Main Storylines We Are Following

8 minutes read

It’s right here. Welcome to NHL Mix Week, 2019 version.

Meaning we’re lower than a month away from the NHL Draft. Enterprise will lastly begin to decide up. And that’s the place our story begins with the Mix. Whereas there are numerous issues we look ahead to, maybe our greatest story is what I name “the chatter.”

Consider who might be in Buffalo this week moreover the prospects themselves. Each staff could have a contingent of workers available. Many groups could have their normal supervisor there. What occurs when you may have many GM’s collectively? Chatter and many it.

But it surely’s greater than that. Media from throughout North America might be there too. This can be a probability to speak with them to get a way of what they’re listening to about their staff. The puzzle items begin to come collectively concerning how the months of June and July will unfold.

As a real-life instance, it was at this occasion two years in the past, the yr Vegas entered the league, the place we began listening to rumblings of the Blue Jackets buying and selling David Clarkson’s contract to the Golden Knights. It occurred. Not every bit of chatter comes true. However a few of it does and it’s our job to filter out truth from fiction.

Prospects will spend the week interviewing groups, getting their medicals after which they are going to finish the week taking the dreaded health testing on Saturday. We’ll converse to as most of the prospects as we are able to. The Hockey Writers might be in Buffalo Friday and from the daybreak Saturday till the final prospect speaks. We will even have the ever well-known heights and weights dwell Saturday night time.

However are we awaiting? Let’s take you inside our minds and provide you with a primary have a look at the storylines we’re following.

The Chicago Blackhawks

Let’s get the plain out of the way in which first. New Jersey and the New York Rangers are getting Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko in some order. Even when they will’t full one pull-up, that is taking place. The main target then turns to the proprietor of the third decide, the Blackhawks. And so they have a choice to make.

They’re going to land an ideal participant. However they’ve selections. And relying on who they select will dictate how the primary spherical will play out. In my thoughts, there are three guys they’re contemplating at this spot. The 2 clubhouse leaders are defenseman Bowen Byram and heart Alex Turcotte, who occurs to be from Island Lake, IL, about an hour northwest of downtown Chicago. However I wouldn’t put it previous them if they appear arduous at Kirby Dach as nicely.

So it’s the age-old query. We’ve got two very proficient facilities and one wonderful defenseman. Typical knowledge says take the perfect participant. However who will that be? Oh to be within the thoughts of Stan Bowman right here. In Turcotte and Dach, you may have two potential primary facilities of the long run. In Byram, you may have a possible substitute for the nice Duncan Keith.

I’m curious to see how the Blackhawks approached the week with these gamers particularly the interviews. What questions have been requested? What have been they in search of out of those gamers? And what case did every prospect make to the Blackhawks attempting to persuade them they’re the perfect out there participant?

The Blackhawks might be making a franchise altering resolution with the third decide. On my present record, I’ve Byram going third. Defenseman like him don’t come round typically. However we’ll begin to get a greater thought of how the Blackhawks may be considering on the Mix.

(Chris Relke/Vancouver Giants) Bowen Byram was named the CHL’s Prime Prospect. Is that sufficient for the Blackhawks to take him third?

It’s the Prime-15, then Insanity

Most rankings I’ve seen have the top-15 being the cutoff between the perfect expertise and a steep drop. In fact there are 31 picks in spherical one.

What are we awaiting right here? Who makes their case? Who impressed each on the interview and the health testing? If there may be one factor concerning the health testing I look ahead to, it’s not essentially the person outcomes. It’s extra confirming what I feel I do know versus actuality. If a prospect places up a consequence that I don’t see coming, I pay attention to it. If I didn’t account for that in my scouting report, it’s now an additional piece of knowledge I can use to get a fuller image of the prospect.

Now again to the top-15 and past. This can be a case the place somebody may make a case this week in creating separation. In different phrases, there simply isn’t a lot separation within the prospects 16-40 in my thoughts. Would anyone actually complain if a staff say took London’s Connor McMichael as an alternative of Ryan Suzuki if each have been out there? These two are shut sufficient in my rankings have been it wouldn’t trouble me both method. But if one has an ideal week right here, it may sway my considering relying on the consequence.

The opposite factor right here with this type of bunching is the potential for trades on the draft. If prospects are in reality this shut, we may see a bevy of trades if a staff has somebody excessive on their record and will commerce a pair spots as much as seize them. The factor we’ll spend time doing is confirming if in reality this draft is the top-15 after which a steep drop or if there’s extra to the highest group.

Risers and Fallers

Flashback to 2018 for a minute. There was a prospect named Liam Foudy who went from 93rd at midterm to 19th at closing and finally turned a primary rounder within the draft. There’s one thing to pinpointing why somebody rises and falls particularly when it’s a major variety of spots.

First participant that involves thoughts this yr is Moose Jaw’s Brayden Tracey. He went from 73rd to 21st on Central Scouting’s rankings. He’s now in late first-round territory. Curious. Tracey is somebody we need to discuss with to get his sense of the whole lot and the way his week went. Tracey did put up 81 factors in 66 video games main all rookies within the CHL. That’s nice. However then on the opposite facet, he performed with Tristin Langan and Justin Almeida who every had over 110 factors this season. Is Tracey’s manufacturing a results of his linemates? Can he produce like this on his personal?

Ryan Suzuki got here into the season on most boards as the highest OHL prospect out there. Now Arthur Kaliyev, Thomas Harley, Philip Tomasino and Nicholas Robertson are ranked greater than Suzuki in response to Central Scouting. Go to from the top-10 down like that is very noticeable. We’ll chat with the group to get a fuller story.

Different movers embrace Armada defenseman Samuel Bolduc (87th to 42nd), US NTDP defenseman Warren Marshall (39th to 61st), Prince George defenseman Layton Ahac (114th to 62nd), Tri-Metropolis defenseman Ronald Attard (143rd to 76th) and highschool heart Ryder Donovan (46th to 97th). We’re additionally inquisitive about Central Illinois heart Trevor Janicke. He’s the bottom ranked participant (119th) on the Mix. Sufficient groups have an interest, so we’ll see what’s happening there.

Ryan Suzuki was within the top-10 early on however isn’t now. We’ll discover out why. (Terry Wilson OHL Photos)

This 12 months’s Rasmus Sandin

By far the perfect second of the 2018 Mix was Rasmus Sandin speaking about being requested concerning the sport Fortnite. He then got here up with the cash quote of the day. He stated he often wins and doesn’t conceal within the bushes. That is actually why we’re all right here, proper?

Everybody laughed in the intervening time however it actually gave us an perception to how Sandin views issues. The Maple Leafs preferred what they noticed and drafted him. He’s a giant a part of their future.

We need to discover out the quirky questions which are requested of prospects. I need to see persona. I need to see how prospects deal with one thing sudden. Is it one other anticipated, canned reply or do they waft like Sandin did? You may guess we’ll ask what the strangest questions have been. I’m wondering if the “which route the varsity bus is travelling” query will come up. Or in case you could possibly be an Avenger, which one would you be and why? And the way a lot will Fortnite and different video video games be requested about? We’ll let you already know.

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rasmus Sandin’s Fortnite quote stole the present in 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Our protection of the Mix begins Friday afternoon when prime prospects converse. Then we’ll be at Harbor Middle beginning at 6:30 within the morning Saturday and have all-day protection for you. I’ll be joined by colleagues Nathaniel Oliver and Andrew Forbes.

The NHL Draft is lastly in sight.

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