In June 2004, Washington Capitals made Alex Ovechkin their first overall pick. In second place, the Pittsburgh Penguins are back in second place, Yevgeny Malkin.
Posted at 10:15 AM
Ovechkin could join Wayne Gretzky as the all-time leading scorer and help give Washington the trophy.
Malkin became one of the best positions of his generation with 1,146 points in just 981 games, three Stanley Cups, two scoring championships, the Hart Cup (MVP) and the Coon-Smith Cup (awarded to the player with distinction in the series).
Four years later, Steven Stamkos’ center was drafted first overall by Lightning and defenseman Drew Doughty and second overall by the Los Angeles Kings. Stamkos is approaching the 500-goal mark and trying to win the Stanley Cup for the third time in a row. Dottie won the Stanley Cup twice in Los Angeles and was a three-time Norris Cup Finalist (Best Defense). won one.
Jon Tavares is the top scorer of the 2009 season with nearly 400 goals, Victor Hedman, who was named after him in second place, already has a place in the Hall of Fame.
Buffalo Sabers and Carolina Hurricanes seem to be very pleased with their picks, Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svichnikov.
However, we are now seeing a very polarized debate over who the Canadian number one is just over a month before the July 7th draft.
Instead of promoting two excellent young hockey players, quarterback Shane Wright and winger Joraj Slavkowski, as likely the two main contenders for the first title, many fans seem to want to take a sharp side. What if we don’t consider them just two excellent options, each with their own qualities and drawbacks?
But aside from Conor McDavid or Sidney Crosby, there are never any sure options. We can minimize the risks, but are the options completely safe?
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was deemed safe in 2011. It turned out to be a very good hub in Edmonton. But not the best in coffee.
Nico Hescher was a safe choice in 2017, too. And at the age of 23, he just had an amazing season in New Jersey with 60 points in 70 games, while he was brilliant on defense. In hindsight, the Defender Demons might have chosen Cal Makar, but we can’t spit on their choice. Especially since Makar was not a safe option. His hat was huge, but he was playing in the Alberta Junior A-league pending NCAA admission and was only ranked 10th by NHL Central Scouting, behind Nolan Patrick, Cody Glass, Gabe Velardi, Casey Mittelstadt, Michael Rasmussen, Owen Tibbett, Eli Tolvanen.
Kent Hughes and the Canadian were put in a somewhat similar dilemma this year. Shine Wright is a very safe option. Earning outstanding player status at the age of 15 in the Ontario Junior League, he’s a full-fledged center who’s still racking up 94 points in 63 games this season at Kingston.
Statistically, it went from averaging 1.14 points per game to 1.49. It’s a big jump, but over a two-year period, between the ages of 15/16 to 17/18 due to the season lost by the pandemic. It is difficult to accurately measure the impact of this lost season on his development.
He was already big at 6ft 179lbs in his first season in the junior ranks. He is now 6 feet 1 and 191 pounds tall. This factor will also be taken into account.
Wright has great qualities. He is a great leader. His hockey IQ is very high. He is defensively responsible. He has an excellent shot and his skating is above average.
But some recruits will criticize him for his lack of commitment at times (the U18 World Championship final against Russia captured the imaginations of some scouts) and he hasn’t been out on top in the Ontario Youth Hockey League playoffs recently.
In his defense, the Kingston Frontenacs’ transitional play left something to be desired and he often had to do the work for his defensemen too weak to do so effectively.
The question Kent Hughes and the Canadian might be asking themselves right now: What would Shane Wright’s ceiling be? Will he become Nugent-Hopkins or Nico Hischier, or can he aspire to a career for Nathan MacKinnon? Nobody really knows.
But if we want to play it safe and get a second place in the NHL at worst, even if it means losing a better position, then Shane Wright would be CH’s choice.
Juraj Slafkovsky has always been considered one of the good candidates for this old-fashioned, but his rating has gone up even more since the Olympics, scoring seven goals in several matches. But caliber was poor in these games, and he was denied to NHL players.
His nine points in eight matches he earned at the World Championships are more telling. His critics argue that he came out not against Finland and Canada, but against Italy, France and Kazakhstan. And the statistics support it.
But watching closely in those matches against Finland and Canada, one notices a strong 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger who doubled his scoring chances (five shots against Canada and four against Finland), a winger, despite his transformation. 18 Since April, he has won the majority of his fights along the ramp, never hesitating to attack into the opponent’s net and make good use of his very good shot.
He is not afraid to carry the disc, this is his trademark, and he attacks the opponent’s area from the center as well as from the sides.
Slavkowski has consistently faced defense pairs Miro Heiskanen and Issa Lindell (of the Dallas Stars) against Finland and Thomas Chabot and Zach Whitecloud against Canada.
And even if the tournament had entered the legs of an 18-year-old boy after several fiercely competitive matches, coach Craig Ramsey, who saw the snow, did not hesitate to use it for more than 20 minutes during the last meeting, in the quarter-final, against Finland, the second most Team usage, all centers combined.
In general, 18-year-olds do not excel in the World Championships. Even Leon Drysittel didn’t dominate in 2014 (be careful, we’re not comparing players here!). Contrary to appearances, Kabu Kaku served in this tournament in his overall draft, but submitted an incomplete match overall (1 goal in the last 8 matches, used 11 minutes in the final).
But Slavkovsky also raises doubts. He was a regular at Liga in Finland this winter. Not only statistically (just ten points, including five goals, in 31 games), but he often looked lost on the ice.
He sometimes tends to make wrong decisions with the disc, like trying to beat two defenders instead of looking for open spaces for his teammates. But his flaws were less obvious under Craig Ramsay.
In defense, he’s not a huge factor due to his position as a winger, but he doesn’t hurt either and can effectively clear the disc out of his area due to his physical strength along the slopes.
Slavkovsky is a special beast. He fears no one, and although he was the youngest in his club, he was a puck demanding and wanted to make the difference at the defining moments of the world championship. He is said to have woken up in the dressing room after a difficult first half for Slovakia during the tournament and mobilizing forces.
But who is the real Juraj Slavkovsky? Is that the World Championship or the League? And what is Shane Wright’s ceiling?
That is why Canadians will give themselves until the end of the process to study the main candidates from every angle. It is only reasonable to expect Kent Hughes to confirm this course of action when he meets with the media in Buffalo on Tuesday.
Winnipeg’s eyes on the Rangers
Winnipeg Jets fans are hoping for a victory for the New York Rangers in Game 7 of their series against the Hurricanes. If New York wins a second round, the 2022 second-round selection presented to Andrew Cobb at the trade deadline becomes a first-round selection. On the other hand, since the Rangers will hit all four aces, it will be between 29e and 32e Rank. New York also gave up another second-round pick in 2022 (acquired in the trade of Pavel Bukhnevich) and a fifth-round pick in 2023.
New York certainly does not regret the exchange. Andrew Cobb, 27, 6 feet, 206 pounds, is an understated striker. He deserves his weight in gold in the playoffs with 10 points in 13 games on a second streak completed by Ryan Strom and Artemi Panarin. Introducing a second-round conditional selection to the hired player for the buying team allows the best of both worlds. She loses a first-round selection only if she passes, and reaches the final batch of the conference over 27.e Rank.
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