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Blog Entry

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

Posted on: June 25, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2011 11:07 am
 

Anaheim Ducks: I like the move trading down in the first round to get another early pick in the second from the Maple Leafs, assuming they weren't absolutely in love with any prospect on the board at No. 22. With the additional pick in Round 2 they grabbed who many felt was the top goaltender available in USA's John Gibson. In time, he could be excellent. Grade: B

Boston Bruins: The Stanley Cup champions were very quiet, as you would expect. They were picking from a position of luxury at No. 9 in the first round to finally wrap up the Phil Kessel trade and had to be ecstatic that defenseman Dougie Hamilton fell to them. They closed out with a goalie in the sixth round, a good idea to grab one at some point. Grade: A-

Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres only had one pick in the top 75, which they spent on Finnish winger Joel Armia at No. 16. From there they selected three centermen, in Rounds 3, 4 and 7. But their biggest move was trading for Robyn Regehr and Ales Kotalik for Chris Butler and Paul Byron. I think the move benefits Buffalo most with Regehr's physical presence. Grade: B

Calgary Flames: Out of just five players drafted, the biggest they picked was a goalie in the sixth round. Three of the other four picks are all less than six feet, including fourth-round choice John Gaudreau. Top pick Sven Baertschi could be a very nice pickup for offensive punch. The move of Regehr and Kotalik wasn't a great trade in its own right, but it was solid when you consider it allowed them to re-sign Alex Tanguay. Grade: C+

Carolina Hurricanes: The 'Canes weren't active shoppers, content to take their six picks in peace. Among them, they selected three centermen, two defensemen and a goalie. Would have liked to see a little more balance and somebody to play outside, but there's always a chance for position changes. Top pick Ryan Murphy is unquestionably most offensive defenseman in the draft, but he's allergic to defense. Grade: B-

Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago was incredibly busy, selecting 11 players over the weekend, including six of the top 80. First-round selections Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault are both high-character, gritty forwards, then in the second round they scooped up a slipper in winger Brandon Saad. The biggest move though was getting rid of big contracts in Brian Campbell and to a lesser extent Troy Brouwer, freeing up cap flexibility. Excellent weekend. Grade: A

Colorado Avalanche: The Avs did most of their heavy lifting on Day 1 of the draft, first sending John-Michael Liles to the Maple Leafs for a second-round pick. I don't like the move all that much, but it shows they are serious about rebuilding. But they had a big play in the first round, selecting Gabriel Landeskog at No. 2, and he'll step in right away. They also grabbed a few defensemen, including Duncan Siemens at No. 11, to fill the void. Grade: B+

Columbus Blue Jackets: Their biggest move came Thursday when they landed Jeff Carter from Philly. It did cost them a first-round pick and a Jakub Voracek, but they got a guaranteed top-notch contributor, so it's a good get. They also traded Nikita Filatov to Ottawa. Thought they might be able to get more for him than a third-round pick, but it was a good decision to move him as he was likely going to KHL instead of returning and it just wasn't working in Columbus. As for the draft, I like the pick of LW Seth Ambroz in the fifth-round best. He was the 31st ranked skater by NHL Central Scouting. Grade: A-

Dallas Stars: Everything really is bigger in Texas. The Stars' six draft picks average over 6-feet-3 and 201 pounds. The three defensemen have an average height of just over 6'5 and 212 pounds, highlighted by first-round selection Jamieson Oleksiak from Northeastern at 6'7. It will take a little bit of time, but they will soon could have the biggest blue line in hockey. Grade: B+

Detroit Red Wings: In classic Ken Holland fashion, the Wings weren't afraid to move back in the draft, trading out of the first round to grab three picks in the second. Their first selection was Saint John winger Tomas Jurco at No. 35. I'm a big fan of the kid and he is oozing with potential. They decided to get defenseman-heavy with five out of nine picks, but I'm not going to challenge Holland's track record in the draft. Grade: B

Edmonton Oilers: They came in to the draft in a great position, obviously holding the top spot, but also the 19th overall selection. Drafting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the easy, but right choice. With their second pick they grabbed Swedish defenseman Oscar Klefbom. While many point to his lack of offense as a concern, I'm very high on him as a project. They did draft two goalies, one in Samu Perhonen who most considered the top European goalie. Grade: A-

