There are players who are perceived to have climbed in the draft and others who have fallen. Some of it is perception so I’m going to talk about the ones that were more than 5-10 slots in my estimation.
Cole Perfetti took a bit of a tumble. He ended up going 10th instead of four or five. The Winnipeg Jets did well drafting him. Maybe some teams worried about his skating, or maybe some felt he wasn’t going to be a center in the NHL. You never know exactly why, but it only takes a few unexpected picks to create this.
Mavrik Bourque took a big tumble. I had ranked him 22nd and had him going 16 in my mock draft. He ended up going 30th to the Stanley Cup runner up, Dallas Stars. He is a strong, playmaking center. He will score some goals, and he can spark an offense. Maybe he got lost in the shuffle, and maybe the Stars got a real gift here.
John-Jason Peterka was earmarked by many as a first-round talent. I listed him going 21 in my mock draft. He’s 5-11, so maybe that was an issue for some. His defense needs some work, like most young players, so was that it? Or the combination of that. He’s fast and really good at cycling the puck, and he has a great motor plus he’s a point producer. So why did he go 34th to Buffalo who traded up for him? That’s a mystery to me, and Buffalo got a really good player.
Jan Mysak was a player I was a bit rosy on and had him going at 31. I did hear NHL Network say 28, and he ended up going 41 to Calgary. Mysak is versatile and can play center or wing, and he has a game speed that gets him past defenders. He played a partial season with the Hamilton Bulldogs and had 15 goals in 22 games, but maybe that was too small a sample size for some.
Jean-Luc Foudy has been falling for a lot of this draft season. He ended up at 75. I know he needs work on a few different things, but some of his mediocre season had to do with his teammates not getting the puck back to him and not being in a good position when he had the puck. He needs to be smarter with the puck, and he has tools, but needs to put them all together. The Avalanche were smart to give him a try. His brother Liam plays in the Columbus system, so let’s see how this goes in the next three years.
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The Devils taking defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin 20th was surprising. Most had him as a third-rounder of beyond. He has a big shot, and he started the KHL season hot, but was it his 6-4 frame and those other factors that caused the Devils to get him with their third, first-round pick? I think so, I think they decided it was ok to get aggressive since they had all those first-round picks.
The Columbus Blue Jackets drafted Yegor Chinakhov with the next pick. The Jackets say he has an elite shot. I’ll take their word for it because I was unfamiliar with the player. I checked around and couldn’t find anyone who even had him as a first-round pick, so how did he get to 21? It only takes one team, and here we are. That’s the reason, and he started this season hot in the KHL, sound familiar? He has five goals in his first 12 KHL games this season.
Yan Kuznetsov is a player I had on my best college hockey players in the draft this season. He went 50th to the Calgary Flames. 50 was a lot earlier than a lot of lists had him. Kuznetsov is a defenseman for UConn with a lot of tools, good hockey sense, offense in his game, and shot-blocking to name some of his attributes. I like the pick, but I’m just pointing out it’s a bit earlier than I thought it would be for sure.