Saturday, July 6, 2013

Michael Fabrig's Draft Review

The NHL-Entry Draft is always a thrill -- it allows teams the opportunity to re-stock the cupboard; presumably, this is needed by depth-drafting -- more than just a teams first-round selection. This years draft had some surprises, but nothing more than seeing Seth Jones fall to 4. 2 surprises I liked: Josh Morrissey (my 5th-overall ranked skater) going to Winnipeg at 13, and Marko Dano going to Columbus at 27. Morrissey has no holes to his game, IMO; if you add the realistic possibility that he has more room to grow with his blessed offensive skills, I think he will be deemed a steal in the near-future. Dano: what more can I say about this rock star? Nothing. He can play offensively, he can play defensively. He can skate, pass, and can definitely shoot. After Monahan (at 11 on my rankings), Dano was my next highest Center to take. A surprise that left me with a sour taste was Hunter Shinkaruk falling to 24. No idea why teams would pass on this guy; he is a rare mix of super-skill, maturity, and strong work-ethic. I hopes he makes the Canucks this upcoming season and proves his net-worth. 

The Calgary Flames:

Even though I didn't necessarily agree with Emile Poirier at 22, I think he was one of my favorite picks for the club. The other selection I really liked was the Rushan Rafikov at 187th. Rafikov is a smart, sleek skater. I liked another Russian D in Ruslan Pedan. The younger brother of Andrei (3rd-round pick of the Islanders in 2011) showed real skill in all facets of the ice for the Janesville Jets of the NAHL. Pedan scored 11 times; he accumulated 33 points in 44 games and was a plus-4. He has committed to play for Bemidji State next year (2013-2015). I'm sure he will get more attention next year for a chance to get drafted. 

This year I did a draft simulation of my picks versus Tod Button and the scouting staff. Here it is:


1st Round:

6th: Hunter Shinkaruk -- C/RW/LW -- 5'11" -- Medicine Hat Tigers -- WHL -- 37G, 49A; 86 points in 64 GP -- -13

22nd: Marko Dano -- C/RW -- 5'11" -- H.C. Slovan Bratislava -- KHL -- 3G, 4A; 7 points in 37 GP -- +4 

(NOTE: Even though I had Lehkonen higher, I was drafting on need of a centre and Dano was the highest C on the board).

28th: Artturi Lehkonen -- RW/LW -- 5'10" -- KalPa -- SM-liiga -- 14G, 16A; 30 points in 45 GP -- +12

3rd Round:

67th: Oliver Bjorkstrand -- RW -- 5'11" -- Portland Winterhawks -- WHL -- 31G, 32A; 63 points in 65 GP -- +38

5th Round:

135th: Lucas Wallmark -- C -- 5'11" -- Karlskrona -- Allsvenskan -- 5G, 5A; 10 points in 16 GP -- -6

6th Round:

157th: Sergei Tolchinsky -- RW -- 5'9" -- Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds -- OHL -- 26G, 25A; 51 points in 62 GP -- +8

7th Round:

187th: Viktor Arvidsson -- LW/RW -- 5'9" -- Skellefteå -- SEL -- 7G, 5A; 12 points in 49 GP -- 0

198th: Jesper Pettersson -- D -- 5'9" -- Linköping -- SEL -- 1G, 2A; 3 points in 14 GP -- +6


1st Round:

6th: Sean Monohan -- C -- 6'2" -- Ottawa 67's -- OHL -- 31G, 47A; 78 points in 58 GP -- -18

22nd: Émile Poirier -- LW -- 6'1" --Gatineau Olympiques -- QMJHL -- 32G, 38A; 70 points in 65 GP -- 0

28th: Morgan Klimchuck -- LW -- 5'11" -- Regina Pats -- WHL -- 36G, 40A; 76 points in 72 GP -- -1

3rd Round:

67th: Keegan Kanzig -- D -- 6'7" -- Victoria Royals -- WHL -- 0G, 7A; 7 points in 70 GP -- -10

5th Round:

135th: Eric Roy -- D -- 6'3" -- Brandon Wheat Kings -- WHL -- 17G, 22A; 39 points in 72 GP -- -32

6th Round:

157th: Tim Harrison -- RW -- 6'3" -- Dexter School -- USHS -- 13G, 13A; 26 points in 21 GP (2011-2012)

7th Round:

187th: Rushan Rafikov -- D -- 6'1" -- Loko Yaroslavl -- MHL -- 1G, 9A; 10 points in 53 GP -- +11

198th: John Gilmour -- D -- 5'11" -- Providence College -- NCAA -- 4G, 9A; 13 points in 38 GP -- +3

Conclusion to my drafted guys: I felt that I got all the guys I wanted that I had slated in my top-30 (refer to my top-30 rankings). The only guy that wasn't in that group was who I think is Linköping's version of Sami Vatanen, Jesper Pettersson. The 5'9" d posses the smarts and skill to be an effective 2-way d-man with high offensive upside. In the past year, Pettersson was an impressive +6 in 14 games with the senior club, also adding 3 points (1G, 2A). 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I thought it was a brisk draft. TSN did a fantastic job on full 7-round coverage. 

