It’s nearly certain that we won’t be able to determine the “winners and losers” of the 2017 NHL Draft until, say, 2022. If not later.
Still, what fun is that?
Quite a few outlets pegged some winners and losers, though sometimes the choices were more about themes like nations or player types than specific teams.
For example: Puck Daddy gives a thumbs down to the “green room” experiment.
Let’s take a look at some of the consensus picks.
Vegas Golden Knights
GM George McPhee was dealt a bad hand when it comes to the lottery draft, so he instead made his own luck. And then he selected three players who could improve this team going forward.
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek especially liked the last two of their three first-rounders (Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom), viewing Cody Glass as more of a no-brainer. Plenty of others were on board.
Los Angeles Kings
Gabe Vilardi fell to Los Angeles, whether it was because of shaky skating or some other reason. That potential steal (and some other shrewd moves) impressed the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy, who assembled draft profiles for PHT.
Again, Vilardi’s loss was considered the Kings’ gain, as slower skaters were considered losers by the likes of Post Media’s Michael Traikos.
Boy, Ron Hextall is good at this thing, isn’t he? Philly drew high marks even beyond the layup of landing Nolan Patrick. The main area of disagreement revolved around the Brayden Schenn trade, though plenty came out on Hextall’s side there, too.
Boy, that negative press didn’t last long, did it? Between landing Niklas Hjalmarsson, Derek Stepan, and Antti Raanta in trades and savvy picks, they were a popular choice.
Smaller players, Sweden, and Finland drew semi-serious mentions as “winners.”
The perception is that they played it too safe.
Colorado Avalanche, for now?
OK, this was more about draft weekend than picks, but people are criticizing Joe Sakic for standing pat. That could change, but the negative sentiment is there.
Detroit Red Wings
Another common choice. Some believe that their draft was the worst of them all, which isn’t great considering the declining opinion of GM Ken Holland overall.
New York Rangers
Lias Andersson was viewed as a reach by plenty, and his connection to the trade to Arizona might intensify the scrutiny.
Not a great draft for Russian-born players and/or guys who don’t skate quite swiftly.
So, those are some of the near-consensus choices for winners and losers, via the brave souls who made rapid reactions to the 2017 NHL Draft.