After a lengthy first round on Friday, NHL teams are tearing through rounds 2-7 in a blur on Saturday. Not every name will stand out as of this writing, but GMs often unearth their biggest, franchise-turning bargains when they get in the weeds.
Before we get to today’s picks, let’s review some of the earlier action revolving around the top 31 selections.
- First round picks and quick analysis.
- Top two go as expected.
- Surprises pick up from No.3 through early stage.
- Things go well for the Islanders.
- Zadina provides billboard material after falling to No. 6.
- Unofficial signing: Ilya Kovalchuk going to the Kings.
This post will be regularly updated with picks coming in rapidly.
32. Buffalo – Mattias Samuelsson, D, NTDP
33. Detroit (from OTT via NYR) – Jonatan Berggren, W, Sweden
34. Florida (from ARI) – Serron Noel, W, OHL
35. Montreal – Jesse Ylonen, W, Finland
36. Detroit – Jared McIsaac, D, QMJHL
37. Vancouver – Jett Woo, D, WHL
38. Montreal (from CHI) – Alexander Romanov, D, Russia
39. NY Rangers – Olof Lindbom, First Goalie Taken, Sweden
40. Edmonton – Ryan McLeod, C, OHL
41. NY Islanders – Bode Wilde, D, NTDP
42. Carolina – Jack Drury, C, USHL
43. NY Islanders (from CGY) – Ruslan Iskhakov, C, Russia
44. Dallas – Albin Eriksson, W, Sweden
45. St. Louis – Scott Perunovich, D, NCHC
46. Washington (from FLA via NJD) – Martin Fehervary, D, Sweden
47. Colorado – Kody Clark, W, OHL
48. NY Rangers (from NJD) – Jonathan Tychonick, D, BCHL
49. Columbus – Kirill Marchenko, W, Russia
50. Philadelphia – Adam Ginning, D, Sweden
51. Los Angeles – Akil Thomas, C, OHL
52. Toronto (from SJS)
55. Arizona (from MIN)
56. Montreal (from TOR)
58. Colorado (from NSH)
59. Tampa Bay
62. Montreal (from WSH)
63. Minnesota (from BUF)
64. Pittsburgh (from OTT)
70. NY Rangers
72. NY Islanders
73. Arizona (from CAR)
74. Arizona (from CGY)
76. St. Louis
77. Boston (from FLA)
79. Anaheim (from NJD)
81. Detroit (from PHI)
82. Los Angeles
83. Toronto (from SJS)
84. Detroit (from PIT)
87. Chicago (from TOR via NJD and WSH)
88. NY Rangers (from BOS)
90. Tampa Bay
92. Minnesota (from VGK)
96. Carolina (from ARI)
99. Vegas (from VAN via PIT)
100. Dallas (from CHI)
101. NY Rangers
102. Montreal (from EDM)
103. NY Islanders
107. St. Louis
108. Calgary (from FLA)
110. New Jersey
111. Nashville (from CBJ)
113. Los Angeles
114. San Jose
115. Vegas (from PIT via TBL)
117. Buffalo (from MIN)
120. Chicago (from NSH)
121. Tampa Bay
122. Montreal (from WPG)
123. Florida (from VGK)
127. Philadelphia (from ARI)
129. Pittsburgh (from DET)
131. Nashville (from CHI)
132. NY Rangers
134. NY Islanders
135. Vegas (from CAR)
136. New Jersey (from CGY via ARI)
138. St. Louis
141. New Jersey
142. Chicago (from CBJ)
144. Los Angeles
145. San Jose
150. Winnipeg (from BOS)
152. Tampa Bay
155. Minnesota (from WSH)
159. Detroit (from MTL)
163. NY Rangers
165. Los Angeles (from NYI)
169. St. Louis
172. New Jersey
175. Los Angeles
176. San Jose
180. Vegas (from TOR)
182. San Jose (from NSH)
183. Tampa Bay
190. Philadelphia (from MTL)
194. Ottawa (from NYR)
196. NY Islanders
200. St. Louis
203. New Jersey
206. Tampa Bay (from LAK)
207. San Jose
209. Toronto (from ANA)
214. Tampa Bay
216. Carolina (from VGK)
DALLAS — The Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes has come to an end and the Los Angeles Kings are the big winners.
As the second day of the 2018 NHL Draft got under way, the Kings announced they’ve agreed to terms on a three-year contract which carries a $6.25 million cap hit per season.
“We are excited to add Ilya to the LA Kings organization. He gives us an added element of skill and scoring along with a desire to win. We will withhold further comment until July 1,” said Kings general manager Blake.
Kovalchuk last played in the NHL during the 2013 season before retiring to go play in the KHL. While he was “retired” the Devils still held his rights until his 35th birthday this past April. Any attempts to make a comeback prior to turning 35 meant that teams would have had to go through the Devils to make a deal.