Here are my top-10 teams that I think 'won' at the draft:

1. Columbus Blue Jackets

Notable players taken: Alex Wennberg (C), Marko Dano (C/RW), Kerby Rychel (LW/C), Oliver Bjorkstrand (RW), Markus Soberg (RW), and PeterQuenneville (C). 

The Jackets add a plethora of skill. I'm shocked they get Bjorkstrand, Soberg, and Quenneville in the later rounds. I'm sure they just drafted more than 3 top-6 future NHL forwards here. 

2. Buffalo Sabres

Notable players taken: J.T. Compher (C), Nicholas Baptiste (RW), Gustav Possler (LW), Rasmus Ristolainen (D), Nikita Zadorov (C), Justin Bailey (RW/C), and Connor Hurley (C). 

The Sabres add some serious size and fire-power upfront with Bailey, Baptiste, and Compher, then add some nice skill down the back-end with Ristolainen and Zadorov. Gustav Possler is like Carl Hagelin -- an effective, skilled forward, that IMO, will make a contribution eventually in the NHL. Compher, Baptsite, and Possler are my favorite picks here. 

3. L.A. Kings

Notable players taken: Valentin Zykov (RW), Patrik Bartosak (G), Jonny Brodzinski (RW), Hudson Fasching (RW), Zack Leslie (D), and Dominik Kubalik (LW).

The Kings keep going with drafting quality. Zykov, IMO, was a steal. I'm quite disappointed MacTavish traded that 37th pick with a Zykov still there. Zykov has so much skill to like; I commend the Kings to trade-up and add to what is an already filled cupboard of oozing forward talent. Jonny Brodzinski is an over-age winger that scored 22 goals in his rookie season with St. Cloud State. The Brodzinski name will be a well-respected one -- Michael (D), the younger brother of Jonny, got selected as well this year -- in the 5th-round by the San Jose Sharks. Patrik Bartosak proved that he was the real deal posting a .935 SV% in 55 games played with Red Deer. His playoff performance was over-the-top, IMO. Bartosak had a .941 in 9 games with a 1.97 GAA. Unreal. I don't know how they got Kubalik in the 7th-round, but he will be a growing talent, too, IMO.

4.Winnipeg Jets

Notable players taken: Josh Morrissey (D), Nic Petan (C), Eric Comrie (G), and Jimmy Lodge (C).

I agree with what the media-types are saying out there that they did the best at the draft for a Canadian team. I think Morrissey was the best d-man in the draft because of his natural smarts (IQ and winning Scholastic Player of The Year). Nic Petan has the smarts, skill, and speed to be an NHL-regular. Jimmy Lodge was in the shadows, but showed he could be an effective C that could score some big goals. Eric Comrie is a blue-chip goaltender prospect, IMO. They basically added strength in areas they had holes in. Great job, Marcel Comeau!

5. Chicago Blackhawks

Notable players taken: Ryan Hartman (RW), Carl Dahlstrom (D), John Hayden (C), Tyler Motte (LW), Luke Johnson (C), and Robin Press (D).   

The Blackhawks are an elite drafting team. Hartman is an agitator with some skill, too, like Andrew Shaw. Press and Dahlstrom will be nice additions down the road on the back-end. Tyler Motte is a sniper that I really think was a steal in the 4th-round. John Hayden has a nice power game. Luke Johnson is a player I think is very off-the-radar. He always finds a way to put his name on the score sheet. He'll go to North Dakota and play with better talent and will likely be an effective contributor.

6. Florida Panthers

Notable players taken: Aleksander Barkov (C), Ian McCoshen (D), Michael Downing (D), Chris Clapperton (LW), and Mackenzie Weegar (D). 

7. Montreal Canadiens 

Notable players taken: Artturi Lehkonen (RW), Martin Reway (C/LW), Zach Fucale (G), and Jacob de la Rose (C).

8. San Jose Sharks

Notable players taken: Gabryel-Paquin Boudreau (RW/LW), Mirco Müller (D), Fredrik Bergvik (G), Michael Brodzinski (D), Emil Galimov (LW/C).

9. Anaheim Ducks

Notable players taken: Shea Theodore (D), Nick Sörensen (RW), Grant Besse (RW), and Miro Aaltonen (C).

10. Vancouver Canucks

Notable players taken: Hunter Shinkaruk (LW/C/RW), Bo Horvat (C), Anton Cederholm (D), and Jordan Subban (D). 

Thanks as always to Michael for his contributions and insight. Follow him on Twitter @gotitotti, follow Dome Ice Advantage at @domeiceadv.