The third mock Hockey Buzz mock draft driven by the readers and a few special guests kicked off two weeks ago. The first five selections were Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, Tim Sturzle, Marco Rossi and Cole Perfetti. Kicking off the next five was Anton Lundell followed by Alexander Holtz, Lucas Raymond, Jaroslav Askarov and Jaime Drysdale. Jake Sanderson was the first pick in the next block of 10 selections followed by Jack Quinn, Dawson Mercer, Seth Jarvis, Ryan O'Rourke, Hendrix Lapierre, Dylan Holloway, Kaiden Guhle, Braden Schneider and Jacob Perreault . Picks 20-31 kicked off with Connor Zary, followed by Brendan Brisson, Justin Barron, JJ Peterka, Jan Mysac, Rodion Amirov, Noel Gunler, Mavrik Bourque, Helge Grans and Lukas Reichel. The selection by San Jose, made by barberjw, is in, completing the draft. Below is the voting poll, please weigh in with your view. Thank you to everyone who participated.
As a reminder, for each pick, included should be: a) Selection and reasoning/scouting report, and, b) Alternatives considered (both players and trades). Please provide me via email your pick with the aforementioned information following the posting of the prior pick on the site. If I become aware of a pick or a few picks in a row, I will email you to help facilitate moving the mock draft along. I will post the blog with the pick and the voting poll within each blog. In addition, after each pick in the summary below, I have added in the % that approved the pick in the poll and total number of votes.
Overall Rules and Process
As mentioned previously, there is a little kicker. After the pick or trade is made, a poll will be posted to rate the selection or deal. If the majority of people like the pick or trade, that selection stands and it moves on to the next team’s picks. If not, the majority rules and that’s what happens with that team and pick. I have the last right of refusal to keep everything on the up and up and avoid ballot box stuffing.
With the 31st Overall Pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the San Jose Sharks, represented by barberjw, select Tyson Foerster, C, Barrie (OHL)
Rationale for the selection with scouting report along with alternatives considered (both players and trades):
My request to you is that you take this seriously and not make a mockery of the mock draft, because that would be an insult to the others who are participating and makes the whole process a sham. But by playing this out, we get to have healthy debate and conversation to remain engaged up and possibly beyond the draft. If teams make deals and they occur before a team’s selection is due, that deal will play a part as to when each person’s selection occurs.
Here how this will work: the team’s selector will email me at [email protected] their pick, rationale and any alternatives for that selection. I will post that pick and rationale on the site and create a voting poll. That poll will likely include alternatives that were considered with each voter allowed to select one option.
The San Jose Sharks are already feeling the effects that any team would after consistently making the playoffs for 19 of their last 22 seasons, with what appears to be a thin prospect pool comparatively across the league. With the unfortunate timing of injuries and a casualty to the salary cap in the 2019-2020 season, they found themselves giving up more than top prospects like Josh Norris in the Erik Karlsson trade, but the 3rd overall pick as well.
2020 NHL DRAFT FIRST-ROUND ORDER AND GMs
Luckily, they were able to strike a mutually beneficial deal at that deadline with the Tampa Bay Lightning that helped Tampa Bay win their Stanley Cup and allowed the Sharks to come back into the 1st round of which appears to be a deep draft year at the forward position.
With Mario Ferraro and Radim Simek recently making the jump, as well as others in the system such as Ryan Merkley, Jeremy Roy, and Artemi Knyazev, the Sharks will look to take a forward in the 1st round of the draft. Between trades and free agency, the Sharks found themselves as a bottom 5 scoring team in the 2019-2020 season and will select Tyson Foerster with the 31st pick to eventually replace Joe Pavelski’s goal scoring in their top-six.
Foerster is known for his elite shot and willingness to shoot the puck from all over the offensive zone. He is said to possess excellent hockey senses and has great top-end speed, although his quickness and acceleration need improvement. He is very strong on his skates and uses his body well to protect the puck.
What is intriguing about Foerster is his maturity and work ethic, both of which are said to set him apart from his peers. Who at the beginning of the year was completely written off as a 1st round pick, Foerster continued to improve his game and increased from the 41st ranked North American Skater prospect at the midterm to 21st in the final rank according to NHL.com. Part of the reason for the jump was his performance at the CHL Top Prospects Game. He stole the show that night with 2 goals and 1 assist, then awarded MVP amongst the CHL standouts.