After leaving New Jersey, Kovalchuk spent the last four seasons with SKA St. Petersburg helping them win two Gagarin Cups. This past February, he lead the Olympic Athletes From Russia to a gold medal at the Olympics in Pyeongchang.
It was eight years ago that the Kings tried to acquire Kovalchuk from the Atlanta Thrashers before the Devils stepped in with a better offer. According to ESPN, the Thrashers GM wanted Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson and Wayne Simmonds in return, but then-Kings GM Dean Lombardi refused to give up those young pieces in return.
There were a number of teams in the Kovalchuk hunt this time as well, with many pegging the San Jose Sharks as favorites. GM Doug Wilson did a good job of clearing cap space in order to present an enticing offer for the Russian forward, but now the can shift their focus to John Tavares, if he decides to explore the market.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Former NHL players Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton are suing the league, alleging it failed to warn players about the long-term risk of brain damage from fighting.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota says Boynton and Carcillo continued to play hockey despite head injuries. They now both suffer from long-term, degenerative brain damage.
Carcillo, a forward whose nickname was “Car Bomb” for his penchant for delivering hard hits, skated for five NHL teams over nine seasons. He won a Stanley Cup in 2013 with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Boynton, a defenseman who totaled 862 penalty minutes over 605 career NHL games, skated for six teams over 12 years.
Dozens of former players are already part of a similar lawsuit in federal court in Minnesota.
For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
Once you moved beyond the premium picks, the 2018 NHL Draft became “The Year of the Mobile Defensemen.” Almost half of the first round featured defensive picks, most of whom fit the mold of the modern, attacking NHL.
The draft began with two predictable top picks, and then the drama escalated once the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators came into the mix. Maybe hockey fans should just get used to that, as those franchises stir things up more than any others?
Early on, it seems like the Red Wings and Islanders rank among the biggest winners once you push beyond the slam-dunk picks. Time, of course, will tell if that’s even remotely accurate.
Check out the first round results below, along with some early analysis. The remainder of the 2018 NHL Draft takes place early on Saturday.
1. Buffalo Sabres – Rasmus Dahlin, Defenseman, Frolunda (Sweden)
“He is a terrific skater and stick handler who can rush the puck, or join the attack in a hurry. Impressive agility makes him a good one-on-one defender. He has fine passing ability, and although not a big-time bomber, he has an accurate shot from the point.” – Elite Prospects.
Dahlin is the most hyped defensive prospect in years, if not decades. Some say we haven’t seen this kind of excitement for a defenseman since Denis Potvin. Yeah.
2. Carolina Hurricanes – Andrei Svechnikov, Winger, Barrie (OHL)
“Svechnikov has size, speed and skill. He can play a power game or a finesse game, make plays or score goals any way they can be scored – off the rush, one timers from far out, getting his nose dirty in front of the net or off the cycle.” – Bob McKenzie, TSN.
3. Montreal Canadiens – Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Center, Assat (Finland)
“A smart forward with a dangerous shot, Kotkaniemi possesses a high hockey IQ and determination with the skills to back it up. Positions himself well and often seems to be a step ahead of plays.” -Matias Strozyk, Elite Prospects.
4. Ottawa Senators – Brady Tkachuk, W, Boston University (NCAA)
“Tkachuk is a lot less refined and less polished than the other elite picks but the big raw-boned winger plays a hard driving, aggravating power and agitation game.” McKenzie, TSN.
5. Arizona Coyotes – Barrett Hayton, C, S.S. Marie (OHL)
“Very smart two-way centre who contributes in all areas of the game and has potential to be a very key player.” TSN.
6. Detroit Red Wings – Filip Zadina, W, Halifax (QMJHL)
“Filip Zadina is a dynamic offensive forward that plays a complete game. A deft and agile skater, he exhibits explosive mobility both up and down the ice. In all three zones, he proactively looks to create problems for the opposition.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.
7. Vancouver Canucks – Quinn Hughes, D, Michigan (NCAA)
“He plays a go-go-go offensive game, at times more like a rover than a defenceman. He’s fearless, not afraid to make high risk, high reward but also high danger plays.” TSN.
8. Chicago Blackhawks – Adam Boqvist, D (Sweden)
“A dynamic offensive defenceman that can carry plays with the puck on his stick. A highly mobile and nimble skater that moves with fluidity, balance, and confidence. Utilizes an active stick and creates turnovers frequently. Could be more proactive in his own end …” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.
9. New York Rangers – Vitali Kravtsov, W, Chelyabinsk (KHL)
“A big, skilled winger that can play up and down the lineup and provide scoring in a number of roles. He brings grit and physical size, but could be more assertive in throwing his weight around more.” Elite Prospects.
10. Edmonton Oilers – Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL)
“A highly intelligent all-around defenceman that plays with poise and can shift the pace of play in a multitude of ways. Showcases smooth four-way skating ability and loves to get involved in all situations – especially when that situation happens to be an up-ice rush.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.
