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.

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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.

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World Juniors 2018 – Group A Draft Eligible Players

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So with the list of potential draft eligible players going up the other day, now it’s time for the list of potential Group A talent to go up, and what better day to put it up than in a mad-rush on Christmas day with just 24 hours left until the tournament gets underway.

So feel free to browse through this list, and the list from Group B if you want to do something whilst you wait for your Christmas dinner, or if you just want to avoid awkward small talk.

Group A

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NHL Free Agency – My thoughts

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It’s very likely that negotiations on contracts began quite a while before free agency officially opened on Friday as the deals came thick and fast with close to $300 million worth of contracts signed within 30 minutes.

Within minutes it was announced that Andrew Ladd had signed a big deal with the New York Islanders, with Milan Lucic to the Oilers and James Reimer to the Panthers announced shortly after.

There was too much action to go through each signing so instead I’m going to highlight deals I liked and deals I didn’t necessarily dislike, just have an issue with.

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Latest bit of luck for Edmonton, please don’t mess it up

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The Edmonton Oilers didn’t win the NHL Draft Lottery this year which still surprises me even after the actual draft, but they still got a big win on the first day of this year’s selections.

Toronto and Winnipeg stuck to the script by taking Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine with the first two picks, then the Columbus Blue Jackets stepped up to the podium, and with all cameras pointed on Jesse Puljujärvi’s face, the Blue Jackets announced a different name, Pierre-Luc Dubois’ name to be exact.

Dubois is a high end prospect and at centre (despite only playing half a year at the position) he does address a need, but Puljujärvi was meant to round out a locked in top three, but instead, the Edmonton Oilers get lucky and quickly picked up the Finnish teenager who was named MVP of the 2016 World Juniors.

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2016 NHL Mock Draft – Full first round

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While there are only four teams left in the NHL playing hockey, the rest are playing golf, I’m going to look at which team is picking where in next month’s draft and tell you who they’re going to pick with almost everything that follows the top three selections being highly inaccurate.

For arguments sake I’ll list the bottom four teams (St. Louis, San Jose, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay) in order of how they finished in the regular season standings, the team with the lowest points of the four will get back 27 for example and the highest will get pick 30.

I released a mock draft of the first 14 selections after the NHL Draft Lottery a few weeks back so you can check that out as well to see how much my selections have changed.

Here we go, the Toronto Maple Leafs are on the clock.

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2016 NHL Mock Draft – Picks 1 – 14

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After the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery came to a conclusion with a rare win for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the first 14 teams to select in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft are confirmed so it’s time to start looking at who’s picking who.

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Winning the draft lottery won’t speed up the Leafs rebuild

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Last night the Toronto Maple Leafs won the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery, effectively sealing Auston Matthews fate as the consensus number one selection.

Barring a brilliant late surge from Finnish winger Patrik Laine, Matthews will be a Maple Leaf come June’s draft, that’s not to mention the other first round pick the Leafs got through the Phil Kessel trade that will see them pick somewhere late in the first round, where they could pick up a guy like Swedish forward Rasmus Asplund or even another centre in Brett Howden.

But let’s not get too caught up in all the hype, yes Matthews is an absolutely phenomenal talent and the second centre in two drafts to have the “generational” label, much like Connor McDavid he’ll be a great cornerstone of a franchise for many years to come, but let’s not confuse that with him being an immediate saviour.

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Patrik Laine – Auston Matthews’ biggest contender

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If you haven’t heard of Auston Matthews then you probably haven’t really followed Ice Hockey properly for the last year, or you just have very little interest (which is why you’ll have closed the web browser before finishing this paragraph.)

Matthews is the consensus number one pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo this summer, the 18-year old from Arizona took the unusual route of spending his draft year playing professional hockey rather than US or Canadian Junior, joining ZSC Lions where he registered 46 points in 36 regular season games for the Swiss side, proving his incredible abilities against men already.

So there’s been a lot return about this American centre who’ll likely be wearing an NHL sweater next season for whoever wins the draft lottery, but let’s get to know one of his closest competitors to be the number one selection on June 24th.

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