NHL Draft…will it live up to years past?

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The NHL draft, the main event in professional hockey that changes the future of a team and makes a young hockey player’s dream come true. Fans wait with baited breath for the moment when their favorite team picks new players to the organization. Recently, Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Jesse Puljujarvi all recently got drafted and are expected to be franchise players, a player that the team can build their team around for the foreseeable future. The 2017 NHL Draft is not looking very promising in terms of recruiting exceptional players because of how they compare to current NHL player talent and what the scouts are predicting.

While some may believe these players will perform greater than expected, it is likely they will fall short. They can say there have been many superstar hockey players who have excelled on their teams and were picked late in the draft such as; Pavel Datsyuk (round 6), Brett Hull, (round 6), Jamie Benn (round 5), Joe Pavelski (round 7), however they are rare corner case scenarios. The players in this years draft are not promising because the expectation of their talent level is not near that of prior year’s top 10 draft picks, rendering them average at best.

One reason why this year’s draft will not be promising is because of current talent in the NHL. The current superstars in the NHL such as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid all have been highly touted by scouts and are expected to be at the top of their league. When all of these players were being drafted, scouts praised them claiming that “Ovechkin can turn a franchise around,” that people should “Believe the hype,” in Connor McDavid because he is an “off- the charts talent,” and that Sidney Crosby was an “Elite franchise center and all-round superstar”. All of these current talents were always expected to play at the elite level. On the other hand, the top prospects in this years draft are not expected to be as special. One scout said about the top prospect Nolan Patrick, “he’s not flashy, but so good and smart.” Since the top prospect is not expected to become a superstar like these current ones, this draft will not be an impactful one as in years past.
Another reason why this years draft is expected to be less impactful is because of what the scouts are saying. NHL scouts are experts in their field and know a lot about a player’s strengths and weaknesses. They can break down every aspect of a player’s game from skating, shooting, stickhandling, passing, etc. They always give their opinions on the elite talents and when they say things about the best prospect in the draft such as “he isn’t a dynamic player,” it makes you question whether this draft will really stand out and and change the future of the league. If the clear-cut best prospect isn’t going to be so great, just think about the rest of the draft and their expectations!

In all, this years NHL Draft may prove to be disappointing to say the least not only to prospective teams but also for the fans because of current superstar reputation and what the scouts are predicting. The NHL draft has always been a special event in hockey, for the future of a player and a team. The players in this draft, are good, possibly great, but not expected to be game changers like prospects from the recent past.

Written By Michael Paster

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