NHL Draft Review: Pacific Division

Introduction

Welcome to Part 1 of my four-part NHL Draft Reviews where I’ll be reviewing and grading every team at the 2020 Draft. Up today in Part 1 is the Pacific Division teams!

I started this series by just writing my opinion on each pick in the draft but figured half-way in I should add some sort of quantifiable element to better understand each team’s draft pick value heading into the draft as well as how they fared compared to my rankings. So, this piece should read mostly as an opinionated write-up mixed in with some numbers.

Methodology

Evaluating Each Pick

For these reviews and grades, I tried to be mindful of value and based my assesments on what teams got versus the value of the picks they had. Obviously I can’t be too hard on a team like the Coyotes who didn’t pick until 111– nobody expected them to bring in a good haul with their little draft value. So, I decided to do my analysis on a pick-by-pick basis, and when analyzing a draft class as a whole, more weight was attributed to higher draft slots as the importance of those selections is much higher, often making or breaking a teams prospect pool.

GSVA

To quantify draft pick value for each pick and the total value of each team’s picks, I used numbers from Dom Luszczyszyn of the Athletic in the article “By the numbers: Revisiting the true value of a draft pick“. Using his GSVA (game score value added) model, the draft values he derived measure the average number of wins a draft pick at that spot will provide his team over the first 7 seasons (how long the player is on team control). So, when you see GSVA commonly used in the article, it’s just to give you an idea of what that draft pick is worth as well as contextualizing it into actual NHL value. The value of a draft pick starts off at 17.5 GSVA for the first overall pick and diminishes to 0.1 by the last pick of the draft.

My Rankings in GSVA

I took GSVA a step further and assigned each of my top 62 ranked players (Ben’s Top 62 + Thoughts and Predictions!) the draft spot GSVA value that corresponds with that ranking. So, if I had a player ranked #32 on my list, they’d get a GSVA value of 2.7, which is the valuation for the 32nd overall pick. If a team took that player at spot #52, which has a GSVA of 1.5, then they’d be getting a surplus of +1.2 GSVA relative to my rankings. It’s not the be-all, end-all of rating systems but it does show how teams performed relative to my rankings. Since I only ranked 62 players, I could only evaluate a certain number of draft picks in this regard. I also evaluated all of the top 62 picks even if a team didn’t select one of my top 62. For these selections, I took the GSVA of the 63rd spot and assumed the player they took would have been ranked #63 on my list, since trying to rank these players after the fact would be biased and inaccurate.

Total Draft Pick Value

When we look and see that every team has an almost even number of picks, it appears as if the draft is somewhat even in terms of draft value. The reality couldn’t be further from that. In fact, the difference between the top and bottom teams in total draft value can be ten-fold. Ottawa led the way with 28.6 GSVA (after trades) while Vancouver, New York (Islanders), and Arizona all sat below the 2.0 mark.

Without further ado, here’s my draft review and grades for the Pacific Division teams!

Anaheim Ducks

from eliteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

15.2 GSVA, 6th highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#6- Jamie Drysdale (7.6 GSVA)

My rank: 6th (7.6 GSVA)

Diff: +0.0

As my #6 ranked player, Drysdale was the right choice for Anaheim at #6. I had Perfetti ranked higher but Drysdale was close enough to the BPA and he fills an organizational need going forward. If the Ducks felt he was the best defenseman in the draft, that’s an extra bonus. Drysdale has at least one more year of junior before he’s ready to face the pros.

#27- Jacob Perreault (3.2 GSVA)

My rank: 27th (3.2 GSVA)

Diff: +0.0

I’m not Perreault’s biggest fan but taking him with pick 27 was a very good value selection for Anaheim. He’s widly inconsistent but likely the most talented player available at that slot. I had him ranked exactly where he was selected, just like Drysdale.

#36- Sam Colangelo (2.4 GSVA)

My rank: 37th (2.3 GSVA)

Diff: -0.1

Sam Colangelo was a solid choice as an early 2nd rounder and fair value for where he was selected. He ranked 1st in the USHL for points per game and plays a power-style game. There’s nothing not to like about this pick for the Ducks– Colangelo doesn’t get talked about a lot but he lights out for the Chicago Steel last season.

