We’re five picks into the annual SB Nation mock NHL Draft. Here are the picks from day one:
- New Jersey Devils, via All About The Jersey, select center Nico Hischier.
- Philadelphia Flyers, via Broad Street Hockey, select center Nolan Patrick.
The Devils had a touch choice to make and they went with the Swiss kid over the prairie boy. Yesterday, Three more teams made their choices.
At #3 overall, Defending Big D picked Casey Mittlestadt Mittelstadt. They went with the centre over the defenseman:
Yes, Dallas has an organizational depth issue on left defense. But there’s another hole in the organization that many are missing because they’re hung up on the fact that Dallas needs defense now to get back to being contenders. Dallas lacks a playmaking center in its system that projects to be a 2C. Considering the age of Jason Spezza, the question of who will play 2C in three, four, five seasons doesn’t have a clear answer.
Mittelstadt gives Dallas options later down the line. His offensive game is what he is known for, but Mittelstadt also plays a mature 200-foot game for his age — a skillset that doesn’t exist in combination in today’s prospect system in Dallas.
He has excellent skating and speed, and a shot that has the ability to be deceptive from anywhere on the ice. One of the common criticisms of his scoring is that a high percentage of his points come on the powerplay.
But so does Tyler Seguin’s. And Jamie Benn’s. And John Klingberg’s. We’ll take elite scoring any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
At #4, Mile High Hockey picked up what the Stars passed over and took defender Miro Heiskanen.
Heiskanen also had another thing going for him: he’s been playing in the top professional Finnish league, which has been turning out some of the most exciting prospects in the NHL in recent years, including our own Mikko Rantanen. Unlike his Canadian CHL contemporaries, he’s been developing his game against professional men and navigating a professional practice and travel schedule. Considering that Heiskanen is already on the young side of this draft (he doesn’t turn 18 until July 18th), he’s really ahead of the curve in a number of important areas.
Nucks Misconduct, the second biggest loser of the draft lottery after the Avalanche, selected Gabe Vilardi:
Up today we get the first feature post from the Vegas Golden Knights blog Knights on Ice with the 5th overall pick. It will be nice to finally check out the site that’s been beating Battle of California in the standings even though it hasn’t launched yet.
Here’s the schedule for today:
10AM - Vegas Golden Knights
1PM - Arizona Coyotes
3PM - Buffalo Sabres
Which team got the better player?
|Dallas - Casey Mittelstadt
|Colorado - Miro Heiskanen
|Vancouver - Gabe Vilardi