Florida Panthers: The first pick of Jonathan Huberdeau was a great selection as I will maintain he could be the best in this draft. The Panthers didn't have quite the same impact as last season, but still selected eight of the first 91 players, including 5'6 dynamo Rocco Grimaldi. The move everybody is talking about, though, is trading for Brian Campbell. It's not a bad move for Florida as it actually needs to take on salary just to get to the floor and he has some use for an inexperienced blue line. Grade: B+

Los Angeles Kings: They too hopped into the Philly salary shedding by snagging Mike Richards in exchange for Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. I love the addition for the Kings as it gives them two elite centermen in Richards and Kopitar. They didn't draft until 49th overall when they grabbed who I thought was the best goalie in Christopher Gibson, but didn't get any defensive help in any of their six picks. Would have liked to see at least one D-man. Grade: B

Minnesota Wild: I thought they made the best trade of the draft itself with their deal to get Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and San Jose's first-round selection -- which they used to get centerman Zack Phillips -- for Brent Burns and a second-rounder next year. They had a big need in offense and they addressed it for the current time with Seto. They also traded up to grab local favorite Mario Lucia, one of two Minnesota high-schoolers they drafted. Grade: A-

Montreal Canadiens: They patiently waited until the 17th pick when, much to the surprise of most, puck-moving defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was still on the board. For a team that's a bit thin on the blue line, he was the first of five defensemen they brought aboard. But Beaulieu was the only pick they had until the fourth round began, so they got great value and somebody who could prove to be a great pairing with P.K. Subban down the road. Grade: B+

Nashville Predators: I like the player they drafted with their first pick, No. 38 overall, but I don't like the fit. Magnus Hellberg is a very intriguing goalie prospect who stands 6'5, but going goaltender with your first pick, and making Hellberg the top goalie selected, was a bit surprising, especially when they have a still-young Pekka Rinne. After that they added a few guys who are a bit more stout, toughening up for years of Barry Trotz hockey. Grade: C

New Jersey Devils: With their first pick they took top defenseman Adam Larsson, who became the highest defenseman they drafted since Scott Niedermayer. But that's partly because the Devils don't often draft this high. And here they got a guy who most years would have gone first or second, but offensive needs above them dropped Larsson to New Jersey and I'm sure the staff has no qualms about that. Thought this was one team that could have stood to grab a goalie late. Grade: A-

New York Islanders: A lot of smoke before the draft was that they were showing the most interest in defenseman Dougie Hamilton, but they instead went out to get a Ryan Strome, a centerman they hope can be the yin to John Tavares' yang. He has great playmaking ability so it could be a great complement down the line. They got their big-bodied D-man in the second round with a nice selection of 6'4 Scott Mayfield from St. Louis, Mo., after trading Bruno Gervais to Tampa Bay Grade: B+

New York Rangers: Another team that was very quiet in this draft, they went up the middle with centers in their first three picks, starting with American J.T. Miller at No. 15 overall. It will be interesting to see how their last two picks develop, two defensemen who stand at least 6'3 and both weigh more than 205 pounds, you have to like where those guys are starting for blue line bruisers. But all in all, not much was happening for the Blueshirts. Grade: B

Ottawa Senators: My favorite team in this draft. They had a ton of draft picks entering the weekend and they made the most of them, spending two second-rounders to move into the first round for a third pick. Their No. 1 selection of Mika Zibanejad should be a good one, he's got a lot of power and grit. They got a lot of potential scoring with the other first-round picks in Stefan Noesen and Matt Puempel. They topped everything off by getting a talented but still unproven Nikita Filatov from Columbus for just a third-round pick. Grade: A+

Philadelphia Flyers: Philly did its work on Thursday with their three blockbuster moves. While they seem to have weakened the roster by getting rid of Carter and Richards, it allowed them to bring in Ilya Bryzgalov and clear some cap space to maneuver. And, the part many were forgetting on Thursday, gave them a high first-round selection, which they must be thrilled with. Sean Couturier was a preseason favorite as the best player in the draft class, so to get him at No. 8 was a great nab. Could help fill one of the holes that just opened. Grade: A-