#67- Ian Moore (1.0 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

I didn’t know much about Ian Moore coming in but the more I look into it, the more I like that selection for Anaheim. He till has a lot of room to add strength and perhaps his talent was overlooked playing in a lesser league. A high upside pick for Anaheim that could make them look really smart in two years.

#104- Thimo Nickl (0.4 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Opposite of Moore, Nickl is a very safe selection at #104. Not boasting any elite qualities, Nickl plays a sound game at 6’4″ and can move the puck. Could be a servicable NHLer one day.

#129- Artyom Galimov (0.3 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Galimov is already 21 years old but is an established KHLer, scoring 30 points in 68 games over the last 2 seasons. He has improved leaps and bounds since his draft year and was one of the most talented overagers on the board. A high upside 5th rounder.

#160- Albin Sudsvik (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Sundsvsik didn’t get picked in 2019 and the Ducks must have been impressed with his improvement since then. He had just 4 points in 38 SHL games last year but a more optimistic 22 in 19 GP in the junior circuit. A D+1 player who is already playing well enough in pro hockey is a win for the Ducks here.

#207- Ethan Bowen (0.1 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Reaching into the BCHL for their last selection, Ethan Bowen is the selection for the Ducks. At 6’2″ and a DY player producing 0.75 P/GP, Bowen’s production doesn’t stand out but he has some raw talent and size that he was likely worth the gamble.

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Jacob Perreault

The Ducks didn’t select anyone I had in the top-62 lower than I had them ranked, so there wasn’t any obvious choice for my favourite selection. I want to say Moore or Galimov but I didn’t know enough about them to truly say it was my favourite pick. Drysdale’s close but taking a high upside player like Perreault at 27 is a savvy move and many thought that was one of the biggest steals of the draft.

Value vs. My Rankings: -0.1 GSVA, 21st highest

The Ducks top 3 picks of the draft were the only three I could evaluate relative to my rankings. They mirrored my rankings nearly exactly, giving a tiny difference in GSVA.

Grade: B

I thought the Ducks made it out of this draft pretty well. They had the sixth highest expected GSVA coming in and didn’t get too carried away searching for diamonds in the rough, sticking to the book and going for value selections early on. Their first 3 players were picked about exactly where I had them ranked. Anaheim also mixed in some high upside with picks like Moore and Galimov.

Arizona Coyotes

from eliteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

1.2 GSVA, 31st highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#111- Mitchell Miller (0.4 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

The Coyotoes didn’t pick until 111, taking defenseman Mitchell Miller out of Tri-City (USHL). This was a fine pick. He was a force at the WJAC in December and could be a guy who translates well to the NCAA.

#142- Carson Bantle (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Reaching back into the USHL, the Coyotes took Carson Bantle at the point where draft value starts being nearly negligible at 0.2 GSVA. The 6’4″ forward put up very promising numbers on poor team and relies heavily on a north-south game. Needs to add some fine-tuning to his puck skills and offensive zone scoring chance generation.

#173- Filip Barklund (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Barklund’s an unknown for me but as a 2002 born player with solid junior numbers, the selection gets a pass for me.

#192- Elliot Ekefjard (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Same goes for Ekefjard, a 2002 born player who put up some big numbers (not in J20 but J18) gets a pass for me, especially at a towering 6’4″.

#204- Ben McCartney (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

McCartney’s a fine pick. 1.00 P/GP for a D+1 player who was 2 months off from this draft. At first glance, it looks like a throwaway pick but there’s some value to be had there.

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Carson Bantle

Had I ranked more players, Bantle would have been in my early 4th round, so getting him at 142 is an excellent pick for the Coyotes. You won’t find a comparable at that range for his scoring numbers given how afwful his team was offensively last season.

Value Vs. My Rankings: +0.0 GSVA, 20th highest

With no picks in the top 62 or no selections of any of my top 62 players, there’s no comparison to be had for the Coyotes draft picks.

Grade: C+

Hard to give the Coyotes a pass or a fail given their low draft value. I think they missed on high-upside players that were available at their spots. I thought this should have been their strategy with their low capital, but Miller and Bantle are generally safe and good value selections, so I have a tough time giving the Coyotes anything but an average rating for their work.

