Top 3 Winners And Losers Of The NHL Draft
Downtown Vancouver was buzzing with excitement this past weekend as young prospects from all around the world gathered hoping to hear their name get called. We saw shockers like Cole Caufield and Peyton Krebs dropping all the way down to 15 and 17 respectively and Moritz Seider going 6th to the Detroit Red Wings. But with all this in the history books, we must talk about who won and who lost this draft.
Winner: Colorado Avalanche
Colorado knocked it out of the ballpark with this draft with an amazing first round where they drafted Vancouver native Bowen Byram and BCHL star Alex Newhook. They continued to impress when they drafted Alex Beaucage with the 78th pick which is a steal considering many had him going early 2nd round. They have continued to build a championship contending team and Bowem Byram and Alex Newhook will help them greatly down the road. Don’t be surprised if we see both of them make the main roster and add that depth to an already stacked team.
Loser: Ottawa Senators
Ottawa instantly became a loser the second that they traded away that first round pick to the Avalanche. Even though they knew they were going to end up at the bottom of the standings, they decided to gamble and trade for a player on an expiring deal that wasn’t sure where he was going next. Ottawa disappointed their fans yet again when they passed on Kaliyev with the 32nd pick and chose Shane Pinto. Then again with the 37th pick, they passed on two amazing talents in Lavoie and Hoglander to pick Sogaard. This has been another disappointing season for a team that had high standards for them coming into this season.
Winner: Vancouver Canucks
As the host city, the Canucks had high standards coming into the draft and they did not disappoint. They took an amazing player in Podkolzin which many mock drafts had at number three coming into the season. While many teams were scared off by his contract, Benning took a risk and took him. They also had a great day two which saw them acquire J.T Miller for a couple of picks and draft Hoglander, Keppen, and Focht. Canucks fans should be happy as they just had another extraordinary draft which could lead them to the playoffs as soon as next year.
Loser: Detroit Red Wings
New GM Steve Yzerman had high expectations coming into this draft that he would either make a trade or draft a high-quality player with that 6th pick. But he didn’t make a single trade and he shocked all in attendance by selecting Moritz Seider with the 6th pick. Seider is a great player but Yzerman could’ve traded down 5-8 picks to draft Seider and get some more picks in return.
Winner: Los Angeles Kings
The Kings were crowned kings of the draft night by many people and I agree with them. They got Turcotte with the 5th pick and Björnfot with the 22nd. But the pick of the draft for them was yet to come. They took Kaliyev with the 33rd pick. Many expected him to get picked in the first round but ultimately he dropped down to the 33rd pick. A pick that Kings fans are rejoicing over right now is Jordan Spence. Spence was ranked in the high 60s but he somehow fell 30 picks to the Kings at 95. The Kings are in rebuild mode right now and they should look to ship out Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar. This draft was definitely a good way to start off that process
Loser: Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo had a very interesting first night when they selected Cozens and Johnson with the 7th and 31st picks in the draft. I feel like they could’ve picked better players with those picks such as Zegras, Podkolzin with the 7th pick and Kaliyev or Lavoie with the 31st. They also made a risky move by picking Portillo who was not projected to be picked until the late 6th or early 7th round with the 67th pick. They could’ve picked Honka or Beaucage who were both still on the board at the time. Buffalo didn’t necessarily have a bad draft but they just had so much potential with those picks and they just made decisions that could haunt them in the future.
Overall, this draft class is deep with great prospects and if all goes well, this could be one of the best draft classes of the decade.