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Bobrovsky. No one helped his team more than Bobrovsky did. Holtby and Price have both been solid in net for their respective teams but Bobrovsky helped change his franchise this past season. The Blue Jackets reached the playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season but lost in five games in the first round to the Penguins.

Calder Trophy (Best Rookie):
Nomineees: Patrik Laine (WPG), Auston Matthews (TOR), Zach Werenski (CBJ)
Last 10 Winners: Artemi Panarin (2016), Aaron Ekblad (2015), Nathan MacKinnon (2014), Jonathan Huberdeau (2013), Gabriel Landeskog (2012), Jeff Skinner (2011), Tyler Myers (2010), Steve Mason (2009), Patrick Kane (2008), Evgeni Malkin (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Matthews. After scoring four goals in his NHL debut, every single hockey fan knew that he would be something special. He helped the Maple Leafs reach the playoffs again and broke several Maple Leafs rookie records in the process. Laine and Werenski had impressive rookie seasons too and shouldn’t be overlooked but I think Matthews wins this one.

Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward):
Nominees: Patrice Bergeron (BOS), Ryan Kesler (ANA), Mikko Koivu (MIN)
Last 10 Winners: Anze Kopitar (2016), Patrice Bergeron (2015), Patrice Bergeron (2014), Jonathan Toews (2013), Patrice Bergeron (2012), Ryan Kesler (2011), Pavel Datsyuk (2010), Pavel Datsyuk (2009), Pavel Datsyuk (2008), Ron Brind’Amour (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Bergeron wins his fourth but I’d love to see Koivu win his first. Hopefully the winner is a pleasant surprise.

Lady Byng Trophy (Most Gentlemanly Player):
Nominees: Johnny Gaudreau (CGY), Mikael Granlund (MIN), Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)
Last 10 Winners: Anze Kopitar (2016), Jiri Hudler (2015), Ryan O’Reilly (2014), Martin St. Louis (2013), Brian Campbell (2012), Martin St. Louis (2011), Martin St. Louis (2010), Pavel Datsyuk (2009), Pavel Datsyuk (2008), Pavel Datsyuk (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: I’m thinking Tarasenko but I’d honestly be okay with any of them winning? I like Gaudreau, Granlund, and Tarasenko, and I’d like to see any one of them win their first.

NHL Foundation Player Award (Core Values of Hockey):
Nominees: Travis Hamonic (NYI), Wayne Simmonds (PHI)
Last 10 Winners: Mark Giordano (2016), Brent Burns (2015), Patrice Bergeron (2014), Henrik Zetterberg (2013), Mike Fisher (2012), Dustin Brown (2011), Ryan Miller (2010), Rick Nash (2009), Vincent Lecavalier and Trevor Linden (2008), Joe Sakic (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: they’re both the real winners so maybe they can split the award.

Mark Messier Leadership Award:
Nominees: Nick Foligno (CBJ), Ryan Getzlaf (ANA), Mark Giordano (CGY)
Last 10 Winners: Shea Weber (2016), Jonathan Toews (2015), Dustin Brown (2014), Daniel Alfredsson (2013), Shane Doan (2012), Zdeno Chara (2011), Sidney Crosby (2010), Jarome Iginla (2009), Mats Sundin (2008), Chris Chelios (2007, yearly recipient)
2017 Winner Prediction: again, could be anyone but I’m leaning towards Giordano or Foligno. Both are incredible leaders on their respective teams and I would love to see either of them win.

Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year):
Nominees: Mike Babcock (TOR), Todd McLellan (EDM), John Tortorella (CBJ)
Last 10 Winners: Barry Trotz (2016), Bob Hartley (2015), Patrick Roy (2014), Paul MacLean (2013), Ken Hitchcock (2012), Dan Bylsma (2011), Dave Tippett (2010), Claude Julien (2009), Bruce Boudreau (2008), Alain Vigneault (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Babcock. I like what both Torts and McLellan have done for their teams, and both teams had phenomenal, slightly unexpected 2016-17 campaigns. All three of these teams made the playoffs when no one expected them to (except for Edmonton, maybe) and while all but one of them were eliminated in the first round (Edmonton was eliminated in the second), these coaches still helped turn these franchises around. I just think Babcock had more work to do than the others.

Masterton Trophy (Dedication to Hockey):
Nominees: Craig Anderson (OTT), Andrew Cogliano (ANA), Derek Ryan (CAR)
Last 10 Winners: Jaromir Jagr (2016), Devan Dubnyk (2015), Dominic Moore (2014), Josh Harding (2013), Max Pacioretty (2012), Ian Laperriere (2011), Jose Theodore (2010), Steve Sullivan (2009), Jason Blake (2008), Phil Kessel (2007)
2017 Winner Prediction: Anderson is a personal preference but again, I’d be happy with all three of them winning. Maybe they can split this trophy too?

GM of the Year Award:
Nominees: Peter Chiarelli (EDM), Pierre Dorion (OTT), David Poile (NSH)
Last 10 Winners:
2017 Winner Prediction: Poile. He helped Nashville reach the Stanley Cup Finals and put up a very, very strong effort against the now back-to-back Stanley Cup Champ Penguins. He pulled off one of the biggest trades last summer, trading Shea Weber for P.K. Subban. Chiarelli and Dorion have both also done commendable jobs as well but I think Poile takes this one.

And there have it! Be sure to tune in to NBCSN and Sportsnet at 8PM ET to watch the winners (and Vegas’s draft selections) are announced.

2017 NHL Entry-Level “Mock” Mock Draft: First-Round

This isn’t a real mock draft. If that’s what you came here for, you’re in the right place but it won’t be posted until later this week because I keep second-guessing all of my picks, I’m sorry. This mock mock draft was a lot easier to put together. It’s basically a list of what each team needs (or what I would give each team if I had the choice). Enjoy!