Calgary Flames

from eliteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

7.7 GSVA, 17th highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#24- Connor Zary (3.5 GSVA)

My rank: #18 (4.3 GSVA)

Diff: +0.8

Connor Zary at 24 is a phenomenal pick for Calgary. How they managed to move down twice and still select him at 24 is beyond me. Zary is one of the most offensively talented players in the draft. Even if he isn’t a good skater, he should still bring an all-round valuable package to Calgary.

#50- Yan Kuznetsov (1.6 GSVA)

My rank: Unranked (1.1 GSVA)

Diff: -0.5

Yan Kusnetsov was the youngest player in NCAA Men’s Hockey last season. Tall and mobile, Kuznetsov really lacks an offensive game and can struggle with decision making. Kuznetsov fits right into the group of tall, mobile, project-style defenseman that we’ve seen in this draft.

#72- Jeremie Poirier (0.9 GSVA)

My rank: #57 (1.3 GSVA)

Diff: +0.4

Certain aspects of Poirier’s game are awful to put it frankly. He can’t defend at all, has questionable work ethic and struggles greatly with backwards skating. Because of this, many are suggesting he move to LW instead of defense, which is defintely something Calgary should at least look into going forward. Still, at 72, Poirier is a good gamble and a high-upside pick for Calgary and I like it.

#80- Jake Boltmann (0.7 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Jake Boltmann was surely an off the board pick and one I would not particularly endorse but there is a reason the Flames selected him so high– Boltmann has a powerful stride and played admirably in his 17 game stint in the USHL last season. #80 was a bit high for this type of player, but there’s some abilities there.

#96- Daniil Chechelev (0.5 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

I don’t know anything about Russian goalie Daniil Chechelev, so I’m going to trust the Flames amateur scouting staff did their due digilence on this guy. I will say there were some goalies not named Chechelev that I really liked still on the board.

#143- Ryan Francis (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Ryan Francis was an offensive dynamo for Cape Breton in the QMJHL last season. You can’t go wrong adding a high-production player like Francis to your prospect pool with pick 143 (valued at just 0.2 GSVA).

#174- Rory Kerins (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Same goes for Kerins as Francis– he’s a guy who found ways to produce for Sault Ste. Marie last season. He’s not a great skater but he’s an honest player and a skilled one too.

#205- Ilya Solovyov (0.1 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

I like the gamble on Solovyov in the 7th round. He has excellent offensive tools for big guy and I like his poise when patrolling the point in the powerplay.

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Connor Zary

Scooping up my 17th ranked player at 24 was an amazing pick for Calgary. I thought for sure NHL teams would be high on Zary and I’m sure Calgary was thrilled to pick him at 24, especially after trading down twice. If Zary was the player they wanted all along then kudos to Brad Treliving because that’s a huge win.

Value vs. My Rankings: +0.7 GSVA, 11th highest

The main reason for their high value relative to my rankings were their selections of Connor Zary and Jeremie Poirier at #24 and #72, providing incredible value for the two players. A lot of trusted people on prospects Twitter had both those players in the first round.

Grade: B+

The Flames did an awesome job of extracting value in the 1st round. They traded down twice and still got Connor Zary at 24, a very good selection. Boltmann and Kuznetsov were picked too high for my taste given their lack of offensive game to this point but the defenders each have their own promising qualities. Kerins, Francis, and Solovyov are three high-scoring CHLers in the late rounds so I really like that for the Flames. Their round 1, along with the Poirier selection gives the Flames an easy B+.

Edmonton Oilers

from eliteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

6.6 GSVA, 18th highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#14- Dylan Holloway (5.1 GSVA)

My rank: #22 (3.7 GSVA)

Diff: -1.4

The Oilers might have reached a tad high for power-forward Dylan Holloway at 14. He’s a fantastic skater and has some nice raw skills but I’m not totally set on his offensive abilities to consider this a fantastic pick for the Oilers. Unfortunately for them, the reason he appears at -1.4 value compared to my rankings is likely because a tier of players ended at pick 13 with Seth Jarvis and the Oilers were left to pick from the best of the next tier, meaning Holloway wasn’t too far off from my 14th ranked player even the GSVA difference suggests he is.

#100- Carter Savoie (0.5 GSVA)

My rank: #59 (1.2 GSVA)

Diff: +0.7

With not another pick until #100, the Oilers grabbed high-scoring AJHL winger Carter Savoie. You’re not going to find a better goal-scorer in the fourth round than Savoie, who I had in my late second round. A great pick for a team that needs goal scoring wingers.

