The NHL Entry Draft is here! It is hosted at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the first draft to be hosted in person since the pandemic. It should be a fun affair, especially for the people who actually had flights successfully arrive in time — that apparently was a problem for many, including the flight taking the Stanley Cup there.
Here are the details you will want to know.
HOW TO WATCH
Draft Day One — Tonight, July 7th
- Start time: 7 pm EST
- Broadcasts: ESPN, ESPN+, Sportsnet and TVAS
- Rounds: One, the lonliest number
Draft Day Two — Tomorrow, July 8th
- Start time: 11 am EST
- Broadcasts: NHL Network, ESPN+, Sportsnet, and TVAS
- Rounds: 2 through 7
Going into the draft — as of writing this — Toronto will have three picks:
- Pick #25
- Pick #79
- Pick #218
There is a chance that this list changes at some point in the next two days. There are some players they may wind up trading, either tomorrow before the draft or potentially at the draft itself. Justin Holl has been the more heavily rumoured one, but others that have been rumoured (to varying degrees of realism) include Jake Muzzin, Alex Kerfoot, Ilya Mikheyev’s rights, or the rights to their RFAs: Engvall, Sandin, and Kase.
On the other hand, Toronto may be spending some of their picks. If they want to trade Mrazek, for example. That would more likely involve prospects in next year’s draft, though. Dubas has at least said that he won’t trade their first round pick this year.
The more likely way their picks change is by trading up or down. Dubas has traded up before, twice I think. Once to get a 5th round pick that they used to get Ovchinnikov, and once to get a very late pick to draft Tverberg. So history would say if Dubas does trade up, it will be in later rounds.
Trading down though... that’s where things get more interesting.
Dubas has traded down a few times before. At last year’s draft, we heard after the fact that they were thinking of doing it with their second round pick, but when Knies fell to them they decided he high enough in their consideration to take him, instead of the combined value of whoever they took trading down. That could very well happen with their first round pick, if someone they think is ranked much higher falls to them — they could snap him up instead of trading down.
But let’s say that doesn’t happen! We can look at the typical draft pick trade value, roughly estimated by studies like this one. That gives a pick value for Toronto’s 25th overall pick of 181.8. Now let’s look at what teams have multiple picks that could roughly equal that:
- Arizona: Picks #36 + #45 = 186.15
- Also Arizona: or #32 + #67 = 165.47
- Buffalo: Picks #28 + #74 = 185.15
- Detroit: Picks #40 + #52 = 149.5
- Montreal: Picks #33 + #62 = 165.71
- New Jersey: Picks #37 + #70 = 135.98
- Winnipeg: Picks #30 + #77 = 170.7
- Seattle: Picks #35 + #49 = 179.68
If I were to guess what teams are more likely... Arizona just because they have SO MANY PICKS. Detroit because they traded up last year using three picks. New Jersey because they apparently want to get another first round pick (though that rumour was in relation to trading a roster player), and maybe Seattle because they have four second round picks but none between 4th and 35th overall.
LINKS FROM THE BRANCHES
First, a reminder that if you want to read back to any of the draft work I’ve been churning out the past few weeks, you can see them all linked here: 2022 NHL Draft Profiles.
Yesterday’s profile list was looking at potential goalies to target in the 7th round.
I will have one final profile list coming out later this morning, at 8 am. It will be on some overagers that could be interesting swings in the later rounds.
NHL announces 2022-2023 schedule | by Katya
• Longest home stand: Five games - January 23 to February 1
• Longest road stretch: Five games (3x) - October 22 to October 30, February 26 to March 7, March 18 to March 26
• Number of back-to-back games: 14
• Busiest month: 15 games - November
• Busiest home month: 10 games - January
• Busiest road month: Nine games - March
• Busiest day of the week: Saturday - 22 games (10 home, 12 road)
Horoscopes and astrology have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance lately, and while this article is not about NHL players’ astrological signs... well it is in a way, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Astrology is a narrative seeking to make clockwork order out of a complex universe. It’s about writing out the gods of fortune and substituting a more structured and predictable story arc about who we are, and why things happen to us.
I think reading your horoscope every day is a lot like reading a self-help book. It’s a handy way to have an internal dialogue with very basic ideas about you and your life choices. Largely harmless, imaginary in its concepts, but real in its use. It doesn’t predict your future though.
The case for the Leafs to go the “safe” route with their first-round pick | This BLASPHEMY is by TLN
Given the current state of the Leafs’ prospect pool and the number of high upside bets they have made in recent drafts, nabbing a player who projects pretty clearly as an NHLer in some capacity should be the focus with their first-round pick in the 2022 draft. Of course, it all depends on how things fall on draft night and if there is a player sticking out on their board when they step up to the podium, they should pick him. But if it ends up coming down to a decision between a player with a little more upside and a little more risk versus a player with a little less upside and a little less risk, I think it is time to seriously consider the safer bet.
What the Maple Leafs’ Kyle Dubas said and what it meant ahead of the NHL Draft | by The Athletic, in direct response to TLN.
Here’s Dubas: “I think, in the end, we need to look back five years from now and think that we picked the best player. To have a guy just jump in to say we got him for ($925,000) or lower, I don’t think that that’s the smartest thing for us. We want to make sure that we’re picking a player that when we look back on the draft five, 10 years from now, we unequivocally say with our pick we took the best player available regardless of whether they made the NHL at 23, 24 or 27.”
To me, a successful draft weekend for the Leafs includes shedding salary and adding more draft picks. If they somehow pull off a trade to bring in a quality NHLer? Even better. If Leafs brass shows up, makes three picks, and flies home, it would be an underwhelming draft weekend in Toronto.
Have a happy draft day everyone!