Phoenix Coyotes: The pick of defenseman Connor Murphy in the first round carries with it plenty of risk. He missed a significant amount of time due to injury and he has a pretty long projection. This is another organization I thought would be well served to look at a goaltender, considering they are pretty thin all throughout the organization, including with the big club. It's a need they will certainly look to address via free agency. Grade: C

Pittsburgh Penguins: They really must have taken the best player available strategy as they went defense with their first two picks, starting with Joseph Morrow at No. 23. I thought they really could have used some forward depth in the organization considering they have seven defensemen under contract next year with the big club and a good amount more in the system. The last three picks (just five total) did go offense, though. Grade: C+

San Jose Sharks: I said it before and I'll say it again, I don't like the Setoguchi-Burns trade, and right after they signed Seto to a new deal? Ouch. Sure, the Sharks landed a great defenseman after losing Niclas Wallin from the back after last season, but the price is too steep for me. As a result of dealing their first pick, San Jose wasn't on the clock until pick No. 47, taking Boston University's Matthew Nieto. For a team that is in full-contention mode, the move addresses a need, but I just feel the cost was too high. Grade: D+

St. Louis Blues: The Blues sat out the first round, but had three selections to make in the second and came out alright. Their pick of Ty Rattie at No. 32 was a very good one, getting a first-round talent. He still needs to put on some weight, but I like his outlook. Their next two picks of winger Dmitrij Jaskin and 6'5 Canadian defenseman Joel Edmundson were solid. They were another team that spent two picks on goaltenders, but it's an organization that could use some reinforcement in the crease. Grade: B

Tampa Bay Lightning: With their first three picks (Rounds 1, 2 and 5) they went all Russian. In the first they grabbed Vladislav Namestnikov, a center who can also play wing and was projected by many to go a little higher. They followed that up with winger Nikita Kucherov then defenseman Nikita Nesterov. One thing is for sure, though, they didn't add much size in the draft with nobody over 6'0. They know something about short guys, though. Add a little something to the blue line now in a small deal for Isles D Bruno Gervais. Grade: B

Toronto Maple Leafs: Brian Burke came out to make some moves, and he did. The first was landing John-Michael Liles from Colorado, a player he long coveted. While Toronto has a slew of defensemen already, Liles is still a solid addition. He then made a swap with Anaheim to move up for two picks in the first round, using one to grab defenseman Stuart Percy. I'm not terribly high on the guy, but he's somebody they saw a lot of in Ontario, so at least they have a conviction. The other first-round pick was Tyler Biggs, a true power forward. All in all, they added a lot of prospects to the system. Grade: B+

Vancouver Canucks: No team was treated more rudely in Minnesota than the Canucks, taking the podium each time to a chorus of boos and mocking shouts, many calling for a new goalie. I'm sure they are in no hurry to push Roberto Luongo away, but they did draft goaltender David Honzik with their second pick of the weekend. Their first selection of Dane Nicklas Jensen is a very nice selection as he possesses potential to become a potent scorer when his game is more refined. Grade: B+

Washington Capitals: Were the Caps even present in the Twin Cities? Aside from a move to get Troy Brouwer from the Blackhawks in exchange for Washington's first-round selection. Because of that trade, the D.C. brass sat on their hands until the fourth round when they spent their first pick on a goaltender. I do think the addition of Brouwer will be welcome as a power forward, but they leave the draft without taking home much in the way of restocking the system. Grade: B-

Winnipeg Jets: Well let's just start off by saying nothing is going to take away from the high in Winnipeg right now as the Jets are back and this was the first true hockey steps as a franchise in the 'Peg again. With that said, their pick of Mark Scheifele at No. 7 came as a surprise. With Couturier still on the board, they seemed to reach a little early for Scheifele, but they said after the pick they had done their homework on him. With the rest of their picks, they added great size. But we won't rain on any parades here. Grade: B+

--Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter or @BrianStubitsNHL

Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:42 am
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Since: Jun 15, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2011 2:18 pm
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

Wasn't siding with anyone Dingo.  Just responding to you telling us that you know this was a good trade for both sides, and that the writer's opinion means nothing because you tell us that it doesn't.  Every trade ever made was supposed to be good for both sides, or else the trade would not have been made.  The true verdict does not come at the time of the trade, but down the line after the players have changed jerseys and spent time playing for their new team.  Dropping Mike Babcock's name?  That is supposed to clinch your argument?  I am always entertained by the wannabe sportswriters that are quick to jump all over a guy who gets paid to write, just because you disagree with their opinions.  If every writer who was disagreed with by an anonymous internet got fired, there would be no writers.



Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2011 8:37 am
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

Def not a fan of losing a Brent Burns,  but something had to give.  You cant just keep signing owen Nolans and Brunettes and John Maddens and the like hoping they will find the fountain of youth and become 30 goal scorers again.  I think Clint Stoner can fill Burns' role on the team, and we added a first line forward.  In theory (but it wont happen for whatever reason) that gives you koivu, setagucci, and havlat on your first line which is the best the wild franchise has EVER had.  I dont know anything about a zack phillips so I wont comment, but it has to be better for our side of the deal, right?

The draft picks is what made this almost a robbery by Minnesota.  Good job Fletcher.



Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: June 27, 2011 7:40 am
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

This just in: Vancover still sucks.



Since: Feb 17, 2011
Posted on: June 26, 2011 11:55 pm
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

@ Mar as a die hard Caps fans I totally disagree with you the trade for Brouwer. The guy is a 3rd line player without much skill. I don't know very much about him but I have a few friends who follow Chicago and they all say he is nobody to be excited about. If he is the guy to replace Laich if they don't resign him I will have a lot less hope for next season then I do now after the way they went out with no heart vs Tampa. And he is in ANY way going to be the replacement for Knubble after next season. The reason teams like the Red Wings are contenders every year is even in down draft years they find guys who will be good fits in 3 years from the draft.  As far as taking a Goalie with the 1st pick they make reguardless of the round or the Varly situation was not a good pick when that is the spot they are most set youth and depth wise.  And as far as having "studs" in Hershey I have said it for 2 years that I don't see it, they have fill in and role players there which is why I would like to have seen at least 1 forward taken.  Just my opinion



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 7:27 pm
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

The Wild didn't get some crazy steal out of this... they're fans are bummed to lose burns as much as the sharks fans are bummed to loose setoguchi and Coyle.
Yeah, the Wild did get a crazy steal out of this. It helps the Wild immensely, but it damages the Sharks.




Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: June 26, 2011 4:07 pm
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

Dingosean,
      
;     &nbs
p;   What the hell are you talking about? Babcock mad because Burns coming in? Huh? Lets back up a bit first. You must be a Sharks homer. That's the only way you see Burns as a top D'man. Burns is essentially a forward converted to Defense without the actual defensive skills of an offensive defenseman, like a Markov, or the bruising skills of a similar conversion in Byfuglien.

    Burns can play offense, as he should, being drafted a forward and all. He was converted by Lemaire, who makes everyone a defenseman :) lol  Seriously though, trading Setoguchi and essentially two 1st round picks for Burns is crazy. I would have given them an F- for the draft and trade. If you really wanted a top defenseman and willing to give up two 1st rounders (which you did) and Guch, maybe you boneheads should have taken a run at Shea Weber, a restricted free agent in Nashville, who IS THE REAL DEAL on defense. Not Burnsy.

  As for your drunken diatribe, I guess I don't follow why Babcock could care at all. Neither Minny nor SJ are in Detroits division, and if you are talking playoffs, well, contrary to what people think, players really don't care who they play, they just want to keep playing. Besides, all champions (like Babcock) know you have to beat the best to be the best. Your analysis is lame, but I attribute that to alcohol or complete Shark Homerism :D  It can't be anything else.

  Bruins will repeat anyway, so it is all a mute point!!!  (see, that is Homerism as well, much like your whole article on Burns taking the Sharks to the top) :) hahahaha. Take care. Good luck this year.



Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: June 26, 2011 3:15 pm
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

The Wild stepped up and did all the right things in this draft....Good show...A+


TDAISON
Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: June 26, 2011 2:19 pm
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Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 11:13 am
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

The Capitals made a good deal for Brouer. They need a physical left wing who can also score. They have plenty of young studs in their farm system and the goalie in the 4th round may have been becasue it appears that Varlomov is going back to Russia and with Neuvy and Holby with the big club, they are looking for depth there.


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