It's officially draft week. The NHL Draft begins this Friday and with the clock ticking down, there's a lot of good news and other content out there.
As a reminder, all of our NHL Draft content is here, including a bunch of new player profiles for the draft that went up this weekend.
Jeff Marek put together a Mock Draft for Sportsnet. There's nothing too noteworthy in the draft picks themselves, other than another opinion to throw on the pile. The most interesting part comes in the preamble when Marek says that Columbus' third overall pick and Edmonton's fourth overall pick are in play for potential trades.
Edmonton's pick being in play is no surprise at all, given how this Draft breaks down. After the top three players, there's a big gap in talent and then 4-14 are all presumed to be on a fairly similar plane. There's something to be said for being first in that group and getting "your guy," but it's hard to feel like you're getting great value on the pick when somebody ten spots lower is getting similar value. Not to mention that, in this particular case, Edmonton would love another good young defenseman, and all of the top D are likely to go towards the end of that 4-14 grouping.
It seems almost every year, the team in Edmonton's position at the beginning of the drop-off point tries to move their pick, and a deal never gets done because the asking price is too high relative to the value.
Columbus is a little more interesting because at third overall, they're basically dangling the rights to Jesse Puljujarvi out there. Puljujarvi is a legit franchise forward and a guy that I think would go first overall in many drafts. There's a ton of value in acquiring that third overall pick. But Columbus recognizes that fact as much as anyone, and I'd expect the asking price would be sky high.
The starting point, it would seem, would be a team also willing to take on a big contract to clear some cap space for Columbus.
The bottom line is that these types of megadeals for high draft picks get talked about every year, and they never seem to pan out on Draft day because the asking price is too astronomical. It'd be fun to see one go down this year, but I doubt it happens.
Matt Larkin of The Hockey News put together a roundtable feature asking questions to some NHL directors of amateur scouting. It's an interesting read. Though I must say, 'The NHL Combine isn't a waste of time because it gives you a chance to see a player's haircut" is a very wordy way of saying "The NHL Combine is a waste of time."
Also at The Hockey News, prospect guru Ryan Kennedy released his top 120 players for this year's Draft.
We mentioned Redline Report's top ten forwards for the Draft in a previous installment of this. Their top 10 defensemen and top goalies list have come out. The only controversial thing here is Jake Bean earning the nod as their top defensemen, and even that isn't a big deal. None of the defensemen in this class really separated themselves as the top guy, so I have no problem with an off-the-wall pick there.