The second annual Hockey Buzz Mock Draft continues. Jack Hughes went first to New Jersey, Kappo Kakko was selected by the Rangers and Bowen Byram landed with Chicago. Following a trade with Colorado, Buffalo selected Alex Turcotte while Los Angeles tabbed Cole Caufield. Detroit’s pick is below with Colorado on the clock.
Overall Rules and Process
After the pick or trade is made, a poll will be posted to rate the selection or deal. If the majority of people like the pick or trade, that selection stands and it moves on to the next team’s picks. If not, the majority rules and that’s what happens with that team and pick. I have the last right of refusal to keep everything on the up and up and avoid ballot box stuffing. My request to you is that you take this serious and not make a mockery of the mock draft, because that would be an insult to the others who are participating and makes the whole process a sham. But by playing this out, we get to have healthy debate and conversation to remain engaged up and possibly beyond the draft. If teams make deals and they occur before a team’s selection is due, that deal will play a part as to when each person’s selection occurs.
With the 6th Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings, represented by Fedstammer91, select Vasili Podkolzin
Rationale for the selection:
Here how this is working: each evening (for now, one pick per day, but we will go to two when we get to second half of the mock draft and possibly even before that, so that we complete on time) the team’s selector emails me their pick and rationale for that selection to [email protected] If making a trade, the same applies, and all the selectors have been listed below along with their screen name if from this site or their twitter handle if external to help facilitate making trades. I am posting that pick and rationale on the site and create a voting poll. For now, we are using just a yes or no vote for the poll, but if people want me to list other options for the selection at that pick number in cases of a no vote, I am happy to do so, to help make it more robust.
Podkolzin is considered a top 5 talent by most and a top 3 talent by some. The "Russian Factor" and the remaining 2 years on his current contract will likely make him fall.
So why does Detroit willingly take on this risk?
1. The modern day success of this organization has been due to major contributions from Russian players such as: Fedorov, Kozlov, Larionov, Konstantinov, Fetisov, and Datsyuk. (Side note: Check out the Russian Five documentary that just came to streaming platforms last week)
2. In his time with Tampa, Yzerman drafted twice as many Russian players as any other organization. Yzerman both as a player and GM has seen the impact of Russian players on his teams.
As for the player breakdown:
Podkolzin is often referred to as a complete winger. He is a skilled sniper that also plays like a pit bull and is willing to drive the net. Stylistically the comparison of Rick Nash has been used to describe his offensive play. Defensively he is a high compete level player that has been trusted to kill penalties. He also captained the Russia U18 team this season.
At 6, Dach was also considered but the game Podkolzin brings to the table is much more difficult to find.
The only player that could potentially fall to 6 that could sway this pick would have been Byram.
Colorado, after their trade with Buffalo, is on the clock and selecting for the Avalanche will be Optimus-Reim.
My quick take on Larry Brooks’ column, some of which I addressed already in prior blogs, my comment to yesterday’s blog and on Hockey Buzz podcast yesterday (Chris Kreider, based on Ek’s rumor):
The initial buyout period of June 15-30 opens Saturday. There is a second, shorter window later in the summer for clubs with salary arbitration filings.
“In all honesty, we haven’t ruled it out,” general manager Jeff Gorton told The Post on Tuesday when asked if the club intends to go that route. “It’s on the table. And regardless of what we do with this buyout window, we’d certainly look at the second one, too, depending on what comes up over the next few weeks. A lot can happen.”
Brendan Smith is the prime candidate for a buyout. The club’s 30-year-old hybrid 12th forward/seventh defenseman has two years remaining on his deal for an NHL cap hit of $4.35 million per season. A buyout would save the Rangers just over $3.379 million of space this season and $1.204 million next year, but would create approximately $1.146 million of dead space for the following two years.
Kevin Shattenkirk, with two years remaining at an annual $6.65 million cap hit, is also a buyout possibility, but though there would be a savings of nearly $5.167 million this year, that would be reduced to $567,000 next season. A Shattenkirk buyout would add just over $1.433 million of dead space for 2021-22 and 2022-23.
The Rangers have found essentially no interest in Smith or Shattenkirk on the trade market, even with a 50% contract retention. It is possible the Blueshirts could move Shattenkirk in return for taking on an odious contract, but it doesn’t seem likely they would go that route.
If the $ saved will be utilized to bring in a free agent, then by all means make the move if it improves the team. But to create room unutilized makes little sense, and yes, I know that’s obvious. But if buying one or the other out enables Artemi Panarin to be signed or allows an extension to an RFA or trade for a first/second pairing d-man that also comes with an extension, a buyout then is a wise move. If not, then we have extended the cap hit for two additional years. Granted, a savings this year with the biggest hit next year and smaller ones the subsequent two years, but cap management needs to be maximized to allow for the best utilization of that available space in the future. If New York can use that savings this year and determine that hit next season but especially the two years beyond, which is the extension of the current contracts by virtue of the buyout, then by all means, make the move. Thought to me, I might buyout Marc Staal first prior to Smith and ‘Kirk.
