(Image courtesy of John Hickey, Buffalo Sabres)
The NHL Draft has come and gone. Unlike the NFL and NBA drafts, players drafted in the NHL don’t necessarily play right away. It is harder to figure out which players will play right away. We’ll give it a shot.
Here are ten rookies you should consider adding in your draft.
1. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buffalo Sabres: Dahlin will step on the ice and be the Sabres number one defenseman. He will play 20 minutes a game and quarterback the power play. Dahlin is worthy of a mid round (Rounds 10-12) flyer.
2. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Carolina Hurricanes: Svechnikov gives the Canes some much needed wing scoring and could play on the first or second line. The Canes needed to come out of this draft with an impact offensive player and they arguably got the best one.
3. Filip Zadina, RW, Detroit Red Wings: Some night argue that Zadina is the best goal scorer in this draft. Either way you slice it, the Red Wings got a steal with Zadina. He will play in Detroit next season and is worth drafting later (Rounds 18-20) in your league.
4. Evan Bouchard, D, Edmonton Oilers: Bouchard is NHL ready. He can transition the puck out of his own with end with ease and can quarterback the power play. Bouchard may not play 20-25 minutes as a rookie but he can make the Oilers out of camp and play on their third D pair. Bouchard is worth drafting in 12 team leagues or shallow leagues.
5. Vitali Kravtsov, RW, New York Rangers: The Rangers are fully invested in their youth movement so it wouldn’t surprise me if Kravtsov made the team out of camp. He is skilled and has the ability to finish around the net. I wouldn’t draft Kravtsov but if he starts the season with the Rangers and gets off to a good start, he is worthy of consideration during the season.
6. Barrett Hayton, C, Arizona Coyotes: Hayton should make the team out of camp. While he is not a great offensive player, he is worth considering because he could have some cross category value, especially as the season goes on.
7. Adam Boqvist, D, Chicago Blackhawks: I think Boqvist makes the team out of camp and probably plays 15 to 18 minutes a game as a rookie. I wouldn’t draft him in a ten team league, but in a twelve team league or a swallow league, he is worthy of consideration. If nothing else, he is worth adding to your roster in the second half of the season.
8. Quinn Hughes, D, Vancouver Canucks: Hughes is an undersized puck moving defenseman who can play on Vancouver’s top two D pairs. Hughes fits the profile of the modern defenseman so there is a chance he makes the Canucks out of camp and contributes right away.
9. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Montreal Canadiens: It remains to be seen if the two way center plays for the Canadiens this season. If Kotkaniemi does, he could have some value in the second half of the season.
10. Liam Foudy, C, Columbus Blue Jackets: The Jackets aren’t shy about playing young guys so it wouldn’t surprise me if Foudy played in Columbus this season. He is tremendous skater with speed to burn and he can finish. Foudy offers sneaky stash potential.