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GM Round Table

2019-07-07

Good Evening DCHLers,

The LONESTAR PUCK is stepping outside their comfort zone and inviting other GMs to provide the content this time. By now you are all aware that Matt Watters’ home will be featured in the next Allstate Insurance commercial. As such, we doubted there would be a 1st round review Podcast. However the PUCK knows that nature abhors a vacuum and as such we reached out for input and content from the league. Luckily 6 GMs provided timely answers to 2 sets of questions. Feel free to skip around. The Puck Closing thoughts are at the end.

 

Trevor Sifton, Steve Downs, and Marc G. were asked to provide answers to two questions and were given a third “choose your own topic.”

Did the Vegas trade shake up the league as much as the pre-draft show led us to believe? And what do you gather of MTL's moves?

SD (WAS GM)- I was surprised with the take Montreal got.  I don't think it was enough especially when VGK acquired Eichel.  I think the big winner was SJ.  They were up against the cap and the league helped them out without making it hard for them.

MG (TOR GM)- The Vegas -Montreal trade was one that surprised us all… but really noone was all that surprised. GM Collington had spread information regarding details of a #1 pick departure and our minds ran rampant with ideas of what sort of goodies he could get in return. For a team on the rebuild it was either keep the pick and go forward with either Hughes or Kakko. I personally think Collington might have broken the mold and gone for Kakko I know I would have.

The return in the deal wasn’t bad at all. I believe the acquisition of the #1 pick for the Golden Knights shows their commitment to building a competitive team for the future…. While also building a current competitive team trading #2 overall in the deal that brought Eichel to Vegas! On Montreal’s end the return seemed pretty sweet. Getting Florida’s 1st rounder and Torontos second this year , while also getting the Vegas 2020 pick, looked a lot better before Vegas made a move for Eichel. Either way, GM Collington’s plan could pay off… given the extra 1sts and expediting the rebuild. Landing one of the most sought after goalies in the draft is no small feat either. Along with Dylan cozens this should improve the Habs sooner rather than later.

Overall I think the deals made by the Habs helped them rather than hurt them, though it remains to be seen what the value of the 2020 picks is.

TS (AZ GM)- I had spoken with Kyle about trading 1st overall so I had a rough idea of what he was going to be getting as a return. I think he got a great return for first overall initially.

However when Vegas traded 2nd overall for Eichel I wasn't terribly surprised. I was expecting the trade to be coming from Philadelphia involving 3rd or 6th overall or potentially both but when I saw that it was SJ that's when I was surprised.

I think if the Vegas pick is later than 10th overall in 2020 then there will be some regret with the move. With that being said it was a great haul to start a rebuild.

 

 

Which prospect were you surprised to see drafted at a particular position? Do you think any prospect was a pure miss?

SD (WAS GM)- I was surprised to see Broberg fall to 13.  I think some of the forwards were over rated slightly. Florida took Lassi Thomson too early. That is definitely a do over pick.  Never pick with your heart.

MG (TOR GM)- I think the biggest surprise for me was Seider being picked so high. Being on an NHL roster that has the likes of McIsaac, Cholowski , Hronek and Saarijarvi could make for a long development. This isn’t to say that Seider won’t make it , or perhaps leapfrog some of those D-men, but he seems more like a project player, rather than a contesting prospect. The STARS aren’t on a rebuild right now , and perhaps they have time to wait for a prospect to prosper.

 

TS (AZ GM)- When Buffalo drafted Dominik Kubalik with 25th overall I was scratching my head. I think one of those over seas players who has signed a contract like that are still available in later rounds. When you look at his prospect pool it makes you wonder why he didn't go for one of the prospects available as there was still a lot of talent left on the board. I think Connor McMichael going in the second round is a surprise.

 

Free for all- your topic of choice-

SD (WAS GM)- I think Philly won the draft giving up not too much to get pick number 6 and ending up with Byram and Turcotte. I think Dal trading a 2020 pick to get a top 4 D is a little dicey risk.  I still have to give Montreal the title of loser of the draft.  Although if VGK earn a top 3 pick Montreal does much better.

MG (TOR)- The most successful team in the first round using 1 pick, to me was the Washington Capitals. I love the Jakob Pelletier pick up. The kid is a combination of finesse and grit, and can make any top 6 the physical contender it takes to win a cup. His overall ability is one to love, and I really look forward to seeing this guy play in a DCHL caps jersey.

TS (AZ GM)-Does Montreal take the Vegas 2020 1st knowing the Eichel deal was on the table? I think rather than asking for the 2020 1st, which is still a possibility to be a great pick, Montreal opts for taking something else like Ty Smith or maybe even puts some type of condition on the 1st to cover any concerns that may happen with Eichel going to Vegas.

