It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – NAHT!

To La: Mike Richards

To Phi: Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, 2nd round pick

To Clb: Jeff Carter

To Phi: Jakub Voracek, 8th overall pick, 3rd round pick

Since I could go on about this all day, I’ll keep it brief. This is a horrible set of moves. If I were a Flyers fan, I’d have a heart attack, followed by a seizure, followed by a killing spree through the Flyers front office, followed by another heart attack. That’s probably the best way to describe it. Continue reading

2011 NHL Mock Draft


***WILL BE LIVE AT THE DRAFT IN MINNESOTA ON FRIDAY***

After several weeks of anticipation, it’s finally time.

Some may wonder what the process is. One way to start is by looking at a team’s draft history – some teams have a clear preference for players out of Canadian junior hockey, others for US college hockey, and still others for European leagues. You can look at team needs – team ‘A’ badly needs a centre; team ‘B’ a defenceman. Or you can assume that teams will just take the ‘BPA’, or best player available – a strategy which becomes more arbitrary as you get further down the list. Continue reading

2011 NHL Draft – Scouting Reports

Highly skilled forward Jonathan Huberdeau is a lock to be a top-5 selection

***MOCK DRAFT COMING TOMORROW***

While it’s difficult to say exactly who the top-10 players will be in this year’s NHL draft, most scouts have no problem telling you who the top 9 available prospects are. They include 6 forwards – Nugent-Hopkins, Huberdeau, Landeskog, Couturier, Strome, and Zibanejad; and 3 defencemen – Larsson, Hamilton, and Murphy. With an eye to the top-10, here is a small scouting report on all the potential top-10 selections (grouped by position) in this year’s draft.

Forwards

Sure-fire top-10 selection

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: The most skilled player in the draft. He’s a classic playmaker who makes all those around him better. His vision and hockey IQ are off the charts, drawing some comparisons to #99. The only knock on him is his size, as he’s around 6’, 170 lbs. However, he’s extremely quick and shifty, with an unbelievable ability to avoid ever being hit. He has the rare ability to do incredible things with the puck at high speed. He looks a bit like Blackhawks star Patrick Kane when handling the puck; and while he prefers to set up teammates, he has no problem scoring either. His offensive game could be compared to Avs great Peter Forsberg, minus the power-forward type of approach. Overall, Nugent-Hopkins is a near-sure bet to be a first line centre, if not a franchise centre. Continue reading

Top Draft Prospects

(#1 ranked prospect Ryan-Nugent Hopkins)

This list should cover most of the first round picks. It includes 27F and 11D. It also specifies the players that are likely to make up the top-10. (Though Beaulieu could sneak in ahead of Bartschi). After the top-10, the remaining prospects are only somewhat in order, with ‘rank’ becoming more arbitrary as you go down the list.

I’ll take an in-depth look at the top-10ish players later this week. Continue reading

Path to Glory: The NHL Draft

(Top Prospect Ryan Strome of the OHL’s Niagra Ice Dogs)

I’ll be at the NHL draft in Minneapolis on June 24th, so feel free to follow me on twitter for live draft-day tweets. (HouseOfPuck)

If there’s any question as to the importance of June 24, look no further than the Chicago Blackhawks. Or the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Detroit Red Wings. Of course, these are the last 3 cup winners, all of which have been built primarily through the draft. The first two were fortunate to get a string of very high picks, while the Red Wings have simply drafted well for years without the fortune of a lottery pick.

In terms of hockey operations, Friday June 24th is without a doubt the most important day for the Winnipeg (Blanks). It gives the team the opportunity to add a key piece of their future at virtually no cost – apart from the cost of well-paid scouts and the youngster’s inevitable entry-level contract, which will range from about $1.75-$2.5 million including bonuses. Here are the teams that are ahead of Winnipeg in the draft queue: Continue reading