Very late post draft lottery mock draft

I guess it’s about time I publish my first NHL Mock Draft of the year following last months NHL Draft Lottery.

We know who’s picking where for most of the picks this year, but in this list I’ll be going through picks 1 – 15, and while you all know who’s going number one you may want to start at pick two.

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Why you won’t see a goalie go in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft

Since the Pittsburgh Penguins took Marc-Andre Fleury first overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, making him just the third goalie taken first overall in the draft (behind Michel Plasse in 1968 and Rick DiPietro in 2000) and also the last goalie taken first overall, 18 other goaltenders have gone in the first round of the draft since.

The trend for taking goaltenders in the first round is dying out. Jake Oettinger was the lone goaltender taken in the first round last year by the Dallas Stars, while goalies had to wait until the Philadelphia Flyers took Carter Hart in the second round of the 2016 draft as the first goalie taken that year.

In the mid-2000s it did seem a bit more of a trend for teams to take who they hoped would be their future shot stopper in the first round.

Continue reading “Why you won’t see a goalie go in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft”

Svechnikov or Zadina? Who should go after Rasmus Dahlin

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that when the 2018 NHL Draft gets underway in June, Rasmus Dahlin will be the first name off the board.

The Buffalo Sabres retained the first overall pick so will either get the privilege of wasting his potential or having him turn their franchise around, so there is little to no point wasting a blog post explaining exactly why he should be the first overall pick. Just watch his highlights, he’s going number one and that’s all you need to know.

But then it gets more tricky, it’s the toughest choice (and more difficult to spell) since if you were Team Edward or Team Jacob from the Twilight series.

So for the team picking second, that’s the Carolina Hurricanes, are you Team Zadina or Team Svechnikov?

It appears that most pundits (whether they are qualified or not to comment on the upcoming draft, I myself am part of the latter) have Andrei Svechnikov of the OHLs Barrie Colts  as their second pick behind Dahlin, and this was even before the Hurricanes moved up in the draft, while Filip Zadina who plays in the QMJHL for the Halifax Mooseheads is likely the third overall pick.

So who should actually go second, and who should go third? Or should one of them slip out of the top three completely? That would be more exciting no matter how unlikely.

Continue reading “Svechnikov or Zadina? Who should go after Rasmus Dahlin”

My IIHF World Championships Division 1A Magazine project

Over the past two months, (possibly three in all fairness) I have been working on creating something new, and something I haven’t done since I was in university.

With the 2018 IIHF World Championships Division 1A starting today in Budapest, Hungary, I have been creating a magazine ahead of the tournament to share for anyone to read.

This idea began as a money making scheme as I thought I could create some content that I could sell to recover mostly the cost of purchasing the necessary software I’ve had to use for this, but also just to line my pockets a little bit.

What it turned out to be is a completely free of charge publication that I am using to not only add to my outdated portfolio, but also to gauge interest to see if any hockey fan, hockey team or other sort of media outlet would be interested in collaborating with me in the future to create more of these magazines, should this one be received well.

So I won’t go on any further, you can see the magazine for yourself now by clicking the link below to find the online PDF of what I’ve been working on for the last little while.

I hope you like it.

https://indd.adobe.com/view/f20080bf-8707-4989-b623-89c9bc07a0dc

 

Many thanks,

Oliver Hampson

If you would like to get in touch, please follow the form below.

 

 

Analysing my NHL Bracket Challenge

Hey, two posts in two days, I’m doing good at this (for now).

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So if you’re a fan of the NHL, you’ll hopefully know that the Stanley Cup Playoffs started last night, 15 teams (and the Philadelphia Flyers who looked as though they thought they were playing a pre-season game last night) are fighting it out to get their name scratched onto the cup, something which to the Pittsburgh Penguins is probably getting old already.

Every year I mean to do a bracket going into the playoffs, but I never do because I’d never be dumb enough to share the results and suffer the consequences of people constantly telling me how wrong I am. I already know it’s wrong, I don’t need reminding.

Continue reading “Analysing my NHL Bracket Challenge”

Simulating the NHL Draft Lottery 100 times

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With the NHL Draft Lottery taking place later this month, people with a much better grasp of maths than myself can tell you all about probability and predict the outcome of the lottery, at least I think they can.

I’m not that intelligent so instead, I’ve decided to use an online simulator to predict the outcome of the lottery, but instead of just doing it once, I decided to do it 100 times.

For anybody who doesn’t know what I’m on about already, save yourself a few minutes because this is post is not for you. I’m not sure it’s for anybody to be honest.