  1. New Jersey Devils – Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick because I can’t choose and I don’t want the Flyers to pick either of them. A Stanley C*p. Really nice all-black jerseys with red and white highlights, with the same iconic Devils logo. Maybe some arena upgrades even though I love The Rock with all my heart. So basically the Devils get whatever they want.
  2. Philadelphia Flyers – a lump of coal, to be honest, and they definitely don’t get Nolan or Nico.
  3. Dallas Stars – Band-Aids because it feels like their team is always plagued with injuries. Maybe an on-site nurse. Or a permanent First-Aid kit in every player’s locker.
  4. Colorado Avalanche – I’d bake them a giant cake. I’d also get them a time machine so they can travel to the future to when they make the playoffs and don’t finish at the bottom of the league every year.
  5. Vancouver Canucks – a new logo. Get the Sedin twins blue and green hair dye so we can tell them apart; name tags won’t work. Also, let’s bring the green men back.
  6. Vegas Golden Knights – personalized shot glasses, cocktail shakers, feather boas, and masquerade masks. What, were you expecting something else?
  7. Arizona Coyotes – the Yotes need a vacation but I’m a broke college student so a staycation sounds much more appropriate. We can set up a few giant inflatable pools in someone’s backyard, make homemade cocktails (and mocktails for the young ‘uns), maybe set up a slip n’ slide or something, and barbecue everything possible.
  8. Buffalo Sabres – practice bubbles so no one gets hurt, especially Tyler Ennis, and maybe a #1 draft pick? At some point? That’d be nice.
  9. Detroit Red Wings – Zetterberg needs to be appreciated more. Their locker room gets an octopus tank with real live octopi in it. They also receive an endless amount of stuffed octopi toys.
  10. Florida Panthers – the fountain of youth for Jagr. How does he look so young? Why does Ekblad look like he’s in his 30s? The arena also gets cute little potted palm trees and house plants; they’ll look nice. We’ll also set them all up with retirement plans to stay in Florida, except for Jagr who’s never going to need one.
  11. Los Angeles Kings – you know how you can ship your enemies glitter? Yeah, that’s what the Kings get. Just an endless amount of glitter that gets everywhere and you keep finding it in places for months.
  12. Carolina Hurricanes – a rink with ice that actually stays frozen. Their alternate jerseys have to become their regular jerseys (can you tell I have a thing for mostly black sweaters?) and they need a Captain because none of them should be running (skating?) around unsupervised. Also, free ice skating lessons courtesy of Jeff Skinner.
  13. Winnipeg Jets – a new logo would be nice. Maybe a new mascot too.
  14. Tampa Bay Lightning – Stamkos needs a practice bubble. They also get socks and sandals, Hawaiian shirts, and an endless supply of those little cocktail umbrellas. They also get three walkie talkies: one for Bishop, one for Drouin, and one for the rest of the team so that they can stay in touch. Their slogan is now also “ride the lightning”, bye.
  15. New York Islanders – a new arena. I mean, they could stay in Brooklyn, or they could move around New York to Long Island, or maybe upstate New York. Or what about Connecticut? They could use a hockey team. Hmm.
  16. Calgary Flames – Gaudreau needs a personal assistant and a nutritionist. Their mascot also gets an upgrade. Seriously, your mascot is a hound and no one thought of making it a hellhound? You’re the Flames. 
  17. Toronto Maple Leafs – the oldest members of the team, McElhinney and Lupul, get a trip to a mountain lodge spa resort-type thing somewhere because of all the shenanigans they have to put up with. Maybe some kid leashes. Also, ice cream cake. Ice cream cake for everyone.
  18. Boston Bruins – stilts for everyone on the team except for Zdeno Chara, so they don’t strain their necks looking up at him. High heels would work too but I don’t know if you would find any big enough for hockey players.
  19. San Jose Sharks – the Sharks get beard care products. They also need to change their name to the Screaming Squids, which sounds slightly cooler than the Sharks. And instead of the Shark Tank, you’d have the Squid Tank. And fans can throw squids on the ice! Just kidding, I don’t condone that. Please don’t do that.
  20. St. Louis Blues – the Blues are the oldest team in the NHL without a Cup so I’d get them a replica Stanley Cup cake to help them eat their feelings.
  21. New York Rangers – nothing. They get absolutely nothing. Except for Brady Skjei, who gets a flower crown.
  22. Edmonton Oilers – a better, less terrifying mascot. I mean, have you seen Hunter? Jesus. Their Captain, Connor McDavid, could also use a spa day; somebody get that boy a massage. Oh, and they get a curse too: no more first overall picks as long as they shall remain a franchise. I’ve had enough.
  23. Arizona Coyotes (from MIN) – maybe a second staycation. Or a permanent staycation. They probably also need a lifetime supply of sunscreen. And maybe new golf clubs.
  24. Columbus Blue Jackets – something to replace the cannon, maybe an air horn or a whistle or something less noisy? And friendship bracelets for Alexander Wennberg and William Karlsson.
  25. Montréal Canadiens – a new GM. Sorry, Bergevin, you’ve gotta go.
  26. Chicago Blackhawks – I thought I’d be nice and say “more cap space” but nah. I’d send Jonathan Toews a fruit basket.
  27. St. Louis Blues (from WSH) – another Stanley Cup cake, or like, mini cakes that resemble pucks. We could play Russian Roulette but with the cakes and one of them has jalapeños or something else baked into it. I’m sure Tarasenko would love it.
  28. Ottawa Senators – an endless supply of shampoo and conditioner for Karlsson’s hair, and participation trophies for everyone on the team.
  29. Dallas Stars (from ANA) – Tyler Seguin gets a gift basket with red popsicles and rubber duckies. Him and Jamie Benn also get friendship bracelets.
  30. Nashville Predators – a Preds and Puppies calendar shoot. Tell me you wouldn’t buy a calendar with Roman Josi (July) and P.K. Subban (June) holding puppies. They also get guitars so they can start a country band; we just have to find someone on the team who can sing (Mike Fisher?).
  31. Pittsburgh Penguins – they could probably use a trophy cabinet but it’ll be one from Ikea. They could also use an endless supply of hangover cures and maybe some anti-aging cream.

And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed this post! Special shout out to Jay, who helped me put this list together; I love you and I appreciate you more than you know!

