Today we enter day two of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, which will cover rounds two through seven. This time teams only have two minutes to make their pick, instead of the five minutes they were given for round one — although it felt like 30 minutes.
Okay, so let’s get the boring but still sort of interesting things out of the way first:
1) LA mercifully prevented us from having Byfield go to Ottawa
2) Ottawa mercifully prevented us from having someone like Marco Rossi go to Ottawa, instead taking Sanderson 5th overall
3) Buffalo hilariously passed on Rossi’s teammate and had our first significant reach of the night by taking Jack Quinn.
4) Minnesota, Winnipeg, Nashville and Florida can go to hell for taking all of the players I either wished would fall to Toronto or taking someone I never expected to fall beyond 4th (Perfetti).
5) The Leafs took Rodion Amirov, the best player available and best suited for the Leafs.
Dubas on what #Leafs liked about Rodion Amirov: "His speed. We considered it to be amongst the best in the class. We liked his ability to find a way to make an impact at the KHL level. We like his game on and off the puck."— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 7, 2020
You can read the rest in Elseldo’s first round recap.
Now, to the juicy bits. There were two absolutely jaw dropping reaches in a row, one right after another. First, the New Jersey Devils took Shakir Mukhamadullin, a LHD out of Russia who most scouts were pretty low on. Even Bob McKenzie had him ranked 42nd. He’s not without his upside — he’s a good skater, he’s big, and at least decent at offense. But scouts almost universally question his decision making both with passing and defending in his own zone. It COULD work out, since there are some nice tools there. But that can be said about far better and less risky defensemen that were also on the board still.
Right after that, as people were still buzzing about that “bad reach”, Columbus said hold my beer and picked someone many rankings didn’t even include — even Bob McKenzie didn’t have him ranked in his top 100, not even as an honorable mention. They took overager Russian winger Yegor Chinakhov. Now I will say, Chinakhov had some buzz to start the KHL season this year. He is a good goal scorer, but he is technically now in his Draft + 2 season right now, he isn’t such a great goal scorer that you couldn’t take someone else with far more pedigree (Perrault, Foerster, Brisson were still on the board), and outside of goal scoring he doesn’t seem to offer much.
Their reasoning was... something.
Kekalainen said there were chances to move back but if you have the opportunity to take a guy high on your list, you do that. Chinakhov was in the team’s top 10. #CBJ— Alison (@AlisonL) October 7, 2020
Asked about Chinakhov, Kekalainen a bit defiant to hear people don’t know about him. Says scouting staff followed him and watched him quite a bit. Watching player with extra time kept getting “better and better viewings…More and more convinced about his projections” #CBJ— Alison (@AlisonL) October 7, 2020
Their drafting, especially from Europe, has always seemed unconventional but overall they’ve done pretty well. Even if they’re right about Chinakhov though, and he winds up being this huge hidden gem, I question if they couldn’t have waited until their next pick even in the third round to still get him. Just baffling to me.
DRAFT DAY TWO THOUGHTS
Hardev and I talked about what prospects we’re interested in for the Leafs’ picks in rounds two through seven. You can read that here. I also wrote a draft primer that will include a lot of relevant thoughts and information concerning day two here.
Some other general thoughts I’d throw out there:
- The big name still available is John-Jason Peterka, but I assume he’ll be gone by 44th. Noel Gunler has some hype too, but I’m wary about him.
- I think there could be a very good defenseman available at 44th. Helge Grans is still on the board, as is Topi Niemela, William Wallinder, Brock Faber, Lukas Cormier, and Emil Andrae. I think the way the first half of the second round shakes out, the Leafs will wind up with a defenseman here.
- For forwards, I love the idea of Marat Khusnutdinov, Jan Mysak, Roni Hirvonen, and of course Tristen Robins./
ONTO THE LINKS
Okay, so a lot wound up happening yesterday even outside of the draft. Let’s run through it quick...
Roundtable: The Leafs want to be harder to play against | by us PPPers
Rumours surface of Maple Leafs interest in Wayne Simmonds | by Katya
Assessing the state of the Maple Leafs prospects on draft day | by Katya
Kyle Dubas had a post-draft day conference, where we got some tidbits:
No surprise, but Kyle Dubas says the #leafs won't be issuing a qualifying offer to Evan Rodrigues before tomorrow's deadline.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 7, 2020
Kings’ Byfield makes history as highest-drafted Black player in NHL history | by Sportsnet
While I’m at it, I’ll drop a link to this mini-special by TSN on another Black prospect in this draft: Zayde Wisdom.
Montreal Canadiens acquire Josh Anderson for Max Domi, third-round pick | by Habs Eye on the Prize
Oilers’ Holland: Athanasiou, Benning will not get qualifying offers | by Sportsnet
For those who missed this late Monday night...
Wild also retain 50 percent of Dubnyk's $4.33-million cap hit. Key for San Jose today overall in both trades was not dipping into this week's draft picks. The third round pick for Donato was for next year and this deal is a 2022 5th Round pick https://t.co/eILJ4edXqO— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 5, 2020
Stay safe out there...
October 6, 2020
#Oilers update re: Connor McDavid pic.twitter.com/IiovqDWBY9— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 6, 2020