Hours after my April rankings came out, I received a text that said, “you missed on Foerster.” It was from Dale Hawerchuk. That’s my lasting impression of Dale and definitely a good enough endorsement for me.
Has a zest for the game like former Colt Mark Scheifele and a nose for the net like Tanner Pearson did in Barrie. The goal-scoring element is too strong to overlook.” Sam Cosentino, sportsnet.ca
Other player considered:
Ideally would have liked to make a deal with Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens (defensive holes) to move up in the 1st round and select Dylan Holloway. A trade with Montreal involving Marc-Edward Vlasic was thought to be possible after he was rumored to be ready to waive his NTC according to Kevin Kurz, to go pair with his Team Canada partner, Shea Weber. Now this doesn’t appear so after the resigning of Jeff Petry. The Sharks are at risk of losing a defenseman to the expansion draft following next season and could look to move one and recoup/improve assets and prospects come draft day.
(plus yes votes/total votes, % of votes that agreed with selection)
1. New York Rangers - Jan Levine - Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski, OMJHL (349/398, 88%)
2. Los Angeles Kings - Kooleus, Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury, OHL. (405/566, 76%)
3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose Sharks) - spatso, Tim Stutzle, C, Mannheim, DEL (310/332. 93%)
4. Detroit Red Wings - feds91stammer, Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa, OHL, (116/235, 52%)
5. Ottawa Senators - spatso, Cole Perfetti, LW, Saginaw, OHL (102/289, 35%)
6. Anaheim Ducks - optimus-reim, Anton Lundell, C, HIFK, LIIGA (62/222, 28%)
7. New Jersey Devils - redmonsters, Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgarden, SHL (183/333, 55%)
8. Buffalo Sabres - KilkennyDan, Lucas Raymond, RW, Frolunda, SHL, (191/266, 72%)
9. Minnesota Wild - dudestar, Jarsolav Askarov, G, SKA-NEVA, VHL (73/142, 51%)
10. Winnipeg Jets - Ross77, Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie, OHL (278/305, 91%)
11. Nashville Predators - slimtj, Jake Sanderson, D, NTDP-U18, USDP (121/163, 74%)
12. Florida Panthers - jimbo, Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa, OHL (110/138, 80%)
13. Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto Maple Leafs) - Bingo, Dawson Mercer, C, Chicoutimi, QMJHL (124/193, 64%)
14. Edmonton Oilers - maximumbone, Seth Jarvis, RW, Portland, WHL, (210/277, 77%)
15. Toronto Maple Leafs (via Pittsburgh Penguins) - Michael Augello, Ryan O'Rourke, D, Sault Ste Marie, OHL (107/423, 25%)
16. Montreal Canadiens - Vivian Lapeirre, Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi, QMJHL, (109/239, 45%)
17. Chicago Blackhawks - Theo Fox, Dylan Holloway, C/LW, Wisconsin, NCAA, (179/216, 83%)
18. New Jersey Devils (from Arizona) - redmonsters, Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert, WHL (84/133, 63%)
19. Calgary Flames - deddie, Braden Schneider, D, Brandon WHL (82/109, 75%)
20. New Jersey Devils (from Vancouver via Tampa Bay) - redmonsters, Jacob Perreault, C/RW, Sarnia, WHL (60/137, 44%)
21. Columbus Blue Jackets, Thomas Townsend, Connor Zary, C, Kamloops, (97/118, 82%)
22. New York Rangers (from Carolina) - Jan, Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago USHL (40/82, 49%)
23. Philadelphia Flyers - Flyersfan328, Justin Barron, D, Halifax, QMJHL (67/148, 45%)
24. Colorado Avalanche - climbdenali12, JJ Peterka, LW, EHC München,, DEL (30/66, 43%)
25. Washington Capitals - winerydog, Jan Mysac, C, Hamilton, OHL (17/40, 43%)
26. St. Louis Blues, jediman, Rodion Amirov, LW, UFA, MHL (35/38, 92%)
27. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston) - optimus-reim, Noel Gunler, LW, Lulea, SHL (36/43, 83%)
28. Ottawa Senators (acquired from Islanders in JG Pageau deal) Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan, QMJHL (50/63, 83%)
29. Vegas Golden Knights - JRR1285, Helge Grans, D, Malmo, SHL (27/50, 54%)
30. Dallas - Russ Cohen, sportsology), Lukas Reichel, LW, Berlin, DEL (27/29, 93%)
31. San Jose (acquired from Tampa Bay in Barclay Goodrow deal) barberjw, Tyson Foerster, C, Barrie, OHL
Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers are undecided as to whether to qualify Ryan Strome
With the QO deadline at 5pm Tuesday, (update 10/5am: deadline is actually Wednesday, 10/7 at 5pm) Brooks notes that New York has already qualified Tony DeAngelo, which was reported Friday, Alex Georgiev and Brendan Lemieux. I know some might say Lemieux is surprising, but based on his salary last season, resulting in a low QO figure, coupled with the poor season Lemiuex had a year ago, the expectation is that the rise in his salary will be relatively minimal. It is unknown whether Phil Di Giuseppe has been qualified. If the Rangers do not qualify Strome, he would become an unrestricted free agent.