Gorton said he intends to check in with Kreider’s agent, Matt Keator, before the club’s management contingent heads to Vancouver early next week. Kreider, of course, has one year remaining on his contract before he is eligible to become a free agent in, appropriately enough, 2020.
The Blueshirts have four options as it comes to the 28-year-old Blueblood winger, as follows: 1) Sign him to an extension over the summer; 2) Trade him as part of a draft deal to snag another first-rounder and prospects; 3) Trade him as part of deal in exchange for a legit top-pair righty defenseman; 4) Allow him to play out the final season of his deal so he becomes rental fodder at the deadline.
Option 4 is out of the question. The Rangers have been there and done that the past two seasons. Decisions regarding Option 1 — and, as follows, 2 and 3 — will be largely dependent on what Kreider asks for in his next deal. His trade value, too, will be impacted by his contract requests. Clearly he would be worth more on the market if willing to sign an extension with an acquiring team than as a one-year rental. The Blueshirts have not yet been asked for permission by other teams to speak with Keator.
My view on this is well-documented (listen to the podcast if want details). But I am in favor of option 1, though that depends on terms, $ and years, especially driven by what Jeff Skinner received, which skews the market. The draft will help determine in which direction NY might go in general and for options 2 and 3 on Kreider. If they select Kappo Kakko, then the likelihood is NY will also pursue a center to go with Panarin, which might be Kevin Hayes, as Brooks suggests, depending on what happens in Philly. However, the Rangers could also move Filip Chytil back to center and see if he can man that position if Hayes is not brough back. In addition, if Kakko goes to NJ – yes, feasible and I know that displeases many – then Jack Hughes will be the pick, mitigating the need for a #2c (aka Hayes) and putting more of the chips on inking Panarin to go with Vitali Kravtsov. Chytil could stay at wing and if Kakko is the pick that also might impact what the Blueshirts do with Kreider. Gorton could view that the rebuild has been accelerated by getting Kakko, possibly prompting New York to keep Kreider, especially if Panarin is an option. This is why I think a deal could occur using Option 3, depending on what happens with Panarin. This is because adding Kakko and Panarin plus if Pavel Buchnevich is re-signed lengthens the depth at wing, impacted as well by where Chytil id deployed, potentially resulting in Kreider getting moved for a d-man, though I could see him getting re-signed, making wing no longer a concern in the short and long-term. If that happens, then there is a greater likelihood of Jimmy Vesey and/or Vlad Namestnikov going.
2019 NHL DRAFT FIRST-ROUND ORDER and GMs to Date
1. New Jersey Devils - redmonsters, Kevin Barrett - Jack Hughes
2. New York Rangers - Jan Levine, Kappo Kakko
3. Chicago Blackhawks - kevin6, Kevin Braeunle, Bowen Byram
4. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa Senators) - optimus-reim, Luke Herrington, traded pick to Buffalo, who selected Alex Turcotte
5. Los Angeles Kings - slimtj, TJ Reilly, Cole Caufield
6. Detroit Red Wings - Feds91Stammer, Vasili Podkolzin
7. Buffalo Sabres - lonsabres, Paul Schott, traded to Colorado, optimus-reim to pick
8. Edmonton Oilers - Reveen, Curtis Lavoie
9. Anaheim Ducks - climbdenali12, Ryan Armstrong
10. Vancouver Canucks - Carol Schram, Canucks blogger on the site
11. Philadelphia Flyers - Flyerfan328, Philip Brunner and Streit2ThePoint, Ryan Snyder
12. Minnesota Wild - MaximumBone, Silas Bengtsson (or Colorado or Edmonton)
13. Florida Panthers - jimbo, Jimmy Reilly
14. Arizona Coyotes - jediman, Brendan Smith
15. Montreal Canadiens - Karine Hains, Canadiens blogger on the website
16. Colorado Avalanche - optimus-reim, Luke Herrington
17. Vegas Golden Knights - Jeff Paul, Vegas blogger for Hockey Buzz
18. Dallas Stars - Panarin27, Mark Choate
19. Ottawa Senators (from Columbus Blue Jackets) - Trevor Shackles, Ottawa blogger on the site
20. New York Rangers (from Winnipeg Jets) - Jan Levine
21. Pittsburgh Penguins - Datools55, Julien Michel
22. Los Angeles Kings (from Toronto Maple Leafs) - slimtj, TJ Reilly
23. New York Islanders - eichiefs9
24. Nashville Predators - Russ Cohen, sportsology
25. Washington Capitals - nyrangers9479
26. Calgary Flames - beandip, Andrew Horenbein
27. Tampa Bay Lightning - Panarin27, Mark Choate
28. Carolina Hurricanes - Bingo, Chris Cote
29. Buffalo Sabres [or Anaheim Ducks] (from San Jose Sharks) - lonsabres, Paul Schott
St. Louis’ pick is owner by Buffalo, pick to be made by lonsabres, Paul Schott
Boston to be covered by Anthony Travalgia, HB Bruins blogger
30. Stanley Cup Final losing team
31. Stanley Cup winner