NHL Vegas Expansion Draft: Complete Master List of Protected Players

The NHL announced at 10:30AM EST (not 10AM EST, as planned) all of the players being protected by each NHL team. Here is a complete master list, alphabetically by team, of all 316 of them, including some of the biggest surprises:

Anaheim Ducks:
F Andrew Cogliano
F Ryan Getzlaf
F Ryan Kesler
F Corey Perry
F Rickard Rakell
F Jakob Silfverberg
F Antoine Vermette
D Kevin Bieksa
D Cam Fowler
D Hampus Lindholm
G John Gibson

Arizona Coyotes:
F Nick Cousins
F Anthony Duclair
F Jordan Martinook
F Tobias Rieder
D Oliver Ekman-Larsson
D Alex Goligoski
D Connor Murphy
D Luke Schenn
G Chad Johnson

Boston Bruins:
F David Backes
F Patrice Bergeron
F David Krejci
F Brad Marchand
F Riley Nash
F David Pastrnak
F Ryan Spooner
D Zdeno Chara
D Torey Krug
D Kevan Miller
G Tuukka Rask

Buffalo Sabres:
F Tyler Ennis
F Marcus Foligno
F Zemgus Girgensons
F Evander Kane
F Johan Larsson
F Ryan O’Reilly
F Kyle Okposo
D Nathan Beaulieu
D Jake McCabe
D Rasmus Ristolainen
G Robin Lehner

Calgary Flames:
F Mikael Backlund
F Sam Bennett
F Micheal Ferland
F Michael Frolik
F Johnny Gaudreau
F Curtis Lazar
F Sean Monahan
D T.J. Brodie
D Mark Giordano
D Dougie Hamilton
G Mike Smith

Carolina Hurricanes:
F Phillip di Giuseppe
F Elias Lindholm
F Brock McGinn
F Victor Rask
F Jeff Skinner
F Jordan Staal
F Teuvo Teravainen
D Trevor Carrick
D Justin Faulk
D Ryan Murphy
G Scott Darling

Chicago Blackhawks:
F Artem Anisimov
F Ryan Hartman
F Marian Hossa
F Tomas Junco
F Patrick Kane
F Richard Panik
F Jonathan Toews
D Niklas Hjalmarsson
D Duncan Keith
D Brent Seabrook
G Corey Crawford

Colorado Avalanche:
F Sven Andrighetto
F Blake Comeau
F Matt Duchene
F Rocco Grimaldi
F Gabriel Landeskog
F Nathan MacKinnon
F Matt Nieto
D Tyson Barrie
D Erik Johnson
D Nikita Zadorov
G Semyon Varlamov

Columbus Blue Jackets:
F Cam Atkinson
F Brandon Dubinsky
F Nick Foligno
F Scott Hearten
F Boone Jenner
F Brandon Saad
F Alexander Wennberg
D Seth Jones
D Ryan Murray
D David Savard
G Sergei Bobrvosky

Dallas Stars:
F Jamie Benn
F Radek Faksa
F Valeri Nichushkin
F Brett Ritchie
F Antoine Rouse
F Tyler Seguin
F Jason Spezza
D Stephen Johns
D John Klingberg
D Esa Lindell
G Ben Bishop

Detroit Red Wings:
F Justin Abdelkader
F Andreas Athanasiou
F Anthony Mantha
F Frans Nielsen
F Gustav Nyquist
F Tomas Tatar
F Henrik Zetterberg
D Danny DeKeyser
D Mike Green
D Nick Jensen
G Jimmy Howard

Edmonton Oilers:
F Leon Draisaitl
F Jordan Eberle
F Zack Kassian
F Mark Letestu
F Milan Lucic
F Patrick Maroon
F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
D Oscar Klefbom
D Adam Larsson
D Andrej Sekera
G Cam Talbot

Florida Panthers:
F Aleksander Barkov
F Nick Bjugstad
F Jonathan Huberdeau
F Vincent Trocheck
F Aaron Ekblad
D Alex Petrovic
D Mark Pysyk
D Keith Yandle
G James Reimer

Los Angeles Kings:
F Jeff Carter
F Anze Kopitar
F Tanner Pearson
F Tyler Toffoli
D Drew Doughty
D Derek Forbort
D Alec Martinez
D Jake Muzzin
G Jonathan Quick

Minnesota Wild:
F Charlie Coyle
F Mikael Granlund
F Mikko Koivu
F Nino Niederreiter
F Zach Parise
F Jason Pominville
F Jason Zucker
D Jonas Brodin
D Jared Spurgeon
D Ryan Suter
G Devan Dubnyk

Montreal Canadiens:
F Paul Byron
F Phillip Danault
F Jonathan Drouin
F Alex Galchenyuk
F Brendan Gallagher
F Max Pacioretty
F Andrew Shaw
D Jordie Benn
D Jeff Petry
D Shea Weber
G Carey Price

Nashville Predators:
F Viktor Arvidsson
F Filip Forsberg
F Calle Karnkrok
F Ryan Johansen
D Mattias Ekholm
D Ryan Ellis
D Roman Josi
D P.K. Subban
G Pekka Rinne

New Jersey Devils:
F Taylor Hall
F Adam Henrique
F Kyle Palmieri
F Travis Zajac
D Andy Greene
D John Moore
D Mirco Mueller
D Damon Severson
G Cory Schneider

New York Islanders:
F Andrew Ladd
F Anders Lee
F John Tavares
D Johnny Boychuck
D Travis Hamonic
D Nick Leddy
D Adam Pelech
D Ryan Pulock
G Thomas Greiss

New York Rangers:
F Kevin Hayes
F Chris Kreider
F J.T. Miller
F Rick Nash
F Derek Stepan
F Mika Zibanejad
F Mats Zuccarello
D Nick Holden
D Ryan McDonagh
D Marc Staal
G Henrik Lundqvist

Ottawa Senators:
F Derick Brassard
F Ryan Dzingel
F Mike Hoffman
F Jean-Gabriel Pageau
F Zack Smith
F Mark Stone
F Kyle Turris
D Cody Ceci
D Erik Karlsson
D Dion Phaneuf
G Craig Anderson

Philadelphia Flyers:
F Sean Couturier
F Valtteri Filppula
F Claude Giroux
F Scott Laughton
F Brayden Schenn
F Wayne Simmonds
F Jakub Voracek
F Shayne Gostisbehere
D Radko Gudas
D Brandon Manning
G Anthony Stolarz

