NHL Draft Wrap Up
I was out of town over the weekend, so I didn’t get to watch any of the NHL draft coverage. Although the first day was pretty light on the NCAA action, tons of college kids, and future college kids, were taken in the later rounds.
Let’s get it started with Jordan Schroeder, the first college kid taken at 22 to Vancouver. How his stock slipped so much is beyond me. I wish the Penguins would have traded up to draft him, because those teams in the back half of the top 10 are going to be sorry they didn’t take Schroeder. That kid will be a player in the league for a long time. Vancouver doesn’t usually like developing their kids in college, so Schroeder could be in Manitoba before long.
The Minnesota Wild’s first pick of the new regime was Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Nick Leddy. The future Gopher is one of the best skaters in this class and will add to Minnesota’s impressive stable of defensemen, including Cade Fairchild, Aaron Ness and Sam Lofquist.
One first rounder I love is Louis LeBlanc, picked by the Canadiens at 18. LeBlanc will be going to Harvard next year, although he admits he’d like it to be only a year or two, but the French Canadian has a good frame and good vision, plus is one of the best stick-handlers in the class.
I was pretty shocked that Zach Budish fell all the way to 41. Granted part of it is because of his ACL injury, but the kid has definite first round talent.
Speaking of falling too far, Mike Lee went 91st and was the 7th goalie taken. Dean Blais has said Lee could win St. Cloud a national title. At most, one goalie should have gone ahead of Lee.
Speaking of St. Cloud State, I loved the Ben Hanowski pick at 63 by the Penguins. Hanowski has a knack for finding the net, and watching him play next to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Jordan Staal should be tons of fun.
The two national championship game goalies went 124 to Colorado (Kieran Millan) and 164 to Buffalo (Connor Knapp) respectively.