June 25, 2018

FC’s Post-2018 Draft Scout Survey

Two-hundred and seventeen picks are in the books.

And the 2018 NHL Draft is in the rearview mirror, Future Considerations polled its scouts to see which teams should be happiest, which picks were favourites, which weren’t so much, and the feel-good moments of the draft.

Here are the results of that poll.

What was your favourite pick of the 2018 NHL Draft?

“Ty Smith to the Devils was a huge value add as I thought he was a definite top-10 caliber player. Detroit grabbing (Filip) Zadina, (Joe) Veleno, and (Jonatan) Berggren could also be franchise altering for them.” – Justin Froese, Future Considerations head Western scout

“I really liked that the Rangers selected Nils Lundkvist at 28th overall. Lundkvist flew under the radar with some other top defensemen around, however, his offensive game and ability to see open ice is above-average and belongs into the first round. He’s going to be a fine prospect if he works on his defensive positioning flaws.” – Dennis Schellenberg, Future Considerations head European scout

“Liam Foudy at 18 by Columbus. A very bold and I love it. There wasn’t really a reason to not have Foudy in that spot besides the fact that he really only came on the scene as a top prospect in the second half of this season. Anyone who watched this kid though knew that he’s oozing athleticism and is well built for the new NHL…speedy, smart and some dynamic skill as the cherry on top. This pick might take a bit to be fully appreciated but I don’t think Jarmo will regret it one bit.” – Dylan Galloway, Future Considerations head Ontario scout

“Probably the stars pick at 13 of Ty Dellandrea. He’s a kid I really liked for good portion of the season, I like Dallas really going for it and picking the kid they feel is the best player available.” – Zack Thompson, Future Considerations scout

“It’s one of the more risky picks in the first round but I really liked that St. Louis traded up to get Dominik Bokk at 25, with his upside I had expected him to be picked earlier. Great move and pick, that can look even better in the future, by the Blues.” Christoffer Hedlund, Future Considerations scout

“Akil Thomas was one of the most impressive draft-eligible players in the OHL and shone when given the chance on an international stage, so it was surprising he fell as far as he did into the second round. LA pulled a great haul in the draft, but Thomas might end up being the best out of the whole group.” Joseph Aleong, Future Considerations scout

What was your least favourite pick of the 2018 NHL Draft?

“I understand the emphasis around position, but reaching for centers in the top-5 didn’t seem like ideal asset management by Montreal and Arizona. Seth Barton to Detroit in the third round also didn’t get much love from me. Project defender at best who looked like he treaded water at times trying to find his defensive game.” – Froese

“I have liked Barrett Hayton in all of my few viewings. Really liked his energy and work ethic, but his skill level is just not high enough to be a top-5 pick in my opinion. I think there are guys with more upside still available.” – Schellenberg

“Arizona took Hayton at No. 5. You wouldn’t hear any argument from me if Hayton was selected between 10 and 15, but at 5 Arizona missed out on some excellent prospects to take Hayton. I love being proven wrong in my analysis and going back to see what I might have missed, but for me with Zadina, Hughes and Bouchard still on the board, Hayton was a reach.” – Galloway

“I’ve got to say Columbus’s pick at No. 18 taking Liam Foudy, I know he had a really strong second half but I saw Foudy at the beginning of the year and really didn’t do much for me so I think there’s a lot of risk if he’s not in your top-six.” – Thompson

“Filip Johansson at No. 24 by the Wild was a strange pick to me. I think they could have traded down quite a bit for more picks and still had Johansson in the middle of the second round, maybe even later than that. Johansson is a good prospect, but I think he was picked way too early.” – Hedlund

“Jay O’Brien has a lot of promise and was a late riser in the draft rankings, but the Flyers definitely left some value on the board when they reached for him in the middle of the first round. He’s a raw player and could need almost three to four years at Providence College to be ready for the professional ranks.” – Aleong

Which pick was the biggest steal?

“I think Jonny Tychonick will be a good fit in Ottawa, especially since he has experience playing with (Jacob) Bernard-Docker. I would also say that Milos Roman was a solid fifth rounder where he went.” – Froese

“Although there are a few red flags that indicate some flaws in Bode Wilde’s season, I am still convinced he is a first rounder and the Islanders able to get him at 41st is not something I would have dreamed of ahead of the draft. Could easily be the biggest steal of the draft next to some other solid players that only were drafted on the second day.” – Schellenberg

“This is tough because there were a number that could turn into great value picks. I think the Kings did a pretty good job of getting Akil Thomas at No. 51 and Aidan Dudas at No. 113. Both are brimming with talent. I know Merkley going at No. 21 to the Sharks might not seem like a ‘steal’ with his well documented and publicized attitude issues, but if he can get that under wraps he’s a top-5 talent in this draft.” – Galloway

“It’s got to be the islanders two picks at 11 and 12. I think both of those kids could be roster players in 2 years time.” – Thompson

“David Gustafsson at No. 60 by the Jets could be a big steal in my book. I saw him as a borderline first round pick. I do not think he is quite far from Isac Lundeström, he is already better in some areas, and Gustafsson showed better/faster development during this season.” – Hedlund

“The Islanders desperately needed a strong injection of youth, so having Bode Wilde fall to them in the second round after taking (Oliver) Wahlstrom and (Noah) Dobson was just the icing on the proverbial cake. Wilde is one of the highest-upside defenders in the draft and only an poor U-18 tournament could have dropped him out of the first round.” – Aleong

Which player are you most surprised wasn’t selected?