I can’t say any of the results are surprising because it is just 100 simulations using the same 15 teams (it’s not like the Vegas Golden Knights just randomly appear in one of the results).

But now let’s have a look at who, according to the simulator I did on a quietish day in work, has the best shot at landing Rasmus Dahlin with the first pick.

Continue reading “Simulating the NHL Draft Lottery 100 times”

Matt Duchene trade – my uneducated opinion

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So the trigger was finally pulled. For months Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic sent patiently waiting for the right deal to come along before shipping star centre out of town, and it wouldn’t have done it justice if the trade didn’t happen in a weird way.

Matt Duchene started the game for the Avs against the New York Islanders Sunday night, but as a banged up Blake Comeau was being helped to the locker room, you could see the Number 9 of Duchene sneaking away himself, after most likely being informed he was no longer a member of the team.

Duchene was traded midway through the game. I’m not 100% sure why the trade couldn’t have waited a couple more hours either but the trade got done and Duchene is now a part of the Ottawa Senators organisation.

Now I could go into the story of the Duchene trade saga but that’s been done to death by people far more qualified than myself, instead I’ll first recap the trade and then offer my uneducated opinion on it.

So, Pay attention.

Colorado send Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators.

Ottawa send Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators.

Ottawa also send goalie Andrew Hammond, prospect Shane Bowers, a conditional 2018 first round pick and a 2019 third round pick to Colorado

Nashville send defenseman Sam Girard, prospect Vladislav Kamenev and a second round pick in 2018 to Colorado.

So essentially Colorado get a potential 1st round pick in 2018 (if Ottawa’s pick is inside the top 10 they can chose to keep it) a second in 2018, a third in 2019 along with Andrew Hammond (G) & Shane Bowers from Ottawa with Vladislav Kamenev and Sam Girard coming over from Nashville and all they give up is one roster player in Duchene.

So as long as you’ve kept up with this three way trade we should be okay going forward.

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My first opinion, Kyle Turris wanted more length on his contract than Ottawa would give him so the sensible move for Ottawa is to get something in return. So Ottawa for me have upgraded their current roster, but potentially given up a little too much to do so. However, Turris was unlikely to stay in the Canadian capital past the expiration of his contract.

Apparently he’d agreed on a cash value on an extension, but the Sens wouldn’t go past 4 years on term. So for Turris moving on was always inevitable and the Sens ship him out for a better player.

Shane Bowers was the Sens first round choice in 2017 but by no means the Sens best prospect. They did well to hold onto the likes of Thomas Chabot, Colin White and Logan Brown, so shipping out Bowers isn’t that bad.

He’s currently playing for Boston University where he’s put up 6 points in 10 games as a freshman, so I’d say Bowers is a little while off cracking the NHL, meaning Ottawa haven’t given up a prospect with an immediate impact but more on that could have a big impact down the line.

For a team that was an overtime goal away from the Stanley Cup finals last year, the Sens are a ‘win now’ type of team so that kind of move doesn’t hurt them.

Nor does moving Andrew Hammond. While Hammond may have shown flashes of brilliance during his short NHL career, he’s not quite a starting goalie but could be a great addition to the Avs crease, especially since losing Calvin Pickard to Vegas in the expansion draft.

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GM Joe Sakic’s patience may have paid off in more ways than one with this trade, maybe it’s luck but after losing Pickard getting another goalie is a big reward from this trade.

There’s next to no point analysing the draft picks involved because we don’t know who they are.

Having a first round pick, unless it’s guaranteed top 10 means very little unless you’re playing NHL on and Xbox or PS4.

Essentially the difference between trading picks can be so minuscule. If you’re trading for a team like Tampa Bays first round pick you could probably get the same value for Arizona’s second round pick. So there’s little point even discussing it (but I’m sure some will).

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The Nashville part of the deal sees Sam Girard come over to Colorado after making the Preds lineup this year, making 5 appearances for the Preds a year after a 75 point season for the QMJHLs Shawinigan Cataractes. It’s yet to be seen if Girard will play any role in the Avs plans this season, but joining a defensive prospect pool that features the likes of Chris Bigras and Nicholas Meloche, it’s clear that Girard will defy his small stature and become a big potential player and possibly the Avs best defensive prospect other than 2017 first rounder Cale Makar.

In Vladislav Kamenev the Avs get themselves a nearly NHL ready forward who’s already in his third season in the AHL.

In his first season in North America after moving from Magnitogorsk in the KHL, Kamenev posted 37 points in 57 games, and also captain the Russian team at the World Juniors to a silver medal.