Pittsburgh Penguins:
F Sidney Crosby
F Patric Hornqvist
F Phil Kessel
F Evgeni Malkin
D Brian Dumoulin
D Kris Letang
D Olli Maatta
D Justin Schultz
G Matt Murray

San Jose Sharks:
F Ryan Carpenter
F Logan Couture
F Jannik Hansen
F Tomas Hertl
F Melker Karlsson
F Joe Pavelski
F Chris Tierney
D Justin Braun
D Brent Burns
D Marc-Edouard Vlasic
G Martin Jones

St. Louis Blues:
F Patrick Berglund
F Ryan Reaves
F Jaden Schwartz
F Vladimir Sobotka
F Paul Stastny
F Alexander Steen
F Vladimir Tarasenko
D Jay Bouwmeester
D Joel Edmundson
D Alex Pietrangelo
G Jake Allen

Tampa Bay Lightning:
F Ryan Callahan
F Tyler Johnson
F Alex Killorn
F Nikita Kucherov
F Vladislav Namestnikov
F Ondrej Palat
F Steven Stamkos
D Braydon Coburn
D Victor Hedman
D Anton Stralman
G Andrei Vasilevskiy

Toronto Maple Leafs:
F Tyler Bozak
F Connor Brown
F Nazem Kadri
F Leo Komarov
F Josh Leivo
F Matt Martin
F James van Riemsdyk
D Connor Carrick
D Jake Gardiner
D Morgan Rielly
G Frederik Andersen

Vancouver Canucks:
F Sven Baertschi
F Loui Eriksson
F Markus Granlund
F Bo Horvat
F Daniel Sedin
F Henrik Sedin
F Brandon Sutter
D Alexander Edler
D Erik Gudbranson
D Christopher Tanev
G Jacob Markstrom

Washington Capitals:
F Nicklas Backstrom
F Andre Burakovsky
F Lars Eller
F Marcus Johansson
F Evgeny Kuznetsov
F Alex Ovechkin
F Tom Wilson
D John Carlson
D Matt Niskanen
D Dmitry Orlov
G Braden Holtby

Winnipeg Jets:
F Joel Armia
F Andrew Copp
F Bryan Little
F Adam Lowry
F Mathieu Perreault
F Mark Scheifele
F Blake Wheeler
D Dustin Byfuglien
D Tyler Myers
D Jacob Trouba
G Connor Hellebuyck

And there you have it. There are a few surprises but not many. The Isles decided to go with five defensemen instead of three or four defensemen; they probably have a deal cut out with Vegas to not choose a forward. Detroit opted to protect Jimmy Howard and expose Petr Mrazek. Carolina protected Scott Darling over both Cam Ward and Eddie Lack. Most teams’ decisions, however, made sense. Some teams had their hands tied behind their backs (i.e. Pittsburgh, Chicago). The next few days should be fun for Vegas; they have plenty of work to do.

2017 NHL Vegas Expansion Draft: Who Did The New Jersey Devils Protect?

The NHL was running a little late this morning (naturally) so instead of releasing each team’s protected list at 10AM EST, they instead released them at 10:30AM EST. Fans have been speculating for about a year now, ever since the league announced an expansion team last June, about who their favorite teams would protect and who they could potentially lose.

I was also running a little late this morning so I apologize for this blog post being an hour and a half late.

The New Jersey Devils decided to protect:

Goaltender Cory Schneider
Forward Taylor Hall
Forward Adam Henrique
Forward Kyle Palmieri
Forward Travis Zajac
Defenseman Andy Greene
Defenseman Damon Severson
Defenseman John Moore
Defenseman Mirco Mueller

No surprises here. The Devils might have gone 7-3-1 had it not been for the trade they made with San Jose yesterday; there’s more on that here.

The goaltender is obvious, the forwards are obvious, not so much the defensemen. Greene and Severson are no-brainers. The Devils traded for Mueller yesterday so they would also have to protect him, either because he’s a part of the future or he’s being used as trade bait. The decision ultimately came down to Moore or Merrill. Moore’s probably slightly more valuable in terms of offensive production even though Merrill’s younger. Moore’s defensive game isn’t as strong but upper management probably decided that the second half of Merrill’s season wasn’t a great indicator of his future success. Either way, the Golden Knights probably won’t take a look at him

This list means that the Devils have exposed Michael Cammalleri, Jacob Josefson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Beau Bennett, Stefan Noesen, Ben Lovejoy, Dalton Prout, and Keith Kinkaid. I don’t think Kinkaid gets picked either, mainly because Vegas has a ton of other options to choose from.

Keep in mind that Vegas has to select 14 forwards, nine defensemen, three goaltenders, and four players of any position. They can negotiate with any exposed free agents and if the free agent chooses to sign with Vegas, they count towards their most recent team’s selection. For example, hypothetically, if Vegas selects Kinkaid (he’s an unrestricted free agent), they can’t pick anyone else from the Devils.

Later today, I’ll post a master list of all of the protected players, all 316 of them, from every team and have more expansion draft coverage throughout the week, including a post on what the Vegas Golden Knights could possibly look like.

The Golden Knights have from now until Wednesday to deliberate who they’re going to pick and their selections will be announced during the NHL Awards ceremony.

Devils Trade 2017 Second, Fourth Round Picks to Sharks For D Mirco Mueller, 2017 Fifth Round Pick

The New Jersey Devils made a small splash 17 minutes after the 3PM EST trade freeze deadline today when they announced a trade with the San Jose Sharks. New Jersey sent two 2017 draft picks, a second-rounder and a fourth-rounder to the Sharks in exchange for 22 year-old defenseman Mirco Mueller and a 2017 fifth-round pick. The Devils still have 10 picks in this year’s draft.

