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Here’s what the Metropolitan Division teams might consider doing in the draft (teams ranked alphabetically):
First choice: N ° 13
The situation: The Hurricanes have multiple high-end skater perspectives, including forwards Ryan Suzuki (2019 NHL Draft, # 28), Dominik bokk (trade, St. Louis Blues, September 24, 2019), and Jamieson Rees (2019, n ° 44) and the defenders Jake Bean (2016, n ° 13) and Joey Keane (trade, New York Rangers, February 18, 2020). But the goalkeeper could be seen as a weak point. Pyotr Kochetkov (2019, # 36) had a 2.85 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 14 Continental Hockey League games in 2019-2020 and the 21-year-old will play there for at less one more season. The Hurricanes could be on hand to target the top goalie in the 2020 draft, Iaroslav Askarov, who had a 2.45 GAA and .920 save percentage in 18 games in the Russian Second Division in 2019-20. He has already started his 2020-21 season, which started in early September. He was called up to SKA St. Petersburg from the KHL and in his first three games he went 2-1-0 with a GAA of 0.74 and save percentage of .974 and was named. KHL player of the week on September 23.
Possible adjustments: Iaroslav Askarov, G, Neva Saint-Pétersbourg (RUS-2); Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa (OHL); Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert (WHL)
BLUE COLUMBUS JACKETS
Priority: Forward with finishing
First choice: N ° 21
The situation: The Blue Jackets were tied with the San Jose Sharks for 27th in the NHL this season with 2.57 goals per game and an average of 2.40 in 10 playoff games. They have talented young forwards including Pierre-Luc Dubois, 22, Liam Foudy, 20 and Emil Bemstrom, 21, but he lacks a pure scorer capable of scaring opponents. In a heavy draft on offensively gifted wings, finding a player with that level of talent should be a priority.
Possible adjustments: Rodion Amirov, LW, Ufa (RUS); Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL); Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia (OHL)
NEW DEVILS IN JERSEY
Priority: Goal score
First round pick: N ° 7, N ° 18, N ° 20
The situation: With the Devils building around the play centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, the next step is to find finishers. The Devils also have the No.18 pick, acquired in the Taylor Hall trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 16 and pick # 20, acquired in the Blake Coleman trades with the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 16. These selections could be used to add depth of perspective on defense with Ty Smith (2018, n ° 17) and Kevin Bahl (commerce, Coyotes, Dec 16) near graduation from the NHL. Smith scored 59 points (19 goals, 40 assists) in 46 games as the Western Hockey League’s Spokane captain. Bahl (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) scored 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 54 games for Ottawa in the Ontario Hockey League and helped Canada win the 2020 World Junior Championship. IIHF.
Possible adjustments: Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgarden (SWE); Lucas Raymond, RW, Frolunda (SWE); Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw (OHL)
NEW YORK ISLANDS
Priority: Young defenders
First choice: N ° 90
The situation: Noah Dobson (No. 12, 2018) has played 34 NHL games this season and one game in the Eastern Conference Finals, continuing his slow and steady development to become a player the Islanders believe can become one of the four best defenders. Bode Wilde (No. 41, 2018) is a high-end offensive talent who needs to improve his defensive game as he moves into full-time professional hockey next season. But more is needed at the post. Islanders will not make their first pick until the third round after trading their first and second round picks to the Ottawa Senators for the forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau February 24.
Possible adjustments: Thimo Nickl, D, Drummondville (LHJMQ); Kasper Puutio, D, Everett (WHL); Alex Cotton, D, Lethbridge (WHL)
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RANGERS OF NEW YORK
Priority: Central depth
First round pick: N ° 1, n ° 22
The situation: Ryan Strome set a personal best in the NHL with 59 points (18 goals, 41 assists) this season, but may be a restricted free agent on Oct.9. Filip Chytil (No.21, 2017) has scored 14 goals in 60 games and is 21, but might be best suited to play on the third row. Find a cross to play behind Mika Zibanejad is a great need, but with the No.1 pick, the Rangers should select the most talented player in the draft. There should be a chance to find that center with the No.22 selection, which they acquired from the Hurricanes in the defenseman trade. Brady Skjei February 24.
Possible adjustments: Alexis Lafrenière, LW, Rimouski (LHJMQ); Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL); Tim Stuetzle, LW, Mannheim (GER)
FLYERS OF PHILADELPHIA
Priority: Defender Depth
First choice: N ° 23
The situation: The Flyers have a long list of young talent emerging as their core, one of which is the goalkeeper Carter Hart, 22; defenders Ivan Provorov, 23 and Philippe Myers, 23; and forward Travis Konecny, 23, Oskar Lindblom, 24 and Joël Farabee, 20. And they have more prospects ready to push for places in the roster next season, among which forwards Wade Allison (N ° 52, 2016), Morgan Frost (N ° 27, 2017) and Isaac Ratcliffe (No. 35, 2017) and defender Egor Zamula (free agent, September 20, 2018). Finding a defender to add depth to the development system might be the direction in the first round, but with a well-stocked prospect pipeline, Philadelphia won’t be shy about picking the best player available.
Possible adjustments: William Wallinder, D, Modo-Jr. (SWE-JR); Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago (USHL); Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia (OHL)
Priority: Perspective depth
First choice: N ° 77
The situation: The Penguins have drafted nine players over the past two years, tied with the Blue Jackets to say the least in the NHL, and in 2020 they have no first-round pick (traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a forward Kasperi Kapanen Aug. 25) or second round pick (traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft). Pittsburgh will look to take the best available player whenever they get the chance.
Possible adjustments: Alex Cotton, D, Lethbridge (WHL); Gage Goncalves, C, Everett (WHL); Sean Farrell, C, Chicago (USHL)
Priority: Qualified forwards
First choice: N ° 24
The situation: Alex Ovechkin at 34 years old David pastrnak of the Boston Bruins to lead the NHL with 48 goals and remains an elite player. And at 32, Nicklas Backstrom is still an exceptional playmaker. But the Capitals need to train young forwards to share some of that workload. Connor McMichael (2019, # 25) finished third in the Ontario Hockey League with 102 points (47 goals, 55 assists) with London and secured a berth for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But Washington needs more and hopes to have the same luck with the No.24 pick this year.
Possible adjustments: Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia (OHL); Jake Neighbours, LW, Edmonton (WHL); Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan (LHJMQ)
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