Last night the #NHL held their annual First-year Entry Player #Draft in Chicago. Here are the details of the important things you may have missed.

Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick

It comes as no surprise that Nico Hischier goes first overall to the New Jersey Devils as he is a very talented natural center. Nico could be the player the Devils need in order to get back into the playoffs. He has a great vision of the game and elite IQ of where to be and what to do. He draws many comparisons to Pavel Datsyuk because of that and like Pavel he can be very creative with the puck on his stick.

Nolan Patrick could have been the first overall pick if he wasn’t injured this season.

He should have been drafted last year with the year he had in the WHL but was born after the cutoff. Even if Patrick was drafted last year he would have been nowhere near a top 15 pick so he lucked out here. Patrick, however, he can be an elite player when healthy. He would be great playing alongside Voracek who can mentor the young center or next to Giroux being a wing on his line. Either way, the Flyers have a player who could grow the team in a year or two.

George McPhee picks the first player

With the sixth pick of the Entry Draft Vegas selected Cody Glass out of Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. This past year he had 94 points with the Winterhawks. He will still need to develop and is a year or two out of the NHL but will make an impact as soon as he arrives in Las Vegas.

With the 13th pick, the Knights selected Nick Suzuki.

Huge sleeper pick that is very smart and has elite hockey sense was the second leading scorer in all of the CHL (only behind Kailer Yamamoto of Spokane). With some development back in juniors, Nick could be top 6 or even top 3 forward for Vegas in the future.

Erik Brannstrom was the third first-round selection for Vegas.

Erik an underrated defenseman because of his size. However, his hockey IQ and competitiveness are 5 out of 5. For being a 5’9” defenseman Brannstrom can and will throw the body around he has no problem with being physical. When ready he could be a great top 6 defenseman for Vegas.

Sleeper pick(s)

As stated before Vegas got a great pick with Suzuki at 13th overall when he gets older and more developed he could be an unstoppable force with Vegas.

Nick will not make an immediate jump to the NHL anytime soon but when ready he will definitely be in contention for the Calder Trophy when a rookie.

Kailer Yamamoto is another sleeper pick who went very low to Edmonton. He should have been a top 10 pick or 15 but some feel his size is a factor. Other than Kailer’s size being the shortest and lightest player ever drafted at 5’7” and 147 pounds. However, in a year or two, he can most certainly develop into a huge asset to Edmonton as he is very elusive and is an assassin with the puck on his stick while also getting creative with it as well.

Another sleeper and perhaps the steal of the draft is Klim Kostin who was ranked as the number 1 rated European skater coming into the draft by NHL Central Scouting.

He fell all the way to the 31st pick to the St. Louis which they received in a trade. The biggest reason for his slide was the surgery Klim had to his shoulder during the year that caused him to miss a very big part of the season. Klim was originally projected to be picked in the top 5 or even 3 before the season started. Hopefully, he can return fully healthy from his injury and can prove all the teams that passed on him how much of a mistake they made.

Finally, at the 10th pick by Florida, they picked Owen Tippett. I would not call him a sleeper but a little undervalued since he is a pure sniper who looks a lot like Phil Kessel. Florida gets a great player to replace Johnathan Marchessault who was lost to Las Vegas in the expansion draft.

He is only 6 feet tall but is a very powerful skater and has an amazing range with the puck on his stick. It will be very interesting to see how well he does or where he fits in on the Florida roster with Barkov and Huberdeau there.

Draft trades

Besides a couple swaps of just draft picks there was really only two interesting trades that occurred and both happen to include the St. Louis Blues. The first being a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. Where St. Louis acquired Brayden Schenn for Jori Lehtera and the 27th overall pick. This was a very good trade on the part of the Flyers since they clear up depth at center for newly acquired Nolan Patrick. The second trade on the night was Blues acquiring the 31st pick and Oscar Sundqvist but giving the Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan Reaves and the 51st pick.

This is a very good trade by the Penguins considering they want someone to protect Sidney Crosby which is a role Reaves is very familiar with.

Most interesting pick(s)

The first most questionable pick made was by the Colorado Avalanche at number 4 with taking Cale Makar who played the previous season in the AJHL. Cale is a very talented player only reason Colorado is under question is that of the development. Makar will not be in the NHL for a year or two and with a team like Colorado who needs to turn around their club soon. The pick just doesn’t make much sense besides the fact that they need to add defense. With Cale going to college next year it will be interesting to see where the Avalanche end up next year if they can pull together and win or if they end up last in the league again.

The Boston Bruins made an interesting move by selecting Urho Vaakanainen. The past two drafts that Bruins have drafted a defenseman. Many thought they would be going to go get a forward to add some players to the offensive development of their game. It will be interesting to see if they add offense in free agency or in the later rounds of the draft.

An interesting player who was not selected was Conor Timmins from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. Timmins is a very good defenseman who prides himself on being able to move the puck down the ice. He was rated 26th by NHL Central Scouting.It is Very shocking he was passed on in the first round because of how productive he can be.It will be interesting to see where he ends up in the later rounds of the draft.

He says his favorite player is Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks but many scouts say he plays more like Kevin Shattenkirk though. This past year he played 67 games with the Greyhounds and had 61 points with 51 of them being assists which show his ability to open up the ice and feed the offense the puck. Any team that picks him after the third round is getting him as a steal. It will be very interesting to see where he ends up.

Rounds 2-7

With the first round complete tomorrow is the continuation of the Draft with rounds 2-7. With many players who could have been first round picks still available it will be very interesting to see where some big names end up like Matthew Strome (younger brother of Ryan and Dylan) and Nicolas Hague.

It will be a big day for many players as they see their childhood dream coming closer to reality. The rest of the first-year Player Entry Draft will begin at 10 am on the NHL Network.

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