Mocking the Draft: Lottery Teams Edition

The 2017 Draft prognosticators should just take the next two months off. This year’s class has almost no consensus and, even stranger, the scouts are even finding consensus within themselves difficult.

The lack of consensus and lack of hyped-up, crowned franchise player has this billed as a weak draft. But just because it is more difficult to pick out and separate the talent doesn’t mean the prospects are weaker. It only means a team’s chances of finding that franchise talent is weaker. But it also means more teams have that opportunity. Like 2012, the prospects who end up as the best NHL players might not be drafted by the first three teams.

Remember: Drafts aren’t weak or strong the June day the picks are called but five, six years later as the class gets into their prime age range. Or even later, as the career trajectories are matters of the past.

The NFL Draft karma from Philadelphia carried over to the NHL Draft Lottery. FLYERS MOVED UP 11 SPOTS TO #2! What great luck for GM Ron Hextall and the club. One has to think they pick left over of Hischier or Patrick but looking at their centers (Giroux, Couturier, Filppula, Schenn, Konecny, Rubtsov, Laberge, Vecchione, Laughton, and there are even more) they could go winger if they deem Hischier and Patrick too set in their pivot positions. Matt O’Brien believes a sharp shooter like Tolvanen who is a natural winger is a much cleaner option for Flyers. This could also give them reason to move down, snag that winger they want like Tolvanen, and add something else to their stockpile. Maybe Colorado is desperate to get #2? Dallas, another surprise move up, also has the ability to trade down and still consider it a draft lottery win.

Florida unfortunately had to move back a slot to accommodate the Flyers moving up. While I am sure we will lament this in June when the guy we want is picked at #9 (Sup, Rantanen), the tenth spot isn’t a bad place to be. A lot of teams ahead of Florida needs defenders, and Florida doesn’t. The top two super hyped players are centers, another area FLA isn’t lacking in at all. That means there is a legit chance Florida only loses three wingers off their board after 10 picks. Florida clearly needs a scorer. Tallon has said as much. Klim Kostin, the Russian power forward, was considered a top 3 pick heading into the year. Injuries forced Kostin to play only a handful of games this year of bottom 6 minutes. Despite all this, Kostin’s talent is evident and his injuries aren’t terribly concerning. Drafting Kostin at 10 means Florida can walk away filling their needs and confident they may end up with the best winger in the draft.

Kostin could be one of the affordable Top9 scoring wingers Florida needs to add before next season. Despite injury, Kostin is more NHL ready than the other prospects who could be available at 10. Winging It In Motown’s @KyleWIIM wrote a detailed post on Kostin. Wings will be asking themselves the same question. Drafting one spot before FLA, you hope their high stock of wingers   lead them elsewhere.

If not Kostin, there will be three or four other forwards who would rival Borgstrom for top prospect status. Reason enough not to move the pick.

*This Mock Draft is not fool-proof. It’s for fun. It is based on nothing but gut feelings and past picks.*

Pick # Team TK Pick MO Pick
1 New-Jersey-Devils-icon Patrick Hischier
2 10728-64 Hischier Tolvanen
3 Dallas-Stars-icon Heiskanen Liljegren
4 Colorado-Avalanche-icon Liljegren Heiskanen
5 80972d465d010a0f8bec201004c473de0ade_canucks_logo_small Vilardi Patrick
6 vegasknights Mittelstadt Vilardi
7 1071037.e2924db133036e62f9dbf14a19b6933f Tolvanen Tippett
8 Buffalo-Sabres-95-icon Makar Valimaki
9 Detroit-Red-Wings-icon Brannstrom Mittelstadt
10 Florida-Panthers-icon Kostin Andersson
11 nhl-la-kings Rasmussen Pettersson
12 Carolina-Hurricanes-icon Necas Necas
13 263283_260728733941639_2744014_n Valimaki Foote
14 11201824_925658250805694_5679502066263121701_n Foote Vaakanainen
15 NYIslandersIcong Andersson Rasmussen

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