In section two, the PUCK invited a different trio of GMs- Kaylen, Cory, Mike Giletto – to sound off on their Round 1 Thoughts. Interestingly enough with less leading questions and topics, some of the above themes were echoed.

 

Pick 1- Who won the draft?

CL (VGK GM)- Philadelphia did a great job landing some top talent. Byram and Turcotte were solidly in the top of the second tier (behind Hughes and Kaako), and he got them both.

KN (COL GM)- (Picked Philly but was forced to pick another winner to spread the love). The Los Angeles Kings. While Turcotte being available stings, acquiring 2 second-round picks and $3 million to move down two spots and still select a player like Cole Caufield is a huge win for a franchise that needs to restock the cupboards.

MG (CAR GM)- It’s hard not to take San Jose or Vegas for best drafts. Vegas stole the show by acquiring #1 overall AND Jack Eichel in the matter of 90 seconds. In the deal was obviously their 2020 1st, but the second they traded for Eichel that pick lost some value.

In that trade San Jose got the #2 pick and was able to get flashy Kaako. I feel like Vegas let him off easy to clear that much cap space that quickly. In my opinion teams shouldn’t help San Jose out of the cap problem, it’s a revolving door. In 4 years when Kaako is making 10+ million, he’ll do the same thing and trade him for #1 or #2. It won’t end.

Either way, i think both teams did a tremendous job this draft and stole the headlines. The Pacific stole the show.

 

 

Pick 2- Who Lost the draft?

CL (VGK GM)- This has nothing to do with his selections, but Detroit. Having the lottery go as it did and ending up fourth instead of first is a huge blow.

KN (COL GM)- The Montreal Canadiens. When your team is as devoid of talent as Montreal is, you better have a damn good reason to pass on both Jack Hughes and Alex Turcotte. While no fault of his own, some shrewd moves by the Golden Knights significantly undercut the value of the return for the first pick in the draft. And then they passed on Turcotte.

MG (CAR GM- Before Vegas acquired Eichel, I thought Montreal was getting a great return for #1. But, in reality Vegas kind of played Montreal. They tried to make Kyle look like a fool. I still think it’s a decent return, but i think it just blinded Montreal. I don’t think Montreal had a bad draft, they still ended up with Cozens, Knight, and a few other solid pieces in the trade with Vegas, but it’s hard to pick somebody else, here.

 

Pick 3- Which GM should go back in time and take a different pick?

CL (VGK GM)- Dominik Kubalik is already 24, and success in the Swiss league as an adult or in international competition hasn’t often translated to success in the NHL. The good news is he’ll know pretty quickly whether or not the Czech winger has was it takes to succeed in North America — and if he was worth a late first-round pick.

KN (COL GM)- The Buffalo Sabres. I commend any GM that does their own scouting and mines out some gems. But when you're the only one reaching for these players in the first round, it's probably safe to save them for the late-second or even third round. Why use a pick this early on a player that provides lower potential, trade value, and long-term contract control when that player could be selected in a later round?

MG (CAR GM)- To me, it’s Podkolzin at #10 to the Blues. Look, I think he’s going to be a good player, but it’s going to take time. I just think there were better, safer options on the board, like Krebs and Seider.

LONESTAR PUCK CLOSING COMMENTS: Overall this was one of the shakier drafts we’ve been a part of. The teams in the top 20 spots had to deal with more than the shenanigans involving #1 and #2 Overall. Not mentioned nearly as much above was the Jonathan Huberdeau trade which gave STL two top 10 selections and changed the board entirely. Another X-Factor which shifted the order was the selection of COZENS over TURCOTTE which (the PUCK has sources on good authority) altered the landscape for forwards dramatically. The bottom ten picks of the round had their moments but anyone looking for a Forward outside the top 10 was essentially out of luck.

The PUCK also would like to highlight that most PROSPECT CAMPS have completed by the time of this draft and we are willing to state for the record that MORITZ SEIDER’S performance and praises from DETROIT’S DEV CAMP did play a factor in DALLAS passing on previously mentioned targets like ALEX NEWHOOK. Should the league consider hosting future drafts AFTER prospect camps?

And finally here are some of the PUCKS top 5 winners of the RD 1-

  1. PHILLY- Byram AND Turcotte, no one saw coming.
  2. VEGAS- Would be higher but they did pay the 2nd overall for a non-draft asset.
  3. ST LOUIS- Most will forget, but they also had RYAN SUZUKI in this round along with PODKOLZIN and BOLDY
  4. SAN JOSE- Cap Relief and a top 2 pick is usually not a pair GMs get.
  5. OTTAWA- Even though ZEGRAS was in this range, they were spared from the volatile trade wins.

Honorable Mention- COLORADO, DALLAS, MONTREAL