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He’s a pretty decent sized defenseman, he’s young, and he’s quick. Here are some of Mueller’s stats, via Eliteprospects.com:

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And here’s what Rafik Soliman had to say about him, also via Eliteprospects.com:

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And here’s what Kevin Kurz, a San Jose Sharks insider for NBC Sports California had to say about him:

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I definitely like the trade. Mueller would have to be protected if the Devils don’t want to lose him, even though Vegas probably wouldn’t take him from a plethora of other options. The Devils could also be using him as trade bait; they might work out a deal with Vegas somehow. And I’m sure Mirco being Swiss has absolutely nothing to do with anything else.

A few of the others trades that happened today/last night:

  1. The Coyotes sent longtime G Mike Smith to the Flames for G Chad Johnson’s rights, prospect Brandon Hickey, and a conditional 2018 third round pick
  2. The Sabres acquired D Nathan Beaulieu from the Canadiens in exchange for a 2017 third round pick
  3. This morning, the Blue Jackets cut a deal with Vegas: in exchange for Columbus’s first round pick and a prospect (not Pierre-Luc Dubois or Sonny Milano), Vegas has to select either LW Matt Calvert, C William Karlsson, or D Ryan Murray
  4. Late last night, the Coyotes also sent a fifth round pick and prospect Brendan Warren to the Flyers for C Nick Cousins and goalie prospect Merrick Madsen

Teams can still work out deals with Vegas if they want to starting at 10AM EST tomorrow morning but no other trades between teams can occur. Most of the trades today were underwhelming but I’m sure this next week has plenty in store for us. Get your popcorn ready and buckle in.

2017 Vegas Expansion Draft: Who Will The New Jersey Devils Protect?

The Vegas expansion draft is looming and I am still dreading it. I think I’m subconsciously still trying to convince myself that it’s not happening but it is and we just have to deal with it. Thanks, Bettman.

This is the first NHL expansion draft since 2000, when Columbus and Minnesota were added to the league, so it’s kind of a big deal. It’s exciting until you remember that your favorite team is going to lose someone but then you relax because they might be someone you want to lose.

The draft rules are a bit confusing but don’t worry! I have a post explaining the rules and everything related to the expansion draft. There are a few new rules and dates, however. The list of players that teams are protecting have to be submitted today by 5PM EST and the lists will be passed around to every NHL club (and Vegas, obviously) on Sunday. Those lists will be made public tomorrow at about 10AM EST so expect plenty of expansion draft coverage between tomorrow and Wednesday, which is when Vegas’s picks will be made public during the NHL Awards ceremony.

Vegas also has “exclusive free agency picks”, such as getting an extra 24 or 48 hours to negotiate with both unrestricted and restricted free agents to try and convince them to sign with the team, and no one else can sign free agents during this period of time. This will happen at 10AM EST tomorrow after the protection lists have been made public. Additionally, Vegas cannot select a player during the expansion draft from the team that the signed free agent most recently played for; the signed free agent will count towards their selection. After the time period expires, Vegas can no longer sign free agents until July 1, when NHL free agency officially starts.

But this isn’t what you’re here for right now. I’ve spent a good portion of this past season trying to figure out the Vegas expansion draft. I have a long Google Doc with the players I think each team is going to protect, including the Devils. It’s definitely still a work in progress but I think I have a good idea of who’s being protected, who’s being exposed, and who’s possibly being selected by Vegas.

There are two options that teams can choose from when deciding who to protect: either 1) seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender, or 2) eight skaters and one goaltender. The Devils could really go either way, mainly because they have no one with a no-movement clause, and the only one who does (Ryan Clowe) is on long-term injured reserve and is already exempt from being protected. I’ll explore both options for the Devils and tell you which one I think they ultimately end up going with.

Let’s start easy: Cory Schneider is being protected, regardless of the Devils going 7-3-1 or 8-1. There is no way that he’s not. He is arguably the team’s biggest asset and elite goaltenders (even when they have not-so-great seasons) are difficult to come by. Schneider is the only player keeping this team from finishing at the bottom of the league every year. He’s one of the best netminders in the league and has reiterated his desire to stay with the team. He’s not going anywhere.

He’s currently signed to a 7-year, $42 million contract through the end of the 2021-22 season. This means the Devils will expose either Keith Kinkaid or Scott Wedgewood; they probably won’t lose either of them, mainly because Vegas has the option of choosing Marc-André Fleury and whoever else they want from the plethora of options.

Now we have to decide who the Devils are going to protect among skaters; again, they could protect either seven forwards and three defensemen, or just eight skaters. Teams across the league vary (as in, one option isn’t more popular than the other) based on who they have to protect and who they want to protect. Let’s start with the slightly easier one first: eight skaters.

If the Devils decide that they want to go the eight skater-route, it’s because they think they have four defensemen worth protecting. Captain Andy Greene is a no-brainer; he may be on the decline but he’s still one of the top defensemen on this team, he’s a leader, and he’s a veteran. There’s no way the Devils expose him either.

And there’s no way they’ll expose Damon Severson; he still needs a new contract (he’s a RFA) but the Devils will protect him. He’s a really good defenseman and had a decent year this past season; with some more experience and development, he should be on the top pairing (even though he should be playing there now).

The next two spots are a little trickier. Both Steven Santini and Michael Kapla are protected automatically and can’t be exposed. The other available defensemen the Devils can choose from are John Moore, Jon Merrill, Ben Lovejoy, and Dalton Prout. So now you must be thinking, isn’t this one obvious? Yeah, it kinda is.

personally would protect both Moore and Merrill over Lovejoy and Prout. Moore had a great offensive year for a defenseman despite missing a ton of time with a concussion but his defensive game isn’t as strong. Merrill has long been a liability for the Devils but he had a good year. If he’s going to continue to play the way he did the second-half of this past season, he’s someone you want to keep around because he’s young too.

I would expose Lovejoy and Prout. Prout didn’t impress me at all in the time he played for the Devils and I wouldn’t mind losing him. I understand the Devils’ love of Lovejoy as a veteran presence on the team but the team has those already. Yes, he played for the Penguins organization, which is probably one of the main reasons Shero has kept him around as long as he is but I really wouldn’t mind losing him. He hasn’t brought much to the blue line.

