Friday, 22 September, 2017

Devils on the clock with No. 1 pick in NHL draft

AP | APToronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews poses before the NHL Awards Wednesday AP | APToronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews poses before the NHL Awards Wednesday
Vera Richards | 26 June, 2017, 01:44

Dunkley, a forward, is one of 44 players chosen to attend the Hockey Canada U18 selection camp starting July 22 in Calgary. "It's an important thing and you want to be sure".

And with three first-round picks for Friday's NHL Entry Draft, more are on the way. That's to be expected somewhat because they don't have any stars, but Vegas didn't really pick the best crop of forwards they could, leaving a stud like Eric Staal out there in favour of signing Erik Haula for example, was a weird one.

Also available but not selected was Belleville's Brad Richardson, a veteran forward with the Arizona Coyotes coming off a broke leg last season. He would be great playing alongside Voracek who can mentor the young center or next to Giroux being a wing on his line.

After Foley paid $500 million to the league as an expansion fee, the Golden Knights were given favourable franchise-building terms explicitly created to give them a better chance to be competitive more quickly than the new teams of the previous 25 years. Glass posted 32 goals for the Portland Winterhawks, while leading the team in assists with 62 assists. The Ducks traded the promising Theodore to stop Vegas from selecting defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson - and to persuade the Golden Knights to take Clayton Stoner instead, removing his onerous contract from the five-time defending Pacific Division champions' books.

The draft did see a record number of Finnish first rounders (six) as well as the highest ever pick from France, Alexandre Texier.

That old adage about what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas doesn't apply here. "Definitely ready for that part of it".

New protected list rules were engineered to allow existing teams to protect only seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie or eight defensemen/forwards, plus a goalie. So let's take a look at all 30 picks (with the bribes/payoffs/trades included) and rank each pick from worst to best. "It was a big crowd tonight, and with the way our team is looking, I like it".

In addition to Neal, the Golden Knights also announced the selections of forwards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Connor Brickley, Chris Thorburn, defensemen Jason Garrison and Deryk Engelland, and goalie Jean-Francois Berube. Brannstrom is a great skater and can carry the puck out of hard situations. It will be very interesting to see how well he does or where he fits in on the Florida roster with Barkov and Huberdeau there. Their options will likely come down to centre Casey Mittelstadt, winger Owen Tippett or just about anyone in a draft that has no real defined order. Where St. Louis acquired Brayden Schenn for Jori Lehtera and the 27th overall pick.

The draft, as it usually is, will be remembered for the selection at the top and in this case, whether the Devils made the right move in opting for Hischier over Nolan Patrick.

McPhee traded the No. 45 pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Keegan Kolesar. Cale is a very talented player only reason Colorado is under question is that of the development. That same Florida team was very likely the best expansion team in their first year playing in the National Hockey League. The pick just doesn't make much sense besides the fact that they need to add defense.

In constructing protection rules for this expansion draft, the National Hockey League hoped Vegas might boast a relatively formidable initial roster.

There are two schools of thought when compiling an expansion team.

In the end, McPhee went all-in for a model that builds toward the future.

But the one to watch could be a player who was not even selected in the expansion draft. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL.

"One of the advantages of our expansion team situation is we've known all year where we would pick so that's given us the opportunity to focus in on that group of players", McCrimmon said. Ten of those players never played a game for the Thrashers. Any team that picks him after the third round is getting him as a steal.

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