#126- Tyler Tullio (0.3 GSVA)

My rank: #62 (1.1 GSVA)

Diff: +0.8

The Oilers got 2nd round value with the Tyler Tullio selection. He fell because of size and elite skating but this kid does everything– he knows how to pass, score, and gives it is all every game. A masterful selection for the Oilers here.

#138- Maxim Beryozkin (0.3 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Maxim Beryozkin was the second big winger the Oilers took and he brings a little skill with him as well. Thought he would go higher than round 5 so that’s a nice value selection for Edmonton.

#169- Filip Engaras (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Engaras was one of two late-round wildcards for Edmonton. Seems like a bizarre pick for Edmonton considering his NCAA production as a D+3 player and the fact that he can sign with any team by the time he has improved enough to warrant a signing in the first place.

#200- Jeremias Lindewall (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

I’m a much bigger fan of the Lindewall selection than Engaras. Lindewall is 6’2″ and put up 28 points in 39 SuperElit games last season. No complaints about that pick for Edmonton in round 7.

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Tyler Tullio

Tullio was not only Edmonton’s best selection– he might have been the biggest steal in the whole draft. At a point where teams were starting to draft wildcards, Tullio was somehow available for the Oilers at 126. I could see him having a huge jump in production for the 2020-21 season, further solidifying this pick as a home run for the Oilers.

Value vs. My Rankings: +0.1 GSVA, 17th highest

The Oilers made it out in the positive relative to my rankings. The Holloway pick hurt a lot but they couldn’t have picked a player that would have given them a positive rating since my top 13 players were all gone, so the circumstance was more unfortunate than the choice. Other than that, the Savoie and Tullio picks provided amazing value and the Oilers may have won the middle part of the draft with the Savoie-Tullio-Beryozkin picks. Three needed wingers with different skillsets and all at great value.

Overall Grade: B

The Oilers did a fantastic job of replenishing their wing prospects and added a variety of different style wingers with Holloway, Savoie, Tullio, and Beryozkin. They swung for the fences with the last two picks on some relatively unknown players but overall this was a very good value draft for the Oilers and they filled major needs in the process.

Los Angeles Kings

from eliteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

19.3 GSVA, 3rd highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#2- Quinton Byfield (12.3 GSVA)

My rank: #3 (10.2 GSVA)

Diff: -2.1

I would have taken Stutzle at #2 but Byfield is close enough that it still gets a pass in my mind. Byfield should be ready for NHL action on day 1 but will need some time to adjust to the pace of the NHL. However, he could be a star within two years given his remarkable raw ability. Byfield gets a -2.1 difference in value because the stakes are so high at the top of the draft and not selecting the highest ranked player can have a huge effect. However, Byfield may be closer to Stutzle than the 2.1 difference in GSVA suggests– both are great players.

#35- Helge Grans (2.4 GSVA)

My rank: #31 (2.8 GSVA)

Diff: +0.4

Grans falling to LA’s lap at 35 was remarkable for the Kings. Many thought Grans was the 3rd best defenseman in the draft. Not sure how big the ceiling is with Grans but as a 6’4″ mobile defenseman who put up nearly 1.00 P/GP last season, 35th is more than fair.

#45- Brock Faber (1.8 GSVA)

My rank: Unranked (1.1 GSVA)

Diff: -0.7

With their next pick, USNTDP defender Brock Faber was the selection. Faber has little value offensively but has earned widespread praise for his defensive abilities. I personally did not have Faber in the top 62 but people’s opinions I value had him ranked even higher than the Kings selected him.

#66- Kasper Simontaival (1.0 GSVA)

My rank: #61 (1.1 GSVA)

Diff: +0.1

At #66, one-time top-10 ranked Kasper Simontaival is LA’s shoice. A very good scorer in junior, Simontaival fell on my list for lack of size and speed along with a poor progression rate from 2 years ago. Still, with pick #66, Simontaival is a worthy gamble– at the junior level, he’d rank amongst the top 20 players in this draft in pure offensive ability.