“Nando Eggenberger and Luka Burzan. Solid players had some doubts but fit right into this group. Inexplicable really. A lot of our mid round WHL skaters got overlooked for our late round players.” – Froese

“Nikita Rtishchev should have been drafted. His hockey IQ, improved skating and offensive upside is worth a selection. From a Swiss perspective it is Nando Eggenberger. He didn’t had a great World Juniors and couldn’t 100 percent confirm his first NLA season with Davos, but he’s still young and you can’t expect from him a dominant game playing against older guys. If he plays with the right playmaker on his side, he can still be a dangerous scorer and would have been worth a selection.” – Schellenberg

“Merrick Rippon and David Levin. There are reasons these players weren’t selected but I think they were at least worth at least a late round pick.” – Galloway

“Nathan Dunkley. He looked like a totally different player the second half of the season like he didn’t have to be the guy when he went to London and looked along for the ride and it hurt his production and draft stock.” – Thompson

“Samuel Fagemo started the season as a highly regarded prospect, but the more I saw him play the more I felt like I wouldn’t draft him. I still thought a team would give up a pick in the seventh round to get him. There’s some upside to his game, he is a good goal scorer, but his development went the wrong way this season and I think that scared the scouts away.” – Hedlund

“Danila Galenyuk had long been mentioned as one of the top Russian defenders in his age group and a leader at the international level. While his skating needs work, his puck moving abilities and pedigree still would’ve made him a good candidate for a late-round pick.” – Aleong

What was your ‘feel good’ pick of the 2018 NHL Draft?

“Alexander Alexeyev. So well spoken and mature after he has faced so much adversity this year. Ranked him a touch lower but glad to see him go as the last pick in the first.” – Froese

“I was really happy to see Akira Schmid getting picked. People have been a bit tough on him for some bad games he showed during the season. Although he indeed had tough games, I have always liked his playing style and I am convinced that he has a shot at making it to the NHL. He’ll be the second Swiss goaltender in the Devils organization next to Gilles Senn, who has been selected in last year’s draft.” – Schellenberg

“Seeing Dellandrea taken at 13 was awesome. That’s a drum I’ve been banging since day one of his draft year. Watching K’Andre Miller get selected and talk about experiencing being drafted with his mother there was very touching.” – Galloway

“K’Andre Miller, crying mothers get me every time. I remember being at the 2015 draft and sitting in front of Cam Dineen’s mother and after he got picked I turned to her and said congratulations and realized what I life changing moment it is for the whole family.” – Thompson

“I was very happy when the Kings picked Johan Södergran in the 6th round. Since I am based in Linköping I’ve followed him closely and he has been one of the most exciting players in J20 SuperElit this season. I was worried he wouldn’t get drafted, since I haven’t heard anyone but myself talk/write about him, but Niklas Andersson must have been impressed when he visited Stångebrohallen. Södergran might not pan out, but after the season he has had he deserved to get drafted.” – Hedlund

“Riley Stotts’ career hit a unique snag before his rookie year when a freak locker room injury caused a serious injury to his foot, and he struggled mightily out of the gate this year while buried on a deep Swift Current team. A trade to Calgary jump-started his season, and he put up nearly a point-per-game the rest of the way. Toronto, a team shallow on prospect depth at center, took a chance on him and he should get all the support he needs to reach his pre-injury potential.” – Aleong

Which team, in your opinion, should come away from the 2018 draft the happiest?

“Detroit and the Islanders both maximized value in the early rounds and found quite a few hidden gems late. Quantity and quality. They are my frontrunners.” – Froese

“Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, LA Kings and NY Islanders are my favourites to win the 2018 NHL Draft.” – Schellenberg

“The Kings should be happy with their haul as well. Kupari, Thomas and Dudas are excellent prospects to have in your system.” – Galloway

“Detroit and Dallas.” – Thompson

“I would say the Red Wings. If I can mention a few more I’d say the Islanders, Stars and Kings had good drafts as well.” – Hedlund

“Detroit needed a strong draft after one of their worst seasons in over two decades, and Ken Holland probably couldn’t be happier with how this draft turned out. Having Zadina and Veleno both drop into their laps was a coup, but they also managed to add Berggren and McIsaac, two more first-round prospects, in the second round and even rolled the dice on high-upside Alec Regula in the third round.” – Aleong

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