May 18 2016 07:42AM
Trying to establish some sort of value system for draft picks has been the focus of many analytics-focused front offices and independent sports outlets for a little while now. And it's no doubt a worthwhile endeavor that can likely help teams stay disciplined at the draft and avoid letting their gut get the best of them.
But the general takeaway of draft pick value in the NHL is that as you get outside the first few selections, the probability of landing an impact player essentially goes off a cliff, so you might be best off accumulating a few extra lottery tickets in the later rounds and increase your odds that one hits.
May 17 2016 01:57PM
No matter how many scouting reports are written, pull-ups failed, or VO2 max tests performed, in hockey's big picture, the best predictor of future on-ice performance is simply past performance. This is inarguable.
Sure, some junior hockey players (or prospects in any sport) with staggering amounts of points have come and gone as draft busts over the years, and conversely, players have emerged as pros from humble totals as teenagers. But generally speaking, the guys who put up the numbers have always put up the numbers.
When Mitch Marner heads to the Memorial Cup next weekend he'll likely be putting a final stamp on his junior hockey career. And boy, has he put up the numbers to this point.
May 17 2016 09:30AM
The Colorado Avalanche are perhaps the worst-run franchise in the entire NHL, and they're likely going to prove that even further when they unload Tyson Barrie this summer.
Set to become a restricted free agent, Barrie needs a heavy raise and the Avs appear to be hesitant to give it to him. Instead, it's now believed they'll look to move him, and when they do, the Leafs - a team crying out for some major blue line help - should be on the other end of the phone.
May 13 2016 10:56AM
It's no secret that the Leafs are currently one of the teams with arguably the most up-in-the-air goaltending situations league-wide. As they head into the summer, perhaps only the Flames have more question marks between the pipes than Toronto, and given that Lou Lamoriello has said as much as half this roster could be turfed in the offseason, you have to think there's a possibility for an overhaul in net.
May 12 2016 09:21AM
Immediately after the Leafs won the draft lottery a couple weekends ago, it started. We began questioning everything.
Auston Matthews always seemed like a slam dunk number one in every way, like McDavid or Tavares or Stamkos or any other elite center before him. But then it was reported the Leafs themselves had a scout with doubts about taking the American first overall, instead making a case for widely-considered number two Patrik Laine.