(Bruce Bennett, Getty Images)
Prior to the NHL Entry Draft on Sunday, the hockey world was awash in draft rankings and mock drafts, all trying to predict or at least give some indication of how the draft would play out. Of course, they were all rendered completely moot as soon as the draft itself was underway, as every NHL team operated from their own internal draft ranking, many of which differed significantly from that of independent scouts, websites, and publications.
As a result, highly-ranked prospects slid down the draft board, while other picks had fans and analysts scratching their heads as to why that player was picked in that position.
Which teams strayed the furthest from the pre-draft consensus? I decided to find out.
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Two hours before the start of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, there sat Martin Brodeur on a raised platform in the bowels of Prudential Center, smiling and laughing as he answered questions from about 10 reporters, a relatively small scrum compared to what he may usually face with so many reporters descending on Newark.
The hard-hitting topics for arguably the game’s greatest goaltender of all-time included queries about gracing a video game cover, the nerves of being a hockey dad as he spent the day with 18-year-old, draft-eligible son Anthony Brodeur, and memories about when he was selected 20th overall in the 1990 Entry Draft, which took place in Vancouver.
“I don’t remember 23 years ago. That’s a long time,” a light-hearted Brodeur said with a chuckle from inside the arena he helped build.
But before Brodeur would quietly recede into a luxury box with friends and family on his son’s big day, he mentioned he had one thing to do first.
“Early on, I’ll go to the (Devils draft) table, see what’s going on there,” Brodeur said. “Make sure we do the proper moves.” Read the rest of this entry »
A lot of the hype that surrounds entry drafts, for all sports, is unwarranted. It’s not that the draft can’t hugely affect the future of a team, it’s that beyond the first half-dozen picks or so, it’s awfully tough to figure out if a team drafted well or not. Because of that, we get a lot of hype in the form of “Our team is pumped because we drafted Name Namerson, Dude McHandle and Words O’Backcheck.” Sure, whatever.
But as I noted above, those first few picks, well…they rarely miss. They may not all become Sidney Crosby, but almost all of them end up being effective NHLers.
Tonight the NHL holds its annual draft lottery, where one lucky team gets word that they have the honour of picking first overall, and that they’ll likely have either Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon in their line-up next season. Also, we get to watch grown-ass men be super-awkward.
It’s on TSN, the NBC Sports Network and the NHL Network at 8:00 p.m. EST for those who’d like to follow along, comment and all the rest. Read the rest of this entry »
When the NHL season wraps up on April 28th with a make-up game between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, hockey fans (and even some fringe “fans”) will turn their attention to the best tournament in sports, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Fans of teams who missed the playoffs and missed badly, however, will have Monday circled in red for a very important reason.
This is pretty crazy. Any team that just misses playoffs – be it the Red Wings, Rangers, Flyers or whoever – could acquire a Seth Jones or Nate MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin and randomly grab a badly needed piece to help them become not just a bottom-feeding team, but a true threat.
Still, the lower you finish, the better your odds are. Here are the odds for the very-bottom teams hoping to grab the number-one overall pick, via TSN.
|30. Florida Panthers
|29. Colorado Avalanche
|28. Tampa Bay Lightning
|27. Nashville Predators
|26. Carolina Hurricanes
|25. Edmonton Oilers
|24. Calgary Flames