The four forwards are less complicated because I would not hesitate to protect Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac, and Adam Henrique. Justify exposing any one of them, go ahead. Palmieri and Henrique both have really good contracts and don’t take up a ton of cap space. Zajac had a really good year. And I don’t think I need to justify protecting Hall, come on. I can see the argument for exposing either Henrique or Zajac, but it just won’t happen. Yeah, Henrique had a bad year but he wasn’t the only one; we still know what he’s capable of doing and what he brings to the team. Zajac too. Besides, Shero won’t risk losing any one of them for nothing.

The Devils’ first option (8-1): Andy Greene (D), Damon Severson (D), John Moore (D), Jon Merrill (D), Taylor Hall (F), Kyle Palmieri (F), Adam Henrique (F), Travis Zajac (F), Cory Schneider (G)

On to their second option: protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender. Again, they’re automatically protecting Schneider. You can’t not protect him.

The seven forwards and three defensemen are obviously trickier. Your first four forwards would be Hall, Henrique, Palmieri, and Zajac. We can take a look at their contracts. Hall is signed to a 7-year, $42 million (from Edmonton) contract until the end of the 2019-20 season; he has plenty of value. Henrique is signed to a 6-year, $24 million contract through the end of the 2018-19 season; he also has plenty of value. Palmieri signed a 5-year, $23.25 million contract through the end of the 2020-21 season; he has a modified no-trade clause beginning 2018-19. I also don’t need to tell you his value. Zajac is signed to an 8-year, $46 million contract through the end of the 2020-21 season; again, value. They’re also all fan favorites; if the fans didn’t know who the team was protecting, upper management could quite literally do whatever they want but since we do know, I don’t think we’d be very happy if they exposed any one of them.

Then starts the hard part. The three remaining skaters depend on who the Devils resign between now and tomorrow. Who else do they protect? Joe Blandisi? Beau Bennett? Jacob Josefson? Devante Smith-Pelly? Mike Cammalleri? The options are endless.

Blandisi should be the fifth forward; he also needs a new contract but I don’t think he’s someone the Devils can afford to lose (for nothing or at all) mainly because he’s a piece of the future puzzle. He adds much-needed depth to the team and if he stays up the whole season in New Jersey, he could have a breakout year.

One of the good things about the draft: all first- and second-year professionals (going into the 2017-18 season) are automatically exempt from being protected so for the Devils, those include Santini, Kapla, Pavel Zacha, Miles Wood, John Quenneville among others, and all of their signed and unsigned prospects.

What about the sixth and seventh forwards? I hope the Devils protect Bennett (he also needs a new contract). I like what he brings to the table and the Devils could really use him at left wing going forward. Plus, I enjoy his social media presence so we could really protect him for that alone. I don’t think either Blandisi or Bennett would consider signing with Vegas.

Which brings us to our last forward. This is a tough one. I think it’s easier to tell you who I think will be exposed: Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly. Injury-prone Cammalleri and inconsistent Smith-Pelly both didn’t bring much to the team this year, offensively or otherwise. I also don’t think that they’re pieces of the team going forward. Shero’s all about the future (as am I) and they don’t fit into the equation. So the Devils can protect whoever they want with that last forward slot, provided that it’s not either one of these two.

Then we have the three defensemen. Greene and Severson will almost certainly be protected; Greene is signed to a 5-year, $25 million contract through the end of the 2019-20 season while Severson does need a new contract (and it’ll be a good one). Their third protected blueliner will likely be Moore; his 3-year, $5 million contract expires at the end of this upcoming season. I don’t think there’s anyone who New Jersey would protect over him.

So if the Devils decide to go 7-3-1: Hall (F), Henrique (F), Palmieri (F), Zajac (F), Blandisi (F), Bennett (F), a seventh forward, Greene (D), Severson (D), Moore (D), Schneider (G).

And there you have it. This may or may not be what the Devils actually decide to do but we won’t find out until tomorrow at 10AM. Hopefully, Shero won’t be getting any angry emails and phone calls.

Hischier vs. Patrick: Who Should The Devils Draft?

There’s just a week to go until the 2017 NHL Entry-Level Draft in Chicago and the New Jersey Devils are on the table as they get to pick first overall. I’m still not tired of saying that. Here’s a post from last month about the NHL draft and here’s a post about the Devils actually winning the draft lottery. The draft order has been decided with the 2017 Stanley Cup Champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, being crowned; they hold the 31st overall pick. But the most important draft question (or one of them, at least) for Devils fans is: Nolan or Nico?

If you haven’t already done your research on Nolan and Nico, I have some resources to help you out. I have draft profiles of Nolan and Nico, a comparison of the two, and a crack comparison as well. Each draft profile has links to footage on YouTube and you should definitely give them a watch. There’s no better time to spend four hours watching Nolan and Nico blow your minds. Trust me on this one.

As a Devils fan, the possibility of drafting either one of them wasn’t even a thought in the back of my mind until they actually won the draft lottery and even then, I had doubts. What if this was all just a giant joke? What if the NHL released a statement almost immediately after saying, “oops, the Devils didn’t win the lottery, they actually get to pick 8th overall instead”? But here we are, a week away, and the Devils still get to pick first. So who should they draft? Who do I want them to draft? Who will they draft? These are very important questions.

Who should they draft? Nolan’s the safer pick by a little bit. He’s played a little over three seasons in the WHL and we know what he can do. He’s a consistent player and even despite the injuries he suffered this past season, he still played 33 games and had 46 points, averaging 1.40 points per game. The year before that, he had 102 points in 72 (regular season) games, averaging about 1.42 points per game, and 30 in 21 playoff games (1.43 PPG). He’s been a more than a point-per-game player his entire hockey career so we know that he’s perfectly capable of producing offensively.

We also know that Nolan is a leader on his team. He was Captain this past season and was an Alternate the year prior. His injuries don’t bother me as much as they used to. He’s poised, he’s respectful, and he displays leadership qualities on and off the ice. He’s a good kid and would fit in with the team really well, as would Nico.

