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2015 NHL Draft Thoughts

by Bill Placzek on Jul. 2, 2015
Now that the 2015 NHL Draft is over it's time for some quick analysis.
 
If you discount Edmonton and Buffalo, by virtue of getting the benefit of picking the two generational players, the team that had the best overall draft was Colorado.
 
Their first five picks all have a terrific chance to develop into NHLers: Mikko Rantanen, Anthony John “AJ” Greer, Nicolas Meloche, J. C. Beaudin, and Andrei A. Mironov, a third-year-eligible, ready-to-play-now, 20-xxyear old vet of Moscow Dynamo.
 
Which team did the worst in this draft? Let me start out by saying this is all clearly tied to development, and it drives me crazy when I see sports grades on drafts in any sport where the teams with multiple first rounders and early picks get automatic higher grades.
 
So you won't see me telling you the least productive drafts are one of the teams with fewer picks.
 
  • I thought Arizona could have done better with all of their top 32 picks.
  • After their #2 overall pick, Buffalo also didn't impress.
  • Calgary gambled but I liked that. 
  • Kings were able to steal a Russian at 74, but the rest are guys are multi-warted.
  • San Jose took some risks but they may pay off.
  • St. Louis took a risk with Dunn who I love, but not sure if he can transition to the NHL easily, and Musil is really not special except that his daddy and now brother played in the NHL. I love Effingham Il-native and Wisconsin goaltender Luke Opilka. Gawdin is a great pick if you want someone who is decent at every freaking phase of the game, but hasn't shown the ability to be more. Maybe when he gets girth and muscle.
  • I didn't not like what Toronto did, but I question it and was surprised by it. They draft a one-way, slight-built forward in William Nylander, the small framed Mitch Marner who I love, but then an undersized defender and third midget in the terrific Bracco. I like these forwards but wonder is there room on the "Red Leafs" for three. (And now we can add Kapanen to that stable).
 
Ok...now I have to pick one as the worst long-term upside, and the one team that gets the very least out of their choices. My choice is the Florida Panthers and here is why:
 
-I love Crouse in terms of size and potential but what if he in fact only reaches a high-water mark as a third line guy (if he cannot create/score in the speedier NHL).
-Goalie Samuel Montembault is a tad over six foot and is was a guy you should get in the late 3rd-5th rounds.
-Thomas Schemitsch lacks lateral quickness and maybe that's why teams stayed away.
-Malgin is REALLY small, but skilled, and the other forwards are under six footers who Dale hopes grow in many ways.
-Ryan Bednard may be the best goaler they drafted this weekend.
I just wasn't that impressed with Dale Tallon's selections this year.
 
These are my quick thoughts after the 2015 NHL Draft. Click on each player's profile to read more, and see our 2016 and 2017 NHL Mock Drafts!