He followed his rookie AHL season up with a 51 point season which included 2 games for the Preds in the NHL.

Now in his third year, Kamenev already has 8 points through 10 games and is looking like he could be a big part of the San Antonio Rampage this season.

The winners of this trade may not be too clear for a number of seasons, we don’t know who the draft picks turn out to be, so Colorado could come out and be the winners by a country mile once the careers of those extra picks become more apparent.

However, Matt Duchene looks like a winner as he finally gets his move and to a potential contender. He’s a gifted forward who is also a regular for Team Canada as well. He’s just 26-years old and still definitely in his prime so for Duchene this move could see him reach even greater heights in Ottawa than he did in Colorado. For him this is a fantastic move to help him continue to show his brilliance while also contend for a cup.

Kyle Turris looks like a winner as he gets his extension. He agreed $ with the Sens but obviously is looking for security with more length. Apparently the Sens only offered 4-years but he straight away signed a six-year $36 mil deal with the Preds when was traded to them. Turris is 3 time 20+ goal scorer in the NHL, and is coming off a 55 point season that included 27 goals last season for the Sens.

In their playoff run that saw them come within a whisker of the Stanley Cup finals had it not been for a double-overtime goal from Chris Kunitz to down the Senators and send the Pittsburgh Penguins on their way to their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

So with Turris leaving one contender, he goes to an even better contender with the Preds who also come out on top here by not having to lose any of their stud defenceman (and they have enough of them)

By giving up Girard, Kamenev and picks, the Preds keep their core who when healthy, are one of the most deadly teams in the league.

Over the summer they re-signed Ryan Johansen to a huge 8-year $64 mil contract to be their top line centre for some time ahead.

Now adding Turris to their centre core they can put Turris on their second line with Nick Bonino in the middle of the third line much like he did for the Penguins before joining Nashville over the summer.

With the Avs, they hinder their chances at success for the moment but they are a rebuilding team who are not trying to fool anyone into thinking otherwise.

They have young Stars already like Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. They’re trying to see if they can get anything out of 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov (who’s now with his third team) and they have guys like Tyson Jost and Mikko Rantanen cracking their line up. They do have a lot of depth in their system so in a few years they may be one to watch, but GM Sakic can be applauded for his patience in waiting to deal out Duchene in order to get a return that does help them fill the farm in order to reap the rewards.

Just a fun little finishing piece to a pretty weird trade. Duchene’s first game? That’ll be against the Avalanche when the two face off in a back-to-back series as part of the Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden.

Proven wrong – Winning the draft lottery DID help the Leafs

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It’s never nice to be proven wrong, but whenever it comes to me writing down opinion or prediction I’m used to it. I do Mock Drafts ahead of the NHL Draft each year and I’d hate to see my accuracy record on that. I’ve predicted every first overall pick (this year I’m 100% sure I’ll be wrong) but outside of that I’m usually quite a bit off with some picks.

And I was wrong again with an article I wrote a little over a year ago. During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs the NHL Draft Lottery took place and the Toronto Maple Leafs retained the first overall pick.

The article I wrote in response was titled “Winning the draft lottery won’t speed up the Leafs rebuild”

Continue reading “Proven wrong – Winning the draft lottery DID help the Leafs”

One Year On

A year can seem to go so quick, it was 365 days ago I did what a few called me brave for doing by putting into words a brief synopsis of my struggles with mental health.

In that post I detailed roughly my experience, staring with a tattoo. Back then I had just one, now I have three. My first was all about my personal struggles and a message to myself.

“The best way out is through” written below a heart beat. It’s a personal reminder that there’s better things to come. I won’t go into the full detail because I’m still not ready to, but that was the first big step in overcoming my own personal fear of my mental health that helped me move forward with my life.

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My World Junior Diary – Day 08 – The Return Of The Upgrade

I figured out why I’ve been upgraded three times now (more on the third one later). My seat up in the 300 section is the opposite side to the TV camera’s, so they’re moving a bunch of people down so theres more people in the seats the cameras show and then the arena doesn’t look as empty as it has been.

But anyway, my last full day started as normal, woke up, shower, grabbed breakfast then come back to the room to write the latest blog entry before heading out.

With the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship getting underway, the penultimate game in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre was the early game of the day, starting a 1pm. So I left my hotel around 11:40 for the 20 minute walk down to watch the Russians take on Denmark. I thought if I got there early enough I’d have a greater chance at my seat being upgraded but this game was actually pretty well sold so I stayed up in the 300s.

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