Nico is also a good kid and a good hockey player. One of the only reasons I say that Nolan is the “safer” pick is that Nico’s only played one season in North America; there isn’t as big of a sample size to work with. He had a tremendous season and made the adjustment much quicker than anyone expected him to, and the fact that he’s being considered for the first overall pick is greatly attributed to his play this year. But there’s always the possibility that he won’t adjust to the NHL as quickly as he did to the QMJHL, or as quickly as someone like Auston Matthews did, scoring four goals in his debut (and still losing in typical Leafs fashion). Then again, there’s the possibility that Nolan won’t adjust as quickly either even though both of them are poised to.

Nico also has a sense of humor, he’s well-spoken, and he has the ability to become a leader on whichever team he ends up on. I don’t think his breakout this season was a fluke because he played really, really well in Switzerland so he’ll continue to be an offensive juggernaut and help the team with their scoring issues.

But I think the Devils should draft Nolan. Who will they draft? I don’t know. If you’ve been following the NHL draft for longer than the past two months (as in, before the draft lottery), you know how often NHL analysts and journalists and fans have flip-flopped for months over drafting either Nico or Nolan. No one can reach a consensus. Before the start of the 2016-17 season, Nolan was the consensus #1 pick but with the year that Nico had, he gained some considerable ground and momentum.

So who will they draft? I’m leaning towards Nico, mainly because I think he fits into the system better. He fits into GM Ray Shero’s vision of the future better. He fits into the team better. Not to say that Nolan wouldn’t but he’s similar to current Devils center and 2015 first-round pick Pavel Zacha. Also, Nico is a defensive-minded center; he isn’t a liability in his own zone (Nolan isn’t either) but he’s been really good on Halifax’s penalty kill too. He could play in a variety of different situations and that makes him a versatile center.

The Devils could easily pick Nolan too; they have a thing for reuniting former teammates (see: McLeod and Bastian, Hall and Henrique, Wood and Santini) and Nolan played with John Quenneville in Brandon.

The entire organization and its upper management have been absolutely mum on the subject of the first-round pick. In an interview, Shero said that he had received phone calls from other teams’ GMs inquiring about the pick but I think it would be foolish to trade it away.

Who do I want them to draft? This is a tough one in particular because I like genuinely like both of them. This decision is that much harder because the Flyers get to pick second and we don’t like the Flyers. I want to root for whoever they choose but it’s against my team allegiance to root for the team they play for; it’s just not happening.

I’m going to preface my decision by saying that I love them both. I would be happy with both. The Devils really can’t go wrong with either one of them unless one turns out to be a bust (which I highly doubt). So? Who do I want the Devils to draft? Nico. Ooh, that hurt. I want New Jersey to draft Nico over Nolan because I think he fits into the system a little better. No, Nolan’s injuries don’t scare me all that much. No, Nico’s one year of North American hockey experience doesn’t scare me either. They’ll grow and develop within the system and the organization as they continue to play. Besides, we already know Nico looks good in red and black because he’s worn those colors his entire hockey career thus far, representing his native country of Switzerland. Think of the Nico-Rico puns! Also, Nolan is supposedly a Red Sox fan and we can’t have that. With all of that said however, even if the Devils pick Nolan, I’ll be happy with that too.

At the end of the day, no matter who the Devils decide to draft come next Friday, I’ll be happy (and I’ll be mad that Philly gets the other). They’re both good kids and good hockey players, and the Devils are lucky that they get one of them.

An In-Depth Look at the New Jersey Devils’ 2017 Draft Picks

The Devils have 11* (*tentative) picks in this year’s NHL Entry-Level Draft and while they likely won’t have all of them come Draft Day (because GM Ray Shero will use them as trade chips), we can take a look at the picks they do have as of today, what positions the Devils might look to take with them, and a little history behind them.

Their most important pick is their first-round pick, where the Devils get to select the first overall pick of the draft. This decision essentially comes down to Nolan Patrick vs. Nico Hischier, both centers, who could become first-line centers in the NHL. Yes, the Devils could use pretty much any other position because they already have an abundance of centers in the organization but there’s really no one in the draft worth taking first overall over these two if you’re the Devils.

The Devils have never selected first overall in team history, but they did in 1979 as the Colorado Rockies when they selected Rob Ramage with the first overall pick. The last 10 first overall picks: Auston Matthews (2016, TOR), Connor McDavid (2015, EDM), Aaron Ekblad (2014, FLA), Nathan MacKinnon (2013, COL), Nail Yakupov (2012, EDM), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011, EDM), Taylor Hall (2010, EDM), John Tavares (2009, NYI), Steven Stamkos (2008, TBL), and Patrick Kane (2007, CHI). But while most don’t consider Patrick or Hischier to be franchise players like McDavid or Matthews, they’re both still valuable players and could really help the franchise.

New Jersey has two second-round picks, their own and a pick from the Bruins. They will first select 36th overall (their own pick) and have never selected in that spot in franchise history. I hope they use this pick to select a winger, a right wing preferably but left wing wouldn’t hurt either, or even a defenseman. Let’s stay away from the centers and goaltenders this time.

The last 10 36th overall picks: Pascal Laberge (2016, PHI), Gabriel Gagne (2015, OTT), Thatcher Demko (2014, VAN), Zachary Fucale (2013, MTL), Nic Kerdiles (2012, ANA), Adam Clendening (2011, CHI), Alex Petrovic (2010, FLA), Chris Brown (2009, PHX), Corey Trivino (2008, NYI), and Joel Gistedt (2007, PHX).

The Devils received a second second-round pick in a trade with the Bruins; New Jersey sent Lee Stempniak to Boston in exchange for a 2016 4th-round pick (the Devils selected Evan Cormier) and a 2017 2nd-round pick. They will select 49th overall. I wouldn’t mind going winger or defenseman again.

They have selected 49th overall just once in franchise history, when the Devils selected defenseman Colin White in 1996. The last 10 overall picks: Ryan Lindgren (2016, BOS), Roope Hintz (2015, DAL), Vaclav Karabacek (2014, BUF), Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau (2013, SJS), Martin Frk (2012, DET), Christopher Gibson (2011, LAK), Calvin Pickard (2010, COL), Stefan Elliot (2009, COL), Jared Staal (2008, PHX), and Trevor Cann (2007, COL).