11. New York Islanders – Oliver Wahlstrom, W, NTDP
“Offensively, he might be described as uncontainable: the confidence he has in his individual puck skill, paired with a high level of thinking, makes him a difficult cog to take out of alignment. He is able to create opportunities for himself, as well as teammates, out of nothing; this, in turn, translates to energy on the ice and in the building as a whole.” – Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.
12. New York Islanders (from Flames) – Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
“Dobson is a strong skater with a high degree of creativity, vision and offensive prowess. Scouts feel we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg here.” – Bob McKenzie, TSN.
13. Dallas Stars – Ty Dellandrea, C, Flint (OHL)
“Very strong two-way centre who plays all situations and can contribute offensively and defensively. Terrific improvement.” TSN.
14. Philadelphia Flyers (from Blues) – Joel Farabee, W, NTDP
“Plays all situations in the game with full understanding and has the skills to contribute offensively.” Craig Button, TSN.
15. Florida Panthers – Grigori Denisenko, W (Russia)
“Highly skilled, very dynamic offensive player who is a very dangerous player and capable of quick strike scoring.” Craig Button, TSN.
16. Colorado Avalanche – Martin Kaut, W, Parduice (Czech Extraliga)
“All the skill to be a top six winger who is capable of scoring and being a playmaker.” Craig Button, TSN.
17. New Jersey Devils – Ty Smith, D, Spokane (WHL)
“Elite skating defender whose upside is not far off from the top defenders in the 2018 class.” ISS Hockey.
18. Columbus Blue Jackets – Liam Foudy, C, London (WHL)
“Great speed that creates opportunities for his team and makes life uncomfortable for opponents. Catalyst type player.” Craig Button, TSN.
19. Philadelphia Flyers – Jay O’Brien, C, Thayer (USHS)
“Smart with a quick mind and very good hands where he can make a play or finish a play. Improvement as good as any player.” Craig Button, TSN.
20. Los Angeles Kings – Rasmus Kupari, C, Karpat (Finland)
“Slick Finnish forward, very dangerous with the puck on his stick, always a threat offensively.” – ISS Hockey.
21. San Jose Sharks – Ryan Merkley, D, Guelph (OHL)
“There is chatter that he’s a bad teammate/uncoachable. He’s also one of the most purely gifted playmaking defencemen not named Rasmus Dahlin that we’ve seen in recent years. None of Timothy Liljegren, Erik Brannstrom or even Cale Makar had his kind of creativity in 2017. Nor did Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev or Charlie McAvoy in 2016.” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic (paywall).
22. New York Rangers (from Ottawa Senators, previously from Penguins) – K’Andre Miller, D, Wisconsin (NCAA)
The Rangers traded up to make this choice.
“Strong skating, puck carrying defenceman who can quickly get the play moving forward. Athletic with excellent potential.” Craig Button, TSN.
23. Anaheim Ducks – Isac Lundestrom, C (Sweden)
“Very versatile and can adapt to different positions and play in different slots in the lineup. Very smart with good skill.” Craig Button, TSN.
24. Minnesota Wild – Filip Johansson, D (Sweden)
Some believe Paul Fenton made a reach with his first pick as Wild GM.
25. St. Louis Blues (from Toronto Maple Leafs) – Dominik Bokk, W (Sweden)
“A hungry scorer who likes to shoot the puck and gets himself into scoring spots and has a very good shot.” Craig Button, TSN.
26. Ottawa Senators (from New York Rangers, previously from Bruins) – Jacob Bernard-Docker, D, North Dakota (NCAA)
“Steady presence, never gets burned, headed the NCAA route out of the AJHL,” – Scott Wheeler.
27. Chicago Blackhawks (from Predators) – Nicolas Beaudin, D, Drummondville (QMJHL)
“Nicolas Beaudin is a diminutive yet cunning defenceman that is able to use his size to his advantage. His mobility is all but elite at this point; he primarily uses his speed to open up passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone.” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.
28. New York Rangers (from Lightning) – Nils Lundkvist, D (Sweden)
“Acquitted himself very well in the Swedish top league as a 17-year old. Smart and knows how to take advantage of his skills.” Craig Button, TSN.
29. Toronto Maple Leafs (from St. Louis Blues, previously from Jets) – Rasmus Sandin, D, S.S. Marie (OHL)
“Not big in stature but he plays a strong game in all areas. Skates, thinks, makes plays with puck and competes.” Craig Button, TSN.
30. Detroit Red Wings (from Golden Knights) – Joe Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)
“The fleet-footed center is unselfish and will primarily look to make a play at top speed; however, when the chance arises to put it in the pot himself, he will capitalize. He sees the ice well and is rarely caught out of position. His defensive game is refined and he actively pursues puck control.” Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects.
31. Washington Capitals – Alexander Alexeyev, D, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
“He’s a mobile puckmover in the mold of the modern NHL defenders.” Mike Vogl, Washington Capitals website.