#83- Alex Laferriere (0.7 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Thinking they were getting QMJHL star Alexis Lafreniere, the Kings accidentally selected Alex Laferriere. In all seriousness, Laferriere is an excellent prospect in his own right and amassed over a point per game in the USHL last season. Hasn’t wowed outside of Des Moines but was the best player on that team in 2019-20.

#112- Juho Markkanen (0.4 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

With an .881 SV% in the Jr. A SM-Liiga last season, this pick is a head scratcher. There must be a LOT I’m missing here because those numbers don’t exactly point to being a fourth round selection.

#128- Martin Chromiak (0.3 GSVA)

My rank: #43 (1.9 GSVA)

Diff: +1.6

Martin Chromiak somehow fell to the 5th round and the Kings made no mistake in grabbing the star Slovakian. You aren’t going to find better value in the 5th round than a guy who put up 33 points in 28 OHL games, is a smart-speedy winger, is one of the younger players in the draft, and is not undersized. There might be something more to Chromiak that I’m missing (I’ve heard rumours about bad interviews) but regardless, 5th round is a steal for Chromiak.

#140- Ben Meehan (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Ben Meehan, an overage defenseman was the pick for LA at 140. As a 6’0″ defenseman with average skating producing 0.72 P/GP in the USHL, I personally wouldn’t take Meehan in the 5th round but it’s not a wasted pick by any means.

#190- Aatu Jamsen (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Their final section of Aatu Jamsen really intruiged me. I had never heard of him until I googled his name at the draft. Turns out Jamsen has 23 points in 11 Finnish junior games in his D+1 so far. He’s also 6’2″ and weighs just 157 pounds, suggesting his physical maturity has far from occured. He didn’t even play junior last year and would likely never have been drafted without his recent tear but his 11 games has been impressive enough for it too be a sneaky good 7th round pick by LA.

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Martin Chromiak

How can you not love the Chromiak selection for the Kings? I don’t know why teams were shying away but walking away with a player that skilled in round 5 is surprising to say the least.

Value vs. My Rankings: -0.7 GSVA, 26th

Their value sits in the negative because the Kings took Byfield over Stutzle. If you think those players are equal, which is very likely, than the GSVA value would be at a more optimistic +1.4. Chromiak himself provided +1.6 GSVA value, making him a candidate for steal of the draft based on my rankings.

Grade: C+

It was inconsistent draft for the Kings with a lot of ups and downs. I pretty much liked every second pick for them and because I’m weighting the top of the draft more heavily, I just can’t give the Kings higher than a C+ because of the Byfield selection. Not that it was a bad pick, but praising it would be going against my own rankings.

San Jose Sharks

from eliteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

8.4 GSVA, 16th highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#31- Ozzy Wiesblatt (2.8 GSVA)

My rank: #23 (3.5 GSVA)

Diff: +0.7

I had a sneaking suspicion that Ozzy Wiesblatt would get selected in round 1 and I couldn’t be happier that I was correct. Wiesblatt is an incredibly gifted player who can move around the ice in a slippery fashion. He is so quick and has the hands to match. He needs to sort out his game a bit, but once he does he’ll be considered a steal at 31.

#38- Thomas Bordeleau (2.2 GSVA)

My rank: #56 (1.3 GSVA)

Diff: -0.9

Bordeleau was taken a bit high for the Sharks. A very talented junior player and an admirable worker but he lacks the ability to take the inside and as a playmaking centre, that’s quite concerning. The talent may be worth the gamble for San Jose, but there were better players available.

#56- Tristen Robins (1.3 GSVA)

My rank: #32 (2.7 GSVA)

Diff: +1.4

Tristen Robins is a fun player. I feel like he improved so much as the season went on that it was almost uncomfortable to be put him so high but when you just look at what he does as a prospect, you could even argue he deserves to be a first rounder. He’s got first round talent and a first round work ethic. A great pick for San Jose.

#76- Daniil Gushchin (0.8 GSVA)

My rank: #58 (1.2 GSVA)

Diff: +0.4

Gushchin was yet another value selection for San Jose. Would be a first rounder based on talent alone. His size doesn’t really work for his current play style but that’s a minor issue when you’re drafting a guy this talented in the late 3rd round.