The Devils also have a pair of third-round picks. They’ll select 63rd overall with a pick from Colorado and 66th overall with a pick from San Jose; the Devils traded away their original 3rd-round pick to the Hurricanes in exchange for Tuomo Ruutu. The Colorado pick came in exchange for Eric Gelinas, while the San Jose pick came when the Sharks hired former Devils head coach Pete DeBoer back in 2015.

They’ve selected 63rd overall just once in franchise history when they took RW Scott Parker in 1996. The last 10 overall picks: Markus Niemelainen (2016, EDM), Kyle Capobianco (ARI), Dominic Turgeon (2014, DET), Spencer Martin (2013, COL), Jujhar Khaira (2012, EDM), Andrey Pedan (2011, NYI), Brock Beukeboom (2010, TBL), Ben Hanowski (2009, PIT), Robert Czarnik (2008, LAK), and Maxime Macenauer (2007, ANA).

New Jersey has selected D Cale Hulse 66th overall in 1992, C Anders Carlsson in 1986, and LW Greg Polak in 1985. The Rockies selected LW Gus Greco 66th overall in 1981. The last 10 overall picks: Adam Fox (2016, CGY), Guillaume Brisebois (2015, VAN), Nikita Tryamkin (2014, VAN), Brett Pesce (2013, CAR), Jimmy Vesey (2012, NSH), T.J. Tynan (2011, CBJ), Radko Gudas (2010, TBL), Brayden McNabb (2009, BUF), David Toews (2008, NYI), and Garrett Klotz (2007, PHI).

The Devils have two fourth-round picks too: 98th overall and 123rd overall. The 98th overall pick is their original pick, while the second pick came from the Predators in a trade in February that sent Vernon Fiddler to Nashville. The Devils might go for a left winger or a defenseman here if they haven’t already selected a LW.

They have never selected 98th overall in franchise history. The last 10 overall picks: Tarmo Reunanen (2016, NYR), Samuel Dove-McFalls (2015, PHI), Fredrik Olofsson (2014, CHI), Matt Buckles (2013, FLA), Adam Gilmour (2012, MIN), Mike Reilly (2011, CBJ), Steven Shipley (2010, BUF), Craig Smith (2009, NSH), Mikhail Stefanovich (2008, TOR), and Sebastian Stefaniszin (2007, ANA).

New Jersey has also never selected 123rd overall in franchise history. The last 10 overall picks: Dylan Wells (2016, EDM), Conor Garland (2015, ARI), Matthew Berkovitz (2014, ANA), Will Butcher (2013, COL), Joey LaLeggia (2012, EDM), Garrett Meurs (2011, COL), Zach Hyman (2010, FLA), Alex Velischek (2009, PIT), Andrei Loktionov (2008, LAK), and Maxim Goncharov (2007, PHX).

The Devils then select 129th overall in the 5th round; this is their only pick of the round and it’s their original pick. The Devils could easily go with any position here; if Shero or the scouting team feels the need to draft a goaltender, they could. A defenseman wouldn’t hurt either. If they really want to draft a center, they could but if they do decide to draft either a goaltender or a center, they better really like who they’re drafting.

They selected LW Blake Pietila with the same pick in the 2011 draft, D Christian Gosselin in 1994, C Kevin Todd in 1986, and D Kevin Schrader in 1985. The Rockies also selected LW Jeff Larmer 129th overall in 1981. The last 10 overall picks: Philip Nyberg (2016, BUF), Sam Ruopp (2015, CBJ), C.J. Franklin (2014, WPG), Cal Petersen (2013, BUF), Brendan Woods (2012, CAR), Blake Pietila (2011, NJD), Freddie Hamilton (2010, SJS), Tomas Vincour (2009, DAL), Joel Champagne (2008, TOR), and Jamie Benn (2007, DAL).

New Jersey has a pair of sixth-round picks (but they probably won’t have both come draft time), one 160th overall (their original pick) and the other at 185th overall. The second pick comes from another trade with Nashville, this time in exchange for P.A. Parenteau at the trade deadline this past season. Again, they could go with pretty much any position with these picks.

The Devils have selected 160th overall just once as a franchise: LW Myles Bell in 2013. The last 10 overall picks: Michael Pezzetta (2016, MTL), Adam Parsells (2015, SJS), Pontus Sjalin (2014, MIN), Myles Bell (2013, NJD), Ryan Olsen (2012, WPG),  Josh Manson (2011, ANA), Tanner Lane (2010, ATL), Corey Cowick (2009, OTT), Luke Witkowski (2008, TBL), and Anthony Peluso (2007, STL).

New Jersey then selects 185th overall; they selected G Josh Disher in 2004, LW Scott Cameron in 1999, and C Aleksandr Chernykh in 1983. The last 10 overall picks: Calvin Thurkauf (2016, CBJ), Nikita Korostelev (2015, TOR), Cameron Darcy (2014, TBL), Wade Murphy (2013, NSH), Jake Bischoff (2012, NYI), Mitchell Theoret (2011, NYI), Cody Rosen (2010, NYI), Levko Koper (2009, ATL), Paul Karpowich (2008, STL), and Nick Larson (2007, WSH).

The Devils have just one 7th-round pick, 191st overall. This pick is a toss-up too; they could package it in a trade or just use it to select someone they could potentially trade. It could theoretically be any position and I wouldn’t rule anything out.

The Devils have selected 191st overall just once in team history, when they selected goaltender Pete Fry in 1987; the Rockies selected LW Mats Ulander in 1974. The last 10 overall picks: Travis Barron (2016, COL), Gustav Olhaver (2015, COL), Jared Fiegl (2014, ARI), Dominik Kubalik (2013, LAK), Brandon Whitney (2012, CHI), Tyler Graovac (2011, MIN), Macmillan Carruth (2010, CHI), Michael Sdao (2009, OTT), Morgan Clark (2008, VAN), and Ryan Watson (2007, FLA).

So what does all of this mean? The Devils have a lot of picks and they won’t use all of them. Some will be traded; they’ll keep the rest. The later-round picks have been hit-or-miss but you really never know. As mentioned earlier, Dallas Captain Jamie Benn was selected 129th overall back in 2007 and look at the player that he’s become. How late a pick is made doesn’t matter a whole lot; what does matter is the development and training of the player.