Arbitration eligibility is the major issue regarding Strome, the 27-year-old center who had a career year with 59 points (18-41) while meshing beautifully with Artemi Panarin on the club’s 1A/1B line. Those numbers would likely elevate Strome, who had a cap hit of $3.1 million last season, into the realm of the $4.75 million neighborhood.
That would likely be too rich for the Rangers, even if they do have the space under the cap to accommodate it. Remember, too, that Strome is a season away from unrestricted free agency, so we’re probably talking about No. 16 becoming a trade-deadline rental property.
And yes, the Rangers would have walk-away rights, but only if the award is above $4,538,958. That could be close to the award if the arbiter goes low. It is unlikely the Blueshirts would extend a QO without being comfortable having the power to walk away from it.
The figure quoted by Brooks, especially on a one-year deal, to me is not crazy. New York has $23 million in cap space and wants to leave a few million for performance bonuses for those on their ELC. Let's say they have $20 million. Figure about $1.5-2 of that goes to Georgiev for his rise in salary and maybe a $1 million for Lemieux. Now with around $17 million left, the Blueshirts need to re-sign ADA and bolster the bottom-six.
If we presume DeAngelo gets $5.5 million of so, approximately $12 million remains. That figure should be more than enough to retain Strome, if they wanted to keep him, while adding maybe Matt Martin or Michael Grabner, who was bought out by Arizona. With Strome, as seen below by Brooks, the pluses are outweighed by the minuses, but to me, at that figure, presuming it's realistic, I don't view it as overpayment at all. Unless the plan is to move up Filip Chytil, though that is raft with concern, seeing how he struggled between the dots and unclear it is if he will remain as a pivot.
The loquacious one, Strome, was a very important player for last year’s team both at five-on-five and on the power play, where he recorded 17 points (3-14) on the four-righty unit. He and Panarin were a plus-23 (48/25) in 700:48 of full-strength hockey.
But there were defensive deficiencies, the faceoff issue and a penchant for taking careless penalties. Indeed, he was hit with 17 minors, tied for fifth-most among NHL forwards at five-on-five according to Naturalstattrick.com, while drawing only three.
Brooks is all over Erik Haula, seen below, but other than one brilliant season in Las Vegas, what is the coincidence level that he can fill the second line center role? Maybe as a third line pivot. But if the salary will be at a level that could make the team blanch, why would you even consider him, even in a weak market. Let's say his number is in the $4 million. Would you prefer Strome even at $750K to $1 mil possibly on a 1-2 year deal or Haula on a similar or even longer contract? Give me Strome every day of the week, even at a figure slightly higher than the walk away amount.
The free-agent market is scarce with centers, though Erik Haula would fill a lot of the boxes for a club that needs more of a checking presence up front and better work at the dots from all of its centers. Haula, a 29-year-old from Finland, checked in at 54.1 percent in working last season for Carolina and Florida. Strome was at 47.5 for the Blueshirts squad that was next-to-last in the league on faceoffs at 46.8, ahead of only the Sabres’ 45.9 percent inefficiency.
Haula could play up or down in the lineup depending upon Chytil’s success as a top-six pivot playing with a Hart finalist. The problem, though, is that given the market, Haula will likely be in great demand and thus command a contract that’s too expensive for the Rangers’ taste.