Since the Stanley Cup playoffs are officially over and the Washington Capitals have their first Stanley Cup championship in team history, everybody can now focus on the upcoming NHL draft. The draft will take place in Dallas, Texas this year on Friday June 22 and Saturday June 23. With so many stories buzzing around about prospects and whose going to go where, I’d like to take my shot at the first ten picks of the NHL draft. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
1. Buffalo Sabres- D Rasmus Dahlin
With the Buffalo Sabres holding the first pick in the NHL draft, they must must must select Rasmus Dahlin. Dahlin is a surefire starter in todays NHL with the unique ability to score and solid defense, nobody can’t quite compare to the Swedish D man. Expect him to be next to the other Sabres star defensemen, Rasmus Ristolainen to start the 2018-2019 season.
2. Carolina Hurricanes- C/LW Brady Tkachuk
Did I just pick Brady Tkachuk to go second overall? I did. Let me tell you why. Lineage. The Tkachuk family has produced nothing but outstanding players for the NHL and Brady will be no different. He has no problem going toe to toe with the big guys and is a very well balanced player. He can do it all and he has the drive to succeed. Ultimately, the Hurricanes could go any way with this pick because they need a lot of help but Tkachuk is my bet to make the most immediate impact and become a cornerstone of a soft rebuild for the Canes.
3. Montreal Canadiens- RW Andrei Svechnikov
The Canadiens have Carey Price. Minus the goaltender spot, the Canadiens need help all over the ice. The biggest issue I see for the Canadiens is goal scoring. They averaged an abysmal 2.52 goals per game average, best for 29th in the league. Svechnikov would be a plug and play starter for the Canadiens. He’s a natural goal scorer that can move the puck well and would be an instant boost to an otherwise terrible offensive team.
4. Ottawa Senators- D Quinton Hughes
Boy did Ottawa fall off the wagon this season. They need help everywhere on the ice and this guy will do it for them. HE’s an offensive minded defenseman with the ability to take the puck away. He plays a very fluid game and will immediately contribute to the offensive and defensive ends for the Senators. He may not be in the lineup day one but he’ll get his shot sometime this season.
5. Arizona Coyotes- LW Filip Zadina
The defense in Arizona isn’t as bad as you may think. They need a starting goaltender and maybe one more defenseman, but their glaring need comes in the form of a true goal scorer. The Coyotes last year were a group of rag tag players that were never able to put together a set of games. In comes Zadina, a goal scorer that doesn’t need anyone’s help to score. He would immediately start for the Coyotes and give them a true scoring threat.
6. Detroit Red Wings- C Jasperi Kotkaniemi
The Wings will need to replace their aging players and what better way than drafting the number one center in the draft this year?
7. Vancouver Canucks- D Adam Boqvist
I’m 99% sure that if Boqvist is available at this point in the draft, the Canucks will have to take him. He’s a great skater and provides a great offensive presence for a team that averaged 2.66 goals per game in 2017-2018. A boost on the offensive end from a defenseman will help bolster the Canucks roster immediately.
8. Chicago Blackhawks- D Evan Bouchard
One thing that killed the Blackhawks in 2017-2018 was inconsistency. Evan Bouchard will be able to play day one for the Hawks and provide consistency (minus some rookie growing pains) to the abysmal defense the Hawks had last year. I expect that Bouchard will pair very nicely with Duncan Keith as Chicago’s top line pairing.
9. New York Rangers- C/RW Oliver Wahlstrom
New York had a firesale before the trade deadline and will look to build through the draft in hope to make a respectable team while they still have the king in net. Wahlstrom will be able to make an immediate impact for the Rangers, providing depth and a big body that will anchor the Rangers even past the kings time. It’s amazing that Wahlstrom falls to the ninth pick but here we are!
10. Edmonton Oilers- LW Joel Farabee
The Oilers need someone to help Cam Talbot out because playing 50+ games a season rarely works out well, but they won’t find that guy in this draft. They also need to find players other than Connor McDavid. With cap space tight because of his RDICULOUS contract (not to say he doesn’t deserve it), the Oilers need a young guy to come in and step up. In comes Joel Farabee. What makes Farabee exciting is he has the quickness and agility to skate around guys. He’s undersized at 5-11 and 162 lbs, but with a little bit of a bulk up and some playing time, he could become this year’s Alex DeBrincat.
There you have it. The first 10 picks in the NHL draft. Next week, the Chin Bin will take a look at picks 11-21.