Friday, May 03, 2019

Top Prospect Signings (May 3)

The New York Rangers announced some exciting news, as they have signed a couple of top prospects in their system, coming over from Russia.  Most notably, their 2018 1st round draft pick, forward Vitali Kravtsov inked his 3-year entry-level deal and then 2014 4th round pick, goalie Igor Shesterkin got his 2-year entry-level deal.

As a 19-year old, Kravtsov played in his 2nd full season in the KHL, suiting up with Traktor Chelyabinsk and this season he posted 8 goals and 21 points in 50 games, but really made his mark with his international service, 6 points in seven games at the World Juniors for Russia this past holiday season.

The 23-year old goalie has been posting some great numbers in the KHL, going 24-5 with St. Petersburg SKA with a 1.11 GAA and .953 save percentage in the 2019 regular season.  There will certainly be a lot of eyes on him in training camp, as the Rangers may be looking to pass the torch before too long in their crease.

It will be interesting to see if either or both of these guys can crack the Rangers' roster out of camp next fall, so they'll be a couple of players to keep an eye on.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Top Prospect Signings (May 2)

The Detroit Red Wings signed 2018 1st round pick Joe Veleno on Wednesday after completing a very successful season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the QMJHL in 2019, where he scored 104 points in 59 games and he also represented Canada at the World Juniors this year as well, picking up a couple of assists in five games played.  The Red Wings are trying to quickly overhaul their roster with some more youth, after a solid spring of signing NCAA talent as well.

If his size is any indication, 6'1" and 191 pounds, his offensive game could possibly translate fairly quickly into the pro game and that's the sort of thing that the Red Wings are looking for with this signing.  The 19-year old still has eligibility for the juniors next year, as he was an exceptional status player, joining the major junior ranks at an early age.

The Edmonton Oilers also put pen to paper with a 2018 draft pick, a 2nd rounder in forward Ryan McLeod, who split time with Mississauga and Saginaw in the OHL this season, finishing off a playoff run with the Spirit this week.  The Oilers signed the 40th overall pick to an NHL deal and sent him directly to their AHL affiliate for their playoff run, hoping that he can help provide a bit of a boost to their Calder Cup hopes.

McLeod had 62 points in 63 games in the OHL regular season, as well as 12 points in 17 playoff games and he'll bring his big frame, 6'2" and 206 pounds, to the AHL club in Bakersfield and could be a good depth player for their run, looking to crack the NHL next season.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

My Mock Entry Draft, So Far...

Well, I have been patiently waiting for more teams to be eliminated from the NHL playoffs, since the draft order for June's Entry Draft can still be jockeyed around a little bit yet.  The first team that would follow the Montreal Canadiens in the Pool Outlook posts, if the standings were to follow in order would be the Colorado Avalanche, but given that the four teams in the Conference Finals will occupy the final four spots in the opening round of the draft, the Avalanche could move their way down the order and then Vegas would go next.  Even after the Avalanche going down 2-1 to the Sharks in the series last night, still doesn't mean they can't come back and win, so I continue to wait.

In saying that, it's been a few days since I've had a new post on the blog, so I thought I would throw a quick "how it's gone so far" post together and in looking back at the World Under-18 tournament, I probably would have changed my mind on a couple of those picks below, but I'm sticking with what I have for now.

Team Player POS Pick
Jack Hughes F 1
Kaapo Kakko F 2
Vasily Podkolzin F 3
Dylan Cozens F 4
Kirby Dach F 5
Bowen Byram D 6
Trevor Zegras F 7
Cameron York D 8
Philip Broberg D 9
Alex Turcotte F 10
Victor Soderstrom D 11
Matthew Boldy F 12
Cole Caufield F 13
Peyton Krebs F 14
Ryan Suzuki F 15

After the Under-18 tournament, a kid like Cole Caufield has likely improved his stock quite a bit, tying the goal-scoring record set by Alex Ovechkin, while Jack Hughes, already in the top spot, topped Ovechkin's point record for the tournament, which says something.  But, nevertheless, so far it looks pretty decent and there is some method to the madness, as explained in each of the outlook posts, so if you scroll down, you'll see where I'm coming from, so far.