#98- Brandon Coe (0.5 GSVA)

My rank: #52 (1.5 GSVA)

Diff: +1.0

I loved the Brandon Coe selection. Thought he could have gone in round 2 with his combination of size and skill that was heavily sought after in this year’s draft. Coe did a lot with so little in North Bay last season and as an improving team, Coe should be able to put up a much more grand point total with a better supporting cast.

#196- Alex Young (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Young was one of the best players in the AJHL ast season and put up some hefty numbers, scoring 82 points in 53 games. He will head to Colgate University and if his scoring translates this is going to look like an excellent pick for San Jose.

#201- Adam Raska (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Raska was getting a little hype earlier in the year (I recall him being in someone’s 1st round but can’t remember who) . That hype cooled off, but he is certainly a good pick in the 7th round. You would expect more production from the skill he has, but this was still a worthwile selection.

#206- Linus Oberg (0.1 GSVA)

A D+2 player who really struggled in his DY and D+1 seasons, Oberg performed well in a bottom-six SHL role and totalled hefty point totals in the junior circuit last season. At the time of writing, Oberg had 5 goals in 7 SHL games, so you have to like the upside San Jose got with this selection, especially for round 7.

My rank: N/A

#210- Timofei Spitserov (0.1 GSVA)

I can’t tell you much about Spitserov other than he scored a ridiculous number of goals for his high school team and was by far the best offensive player on said team. A wildcard pick for San Jose that could pay off.

My rank: N/A

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Tristen Robins

I love the Robins selection because I truly had no idea where he was going to get picked. He was ranked in the 80’s by NHL CS, implying at least the fourth round, so I was thinking he’d around there and was ready to proclaim him the biggest steal of the draft. San Jose scooped him up at 56 and I was pumped. Awesome pick by San Jose. Awesome player.

Value vs. My Rankings: +2.6 GSVA, 4th highest

For San Jose, it was one value pick after the next (minus Bordeleau). Wiesblatt, Robins, Gushchin, and Coe were all picked well below where I had them ranked and the four of them contributed +3.5 in GSVA.

Grade: A+

I absolutely love what San Jose did with the draft. In the big picture, their first five picks were incredible. Taking 5 first-time eligible high-scoring forwards is how you stock the cupboards. Sure, these players have their flaws but they give San Jose the best shot of getting actual impact players from this draft class. I had all 5 players ranked in the first two rounds.

Vancouver Canucks

from eiteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

1.7 GSVA, 29th highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#82- Joni Jurmo (0.7 GSVA)

My rank: #34 (2.5 GSVA)

Diff: +1.8

The Jurmo selection was a complete robbery by he Canucks at 82. I had forgetten about him and was hoping the Canucks would take Zion Nybeck but was absolutely thrilled when Jurmo was announced. A classic high-upside pick, Jurmo is a 6’4″ speedy defenseman whose game is rather uncontrolled right now.

#113- Jackson Kunz (0.4 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Kunz was an under-the-radar pick for Vancouver. I’m assuming the team really wanted a big winger and reached into the lesser scouted leagues to take Jackson Kunz, hoping he brings some hidden upside that other teams weren’t able to see.

#144- Jacob Truscott (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Truscott was the 2nd best defender on that U18 team many nights. Just an all-round good player who could turn out be an effective bottom-pairing defenseman.

#175- Dmitry Zlodeyev (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Dmitry Zlodeyev is a fantastic two-way player out of Russia. He had a few big fans in terms of draft rankings and likely represents an excellent pick in 6th round, where ther isn’t much risk in taking him.

#191- Viktor Persson (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

I love this pick for Vancouver. Persson is too enticing of a prospect to be available in Vancouver’s spot here. Watch for him to show signs of elite offense when he suits up for Kamloops next season.

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Joni Jurmo

No doubt Vancouver’s top selection, Jurmo brings 1st round upside in the 3rd round. Jurmo was my highest ranked player when Vancouver took him and fell 48 spots below where I had him.

Value vs. My Rankings: +1.8 GSVA, 7th highest

The value the Canucks got in the GSVA difference between my ranking and their draft selection was all in Jurmo, who at +1.8 provided the Canucks with one of the biggest steals of the day. No other prospects recieved a rating.

Grade: A

I very much like what the Canucks did in the 2020 draft. Coming in with little draft capital, they swung high on their first pick and picked solid, if not, undervalued players with their remaining selections. At least one prominent ranking source had Truscott, Zlodeyev, or Persson in the top 100. Kunz is the biggest unknown here but from the looks of it he has some real skill to go along with his big frame.

Vegas Golden Knights

from eliteprospects.com

Draft Pick Value

5.2 GSVA, 22nd highest

Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

#29- Brendan Brisson (3.0 GSVA)

My rank: #38 (2.2 GSVA)

Diff: -0.8

Brisson is a good all-round offensive player but not one I would have selected in the first round. He was one of 3 players I had ranked in round 2 who heard his name called on Tuesday. There’s nothing to dislike about Brisson but I felt the Knights really could have hit an upside home run if they looked elsewhere with this selection.

#68- Lukas Cormier (1.0 GSVA)

My rank: #20 (4.0 GSVA)

Diff: +3.0

This may have been the biggest steal of the draft. Cormier was my #20 ranked player, so nabbing him with pick #68 isn’t even fair. Cormier is one of the best offensive defensemen in the draft and is able to command play with his combination of hockey IQ, skating, and impeccable passing ability.

#91- Jackson Hallum (0.6 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

I don’t watch USHS hockey so I can’t pretend like I know a lot about Hallum. What I do know is that I’m weary about selecting players out of high school this high when they haven’t even played a game of junior hockey yet. I feel like it’s very difficult to gain a strong understanding of the quality of competition in high school and certain players (Jay O’Brien) can appear a lot better than they really are. It’s just weird to me that teams select high schoolers in the mid-rounds no problem but still shy away from Canadian Jr. A players in that range.

My rank: N/A

#125- Jesper Vikman (0.3 GVSA)

Vikman didn’t put up great numbers in the SuperElit but likely got drafted for his size and athleticism rather than his ability to stop the puck. There were better goalies available for Vegas with this pick.

My rank: N/A

#184- Noah Ellis (0.2 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

You’re not going to get much offense out of Noah Ellis but the 6’2″ defender is a strong all-round player versus his peers. Personally, I would shy away from these types of players in round 6 but Ellis is a fair pick.

#215- Maxim Marushev (0.1 GSVA)

My rank: N/A

Selected as a 21 year-old Russian in his D+3 season, Marushev totalled over a point per game in the VHL last season. He hasn’t been able to make an impact in the KHL yet which is mildy concerning but the VHL is a very good league and one that is not easy to put up a point per game in. A nice, high-upside selection for Vegas if his scoring can translate to the KHL and NHL.

Conclusion

Favourite Selection: Lukas Cormier

Teams who passed on Cormier in round 2 will really come to regret it in due time. It’s that simple. He was the best player Vegas selected in this draft, not Brisson.

Value vs. My Rankings: +2.2 GSVA, 5th highest

Heavily buoyed by the Cormier selection, Vegas checks out strongly in relative GSVA versus my rankings. I think this number for Vegas is a little misleading given my distaste for their mid round picks but that Cormier selection still stands as one of the best of the whole draft, so it’s hard to discount them entirely.

Grade: B

Outside of the Cormier pick, I didn’t really like the Golden Knights draft. Brisson went a bit high and I’m truly surprised an NHL team scooped him up on day one. Hallum and Vikman were wildcard picks, something that should not be your strategy in the middle rounds where the average GSVA is still significant. Still, Cormier brings them from a C to a B.

Conclusion

Here’s the final order of the Pacific Division teams based on my grades:

  1. San Jose Sharks, A+
  2. Vancouver Canucks-, A
  3. Calgary Flames, B+
  4. Edmonton Oilers, B
  5. Anaheim Ducks, B
  6. Vegas Golden Knights, B
  7. Los Angeles Kings, C+
  8. Arizona Coyotes, C+

And here’s the teams ranked by GSVA versus my rankings:

  1. San Jose Sharks, +2.6
  2. Vegas Golden Knights, +2.2
  3. Vancouver Canucks, +1.8
  4. Calgary Flames, +0.7
  5. Edmonton Oilers, +0.1
  6. Arizona Coyotes, +0.0
  7. Anaheim Ducks, -0.1
  8. Los Angeles Kings, -0.7

Overall, the Pacific Division teams fared very well vs. the average NHL team.

Thanks for following along. Let me know what you think of the grades in the comments or on Twitter! Part 2 will be covering the Central Division and will be out shortly!

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